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Betfair trading on a VPS – Virtual private server

What is a VPS?

VPS stands for ‘Virtual Private Server’, a VPS is a computer located in a remote datacentre that you can access from almost any internet-enabled device.

The ‘Virtual’ part relates to the way many servers are provisioned from a single host. We shouldn’t get too technical, but shared hosting is why software performance can be stellar, while costs can be kept down and it’s much more cost-effective than spending a lot of money on a dedicated server.

Generally speaking, you sit on one main server within a rack and share part of that server, but you benefit from being in a secure, fast, datacentre which is connected to the internet 24×7. You have full control on the VPS hosted on a Windows server that is a physical server in a state of the art datacentre, sat right on the major backbone to the internet.

Traditionally, a server in a datacentre is used for some sort of a hosting solution for multiple websites. But on this occasion, we install Windows on it instead and then you can run any Windows software on it, such as Bet Angel. You can use it just like a normal Windows PC.

When you log into your VPS it will look very familiar, just like your windows desktop! You wont know that you are connected to Bet Angel remotely. Your own computer screen will be replaced by the screen output of the remote server when you connect to the VPS.

As far as you are concerned you it looks and feels just like you are using Bet Angel locally, but in fact you are using a server in a high-tech state of the art datacentre.

Key benefits of using a VPS

Super fast connection with low latency

Your server sits inside a state of the art datacentre which is located right on a key internet backbone. This means you get to share the incredibly fast connection and routing that the datacentre can provide. It is much faster and the route more direct than using a traditional home broadband connection.

When orders are placed via a VPS there are already originating from a major internet hub. This means your internet traffic has less ‘hops’ to reach Betfair. Far fewer than if you use a standard internet connection.

Trade using any internet enabled device

When you connect to a VPS you do so with a peice of a software than simply looks at your server to display what is happening on it and allows you to remotely control it. As a consequence you can connect to it using any internet enabled device. An Android or Apple smartphone, a chromebook, any type of Apple computer or tablet, just about any device.

Run your automated Betfair trading strategies 24×7

Your VPS is always connected to the internet and running your automation day and night 24×7. It will dramatically expand the scope and scale of your trading and can even work hard for you while you are asleep.

Want to quickly check quickly on how a strategy is progressing? Running Bet Angel fully automatically via the VPS means you can free up your PC to do other things and leave the VPS to run reliably remotely. You can check into it periodically to check it’s progress or, for example, remove or add markets as required.

You can also do other useful things like isolate an automated Betfair trading strategy to a different account and run it via the VPS in the background.

Access from anywhere in the world with a UK based IP address

There may be occasions where you are abroad on holiday or business. Because the VPS is based in the UK with a UK IP address, your connection to Betfair from Bet Angel is made in the UK. When you access it from a local device or computer, it simply allows you to remotely view and instruct Bet Angel via the VPS. All of which is happening in the UK.

You may also find yourself in a situation where access to gambling sites is blocked or their use prohibited. Or perhaps you are at a location where logging in and monitoring or placing a trade or bet is inappropiate. With a VPS you can connect regardless of this as you are only remote viewing and this makes it easy to access, even from a smartphone if necessary.

Low bandwidth

Running Betfair trading software like Bet Angel can use up an enormous amount of data. But on a VPS the datacentre takes care of that for you and the only bandwidth you use is for connecting via a remote desktop to the server. This significantly reduces the stress on your local computer or connection and it also makes it perfect for connecting via smartphones over a cellular network, or where you don’t have a great internet connection.

Perfect back up solution

There is nothing worse than the electricity cutting out or your cat clawing out your ethernet cable mid-trade. With a VPS you can run a remote session to allow you quick access in an emergency or use it to run some automation as a safety option, regardless of what you are doing locally.

It’s very useful to have a set up easily available at a moments notice wherever you are.

Incredible reliability

When you run your software on a remote server in a datacentre, you get to share the benefits of all other servers in that datacentre.

You will get state of the art security, reliability and constant monitoring. A team of highly qualified engineers ensure your server is up and running all the time. Huge power generators provide backup in the event of an electricity outage at the datacentre. Using a VPS gives you access to all this.

Unique IP (internet) address

Most popular VPN providers route traffic through dedicated IP addresses and these IP’s are often blackedlisted by various entities seeking meaning access to their sites are restricted.

When you use a VPS you will be assigned an dedicated IP address unique to your server. Nobody will know the origin of that IP address and that means it will not be blocked.

