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


I saw the market top coming (and banked 500 pips from it)

Dow Jones spread betting chart

Few of the news-reading bulls saw the dramatic falls in the markets coming, says John C Burford. But chart-following traders did.

Gold smashed my tramline – its price should rise fast

Silver price spread betting chart

The gold price has shot up following the Federal Reserve meeting. John C Burford sets his next price target in the charts.

My charts got the euro bounce just right, but the next target won’t be easy

EUR/USD spread betting chart

Elliott wave theory and tramlines can give you an advantage over the herd, says John C Burford – as this latest trade in the euro proves.

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Compare 20 spread betting accounts

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

Spreadex

spreadex-2014
5 - 40% 1-3 pips £0.10
N
no
£0
Y
yes
N
no
Apply

IG Index

103x43_IG
10 - 75% 1 pip £0.10
Y
yes
£0
Y
yes
N
no
Apply

DF Markets

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

Investors Intelligence

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

Core Spreads

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

City Index

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

CMC Markets

CMC-Markets
0.2% 0.7 on EUR/USD 50p
N
no
£0
Y
yes
Y
yes
Apply

ETX

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

InterTrader

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

Finspreads

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

ProSpreads

Prospreads
3 - 15% 0.5 pips £3
N
no
£1000
N
no
Y
yes
Apply

Spread Co

SpradCo_103x43
1 - 10% 0.8 pip £1
N
no
£100
Y
yes
Y
yes
Apply

Interactive Investor

Print
0.5 – 25% 0.5 pips £1
N
no
£150
Y
yes
Y
yes
Apply

Short Spreads

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

RBS

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

Tradefair

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

Barclays

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

Cantor Index

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

GFT

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

TD Waterhouse

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

Capital Spreads

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

Gekko

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

Accendo Markets

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

NatWest

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

FXCM

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

FP Markets

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