The Next Step for Matched Bettors?
By Pro Trader, Caan Berry
Trading on the betting exchanges can be extremely lucrative.
But where do you start? Does it compare to matched betting? Is trading the right thing for you? Where can you get the best advice? Who’s worth listening to?
All good questions that deserve a solid answer. In this article, I’ve managed to get Professional Trader, Caan Berry, to answer them all.
The Next Logical Step
First and foremost, you’re probably here as someone who’s accustomed to making money through matched betting.
Does that mean you’ll definitely be a successful betting odds trader? No, unfortunately not.
However, I do believe it puts you in a considerably better position than most. Why? Because you’ll already understand the basic concepts of backing, laying and securing a profit. You may have even noticed a few factors that affect price movement, which is a great start.
As free bets and various bookmaker offers start to dry up, matched bettors are always on the lookout for the next profitable opportunity.
While trading bets doesn’t guarantee a profit for every trade, the potential upside is massive in comparison. Some top traders make in excess of seven figures each year. That’s right, Betfair millionaires if you like. No gubbings or account restrictions either.
In reality, the amount of people achieving this is small, but just a slither of the profits can be life changing. But in order to make the next logical step a successful one, you’ll need to know the basics.
Successful trading isn’t quite as simple as matched betting, at first anyway.
The best trades come from understanding market characteristics. Once you understand the situation in hand, it becomes far easier to profit.
Let’s take a look at a small trade I placed for this article, broken down, step by step.
#1 – The Opener
Finding the best opening to a trade is probably the most important part. Entering at a value position is what we’re looking for, be it back or lay, it doesn’t matter.
Below, you can see I have placed a lay bet on Always Amazing at odds of 6.00 for £50.00.
#2 – The Close
Once the trade is underway, and often before, it’s best to think about the exit.
Again, we want to leave the trade at the most valuable position, limiting risk and maximising the potential returns.
For this particular example, I backed Always Amazing straight away at odds of 6.20, again for £50.00. This meant that the price didn’t even have to move! We just had to get both bets matched…
Take note of the green profit figures that can be seen to the left of each horse’s name. If Always Amazing doesn’t win the race, our lay bet covers our back bet and we break even. If Always Amazing wins, we make a profit of £10.00.
#3 – The Hedge
Entering at 6.00 and closing out at 6.20 is all well and good, but much like matched betting, we need to lock in a profit.
As mentioned above, placing the same sized bets means that we only profit if our selection wins. We don’t want that. We want to win regardless of the outcome.
The screenshot below shows my betslip including a ‘hedge’ bet, which is a term that has been carried over from financial trading. It means to close out our position, win or lose, across the entire market. It’s a little like the saying, ‘hedge your bets’.
You’ll notice that the lay bet stake has increased by £1.56. You’ll also notice that the profit figures to the left of each horse have changed. We now stand to make a guaranteed profit on any outcome.
So you can see that the whole process is a little like placing a qualifying bet in matched betting. The difference being that I’d found a situation where I knew the market was likely to move in my favour.
Knowing how and where the market is likely to move is important, as of course is then placing the bets effectively.
Getting A Running Start…
So how do you know where the price will move? And when?
Like anything in life; the more you learn, the easier it becomes to win.
Just think about matched betting for a second. On the day you started, it’s unlikely that you realised how many offers were out there! Or how to maximise returns. But the more you learnt, the easier it became. Trading is no different.
Understanding the market principles, pricing, and how a market will behave is vital.
For example; in tennis there are one or two points within a match where it’s quite easy to exploit the situation for little to no loss. Horse racing markets on the other hand, behave very differently, with many more opportunities to place a successful trade. Usually they’re only seconds apart.
The best advice I can give you is to look out for those vulnerable points and work out where the value is. Why does the market over/under react to them?
Maybe that’s a little broad though, so I’ll give you a situation where, if you see it happen, you can make some quick cash (you’ll need to react quick though)…
The horses are parading at the start of a race. One of the horses rears up and throws the jockey from it’s back. Not exactly unheard of, is it?
In this situation, whoever lays that horse first is going to be looking at a profit, because the price will drift, sometimes very aggressively.
If you’ve laid that horse at that moment in time, there’s certainly no chance of the price contracting! The implied chance of the horse winning has decreased, because it has expended energy and exhibited a temperament issue. Who wants to back the horse that’s poorly behaved with a nervous and potentially injured jockey on board? Not me!
As a rule of thumb, the worse the horse plays up, the bigger the price movement will be. Common sense right?
Making Serious Money
The downside to making so much money on Betfair though, is their premium charges.
It’s not the end of the world, but something to be aware of. When you consistently win on Betfair (there’s a rather detailed criteria), you qualify as a ‘Premium Customer’. This means you have to pay 20% of your winnings, excluding commission, to Betfair that week. There are ways around it, but that’s a whole new subject.
The key points to note are; you need to have made over £5,000.00 on Betfair alone, been a consistent winner, bet on over 250 markets and generated commission of less than 20% (unlikely if you’ve been matched betting).
This charge was the catalyst that encouraged me to write a full guide some time ago; The Pre-Race Trading Guide. Since then it’s been updated several times, helping many to find their way around the betting markets.
There are a few resources online, but generally speaking, not many are worth listening to. Betfair themselves have a learning directory where they endorse a few proven professional traders.
Serious About Making This Work?
For anyone that’s interested, Caan’s site has developed since it began in 2011. There are several books and courses on offer…
Pre Race Trading Guide
The first of Caan’s products, which has just been upgraded at the start of October 2017. A guide, presented in PDF format explaining how the exchange markets work, what influences them, those involved and how to position yourself on the right side of probability.
The guide also includes two supporting videos and any future updates, which are all updated within a personal user dashboard.
Video Course Package
Following the trading guide, users requested more video recordings of Caan’s trades.
The video package consists of 96 trading videos, including audio explanation and annotations.
They’re a little more complex than the initial trading guide as Caan uses trading software and shares his setup, what he’s thinking in the moment and how he reacts.
The execution section of the video course package is particularly useful.
Tennis Trading Guide
There’s no secret that trading the horses is Caan’s first love, although he’s been successful in the tennis markets too.
His Tennis Traders Guide is much like the Pre-Race Trading Guide although covering a different style of trading, made to fit for the tennis markets.
The guide also comes with a bonus video, featuring full annotation. The video alone is worth the cost of the purchase.
Trading is a little more specialist than other methods discussed on this site. However, with additional perseverance, the potential is far greater. I’d advise checking out Caan’s blog and YouTube channel for a little more understanding.
Trading is no doubt a longer term project, but it’s one that is totally worthwhile should you make it out the other side.