BetFairs brand-new bet matching logic

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Betfair Customer Services 06 Jun 15:55

We held a forum Q&amp-A session in March in which we announced that we were working on an improved version of bet matching. This would allow us to match bets across selections, and to match those bets at better prices than requested where possible, as we do now when matching back bets against lay bets on the same selection. We wanted to provide customers with an update on our progress towards this.

An example of how this would work in practice:

You submit a bet request to back Roger Federer at 1.7, but there are no unmatched lay bets on Federer at 1.7 or higher to match your bet. However, we do have an unmatched customer request to back his opponent at 2.2 already on the system. The way matching works currently there are two possible outcomes:

1. your bet will remain unmatched, or
2. another customer will subsequently lay your bet, and it will be matched at 1.7, the price you requested.

With the improved bet matching process we would match your request to back Federer against the customer looking to back his opponent at 2.2, and provide an improvement to the price you requested. Your bet would be matched at the best possible price that is a valid increment on Betfair’s odds ladder, in this case 1.83.

As we mentioned during the Q&amp-A, doing the necessary calculations for an individual bet on a market with only two selections is relatively simple. However bet matching has to work efficiently in much more complex situations: i.e. in markets with many runners, where bets may be partially matched, and matched against bets at more than one price. We also understand that customers would expect no deterioration in the overall performance of bet matching as a result of us adding this functionality. It’s taken us a little longer than we originally hoped to find a solution that meets all those objectives. However we’ve coded a new version of bet matching, and our performance tests on the new process indicate that it will match backs against lays and bets across selections more efficiently than the existing bet matching process.

We are now into the final few weeks of testing, and expect to be ready to introduce this improvement to the site in early July. Again as we mentioned in the Q&amp-A it was a higher priority for us to find a way to provide price improvements for customers than to resolve issues around the withdrawal of non-runners, so we don’t intend to match bets across selections in horse racing markets in the near future. We’d therefore expect most situations where we would match across selections to occur in the busiest 2- and 3-runner markets, including football and tennis. It’s a busy month ahead for both those sports, and as we believe it’s prudent not to introduce this change at peak times we’ve taken the decision to wait until Euro 2008 and Wimbledon are completed. If Wimbledon is completed on schedule, and assuming remaining testing goes to plan, we expect to make this change to the site on Monday 7th July. We will confirm this nearer the time, but wanted to give customers advance notice as we’ve previously promised.

Thank you for your continued feedback.

More Old Info:

– Michael Robb

– Tony Clare