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Trading Australian racing – How I started

If you are in Australia and are not familiar with my background. I opened my Betfair account shortly after they opened for business way back in June 2000. My vision was the betting exchanges would change the landscape of betting forever because they offered opportunities that traditional bookmakers and sportsbooks were unable to.

It was with that vision, that I quit my well-paid job to take up my role as probably one of the first full-time professional Betfair traders. That led me to create the first serious Betfair trading software, Bet Angel, and a whole range of strategies that has shaped the betting exchange landscape. Trading on Betfair is something I have thoroughly enjoyed for two decades now.

Sports trading is the best job in the world, but difficult to explain and fairly well detached from traditional betting, so it’s often difficult for people to understand. After all, if you said to people I gamble on horse racing and win before the race has started and regardless of who wins, it just some utterly implausible.

But when people ask me now what I do for a living I just reply, “I watch sports for a living”. From there I can talk a bit more about sports and Betfair trading if they are interested.

The simplest summary I can give you about your objective when you are trading a sports market, is that you are doing it in the same way a financial trader trades financial markets.

You watch the amount of money being matched and use that to give you an indication of where the price is going. Profitable trading is achieved by trading the price movement in an underlying asset. Apart from this asset could actually be a football match, some golf or a horse, or more precisely, the chance of a horse winning a race.

A lot of things have happened in the two decades that have passed since. But, despite being on the other side of the world from the action, Australian racing has been a big part of that.

My introduction to trading horse racing on Betfair

Trading horse racing pre-off is my speciality. It’s something I’ve come to love and enjoy for many years now and the scale of what I do has grown over the years as I’ve found better and better ways to trade horse racing markets.

While I was an early adopter of Betfair, joining just days after they opened for business, my foray into racing markets wasn’t immediate. I traded other markets before moving to horse racing.

This was because I knew nothing about horse racing! I had to find a way of making money from horse racing that didn’t rely upon beating people by analysing the form. So fairly quickly I discovered that you could actually trade in and out of positions on sports markets using the Betfair betting exchange and Betfair trading was born. This wasn’t a betting strategy, but something more like trading a financial market.

I soon realised that if I was going to actually trade on Betfair for a living, I need something better than a standard web interface to place my bets and trades and one of the first pieces of Betfair trading software was born, Bet Angel. At first, it just did basic one click betting, but quickly expanded to include a ladder interface, linking to an Excel spreadsheet, watch lists and more advanced strategies on the Betfair exchange.

Bet Angel has allowed me to dramatically increase the scope of the scale of my trading over the last two decades and discover and deploy a whole range of Betfair trading strategies. More specifically in the context of this article, horse racing.

It can do a lot of clever things, by allowing to you trade manually, semi-automatically or fully automated. Explore

Trading horse racing on Betfair

When I started trading pre-off racing on Betfair. The only race meetings that I was particularly familiar with in the UK was the Grand National and Royal Ascot. Most other race meetings meant nothing to me. So, I had to go through the learning curve of trying to understand horse racing at least a little bit.

Of course, the biggest market that I knew about in Australia was the Melbourne Cup. It was a very high-profile race meeting and therefore this naturally drew my attention.

I started looking at Australian racing markets in 2006 when I had a good look at the Melbourne Cup. However, I didn’t feel like I was able to do much about it. In 2007 I returned to have a serious go at attempting to trade the Melbourne Cup in the same way that I would trade in the UK. But it was a tough start in this market.

The Melbourne cup carnival and Freezing nights in my garage

Unsurprisingly, for someone who was not brought up on the finer details of Australian racing. My first foray into the Australian markets was the Melbourne Cup in 2006.

Back around this period, when I first tried to trade it, I was still in my second ever home. Which, by then, was bursting at the seems with a wife and three young kids. Kicked out of the spare room and replaced by twins, the only way I could trade was to convert the garage by splitting it in half and calling it an ‘office’. My Dad helped me create a makeshift space and we did the best we could to insulate it against the outside world.

