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A very British Betfair trading strategy!

We are all experts in something!

So you have your trading software fired up, you point at that the betting exchange and scout the markets on Betfair for some opportunties. Maybe you are looking for some small profits or perhaps a bit of swing trading? But ideally you will be an expert in something if you are sports trading. If could be football, tennis, racing or some specific strategy.

So I’ve got a question for you… What are we experts on in the UK?

We talk about it to strangers, to our friends and family – we watch it on news all of the time, everybody is an expert on this particular phenomenon…

Well, it’s the weather!

So how does this defining knowledge help you can bring something to the markets to create a profitable trade?

Understanding the forecast – weather and trading

Well, the funny thing is there is actually a weather market within Betfair where you can actually bet every year on the highest temperature that’s going to reach in the summer, but that’s not what I’m talking about in today’s blog post.

There are plenty of trades where the weather will directly influence the outcome of a market and it can even help you trade it.

Probably the best example of this is the completed match market when cricket trading, because that is completely 100% weather related market. Cricket matches have to take place over a certain period of time, if they can’t, then they’ll be truncated or perhaps even abandoned.

Example of a completed match market

So the completed match market allows you to directly trade the weather. If play looks less likely expect it to reach higher prices. I have mentioned this specifically in the cricket trading video that I did which you can view by clicking here.

But for what I am talking about specifically is if you think that play is going to be abandoned then it’s very often worth getting involved in those markets. With cricket, you’ll know with plenty of warning whether you think there will be disruption on a certain day. Even if the match is completed the weather will have an impact on a limited over game thanks to the scoring system.

Therefore in Cricket markets, everybody watches the forecast and has a comment about the weather. So you will have a heads up about whether this could potentially affect a cricket match in a few days or a few hours time.

Checking the weather can mean it’s a case of who is the fastest to that lay bet!

Modern advances in weather forecasting

The great thing about looking at weather and the related impact that it has on markets is there is actually a plethora of information available for you now related to the weather. Betfair traders now have a wealth of information available to them, not just from the met office.

When I first started to trade on Betfair many years ago, you’d have to rely upon what they were saying on the actual commentary and the discussion that they were having. There was no sort of additional knowledge that you could get. The great thing nowadays is we actually get radar and precipitation radar.

I have it on my watch, on my phone, you can have a look of a whole variety of sites on the Internet that will not only give you a precipitation forecast. It is excellant that you can actually see where the rain is and where the winds are, what speed they are as well as the average gusts and the direction of them.

So that’s spectacularly handy in trying to work out if the weather is actually going to affect the sport you’re looking at.

We’ve started this post by opening with a really obvious market that you can benefit from, the completed match market in cricket. It can achieve pretty large turnover and has the potential to be a pretty good trading market in its own right.

Wind: Golf’s nemesis

Cricket may be the obvious one, but there are plenty of opportunities that you see across a number of different sports. One of these areas where I look at consistently for weather patterns is in golf.

When you’re looking at links golf, like the British Open Golf, one of the things that you will find is that the links golf, depending upon how the course is situated, will play very differently according to the prevailing wind.

So if they’re playing the out nine in a certain direction and the in nine in another direction, you could have wind coming from a certain direction or there could variable wind that will directly affect how the odds are moving within the market.

Example fo winds on a golf course

Imagine – you’re teeing off first thing in the morning and the conditions are relatively benign or perhaps it is the evening, but during the day, the winds pick up and directly affect a certain batch of players. If you actually look at a golf tournament, you can examine the tee times and then you split those tee times down.

After looking at this you can then start looking at how the weather is likely to affect that. During The Open Golf one year, the wind was definitely a problem. Watch below to see the impact of wind when playing golf!

Longer clip can be found in this video:

This scenario had a significant impact on the way that the tournament played. This is because in the run up to the cut at a golf tournament, all of the players are jumbled up. You could get a guy that’s probably going to be in contention at the weekend with an amateur.

As a consequence, when they go out, it’s going to be fairly random in terms of who’s going to be where and where they’re going to be on that particular course.

When we get to the weekend at golf, what you will find is that all of the players, the tee times organised so that basically the last couple of groups that reached the 18th green will be the ones that are expected to win the tournament and the tee times change around a little bit.

