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Creating a profitable Betfair trading strategy – 2/3

Betfair trading strategy : Backing the steamer

So how would you find a steamer?

One of the things that happens often at large meetings is when you get a jockey trainer gamble. If somebody wins a couple of races or a jockey like Frankie Dettori wins a race, then people may have a tendency to start backing the next one anticipating that it is going to be backed and then they may follow that up if he wins again.

Frankie Dettori, Royal Ascots winner in 2019

There are a number of ways of identifying where potential interest is within a market, but when you actively look at a steamer, it doesn’t have to occur this way. They can occur organically, naturally – things can happen that encourage people to bet on a horse.

Typically what you’re looking for, even if you didn’t know who Frankie Dettori was and that they did run the previous three races, you’d be looking for consistent backing.

So in these scenarios, there’s a certain type of behaviour in the market. When you’re looking at horse racing, you can ‘see’ persistent backing. The price on the favourite is basically going to start high and then gradually work its way in.

It may be a little bit erratic, but you just see these repeat back orders gradually pulling the price further and further down.

The easy way to spot a steamer

KEY : You’re looking for consistent backing within the market.

Now you obviously want consistent backing, but if it reaches a certain point within the market and stalls, then you may find that it actually ends up reversing.

So typically what you’re looking for within a market is for a consistent steamer to be able to break support. It reaches a critical point in the market but just passes straight through. That indicates to you that nobody’s willing to lay it and that the money will continue to go down on this runner, pulling the price further down.

So consistent backing and breaking support are two key things that you should be looking for with the steamer, but also you’re looking for supporting evidence as well.

Now, what’s going to stop the favourite from heading much lower? Is there something happening somewhere else within the market or maybe even pictures from the course? Maybe the horse is just not looking particularly comfortable or commentators are saying things like ‘the horse is looking a bit frisky on the way to the start’ or the ‘horse isn’t not leaving the parade’ etc.

Go in with a specific strategy, but then immediately start looking for evidence that will support your position in the market.

Spotting a steamer

When you’re looking at backing a steamer you expect the price to gradually move down in some form or another, but there are many such patterns in the way that it moves. Now obviously, if more people are backing than laying, then the price has to come down. So essentially what you’re looking for was backing activity in the market in some way or another.

Example of a perfect world perfect for s teamer!

By looking at the ladder it will give you an indication as to if you’re seeing backing activity. But typically, something that looks like this is not particularly uncommon.

Example of a BOOM of price in and out

Very often you see a sort of BOOM and the price goes out and then – BOOM then the price goes again! Now you could also see a period of stability and then the price comes in and then it sort of retrenches and then carries on like in the gif above, but essentially what you’re looking for is a fairly consistent downward movement.

If you’re watching the ladder frequently enough you’ll be able to get a feel for it. You’ll see activity building in the market where it is pushing the price down. Now there are several patterns that develop that that give you a clue as to how this is happening.

If you see the markets that are doing what the image shows above then obviously, there’s a slight bias, but not a significant one. As I’ve said in the past, you have to grade each opportunity as you see it. If we start to put together a few of the things that we’ve talked about already in this blog post, then hopefully you’ll be looking at something that is generally trending down.

Now, what can happen now and again is it trends down for a period and then it’s sort of flat lines. So what tends to happen when the market stays at the same price for a period of time is that you tend to sort of get a build up of volume at that particular point within the market. Here we see an amount of money that’s getting matched and this tends to congregate at one particular point or another.

At this particular point, you’re looking for a breakout at this particular moment in time. Firstly, we’re looking for a steamer or a for consistent backing for example, but all of a sudden the market gets stuck in a certain point and volumes accumulating in one direction or another.

Now if the market’s stuck for a while, then you may find that it will start to break down. So if you get a large order that breaks the price further, then you can sort of think, well, okay, this probably is heading in that direction. You could also see the price tend to go up, typically will sort of bounce one way or the other.

So if you see the price come down and then it sort of meanders above the flat line in the market and you’ll see it bounce (shown in the gif above where it influxes on the flat line.) Each time that you see it bounce at these individual points it’s getting less and less likely that the market is going to continue in the trend in which it was going.

When you see it bouncing like this you’re thinking I’m not too sure where’s it going? You might think it’s probably going to go up etc. Here you’re forming a judgement on what the market is doing. You’re basically saying it’s looking more and more likely that something like that is going to happen.

