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Betfair trading for beginners – Top ten tips

Now I’ve been trading on Betfair for over 20 years now and I sit down every day, press a few buttons and some money appears on the other side! But if you’re just starting out, it can be a little bit confusing and there are often contradictory advice available out there.

So I thought, wouldn’t it be useful if I compiled some Betfair trading tips that I think you will find useful if you’re just starting out on your Betfair trading journey?

So my first tip for you: beware the beginner’s cycle…

What do you see to get started? A betting strategy, some Betfair trading strategies? Well really what you need to start, its to be aware of the beginner’s cycle….

Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? Well typically when you first start, you want to get going as quickly as possible and as a consequence you collect all manner of advice and guidance that you possibly can. Ultimately, you will find at the end of this experience, you would just be a little bit poorer and you may not have learnt much about trading.

There really is no substitute for getting some screen time and yes, you need to understand the basics, but most of those are available! That’s why we produce things like the Academy, because that gets you onto that first step, that first process where you begin to learn about how to trade and things that you should be doing.

However, if you get to that stage, then spending a lot of time learning how the market works and how you interact within it is the key. Collecting all manner of courses, books and other information is basically not the key.

When I first started trading in financial markets and somebody said to me:

“The market is there to make money from you, not for you.”

– Advice I was given when I started in the financial markets

I ignored that advice and spent a fortune collecting information that was absolutely useless!

So my first advice to you is to get the basics right, get some practise in and then decide which path you want to go down, not the other way around!

A common mistake you can make as a starter

Something that commonly happens is that first starters look at the markets on Betfair and try to find that perfect strategy. As a consequence, people tend to focus on one particular strategy. They’ll try every single strategy and none of them work and they’re left thinking, “well, this is frustrating I can’t seem to find a single strategy that works!”

So I’ll tell you why, it’s because there is no single strategy that works.

There are many ways to trade in sport trading markets. You could be looking to trade pre-race horse racing or to do some football trading.

But ultimately your role as a trader is to apply a strategy to a market, not to find some goose that lays fantastic golden eggs, because that is the hardest thing to do!

To find a generic strategy that works generically well in generic markets, applied to generic selections is just the hardest thing ever to do. So part of your role as a trader is not to look for that unbelievable strategy, it’s to actually look at strategies and say:

  • Yes, that will work in this market
  • Well, this will work in that market

You have to apply a strategy to a sports betting market, not look for a strategy full stop as the way to be able to make money. That’s part of the skill that you bring to the mix as a trader.

If you have migrated to Betfair trading from matched betting, you will not be familiar with losses. But ultimately trading is getting a balance between profits and losses and you need to be able to afford to lose on occasions.

Selecting the right market will help you minimise those losses.

Remember: How you trade is an edge

When trading execution can be an edge as well, what do we mean by that? If you’re trading in an active betting market, then somebody who’s actually using a website will be slower and unable to do as many things as somebody that’s using a bit of software. You can even semi-automate that, automate parts of it or you do something a little bit cleverer, then you’ll be somebody that is unable to do that.

So never forget that actually executing a trade can be an edge as well. And that’s important in terms of not only the way that you do it, but also your ability to be able to execute that trade. So practising getting in and out of the market, doing all of those things will give you an edge in the market over somebody that doesn’t bother.

The Betfair exchange is full of people trying to get an edge and profit, but if you want to profit in the long term you will need to beat others. So remember to focus on how to do something as must as what you do.

When you first start trading, you will probably lose money…

I know this is going to be disappointing for you, so one of the suggestions that I make to you is that you actually set up a trading bank, but you split that bank in half. With half of that bank you play around, you get used to the trading process, you try a few things.

However, in your mind you write off that money immediately, you split your bank in two. That way, it’s easier to come to terms with losses and mistakes that you make, even if you lose half your bank, you still have half of it left. So when you’ve made all of those mistakes and have got them out of your system, you can start trading properly.

Be organised: Have a trading plan

Make sure you have a trading plan, whatever strategy you’re using whatever market you’re in, make sure that as you’re about to enter the market, you know exactly what you’re going to do, given a number of scenarios.

