How to Combine Liability

combined liability

Combining liability is a great way to participate in more offers without the need for large amounts of funds in betting exchanges.

What is liability?

The easiest way to think of liability is that it is the amount you need in your betting exchange account to place a lay bet as it is the amount you stand to lose should your lay bet not win.

Lay Stake: The profit you will make from your lay bet if it wins

Liability: The amount you will lose if your lay bet doesn’t win

If you think of yourself as the bookmaker when placing a lay bet, the liability is the amount you would pay to the punter if their bet wins (+ their initial stake). The lay stake is the punters bet and how much you would profit should their bet lose.

What is Combined Liability?

Combined liability is when you place more than one bet on the same event which ultimately cancel each other out and reduces your overall liability. The advantage of this is that you are able to complete multiple betting offers without the need for a lot of funds in your exchange account to cover the liability across all bets.


You want to complete two bookmaker offers with Betvictor and Bet365 which are ‘Bet £10 on football and get a £10 free bet’.

Let’s say that you pick the Man Utd v Liverpool match and place a £10 back bet on each team with the two bookmakers. Man Utd with Betvictor and Liverpool with Bet365. You’ve now qualified for the 2 x £10 free bets and just need to lay your two bets.

Now let’s say that the current lay odds are as follows:

Man Utd lay odds: 2.3

Liverpool lay odds: 2.7

If you placed a £10 lay bet on Man Utd, your liability would be £13 and if you placed a £10 lay bet on Liverpool, your liability would be £17, giving you a total liability of £30. However, you don’t need £30 in your betting exchange account to place these two bets as only one team can win. Therefore, you’ll only need the amount equal to the largest amount you stand to lose based on all outcomes.

Possible outcomes:

Man Utd win – Your Man Utd lay bet loses (-£13) and Liverpool bet wins (+£10). Your exchange account is -£3

Liverpool win – Your Man Utd lay bet wins (+£10) and your Liverpool lay bet loses (-£17). Your exchange account is -£7

The match ends in a draw – Your Man Utd & your Liverpool lay bets both win leaving your exchange account £10 up.

Therefore, the most your exchange account can be down from placing the two bets is -£7 which is the liability.

However, although you can only possibly lose £7 on the exchange, you can’t place these two bets simultaneously and the exchange doesn’t know you will be placing another bet on the opposite team. Therefore, you will need enough to cover the highest liability of the two bets.

This means that we only need £17 in our exchange accounts rather than the £30 as initially expected. Once both bets have been placed, the combined liability will be £7, leaving you with additional funds to complete more offers.


Example with 3 lay bets

Let’s say that you need to place 3 x £10 bets to receive 3 x £10 free bets. You place your three back bets on the horses below with the bookmakers and need to now lay your bets.

Horse 1: Lay odds 6.0 (liability = £50)

Horse 2: Lay odds 7.0 (liability = £60)

Horse 3: Lay odds 8.0 (liability = £70)

Total liability = £180

Again, we know that all three horses can’t win the race and so all of our lay bets can’t lose. Therefore, we only need the amount equal to the highest liability, which in this case is £70 as seen in the bet slip below.

combined liability

Once all bets have been placed, you will notice that the liability goes down even more. This is because of the potential outcomes which are as follows:

Horse 1 wins: Horse 1 lay bet loses (-£50) & Horse 2 & 3 lay bets win (+£20) = -£30

Horse 2 wins: Horse 2 lay bet loses (-£60) & Horse 1 & 3 lay bets win (+£20) = -£40

Horse 3 wins: Horse 3 lay bet loses (-£70) & Horse 1 & 2 lay bets win (+£20) = -£50

Any other horse wins: All three of our lay bets win = +£30

Therefore, the total combined liability for the three bets is just £50 rather than the initial £180!  Leaving us £130 to use on other offers.


Helpful Tip: By placing the bet with the lowest liability first, when you place further lay bets, they will offset against the previous bets and ultimately reduce the amount of money you will need in your exchange account to lay all bets.

By Matchedbets Experts


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