So really what you’re looking for is for the price to head below the key point and then go up and touch and then maybe that will continue onwards from there (like shown in the gif above.) So around that particular level, you’ll begin to understand that it’s hitting a point of support or resistance at that particular moment in time. Then you can take your cue as to where you go from there.

But also think about it, if you see a market that exhibits this type of activity there’s no reason why you couldn’t do a trade in the other direction. You could basically decide to wait for the price to come down and then price will head off in the other direction. Here you’re talking about doing a swing trade, looking for a reversal or a bounce depending upon how much time you’ve got left within the market.

When you get to this scenario where the market begins to stall, then you’re either going to have to say maybe I need to exit my trade or you need to look for confirmation as to whether the price is going to continue to push on below this particular level. So you need to see continued backing or you need to see the market bouncing around below where most of the money is within the market.

If there’s a big chunk of money at the build up of volume as we head towards post time, that money will increase. However, it will tend to develop in a direction of some sort or another. You can get a clue when the market begins of stagnate like that.

Ideal trending market

Ideally, you want a strongly trending market which is pictured above. You want a market where there’s significant amount of money coming for a runner and you’re sort of seeing our repeated backing within the market.

As time goes on, you can begin to identify all of the key characteristics, but maybe stick with one when you first do it. That is fairly clear and obvious and start looking for that rather than confuse itself with all of the other patterns that can develop.

TIP: Try and keep an eye out for a persistent pattern in one direction.

If the market stalls at one particular point you’re really looking for the price to maybe bounce up towards that level, but not beyond it. You could probably say that if that point is well above where you are at the moment, that probably brings you a little bit of safety, but it’s below where you are at the moment, then that may actually hold that particular trend.

Define your traded range

Now, when you’re actually in a trade, it makes perfect sense to define what you’re going to do. This is where you decide that you’re going to get in a certain point within the market because all of the characteristics that you wanted are present, but at the moment that you get into your trade, you’re beginning to define a point at which you will place your closing traits.

You see me do this all of the time. I’ll say, ‘well, I think we’re in here, so I think it’s going to go up there and therefore, this is where I’m gonna put my closing trades. ‘

But I’ll also look behind my current position and say, ‘well, this is where I’ll define this trade as having gone wrong.’

Now, it doesn’t make sense typically to just have a a rigid boundary, because if something happens somewhere else in the market, you may want to be a little bit flexible. Now that’s why you see me break up trades as well, because if I’m confident that the trade is going well, I’ll put more trades in and if I think it’s going to go further than I expect, then I’ll just slow down my exit.

This is why you see me trade the way that I do, because what I’m trying to do is to get in the market roughly the right point and out at roughly the right point. But I’m leveraging and maximising the opportunity that I have within that market.

So if I think it’s gone really disastrously wrong I’ll just dump everything straight away.

Generally, that’s not the case because I’m very good at getting the right entry points within the market! Once you’re in the market, you have to define what that range will be because that will define your expectancy in the longer term as well.

Remember: it’s important that you actually have an idea of what you’re going to do and when, and that will help you execute better trades as well.

If you just turn up at a market and guess, you are never going to improve. That is why you need to come up with a strategy and then clearly define your entry and exit points, generally in terms of what you will do, when and why. If you have a set of rules then you can start practising with them.

The more you practice, the better you will get.

The post Creating a profitable Betfair trading strategy – 2/3 appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

2021 FA Cup – Where to find the ‘FA Cup shocks’

So the FA Cup third round has once again come around and we all know this is where the big guys enter the competition!

Teams from the higher tiers of the English football league could meet anybody and, with nothing to lose, lower league sides or even non-league sides will be going for a famous scalp.

Most of these teams don’t have aspirations for reaching the FA Cup final, but are just looking for that famous victory that they can recount for years to come. Nothing says you have made it than being able to boost about how you scored the winner against a higher division to dump them out of the FA Cup.

The FA Cup is a grassroots contest that goes from the lowest level of league to the big premier league players. These lower league teams knock each other out until they get into the first and second round to they meet the Premier League teams in the third round and higher.

The power of the underdog…?

Now this is where the FA cup sparks my interest. You see this is where shocks are often generated. I use the term shocks lightly here at first because very often it’s not a shock that teams get eliminated from the earlier rounds of the FA cup.

For many years now, the relevance of the cup has gone into quite a bit of decline. The prestige and romance of winning the FA Cup is secondary to winning the Premier League or getting a good position in the Premier League or even winning the European Champions League. So there’s absolutely no doubt that the interest in the Cup is on the decline.