While it’s a Spring Carnival in Australia, we are heading deeper into winter in the UK. To trade the Melbourne Cup I’d have to get up at 4am, overlay my nightwear with something a bit warmer and make the short walk across the garden in the pitch black and freezing cold temperatures to reach the garage and fire up the PC. Shivering until the heater kicked in, dosed up with coffee, I would attempt to gather some composure before trading the market.

The Melbourne Cup 2006

Therefore, my determination to be able to understand Australian racing and to be able to trade it effectively more or less started with the Melbourne Cup. After three years of getting up in the early hours of the morning on a Tuesday in November to little reward. I managed to make some progress on the big race and by 2008 my effort was starting to be justified.

My epiphany on Australian racing

My early activity on Australian racing was mainly limited to the Melbourne Cup. The amounts getting matched on the big race were growing nicely, in 2008 it matched roughly $4m AUD.

My antipathy for all the other race meetings changed in April 2009, when I found myself wandering around my house in the early hours of the morning UK time. I fired up a copy of Bet Angel and I had a look at what markets were available early in the morning on a Saturday. It turned out there was a fair amount of liquidity available on the Australian racing, which was promising. But I didn’t recognise any of the courses.

But as the markets developed, the volume began to rise. So I sat there and watched the markets unfold in front of my eyes. I quickly grabbed my mouse and started trading. It was at this moment that I realised that rather than just the Melbourne Cup in Australia, there was plenty of decent racing taking place on other days, especially on a Saturday.

I was hooked!  I continued to trade for the rest of the session and managed to get roughly $500 out of the feature race.

At the end of the trading session, I returned to bed as my wife was getting up. I finally managed to get some sleep and woke later to do my normal trading in the UK. My pattern of activity was set and from that day onwards I started trading Australian racing as well as UK racing markets.

That morning was the moment that I truly discovered Australian racing. From that point onwards it was a case of familiarizing myself with the nature of the markets, where the key liquidity was and all of the racecourses in Australia.

Learning the geography of Australia

Suddenly my geographic knowledge of Australia exploded as I began to understand that Ascot actually wasn’t a racecourse just 20 minutes up the road from me. It was in fact just outside Perth on the west coast of Australia. Suddenly places like Morphettville, Eagle Farm, Warwick Farm, Flemington Caulfield and Randwick, were all names that were familiar to me.

As my knowledge built, so did the results that I managed to get from each of the individual race meetings. I began to realize that there was an ebb and flow and a structure to the underlying markets that took place in Australia and I could specifically target key periods where the racing was of higher quality and greater liquidity in order to be able to actively trade the markets.

As my presence grew in Australian markets, I began to get more and more ambitious and every time the spring carnival came around at Flemington I would get truly excited with the prospect of what I could do with what was in front of me.

As my knowledge of Australian racing and the markets grew, so did my results. Back in 2009 on Melbourne cup day, I managed my first ever result of over $2000 in just one day. Little did I realise that ten years later, I would be doing that on just the big race alone!

I’ve now been trading Australian racing for over a decade and over that time I’ve moved out from just trading the Melbourne cup, then trading the feature meetings, to trading all the racing cards seven days a week.

When we get to the key periods within the markets I shift up a gear and begin to focus on some of the major race meetings that take place. Typically I will manually trade them to the best of my ability. But I also use features in Bet Angel like the advanced automation to trade, when I don’t fancy getting up in early hours UK time to trade a lower quality racing card. This also supplements my manual trading when I am behind my desk.

Trading is a brilliant way to profit from your knowledge of the sports markets and can improve a strategy you may already have. But ultimately it’s the ability to win whatever the result of the underlying race that is most appealing. Even if that race is right around the other side of the world!

If you want to learn to trade betting markets then download a free trial of Bet Angel. We have two versions available, Bet Angel trader is useful if you are just starting out and Bet Angel Professional is there if you want to step up a gear.

