Betfair trading strategies for UK horse racing

This post is going to take a look at Betfair trading strategies. For visitors who don’t know anything about Betfair never fear, because there will be some useful links to other pages on Lets Compare Bet’s explaining everything a novice needs to know about Betfair. We’re going to be talking about swing trading. Remember to generate profits, the basic rule of thumb is back high and lay low. For novices the following few links will direct readers to get Betfair explained, explain swing trading, and reveal what it means to green up on Betfair. People familiar with these topics need not click the links and can read on to get some Betfair trading strategies for UK Horse racing. Exchange trading software makes trading horse odds easier.

UK horse racing, football, and tennis are good sports for swing trading on Betfair. This post will cover Betfair trading strategies for UK horse racing. Swing trading strategies for trading tennis and football on Betfair will follow in later posts. To get these posts and other posts from Let’s Compare Bets subscribe using the button to the top right.

Generally speaking horse racing, football and tennis attract enough money (otherwise known as liquidity) into the market to make swing trading possible. What tends to happen with Betfair is that betting markets remain fairly illiquid up until the day of the event, unless it is a big sporting event like a large UK horse racing event or a FA cup final. When the event draws near liquidity increases dramatically as punters and other market participants (like bookmakers hedging positions) start to enter the market. In the early market, odds on Betfair can be completely different to those offered by bookmakers, because there are not enough participants and liquidity for the odds to return to normal. Experienced swing traders tend to trade with anything from one thousand pounds to three thousand pounds for back bets, and whatever the amount is required for corresponding lay bets. Liquidity is needed to ensure large bets get matched. That’s not to say the novices can’t start by betting with small stakes with the goal of building the betting bank.


Betfair swing trading on UK Horse racing

UK horse racing attracts lots of liquidity and is good for swing trading. Particularly within an hour of the race starting. This is good because any outstanding lay or back bets, needed to balance a trade, will always be matched.

Here is Betfair trading strategy that can be used to identify horses who odds are expect to shorten. Horses like this are sometimes called steamers (where the odds shorten significantly). It is not necessary to know anything about horse racing to following a strategy like this.

This strategy identifies horses that are getting interest from tipsters and who’s odds are significantly different to those offered by the bookmakers. The expectation is that the odds on Betfair will get closer to the average odds offered by traditional bookmakers. The odds on Betfair will always be larger than those offered with the bookmakers because Betfair odds do not have an ‘in built’ profit margin like bookmaker odds. This strategy aims to find selections where the difference between the odds is too large.

Online-betting-guide.co.uk (OLBG) is a tipster website which has some useful features. The free horse racing tips section includes a summary of the most tipped horses. Racing during the day can be investigated, in which case, it is advisable to look early in the morning. Tips for most up coming major horse racing events can be accessed in the antepost section. This enables a swing trade to be opened well in advance of the race starting if necessary.

The OLGB technology shows which horses have received most tips and what the bookmaker’s odds are for that selection. The OLGB rating uses OLBG Tips percentages to calculate win probabilities and compares these with bookie odds, which gives an indication if there is value in the odds. If there is value in the odds they are most likely to shorten.

Other tipsters can be used to verify selections. Tips from websites like OLBG might not be enough because the tipster might not have a large enough following to influence the price. Racing Post follows newspaper tipsters and report how successful they’ve been. The thing about newspaper tipsters is that they get a good readership. For instance, Steve Simpson of the Blackpool Gazette, has been the most profitable from the Local press. Marlborough, from the daily telegraph has also been successful recently.

In any case, once a horse has been selected a back bet is placed on the selection as early as possible (which is determined by the liquidity in the market and the size of the stake). Wait for the odds to shorten on the day of the race. Next green up for a guaranteed profit.

Another method is to compare the betting forecast on Racing post, with the average bookmaker odds using oddschecker, and finally the odds available on Betfair. Racing Post has a section called tomorrows cards which lists all the races for the following day. Underneath is the betting forecast which uses the Racing Post database and rantings figures to make an odds prediction. If the odds on Betfair are a lot higher than those of bookmakers and the Racing Post forecast it could be a good selection. Again a back bet is placed with a lay bet to follow after the odds have shortened.

What if the odds move in the wrong direction

No selection system is infallible. Sometimes the odds won’t move as expected. The trader should set a stop loss. The trade would be closed by placing the corresponding back or lay bet, which, would result in a small loss. It’s up to the trader to decide how far they will let the odds move in the wrong direction before the trade is closed.

Furthermore it is very important that trades are not closed before the horse race starts. After the race starts odds can move wildly and quickly, which can result in sudden loses. Completing trades before the race starts avoids large price movements and prevents any trades from riding as plain bets. Which of course is not trading it’s just gambling.

Tools to help with Betfair trading strategies

Betfair trading software is required to ‘green up’ and to set a stop losses. For people new to Betfair trading strategies Bet Trader would be the best place to start. The greening up function is available with the free version.

Also Betfair provides free charting that shows the odds verses the the volume. The chart is made available by clicking the chart button to the left of the jockey’s name on the grid view of selections and odds. Charting can be used to identify points of support and resistance for the movement in the odds price. If there are solid areas of support it can be assumed that the price will not drop further. Areas of resistance indicate that the odds will not lengthen any further. The picture below is a good example of this. Two black lines mark the points of resistance, at the top, and the level of support at the bottom.

exchange trading strategy

In summary this Betfair trading strategy for UK horse racing is one of many available. It works by finding horses who’s odds on Betfair offer value compared with the average of traditional bookmakers. The expectation is that the odds will shorten to reflect that of the market average making an opportunity to profit by trading the odds. To better understand better trading strategies novices may like to look at these pages for further reading. Swing trading explained and how to green up on Betfair. For more posts on this subject and others subscribe using the button to the top right.

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