Use your VPS for anything

The VPS is simply a computer like the one you are sitting in front of at the moment. So it’s perfectly possible to use it in exactly the same way.

You can browse the internet, install additional software, read your emails and everything. So as well as all the above benefits, it’s like having an extra computer to hand. Just one you can access from everywhere on anything. I use my iPad while I am on the train to do PC based work using the VPS.

How a Bet Angel VPS is unique

Like many things with Bet Angel, we started using VPS’s to solve a problem. Back in 2004, fed up with slow and unreliable internet connections, Peter needed to trade some high profile racing but didn’t know if that was going to be possible while at different locations.

Using the knowledge he acquired while working for an Internet service provider. He bought a dedicated server, installed windows on it and then ran Bet Angel on that server. It worked a treat, so many problems were solved and trading from a remote server was born.

From that simple starting point we started offering the same service to customers and at the same time expanding the scope and technical capacity required to bring the service up to another level.

In the interveneing years we have worked closley with a number of different service providers, then eventually datacentres directly to custom specify installations to optimise the experience you get when using a VPS. Bet Angel now includes a specially optimised server edition built for increased tolerance in high speed, low latency trading.

To learn more about Bet Angel VPS solutions, visit our web page.

The post Betfair trading on a VPS – Virtual private server appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Betfair Cross Matching (XM) – Explained

Nobody will remember now, but a very long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

Well the first big was accurate at least, but there was a time when Cross matching on Betfair didn’t exist.

Betfair introduced cross matching in 2008. I remember it very well because, overnight, a number of Bet Angel users started reporting that some of their strategies had started to perform badly and they wondered why. So a bit of detective work led us to the reason and soon after Betfair formally announced the change.

So what is cross matching, what is the background to it and what impact does it have on a betting market?

What is Cross Matching?

When this concept was introduced on the Betfair exchange it wasn’t available via the API. So at Bet Angel we had to work it all out and put it in Bet Angel as an option. That option still exists.

So if you want to understand the concept and see it in action, you access the Virtual Bet Display via the settings menu. You can toggle it on and off while looking at a ladder, for example, to understand its impact.

How to switch cross matching on and off in Bet Angel

Cross matching, or virtual bets as they are often described on the Betfair API documentation, are odds on offer in the market that were not offered by any particular individual.

If you are new to this concept, you may wonder who is actually offering these bets into the Betfair betting exchange, the answer is the Betfair cross matcher. Betfair themselves are putting these offers into the market.

The concept is that if you offer a bet on one side or one selection within a market then the same bet gets offered at reciprocal odds by Betfair elsewhere. If there was a two runner horse race with both horses at decimal odds of 2.00 then backing one runner at these odds is effectively the same as laying the other runner with the at the same odds.

So what the Betfair cross matcher does, in essence. Is look at what bet you have placed on the Betfair betting exchange and then take that unmatched bet and place it at reciprocal points elsewhere in the market. In layman’s terms, it duplicates your bet and puts it elsewhere. You are probably not even aware that it is happening.

I explained the concept about cross matching in a video here, but more specifically you can see it live on a Tennis match on this video. In the illustration you see below all the unmatched bets on the right ladder in this Tennis match, are completely virtual, they don’t exist. Watch the video if you want to see that for yourself.

Why was it introduced?

The concept that Betfair posited was that it would help increase liquidity. But I’ve always been pretty suspicious of it. You will learn why in a bit, but fundamentally speaking there was nothing wrong with the way the market was working before it was introduced.

Sometimes a large order would hit the market and send a price way off its touch price, but the market would eventually soak it up that order and find it’s correct price. After cross matching the market always ‘hugged’ a 100% book and therefore a large order wouldn’t move the price, just spike in the direction of the order and send everything else out in the opposite direction. Not a true reflection of the market at all.

However, I knew from Betfair’s conference calls that creating a more competitive market where neither side on the exchage dominates each other leads to a higher gross yield for Betfair. If nobody wins too much, then Betfair wins more. I always felt this was a stronger case for implementation.

Cross matching controvesy

Shortly after cross-matching was introduced it hit some controversy. Of course, a lot of people are upset at the fact that the strategies didn’t seem to work the way that they should do. But the key issue surrounding its controversy was that while it was positioned that it would be beneficial to liquidity, I noticed that the fill rate had changed on quite a few markets, I wasn’t getting my orders matched as frequently as I used to.