The post Trading Australian racing – How I started appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Betfair Trading – Scalping – Explained Part 1/3

The most common Betfair trading technique and one of the first things most people will come across and want to try when beginning their Betfair trading journey is ‘Scalping’. If you’ve landed here without knowing what Scalping have a read of this blog first on Scalping Explained.

What is Scalping?

To quickly summerise what Scalping is, in its most basic form scalping involves backing and laying a selection or runner for small 1 or 2 tick price movements. One of the reasons Scalping is so popular among both new and more experienced traders is because its possible to make profit without even needing to predict the longer-term direction of the odds.

To help put this into practice and demonstrate why you need Betfair Trading Software and specialist tools like those found in Bet Angel the following three-part blog series will explain in detail the following; –

  • What is Scalping?
  • The Different Methods of Scalping
  • What to Look For in different Markets
  • How to use the Tools of Bet Angel to Efficiently Scalp any Situation

In this first in part, I’ll be looking at how to identify a selection/runner with a stable price when its the best time to try and scalp a tick profit and what tool you can use in Bet Angel to do this quickly with just one click of your mouse, allowing you to get your back and lay in and out of the market as quickly and as often as possible, hopefully with a profit.

With speed being of the essence when scalping Bet Angel has an arsenal of options and tools available to help you do this quicker and easier. Using some of these tools its possible you can make complete scalping trades (back, lay & cash out) all with just one click of your mouse, push of a key or even fully automate it while not even at your PC, but the automation part is for separate blog, for now I’m looking only at scalping pre-off horse racing and pre-off and half time football markets.

Bet Angel’s Make Market Button

Perhaps the easiest way to begin ‘scalping’ using Bet Angel without even needing to set anything up is with the dedicated ‘Make Market’ button, which is available on the one click grid screen.

You can see in the image below this looks very similar to the Betfair trading grid but with a noticeable difference and that’s the ‘Make Market’ button for each selection on the right of the screen – that one button is all you need to scalp with Bet Angel!

The ‘Make Market’ button will instruct the software to place both a back and lay bet simultaneously at the best reverse prices, in the image above if you clicked the ‘Make Market’ button for the Draw it would place/offer a £10 back bet at 3.55 and a £10 lay bet at 3.50 – if both bets get matched you will have secured a small profit, this can be repeated as many or few times as you wish and on as many different selections as you want.

All you need to do is before clicking the ‘Make Market’ button is decide which selection or runner to scalp – and when to do it to give the highest overall chance of sucsess.

Identifying a selection or runner to scalp

For this first example, I’m looking at scalping a pre-off horse racing market, you could also use this same method and ‘Make Market’ button for scalping football pre-off or during half time as well as many others.

With this method of scalping, you’re ideally looking for a selection or runner whose price is quite steady. By that we mean it’s not one whose odds are drifting or steaming quickly. In the image below of a pre-off horse racing market.

I’ve identified the runner named ‘Rupert Bear’ as just one of a few runners whose odds are currently very steady, this can be seen from its micro chart we highlighted next to its name. The micro chart shows the price movement over the last 30-seconds, as you can see from the chart its hasn’t moved anywhere during the last 30secs at least.

On the right of the screen I’ve placed a ladder for this runner, this is just for illustration purposes so you can see how the bets would appear once the ‘Make Market’ button is clicked. Its also useful in that it’s showing that even over the long term its remained within a solid 4 tick range, this reinforces the fact the price on this runner is very steady and ideal for scalping.

When we say ‘four tick range’ when trading, we are saying that most of the money has been matched between decimal odds of 10.5 and 12. You can see this on the yellow volume bars on the right-hand side of the ladder interface which we have inset on this image.

