The introduction of Betfair, in year 2000, was a revolutionary breath of fresh air to serious bettors!
In fact, Betfair was not THE first Exchange to be formed; there was another company called “Flutter”, Flutter was quite successful – however, they subsequently merged with Betfair and become one!
I was working in the betting industry at this time – and just as many people had Flutter account, as they did have Betfair accounts! Seems absurd now!
In year 2000, I was there to witness this magnificent transformation in the betting scene! The markets, however, where nothing like they are now! Liquidity was low, the website functionality was low-level compared to now.
Although Betfair began as a betting Exchange, they then introduced a SportsBook and still have this product. The sportsbook operates in the same manner as a standard bookmaker. Betfair did this to try and appeal to the more ‘recreational’ customer – hoping that this ‘recreational’ customer would then graduate onto the Exchange. Quite a smart move by them really! And it seemed to work!
It is hard to find better odds, than the Betfair Exchange offers, from a fixed odds bookmaker. Of course, these do exist, and these are called Arbs!
Generally, circa 95% of the time Betfair’s odds are better, minus the commission.
The Betfair site can be used for Arbs, although Betfair Exchange is most famous for its Trading.
Ever been tempted to learn how to trade on Betfair?
It’s not as complicated as it looks; I like to compare it to a shop-keeper analogy. You buy a loaf of bread for £1.12p and sell it for £1.01p.
This is a BACK to LAY method.
Inversely, you could sell at £1.12 and buy at £1.01.
This is LAY to BACK method.
If you are willing to practise and invest the time, you will become very familiar with these basic principles and then begin to learn more complicated methods. However, the core main principles revolve around those two simple examples shown above.
I have been following Peter Webb for many years and I have found company Bet Angel the corner stone of Betfair Trading, since I first attempted it in year 2001.
I still intermittently have days Trading, usually pre-Race Horses, Correct score football markets or even long-term Ante Post horse markets too. I do trade a whole variety of markets, although these are the most common markets I trade.
The Basics of Betfair Trading
Above is a typical picture of a market within the Betfair site.
In June 2000, Andrew Black and Edward Wray, launched a website called Betfair.
Their intention was for it to look like a Stock exchange market. However, commodities like Gold, Brent Crude Oil or Sugar were not for sale here.
The commodities sold here were BETS!
Bets were bought [backed]and sold [layed].
Colour indicators: Back bets[in blue] and Lay Bets[in pink].
Prices would constantly move up and down. This constant flux in prices is where Betfair Traders such as Peter Webband Caan Berry take advantage to see a good opportunity within these markets.
Unlike Stocks trading, Betfair has no spread.
Betfair make their money from commission. Standard commission was 5%, but has now been reduced to AS LOW AS 2%!!!
This is the first time in 19 years that Betfair has generally been available at 2% and I am delighted as much to say that it has made my year!
Very sad comment … yes! But this will consequently save me several thousand pounds per year … long live the 2%!
When trading stocks, the spread is somewhat like the process of converting money in a foreign money currency exchange.
You might buy your Euro at 0.89 per GBP. But sell at 0.81.
The currency exchange company therefore would make £0.08p per one GBP, like trading derivates like Oil.
Betfair, however, make their profits from commission.
This commission is only deducted on winning bets.
The standard rate was 5%.
Overround, or book percentage, is how bookmakers make their money.
As mentioned before, Betfair prices beat bookmaker prices 99% of the time and therefore offer a much better value to bettors who are: Matched Betting, Arbing, gambling or Betfair Trading.
So how do you Trade on Betfair?
So, now WE can be a BOOKMAKER! using the Betfair platform.
Except we have one advantage this time …
Unlike bookmakers, who simply lay bets … Using Betfair, we can choose to back OR lay [offer other people bets].
This is where things become interesting and opportunities arise!
These opportunities can be found on almost any sport market. I recommend stick to your niche and or main interests.