Typically, if you’ve got four players that are in the top of that list and they’re playing in two separate groups then they’ll still be equally affected by all of the conditions. There’s not a huge amount of variability there.

In golf, it tends to be the order of play, a question of how close are the number of shots are at the top, because if the conditions are going to go downhill later and they have got somebody in the clubhouse in the lead, but the conditions are going to worsen significantly for the later groups, then you may find that that affects the scoring and presents an opportunity for you there.

Golf was really the one that I cottoned on to first, where the weather was going to have a significant impact in terms of what’s going to happen within that particular tournament.

It’s worth exploring that as it’s a little bit more complicated in golf because you’ve got, maybe 156 players, half of that many going around which is often where things get a little bit more complicated, but hopefully I’ve detailed for you there the two states that occur when tee times are altered or depending upon the groupings within that particular tournament itself.

How weather can give you trading tips for racing

Weather applies to a number of different sports, but I first started taking a bit more of an interest in the weather when I was looking at horse racing markets because I was interested in asking the question that a lot of people do.

People often come out and say, ‘oh, you know, this horse doesn’t like this ground or all of this sort of stuff.’ So I started looking at it more seriously at how the weather impacted the way that that could influence the price on a particular runner.

Now, sometimes it’s a bit ambiguous and horses like certain types of ground, but it’s not very clearly defined sometimes. So, you look at some of these and think, well, I’m not sure what information is contained in that or how it’s going to influence the price.

However, you can if you keep your eye out, get away, pick up on really good long term trading opportunities. One of those occurred once at Royal Ascot.

Rainy Ascot 2019!

The interesting thing about this was it was really well telegraphed. So if you were going to Royal Ascot that year, then you would have known exactly what the weather was likely to be, especially if you were planning on dressing up. You would have known in advance whether it was going to be raining, which it was at the beginning or was the weather going to improve – which it did towards the end of the week.

When we look at the beginning of the week at Royal Ascot 2019, the weather was pretty poor and it looked as though that was going to continue for a couple of days before cheering up as we approached the end of the week. That brought into play a couple of characteristics.

So there was a horse called Sea of Class where the owners were debating whether this horse should run or not because of the weather conditions.

Sea of Class – trained by William Haggas

So this is your first tip. They’re basically saying, ‘I don’t want to run this horse on ground that is soft or getting worse.’ Basically, they want pretty good ground.

Typically, at most race horses, you will find they try and prepare the course conditions for what they were expecting. During the flat season, they want sort of good grounds, preferably, but it may sort of be goods to firm or good soft.

Also, one of the things that you’ll notice is that most of the courses in the UK aren’t completely straight, they undulate a fair bit. The topography of the course, various quite a bit. If you go and check out turf tracks, big meetings like Ascot will post up an image of basically the going of the entire course.

One of the characteristics of Ascot is that the swinley bottom is lower than the where the course is near the grandstand. That tends to retain water a bit more because obviously the water drains towards that.

So when you look at the going at Ascot, you will find that swinley bottom that the going tends to be softer than at the top of the course.

Obviously, depending upon the race, you may have a little bit of variability in terms of, whether it’s going to affect a horse or not. Clearly a horse that doesn’t like soft ground and has to run through swinley bottom is probably going to struggle a bit more than a horse that can just run the straight mile.

So when Sea of Class was flagged up by William Haggas, there was a bit of uncertainty about whether this horse should be running on ground that wasn’t particularly suitable.

Haggas eventually came out and said:

It was really well publicised and when we got to the Wednesday at Royal Ascot, one of the things that we saw occur was that the weather conditions were particularly bad. Now, because it was quite humid, there were sort of like heavy downpours popping up all over the place and Ascot, quite a few of those.

So everybody thought that Sea of Class wasn’t going to run. It was unlikely that we would see Sea of Class running on this particular day. If the ground is unsuitable for your horse, you can withdraw it. So it was a bit of a surprise when Sea of Class declared to run in this particular race.

Rain, rain go away? How knowing it will rain can help you succeed

So let me ask you this question.

If you have a horse that is running on ground that isn’t suitable for it, what do you think is going to happen to the price?

Do you…

1) think the price will improve? People will start backing it, thinking while the ground is unsuitable for this horse, therefore it’s got a better chance of winning.

2) think that the price will drift because of the going?

So the answer is fairly obvious. If the horse is unlikely to like the ground is going to have less chance of winning and then the price will drift. This was a slam dunk for trade!