That was nothing however compared to the fury that enveloped various communities when it turned out that Betfair was not calculating reciprocal stakes in the same manner that you would expect given reciprocal odds. This meant that there was a small rounding error, in Betfair’s favour of course. That meant for each bit of cross-matching that they did, they were getting a small amount of margin.

It was tricky to quantify exactly how much was being taken off the table, but obviously wasn’t something that was expected or wanted. I’ve gathered some additional information on this to add to this blog post. But I ran out of time on this occasion to squeeze it in. I’ll add it soon.

But to round off here is a detailed description of exactly how cross matching works: –

A detailed description of the cross matching process

Betfair kindly wrote to me recently to clarify some key points around cross matching. This explains how cross matching works in general, but also how orders are specifically matched .

It’s easier to focus on a two runner market to explain cross matching as it gets more complicated when you go above this value.

Two runner cross matching

Conceptually cross matching is very simple. If you want to back a selection in a 2-runner market, there are two ways that we can get your bet matched: against a layer of that same selection, or with a backer of the other selection. For example backing Djokovic at 1.5 is identical to laying Murray at 3.0.

When you place a bet, instead of considering just one of the sets of unmatched bets with which Betfair could match you, we consider both. If you place a bet that isn’t immediately matched, we advertise it to other customers both ways that we could match it.

There are two ways we could match you, so we display both on the site to give you the best chance of getting matched. These bets can be matched in exactly the same way as any other bet.

How bets are matched

Betfair confirmed to me that when bets arrive on the exchange they will be matched in the following manner: –

(1) Price
(2) Where prices are the same, lay bets against back bets in preference to cross matches
(3) By Bet ID (i.e. in time order)

In other words every time you place a bet we look at the regular match (back vs. lay), and cross matching only comes into play if that would get you a better price than a regular match (or if it matches a bet that would otherwise remain unmatched).

Reciprocal pricing

To answer what happens at odds which don’t have a direct reciprocal on the odds ladder, an example would be useful.

If you attempt to back Djokovic at 1.98 for £50 and your bet is initially unmatched, then we can show that to other customers in two different ways: £50 available to lay Djokovic at 1.98 of course, but we could also show it as available for Murray backers.

2.02 is the best price on our ladder that we could offer, for a stake of £49.01. So we could match a Djokovic backer for £50 at 1.98 with a Djokovic layer for £50 at 1.98, or we could match a Djokovic backer for £50 at 1.98 with a Murray backer for £49.01 at 2.02.

If you go back to the matching order answer above, you’ll see that matching lay bets against back bets in preference to cross matches means that if we have the choice of a cross match that makes us a penny or a regular match that doesn’t, we always do the latter.

The post Betfair Cross Matching (XM) – Explained appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Bet Angel Markers – Custom volume indicators

Betfair trading on a traditional ladder interface

When using Betfair trading software like Bet Angel the Ladder trading screen is the one interface that gives you the full depth view of the market, by full depth I mean you can scroll up and down to see all the price points from 1.01 up to 1000.0

This will allow you to see the activity thats occured by looking at the amounts traded at each set of odds. You can also see all the money currently waiting on both the back and lay sides.

While it’s nice to be able to see and get an overview of all the money waiting to be matched at all the prices on either side of the book, what really matters is the money waiting to be matched at nearest prices to the current odds being traded. In particular, you probably want to give the most focus to the best three prices on either side of the book.

When a market is liquid and fully formed there will be no gaps between these prices, but in earlier markets, you will often find gaps between prices of where the money is waiting (being offered), so the 2nd and 3rd best prices could be several ticks away from the best price.

When a market is fully formed it’s the money waiting at these three prices that will have the biggest influence on the direction a price is likely to move in the short term, especially when trading horse racing pre-off.

Finding opportunties using Bet Angel ‘Markers’

Most decent Betfair trading software will give you the option of highlighting the front three prices with money waiting, but using Bet Angel’s innovative ‘Marker’s you can not only highlight these prices to make them more easily visible. You can also configure them so they are only highlighted when an amount greater (or less than) your specified amount is waiting.

For example, you might want them highlighting if there is more than £250 waiting to be matched at the best three prices on one or both sides of the book, or perhaps you want to highlight just the best price either side but only if there is less than £100 waiting to be matched on both sides. This would allow you to quickly spot opportunities to nip in and out to get a quick scalp without needing to wait behind hundreds already waiting to be matched before your orders get near the front of the queue.