This can be applied to football, but being as my main niche is Horse Racing, I shall demonstrate using a typical horse market on Betfair.
Let’s say, for example, we thought a certain horse would not win …
We were able to lay this horse on Betfair at odds 4.0.
We would stand to win £10 if it lost yet lose £30 if it won. See picture below.
However, the horse we layed has since drifted [became longer odds]
The price it has drifted to is now odds 4.8.
We now can take advantage of this situation.
The image below shows how. See picture below.
If we BACKED £8.33 of our Lay bet. We would be able to secure an average of +£1.66, regardless of the outcome!
Win or lose … we win + £1.66.
This is called “Greening-up”, and you will find this terminology on many sports trading forums and comments sections, including the Bet Angel forum.
But how do you know what stake you need to “Green-Up”?
The example shown in this picture is done by Trading manually. This is OK and can be done, however, speed will not be on your side if you place your trades in this manner. Speed is a massive factor in the efficiency of Trading and can make or break a Trade.
If you’re serious and want to be successful at this, then the best way is to use features and functions from within the Bet Angel software.
However, for now I recommend getting to “grips” with manual methods, to gain an early grasp.
- Betfair have a cashOut button above each race. You can opt to cashOut the whole stake, or just partially. This cashOut feature will display either a red or green colour and a £ figure inside. Green, hence the term “Greening-up” is a good sign and £2.00 displayed in Green indicates your trade holds a positive yield of +£2.00. In contrast, Red indicates the reverse.
- Practise playing with different figures [manually] this is how I learn, prior to Betfair having this cashOut option and prior to Software being so prevalent.
- Practise using online calculator software such as Chromaweb. http://www.chromaweb.com/bets/calculator/
This free online formula gives provides clear translations of £ if you have already backed and want to lay, and vice-versa.
Betfair Trading Jargon Buster
For an exhaustive list of Trading Jargon, please see the Glossary within Bet Angel.
I will describe the core main terms you will need, when starting-out.
Probably the most important factor within trading!
Tick ranges become larger, as prices become larger.
For example. Lower than 2.0, the tick ranges increase and decrease by 0.01. 0.01 being the lowest, 2.0 the highest. After 2.0 the increments jump in 0.02’s, 2.02, 2.04, etc.
They then increase again at 3.0, in increments of .05.
And again at 4.0, to 4.1.
These increments continue to increase as the price becomes larger.
As mentioned earlier, this is a “nice” term, and one you want to experience! The green indicates profit.
The opposite of the above. This is generally not a nice experience. However, my opinion: It is paramount that you realise this is something you must learn how to tackle. Trading is very emotional. Redding-Up is very depressing. I will elaborate later about “Mindset”, in the mindset chapter.
Scratch a Trade
To cancel-out a bet previously placed.
I.e.: You have backed a horse at odds 2.0
You are ‘edgy’ and change your mind about this trade, you may wish to lay at 2.0.
Since you have scratched this trade your liability is now zero.
Another example of scratching is to cancel any unwanted trades that you have in the market, that have not yet been backed/layed.
This is one of the most common methods of trading. This trade is performed Prerace.
The idea is to back something within a tick or twos difference, in hope that you can exit out effectively, leaving as little risk as possible.
Beware, this works most of the time. However, you must be prepared to “Red-Out”, if necessary.
DO NOT!! … let your [intended] Prerace trade go “in running”, if the Red Out figure is presenting a big loss. Red out and accept the loss, rather than face the potential ramifications of losing your entire stake!
I have lost my entire stake many times over the years, simply because I did not want to Red Out on a loss. Please see forthcoming “Mindset” chapter.
A useful Scalping module I have studied before is Module 11 in Caan Berry Video Pack. I believe this can also be purchased singularly. Click on Image below to view.
Another very common trading strategy. Again, this is a pre-race principle. However, this one generally aims to provide a more “ticks” of profit than a “Scalp” would. Because this method provides more profit [generally] than a Scalp trade would, the risk is also greater.
