In my opinion Matchbook have improved a lot over the last couple of years and as a result now offer a serious alternative to Betfair in many of the mainstream markets! In this review I will give my honest assessment of an exchange I find myself using more and more for a variety of different reasons.
One of the first things many will associate with Matchbook is a lower commission rate than that of market leader Betfair. This is of course true with Matchbook, at the time of writing having the lowest commission structure of any of the main exchanges, it is however a slightly more convoluted structure than that of its main rivals:
The standard commission for taking an offer is 1.5% of any net winnings
This commission is reduced to 0.75% on net winnings when posting an offer (and the offer being matched)
The commission on Cricket markets is 2%
Special bets (e.g. football acca markets) are a standard 5% commission
So, by no means the simplest structure but for many a serious matched bettor or trader who will be routinely posting offers a tick or two below the current price the 0.75% commission tier is a very appealing feature!
Its also worth noting Matchbook have thankfully done away with their old commission structure which saw a commission on both winning and losing bets with commission now only payable on net winnings.
With rival Smarkets opting for their own space-age approach to interface design many users will be pleased to see Matchbook have gone for the more traditional blue / pink design which will feel much more familiar for many.
Colour scheme aside the site is very easy to navigate with a nice and clear left side menu, a powerful search engine and the most popular markets listed on the homepage for easy access.
On the right hand side is a neat and tidy menu allowing easy access to both the betslip and account settings pages. The betslip itself is very useful in that it shows both matched and unmatched bets for all markets and can be toggled in / out of view at any time should you require more space for the main part of the page.
A couple of other nice interface features include the breadcrumb links atop of each market and the “related markets” box to the right of most markets, both of these allow easy access to other markets linked to the one being viewed.
Range of Markets and Liquidity
From what I have seen one of the biggest drawbacks of the smaller exchanges over the last couple of years is the lack of liquidity in some of the less mainstream events. For example Premier League games are usually fine but weeknight European leagues can sometimes be lacking in liquidity, especially in the smaller markets outside of 1x2.
Matchbook does still struggle with some of the less main stream events however, having said this liquidity on mainstream events seems to be very good recently. Also, from my own experience using Matchbook I have generally found bets left in the queue a tick or two below the current price seem to get matched a lot quicker than with rival Smarkets.
Overall given the low commissions on offer Matchbook is ideal for wagering on bigger and more mainstream events which have plenty of liquidity available.
Other Useful Features
Matchbook have recently upgraded their offering with a couple of very useful features including a cash-out button and a “keep in play” option for all bets.
Whilst main rival Betfair has had these for years it is positive to see Matchbook continue to add features which are found at the market leading site albeit complimented by their much lower commission structure!
It is also worth mentioning that Matchbook have an excellent reporting page allowing you to easily see matched, unmatched and settled bets as well as current exposure all form the same page. This helps make working out profits and losses a more straightforward process.
Deposits and Withdrawls
Matchbook allow deposits via debit and credit cards as well as Neteller and Skrill. Withdrawals are also free (although keep in mind T&Cs do specify they retain the right to force a roll-over or fees on the deposit!).
Casino / Colossus Jackpots
A couple of other things to mention are Matchbok has a casino section and a syndicate betting section called Colossus. I personally don’t have much to do with either of these but they are available should you want to use them?
Matchbook currently offer new customers a risk free £10 back bet upon signing up, in addition to this they regularly offer other promotions including winnings boosts on selected markets. Generally these ongoing promotions don’t amount to much but keep in mind they are not a bookie and the real value in Matchbook is in the low commission rates not the offers!
It may not be relevant to many users but it is worth mentioning Matchbook have an excellent API available to those wishing to build their own betting software / BOTS! Unlike Betfair who now charge a fee for access to their full API the Matchbook API can be accessed for free (although you will still need to apply for full access to be granted).
More information is available at the Matchbook developers site here
Overall I have been using Matchbook for a while now and it has become my main exchange for many of the events I am involved in. Sure you still need a Betfair account for those events which don’t have much liquidity on but these are starting to become few and far between these days. Overall I would definitely recommend taking a look at Matchbook if you haven’t already!