When I enter a market, I already know where I’m going to get out at a potential profit. I also know at what point that trade will have gone wrong and therefore, I need to get rid of my position.

If you don’t have a trading plan, you will not be guided by that and you’ll have to make stuff up on the spot. That’s when the emotions will overwhelm you and force you in to errors.

So it’s really helpful to have a trading plan because that will act as a guide to you, but also you get objective feedback on the market. If something goes wrong, you can adjust your trading plan and take that forward with you to improve your trading. But if you don’t have a trading plan, you’ve got no hope of adjusting your actions.

Also with a trading plan, you can practise on the execution of it without one. You’re just messing around in the market and you have no structure to what you’re doing.

Know your psychology

The way you think can be an edge as well, trading will force you to do all sorts of weird and wonderful things. There’s an invisible hand in the market, especially when money is involved that will push you around. So read about the psychology of trading, understand exactly how your emotions are influencing what you’re doing and come to terms with that.

It’s really important to understand when you’re actively trading and using money, exactly how your mind is influencing that. If you want an example of this, go into practice mode on Bet Angel trade a market and then actually go and flip and trade and live mode and just see how different your actions are when you actually have to use real money and bear real losses. Working on that can also be an edge in your trading.

Money management

Make sure you understand money management and your objective when trading, because if you fail to get that correctly, you will go bust.

When you’re actually trading, what you’re doing is you’re looking at a bank size and you’re only ever going to win a small proportion of that bank. You’re either going to be positive or negative of the stake that you have in the market and of the entire bank that you’re using at that particular moment in time.

That’s trading! When you’re gambling, you’re exposing the entire bank to risk, so make sure that you fully understand that trading is a matter of:

  • how much you win
  • how frequently you win
  • how often you lose
  • how much you lose when you do lose.

It’s nothing like traditional gambling and therefore you need to treat it completely differently as well to make sure you’re fully conversant with that before you actually start trading.

Help your understanding by using automation

The psychological aspects of trading is something that catches people out all the time, especially if you’ve just started out. So why not try automating some of your trading?

Because that eliminates all of the emotional aspects of trading completely and it would give you a really firm base to work from. When you automate trading, you get pure feedback from the market, there are no ifs or buts, it either works or it doesn’t. That will give you a great base to work from, even if you intend to manually trade.

Understanding the difference between financial markets and sports markets

Now, trading on Betfair and sports markets in general is similar, but not the same as trading in financial markets. If you’re trading an equity, a bond, interest rates or foreign exchange in the financial markets, they behave in a certain way that’s the same in sports markets.

This is one of the things that catches people out on the trading sports markets and this is seasonality.

Tennis matches are played on different surfaces over the course of the year. You have the all weather flat season, you have the turf flat season, you have the jump season in horse racing, different incentives for football teams, different times of the year, different levels of fixture congestion etc.

Each sport has its own level of seasonality. So if you expect to get the same results over the course of a season, that’s the wrong way to look at it. You expect results to ebb and flow over the course of the season, depending upon where you are within the season and the strategy that you’re pursuing. So make sure that you keep an eye on seasonality.

Little and often soon adds up!

So my top tip is that little and often soon adds up, and what I mean by that is rather than going for some grand total or trying to get the big results, what you’re better off doing is accepting that the way to trade is a balance of profits and losses. Going for a small gain overall over a large number of markets, because what happens is a little and often soon adds up.

You do little amounts on average over a large number of markets, and then gradually that cumulative total is quite large in the scheme of things. Also you’ll feel under less pressure to get a result if you’re trading for much smaller amounts.

So especially when you’re starting, it’s helpful just to go for a relatively small target, but to do it frequently because if you keep it simple, you go for something that’s easily achievable you’ll begin to build confidence in what you’re doing. If you trade enough markets, then you’ll be able to reach your total that way, you don’t have to go for one big trade or be very accurate or wait for the perfect moment.

It’s very helpful to be active and in the market and get a good average result overall. Little and often soon adds up and if you do enough markets and that will achieve exactly the targets that you’re looking for.

Want to learn more?

