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Royal Ascot – Top Five Betfair trading Tips

As we head into June we come up against one of the biggest horse racing markets meetings of the year, Royal Ascot 2019 is upon us! It is one of the highest profile race meetings that you get outside of the Grand National.

Royal Ascot – Setting the scene

Royal Ascot is an absolutely huge meeting. It runs from Tuesday to Saturday and it’s packed full of top-class racing.

Well know for the horse-drawn, royal procession, most of the races are carefully tagged Royal nomination, like the Diamond jubilee stakes. With the Queen watching on from the Royal Enclosure not only are we treated to high-quality racing, but, in normal times, it’s also one of the key social events of the year.

Royal Ascot tickets for the grandstand, where you can enjoy Michelin stars standard fine dining, as well as a good view; are expensive and tough to come by. But fortunately, there are plenty of other options available outside of the grandstand and even on the heath that is enclosed inside the Ascot racecourse. Wherever you are though, the dress code will be very strict.

This year is going to be very different with a much smaller crowd, less bookmaker interest and Euro 2020 championships on. So I think the markets will feel a bit weaker this year, epsecially with the lack of crowds at the course.

You may be interested to know that before and after Royal Ascot you can actually get access to the racecourse. Here is a video I did, which shows you how you can get access.

Betfair trading at Royal Ascot

There are plenty of ways to profit at Ascot. As you should know, my specialilty is pre race trading.

I turn up to the races at Ascot about 30 minutes before the racing post time on a big race like the Gold Cup and look at the price action and try and fit that to a trading system. If I do that well the results can be very rewarding and I’m assured of a profit regardless of who goes on to win. If I don’t do so well I try and cut out for the smallest possible loss. It’s the best way to profit from Royal Ascot.

Here are some top tips for trading Royal Ascot: –

6. Put your focus into Ascot

When you get a big race meeting like Royal Ascot it’s worth spending a lot of time putting your focus into those races when trading on a betting exchange. Of course, there will be other racing going on around there but the volume and the interest in Royal Ascot will take a little bit of activity away from the other race meetings that are on, on that particular day.

The first time I ever really went for it at Royal Ascot was in 2006 and I thought I did pretty well back then. But, as the years have passed I’ve got more and more confident which means there are more things I can figure out that work in these types of markets.

You do need to expect to get some good years and bad years depending upon how the markets behave. Some years can be pretty spectacular; when your focus is there, you get the right sort of markets and there are no interruptions then you can get some pretty spectacular totals. It is a key meeting for me and it’s something that I’m going to put a lot of focus into again, this year.

5. Some trades are obvious

One thing I’ll be doing is keeping an eye on the weather. You can’t unwater the ground so when the temperature rises and the thread of a downpour increases it’s worth keeping your eye on horses that don’t like softening ground.

We had a brilliant example at Ascot 2019 where Sea of Class was under constant threat of not running because of worsenening conditions. It did run, but guess what happened to the price?

Going changes are always worth keeping an eye on and if you do your homework, you can net a tidy profit from discounting their effect in the market.

4. Volume arrives early

When you’re actively trading on Betfair at Royal Ascot, volume arrives very early so you tend to find that after the previous race is finished – people start betting on the next race. This is one of those markets that you can actually trade for an extended period of time.

One of the things you know at big race meetings is you get some very large turnover races and that can be a problem because the market gets very congested. What tends to happen is the volume arrives much earlier and it tends to crush a lot of the other races that are around it, so you need to be aware of them.

Back in 2012, we had Frankel and Black Caviar running at very short odds, so the race with Frankel in it turned over about £6.5 million and the race with Black Caviar, which was a high profile feature race, actually turned over 12.5 million. However, be mindful that Ascot suffers the market can be pretty congested, so you may want to:

  • Start a little bit earlier
  • Adapt your style
  • Perhaps move away from the favourite

Obviously, as I’ve said before in other blogs, I love those big races, there are many options that you’ve got in other ways of trading these particular races, if you want to avoid the big ones.

3. Watch out for jockey trainer gambles

Keep your eyes on the jockey and the trainers who win at Royal Ascot because if there’s a little sequence of events that occurs it could drive interest in the next race.

When you mention Royal Ascot everybody remembers that Frankie Dettori won 7/7 races here in one of the most unprecedented feats in horse-racing. Now that’s not going to happen this year (or I hope it isn’t now that I’ve said that) but typically what can happen is you get jockey-trainer gamble’s occurring at major meetings. The last time that this happened was at Royal Ascot in 2015 when Ryan Moore won a few races and that set off a huge gamble on all of the subsequent horses within that particular card. So, keep your eye out during Royal Ascot if this is going to happen again, if you get one or two winners and some of the unexpected, or maybe at a decent price with a certain jockey-trainer partnership then that could happen again.

