In this article I’ll be answering these specific questions:
- What’s the difference between Betfair and Betdaq?
- Is there ever an advantage to using Betdaq over Betfair?
- Is there any point of having both a Betfair and a Betdaq account?
On the surface, not very much; both Betfair and Betdaq are betting exchanges whereby you can trade bets with fellow users. So why would you need both?
The Betfair Exchange operate's on a similar profit model to poker sites, you’re not charged for the service and the odds offered do not have a profit margin factored into them, rather Betfair takes a cut, some times known as a rake, of your winnings, the size of the rake being 5% of all wins you have on Betfair.
Betdaq also take a cut on your winnings but their rake is half the size of Betfair's at just 2.5%, the advantage of this being obvious, if both Betfair and Betdaq are offering the same odds in a market then you’ll be better off (as long as there’s liquidity there; we’ll talk about that later) taking the bet with Betdaq.
Market volume and liquidity are inextricably linked, where market volume is the amount of people who have bet and are queuing up to bet, liquidity is the amount of activity there is on both the back and the lay side.
So for instance there might be a tennis match between Andy Murray and Roger Federer taking place and there has been £3,000,000 in matched bets before the match starts, this would indicate a high market volume and therefore you know that there will be good liquidity in the market, in other words if you put a back or a lay bet into the market, it’ll not only be matched but you can expect to be able to put in the opposite bet later in the match.
However if you’re betting on an event such as a rugby league match between St. Helen’s and Wigan and there has only been £2,000 matched then this shows that there is low volume and therefore the overwhelming likelihood is that there will be poor liquidity in any of the available markets on that particular game. It doesn't necessarily mean you won’t get your opposite bet matched later, but you could have problems if you put in a particularly large bet, as large bets; especially on low volume events, are often matched by more than one other trader so you could end up needing to place a lay bet of say £500 after you've initially backed something at £200 and find that you can’t get the bet wholly matched or worse still there are no odds being offered on it at all by the Betfair odds generator, meaning no trading opportunity.
You are much more likely to encounter the low volume-poor liquidity problem on Betdaq than you are on Betfair for the plain and simple reason that more people use Betfair than they do Betdaq, however Betdaq is catching up.
One of the inevitable outcomes of becoming a big company is that you’ll annoy your customers along the way as you make changes along the way and these disgruntled customers will leave you for a rival, contributing to the growth of your rival, this is what has been happening with Betfair and Betdaq over the years. It is and has been a slow trickle, but you feel that at some point that trickle could become a flood.
The chances are if there is a low volume/low liquidity problem on an event on Betfair then you know that in all likelihood there will be the same problem on Betdaq, however you may be able to spread your trade over both exchanges, beware though this strategy on low volume/low liquidity markets could backfire.
Just one more thing about volume/liquidity, I've noticed that on the smaller rugby league matches there can be a real problem with liquidity in some of the rugby league points spread markets even when the match betting has fair volume/liquidity, this will no doubt be a problem on both exchanges.
In the first few years I used Betfair I can’t remember it going down once, however this is another inevitable outcome of having such a fast growing, hugely popular website is you are going to get crashes and those crashes can happen at inopportune times, in fact the more you use Betfair the higher the probability that you’ll experience some kind of downtime at some point.
Experiencing a crash just before you’re about to put your first bet into the market is annoying and whilst it could cost you a potential green book it’s not going to make a red book and may even end up saving you from losing some money.
However a crash when you're trying to put an opposite lay or back into the market, especially if you are trading on a popular event, could cost you big time as the phone lines are likely to be jammed with worried traders trying to close positions. Even if you get through on the phone, there’s a big chance that the system has died for the Betfair operator as well. You also have to remember that the minimum telephone bet is £50 which you may not qualify for in that circumstance.
In both the above scenarios you could either add it to your list of bad beat stories or you could login to your Betdaq account and place the trade there and if the event’s a popular one then you’ll be able to just carry on trading as if nothing’s happened; afterwards you might have to manually move some money around between your exchange accounts but that’s better than losing money because of a technological glitch.
Look & Feel
This may seem trivial to most people and if you are one of those people then great, don’t even bother reading this paragraph as it doesn't affect you. However look and feel is important for a lot of people. We are creatures of habit and when we get used to something it feels comfortable and familiar and it adds to our enjoyment and overall experience when using the site.
Companies spend big money getting look and feel right and each major company’s look and feel will be unique. Ultimately though it doesn't matter one jot, as long as the functionality of the website is good, then who cares? Get over it.
The best way to combat the dis-associative feelings you may get when using Betdaq as opposed to Betfair, is to get used to Betdaq by using it more. Open an account and trade on a major high-volume event and get into it. Remember even if the odds aren't as good Betdaq’s commission is lower so your potential profits will be around the same.
Don’t forget you can always do a comparison by opening up a Betfair and Betdaq window at the same time and on the same event and enter your amounts into the box, make sure you have both accounts set so that you are looking at potential profits with commissions factored in.
So the main differences between Betfair and Betdaq are;
Betfair has a higher commission rate than Betdaq.
Betfair generally has better market volume/liquidity than Betdaq
Betdaq generally has less downtime than Betfair.
Betdaq look and feel is different from Betfair.
There can be an advantage to using Betdaq over Betfair in high volume/high liquidity markets and occasionally in low volume/low liquidity markets and for the reasons above there is definitely a point to having both a Betfair and Betdaq account as it just might one day, cover your arse.
So if you haven’t already got one, click on the link to open a Betdaq account.
Or here to open a Betfair Exchange account.
The Zen Trader