I hope those tips have been useful for you! There is actually a lot more depth to go into on each one of these individual tips and so below I’ve listed some Youtube videos to that explore each of these topics in great depth.

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The post Betfair trading for beginners – Top ten tips appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

How to import all your customisations

Over the years, Bet Angel has grown to become the most customizable third-party Betfair trading software available. There are literally no areas of Bet Angel which you can’t fully customise to your own tastes and requirements.

Customisation is a useful feature as not only does it allow you make Bet Angel looking familiar to you, but all this customisation will allow you to create your own unique view on the market and allow you to execute a bet or trade on your terms. Not those dictated by the limitation of the UI you are using.

This will give you an edge over other Betfair traders as you display and see information unique to yourself, but also act on it quickly and effectively. As result we have gradually expanded the number of ways you can create, import and export all the customisable features of Bet Angel.

Another feature found in all of these areas is the option to ‘Import and Export’ files, so once you’ve created and saved a profile, layout, chart, rules file etc you can quickly export and import them onto another PC you may have Bet Angel installed on or you might want to share it with a friend or fellow Bet Angel user. Or you could download some of the 100s of ready-made files available on the Bet Angel forum and either use them as they are or make your own edits to tweak them exactly how you want.

Some of the customisations, you may be aware of. But others you may not yet of discovered, so below is a full list of all the areas of Bet Angel Professional that can be heavily customized to suit any style of trading: –

  • Screen layouts
  • Settings Profiles
  • Ladder Settings
  • One-click layouts
  • One-Click Custom Column profiles
  • Automation files
  • Servants,
  • Advanced charts
  • Guardian Market List Layouts
  • Guardian Custom Columns
  • Market Search Filters
  • Coupons

Below I’ll go through each of the area’s showing how to find the import/export buttons and also link directly to the area of the forum you can download ready-made examples to import into your Bet Angel.

Screen Layouts

In the upper left corner of your main Bet Angel screen click ‘View’ > Import Screen Layout

Settings Profiles

In the upper left corner of your main Bet Angel screen click ‘Settings ‘ > Import Settings

Ladder Settings

On the ladder screen click the spanner icon next to the ‘ladder settings’ pick list, then when the ladder settings editor opens in the top left corner click ‘Settings’ > Import Ladder Settings

Download ready-made Ladder Settings from the Bet Angel forum

One-Click Grid Screen Layout

On the One-Click screen click the paper icon with a green arrow.

One-Click Custom Columns

On the one-click screen click the ‘Settings’ menu > Edit Custom Columns, when the custom column editor window opens click the ‘Import’ button

Download ready-made One-Click grid layouts and Custom Columns for the One-Click screen from the Bet Angel forum

Automation Files (Bots)

First open Guardian by clicking the green ‘G’ icon (not the G+ icon), then select the ‘Automation’ tab > Import Rules File

Download ready-made automation files (bots) from the Bet Angel forum

Servants

Click the ‘Bellboy’ icon to open the Servant Manager window, then click ‘Rules’ > Import a rules file

Download ready-made Servants from the Bet Angel forum

Advanced Charts

In the top left corner of your screen click ‘Settings’ > Edit Settings > Charts > Advanced Charts, then in the bottom left corner click ‘Import’

Download ready-made Advanced Charts from the Bet Angel forum

Guardian Market List Layouts

First open Guardian by clicking the green ‘G’ icon, then click on the ‘List’ tab and then the paper icon with a green arrow

Guardian Custom Columns

Open Guardian by clicking the green ‘G’ icon, then on the ‘List’ tab click the ‘Edit Custom Columns’ link, when the custom column editor window opens click ‘Import’

Download ready-made Guardian Market Lists and Custom Columns from the Bet Angel forum

Market Search Filter

Open the market selection window using the ‘Select Market’ button on the Desktop page, or in the upper left corner of the screen click ‘File’ > Select Market, when the Market Selection window opens click the ‘Funnel’ Icon, then when the Market filter editor window opens click on Filters > Import a Filter

NB; his can also be done in Guardian Market selection window

Download ready-made Market Search Filters from the Bet Angel forum

Coupons

First open Guardian by clicking the green ‘G’ icon (not the G+ icon), then tick the ‘Show Sidebar’ link, when the sidebar appears at the bottom click the ‘Coupons’ tab then the ‘Spanner’ icon next to the Coupon picklist, When the Coupon Editor opens in the top left corner click ‘Coupons’ > Import Coupon.