2. The week starts with a bang!

Royal Ascot is unusual, in that the biggest races of the week tend to occur on the Tuesday. There are very good quality races for the remainder of the week but it’s the first day of the Ascot Festival that tends to start with a bang.

Over the last 10 years, it’s turned over an average of about £65 million over the course of the meeting and the meeting runs from a Tuesday to a Saturday. Individual races probably turn over somewhere in the region of about £1.5 million and you get between about £12-15 million a day.

Curiously, unlike other big race meetings, Tuesday is actually one of the biggest days of the week. There is very high-quality group racing throughout that week –  absolutely huge meeting, huge turnover, very high-quality racing one of the biggest race meetings of the year.

1. Some years have a theme running through them

Typically when we look at a meeting that occurs when there’s a major football tournament on, the turnover and the activity in the market takes a bit of a hit. In 2021 we have a major football tournament taking place and as a consequence we expect volumes at Royal Ascot to be down on previous years.

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Using a shortcut to Find Markets Quickly and Easily

How to find what you need, quickly

The ability to navigate to the next/previous market or even event that you want is something we all want to do quickly and with minimal effort as possible.

As with everything else in Bet Angel, there is always more than one way to do something which means that no matter what market types you trade or how you want to navigate them there will be a way for you to navigate them with ease.

In addition to all the regular and ways you can select and navigate between markets, I’m going to show in more detail here is perhaps the most powerful, but also most underused way.

Using keyboard shortcuts to jump straight to opportunties

We know there isn’t a one size fits all when it comes navigating through markets because everybody trades different types of sports and markets and people will even have there own preference on which ones they want to switch between at certain times, so rather than constrain everyone to limited number of ways to navigate and switch between them Bet Angel also gives you the tools and options to make navigating them suit what’s best for you and what you want to do.

In this blog, I’ll go through how you can quickly and easily create your own keyboard shortcuts to enable you to jump straight to the next/previous market or event you are interested in – and without even needing to have a market selection window, Guardian or a watch list open.

Before going any further if you are not familiar with the keyboard short cut editor in Bet Angel this blog explains how to find it and set up some shortcut keys in further detail.

Once you are familiar with the keyboard editor the category we can now look at using it to make the tasks of navigating between markets quicker and easier for you. When you launch the keyboard shortcut editor all the options we are interested in for this can be found in the ‘Navigation’ category, specifically those highlighted in the image below.

If you are only trading just one type of sport and could find them using the ‘Search’ or ‘Quick Picks’ tab or a Market Filter then using the first two options are probably all you’d need to create a shortcut action for.

For example you could assign your ‘N’ key to ‘Select the next market from the market selection window’ and ‘P’ key to ‘Select the previous market from the market selection window’.

Then let’s assume you are using the ‘Search’ tab to find Cricket match odds markets.

If you were to begin by selecting the ‘England V New Zealand’ match odds market and open it onto your trading screen, even with the market selection window now closed if you were to press your ‘N’ key it would load the ‘Essex V Warwick’ match (as its the next market in the selection window) , press it again and it would load the ‘Gloucestershire V Somerset’ match, and pressing your ‘P’ key will of course take you back to the previous market.

Trading Different Types of Markets

If you are someone who trades multiple sports and different types of markets you will likely already be searching and adding the markets you are interested in each day (or upcoming days) into Guardian and maybe even a watchlist, for those who might not already be aware there are several ways you can do this with as little as a few clicks or just the push of a key each day, for more details on finding exactly the type of markets you are after each day please see this blog.

Sorting your Markets

Once you have your markets in ‘Guardian’ you can click the column headers to sort them in that order, and then if required by holding down your ‘shift’ key and clicking another column header you can do a secondary sort.

If you have your markets in a ‘Watch list’ at the top of the watchlist window you also have an option to ‘Sort’ markets in a variety of ways using either market or selection level.

Obviously the way you choose to sort your markets are a matter of personal preference whether this is by volume, market name, start time or another piece of market information and you would set up your shortcut keys depending on what suits your needs best.

Remember whether you create short cuts keys to navigate markets in your Guardian list or a watch list neither of these windows need to be visible or even open to use your shortcut keys.

A Typical Days Trading

Below I’ve got a typical days list of markets which I’ve just loaded into Guardian and are sorted by the start time.