I remember going to see a FA cup match at Southampton during the week a few years ago and to my surprise there was hardly anybody there! I’d sort of forgotten what little relevance is put on to the FA cup.

However, you see this is where shocks are generated. It’s where the underdogs can surprise us. For Premier League clubs, the importance is often gone for the players and managers of the big clubs. You start to see the way these games approached by managers with a more flippant attitude.

And yet the lower league teams will think, well this is an opportunity for us…

We’re on our home ground where we know the conditions and the pitch so they can go out and do something memorable for the club and get a bit more money. For the lower league teams or the non league teams, it can be quite a big payout. Compared to when you look at other teams, it’s not enormous. So I looked at the price figures and I believe it was £67,000 was what you get for getting past the third round and I think the prize money for the club for winning the cup was about £1.8 million!

So this got me thinking: in my eyes the FA cup is dying …

This is simply because the large clubs don’t pay much attention to it, but It’s still a good competition for teams that are a little bit lower and perhaps outside of the Premier League.

You see for Premier League clubs, the importance is gone for the players and managers of the big clubs within it. Therefore, managers are more likely to approach these matches with some flippancy.

It’s this relaxed approach to these games where you are more likely find shocks.

Possible shock events to look out for

So what should you look out for to spot these shock events when it comes to the third round of the FA cup?

  • When big teams are playing away, will they be going for that 50/50 tackle?
  • Managers might decide to save players to avoid injuries
  • Confidence levels within clubs

These kind of events are what I’m looking for during these stages of the FA cup.

Even though events like this can happen, typically you can almost guarantee that Premier League clubs will reach the end stages. You may get one or two stragglers from the lower league teams that have an opportunity to get via a fortuitous route to the later stages of competition, but generally it’s completely dominated by Premier League clubs.

Last years winners of the FA cup

I’m pretty sure I remember that if you if you dutched all Premier League clubs, you would have made money by the latter stages of the tournament for many years. However, a third round if a cup is a good opportunity to look for a shock as they tend to prefer to call it.

They will tend to occur between a team that isn’t fielding its strongest side, is probably a little bit lower on confidence versus a team that can build a stronger side from a lower division and it’s full of confidence.

So that’s what I’ll be looking out for in the third round of the FA Cup and I wonder if we will get any significant shocks for this 2021 season.

The post 2021 FA Cup – Where to find the ‘FA Cup shocks’ appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Finding Trading opportunties in the FA Cup

It’s the FA Cup third round this weekend and marks just over halfway point in the season. This means it’s the FA Cup third round. There won’t be as much liquidity as a normal Saturday, but there should be some opportunities.

Whether you are just betting on football, or Betfair trading. The FA Cup can thrown up some really good Betfair trading strategies or just plain betting strategies. That is because these are fairly unqiue markets.

Has the FA Cup lost it’s ‘magic’?

Ah, the magic of the FA Cup! The pride of English football and all those other things said about this famous cup competition.

‘Magic’ if you end up talking about a smaller club meeting up with a goliath. But it may be that the smaller club faces a diminished version of said goliath. As they say, Money talks and it doesn’t say much in the FA Cup, apart for smaller teams.

Prize money is interesting in this competition. If you win a game in the second round, you will get prize money of £27k. In the third round, you receive prize money of £67k and it rises from there. If you are in the top two tiers of the football league in England. If you win in the semi-final or five rounds in the FA Cup. You finally reach the same amount of money that you get for playing a one premiership match.

Ultimately, you would get somewhere in the region of £1m for a live TV match in the premier league. If you include prize money and a share of TV revenue. The figure more than doubles the total for an average match.

But that spells opportunity if you know where to look for it on the key football matches.

FA Cup shock results

You may find that some bookmakers are offering special offers on FA Cup matches. It’s a good chance to get a few more sign-ups. So if you are into matched betting this can throw up a few opportunities. But the fixture list can throw up other opportunities.

Looking for a ‘shock’ defeat is more a betting than a trading strategy. But its also something that can easily be worked into a trading strategy. You will already be looking for teams that are fielding weakened teams. This will help, but you also need to look for teams that are low on confidence.

If a premier league team is playing away to a lower division then, if they are low on confidence, can’t score or can’t defend. There is potential for the home team to perform well. Ideally, the home team will be full of confidence, enough to give the match a real go and throw caution to the wind.

Another factor at the start of January is the transfer window. Teams unsettled by transfer news may be lower on confidence and are worth a second look for a ‘shock’.