Download ready-made Coupons from the Bet Angel forum

Now you know how to import ready-made files into your Bet Angel remember to keep an eye on those shared sections of the forum as new settings, layouts, charts, automation files etc are being added all the time.

The post How to import all your customisations appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Automation – Store a Value from a Range of Values

Over the last few years the ‘Stored Value’ feature in Bet Angel’s advanced automation has continually been updated with more and more information for markets and selections being made available to store as a value which can then be used/displayed throughout other area’s of Bet Angel. In total there are now around 40 key pieces of data for selections and markets it’s now possible to store values for.

Last year Stored Values were expanded even further with the introduction of History Lists, and now as part of the V1.56 update the ‘Stored Value’ feature has gained yet another powerful option which opens up countless more possibilities, this new option now allows you to ‘Store a Value Calculated from a Range of Values’.

As it’s name suggests this option now allows users to take existing stored values and/or stored values held in history list and quickly and easily calculate the maximum, minimum, average or sum from a set of named stored values, a named stored value (across all selections), a range of values in a history list a value from a history list across all selections.

Examples

In the image below I’ve used the ‘Store a Value Calculated from a Range of Values’ to look up the min/max values for a period of time and produce a rolling high/low price over the last 30 seconds, then displayed that on the Ladder trading screen in the form of Markers. Giving a clear indication at the hi/lo traded prices of each selection in the last 30secs.

In the next image I’ve used  the ‘Store a ValueCalculated from a Range of Values’ option to calculate the average traded price over fixed periods of time, I’ve then displayed these as custom columns on the one-click trading screen, allowing me to see a smoothed out longer term price trend for each selection.

Or you can of course use that new stored value you’ve just created as part of a condition in another rule, either in the same file or by being past to another rules file (automation or servant) running on the same market or even another market within that event.

Despite the various types of ranges, stored values and history lists it’s possible to look across to calculate and produce an end value it is still remarkable easy to use thanks to the intuitive way the options have been laid out for you. As with every other part of Stored Values and the automation option on the whole its just a case of working your way through the available options selecting the actions you want to do from a pick list of available items, the pick lists and areas you get shown will depend on what your last choice was so there’s very little chance of you doing something wrong or getting stuck.

Creating a Stored Value from a Range of Values

So let’s now look at how easy it is to do this. The first thing you need of course is some rules already storing named values and/or storing values into history lists, let’s assume here we already have some rules which store the value of the book% of the front three runners on the market with the stored value names ‘book%1’, ‘book%2’ and ‘book%3’.

Now we are going to put the sum total of those book% into its own stored value, either to display on the ladder or one-click trading screens or for another rule to use.

After selecting the action ‘Store a Value Calculated from a Range of Values’ the first thing we need to do is give the stored value we are about to create a name, for this I’ve chosen ‘frontthree’ (as its purpose is to add up the book% value of the front three in the betting).

Next we need to choose from the pick list what it is we want to calculate, in this case it’s the ‘sum of a set of stored values’.

From the next pick list we can now choose which values we want to use, here we want to look up a ‘a Set of Named Stored Values’.

That will then display an area where the actual names of the stored values we want to add up can be entered, so here I’ve entered the names of the three stored values from my other rules I want adding together and where to look for them ie, they have been set on the market.

When this rule triggers it will add up the stored values named book%1, book%2 and book%3 and produce a final stored value on the market named ‘frontthree’. Which can be used elsewhere through the software.

By ticking the ‘Note value assignments in the markets log’ box I can refer to the main log to ensure its triggering correctly, once it is to keep your log tidy you can come back to the rule and untick this box

Range from a History List

Now for this second example let’s assume we are have a rule which is storing the value of the last traded price (LTP) for every selection every 1 second, to the history list 1, but we want to know the average of this every 60 seconds.