Graph showing Sea of class at the time

This is because you could have done this trade the night before, the morning of that particular market, you could done it many different times because the rain kept on coming at Ascot and the rain was awful.

I actually took some imagery of the conditions at the start of the race because I thought this will be an interesting point to illustrate.

The course on the day of the race

The conditions were pretty awful at Ascot, as a consequence, you would lay Sea of Class because it’s unlikely that the price is going to come in and the price, will just drift and drift and drift until it reaches a point at which people think that it’s a more accurate reflection on his chances of winning on ground it doesn’t like.

Now, if you would have laid, Sea of Class when Haggis came out and said, ‘I don’t think he’s going to run’, what would have happened if he didn’t run was all of those bets would have been void.

You wouldn’t have won or lost anything. So really, there was nothing to lose!

The conditions were poor and getting worse, the price was going to drift. Then if it did run, you’d probably see that the drift would accelerate and then you could exit your trade.

It was an interesting race to partake in. It was one of those rare occasions where everybody was flagging up all of the issues. I remember when it was declared that it was going to run and there were quite a few comments around saying, ‘I can’t believe they’re actually going to run it.’

But it made obvious sense in terms of the way that the market went. You knew that it didn’t like the ground, you knew that its chance was going to decline if it did run on ground as it was unsuitable. Therefore, the price was going to drift so you could do a nice little trade off the back of it.

“Weather is a great metaphor for life — sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad, and there’s nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella or choose to dance in the rain!”

–Terri Guillemets

Weather has an impact in a number of different sports in a number different ways, like quote above wonderfully sums up!

I’ve given you three examples cricket, golf and racing where you can use the weather to your advantage. You can apply weather to some aspects of a football match and therefore a football trading strategy, but that’s an entirely different discussion as it’s far more nuanced.

Of course, everybody looks at the weather, everybody thinks they are an expert on the weather. But it’s the ability to interpret or outthink what’s likely to happen in a market because of the weather forecast, which you’re probably going to be looking at anyhow. But if you look at it and a little bit deeper detail, then you can probably pull off a decent trade.

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The most surreal day of my trading career

July the 7th is slowly fading most peoples minds. But for a small group of traders, this date has some more significance.

Our story of this day

It started the same as any other day. I was scheduled to do a talk in central London on guess what? Trading on betting exchanges. I took the train in central London, as did my delegates and after switching from overground to the underground I remember clearly looking at the clock on the exit in the city of London at 08:50. It was going to be a little tight for me to get to the venue and get set up in time, but I had done it. Only a slick bit walking and tube management had got me there in just enough time!

I headed to the room and set up and waited for the delegates to arrive. Bit by bit, they started to arrive.

While it may seem a bit bizarre now, none of us knew what was going on. The rumours at the time were an electrical fault and explosion. So with most people settled in, we just carried on as normal oblivious to what was going on outside. We didn’t have a clue that a terrorist attack had happened.

A few of us had directly got caught up in things. A couple of guys had to get off the tube and walk out of underground on the tracks. But still, there wasn’t really any awareness of what was happening.

During the presentation there was the odd comment on how many sirens were going off, things seemed busier outside on the street below. But this was central London, that was normal.

The ringing phone and the realisation

Most people had turned off their mobile phones to listen to the talk. One person hadn’t though, me. My phone kept ringing, so after trying to ignore it, I eventually answered it. “Are you OK?” came the voice of my wife down the phone.

Suddenly we all started to realise what was going on. About halfway through the conversation, the phone cut out, it would be the last time for a while that any of us would speak to our relatives. With Internet sites completely stuffed up as well, we were a bit clueless as to what was really happening. It was suddenly all a bit surreal.

I rolled up my sleeves and immediately went to seek advice, only to realise that most Londoners were scattering away from the centre as fast as they could. This was a little tricky as there were no buses, trains or taxis; it was foot traffic only. On eventually finding a policeman, he advised us to stay put till things were a little clearer. He didn’t know if it was a ‘normal’ bomb or a chemical attack.

I stopped the talk and debriefed all the delegates and asked them to make a decision. If they wanted to stay we could carry on and reassess things throughout the day. Or we could stop now and head home. We voted on it and in true British fashion, we stayed put and just carried on. It actually reminded me of that part of ‘Carry on up the Kyber’ when the British HQ was under attack but they carried on having their dinner! A very, very surreal experience. 


