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Smarkets Review

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4.5

Smarkets is an online betting exchange with a primary focus on racing, sports and political events. But is this brand better than the other well-established betting exchanges such as Betfair, Matchbook, Betdaq and Pinnacle? Our Smarkets review has the answer.

Smarkets Review

Launched in 2010, Smarkets has taken a while to establish itself as a true force with the online betting exchange industry but it’s knocking on that door now. It started out with a small group of investors and engineers with the vision to apply the principles of financial trading to the world of online betting with a focus on honest, user-centered trading practices.

smarkets home page
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Smarkets’ platform has facilitated over £5 billion in trades since being launched, and a mark of its growing stature was seen during the 2018 FIFA World Cup when a tidy £415 million was traded on its platform. It now has offices in London, Malta and Los Angeles. It is licenced and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority, so you are certain of entering a completely safe and fair online betting centre.

Smarkets Verdict

Why punters bet at Smarkets

Pros

✔ Risk-free football bets
✔ Often better odds than traditional bookmakers
✔ Only 2% commission fee
✔ Stylish mobile app
✔ Novelty markets which cannot be found anywhere else

Cons

✘ No live streaming
✘ Not all markets are liquid
✘ No esports available

Smarkets Odds & Markets

The list of sports and events that you can bet on at Smarkets is constantly changing to keep abreast of the latest action. Here’s an overview of the current offering available whilst composing this review:

FootballHorse RacingPoliticsTennisAmerican Football
BasketballGolfCricketBoxingIce Hockey
MMAMotor SportsRugby UnionSnookerCurrent Affairs

Smarkets Football Betting Tips

Football is the dominant sport by a country mile on this betting exchange. It offers markets from multiple leagues within the UK, Europe, South America, Asia and North/Central America, in addition to Champions League, Europa League and international matches.

As with all betting exchanges, the number of markets is only relevant if there is liquidity in them. This means, punters willing to both back and lay on the same market in the same event. All of the big matches from Europe’s elite leagues and games from the Champions League have plenty of interest, so these are were the most action unfolds. Checking Inter Milan Vs Barcelona and there is a reasonable amount of liquidity flowing. The main markets such as match winner, BTTS, first goalscorer and O/U goals get the action started. However, no bets have been matched in the last goalscorer market with some of them only having a couple of pounds liquidity, too.

This is common theme throughout to be honest. If you like betting on the popular, most-common match markets, then Smarkets has what you’re after. But, the more obscure markets are often a little shy of action.

Smarkets Horse Racing Betting Tips & more

Smarkets covers horse racing from the UK, Ireland and South Africa among other countries. For local races (UK and Ireland) there is generally a reasonable amount of liquidity in the markets, but some of the international meetings are bare to the bone.

The betting platform is very moden. It provides you with the weather and track conditions plus there’s a betting graph that displays the runners’ prices and where and when money is moving into the market. You can click on a particular horse to reveal its form, gear, weight, age and when it last ran. 

smarkets racing
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Smarkets politics

As mentioned, Smarkets likes to delve into politics and it has a rich array of markets in this niche. You can choose between UK politics with betting options on party leader, HoC speaker, London mayor, Scottish Independence and Brexit among others. There are also plenty of markets for US, European and world politics, too. It’s something different to the norm and whilst it won’t suit every punter, it’s nice to see a betting platform offering so much choice in this area.

Smarkets other sports

Most US sports, such as NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL have good liquid markets. As do several tennis matches, golf tournaments, cricket and rugby. It’s a case of looking around to see where the money is before deciding what bets you want to place. 

The good thing about using an exchange is that the odds are generally more favourable than those offered by a traditional bookie. As you can see from the Inter V Barca game, Smarkets is offering 3.8 on Inter compared to 3.6 at Paddy Power. However, with a betting exchange you pay commission on winning bets - at Smarkets that is 2%. So, you must factor this in before betting to see where the most value is. There’s a useful betting calculator on the platform which calculates everything for you, so you know how much profit you’ll end up with.

Smarkets Live Betting

Although Smarkets offers live betting, its coverage isn’t the best. You can bet on a range of live sports including football, tennis, cricket, snooker, basketball, rugby and American football. But, there are not as many individual events per sport when compared to the likes of bet365, Ladbrokes, and Betfair.

Market depth is another weakness, for instance the WTA tennis match between Alize Cornet and Timea Bacsinszky only had money in the match result market and this was early in the 2nd set. As we’ve stressed previously, it comes down to the teams/players that are playing. The bigger the event, the more money comes in. However, this lack of depth can be a frustration for casual punters using an exchange.

smarkets live betting
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Smarkets Website & Login

Before going deeper with our Smarkets review, let’s have a look at what a betting exchange is and how it differs from a traditional bookmaker.

