What is spread betting, is something I have been asked a lot. Spread betting on sports is basically deciding whether the prediction offered by a particular bookmaker on a certain sports event is either too high or too low. If you think the quote is too low, you would ‘buy’.

The difference between spread betting and a traditional ‘fixed odds’ bet is that the more you are correct, the more you win. Conversely, the more wrong you are, the more you can potentially lose. This is where the skill comes into play, along with the knowledge of the markets you are betting in.

A Worked Example

A typical and easy to understand example of spread betting is as follows.

England are playing South Africa in a test match and you think that Alastair Cook is due a huge score, therefore, you check out the quotes being offered. You see that Sporting Index are offering a quote of 83-90 (for both innings), and as you are confident that Cook will get plenty of runs, you decide to ‘Buy’ at 90 for £5 a point.

You are correct, and Cook goes on to score 175 runs in the test match. That means that your profit is £425 ((175-90)*5).

From this example, you can see the power of spread betting, if you are armed with the knowledge and statistics to make informed decisions.

Please see below for a glossary of some common terms involved in spread betting.


Aggregates are a group of specials whereby we predict the total number of instances (such as goals) across a group of matches.

To bet high – a trade that the result will be higher than the current market price. The opposite of sell. The higher figure of the two figures quoted in the spread.

Credit Account
An account with a pre-agreed trading credit limit settled at the end of an agreed period.

Deposit Account
An account where sufficient funds have to be deposited before placing a bet.

Betting once an event is underway on markets that are constantly updated for the duration of the event. Also known as ‘in-running’. See also Live Event Betting.

Limited Risk
A limited risk account ensures that no bet can be placed and accepted without sufficient funds being available in the account to cover the worst possible outcome.

Live Event Betting
The term used to describe when an event is actually in progress and betting is available.

Long-term markets
Markets in which the final result is more than seven days after the date at which the initial bet is placed.

The result on completion of an event or series of events. For example, if Manchester Utd beat Liverpool 3-1, total goals would make up at 4. See also Maximum Make-up and Minimum Make-up.

An additional deposit requested to cover the maximum risk of an open position that is going against you. Hence the expression ‘margin call’ which is a request for a margin payment.

Maximum Make-up
The maximum limit on the potential margin of victory or defeat, applied in certain markets to limit the client’s and the spread firm’s maximum risk.

Maximum Risk
The maximum possible that a client may lose through a bet.

Minimum Make-up
The least amount at which a market could make-up. On a supremacy bet this is, in theory, unlimited, but on a batsman’s runs it’s zero.

The funds that could be lost from placing the bet. The more volatile a market, the more risk associated with the bet.

The opposite of buy. The lower figure of the two figures quoted in the spread. See also Short (For example in cricket a client is short of England runs if he has sold England runs.)

A bet is settled once that bet has been closed. Can also refer to the final result which dictates the make-up.

The difference between the higher (buy) and lower (sell) prices quoted by a spread betting bookmaker.

The amount chosen by the client to bet per point.

Stop Loss / Stop Win
An agreed boundary on a spread bet – no more can be won or lost beyond this agreed level. These will vary according to the volatility of the market.

A market based on the margin of victory separating two competing teams or individuals. One team or player’s dominance over another. For example in rugby union, England/Wales supremacy might be quoted at 7-9 meaning Sporting Index expect England to beat Wales by 8 points.

When decimals are used to add volatility to a market, a ‘tick’ is each decimal point.


If you would like further clarification on the above, or have any questions about Spread Betting in general, please leave a comment below.

21 thoughts on “What is Spread Betting?

  1. Max,

    A great example of spread betting. My lack of knowledge has kept me from waging many a bet, but your post has changed that for me. Thank you for posting.

    1. Thanks, James, that’s very kind of you to say. We have an excellent group here and are continuing to improve our profits each month.

      1. Hi. I have dabbled before. But no sooner I dabbled I quit. You do need someone to help I think. So I think I will give it a go. With the cook match – how much would the loss have been??? Or was there a sell option in case it goes the wrong way.and what about your previous results. Are we able to see proof of 25+ points you are promising. Thanks

        1. Hey Anthony

          Spread betting is definitely something that if you are involved with you need to have the stats to back up your selections. One of my favourite markets is on the national hunt horse racing, and with nearly three years worth of stats is it almost 3,000 points up, and that’s just blindly betting one way. If you are selective like I am, then the returns are even greater.

          With the cricket example, if Cook had scored zero runs in the match (both innings), then the loss would have been 83 points. However, these kind of results are extremely rare and betting on player runs is not something I do, that was just there as an example.

          I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed if you decide to subscribe.

          Kind regards


          1. Hi. Just like to say with response to my earlier mail. Will there be midweek bets. And is it set and forget . So we don’t need to be there for in play.i am on vacation till Monday but rest assured I am looking forward to joining.thanks.

