Spread betting 

Spread bet the financial markets completely tax-free* and with no separate commission to pay


Why spread betting


Competitive spreads

Maximize your profits with our tight spreads starting from as low as 0.1 on EUR/USD and 0.04 on oil.


Wide range of markets

From forex and cryptocurrencies to indices and commodities, we make sure that you can choose from a large number of markets to spread bet.


Tax-free trading

Protect your profits from capital gains tax and stamp duty* in the UK with the most tax-efficient way to trade the financial markets.

Create account

*Spread betting is tax-free and available for UK only. Tax laws, however, may change and can vary by jurisditcion and clients' personal circumstances. We do not provide tax advice.



What is spread betting


Spread betting is a form of derivatives trading that allows you to speculate on the price movement in the financial markets. It is only available to traders based in the UK and it is increasingly becoming the most popular choice due to the exemptions from capital gains tax and stamp duty. Let’s take a look at the key features of spread betting and how it works.


What is a spread?

Every market is quoted in two prices – the buy price and the sell price. The buy price is the level you’ll enter the market at should you wish to go long (if you believe the market will rise), and the sell price is the level you’ll enter the market at should you wish to go short (if you believe the market will fall).


The difference between the buy and sell prices is known as the spread and it is essentially the compensation of the broker for their service. The tighter the spread, the less you pay on your traders and, therefore, the greater your profits.

Tax-free trading

One of the key reasons, UK traders opt for spread betting is the fact that profits made as a result of financial spread betting are currently exempt from capital gains tax, which can save a considerable amount of profits you made while trading.


If we add to this the fact that spread bets are derivative products and are also exempt from UK stamp duty, it is no wonder why spread betting is considered the most tax efficient option for UK traders.

24/6 availability

In traditional shares trading, once the market closes, trading ceases. With spread betting, however, traders don’t physically own the underlying asset. What they do instead is speculate on the prices quoted by the broker. This allows you to spread bet forex, cryptocurrencies, indices and commodities around the clock throughout the trading week.



Are you ready to trade live?

Create account

How spread betting works


Spread betting may seem daunting to the beginner. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get started with spread betting, ideal for traders with no previous experience in the financial markets.

  1. Select a market

The first decision a trader has to make to get started is pick the markets he is most familiar with. Whether that’s forex, indices, commodities or cryptocurrencies a ThinkMarkets account gives you access to a wide range of markets to spread bet. 

  1. Decide to go long or short

Let’s suppose that you choose the GBP/USD market. If you think that the sterling will appreciate against the US Dollar, you will buy, also known as going long. If, on the other hand, you expect the sterling to fall against the US Dollar, you will sell, also known as going short.

  1. Determine you trade size

The size of your position determines how much you make or lose per pip movement.

  1. Close your trade

Once your position is open, you can see your profit and loss (P&L) live on your account. You can exit your position at any point from Sunday evening to Friday evening by clicking on the close the trade option.


Spread betting examples

Going long on GBP/USD (winning scenario)

Let’s suppose that your technical analysis indicates that the GBP/USD market is about to move higher. For that reason, you decide to go long (buy) GBP/USD at the price of 1.3326 with a stake of £3 per pip movement. This means, that for every pip movement in the price, you make or lose £3.


The market soon moves in your direction and is now trading at 1.3414. You decide to close the trade and book your profits. Since you were trading at £2 per pip, the profit of this position is calculated as follows: (1.3414 – 1.3326) x £3 = £264.

Going short on EUR/USD (loosing scenario)

Now let’s take a look at the how a trade would work out, if you think a market is about to fall. EUR/USD is trading within a set range for three days and it is currently close to the top of that range. You expect the market to move lower towards the bottom part of the range soon. To take advantage of this move you open a short position (sell) at 1.1894 with a stake of £2 per pip movement.


During the US session, a news announcement brings fresh volatility to the markets causing the EUR/USD to move higher instead. The pair is now trading at 1.954 and you decide to cut your losses and exit the trade. The loss of the position is calculated as follows: (1.1954 - 1.1894) x £2 = £-120.



Naeem Aslam -

Bitcoin Not impacted by G20

Bitcoin safe for now 
Ripple sees a big move 
Read more

Naeem Aslam -

Fundamentals: Forex, Gold, Oil & Cryptos

Euro got support from Bundesbank
Gold on the move again, this time to...Read more

Naeem Aslam -

Fundamentals: Forex, Gold, Oil & Cryptos

Strong data supports the dollar index 
Gold holding its ground...Read more

Losses can exceed deposits. Ensure you fully understand all risks involved and seek independent advice if necessary.
Back to top