Once you have identified a runner whose price looks steady the next thing to check for is the amount of unmatched money there is waiting on either side of its current price, as your bets will be queued behind this you’ll be wanting to see a similar amount waiting on both the back and lay side. That way both should near the front of the queue and get matched around the same time. On ‘Rupert Bear’ you can see there is £154 one side and £166 on the other so it’s about as close as you can get.

If both sides had very small amounts of money waiting to be matched that would be even better as you would be instantly near the front of the order queue with both your back and lay bets and should be matched pretty quickly. The worst time to use the ‘Make Market’ button and try and scalp is when there is a much smaller amount of money waiting on one side compared to the other.

If you look at the runner above ‘Dulhallowcounty’ there is £13 on one side and £172 the other, trying to scalp this means your almost certain to have your lay bet at 6.0 matched quickly as there is only £13 in front of you but there’s a good chance that the price will then move down a tick leaving your back bet stuck at 6.2 behind nearly £200 of money waiting to be matched. This will force you to either scratch, get out for a zero profit/loss, or worse; take a 1 tick loss.

So, at this moment in time ‘Rupert Bear’ is in the ideal runner to try and scalp using the ‘Make Market’ button in this pre-off market. As I mentioned above as soon as it’s clicked a back and lay bet will simultaneously be placed and will be shown in the unmatched area at the bottom of your screen. Hopefully, they’ll be matched fairly quickly and when they do they will disappear from the unmatched bets area.

And that’s all there is to it! You can now repeat this process over and over, once the criteria of a steady price and similar amounts of money are waiting on both sides can be seen. If not on the same runner, then any of the others.

When you have finished scalping a market you have the option of leaving any profits on just the runners you have traded on or to ‘Green Up’ (cash out) and spread that equally across all runners so you profit no matter who wins.

Looking at the image below at the moment I can leave things as they are and will make a profit of £25 but only if ‘Rupert Bear’ wins, however, I will lose nothing if any other runner wins. Or with the ‘Green’ box ticked it’s showing me I can ‘Green up’ for an equal profit of £1.87 across all selections no matter which runner wins. To do this I just need to click on any of the figure’s shown in the trade profit column once and the software will do this for me.

Similarly, if you get one bet matched and the price starts to move before the other side is matched you can click the figure in this trade profit column and that will close the trade for you for a small loss or scratch. Then as above you can begin the process again!

Follow the instructions on the article and you should be well on your way to getting your first successful trade through the market.

In parts 2 and 3 of this series of blogs I’ll be detailing other ways of scalping pre-off racing and the pre-off and HT football markets using different tools and options within Bet Angel.

The post Betfair Trading – Scalping – Explained Part 1/3 appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Bet Angel for an Apple Mac iOS, iPhone or iPad

We often get queries on whether you can use Bet Angel or any Betfair trading software on a Mac or an iPhone or an Android tablet or pretty much any smartphone or device. I have posted up some information in the forum and on YouTube. But I thought I would give a full explanation here so it’s easy to find.

Bet Angel is written specifically for a Microsoft Windows platform, but there are many ways in which you can run in on another platform such as iOS on a Mac or even an Apple iPhone. Here are some options as to how you can do this: –

Run ‘Bootcamp’ and install windows on your Mac

In your Mac there is a utility you can find via finder called ‘Bootcamp’.

Search for ‘bootcamp’ and you locate the ‘Boot camp assistant’. If you run this app it will let you install Windows, Bootcamp will tell you which version you need. You will need to buy a Windows license, but they are pretty cheap nowadays. Drop a note to support if you want help locating an official license.

With Bootcamp up and running the next time you start up, your Mac or Macbook will prompt you to ask which operating system you wish to run. You can only use one or the other operating system, you can’t intermingle them. However. it is easy to switch between them by rebooting or using the Bootcamp app in the taskbar. If you want to look cool and trendy with my Mac, but also use it as a Windows machine when needed, this is the way you would do it.