Or perhaps you could do a combination of both? For example, highlight the prices if the money waiting at the best back and lay prices is less than £200 and the 2nd and 3rd prices both have greater than £500 waiting. This would indicate you could jump in front to grab a quick scalp with the re-assurance there are decent amounts supporting both sides behind therefore the price is less likely to suddenly shot off one way after only getting one side of your bets matched.

Take a look at the image below, I’ve configured some markers to highlight the best three prices were there is greater than £100 waiting to be matched, notice how easy it is to spot very quickly which selections and which sides have £100 or more waiting at all three prices

How to import this marker into Bet Angel

If you think something like this would be useful for your Betfair trading and are interested in setting something like this up on your ladder screen, you don’t need to do much. The settings have already been created and saved for you to import into Bet Angel.

All you need to do is download them from the following page on the Bet Angel forum and then import them directly into your Bet Angel and your ready to go.

Of course you might not want them to show when there is more than £100 waiting to be matched, if so its just a simple case of editing the values to whatever you want, and setting it to greater or less than that amount – everything else has been done for you.

Or you might not like the ladder design and layout above and have a prefered one of your own, thats no problem after downloading and importing the settings file you can just copy them into your exsisting ladder file, or edit any part you don’t like – the choice is totally yours.

For more examples on ways you can customize and display your Bet Angel ladder trading screen please see this blog

Or for more examples on how ‘Marker’s can assist you when using the ladder trading screen please see this blog

The post Bet Angel Markers – Custom volume indicators appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

A day of racing you shouldn’t miss!

Tomorrow we have the finale to the flat racing season and the curtain raiser to the flat season. How can you have both? Let me explain….

UK Racing – Ascot Champions Day

First, we have Qipco British Champions day at Ascot and it promises to be a real feast of racing. It may not be Royal Ascot but the racing on show tomorrow at Ascot racecourse is right up there in terms of quality.

Champions day only came into being in 2011 so it’s relatively new in the scheme of things but it’s a weekend I wouldn’t miss for anything now. It’s the last shot at a decent total before we descend into winter. The specific races existed before this meeting started but were brought together to bring in a real feast at the end of the season. It’s one of my highest turnover weekends of the year. Last year, the average turnover was over £2m per race and it’s gathering more momentum every year.

I did a video on this explaining why this weekend brings a great opportunity to turnover some huge amounts, but at relatively low risk. A slightly tongue in cheek title, but a good description of what you real objective is when trading.

Australian Racing – The Everest and Caulfield Cup

The Ascot meeting in the UK doesn’t have a Royal in the title, but it is one of the biggest days in the flat season.

Meanwhile, down under, we do have a Royal in the title, at Royal Randwick racecourse. Tomorrow morning we have the Everest. It’s got $15m in prize money so I’d imagine if you stacked that on top of each other it might be as high as Mount Everest!

It’s a monster of a race and today will be my traditional prep for the Melbourne Cup meeting. Learn a bit more about it here: –

Aussie racing is a bit more liquid at this time of the year, the Everest should approach somewhere near £1m in turnover. Talking about turnover, be aware that races in New South Wales are subject to the Australian turnover charge. A henius crime on punters in Australia. Betfair Australia, who do a great job of supporting the exchange, have explained it in more detail by clicking on this link.

While it’s an unwelcome charge, it does illustrate how the laffer curve works. Increased charges on races in New South Wales, has meant that most races in this territory have lagged behind growth elsehere. This means there is often a big gap on a like for like basis to other similar races in other territories, I can see it clearly in the data.

Obviously you wont see that in this race, but it’s now an every present reminder of the folly of increasing charges because you can. You may get away with it, but it costs you in the long term and often in ways you don’t know. Sorry for the economics lesson.

If you are an early riser then the fun starts at 02:15 in the morning UK time. The big race, however, is at a more realistic 06:15. So even if you struggle to get out of bed on a Saturday morning you may still stand a chance of catching some good quality Aussie group race.

But that is not all we have on the card as we also have the Caulfield cup, another huge race and this group 1 contest kicks off at the more reasonable time of 07:15 UK time. As the race takes place in the state of Victoria the turnover charge does not apply, so you can go hell for leather on this race; which is what I intend to do.

It’s a real cracker of a day and one that gets off to an early start. I’m looking forward to it!

The post A day of racing you shouldn’t miss! appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.