Screenshot of Smarkets Homepage

Smarkets promotes a different type of sports betting, similar to what Betfair has to offer. Actually, they go beyond sports and emphasize the fact that opening an account with them is in the same as gambling. What the company suggests is that you can actually get an edge if you put your knowledge and experience to good use. They’ve got an interesting betting format and a website that is easy to navigate by beginners.

Key facts about Smarkets

  • Smarkets allows players to lay bets, therefore act as a bookmaker, rather than a player.
  • There are risks that punters take when playing the role of the house, but also obvious rewards.
  • Players enjoy a great deal of flexibility when betting at Smarkets and can tinker with the odds.
  • Customer support is user-friendly and professional, helping players learn the ropes.
  • The odds are vastly superior to what most bookmakers offer and comparable to Betfair.

Smarkets Sports and Odds

Smarkets aspires to become the betting exchange of choice for professional punters. They offer the same collection of games and their counterparts, on par with Betfair and Pinnacle Sports. Unlike the latter, they allow players to lay favorites and underdogs when betting against their peers. Football is the most popular sport here as well, but the best opportunities are provided by horse and greyhound racing. Having said this, there is a big difference between prominent competitions and regular races, in terms of liquidity.

A betting exchange such as Smarkets allows players to use complex betting strategies such as hedging. Since the odds move quickly, one can bet on opposite events and extract profit regardless of outcome. The use of arbitrage is permitted and even encouraged, something that differentiates them from traditional bookmakers. You can’t do the same at Meridianbet, Vernons, Sporting Index, Racebets and Tonybet. It is extremely important to get the calculations right to avoid significant losses.

Popular sports are more liquid, as more players tend to bet on them. That’s why those who prefer American sports, tennis, racing events and obviously football enjoy the best conditions here. The differences between Smarkets odds and the ones offered by other bookmakers can be considerable. Punters are advised to open multiple accounts if they plan on using arbitrage strategies. The fact that they have a 2% commission, lower than Betfair’s 5% is also a solid argument in favor of choosing them.

Smarkets sports are for the time being limited to the most prominent divisions and domestic leagues. They have a huge range of markets in these categories, but don’t cover youth or women’s sports. This doesn’t mean a great deal for casual punters, but savvy ones need to factor in these details.

Screenshot of Smarkets Place a Bet
Screenshot of Smarkets Place a Bet

Live Betting and Streaming at Smarkets

Smarkets has a limited selection of live betting events. They do cover the top European divisions and continental competitions. Unfortunately, fewer options are available to those who want to go a step further and bet on inferior leagues. Liquidity is also much better on derbies and games that generate a lot of interest. This means that you have a better chance to find players willing to bet against you in real time in these tournaments. There is no live streaming service, so you need to get your live information elsewhere, or use their static data.

Smarkets promotions and bonuses

Smarkets promotions are not exactly the best out there. They tried to make a point of the fact that instead of offering bonuses, they provide players with the tools to win. Bigger than average odds do help, but the introductory offer is poor even by betting exchange standards. The minimum deposit of €20 is also the one that triggers the biggest possible bonus. In a nutshell, there is simply no reason to sign up here if you hunt bonuses and juicy campaigns.

In the long run, you might be able to extract significant profits if you use the right strategy. The betting exchange will also present players with the chance to move up the leaderboard and attain VIP status. The loyalty program is still in its infant stages and isn’t going to help them stand out from the crowd. Overall, Smarkets are terrible at offering financial incentives to both new and existing players. You need to make your own luck and expect nothing for free from these guys.

Screenshot of Smarkets Payment Methods
Screenshot of Smarkets Payment Methods

How do you register at Smarkets?

The registration process at Smarkets isn’t complicated, but players should take the time to research. They need to thoroughly understand the advantages of choosing a betting exchange over a traditional bookie. Realizing the shortcomings will also help players avoid the pitfalls of this challenging gambling system. Compared to other bookmakers, they require more information, since players will be acting as the house. Still not a great deal of data are required and proof of identity is only requested later on.

Is Smarkets safe and reliable?

Smarkets is a challenger for Betfair, its strongest competitor. Compared to other betting exchanges, they are better but trailthe industry leader in terms of coverage, players and reputation. They do use SSL encryption technology and firewalls to keep players safe. There were no problems with their defensive measures and in time, they have a good chance to consolidate his reputation. What they need to work is on technical issues, which tend to appear when betting in real-time during busy days.

Payment options and cash out times at Smarkets

Smarkets bears many similarities to traditional bookmakers when it comes to customer support and payment methods. The financial instruments offered range from credit and debit cards to prepaid cards, wire transfers and e-wallet. Skrill and Neteller are preferred because they are faster and more reliable than many prepaid cards. All transactions are performed without commission being charged and the waiting time ranges from 48 hours to five days. There are no withdrawal limits, but players need to deposit no less than €10 or currency equivalent. Selected payment methods will require players to deposit twice as much.

Smarkets service and support

The customer support team is highly professional and it has to be so, to help newcomers. The inherent challenges of choosing a betting exchange instead of a bookmaker are self evident when gambling here. Getting in touch with their specialists can be done via email, live chat and telephone. The latter is a better choice if you need comprehensive answers and want to be able to ask questions in real-time. There is a toll-free number but when the line is busy, live chat is an equally effective solution. They also have a presence on social media and are very responsive on Twitter and Facebook.

Screenshot of Smarkets Promotions
Screenshot of Smarkets Promotions

What are others saying about Smarkets?

Smarkets reviews focus on the fact that they have a lower commission rate than Betfair. 2% is very little if you put things into perspective and realize the fact that the industry leader charges 5%. In conjunction with the bigger than average odds, they present players with a real opportunity to make the most of each bet. Articles that compare them to competitors highlight the fact that their servers could need some improvement. Technical glitches sometimes occur when a lot of people back on the same match live.

There are players who complain about the fact that the system they promote is overly complicated. They don’t like the fact that once players sign up they don’t have the option of reverting to traditional sports betting. This is something that other betting exchanges offer, but then again those who come here should know what they are up for. The odds are great in any case and if liquidity is improved, players are likely to run out of reasons to complain.

My experience and rating of Smarkets

Betfair was the first betting exchange I tried and they are still my favorite. Smarkets trails at a distance, but then again they are new to this line of work. The fact that their commission is less than half, goes a long way. The odds are comparable to the best out there, which also means a great deal to savvy punters. What I don’t like is that liquidity is still a big problem on most games. It’s difficult to use an arbitrage strategy and hedge against risks, when you don’t have enough players betting.

I do like the interface a lot and I have the utmost respect for the customer support. They help a lot and are knowledgeable enough to steer beginners the right way. Smarkets shows a lot of potential and I wouldn’t be surprised if they close the gap separating them from Betfair. It will take some time until this will happen, because right now they don’t score higher than 7 out of 10.