Eventually, we ended slightly early and set off on our walk across town. It was a strange experience, the whole place was completely quiet. Not a soul to be seen, only traffic lights blinking on and off to a non-existent world. To add to the atmosphere, it started to rain, not just a little bit, but a lot! A small group of us found an abandoned coffee shop and took refuge in it. Just then the mobile phone network sprung back into life and all the phones started ringing. It was an emotional time listening to the messages as they poured in from all over the world checking to see if we were OK.

Eventually, we split up and I found my way to Waterloo station where the first trains were just starting to run again, under heavy security. I jumped on the train for a long and lonely journey home. It was really strange watching the news that night.

I’d been there, but the scale and impact of it just hadn’t sunk in till I watched the news. I was also incredibly lucky with my timing and choice of tube transport that day. Had I taken a different route I may have ended up a bit closer than I did.

Spare some thoughts

I know it seems unfortunately common now. But spare some thoughts today for those affected by any similar events and have pity for those for whom hates forms a daily part of their life, whatever form it takes, not just terrorists.

I guess it’s just a utopian dream to think that maybe people can just get on with each other for once? Realising that everybody has different life experiences, which results in them having different views, which makes them different from you is important to understand as is being tolerant of that. Life is half chance anyhow! Being nice gives you a warm feeling inside and will make somebodies day, give it a try now and again!

Anyhow, it’s a day that I or the others with me are ever likely to forget!

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Beating the In-Play delay with a ladder

When you’re trading on Betfair, there are two states to market conditions that you see. There is the pre-off period, the period before an event has started and then in-play, when the sport you are trading is underway. Sometimes this is called in-running, but the industry seems to have popularised it as in-play.

Pre-off vs In-play

The pre-off trading period is determined purely by opinion. Barring unexpected events, the market tends to move in a nice smooth pattern.

In horse racing, the pre-race period means the period where horses get saddled up, parade then go to post. People change their opinion on how the horse is behaving and lock in a profit by trading on that basis.

On football matches, the team is announced one hour before the match starts and people may change their opinion at the point. But other than this. It’s fairly quiet in comparison to a horse race.

When betting inplay then a number of factors determine what happens, but predominatley the underlying state of the sport determines the pricing.

On horse racing the horses just run as fast as they can do the finishing post and therefore if it’s in the lead it’s price will shorten quickly. On Football, Tennis or other sports it’s all down to the score and how much time is left.

Where is there an in-play delay?

If you’re Betfair trading InPlay, then one of the things that you need to take account of is the in-play delay.

This can be as short as one second or it could be nine seconds, but there will be a delay when you place a bet in play. The reason the delay was introduced on betting exchanges was basically to get over the transmission time to whatever device you’re particular watching.

If you think about the way the pictures are transmitted from a sports event, there’ll be an outside broadcast unit actually at an event itself. They will have a little desk there bringing the pictures in that gets beamed up to a satellite. The satellite then beams the raw feed down into a studio where a producer who decides what shots that they decide they want. Then they will beam that back out to somwhere.

Now, it could go by the Internet or it could go back up to the satellite and then back down to you the in a number of different ways. But effectively, there is a lot of this bouncing up and down from the actual event to you back at home.

Wherever you are watching the sports event on TV, on your phone, your tablet, UPC or on a conventional TV, it will experience a delay. You may have seen this first hand during football competitions or other major sports. You often hear the guy down the street or next door cheering a few seconds before you hear something.

The in-play delay was basically designed to mitigate the amount of time that it takes to go from the event to your screen. It was seen as a way of levelling the playing field effectively. They wanted to make it impossible that somebody who was actually at the event itself to nip in front of you and beat you by basically getting slightly faster pictures. That’s the reason the in-play delay was introduced.

Beating the in-play delay

But typically the reason that you need to be aware of this delay as well is that somebody somewhere is probably going to see the action slightly before you. Whatever in-play markets you are trading and whatever in-play betting you wish to you. It’s quite likely that somebody will beat you to some key information because of this time delay.

The way you see this manifest itself in a live betting market is that the market seems to ‘know’ what is about to happen next. People at the event will be trying to beat the in-play delay by taking a position based on something that has just happened, or by anticipating that something is about to happen. There are big bucks to be made by seeing the future a few seconds ahead of others.