The first thing to do is give the stored value a name again, this time I’ve chosen the name of ‘avg60secs’. Then we need to select what it is we want to calculate, here it’s the ‘Average of a Set of Stored Values’.

Next we can choose where to look for this range of values, so here I’ll pick ‘a Range of Values in a History List’.

The final part is tell it what history list to look in for the values and over what time period it’s to use, so I’ve selected history list 1 from the pick list and set the time to look at from 60secs to now using samples every 1 second.

Now whenever this rule triggers it will look at all the values held in History List 1 (ie, the last traded price of the selection in Betfair row 1) and calculate the average for the last 60seconds, then store that as a value named ‘avg60sec’. Which as per the last example can then be used by another condition in this or another rule or displayed on your ladder or one-click trading screens.

As I mentioned earlier you’ll notice from the steps taken in both those examples that the next set of options you get always depend on the previous ones selected, but it really is self-explanatory as you go.

If you do still get stuck don’t worry there are plenty of ready-made rules files and even ladder/one-click screen setting files including both the examples shown further up this blog which you can download from the Bet Angel forum and import straight into your Bet Angel, and then edit them to your exact requirements.

The post Automation – Store a Value from a Range of Values appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

What creates the perfect Betfair trading market?

So when you’re Betfair trading, there are some things you must know in order to be an effective trader and there are lots of mistakes that people make when they first start trading or looking to implement their favourite. Betfair trading strategies.

If you are trading on Betfair horse racing markets, there are many things to look for, but there’s one thing that I look for in every market and it’s something that you should do to. So we’re going to discuss what that is and how it can help you become a better Betfair trader.

You don’t need a big bank to trade with

If you trade regulary on any horse market you will realise one thing clearly, you don’t need a big bank to trade effectively. There are seveal key reasons for this.

First off, the action in pre-off horse racing comes very close to the start of the race. Thiis leaves little time in most markets to build up big totals.

The average horse race has matched bet totals of around £400k. The key to understanding this amount is that it is double-counted. This means ‘only’ £200k has been staked on the market. If you place a back bet of £10 then Betfair matches it against another £10 of lay bets and that means £20 has been matched in total. So even if you managed to get a £10k trade through a market you would be 10% of the market, that’s huge!

Your trade size is really not decided by the market size, but by the amount of unmatched money. This is because you will need to exit your trade at some point, so your strike rate will plummet if you go over that amount and your exit has to wait in the order queue. The bigger your stake, the harder it is to get matched.

This all sounds a bit depressing so far, but it’s not. Even if you can only put £500 through the market, you can do that more than once and that ultimately is how you should trade. Do one trade, if it goes well, you can do another. This is hugely advantageous for smaller traders as you can trade with small trading banks. I consciously restrict my average stake as I’ve learned that this increases my chance of a successful trade.

So your stake is more or less determined by the market, but all markets are not created equal. Some do large volumes and some do not. But within them, there is a key to how a trading strategy works much more effectively.

Volume is not liquidity

Betfair trading is really simple, isn’t it? You open a trade, you close the trade and then you hedge it to lock in a profit and you win money regardless of what happens in the underlying event…

…oh, how we wish it were that simple!

If we look into that simplistic idea of trading it’s fairly obvious that you’re going to open a trade because you think it’s going to be profitable.

You wouldn’t open a trade, just at random; typically you’re going into a trade with the intention of trading out for a profit. It’s naive to assume that every trade that you open is going to be perfect and you’re going to profit on every single one. So at some point, you have to make one of three decisions.

  1. Do you close your trade for a profit and where?
  2. Do you get rid of that trade? For example, you open a trade and then realise you’re not too sure about the decision so you get out.
  3. Perhaps you want to close for a loss. You hold the position in the market for a period of time and then you realise that you’ve made a mistake and therefore you need to exit.

Entering the trade is relatively easy. You just take a position in the market and then you wait for that profit to come rolling in. However, the exit side of it is the area that you should also have equal emphasis on.

I’ve just said you don’t open a trade at random, but you could do and you could still make money depending upon what your exit position is. On most occasions, I would recommend you typically go into a trade with a certain set up that you’ve prepared. Then you would have to make a decision at some point, if the price goes in your favour, of closing out that particular trade.