You will find this pattern in betting. The bigger the potential profit, the bigger the risk.
One would typically get involved with this kind of trade if they are an experienced trader and they would ideally be confident that the market will move in the right direction. Another example would be if someone believes they have information that would make the market sway. Examples are:
- They know a key football player is not going to play later that day.
- They know that a race track is due rain later, and the horse they are laying dislikes softer ground.
- They anticipate a market will be affected by accumulators, rolling onto later races. A perfect example of this would be Frankie Dettori …
In case you’re not old like me and are too young to remember … Frankie Dettori infamously rode 7 winners in 1996.
Since then many punters enjoy backing Frankie in accumulators, simply because it is an alternative to ‘lotto’ I guess?
On Thursday 20th June 2019: Frankie Dettori rode four consecutive winners at Royal Ascot.
Due to the “weight of money” – of accumulators and multiple bets placed by the many people who back Frankie multiples – Traders were quick to anticipate market movements – to jump onto Betfair and BACK Frankie’s further rides that day.
Below is a graph of Frankie’s FIFTH ride, displaying the impact that these [previous] consecutive four winners had on the markets!
As you can see … this horse touched over the odds of 23.5 at one point, the odds then decreased after each further race that Frankie Dettori won.
Note the exponential decline of odds, after the fourth winner!
Traders, including Peter Webb, were quick to “lump-on”, myself included – although I am no great Trader! But still profited nicely.
Swing Trading is also another Module in Caan Berry’s Video pack, Module 12 I believe.
Click on Image below to view.
My Caan Berry Video pack REVIEW
Getting Started on Betfair Trading …
The first thing you’ll need to do is open a Betfair account, so as you’re all-set, when the time is right.
Even if not yet depositing, get the form all signed up, so as you’re ready to rock, when the time is right.
Just like any other investment. You must be brutal with yourself and only play with money that you can afford to lose.
It would be wise to keep this balance separate from your day to day bank balance.
This is the safest approach and will also give you peace-of-mind.
I have known (in the past) people investing with money that they are reliant on, and I would dissuade anyone from regarding this as a guaranteed income; well, at least until they are established and confident anyway.
Mindset will be discussed in the next chapter and it is important to keep your mind as clear as possible in all aspects of your personal life, if you wish for your trading to be at its best.
Timing, Speed, Efficiency
Entering a trade effectively is all about the above three factors.
To maximise the potential of these I would suggest a few things that may help.
- Dual screens
You could use a dual screen holder mount. Peter Webb has a four screen mount, which can be seen on his videos.
If you are just starting-out then the easiest way, without making too much commitment may be to use separate devices.
You could use several PCs, tablets, laptops or even mobile devices, if necessary
One thing I would note is: It is important to always have a mobile to hand in case you have any form of internet crash. It has happened to people before! Including me. If the ‘brown stuff’ ever hits the fan – then you can always cash-out quickly, to avoid any potential costly errors.
Another reason to have several screens is the ability to view your horse race or football game, in real time.
It is quite common for Horse races to be delayed – for many different reasons. Some delays can take 5-10+ minutes.
The last thing you want to do is exit a trade at a loss (Red Out), only to discover that the race has not started yet. Many times in the past I have exited at a loss, only to see my trade contract into the required lay price that I wished for, and therefore missing a profitable trade. The reasons for this have mostly been horse race delays, such as: horses trapped in stalls, horses bolting, horses shoe needs re-plating.
At the same time, you also need to not leave the exit until the last second! As live pictures are generally 2-6 seconds slower than in real time.
- Being organised
Have everything set-out on your desk, table, armchair or pillow! I have been known to trade in bed!
The idea of this is to be as organised as possible; This will help with your mindset and efficiency. Having a clear mind will complement your trading profits.
Get into a routine.
Once an effective, efficient routine is found …
Rinse and repeat.