This was brought to prominence when Tennis tournaments decided to take a tough line on people ‘court siding’ at Tennis matches. Events in the UK did not get much advantage because the transmission speed was so quick. But if you are in South America or Asia then the tranmission delay could be significant and the advantage of being at the event, will be huge.

Because of the short in-play time and speed of a horse racing market, people have been trying to beat the delay almost since the inception of in-play betting on Horse racing. This was highlighted again by Simon Nott who witnessed a whole bunch of people at Bath racecourse trying to get an advantage. Have a read of the article here, which also includes pictures of the culprits!: –

It’s easier to get away with this sort of thing on Horse Racing as a lot of racecourses are on, or cross, public land. So getting an advantageous position is more likely than in a Tennis match. Most major Tennis tournaments require that you get admission into a stadium and therefore, it’s become much harder.

A watershed moment for Tennis courtsiding was Dan Dobson was arrested at the Australian Open in Melbourne and the world of Tennis courtsiding became a lot riskier for aspiring individuals. Whatever the risks though, it won’t stop people from trying to gain an advantage by being at an event.

When people post P&L’s I always find it interesting. This is because there are clearly defined moments in an in-play event where the prices can move significantly. If they seem to have captured that exact moment, that hints that they are active around critical points in the market. Using any other strategy, there are only a limited number of things you can do. This is particularly prominent in football, for example.

But sometimes you get more obvious clues that people are trying to get an advantage.

I’ll never forget the image I captured on TV of the 1m start at Thirsk one year. In racing the start is significant, If a horse gets a good break it can hold the rail and dominate proceedings. If that happens then it’s obvious that a better chance produces shorter odds that you can trade or bet on.

At Thirsk, a couple of ‘enterprising’ individuals set up an alternative sort of ladder trade. They drove to the start and hoisted themselves up a ladder to get a good look at which horse broke the best, or worst. Ultimately, if you are active in the market at these points, that’s what you are up against!

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Don’t fall for the System Sellers Paradox!

Roll up, roll up!

‘I have this VERY simple set of rules that can make loads of risk-free money with very little effort. It can be yours for only $37 and you increase your chance of winning money as long as you buy it before this weekend. ‘

Sound interesting?

Maybe it shouldn’t…!

Well this blog post is looking into the system sellers paradox which can explain a lot about these ‘systems’ and what a typical system requires.

System sellers paradox: the issue with people who are trying to push sell, effectively ‘extort’ money from people for buying duff systems.

Money grabbers?

Generally, speaking, the vast majority of systems are written by people who have never, ever put there own cash on the line in any capacity. Sometimes people have done things and can’t really make much money from it, so they decide to embellish and sell it as a system. Sometimes people just do that from the outset, they don’t really believe anything can make money, so they revert to the best money making system of all, telling people how to make money.

Typically, most of the system sellers are people who have no interest in actually trying to make these things work. They’re just looking an appealing idea, a neat marketing angle and a few tricks to try and get money out of people.

Of course, there is a huge paradox here, because can you imagine if you buy a system and it says ‘if this, then that, do this – if that do this, then that’. It is set up with some simple rules to follow so that you can replciate the system sellers ‘success’.

But there is a clear flaw here. In years gone by it was impossible to really proof or test these systems. Also, trying to scale something on your own was tricky as you have to give away exactly what you were doing. But these barriers no longer exist. With modern technology and things like Betfair, Betdaq and software like Bet Angel, you can automate a lot of those things.

If you say the system, is find a race or a football match like this and when this happens, do this and when that happens, do that. If this doesn’t happen, then do that. You can automate all of those things really easily nowadays. So why wouldn’t you just do that?

If the system is profitable, it’s going be a lot simpler to do some Betfair automation using a automated software like Bet Angel.

Set it up, let it run, forget about it and hey presto, there’s a massive pot of gold at the end of the day!

Now, of course, the reality is a little tougher than that. But I’ve discovered loads of little niches, some of them too small for me to exploit by sitting at my desk. But the soltution is simple. I work out the specifics of what I want to do, then I automate it. At first, I test it carefully then as my confidence grows I put the system to use on full stakes.