          2. Hey Anthony

            Yes, I will definitely be making selections to trade mid-week, especially as national hunt racing kicks back into action next week The selections I go for will always be on a set and forget basis, as the stats are there for completed matches.

            I look forward to welcoming you aboard, Anthony.

            Have a great weekend!


  2. Hello Max,

    You mention Sporting Index but no other companies. What are these other companies and can just having Sporting Index account suffice.
    Also you were asked about the size of betting bank but I cannot see any reply to this.
    Yes it will depend on an individual person, but an indication would be very helpful.

    1. Hey Brian

      Spreadex and Star Spreads are two other companies that are available to use. I hadn’t mentioned them yet as I am negotiating with them to get an improved sign-up offer.

      A bank of a few hundred pounds would be sufficient to start with (obviously depending on the size of your staking), and this would allow you to build it up from there.

      As mentioned previously, if you haven’t tried Matched Betting before then I definitely recommend that (check out the Matched Betting page on this website), as this will give you a bank of £750-£1,000 in a very short space of time with no risk.

      If I can help with anything further please let me know.



  3. Hi,
    Will you be updating February results?
    Also, you advertise three companies to sign up to. Do you have to sign up to all three? Ie can u place all the bets u suggest on each of the sites – or are some bets only available on some sites?
    Need to know if you need to spread your cash across all three or if you can just use the one with the best introductory offer and still place ALL bets?

    1. JL

      Full results are now on site.

      It is always better to have more than one account, as this allows you to obtain the best prices possible. However, it would be perfectly fine to have just one to start with and still be able to get on the selections.


  4. Hi Max,
    In the past I have traded on Betfair laying bets backed on bookmakers sites. After a while I got restricted or closed on some including Bet 365 and Ladbrokes. This is different and I have not placed trades or had accounts with spread betting companies but have experience with IG for currency and stock spread trading. Do you have a suggested minimum betting bank? I am considering starting wth the World Cup in mind. Can I ask what is the approximate % win/lose rate. I understand it’s more complex than this as some trades will win/lose more money than others thanks Nigel

    1. Hi Nigel

      You can easily get started with a bank as small as a few hundred pounds, as you are able to bet in stakes of £0.10 and sometimes lower.

      The strike rate since the service was launched is between 55-60%.


  5. Hi Max.
    I’ve recently purchased your system through clikbank.
    Can you tell me your website address please and how do I get the notifications of the proposed bets.
    Dave F.

  6. Hello,
    Is this service still running? I have sent an email with questions to support three weeks ago. I didn’t get a reply so far. I’m posting here my questions too.

    “I have found your service in a review site.
    I’m coming from a fixed odds betting world.

    Now I have analyzed your past time performance.
    If I understand correctly in 2017 August you made 249,55 unit profit.
    Is it correct?
    What is the staking plan? I don’t see stake column so I suppose you
    play with fixed stake (1 point / bet). So August profit in 2017 is
    249,55 EUR if 1 point is 1 EUR. Is it correct?

    I didn’t find information about the betting bank in points.
    At the review site, I see a 1000 point bank suggestion.
    So if I start with 1000 point bank, what will be staked at each
    selection in points?
    How about dropping prices? If many customer bets at your selections
    the line will move if the betting limit is small.

    What are the betting limits in EUR at your selections? At fixed odds
    bookmakers, there is a betting limit based on the size of the market.
    How fast is the limitation at spread betting bookmakers? At fixed odds
    bookmakers the limitation is very fast if you win a lot. Only Asian
    bookmakers (like Pinnacle, SBO) allows winning players. How about
    spread betting bookmakers limitation and account closures?”

    1. Hi Kristoff

      Apologies for not replying to your email, I have gone back over my received emails and can’t find it.

      The service is definitely still running.

      With regards to staking, it is definitely best to adjust your stake depending on the overall risk of each selection. This is easily done if you use a stop-loss account (which is definitely recommended).

      Prices do move throughout the day and it is only natural that if a reasonable amount of bets are placed on the same selection that there will be a movement in price. However, this movement has been minimal over the past few months and having more than one spread betting account can definitely help to mitigate this.

      Spread betting bookmakers appear a lot more lenient than traditional bookmakers as they make profits on the ‘spread’. However, it is still possible to be restricted after a while if you are not careful.



    1. Hi Alan

      Thank you for your interest in my service.

      The three main bookmakers that I use can be seen on the Spread Betting Companies page of my website, which can be found here – https://sportsspread-betting.com/sports-betting-companies

      Sporting Index is the most popular, and they have a very good sign-up offer, where they give you £50 to play with for a week and you keep any profits made over this £50.

      This allows you to get used to the different types of selections without risking any of your own cash.

      If you have any further questions please let me know.

      Kind regards


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