Sports trading · · 6 min read

How to make money in an inactive Betfair market

How to make money in an inactive Betfair market

“Buy low and sell high” is the general concept in Betfair trading. The issue though is that sometimes the Betfair markets seem inactive and the odds don’t move that much, fluctuating just a few ticks around a mean price, making it difficult to make money. The solution that is described in this trading video is to trade just one tick at a time, usually a method that is known as scalping. You’ll need a trading platform for this trading technique from Betfair Developer Program. My favorite is Bet Angel Professional.

The race that I traded in the video and managed to make money is the 16:50 race at Yarmouth on Tuesday, 21 October. My favorite trading timeframe is the last 10 minutes before the race begins and I close all my open positions 30 seconds before that. 7 minutes before the start of the specific race we witness a general upward trend in the Betfair chart on the left hand and we always keep that in mind throughout the trading. Let’s discuss my trading moves and the reasons that led me to them.

At first, notice that I trade using the amount of €100. To do that a bankroll of €500 is required. This is because in the event I begin my trading with a LAY order, I would need (4 * 100)-100 = €300 liability. In case the betting odds drift to 4.90, I would need to have €390 available. Generally it’s good to have enough money power. I will explain in later videos why we should have 3 times that amount. For the time being though, a bankroll of €500 is sufficient to make the money I am making in this trading video.

Additionally, I should say a few words about the available charts found in the video. The chart on the left hand is the official Betfair chart. The one on the right hand is the one Bet Angel Professional offers, where I have selected the default view of candlesticks and 5 seconds regarding the refresh rate. This charting view gives us a better and most accurate real-time market view, so that we recognize easier and quicker a trend or a change of trend.

6 minutes prior to the race’s start I haven’t made any move. I should note that one of the essential requirements of a successful trader (either in Betfair or generally speaking) is patience. “Patience is a virtue”. My first trading happens 4:40 before the race begins and I place a LAY order at 4.00. The reasons for that are quite a few. First of all, looking at the right chart we see that the odds have reached 3.90 three times and were unable to go lower than that. 3.90 is the figure the odds find support speaking in terms of technical analysis, and since they have done so 3 times, it is much more important than if they did that just once. Also, the white bars (meaning price increase) are far more than the dark ones, which means the odds might be in a drifting trend. The depth market, that is the amount of money in the blue and purple boxes, was very important to make the decision to lay at 4.00 as well. The purple boxes (the money available to lay, the traders/bettors in other words that want to place a back order on the horse) were significantly decreased, while on the other hand big money have been placed at 3.90 in relevance to the market’s liquidity and other boxes. In a few words, we can regard 3.90 as our stop loss, our exit in case the market reverses. Finally, we don’t forget that the general trend of the Betfair market is upward.

We see though that I wasn’t quick enough and my lay bet is on hold. However I don’t cancel my order because I anticipate a price drop to 4.00 and then a drift once again. Besides, there are €2,000 more at 4.00, which is a good sign. The odds at 4:18 have drifted to 4.30 and I transfer my order there , just like placing a new order at 4.30 and cancelling the previous one. Pay attention as this is one of the most dangerous trading moves you can do since we have placed a bet much higher than our initial order and maybe the odds suddenly fall back to 4.00. That would lead us to lose 3 ticks when we could be break even. As soon as my lay is matched, I place immediately a back order at 4.40 aiming to make one tick and I manage that. If I the lay at 4.00 would have been matched, I would probably wait for a few seconds as I had the safety net placed at 3.90. Now that I don’t have that and odds don’t seem too strong to drift higher than 4.40 (according to the Betfair chart), I close my trading position at the best possible price in my own opinion. Later in the video you’ll see the odds never touched 4.40 again until the start of the race. To trade out in just one second not only made me some money, but also prevented me from losing big.

That trading was profitable and I made €10 on the favorite horse, which meant €2.5 on all horses in the event, after I would green up. We continue watching the video and it is now 3 minutes before the race starts. I place a back bet at 4.10 having in mind to place a lay bet at 4.00 as soon as the odds bounces at 3.90, which I already know that will be the case. The odds fall lower than 4.00 but don’t reach 3.90. Is that a sign of a drifting? Not so I would say since we have seen the odds drift up to 4.40 for three times and being unable to go higher. Speaking in terms of technical analysis, 4.40 is the resistance level. I was able to predict at that point that the odds would move in a “tunnel” between 3.90 and 4.40. However, I see now that the odds don’t touch 3.90 which means the tunnel is getting narrower, so I expect the same regarding 4.40. Personally, after all those years’ experience of trading the horse racing markets in Betfair, I would predict odds movements between 3.95 and 4.10 with occasional bursts to 4.20. Obviously, a sudden odds movement further than those limits would automatically mean the start of a new strong trend.

So, as soon as 4.00 is “emptied”, I begin my second trading with a lay having already placed a back order at 4.10. Since I don’t anticipate any volatility, I take advantage of this… price “shaking” between 4.00 and 4.10. The trading is completed in a matter of seconds, winning me €10 more. In the following seconds I try the same exactly trading technique. However, being open for more than 20 seconds (now I guess you understand how big timeframe is 20 seconds in horse racing markets in Betfair) was quite dangerous to my trading, and the boxes get filled up again to show an imminent upward trend. Note that I’m ready to move my order higher so that I trade out immediately with the least possible loss. I certainly have always in mind that I am expecting movement between 3.95 and 4.10 but there is always the possibility the odds break those limits. If that happens, I’d better enter the market in time towards the direction of the newly created trend. Indeed, I trade out at 4.20.

It is much more profitable to sacrifice one tick and begin a new trade as soon as the resistance level is broken than to wait the odds to come right back down for just one tick profit.

Now, I was ready to submit a lay bet when the odds reached 4.50. In the end, the resistance level holds up and we are very sure the odds will fall back to 4.00 when the blue boxes lose their money. 50 seconds prior to the race’s start I submit my back order at 4.10 and lay at 4.00. 30 seconds before the race begins it is very rare to see a new forming trend, so 4.00 will be the mean price of the horse’s odds.

In the end of my trading, I have accumulated €20 on Taazur, which I distribute evenly on all horses by laying €5 at 4.00 (How to Green Up in Betfair Trading) and move on to the following horse race. In conclusion I did 4 trades, 3 profitable and 1 unprofitable and all of them won or lost 1 tick. The final outcome is to win €5 in 10 minutes using a €500 bankroll. If we accomplish that in 10 races every day, we would make €50. Not that bad I say.

When you see odds not moving and remain still, don’t quit your trading’s efforts. Patience and persistence will reward you. Focus on small movements, find the support and resistance levels and you will find horse racing’s trading easier.

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