Spread betting explained

Spread betting simply allows you to speculate on whether the price of an asset will rise or fall. You can gamble on everything from shares and commodities to stock market indices and house prices. Here, Tim Bennett introduces the basics of spread betting.

What spread betting jargon means

Jargon can make spread betting sound complicated and off-putting. So if leverage and margin calls aren't part of your current vocabulary, here's an introduction to help you get acquainted with spread betting lingo.

Spread betting: Four common mistakes

Novice spread betters can expect to make a few slip ups. Here are a few tips to help you avoid some of the most common ones.

John C Burford's spread betting blog

John writes MoneyWeek's spread betting blog. He is is a British-born lapsed PhD physicist, who previously worked for Nasa on the Mars exploration team. He is a former commodity trading advisor with the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission, and worked in a boutique futures house in California in the 1980s.

Sign up to John's spread betting blog here and receive his latest articles as soon as they're published


The pound hit my 1.45 target – and then some

GBP/USD spread betting chart

John C Burford said the pound would get interesting. But as it turned out, even that was an understatement.

The pound nears my 1.45 target against the dollar

GBP/USD spread betting chart

The pound is rising to meet spread betting expert John C Burford’s target in the charts. But the bounce could go even higher.

Stockmarkets rally, just as I forecast

Nikkei 225 spread betting chart

The sharp rally in stocks caught the pundits by surprise, says John C Burford. But chart-following traders saw it coming.

Can the pound sterling get off the floor?

GBP/USD spread betting chart

Speculators have been falling over themselves to short the pound, says John C Burford. But sterling may have a surprise up its sleeve.

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In his easy-to-understand video tutorials, John C Burford outlines some of the essential concepts you need to know to become a successful spread better.

Cut through the trading jargon with MoneyWeek's easy to understand guide to spread betting terms.

Compare 20 spread betting accounts

Company Deposit margin Spread from Trade min Binary betting Account min 24 Hour trading Apply

IG Index

IG-Brand_103x43v2
0.5% 0.8 pip £1
Y
yes
£100
Y
yes
Apply

InterTrader

intertrader-black
1 - 20% 0.8 pips £1
N
no
£0
Y
yes
Apply

ADS Securities London

103_43_ads-securities-london-logo
0.2% 0.5 on UK100 £0.10
N
no
£0
Y
yes
Apply

City Index

CityIndex
£0 1 point 25p
N
no
£0
Y
yes
Apply

Core Spreads

coresreads-logo
From 0.5% 0.7 on EUR/USD £1
N
no
£0
Y
yes
Apply

Finspreads

finspreads
0.5 - 10% 1 pip £0.10
N
no
£0
Y
yes
Apply

Spread Co

SpradCo_103x43
£25 or 0.5% 0.8 on UK100 & US30 £1/point
N
no
£200
Y
yes
Apply

CMC Markets

CMC-Markets
From 0.20% 0.4 points From 50p per point on indices
Y
yes
£0
Y
yes
Apply

DF Markets

df-markets-logo-small
from 0.25% 0.6 on EUR/USD pip £1
N
no
£1
Y
yes
Apply

Spreadex

spreadex-2014
5 - 40% 1-3 pips £0.10
Y
yes
£0
Y
yes
Apply

Barclays

Barclays
10 - 100% 1 pip £3
N
no
£0
Y
yes

Gekko

Gekko
0.5 - 100% 1 pip £0.10
N
no
£0
Y
yes

NatWest

NatWest
1 - 20% 1 pip £1
N
no
£200
Y
yes

Accendo Markets

Accendo-Markets
0.5 - 25% 1 pip £1
N
no
£1000
Y
yes

Short Spreads

SSplainLOGOMW
0.5 - 25% 0.5 pip £0.20
N
no
£0
Y
yes

Tradefair

tradefair-v2
3 - 15% 1 pip £1
N
no
£0
Y
yes

Capital Spreads

Capital-Spreads
1- 20% 0.8 Pips £1
N
no
£0
Y
yes

RBS

RBS
1 - 20% 1 pip £1
N
no
£200
Y
yes

FXCM

FXCM_103x43
3 - 15% 0.5 pip £1
N
no
£100
Y
yes

GFT

GFT_new_103x43
0.5 - 25% 0.8 pips £0.10
Y
yes
£150
Y
yes

ProSpreads

Prospreads
3 - 15% 0.5 pips £3
N
no
£1000
N
no

TD Waterhouse

TD-Waterhouse-logo
30 - 60% 1 pip £1
N
no
£0
N
no

Investors Intelligence

iisblogo
1-20% 0.8 pips £1
N
no
£1,000
Y
yes

ETX

ETX-Capital
0.75 - 30% 1 pip £0.50
N
no
£0
Y
yes

FP Markets

FPMarkets_Logo
1 - 100% 0.3 pip £1
N
no
£1000
Y
yes

Cantor Index

CantorIndex_103_43
1 - 10% 1 pip £1
N
no
£0
Y
yes