3 HUGE Issues for NEW Betting Traders… (Often Missed)

3 issues

Do you find your results go win, win, win, big loss? Absolutely wiping your bank out in the process.

Take a look at these three problems, they’re huge (in my opinion) for anybody learning to trade betting exchanges.

But it happens to all of us, it’s quite normal. The trick ever there was one is to avoid them early…

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Hopefully, by the end of this post you will:

  • Understand where most go wrong
  • See how to avoid these painful situations
  • Retain as much profit as possible

…so lets get cracking!



One of the reasons those win, win, win, big loss results occur is because they catch people out…

Why treat two different situations the same?

Would you expect a 19 runner national hunt flat race at 5.30pm to trade the same as the feature race at 3pm? with only 10 runners (a high profile handicap). They have a totally different makeup for a start!

Also, would you be looking to use the same size stakes? 

One of the two is likely to have higher betting volumes, more unmatched money and less horses to absorb the liquidity. The other, the total opposite.

In one of those situations, I can get away with using enhanced stakes quite freely. Now I don’t want to go into it too much, because that’s what the pre-race trading guide and the video pack are for – but it’s important to highlighting the difference.

If you don’t see it, it’s a BIG problem.

This is probably also a good time to highlight the fact that different situations don’t just show themselves in the form of race types or entries. Ask yourself; is trading a race 20 minutes before the start likely to be the same as 2 minutes before the start?

Logically, the answer should be easy!

For the different situations you’ll want to adapt your approach and trading styles between swing trading and scalping respectively. It just makes sense to.

Failure to do so is undoubtedly going to put you back on the win, win, win, big loser train.


Moving on, the next screecher of a problem that inevitably ends with a disproportionate loss would be; going in-play when it wasn’t planned.

in play unplanned

Notice I said when it wasn’t planned – because sometimes going in-play is good. But only with a reason, such as backing to lay. I must hold my hands up though, if you look back through this very blog – I had a problem with going in-play (unplanned) very early on.

When trading a very short race, maybe six furlongs for example. It’s not unusual to see the price half in as little as 4-5 seconds. You DON’T want to be on the wrong side of that! It’s seriously painful.

When you think about it, such a move is like reverse dobbing. Half your trading stake will be gone in the blink of an eye. Sure, you could profit from it – but that’s just gambling. Not something I’m interested in…

It’s not uncommon for new traders to do this, sat there like a rabbit in the headlights as their money disappears. Worse still, if you laid the selection and took it in-play, you could be waving goodbye to your entire bank.

In places, you’ll see others saying it’s OK to do this when… at which point I switch off, it’s just not. Sooner or later probability is going to pull your pants down.

Point two covered – the message is clear; just don’t bloody do it! take the loss.


Thirdly is personal attitude, and it’s absolutely massive.

Long time readers will know I’m a big advocate of working out what’s at the route of the problem. It fascinates me, what drives certain behaviours, patterns and movement. Both in and out of the markets. Your own personal attitude towards everything you do and see is huge.

End up in one of those bad moods? You may as well knock trading on the head for the day.

In many cases, traders (myself included) have reported that win, win, win big loss being directly inline with something else that happened. Maybe you got some bad news? or perhaps an external relationship has your mind elsewhere… there are heaps of reasons for this, but external influences that change your attitude both before and during trading need to be cut out. Quite literally.

This is also why people that are overly negative, and have a bad attitude rarely make good traders.

To put this into context, I’ll tell you about something that happened to me – when I was learning to trade. I was at that stage were I’d become a little profitable, and trading was still rather ‘exciting’ or at least the idea of making money easily was anyway.

On this particular day, I had rushed home for a dental appointment. I got changed, had to fly out for the appointment, rushed off down the road, had my checkup, left the dentist and was on the way home to catch a few races…

To be honest I was probably driving a little quicker than I should have been.

Where I lived at the time, there was a narrow country road. I came down the narrow road, where often people have to give way. On this occasion, I thought, “I can get through that gap” I was in such a hurry (totally stupid). I wanted to get on and get trading.

I went through this gap, scratched up the side of my car – so stupid. It put me in a bit of a bad mood too, but I was still hell-bent on trading. Having had a dental appointment, I felt as though I’d missed out on several races anyway. Ludicrous when I look back at it.

And so, as you may have guessed, I proceeded to trade what was left (poor attitude intact). This was then amplified by an initial loss, it just got worse and worse.

The point here is:

You need to keep yourself in check and be aware of how you are and your attitude on what’s going on in the markets. You can’t force the market. You’re just in the market. You don’t control what happens. Just because you decide that something might happen doesn’t mean it will happen. You need to keep your attitude on the straight and narrow.

Lesson Learnt in Blood?

Sometimes it’s easier to learn from such experiences through making the mistake. Although I wouldn’t advise it, please draw on mine!

Now, had that happened to me today. I wouldn’t have gone in and traded straight away. I wouldn’t have been in a rush in the first place, but I definitely wouldn’t have rushed in with that bad attitude. The best cure would have been the initial prevention.

Related: Pre-Race Trading Guide for Betfair

6 thoughts on “3 HUGE Issues for NEW Betting Traders… (Often Missed)

  1. I went in-play the other day after swearing blind I’d never do it again after I’d had a big loss because of it! This time, thankfully I didn’t lose but I was really disappointed with myself! It’s so tempting as your losses could be wiped out in an instant and if you have layed a horse it’s even more tempting, I mean what’s the chances it’ll win! lol I need to get myself one of them bungees!!!!

  2. It is for this reason that I moved away from horse trading to football trading. Now this was actually due to one of Caan’s sage bit of advice which is understanding the market. I understand football and the stats and form seem to me , more likely to be reliable (only my perspective I understand!). So I’m much calmer when I trade. I made all these mistakes Caan has highlighted here. I’m sure most do but they are both painful and informative. I learnt from my mistakes and once again it’s Caan who guided me through the aftermath. Great stuff.

    1. Thanks Steve, although there’s only a little portion of the credit I could take – you had to do it! Which is of course, the hardest part.

  3. Hi Caan,

    Hope you’re well mate.

    I hope you don’t mind me dropping you a mail it’s just I would like to ask for your advice with regards to my trading. I have recently just started out after reading your book and I’m in the process of watching the video pack (about 50%). Trading is something I am determined to crack, for two reasons one I really enjoy it and more importantly the money!

    Basically though I just can’t seem to grasp it, it literally feels like my luck couldn’t be this bad, every time I open a trade it feels the market goes the wrong way , or I make 2 successful trades then lose the same amount in the 3rdI feel like it’s something I need to be taught in a tutorial situation, I know it’s not impossible, you yourself are an example that it can be done so it’s clearly just a case of understanding it all and knowing what to do and when.

    I just seems to be losing more than I’m winning and wondered if you had any advice for me at this stage ?

    1. Hi Adam, when trading you want to try and stay way from ‘luck’. Focusing on your edge will make life easier, although you’ll need to remain disciplined enough to keep with your advantage.. this is the problem of many, and the one it sounds like you’re wrestling with. You could have the best advantage in the world, but if it doesn’t apply to the third situation as you describe it – then you have to skip that one. Otherwise the market will just take back, as it sounds as though it’s doing 🙂

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