Most traditional sports betting is limited something like backing an outsider for a ‘shock’, some people may be familiar with placing a lay bet. But if you are a regular user of betting exchanges then you have an opportunity to trade that opportunity as well.

Betfair football trading strategy – Trading team news

Given that so much can be on the line for the big clubs, they will often put out weaker teams for cup matches. Rather than risk key players getting injured fielding a much-weakened team that should win against weaker opposition is a sensible move. If there is any doubt about whether a win is possible, then key players will start on the bench and only be called into action if needed.

If it’s a much weaker team or if there is some fixture congestion or potential injury issues then you may see a significantly weaker starting line-up.

I have talked about trading team news on another blog post. But here is a specific summary of an FA Cup trade.

FA Cup team news

Betfair traders accept that trading often carries a fair amount of risk with it. But using a bit of trading software and this simple football strategy you should be able to lock in a profit at low risk.

In 2016 I was watching Liverpool play in a match before their third-round fixture against Exeter. As the match was underway, something interesting happened. There were two forced substitutions in the match. I tweeted: –

My thought process was that with additional injuries Liverpool would have to change their team even more than expected. Liverpool were already suffering a number of injuries and intended to rest quite a few for this match, now they had to really seriously think about whether playing in the third round of the FA Cup away at Exeter was really worth it. A Lay of Liverpool seemed like a low-risk proposition so I jumped into the market in the middle of the match before the FA Cup tie.

Quickly the market started discounting a lower chance of Liverpool winning the away match with Exeter and their price started drifting. At market open, Liverpool were at decimal odds of 1.30 to win, but the price drifted persistently to just short of 1.70 on the day of the match.

When the team-sheet was announced an hour before the start it featured only one player who had played more than four times for the first team. At that point, the market jumped again to trade at a high of 1.81 before settling at a slightly lower price at kick-off. Liverpool went on to scrape a 2-2 draw.

Incentive to score in a cup competitions

In a knock-out competition, there is a big incentive to score. When you are playing a weaker team, you want a quick goal to deflate your opponents and control the game.

If the weaker team has taken the lead, then the stronger team will be expected to score to save face. When the match is a draw, then some teams may want to avoid a replay. If a team is losing late on, they have little to lose by throwing everybody upfield to salvage something.

Obviously, this varies from match to match dependent on the specific circumstances but it is something to look out for. Last year the average time of the last goal was 71 minutes, that includes matches that ended 0-0. 60% of the time goals arrived in the final 15 minutes of the match. Another way of saying that, 60% of the time a goal arrived in the final 16% of time left in the match.

If a team has an incentive to score, it’s worth trying a trade that will exploit that.

Hopefully, the FA Cup will provide a few opportunities this year.

The post Finding Trading opportunties in the FA Cup appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Creating a profitable Betfair trading strategy – 1/3

Creating a trading plan for any Betfair trading strategy you wish to choose is essential. It will define what you do and why and give you a basis on which you can operate in the market.

So let’s create a Betfair trading strategy and trading plan to go with it!

For this particular series of posts, we will focus on a horse racing trading strategy and will aim to be more generic and avoid using the specifics of trading software. We are also not going to define the amount of money that we will to make. We just want to create a structure that will allow us to trade effectively.

Also bear in mind there are many ways to do this. You could be aiming for small profits and small losses, or maybe big profits and losses. But getting it all in proportion is something we have answered on other posts. There are many ways to lock in a profit, but you need the structure to do it. That is what we are focusing on.

The first step: some organisation

If you’re going to trade effectively, you need to create a trading plan. Now what a trading plan does is that it gives you a definable boundaries.

So what should consist of your trading plan?:

  • It will define your entry point
  • It will define your exit points
  • It will keep your emotions in check

The primary reason for doing this is so that you have something that you can replicate. If you can perform a set of actions and you can replicate those actions, then you have a chance of influencing the outcome. If you are just guessing and not working to a plan, you can’t hope to be succesful in the long term.

If you enter a market and just sort of click around at random with varying stakes you will never get any consistency. Sometimes you’ll win and sometimes you’ll lose. In the long term, you’ll probably end up losing because of commission and other reasons.

Therefore, you need something definable that you can replicate. A great thing about doing a trading plan is it keeps your emotions in check. It allows you to go – well if this is then that. However, when you first start doing a trading plan you’re going to be slow and you’re going to be behind the market.

