Everything seems to be immediate these days. In a digital world full of instant gratification, it’s not surprising…
Just about every day we get one of these questions emailed in by newbie traders trying to find their way. The answers are scattered throughout this blog and the web in general, but rarely are they in one place. So we’ve put this short article together answering the most common ones, no matter how crazy some of them may seem!
If you’ve got any others, drop them in the comments below and we’ll update the post over time.
Hopefully this helps a few of you!
In no particular order…
1) Is Backing or Laying Better?
On the face of it, this appears to be a stupid question. But it’s not entirely.
Of course there are only two ways a price can go, up or down. So if you should back or lay doesn’t make much of a difference (in the short term). To say one is ‘better’ than the other is dependant on the situation…
If you are trading at 1.50 it’s better to be laying, numerically. Unless you’re trading in-play and the horse has already fallen over, then it’s clearly better to back!
Alternately, if you are trading at a high price – it would be better to back, depending on how large the move you anticipate is. Numerically the payoff is larger than the liability.
Profit and loss aside, there could other benefits to backing first. If you have a small trading balance, the amount of lay bets you can place at large prices are limited – restricting your activity.
Ultimately, deciding which side of a bet is ‘better’ comes down to where the advantageous opportunity is. You should only be placing a trade where you think the current advantage is. When you add in other variables, such as sport and market type it makes this question even harder to answer.
Another thing to consider is hot spots in the market. Points where it’s possible to leverage the market odds over the shorter term, something discussed within the pre-race trading guide.
Profiting is all about exploiting situational biases, to think it’s as simple as backing or laying being better is a little naive.
2) Trading Pricewise Tips (& Others)…
I can’t fault people for this line of thinking, it’s quite obvious – and I once did it.
But you’re not going to make any money by backing a ‘tip’ from the racing post‘s pricewise area and laying it off later. Sure it’s logical to think like this, thousands of people back these selections every day, but the truth is; by the time they reach the public domain, movement has already happened.
You see, the bookmakers, their traders and possibly even those who update the post have all had access to them before you. They’ve got far deeper pockets.
Hugh Taylor is another that many people pose this question around. The punter has a great track record, and websites like at the races (who employ him) make sure his results are logged for all to see… they just don’t mention that there’s more chance of catching a flying pig than getting your bet on at the prices advised.
That’s not to say there aren’t patterns in the market around some of this activity, there certainly is. Just not in the way most expect it.
Those who have read the Amazon Book: Betfair Trading Made Simple will know my thoughts on the racing media, tipsters are part of that machine.
3) Just Started Trading: How Long Until Profit?
The majority never profit, this is partly why the consistent winners make so much money. But that’s just life in general isn’t it? When people attend a university course it’s no different. You get out what you put in, your own success is your responsibility. The harder you work, the more likely you are to succeed.
I think this is often a tougher pill to swallow for those who have made their first step with matched betting. The inclination is to think the two are the same, they’re not. Whilst there are strong similarities and it’s a logical route to take, there is no 1, 2, 3 almost guaranteed profit system available with trading.
Sports trading is more difficult to master. But as will all barriers in life – the harder to overcome, the bigger the payoff!
4) How Much Can I Make a Day?
Another fair but repetitive question, but first ask yourself; how much does it really matter?
The upper limits of profitability are probably only shared by a small group of people. I’m led to believe some make millions each year, personally I’ve seen 7 figure profit and loss sheets over the space of a year (not mine). This means it’s possible to make at least £2,700 a day if that person was trading every day. My own results are scattered throughout the blog and YouTube.
So that’s how much you ‘could’ make. But it’d dependant on heaps of different variables like:
- Risk appetitie
- Sports traded
- Edge’s margin
Lots to think about. On the whole, as you’ll hear say elsewhere – it’s best to look at trading as a longer-term business. Not a day-job with an hourly or daily rate to upkeep. You can work out the averages once you’re successful…
5) Using Racing Form to Trade?
If you can read a horses form, are you likely to be a better trader? I don’t believe so no. In fact, having met a few knowledgeable individuals it’s likely to be more of a distraction than anything else.
That’s not to say that understanding how handicapping works and the like isn’t a benefit. It is, just not for the reasons that many ask this question.
Form reading isn’t likely to help you predict a market move for one simple reason; it’s dated, and publicly available. Thus, it’s already factored into the price. This is also exactly why ‘insider knowledge’ is beneficial – because everyone else doesn’t know!
However, I would like to say that it’s always worth understanding the limitations and features of betting markets. For example; handicap races are designed so that all horses should finish together, providing a competitive race.
If you’re still not convinced by what I’m saying, let me ask you this…
If a horse is a ‘good thing’ based on it’s form. Is it over-priced because of it’s likely chance, or is it under-priced because of it’s media hype?
Finally, in a world where it’s so obvious that the smallest change and data increment is the difference between winning and losing… do you really think it’s reasonable to predict a horses price changing on non-specific variables such as lengths, going sticks, if a track is left or right handed or even worse; feeling. Hopefully I’ve got my opinion over there…
Any other questions? Post them below.