Betfair

Betfair Automation: Worth the Effort?

Betfair Automation

Some of the most lucrative profits are said to come from Betfair automation and similar strategies…

But is it true? and how likely are you to find success via automation?

In this detailed article, we’re going to explore Betfair automation, the strategies used and give our best answer to all your burning questions about it!

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What is Betfair Automation?automated flow

As the name suggests, automation is a style of computerised betting built around pre-defined rules and settings.

Typically those rules are formulated with ‘triggers’ that will initiate both entry and exit bets into the market.

For example, you could create a rule that says:

When a horses WOM (Weight of Money) reaches more than 80%, place a back bet at the current trading price.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

However, there are a plethora of issues that come with this, explained later. In most cases, users pursue the line of Betfair automation as they expect it will (at some point) result in them popping off on holiday whilst the program makes them continuous profits.

But as romantic as that may sound, is it possible to generate passive income via automation?

The Practicality of Betfair Automation:

The main problems with Betfair automation aren’t even the rules themselves, it’s everyone else. Longer-term readers may remember a previous post about the Book Flash Boys. In short; you will need to beat other market participants on both strategy and speed (in the event you are using the same triggers).

For the sake of explanation, we’ve answered questions around the starting with Betfair automation…

Betfair bot

How do successful automation users make money?

From the success stories I know, I’m led to believe most focus on skimming tiny profits (like 10-50p) out of the market on a consistent basis. To most they’re not worth the effort but when repeated over and over it can soon add up! Big races like the National or even on a Saturday afternoon are ideal. This is also why most automation users won’t show you their bets, it’d give the formula away!

What skills do you need to successfully automate on Betfair?

You could use an out-of-the-box product like Gruss or BF Bot Manager, many do. The upside being you can get started straight away, and maybe even find some automation templates to work with. The down-side being; templates are also available to everyone on the internet.

Also, programmers that create their own platforms and plug into the Betfair API likely have a speed advantage. This obviously means you need to be familiar with various programming languages and software.

If interested, you can see one of the top automation software in this Gruss Betting Assistant Review.

How much maintenance is required with Betfair automation?

A tricky question to answer. In some instances, you may find a successful strategy that doesn’t face any market competition for a while – meaning you carry on scooping those profits.

On the other hand, it’s an extremely competitive landscape. Having met some of the top exchange users over the years, I’d imagine it takes a vast amount of tweaking, especially if you have a good edge. Some are even willing to relocate and move servers to save milliseconds on bet submission. These people also work in teams to overcome the sheer workload (a lot of data refining is involved).

How complicated is it to build Betfair automation?

Many moons ago I took a look at this route myself. It wasn’t long before I decided it was a no-go for me, I’m no coder. Not so long ago Psychoff the football trader had teamed up with a developer to build a Betfair automation system called ‘scalpy’. I believe the project was since abandoned.

Betfair Automation Strategies:

Having spoken to a handful of success stories that have to build Betfair automation strategies that work, it’s not to hard to see the focus.

3 points to consider:

  • Low risk, low stakes
  • Volume betting
  • Patience

It makes sense; a good strategy should be built around areas that the manual trader either doesn’t want to or can’t do.

For example; sitting through every greyhound’s race (usually 50+ a day) leaving bets either side of the markets spread (usually big gaps) to repeatedly steal 20p profit.

Who in their right mind would have the patience to do that manually? nobody sane. However, there is a slither of opportunity there. If you can build a successful automation strategy to exploit this market facet it’s a good shout!

Another automated strategy would be to leave similar bets in the market, in-play (horse racing as an example). If you can find the sweet spot and all of the rules and triggers to make it work – you could skim off profits when people make the odd silly mistake. Occasionally it could leave you with a large return. The trick would be to keep things low risk and on low stakes. Again, it’s not that realistic for a human to do this with so many sharp minds already automating such setups.

Realistic automation on Betfair often works this way. You’ll make low returns, but the ability to trade every market is real…

If you’re brave enough to walk away and leave your newly found automation rules managing your balance is another thing!

How to Build Betfair Automation Files…

Assuming you’re still sold on the idea, where on earth is the best place to start?

