When used in betting, the punter is just another word for punter or gambler, meaning one who places a bet.
Most Brits, Australians, and New Zealanders are familiar with informal (slang) phrases in British English, such as “worth a punt” and “take a punt.” In this context, “punt” means gambling, betting, or taking a chance.
The term “punter” was coined from this root to identify punters. You will often hear people referred to as horse racing or football bettors. It determines the sports that punters prefer to bet on.
Two parties are required to conduct a successful betting transaction. One is the punter, and the second is the bookmaker, often referred to simply as the “bookmaker.”
The traditional approach to sports betting is that the bookmaker provides the odds on the event, and the bettor decides whether or not to place a bet.
Exchanges of Punters and Betting
The relationship between gamblers and bookmakers has changed with the advent of online betting exchanges. There are no bookmakers in the traditional sense, as these are peer-to-peer betting platforms, so you have two bettors betting against each other.
Popular exchanges such as Betfair offer bettors the opportunity to ‘lay’ and ‘back’ bets. Example: Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal at the French Open.
Backing means choosing the right one, while laying is the opposite. If punter A thinks that Rafa will win, he will choose to bet on Rafa Nadal “back” (meaning to win correctly) or choose to bet on Novak Djokovic (meaning not to win) bet “Place a bet.”
Punter B will bet on the other side; in our example, he will bet on Rafa or Novak. Then, the two bettors involved must agree on the odds.
As a “backer,” you want the highest possible price, and as a “layer” punter, you want the lowest price. The platform acts as an exchange for making this Bet. It will take money from both punters and pay the winner after the Bet settles – minus their commission.