This will save on brain cells being used.
Once your routine is set, your brain will be free to concentrate on trading.
Apparently, Mark Zuckerburger wears the same T Shirt every day.
His reasoning is: “ … to make as few decisions as possible … “.
May seem extreme, but he has a point.
- Trading Software
Using software for effective trading is a must in my opinion. You need to be as quick as possible and manual trading will put you at a disadvantage. This will be discussed in the Trading Software chapter.
Bet Angel, as mentioned are my personal preference. Both of these companies usually offer FREE TRIALS. If you’re unsure of which you’d prefer – you could try out both their Trials!
I would recommend to anyone entering the world of trading to [at first] target a sport they have a good knowledge of.
For example: an ex matched bettor, with no prior sports interest might simply choose a market that they were most familiar with, when laying their free bets and bonuses.
An ex horse Arber, like myself, would be best suited to target horse markets that I am more used to.
A person who has never visited Betfair before, but has a keen interest in football, would be best-off starting-out on football markets.
The key point is:entering markets you have knowledge of will increase confidence.
Once you have mastered trading in markets you are familiar with, you may feel a tad braver to tackle other markets.
In Running Trading
Some people specialise in “in running” trading.
A person who would ideally be suited to this would be an ex in-running football Arber, for example.
As the name indicates, in running trading is done on a “back to lay” method and sometimes, also, in reverse: Lay to Back.
Front runner horses would be an ideal example. You select a horse that has proven behaviours [in previous races] to shoot-off in the lead and look to be “travelling well”.
You back the horse before the start of the race, hoping that the price of the horse will contract in-running.
If the horse contracts to the price you have requested your lay bet to be layed – you have won! Simple as that! If you get it right that is …
Similarly, with football, tennis, or any other market that does not remain suspended. In running trading method can be applied to most sports.
However, one thing you need to grasp is most in running trading is gambling per se …
Sure, some markets, such as: over/under football (providing it isn’t under 0.5 goals), are a lesser risk.
Markets such as horse racing, can be very dangerous to trade “in running” … you can suddenly have your 2.0 priced horse become a loser, for instance, if the horse fell!
The advantages of in-running trading are that the margins for profit are usually [potentially] a lot bigger than pre-race; pre-race includes Scalping and Swing Trading.
However, as with everything mathematically-based … the bigger the potential profit, the bigger the risk! Everything comes with a relative price to pay!
If you trade In Running horses, be mindful that you can lose your entire stake.
IN Running TENNIS Trading
If you haven’t seen my Courtsiding video you can VIEW HERE.
I am not encouraging or condoning Courtsiding here, just giving a report! The report was based on the recent documentary from Lloyd Griffiths and has a bit more ‘to it’ other than courtsiding!
However, there are many more ethical ways you can profit from Tennis Trading.
Tennis Trading is renowned for its in running element and can be very volatile, I have found! It is not unknown for a player to dramatically reduce in odds below 1.1 – only to lose or drift out to large odds like 4.0 for example. By taking advanatge of these massive odds fluctuations you can lock in big “green profits” … if you get it right!
More on Tennis Trading will be featured in the blog and future content on this new website. However, a good place to reference would be below.
Caan’s Tennis Trading guide is very helpful to get off to a good start, click image below to view.
When to close your trade
As mentioned earlier. In my opinion, this is the most important factor in trading and will probably determine whether you become successful or not.
Simple as that!
You need to train your mind to block-out emotion as much as possible, when exiting a Red Out Trade.
As your trading skills progress, you will become less emotional, and learn to accept losing trades.
This is paramount to understand!
This will be discussed in the Mindset chapter.
To be efficient with your trading, trading software is an absolute must.
One-click trading saves those crucial seconds in trading. Sure, this software costs money, but the negative consequences of manual trading will surely cost you more over the span of a month, in my opinion anyway.
Bet Angel software is the software of choice for me. Look here.