If you don’t feel confident doing this the Apple stores will actually do it for you as long as you can bring in a windows license of some sort. You can order them online and you just need the license code because the operating system can be downloaded.

Use ‘Virtual box’ –

Virtual box is free emulator software that works by installing a piece of software that sits onto your existing Mac OS to allow you to run other operating systems. The advantage of this is that you can run a different operating system from right on your Mac and flick between that and your other Mac applications. There is no need to choose, you can just flick backwards and forwards.

 The downside of this method is that your performance may suffer a little. This is because you are running two operating systems on one machine, that’s bound to have a bit of an impact.

Use ‘Parallels’

Virtual box is free emulator but there are paid alternatives. The most popular is Parallels. You have to pay a fair amount for this emulator, but it does include a Windows license and the main difference between this and something like Virtual box is that you have a mode called ‘coherence’. This will run your Windows applications inside iOS. The experience in pretty seamless and Bet Angel runs well on this platform as an independent piece of software inside iOS.

It will hog your system for resources though, so you need to balance that out with your requirements for other tasks that you aim to run on your Apple Mac. But the software will run exactly the same as it does on a PC and all functionality like watch lists, Guardian, practice mode and all your favourite trading tools behave exactly the same.

Use ‘wine’ –

Wine (originally an acronym for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on several POSIX-compliant operating systems, such as Linux, macOS, & BSD. Sounds complicated, but it is basically a bit of software that sits on your native device and allows you to run windows on it. We have not tested and can not confirm it works perfectly, but wine is a popular way of running Windows applications on non-windows devices.

Use a virtual private server (VPS)  –

Using a VPS, a virtual private server, is perhaps the best solution because there are many benefits to using it.

Not only can you run it on a Mac or MacBook in a very lightweight manner, but you can also run it on any internet-enabled device from anywhere in the world. Whether you have an Android device or a typical smartphone / mobile phone. Using a VPS will allow you to access your Betfair trading software on any device. RDP client software is generally free, so you have many devices all of which can connect to Bet Angel.

A VPS is connected to the internet permanently, so it’s a great safety feature if your main connection is struggling and it can also run 24/7 without you need to check on it. It works just like a desktop PC but it’s actually a server in a datacentre located near to the exchanges. It’s a neat solution.

You also don’t need to buy a windows licence as that is already pre-installed on the VPS. I actively use VPS’s because they are very low bandwidth and mean I can run strategies 24/7. You will need some remote desktop software to connect to your VPS and the free Microsoft remote desktop seems to do the job just fine.

Watch the video below to see me using Bet Angel on an iPad pro. This works particularly well as you have an Apple Pencil which can be required for some precision click betting or trading and will help anybody who is a bit hamfisted!

Turn an iPad on its side and you have a supplementary ladder interface! The battery life on these devices tends to be very long as well, so any of these types of devices are really useful for either trading or as a back-up device if anything goes wrong with your main machine. Using a VPS gets around two other problems as well.

You can access it through multiple methods to check on your automation for example, even if you are work. Without having to log into the Betfair site, where you may find you are blocked. But also if you are travelling a VPS is very lightweight and location independent. Any connection you make with Betfair will always originate from our datacentre equipment in the UK.

While it’s a little more expensive, it has many more benefits than other methods.


So there you go, some options on how to run Bet Angel or for that face any Betfair trading software on a Mac, Macbook, or other device than a PC.

While it is a little more expensive, I tend to use a VPS, as it gives you a massive range of options in terms of how you use software and it’s device-independent. So you can turn up anywhere on any device and start trading. It’s useful for automation as well, so that’s my preferred method.

When I am travelling I actually use a Macbook Pro and the latest generation iPad. They compliment each other well and if I’m trading manually and with some automation, the gesture control on the Macbook pro works fantastically as I can flick between different version of Bet Angel in a flash.

I also have an iPhone XS max which acts as a back up device if everything else goes wrong. I can use the larger screen to get access to Bet Angel via a VPS really quickly and exit any positions. My UPS and other options have more or less seen the bin.