Now to help me navigate them the way I would want too I’ve created six shortcut keys, you can see from the description of each shortcut created in the image what each will do when pressed.

Using the Shortcut Keys to Navigate

Now let’s look at how these will work in practice using the list of markets in Guardian shown above as a reference and how each shortcut key is set up in a little closer detail. The first two shortcut keys (N and P) will allow me to navigate through all the markets in Guardian.

The next two shortcut keys I’ve created (Shift+N and Shift+P) will allow me to navigate through all the markets within the same event, these are handy if I want to concentrate on a particular event like a football match for a while, as I’ll be able to quickly switch between different markets for just that fixture without accidently opening a market from another match etc.

The final two short cut keys (E and Shift+E) are to quickly navigate my football markets, when pressed they will take me to the same market type but in the next or previous event, so if I had the ‘Arsenal V Brighton – Over/Under2.5’ market open by pressing this shortcut key it will take me to the ‘Aston Villa V Chelsea – Over/Under 2.5’ market, press it again the ‘Fulham V Newcastle – Over/Under Market 2.5’.

If I were to open the ‘Liverpool V Crystal Palace – Match Odds Market’ then press ‘Shift+P’ it will take me back to the ‘Fulham V Newcastle – Match Odds’ market and if there wasn’t a match odds market for that fixture it would skip it and open the match odds market for ‘Aston Villa V Chelsea’.

Combining the Shortcuts

Let’s have a re-cap and look at using these in a combination during every day trading, pressing ‘N or P’ I can navigate through all of the markets in the Guardian list, I then for whatever reason decide to settle on the ‘Liverpool V Crystal Palace Over/Under 2.5’ market, I now have the option of using my (Shift+N and Shift+P) keys to navigate only through the other Liverpool V Fulham markets or can use the (E and Shift+E) keys to move between my other Over/Under 2.5 football market types.

I may then arrive at the ‘Arsenal V Brighton Over/Under 2.5’ market and want to check out the other over/under markets of this fixture, I can do this by using my (Shift+N and Shift+P) keys again.

As I said near the start of this blog everybody trades different types of sports and markets and in different ways but with the keyboard shortcuts available you should be able to create a set of shortcut keys to navigate them in the way that you want – and if there isn’t a short cut action to do what you want feel free to add it or any other idea’s you might like to see implemented into Bet Angel in a future update to the suggestion area on our forum.

The post Using a shortcut to Find Markets Quickly and Easily appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

How it started, how it’s going….

They say in life two things are certain, death and taxes. I’m almost certain that one other thing will happen though. I can imagine it now, I’m lying there on my death bed, my life is slowly ebbing away and finally, I’m gone. I’m pretty sure at that point a message will be sent somewhere saying……

See, I told you he doesn’t trade anymore!

Starting out

As I write this blog, it’s the same week that Betfair was launched back in June 2000. That means that I’m very close to crossing over into year 22 of my Betfair trading journey. If you would have told me all those years ago that I’d still be trading now, I would have scoffed at the thought.

Let’s face it, I got a bit lucky. was an early internet adopter, had worked in the industry, I was very familiar with financial market trading and I was taking an active interest in the VC circuit during the dot com boom. But of course, finding an opportunity and doing something about are very different things. But find an opportunity I did.

I remember the moment I discovered the concept of betting exchanges, even before they were launched. They seemed such a great prospect! Before long I had signed up discovered how to trade and that made me think this could actually be a life-changing moment. It was.

I quit my job and off I went into the unknown.

Complete failure

One of the most curious things about my journey is how sceptical people have been, I really hadn’t expected that. That said, I expected it at the very start. I mean, how many times has somebody actually, honestly, found a way to make money betting?

But of course, it really was different this time as ‘all’ you had to do was be better on average than others on the exchange. As my journey continued onward to every higher height I felt that surely, surely, people would be able to work out what was possible. But they didn’t, but that experience led me into a completely new area to explore and pushed me higher still.

But it’s an unfortunate fact that, for all their many massive advantages to joe punter, betting exchanges have never really become front and centre of the betting world. You find all these years later that the way betting is promoted, including exchanges, feels more like something that I would still recognise from my first foray into the bookies, back in the early ’90s. The general betting narrative hasn’t really changed, perhaps deliberately, and therefore they still remain a niche of a niche, in a niche, in a geographic niche.

When you look a the technological advancements elsewhere, it feels like a complete failure of the betting industry to provide an experience that is in touch with modern standards. It’s no wonder the industry has such a terrible reputation.