You can even sign up to a trial, with no obligation to purchase.
During the trial you can learn how to navigate around the site – and see if it suits your needs.
I am confident it will.
I have been trading in some capacity for over a decade and have found the software my personal favourite.
There is a highly established forum, community, the Bet Angel academy, the vast array of information available.
The thing I like about Bet Angel too, is that it provides never-ending scope for improvement with a varied variety of functions and servants you can implement into your trading needs.
Once you have joined Bet Angel, or enjoy their free trial period, you must be mindful of the Demo mode, as it has disadvantages, in my opinion.
Unlike stocks and derivatives trading platforms, Betfair sports markets hold far less liquidity.
True, some derivatives markets have less, but generally Betfair liquidity has far lesser than that available on most Derivatives markets.
This is an issue for using Practice/Demo mode, in my opinion anyway.
A greyhound market would be a good example.
Also, a Tuesday afternoon race at Newton Abbot would be another good example.
I say this because [especially with greyhounds] but the horse race mentioned will not have the rich liquidity compared to that such as an ITV Saturday race.
Due to the fact liquidity will be low – there will be ‘patches’ in the market that you may not be able to exit effectively on, in real life.
Especially so with Greyhound markets, apart from the exception of RPGTV races and big Open races, Greyhound races are renowned for having poor liquidity, until barely minutes before the start of the race.
(RPGTV has done a lot for Greyhound racing, in my opinion.)
Therefore, when in “Demo mode” or practice mode [they are both the same], the liquidity will be false.
You will be able to back and lay quite easily, with no challenges, such as poor liquidity.
Some new users have reported in the past that they gained a false confidence from this.
However, I am not stating this to demonise Demo Mode; I think Demo mode can be used positively.
I especially would recommend Demo Mode to help a new user become familiar with navigation around the site.
Getting familiar with the site navigation before started real life, live trading is a very important thing to do.
- Faster navigation will improve efficiency.
- Faster navigation is also vital when you may make a mistake.
- Prioritise this.
Yes, I have been “banging-on” about this several times throughout this page!
And there is a big reason for this too
Mindset is a massive part of trading.
Trading under the wrong mindset will impair your profits.
- Chasing losses
- Feeling ill
- All of these described above will have a negative impact on your Trading.
Just avoid trading if you are feeling any of the above.
This may seem obvious and a waste of time reading.
However, if you trade for long enough years, I guarantee you that one day you will lose … because of one of these reasons mentioned.
I don’t want to get all spiritual and crossed-legged here; but it is important to be as “peaceful” as possible when trading, be calm and try to remain as relaxed as possible.
Switch off your phone from taking calls/texts during race time.
Basically, minimise any form of distraction.
This can be a major issue for some Traders, myself included.
Like betting/matched betting/arbing. Chasing is a very common demon that we turn-to, especially after making a mistake.
A mistake does not necessarily have to be one that is your fault. The internet could freeze. You could back or lay the wrong selection, etc, etc.
The danger with Betfair Trading is: you can spend 10 trades – collecting £6 profit per trade, then BOOM one bad trade may lose the entire £60 profit or more. Then the temptation to ‘chase’ may arise.
I have a personal problem with chasing.
I began betting at age 15, and still now find it hard to resist chasing if I have lost, especially from losing from an unforeseen error.
Matched Bettors can probably relate to this if-and-when they have backed and layed the wrong horse/football team.
You may be checking your [expected] winning later in the day – only to realise you have lost!
There is no worse a feeling!!
The only thing I can suggest is:
- Go for a walk
- Shut your PC down, take the day off
In a nutshell, get the hell away from the situation
The situation is sitting beside that PC or laptop. MOVE away from it.
The longer you stay in front of it, the more in danger you are.
Of course, this does not apply to all of us, thank God!
I would like to think it is almost a minority. However, if this sounds like you then take the advice because you are not alone.