To start with, if I’m honest, you will probably be pretty useless, but it’s critically important to have something that you can replicate and work on. Then over time you’ll get better and better at it.

The second step: practice, practice, practice

It’s a bit like riding a bike! When you first sat on a bike, you wobbled all over the place and didn’t go very far, but as time moves on then you get the opportunity to progress and get better and better.

Gif not of me unfortunately!!

I have an analogy to this, I’ve often said that when I’m out riding my mountain bike, it’s a bit like how I trade. I’m always on the edge of what I can do, but I know if I push it too hard, I’m going to crash…

The same occurs when you’re actively trading. There’s a bit of a balance to be had that.

You must find your strengths

Keeping the bike analogy for a while, if you want to beat the guy next to you, you’re going to have to push things a little bit harder. You will have to go a little bit faster and be a little bit fitter. A trading plan will allow you to keep your emotions in check. It will also allow you to define and replicate what you’re doing to help develop and improve your trading.

When you first do it, you’re going to be slow and it may feel like you’re not quite reaching what you want – like every learner you’re going to fall off your bike. However, with a bit of practice, you can actually push a little bit harder, be a little bit quicker and find where your edges are as a trader.

Whether this is how fast you’re willing to go, how aggressive you want to be or how soon you want to get in the market, this is where having a trading plan is probably one of the most important aspects when you first trading. You need to be able to replicate something and progress it.

So other key steps that you need to go through and you need to think about when you’re doing your trading plan, is the strategy you’re going to use.

How to get that strategy

Now, are you going to back, are you going to lay or you going to do pre-play or in play?

The first aspect you need to focus on is what specific thing are you going to do? I’ve traded the markets over a very long period of time and I’ve traded hundreds of them which gives me a heads up.

I can turn up to a market and just go, ‘oh yeah, I recognise the way the market is behaving – away we go!’

But typically that’s not the best way to do it, because what you’re seeing years and years worth of practice. I can recognise opportunities as they present themselves, but when you are starting out it’s unlikely that you would be able to do that.

So you need to pick a strategy and when you first start trading, you need to say this is the strategy that I’m going to use and the one that I’m going to practice and refine. Then when you master that, you can move on and deploy more strategies.

That’s exactly how I started, I started with a really basic, simple strategy and from that has spawned hundreds of strategies off the back end of that and with lots of variations.

This comes with experience – learned experience allows you to define it.

Ultimately, everybody starts from the same point. It’s just one simple strategy, one that is practised very well. You then branch it, evolve it and adopt other strategies and then take these to help learn when you need to deploy those.

So what market?

Now what is the next important step? Deployment – which market are going to do it in?

Just because you have a strategy doesn’t mean that it’s going to be deployed across every single market.

What you need to do is define markets that you will and won’t use the strategy in. If you apply a generic strategy in a generic market, you’re going to get generic results. You will probably lose money, so define one strategy and then learn how that works within individual markets. You may find that there are certain markets that it works particularly well in and therefore you should head down that route.

It’s a good way of cutting losses as well. If you use that strategy to market and you keep losing money in that particular market, then just bin those markets, don’t bin the strategy.

When do you enter the market?

You need a defined criteria for entry. So you need to come up with a strategy that you can calculate, so if this happens or this is the situation, then this is the point which I get involved in the market.

Of course, when you’re in the market you need to define what are you looking for, how you would define a successful trade and where is the limit of that successful trade on the upside.

If you define the upside, you’ve automatically defined the downside or you could do it the other way around.How much money am I losing with this strategy? What do I need to do to make it profitable? Whichever way you look at it, these two are interchangeable. So that needs to be part of whatever trading plan you have.

Now how am I going to define success?

Am I looking for 5%, 6%, 5%, you know, £100?

There has to be some definition of where and why you’re doing this strategy, because you need to understand what you need to do to make your trading long term expectancy positive.

Remember: you need to know before you’ve even done the trade roughly what your up and down side is going to be and where you’re going to aim that. Both of those will define your strike rates as well.

What’s the flip side?

The next question is when are you going to get out? When do you realise that everything’s gone horribly wrong and you’re going to have to live on only bread and water for a week?

It’s important to understand each of these characteristics and this will all be part of your trading plan.

Getting started

So let’s look at a simple strategy. We are going to be look at finding a steamer, something that’s being heavily backed within a particular market.

In the next article in this series, we are going to find our entry point.

The post Creating a profitable Betfair trading strategy – 1/3 appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.