This is one thing I got very wrong. I’d imagined that by now exchanges would completely dominate the betting markets around the world. But this vision has proved some what errant and the attitude and reuptation of the industry means I still find myself dodging the question of ‘what do you do for a living’.

How’s it going

I hate bringing Warren Buffett into something to do with Gambling, as he has often qouted his dislike of the industry, but I once heard him discuss corporate governance.

An audience member once asked him about what advice he would give to somebody running one of his business. His answer was quite simple, “Imagine you wake up tomorrow and all of your secrets and splashed across a newspaper. Think about how you would react and feel if that happened, then base your decisions on that.”

I’ve probably slightly paraphrased that sentence given the time I first heard this, but it’s a brilliant piece of advice that I’ve taken on board in my entire career. This is why I feel it’s really important for me to ‘eat my own dog food’ on the Betfair trading front. I know that’s unusual in the industry and probably not necessary, but it’s important to me.

I’ve also taken a lesson from when I was trying to win a major dividend on the football pools. When I finally did it, it was instantly dismissed as just a bit of luck. The fact I’d actually won hundreds of minor dividends in the run-up to that big win, a mere minor detail.

Why I collect lots of data

So when I started trading, I knew that record-keeping was going to be something I did from day one. Not only would it be able to document my entire journey, but it would also allow me to quantify, test and improve all my strategies.

I still have the spreadsheet from the very first bet on Betfair. All subsequent activity is carefully filed by month and year. It’s actually quite cumbersome to do this each week, but many times I’ve used data, notes or references from prior years to solve a problem at some point in the future. It turned into a treasure trove of information. I use it as the basis on which to construct models for all my strategies.

One of the other reasons I do this is it also allows me to show, unequivocally, what I’ve achieved. Since the premium charge was implemented I haven’t had to archive so much data as, unfortunately, I get a summary each week! But now and again I will contact Betfair anyhow, and get them to confirm certain things. I’ve had to do this sometimes when I’ve done press work, but it also helps me chase down some very long term targets.

I display some of these on my wall in my office so that people who come here know what is actually possible and get some context of what it takes to achieve that. When David came to visit me he saw this and kindly did an unprompted write-up. Have a read of his blog and the rather bizarre comment it got.

It’s a common theme and something that isn’t new to me anymore. I’ve come to terms with it and accept that it’s pointless arguing with people who don’t want to understand, it just seems a waste of energy. I’d much prefer to spend my time helping those that can see the vision.

Optionally, sit down and put in the hard work that I and many others have done. Betfair markets match tens of BILLIONS a year and if you are looking for a great opportunity where you can compete on a level playing field, there it is. Even if you are only slightly better than average, you will do just great. But also accept it will take some time and effort to become good at it, just like any other skill.

Now and the future

So, this blog is a slightly long-winded way of saying that as I enter year 22, I’m still as active as ever and intend to be for the foreseeable future. But it’s inevitable that I will eventually reduce my activity.

Why? Well, I am getting older and as you age you start to focus on how much time you have left to fulfil all your dreams. There are a few things still left on the bucket list that don’t age well. I’ve ticked a lot off, but there are still a few I’d like to achieve outside of my day to day stuff.

So far, I think I’ve done a great job of balancing off the various life demands as I’ve gone along. I never actually planned to be going for this long, but you inevitably start to wonder when you should stop? One mistake I’ve made is that I never actually set a bar for ‘success’, so I ended up finding myself with no reasonable measure for it! I just kept on pushing at the boundaries of what was possible. In hindsight, I think I would set a demonstrable measure to reach.

One of the potential limiters for me is the fact that the market is not growing. I now have large interests outside of my sports trading, which need a lot of attention. So I think it’s reasonable that whichever grows fastest will probably get more attention in the future. But, as I have mentioned above, I still feel it’s important to continue trading. Aside from the ethical stance, it’s still perfectly possible to make it very worthwhile.

One thing that has helped me over the last decade or so is automation. I still love to trade, so I sit down most days and actively manually trade. But when I do this, automation acts as a supplement to my manual trading when I am behind my desk. Whether I decided to trade manually or not, automation now runs pretty much 24×7 for me across a range of events. Some of it actively trading, some gathering data, some waiting to pounce on an opportunity. Automation or semi-automation has really allowed me to reach a new level and remain active in the second half of my Betfair trading career.

And with that, exactly what constitutes ‘remain active’ nowadays?

Around major meetings, I capture all my bet history from Betfair and archive it for analysis. I would do this for all my activity in my early days, but it’s too cumbersome and unnecessary to do that nowadays. But last Saturday, to make a point, I archived my bet history on Betfair and summarised it on a pivotable, you can see the summary in the image below.