You’re also going to have to make a decision now and again as to whether you get rid of that position. When I actively trade a market, there’s one key metric that I’m looking for that determines how I get into a trade, but also how I manage the trade when that particular trade is underway.

The interesting thing is that I tend to not find a lot of people discussing this or fully understanding what the particular scenario is. If you look at the way that most people look at the market, they turn up to the market and see the market has a lot of volume and they do a trade.

But in fact, what you should be looking for is liquidity. Volume does not equal liquidity.

Know the difference

Liquidity is probably the most important thing that you can look for in a market before you actually trade it.

When you look at any sports trading market, depending upon what sport you’re on there will be periods of time when the liquidity is high and if liquidity is high, it opens lots of options for you.

So let’s say, for example, we put a position into the market and then we have to do that closing position. I’ve described one of three scenarios that you may choose to do, break even, a profit or a loss.

However, when you get into the market the most important thing is actually being able to exit your trade. So let’s say we’ve got a large position in the market and there’s just not enough money coming through. What we’re going to have to do is chase that price as we go to exit the trade.

If you end up doing that it is because your original stake is too big for the amount of liquidity within the market. So if you have a high liquidity market, the great thing about that is you can change your mind, you can change your position in a flash and It doesn’t really matter!

So when you look at those big markets like your Cheltenham or big football matches you’ve got the ability to push money in and out of the market very quickly.

When I chose to trade the Cricket World Cup I absolutely loved that the market not only huge volume because some of these matches were doing £50 million or more, but there was huge liquidity as well.

Now it’s important to draw a line between the two. What is volume? What is liquidity? They’re two entirely different subjects altogether.

Let’s start with volume

Volume is simply the amount of money that you get matched on the market. It doesn’t matter when the money was matched, it’s just the total altogether.

So what makes liquidity different?

Liquidity is the amount that is getting matched at the moment of which you are actively trading it. So you could have a market with £50 million in it and no liquidity because that that money has come into the market over a very long period of time to build that £50 million. It just happens at the time which you’re in the market is really not a lot going on.

Therefore, the problem that poses for you is that you find it difficult to get out of a position. Now it could be that you’re trying to close for a profit but because the money isn’t available and it is not getting matched, then you have to take a worse price and therefore your overall profit is lower.

Another way to look at this is if you’re trying to scratch a trade, you may just not be able to get the money out of the market quickly enough to be able to get away with a zero. A scratch trade is basically if you laid something at 4.7, you would back it at 4.7 for net zero.

When I’m actively trading the markets over the shorter term and for small amounts, I very often will scratch a trade. This is because what you’re doing is you’re going into the market and you’re saying, here’s an opportunity and then you realise it may not be, so you pull it quickly back and then you try again and then you pull it back again. So you’re prodding and probing the markets. You’re actively trying to look for positions that look favourable and then eventually you will find one of those positions. However, the ability to just pull that trade out for zero is quite a useful tactic to use if you’re actively trading.

Now let’s also say we go into a market that’s matched a few million and our position goes really badly against us. Trying to get out is a nightmare if you’ve got a position that’s going against you and there is no liquidity in the market. This is why I don’t trade early morning markets because I often choose to trade the liquidity period before a race starts because getting into a large position many hours out means that I probably can’t get out of it if it goes wrong.

What benefits does liquidity give you?

Knowing where to find liquidity is valuable for a trader. I’d much prefer to be in the market during a period of high liquidity because any position can be matched over a smaller time frame, whether it is over a minute or over a second. However you choose to measure it, liquidity is the amount of money going in and out of the market at that moment you’re trading it and it’s completely separate from volume.

You can have high volume markets with no liquidity, but it’s impossible to have high liquidity markets without also having volume.

Where does liquidity and volume differ across different markets?

Liquidity and volume does vary across markets because you may find that the amount of liquidity in the market may be spread out over a long period of time.

For example, most Aintree Grand National meetings have liquidity that continues to be quite good all the way through the day, but if you’re looking at a Wolverhampton race on a Tuesday evening in the winter, nobody’s going to bother betting on it until the last minute.

