Trading horse races has long been a way for enlightened betting enthusiasts to make profits on Betfair. Most horse race trading strategies on Betfair mean that the trader needs to learn a load of stuff about race courses, trainers, horses and jockeys. The hardest thing with trading horse races on Betfair is having to predict which direction a horse’s odds will move. It’s refreshing to have another option when it comes to trading horse races on Betfair where you need to know nothing about the horse, the race, and jockey… zilch, nada, nothing.
“I’m going to say something which seems paradoxical in some ways – but I became a good scalp trader when I realised that you can’t really predict which way the price of a horse will go.”
A quote from Wayne Bailey a successful Betfair scalping trader.
Scalp trading is pure trading. The scalp trader does not need to predict which way the market will go. It’s a numbers game. It’s all about getting more profitable scalps than unprofitable scalps. On Betfair there is no shortage of scalping opportunities. The trick is to find the best scalping strategies to repeat in order to profit from movement in the odds.
UK horse racing on Betfair is most often used for scalping. There is lots of money entering the market and the odds move around enough to make a profit. The principle of scalping is simple. Back at a high price and lay at a lower price and vice versa. Here is a simple example. Say there’s a horse called (Fuzzy duck) with odds of 4.4. A back bet of £100 is made. If they odds move lower than 4.4 it is possible to profit. If a lay bet was placed at odds of 4 using £100 that would secure a profit of £40.
If the horse wins the back bet pays £340 but the lay bet would have cost £300 giving a £40 profit if the horse wins or nothing if it loses. A risk free bet. What a trader will do is hedge the risk free bet. A trader wouldn’t be happy with a profit only of the horse wins. In order to profit if the horse doesn’t win the trader greens up. A green book means a profitable book and is a beautiful thing :).
The disadvantage of scalping is that if the price moves against you the book turns red. Not a pretty sight because it means that the trade will be exited for a loss. The skill is making more winning bets than losing ones. There will always be losing bets. This is a fact of life. There is no point trying to second guess the markets. A better approach is to use tried and tested Betfair scalping techniques. The rest of this article explains two Scalping on Betfair trading techniques.
Scalping on Betfair is not possible without using some kind of third party software. Betfair software used for scalping has something called a ladder view, which makes scalp trade easier to make.
Betfair scalping technique number one
This scalping technique is all about choosing where to enter the market. Look at the ladder view and find a price where there is not very much money in the market. For example, after looking up the column of odds you notice that there has only been £48 backing at 3.15. When money is entered into a bet on Betfair it sits in a queue waiting to be matched. Making the Back bet where this isn’t much money waiting gets you to the front of the queue. If the trader places a £100 back bet the £48 would change to £148.
At this point the back bet remains unmatched until the current odds reach 3.15. Next it’s a case of waiting to see what happens. What the trader wants to happen is for the odds to start moving towards 3.20. If that doesn’t happen the back bet can just be canceled. When the price reaches 3.10 the trader watches to see if the money waiting at that price starts to get eaten up. If it does the trader clicks the pink button to place a lay bet for £100 (which should get filled straight away). When the odds hit 3.15 the back bet is filled really quickly because it is at the front of the queue. This produces a risk free bet where the difference give the profit.
It’s a low risk strategy because if the odds don’t move as expected the back bet can just be canceled. If lay bet is placed and the odds start moving down again it’s time to get out for a small loses. Never let a loosing trade run. It’s a one way ticket to the Poorville.
Here’s a trading video produced by a Betfair scalper to show this strategy. Don’t bother with the sound because it is terrible.
Betfair trading scalping strategy number 2 is range trading
Trading ranges can be a good way to lock in regular scalp trades. Horse odds often trade between an upper and lower level. If the odds keep keep moving up to an upper level and reversing these are called resistance points. When the odds repeated bounce of a lower end of the trading range this is known as support. Wayne Bailey the Betfair scalper in the video uses a good example of a ball bouncing when it hits a surface. Often horse odds will trade between levels of support and resistance for time (seconds to minutes) which is great for scalping because it enables a series of high confidence scalp trades to be made. The sound of the video below is much better so it’s worth watching to get a good explanation of scalping resistance levels.
Betfair trading scalping strategy number 3 is trend trading
When odds move in an upwards or downwards direction, with high reversal points getting higher and low reversal points getting lower, the odds are said to be trending. A well known saying in financial trading is that the ‘trend is your friend’. Scalp traders can jump on to the band wagon and profit from trends moving in either direction. The key is to close the trade quickly when the direction of the trend reverses.
Scalping software and Betfair charts are useful tools for spotting odds that trend and trade. Betfair charts can be accessed by clicking the chart icon located next to the horse and jockey’s name in the betting market grid view in Betfair.
Betfair trading scalping strategy number 4 is knowing when to exit trades
Trading is a numbers game. Make more winning scalp trades than losing ones. This equals a profit. If the odds move against you it’s important to get out quickly for a small loss. Each trader will get used to a level where they are comfortable to exit for a loss. When scalping on Betfair losses should never be allowed to run and should be closed out quickly.
It’s possible to try these techniques with very small stakes. Some software providers offer a free version and have a training modes. One such provider is Bet Trader Pro, but there are also other good software providers. It’s important to use whichever software make you feel comfortable.
It’s important to note that scalping traders starting out should use a practice mode first or start with small stakes. Scalp trading does take practice and this article doesn’t cover all aspects of the topic. More information about scalping on Betfair can be gained using the links below.