Of course, I’m trading at a high level, so I want all options available to me. But hopefully all the options I have listed above, give you a fair bit of choice.

The post Bet Angel for an Apple Mac iOS, iPhone or iPad appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Bet Angel – Tips – Import and export settings

If you are using Bet Angel V1.51.1 or above, there is the option to quickly import and export individual saved settings and layout profiles. You have always been able to import and export a variety of things, but above this version number, it’s much more comprehensive.

This is particularly useful because, as a feature-rich piece of Betfair trading software, it’s important to be able to move all your data and settings around with ease. I use dropbox to duplicate all my main settings.

The following are useful features and advice if you have Bet Angel installed on multiple computers or a VPS when you have created a setting or layout profile on one PC. But then want to use it on another without the hassle of setting it up again from scratch.

The process to export or import key settings into Bet Angel is simple. Just follow the on-screen menu items: –

Screen layout settings

The screen layout settings on Bet Angel allow you to quickly switch between your own ‘perfect’ trading screen. You can undock and modify the screen as much as you wish and move different parts of Bet Angel to different areas on the screen. You can even move Bet Angel panels onto different monitors and store all these screen settings under a profile. Just a single click on your Bet Angel main screen will bring up an unlimited list of your favourite screen layouts. Perhaps one for pre-off, one for in-play and others for the same states in different sports.

To save, import or export these settings look under the ‘view’ menu item.

Import and export screen layouts on Bet Angel

Bet Angel main settings

Bet Angel can be modified in a number of different ways, the amount of customisation on the settings is massive. If you haven’t checked it out, the main settings panel in Bet Angel allows you to modify a large number of things in the way that Bet Angel operates. Again, you can create a range of modifications and options specific to your trading style and sport and select them with a couple of clips from within Bet Angel.

To save, import and export custom settings. Rather appropriately, head to the ‘Settings’ menu.

Bet Angel Ladder settings

As will all other settings, the Ladder settings on Bet Angel can create a huge range of versatility and flexibility on the ladder interface. There are too many options to list here, but at a fundamental level, you can make your Bet Angel ladder look and behave like any other ladder you have used…. and then some. In this area, you can configure special information that is tailored to your specific trading strategy. Check out the information on this blog post.

To create, import or export the ladder settings. Click on the spanner in the ladder pane and go to the settings tab.

Transfer ALL settings to a new PC

If you have just installed Bet Angel on a new PC or remote server, you may wish to transfer all your existing Bet Angel settings including all saved layouts, settings, and servant/automation files etc in one go.

To do this, navigate to or copy and paste the following into your address bar in windows explorer: –

%homepath%\AppData\Roaming\Bet Angel\Bet Angel Professional
(or if you’re using Bet Angel Trader then replace Professional with Trader at the end)

Then select ALL the files and folders in the view you see and copy them to the same location on your new PC. If you are already logged into Bet Angel you can use a shortcut to get to the same area.

Open guardian and click on the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab located above the main Guardian banner, from here click ‘Explore Reports Folder’. Then in the window that opens, click ‘Bet Angel Professional’ in the address bar to step back one page as shown in the image below that will take you to the same Bet Angel directory as the link above.


Bet Angel has a massive range of customisation features, which makes it one of the most customisable pieces of software out there. This is great for your trading as you can tweak Bet Angel to suit your particular edge or Betfair trading strategy.

Whether it the grid interface, the ladder or any of the other features, all the trading tools can be used to carefully construct exactly what you want depending or what you want to do or wish to replicate. Now porting all those settings between PC’s or devices is simple using the import and export functions or just doing a straight copy of the key files.

If you want to learn to trade and haven’t used Bet Angel we offer a free trial, so you can learn more about these features and have a good play with all of them in training mode.

The post Bet Angel – Tips – Import and export settings appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.