Some of that depends upon other factors, to explore this let’s look at two different markets – the US and the Australian racing.

I’ve traded Australian racing for a long time now and a strange thing happened back in the first lockdown of the pandemic when there was no racing in the UK. We saw an uplift in the amount of liquidity on the US racing and in Australian racing.

To my surprise, the average US race over the period that I monitored turned over about £160,000 and that matched volume is much higher than it previously was. I looked at the Australian racing and that was turning over £135,000 on average which also followed suit by being much higher as well.

We’re seeing that these markets have uplifted by almost 100% which is almost double the normal sort of volume that you would typically expect to see, but this is where things vary quite differently.

When looking at the American racing, I found there were 18 markets taking place that evening and some were taking place first thing the next morning. When I looked at the Australian racing, there were 149 races taking place in the early hours of the morning and running into early morning in the UK. So you can see immediately 18 races in the US compared 149 in Australia. That’s a huge difference.

But the interesting element to note is the impact that has on volume and liquidity, because when I threw up those stats saying there was £160,000 traded on average in the US, it sounded like there was a lot more money in the US than there was in Australia.

However, what you’re looking at is higher volume, but lower liquidity because the US races are evenly spaced out by about half an hour. That money is taking half an hour to build up. So if we take £160,000 divided by 30 minutes, which is half an hour, we end up with about £5300 per minute or less than £100 a second in liquidity.

So £160,000 worth of volume, £88 per second in liquidity which is relatively low. If you are staking in that market you would have to keep your stake at or around that level to ensure you could get out of your position if you so required.

However, if you look at 149 races in Australia, you’re going to see that the average is compressed into very short time periods. So the lower volume, the much higher liquidity. If we take £130, 500 divided by 10 minutes, that equals £13,500 per minute. If we break that down into seconds, we’re talking about two and a half times as much as you get in the US.

So while the volume seems lower, the liquidity is actually higher and vice versa when we compare that to US racing.

Randwick Race Course Sydney, New South Wales.

The interesting thing about this as well is that in Australia you have typical flat turf racing and harness racing. So if you take harness racing out of the equation, the volume figure for the conventional racing, which is what I’ve mentioned here, is higher. We’ve also got different grades within there as well, like with very high profile race meetings at Randwick and Doncaster.

We had the Doncaster in Australia that turned over £750,000 because it was a high grade group one. So high-quality racing brings high-quality courses which produce higher volume and higher liquidity simultaneously.

Then in contrast you have Alice Springs which was a low volume and low liquidity type of race which won’t be ignored, but they’ll be substantially lower volume and substantially lower liquidity.

But can you see, because there are so many races going off in Australia, you’ve got a shorter period of time for that amount of money to come in and that boosts liquidity.

It’s a critical factor if you’re going to actually be a successful Betfair trader as you need to be able to spot markets that are high in liquidity because the ability to get in and out of the market is one of the key components of a skilful trade.

So if you imagine you put an order in the market and the liquidity is high, then that order will get matched quickly and you can decide what to do with the counter order and the time period is relatively narrow. The longer you spend in the market, the more likely it is that a position will go against you.

But also, if the liquidity is low, you can’t dump your order if you feel that you’ve made a mistake. Also think about, if there’s lots of liquidity going through the market, maybe you could do more than one trade in that particular market.

If you can do more than one trade, you can get away with a couple of mistakes because the good ones will balance out any of the bad trades that you will do.

Liquidity is valuable to success

So when you’re looking at a market, it’s critically important to understand what the difference between volume and liquidity is. Lots of people mistake volume in a market for liquidity, but that isn’t necessarily the case.

It’s more a case of how long is that market been open? How much money’s coming through the market over a defined time period and if the markets had ages to accumulate that volume, then liquidity is very likely to be low.

However, if the market has that a small amount of time to accumulate that volume, then liquidity will be high and it will make for a much better trading market.

So next time you go into a market, make sure you’re looking at liquidity and not the volume, that’s the way that you will find a much better trade and creates the perfect Betfair trading market conditions.

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