If you’ve not got the programming skill there are already some starter-templates over on the Gruss forum. There’s also lots of previous debate about how you should build Betfair automation files, problems other users have faced and what’s an absolute no-no.

From there, you can plug in the excel templates and begin to log prices via the software interface (show below via the ‘Excel’ tab).

The software will allow you to link your Betfair account with excel integration to express market values, refine data and or place bets automatically.

It’s not the only option to consider though…

Software for Betfair Automation:

We’ve briefly touched on this already, but there are a handful of tools out there to assist you in getting started. As listed on the Betfair Apps Directory:

They’ve all been around for a while, catering to different levels of ability and needs. Certainly worth a deeper look!

You’re probably also wondering which is the quickest. Given they all operate on the same API with the same developer access it’s unlikely there is any difference to operating speed.

Is Automation Worth the Effort?

If you can make it pay, there is no doubt automation on Betfair is 100% worth your time. However, as previously mentioned – without coding experience it’s unlikely many will succeed.

Building successful automation strategies take time, patience, lots of data and I’d suspect a fair few mistakes.

One of the better angles could be to reverse work Betfair data (can be expensive to acquire) to formulate a successful pattern for future automation.

On the whole, it’s a niche topic and with good reason but don’t let me deter you!

Related: Pre-Race Trading Guide [PDF & Video]

10 thoughts on “Betfair Automation: Worth the Effort?

  1. Hi Caan, i have started doing back to lay in play horse racing using front runners manually putting in the lay bet to keep going in play and then if something goes wrong(doesnt lead) cashing out using the cash out button to save losses. Is this efficient or should i be using a manual cashout or indeed software and what do you use? Occasionally cashout isnt available or liquidity is low and causes a big loss. Thanks for time. pete

  2. good article about automation Caan. I noticed a trader posting automation Betdaq results from iMac screen except their software does not work on iMac I think we must make our own! this will be fastest!

  3. I’ve been running a number of automated strategies for a few years now. I also provide software for others to follow my strategies. Patience is required since the fluctuations are large, but long term profits are made. Virtually no effort required each since everything is automated.

  4. Hi Caan, great article again.

    I’ve been writing a few scripts to automatically trade for a little over a year and I officially turned my ‘bot’ on 11 months ago today, I’m pleased to say that it has been largely successful and despite a couple of hic-ups and a lot of refining it has turned £30 into £2600(ish). The steaks are small and started out at around 6p per race but they have now moved upto about a quid a race, I should also point out that about £1200 of that bank has come in the past month…. I know some people see it as bad taste to talk numbers but I’m happy to disclose these to illustrate how successful auto-trading can be to the other posters.

    By day I am a software developer so do I realise I’m in an advantageous position over some.

    The one thing I wanted to point out is that this income is far from passive, when you see the account growing and you experience the little mishaps you spend more and more time optimising and refining your code. Plus you are constantly experimenting with new strategies… as things stand I have 2 strategies running 100% automatically and I’m working on another 3.

    I would hate to quantify how much time I’m spending on this but I know if I took my profit from this year and divided it by the hours put into this project I would definitely come out less than minimum wage.

    I do however really enjoy what I’m doing, I have a passion for technology so that really helps me get through the tough times, and I’m confident that I will be even more profitable over the next year.

    So to answer your title question “Betfair Automation: Worth the Effort?” …. yes it is, but don’t expect to write a couple of pages of code and walk away with your mortgage payments covered. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to put this code base down, but for me that’s totally fine because even without the profit I enjoy doing this kind of stuff.

    Mark Zukerberg came out with a good quote in the Social Network; “it won’t ever be finished, it’s like fashion, fashion’s never finished”

    1. Hi Dave,

      I, too, am a software developer and am just now looking into automation. I have worked out some basic mathematical principles and am browsing the Betfair API. You mention that it’s a lot of work to get everything right, and I can imagine coding the right triggers, not to mention the parallelization to be able to place bets in tandem, is tricky to get just right. I’m looking at the problem with AI and Azure Machine Learning Studio in mind and if you’re interested, I’d like to discuss some ideas with you, maybe just bounce some ideas off of each other?

      Please let me know, we might be able to grow faster when joining forces.

      Arjuna

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