The summary shows that on Saturday I traded just short of £345k through the markets. I trust this gives you an appreciation of what is possible if you are prepared to work hard at what you do.

Curiously the middle number is my manual trading, which I think is the opposite of what people expect. The only ‘special’ thing going on with these numbers is 20 years of experience and that Saturdays are the busiest day of the week. These are the days where I really go for it, focusing on doing as much as I can on as many events as possible on the biggest day of the week. We also had the Derby on this day which helped a bit, despite being some way below expectations.

I realise these numbers seem high. But if you are trading properly then you should match a lot on a busy day, even if you are using small stakes. That’s one of the amazing benefits of using a betting exchange and trading on it. If you want to understand how it’s possible to hit large numbers while still using small stakes, I explain more about this, in this blog post with a similar example.

Regardless of where my future is, I’m still going to keep doing everything I can to tell my story, so that many others will still have the opportunity to do some of the things that I have done. I realise trading isn’t for everybody and that I’m unusual in a number of different aspects. I also don’t want to set unrealistic expectations for sure. But on the other hand, can you imagine going through the same journey and not getting enthusiastic about it?

So if you have realistic expectations, approach things sensibly and do things for the right reasons, then go for it! The opportunity is still there. You shouldn’t aim to replicate what I have done, but you should pursue something that you want to do, have some passion for and where you think your skills or knowledge will give you an egde.

If you do that and work hard at it, I’m sure you will reach your goal. But don’t forget to set one!!!!

The post How it started, how it’s going…. appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

It’s Summer and that means two-card Tuesdays!

We have reached the time of year when Monday and Tuesday racing drops to two cards in the afternoon in the UK.

The impact of just two race meetings

This is an important time of year, as we drop to two race meetings in the UK. That means that the characteristic of meetings on Monday and Tuedays may change from what you have been familiar with recently. Earlier in the week, Racing tends to be lower quality and that combines with the 15-minute gaps in-between the cards leads to change market conditions overall.

Lower quality racing tends to be more volatile for starters. You have horses running that maybe didn’t perform well in their prior race, which then win this time around. When money comes for something, people follow. Ultimately, lower quality racing is tricky to predict. Throw in bigger gaps between races and this means lower liquidity as well. Lower liquidity also means markets are more volatile. It’s a double whammy on the volatility front.

My angle

I know everybody is different, but I often find the cards on a Monday and Tuesday afternoon unappealing. This is primary due to the long gaps between races, particulary when there is no Irish racing on.

The long run in between races means it’s much harder for me to build a decent position in the market. If that position goes wrong, then it’s much harder for me to exit. I prefer races start on time and ten minutes gaps between races. This is the norm and the thing I’ve got familiar with over the years.

When you get large gaps, there is often just not enough money getting matched to really go for it. It’s hard enough on a Monday as it is, but open up a gap to the next race and the per-second volume declines to the point where it becomes much harder for me. Low liquidity is a danger sign for me, a small mistake can cost a lot in this market type for me.

Curiously, Windsor on a Monday evening always trades well, but the afternoon card and Tuesday, in general, can be poor. I really dislike Tuesday evening’s in the summer if it’s predominately low-quality jumps racing. No pun intended, but there is no need to flog a dead horse on two-card Tuesdays.

Of course, everybody trades a different way, and this change may aid your trading. But over many years, I’ve settled on the pattern of easing back a bit when there is less on to focus on better opportunities. It’s worked really well for me. Besides, you need some balance in the summer so you don’t burn out, so this is an opportunity to address that.

Save your gunpowder

You also have this characteristic in the summer, that the better quality stuff appears at the weekend or in multi-day meetings, so that’s my focus. On Saturdays I often have a chuckle as I can often get more on a feature race in one shot than I can get in an afternoon on a Monday or Tuesday.

When expectations are lower and the quality stuff produces such good results, like the Derby, it’s better to focus your energy and effort on the quality opportunities.

Get some balance back

So during this time of the year I try to use the time to relax and do other things generally. I’ll keep an eye on the racing, but I’ll be experimenting with other things. Looking at data. Exploring new ideas, sanitising existing data, Sneaking in a round of golf, you get the picture.

I really enjoy going out on my mountain bike at this time of year. It clears my mind, I get a bit fitter and probably lose a pound or two. That’s about the only time I deliberately try to lose a few pounds!

But when you are trading so intensively in the summer, I treasure these moments when trading is far from my immediate mind.

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