What is spread betting?

Spread betting is a type of gambling that allows you to win (or lose) more (or less) depending on how right (or wrong) you are about an event – whether that’s goals in a game of football, runs in an innings, or party seats in a general election.

Unlike fixed odds betting, where you know when you place a bet both your stake size (i.e. you maximum loss) and how much you will win – in spread betting the amount you win or lose changes in proportion to how far away the outcome is to your position. There is also the opportunity to trade in and out of positions in running – either taking profit or cutting a loss.

Also, unlike Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power and the other conventional bookmakers, you won’t find spread betting on the high street – trades are placed either over the phone (bit old-fashioned now) or online.

It can be a little tricky to explain concisely, but once you understand the risks its a great way of betting as it introduces another level of interest, excitement, and (potentially) reward.

The two main spread betting companies in the UK are Sporting Index and Spreadex.

Both have useful introductions to spread betting here and here.