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What are the BEST Betfair trading strategies?

The question over what is the best Betfair trading strategy is a question that gets thrown around a lot within the Betfair trading community and so I thought I’d create some blog posts exploring that.

So that’s what we’ve done…

…what is the best Betfair trading strategy?

Well, let’s start with the fact that there isn’t just one strategy that works beautifully across every single market you stumble across. You see, you will find each individual Betfair trading strategies all have their own little merits.

You can find little niches and places within these markets where you can deploy a strategy and it’s perfectly possible to have just one strategy and to execute against that. But you will find you will be missing opportunities elsewhere within the market, so it makes sense to really have a whole range of strategies.

When I turn up to a market, what I tend to do is assess what the market is doing and then I decide which strategy I’m going to deploy within that particular market. However, most people don’t have that luxury, as it actually takes a long time to get there. You need to practice each individual strategy and become proficient at it.

How to start finding the best Betfair trading strategy

So it’s simple: you start with a straightforward strategy.

You could start with scalping like I did, and then you can gradually progress along this path that leads you into new areas. In simple terms you are trying to solve individual market problems one by one.

The problem that you have is if you turn up to a market with the broad mindset that you are going to try and work out what this market is going to do, then that actually becomes quite hard.

So when you look at a market usually the best thing to do is if you’re starting out is to find a single strategy and look for markets in which to deploy it. If you do that, you’ll probably do just fine! You can worry about the other markets at some other point!

It’s quite a skill to be able to flip and flop strategies repeatedly within one market to be able to get the best out of the market which has taken me many years to master. I’ve had 20 years worth of practise to be able to do that!

Me trading the Hennessy Gold Cup live at IX Investor show for Betfair in 2006

Therefore it’s better to turn up to the market with a preordained plan, with a method, a process, a strategy that you’re looking specifically for a certain type of set up and then you can actively trade it.

All strategiesl have their merits and they all have their disadvantages. What it’s all really about in essence, is tipping the balance.

Finding that balance

Whatever strategy you do deploy, think of it as a journey. A lot of the time you will probably only win slightly more than you lose. Losses are inevitable – you have to come to terms with the fact that you are going to get losses, you’re going to make mistakes.

So it’s a delicate balance between profits and losses. It’s important to understand that is your objective, because if you set out with that objective, it makes life a lot easier because you realise that you are going to make mistakes and you are going to have losses.

This is where you are going to tip that balance between the profits and the losses. That’s your your primary objective, whatever strategy you’re using when you’re actively trading.

To the left of the dotted line we have my losses and to the right my profits

So if you look at my trading records and you look at my expectancy, what you’ll notice is that on one right side in the image above you’ve got the profits and on the left you’ve got the losses. You can see that it’s skewed towards the profit side and with experience I’m very good at minimising my losses.

This is done through a range of different strategies, but the underlying essence of what I’m doing is exactly the same. I’m just trying to minimise situations where I’m likely to make a loss and maximise any opportunities that I have to profit.

So in a way I am following a mini max theorem (for anybody that’s into game theory!) – I’m looking to minimise my maximum loss and maximise my minimum gain.

Your starting point

How to pick a strategy

If we’re looking for a strategy within the market, what is the best way to do that? What should be the starting points that you have within the market?

So let’s say it was we were talking about football, maybe you pick an under two and a half goals and you’re looking to do a trade in the first 15 minutes or the last 15 minutes.

You have to carefully define a strategy that you’re specifically going to focus on so you can progress a strategy from something that is just generic and random, to breakeven and beyond. Therefore you start looking for the setups that allow you to be able to deploy that strategy.

You don’t go into the market with the mindset that maybe it’s going to do this and therefore I’m going to do that. Pick an idea and work on rehearsing that and where to deploy that strategy.

Resist temptation!

Second on the list of your setup, is resisting temptation. You do this as it’s possible to turn up to market and you see something that you think is an opportunity and you may spot something else and then disregard the strategy you had and jump into something else.

Don’t do that!

If you want to get practised as a trader, pick one strategy and one strategy only and then look for that opportunity within the market. Once you have mastered that, you can add another string to your bow and start looking for additional opportunities that you can deploy within the market.

The problem a lot of new starters have is that a lot of them just want a shortcut. They don’t want to go through the process of understanding what they need to do to learn what they need to do and deploy it. They just want a strategy that ‘works’ or they want something specific to look for that they can just throw in a random market that will work.

The best trading strategies that create the best outcomes are the ones where you know the strategies like the back of your hand

Rehearse trade set ups

I remember somebody joining my team who wanted to learn to trade. So we sat him down and the two of us were looking exactly the same strategy and we were trying to teach him what to do. However, he seemed to really struggle to actually execute quickly when that opportunity came around as he would be waiting endlessly for confirmation.

Some of that is a confidence thing that will build over time, but the more you rehearse your trade set up, the better you will be at spotting opportunities. You’ll turn up to market and you go, I’ve seen this before and away you go.

Essentially what you’re trying to do is look for the right set up. You’re saying these are the things that I need for this trade to come off, do I see any of them in the market? So when you do see it in the market you then look for confirmation, but if you don’t see it in the market you just decide to move on.

It will be frustrating at first because you’ll miss a lot of markets. You miss a few opportunities, you make some mistakes, you’ll mess it up… But if you religiously stick to that process, then you’ll get better and better at spotting those opportunities.

Then when you can just do them with ease you can move on to the next opportunity or the next type of trade and then you can execute that one as well. You will be able to start putting them all together and with a whole mixture of strategies.

So once again. When you start, just focus on one strategy, rehearse the trade setups, look for the right set-up within the market and then practise actually doing it. Once you’ve got that sussed, you can move on to another strategy.

Summary

Finding the best Betfair trading strategy is a case of finding a strategy, practising the execution of that strategy and then applying it to the correct market. If you do these things you will be able to trade effectively because you will progressively move away from break-even by reducing losses.

In the next part of this series, we will look at how you could spot a suitable set up in the market to practice!

The post What are the BEST Betfair trading strategies? appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

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.

​ ​​

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.

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