On the day I make this blog post one bit of automation that runs fully automatically has made about £700 while I am busying trading pre-off horse racing. That result is at the top end of expectations, but it’s pretty good for just pressing a button this morning to turn it on.

Achieving this though is a slow process and often requires a lot of fiddling before you can find something that works well. But this sort of thing is something I have been doing for most of my 20 years in the markets. This particular peice of automation took quite a while to come together, but now it’s done it’s consistently profitable and I can just set it up everyday and leave it on it’s own. It’s worth a lot to me, more that $37 anyhow!

The ‘Well I can’t do it on my account…’ lie

Now, unfortunately, press button a when b systems are generally quite difficult to find. If you do find it, you tend to keep it to yourself. So let’s really think about a possible reason why somebody may not be able to ultilise their invention. If the system sellers says ‘well, I can’t do it as my account won’t let me…’ realistically, all you would do is find somebody with another account. Then you would let them do it.

You would probably give them a little bit of a cut in order to do it and you would probably fund the account for them. So whether you can do it or not, it doesn’t really matter because you’d find somebody else.

Selling your system rather than scaling it

Let’s say that the system was magically scalable, so that you could actually do it amongst three thousand people or something for small stakes.

You could then just look at it as an investment and say ‘well, okay, I’m going to put a £1K in this account, it’s going to earn £2k over the course of the year and if I can do that one hundred times, then I’m gonna be significantly up!’ and I’ll just cut people in with a little bit of money for that opportunity.

You would earn much more that way than you would if you actually attempted to sell the system. If you can exploit this ‘loophole’, to use snake oil parlance, then you just scale it with or without an account. Just start getting people to work for you.

The core problem of course is…..

Of course, the core issue here is that people who are selling systems are just trying to do it to make money. They’re not good traders or bettors, they don’t have a magical system, they haven’t put the hours of work in to find an edge….

They don’t have some magic system, they are just very good at marketing and pressing your hot buttons.

But the problem is that people always fall for these systems. I don’t know why that is, but I’d imagine the allure of easy money is just too great to resist. The way they are often presented also nudges you psychologically that you don’t want to miss out. The fact is, that if somebody is promising you an easy income with the minimum of fuss, it’s probably a con. Before the works ‘income’ or ‘passive income’. Tempting but unlikely to be true, particularly in a betting market.

I never have fallen for these things and probably never will because I’ve had to go through the hard work to create profitable ideas and strategies in the market. I do get sent a lot of systems however, but most of them revole around the same two themes. Winning freqeutly or recovering a loss, neither of these are typically how you approach a trading strategy.

If you did have some completely goldern, the last thing that you would want to do really is to just go out and and sell them. So I think the the upshot of this really is, is that typically it makes absolutely no sense to buy any systems.

Advice, stats, data all those things are valid to some extent, but a simple system rarely makes sense. Even the former items can be dressed up a bit in the same manner, so do some research before buying anything.

Incredible deal – more like In credible!

Typically, as soon as a new system comes on the market everybody knows about it fairly quickly. It gets posted on forums and so on and I imagine these people will never take action you if you republish the information because they will then have to admit that it’s all a pile of poo anyway!

There’s no sense or logic behind it and they actually haven’t made any money, so I imagine that redistribution of these things is very difficult to enforce. I don’t believe that it would be possible for somebody to defend it on the basis that it was a rip off in the first place. A formal request needs to have a legal entity on it and that would present the opportunity for a class action against the seller. A lack of an address is usually a red hot clue you are about to be had!


The system sellers paradox is the issue that, if you have something that’s good enough, you would use it yourself. Or perhaps you would find a way of using it yourself because investing in that and compounding the gains and finding ways of doing that would be much more profitable than actually selling a book itself.

This is why professional syndicates exist. To share the risk and reward with developing and deploying systems. I’ve worked with and interfaced with many syndicates in the least twenty years. I’m not aware of any that have released an ebook, yet!

Naturally, because systems don’t work, there’s no reason why they would attempt to use it. In fact, is much more profitable to sell the system than to use it and as I have witnessed, most systems are just rehashes of existing systems in essense.

So that’s the system seller paradox! If you want to make some easy money in a betting market with just a few clicks, just sell people a duff betting system.

My view is that is certainly not worth looking out for these systems, but feel free to discuss in the comments if you’ve ever got tangled up in one of them, help warn others of their flaws.

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