With a bookmaker, the punter only has the option of backing a bet. For example: Inter Milan Vs Barcelona match odds (courtesy of Paddy Power).

smarkets exchange
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As a customer, you can ‘back’ Inter to win at 3.60, Barcelona to win at 2.0 or ‘back’ the result to be a draw at 3.50. For each of these, you are betting against the bookmaker (in this case Paddy Power). If you win, the money comes out of Paddy’s pocket. However, if you lose, it goes in Paddy’s pocket. In bookmaking terminology, Paddy Power is ‘laying’ the bet. It carries the liability of having to payout if a punter wins.

Now, with a betting exchange, there is no bookmaker. It is a peer-to-peer service which means you are betting against other punters. Let’s take a look at the Smarkets’ betting exchange and explain.

If this is your first encounter with a betting exchange platform, it can appear a bit overwhelming - especially compared to the simplicity of a traditional bookie. But, it’s pretty straight forward once you know the basics. 

On the exchange, you can either ‘back’ the same as betting with Paddy Power above or ‘lay’. This is performing the role of the bookie in a sense. As you can see on the above image from Smarkets, there are green buttons (for back bets) and blue buttons (for lay bets).

So, for Internazionale, the best price you can ‘back’ (green) is 3.80. This is you betting on them winning. The £1,140 below is the liquidity in that one market waiting for bets to be matched. You can set your own odds. Perhaps you want to back Inter at 4.0 for instance. There is no guarantee that another punter will accept this bet though, but you can try. This is the flexibility a betting exchange provides. This is a straightforward wager. If you put £10 on the ‘back’ Inter bet, you win £38 (including your stake).

Alternatively, you can place a ‘lay’ (blue) bet. This is you saying Inter will not win. The current price for this is 3.85. However, now you are technically acting as the bookmaker, so you must also cover the liability. A £10 lay stake at odds of 3.85 equals liability of £28.50. This pays the punters who were right to back Inter. However, if Inter don’t win, you get £38.50. 

Website/Usability

No corners have been cut in designing the Smarkets website. Like all new platforms, it takes a few minutes to adjust and get to know your way around but its user-friendly layout helps speed things up.

The side menu can be expanded or collapsed which makes it compatible with all devices from desktops to mobiles. The complete index of sports runs down the side with a number beside each to highlight how many events are available for betting. All you need to do is click on a sport or political category and it will reveal a drop down menu with further options. You then only need to choose where you want to bet. 

You also have a useful ‘?’ icon at the top of the page. This has some great info such a Getting Starting Guide, betting strategies, betting calculator, bet types and bonus information. To place either a back or lay bet, you click on the price you want and insert your stake. It’s very easy - but we still recommend reading the guides offered for a little more insight.

Smarkets Mobile App

If you want to have a more personalised betting experience, then downloading the Smarkets app is a must. It’s available for iOS and Android devices and it looks and feels just as good as the web-based platform.

It has a crisp design with easy-to-use menus which make navigating effortless. You have all of the pre-match and live in-play markets, and there’s a lovely match animation console to accompany the live action. Security is paramount and the Smarkets app uses the latest SSL certificate pinning software to ensure players’ safety. Certain devices can also use fingerprint login and there’s 2FA to make it even more secure.

smarkets mobile apps
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Smarkets Withdrawals & Deposits

With cards, e-wallets and bank transfers available, you won’t have any worries about depositing/withdrawing at this site.

  • Credit Cards
  • Debit Cards
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • Paypal
  • Trustly
  • Bank Transfer

Smarkets operates a closed loop system so the method you use to deposit must be used for withdrawals as well. All withdrawal requests are held pending for 6 hours before being processed. The time it takes to receive your cash then varies on your chosen method. E-wallets are 1 - 2 days. Card withdrawals are 1 - 6 days and a bank transfer is a lengthy 5 - 10 days.

Smarkets Customer Service

Smarkets customer support is spot on. It’s there when you need it via the following methods:

Live chat: available 24/7 when logged in
Telephone: +44 207 617 7413 (Registered players only: 09:00-00:00)

Smarkets FAQs

Is there a Smarkets welcome bonus?

Yes. The Smarkets welcome bonus is a risk free bet. To find out more details visit: https://smarkets.com/ 

Does Smarkets accept UK players?

Yes, it does. It’s based in the UK and holds a UKGC licence, so all UK residents are welcome.

Do I pay commission on losing bets?

No, you don’t. You only pay 2% Smarkets commission on winning wagers.

Where do I download the Android app from?

To download the Smarkets app for an Android you need to use the link on the website for the APK file and instructions. It’s not available in the Play Store

Are there any Smarkets promo codes available?

Certain offers may require the use of a Smarkets promo code. Check the site for more info.

Facts & Figures

Bonus Type:
    1st bet bonus

Top 5 Bookmakers October 2019