How spread betting and CFD trading work

Course overview


Spread betting and CFDs are two alternatives to traditional trading that you often hear mentioned in the same breath. So what do they involve, what are their differences, and how do you decide whether they’re right for you?

In this course we’ll run through all the essentials of these derivative products, explaining how they work and why people use them to take a position on the financial markets.

You’ll learn how both spread betting and CFDs offer a number of similar benefits and generally involve the same risks, but also that they differ in certain key ways. And by the end of the course you should feel equipped to get started as either a spread bettor or a CFD trader.


45 min




Short, easy-to-digest lessons
Practical, interactive exercises
Engaging videos and graphics
Free demo account for practising your new skills
Quiz to check your understanding

Lesson example: using leverage in trading

To help you understand spread betting and CFD trading, our course provides videos, illustrations and interactive exercises that guide you through all the fundamentals. To give you a flavour of what to expect, here’s an extract explaining how leverage works:

Leverage gives you a relatively large exposure to a market with just a small deposit.

Imagine you wanted to spread bet on gold:

  • Without leverage, buying one ounce of gold might cost £800
  • But your spread betting provider only charges an initial deposit margin of 1%
  • This means you need to put down a deposit of just £8 to open a position on an ounce of gold