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Top 5 Betfair Horse Racing Trading Tips For Beginners
Essential Strategies For Trading Horse Racing On Betfair
Alright, so you've got yourself a Betfair account, you've downloaded Bet Angel or Gruss as your betting interface, had a little dabble, but still aren't sure what you need to be looking for in order to start making some money. Well, here are my top tips on how to "read" the pre-race horse racing markets and as such start to make a profit, while minimising the potential for losses.
Just a few pre-tips beforehand: The best time to trade a race is around 10 minutes before the off. This is when the action starts and liquidity markedly increases. It's probably a good idea to trade horses with prices between 10.0 to 17.0 to start with, as at these levels the market is easier to "read". Note also that making around £2 to £3 per race would give you a profit at the end of the day of around £50 - not bad for a few hours work. And it's tax free. Consistency is the key.
1) Follow The Money. Horse racing prices move where the money dictates. Fact. If there is a significant amount on the back side of the book, the price is going to ger shorter (get lower). Similarly, if there is a large amount on the lay side, the price is likely to go out (get higher). The trick is to watch for the build up of these positions - comes with practise - and dip in ahead of them, then ride the price movement to a nice profit.
2) Look Out For "Gaps" In The Market. While not as useful a tool as it once was, exploiting "gaps" can still be a very profitable addition to any betting system. Essentially, what you need to look out for are two empty price increments. This is much easier to do using the "Ladder" interface view on Gruss or Bet Angel.
For example, you see Horse A is trading at 7.0 on the lay side and 7.6 on the back side. You now place bets at 7.2 and 7.4, meaning you in essence control both sides of the book and it's very likely both sides will be taken, leaving you with a small profit. This can of course be repeated until the market catches up.
3) Speculate On Large Price Movements. This is more suited to Irish racing, where there is lower liquidity, meaning price movements are far more pronounced. This tip involves looking for large gaps in the market, seeing where money has been taken (a feature of the betting software) and placing your bet accordingly.
For instance, Horse A is running in the 5:10 at Galway. Its price is 12.0 on the lay side and 20.0 on the backside. You notice that there have been a few nibbles at around 13.0. This is where you place your bet - a lay stake at 13.0 to 13.5. If it gets taken, you then place a back bet at anywhere between 16 and 18, and if that gets taken you secure a nice profit. If the market does move against you it is still easy enough to close out for zero loss.
It's worth pointing out that these types of bet can take some time to be filled, and practise is needed if the price starts bouncing around. Nonetheless, this is one of the more fullproof ways of making small, consistent profits.
4) Look Out For "Spoofers". This is something to watch out for when following Tip 1 on this list. Certainly I got caught out a number of times when I first started.
Essentially what happens is a bettor on Betfair will place a large bet on one side of the book - let's say it's on the back side, as that is the usual scenario (although it does happen frequently both ways). This will cause a number of traders to pile in ahead of it (following the money), forcing the price down. Now, this bettor who has placed the large bet, takes these back bets, lets it run for a little while, then places a series of large lay bets, forcing the price back out. This causes all the traders who got in thinking they could ride the back side to jump ship, forcing the price out even more as each one fights to minimise their loses.
With practise, this technique is relatively easy to spot, as spoofers tend to use far larger sums that is usual on Betfair. You can also "feel" that the market isn't moving as it should, as the back bets are often gobbled up faster than you would expect.
5) DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, LET YOUR BET GO IN-RUNNING. Now, I understand that many of you will ignore this. I know I did, but it is a stupidly risky thing to do and should be avoided at all costs. If you place a bet and the market moves against you, don't hold on and on, hoping it will come back into profit, eventually letting the race start - you will end up losing a large chunk of cash. Simply take the loss and move on. Indeed, how you take your losses - and there will be some - is just as important as making the wins count. If you lose, don't let it upset you, simply forget about it and move on to the next race...