Swing trading on Betfair gives the most lucrative return-to-stake ratio possible. It’s the sweet spot that every successful trade wants to master.
Unsurprisingly, this goes hand in hand with being the most difficult trading discipline.
Stealing a tick here and there is enough to give most people the income they once dreamt of. So why swing trading?
If you can predict a large move in price one or two times a day, not a lot else matters. It’ll allow you to make more money in less time. Hence the demand for understanding among traders. So in this post, I’m going for a Betfair swing trading deep-dive.
The area’s I’ll be focusing on are:
- What Betfair swing trading is
- Why it should be a point of focus for you
- Swing trading indicators
- Tips and tricks to improve your swing trading
- Examples of successful swing trades
Note: This is an updated and improved post that was first published by Caan Berry in twenty-eleven.
Swing Trading on Betfair Explained:
My definition of Betfair swing trading is:
“the process of backing and laying a specific outcome at significantly different prices for an above average profit”
Here’s an example from one race earlier this week…
You can see the swing between back and lay bets in the footer of the far left ladder. More details on that result at the bottom of this post though!
The potential upside to successful swing trading on Betfair is obvious. A fortune can be made quite quickly. However, theirs a darker side that I have to talk about too…
I’m referring to the massive frustration that comes with learning to swing trade. At times it will test the most patient individual, self-control is a massive obstacle for many. This means that the payoff is well worth the wait for those who stick with it and eventually persist.
Why’s it so hard?
Prices rarely ever move in one straight line. In fact, it’s quite normal for a price to bounce around and go in the wrong direction before continuing on its true path. Unfortunately, that doesn’t sit well with us as human beings. Being sat in a swing trade while it bounces against you isn’t a great feeling at all. Overcoming that urge to close out too soon is an art in itself. It’s not all doom and gloom though, having a good understanding of the markets can counteract this overwhelming sensation to shoot yourself in the foot!
As the saying goes “knowledge dispels fear”.
Why Swing Trading?
The image below shows the original swing trade that sparked this post (at Ripon). It was a decent move, although I had to resist that urge and sit on my hands toward the end!
Click the image to enlarge.
I remember this trade vividly. I was burning to get out of the trade for an age, it seemed like an hour although was probably just a couple of minutes. I hadn’t used a huge stake, although looking back, maybe I should have.
In the end, I got out and it continued to shorten, which is just typical. I think my actions were the right thing then. Maybe a little “market noise” scared me into thinking I’d lose a chunk of profit which prompted exit. In high sight, that’s the very reason that catches out others that aren’t as far down the path as me just yet. I’m happy with my choices though, managing risk is an important part of any swing trading strategy on Betfair.
On the profit and loss in the image, I’ve underlined my main entry and exits in green. You’ll see at times there’s a little scaling in and out with a cheeky scalp too. These were based on how I felt about the price action at that point in time. Reading the flow of money is a real help.
One thing’s quite obvious though; for £150 initial stake and ten minutes trading, I made a £40.26 return. Where else do you get a tax-free return like that?
What Indicators Prompted This Trading Entry?
By now your probably burning to know what gave me the confidence to wait?!
First off, I’d had a look at the market for a minute or so. This step of the process is wildly under-rated. We want the market to do the heavy lifting for us, so taking your time to analyse the information on offer (and as it evolves) is crucial.
Bookies odds were checked just to see if there were any standout moves. A couple of prices in the market looked pretty weak, as they drifted this runner had closed but only slightly. Bookies odds were a little shorter than Betfair, nothing unusual.
I thought on it a little and watched money entering the market, whilst doing nothing with my mouse. Initially, I entered for half my stake at 8.0. Initially, it didn’t really look like a move was imminent. But then a little flurry of cash appeared, supporting the existing sentiment. The market started to ‘form’ and so I went in for another £75 catching the last few quid at that price. Almost instantly I was a tick or two in hand. I was thinking of taking part of my position out to move my green/red crossover. If it had not moved a little more I may have been tempted – often this is a good trading tactic to settle your emotions.
Don’t underestimate the power of having a buffer between profit crossover and the trading price. The bigger it is, the clearer you will see the situation. To extend your green zone, trade out a small portion of your position once the price moves in your favour.
Getting Started: How to Swing Trade on Betfair’s Exchange
The nature of Betfair swing trading makes things difficult. You must resist the urge to exit a good position in order to see what happens next! Letting profits run when you’re in a good position and cutting losses short when you are not is crucial.
Knowing what you are doing is the quickest route to success. There are so many variables that affect each situation making it unique and different (particularly in horse racing). But you don’t need to understand the entire market. Focusing on the right areas that move price is enough. We’ve got a swing trading tutorial about it in the video course.
For example; when swing trading a horse race, you may want to look at key variables like the last time the horse run. I mean, it might make sense when lots of money comes for a horse that hasn’t been seen for 300 days, right?
On the other hand, does it really matter to the market (financially) if Graham Lee or David Allen is taking the ride? No.
That’s not to say Jockey and Trainer combo’s don’t unravel in the market, it’s to highlight that a swing in price on Betfair often comes from something substantial. Have a think to yourself, what are those things and why would they create a swing in price. Next, you’ll want to make sure you’re set up properly with some software and open to recording results. The advice is to start small, be patient and do some research. Learn about the markets, how they move, why and then start to practice in training mode. But above all else, get educated.
Swing Trading Only Requires Small Stakes…
When you understand the pre-movement indicators for a swing in price things become significantly easier. You don’t need a huge balance to make a decent return either, as you can see in the YouTube video just below.
There’s more on market indicators at the end of this post although it’s worth noting – we share the highest quality information within our courses and guides.
Please excuse me but the most valuable swing trading tutorials and strategy is too valuable to share in public for free!
However, this previous swing trade will help you out:
If you’re looking at swing trading on Betfair as a hobby, the courses might not be for you. Trading Betfair for a living is a skill that takes a while to develop, like any other. The rewards however have exceeded my expectations. Consistency is under-rated.
Recent Swing Trading Example on Betfair:
As part of this update, I’ve added in a recent swing trade…
Take a look at El Camino’s price activity on the post there below:
A sizeable move, right? Especially when you see the betting forecast was up there at 3/1 (4.0 in decimals).
You can’t use bookies as the only indicator, although they can assist and reinforce the decision-making process. Typically their betting overround is far bigger than the exchanges, so it’s rarely a leading indicator. However, would it be fair to say there was an overwhelming interest for El Camino in one direction in this instance?
Here’s your answer:
Notice, I didn’t get on the price move all the way up there at 4.5 or 4.0. This Betfair swing trade started just above the 3.0 mark (see the 3.1 back bet on the ladder).
Taking a swing in price from 3.1 to 2.72 is still a massive move of 15+ ticks. But I’m not highlighting this to show off, it’s to make the point – you don’t have to catch the whole move.
A lot of the value had already gone, but I didn’t want to take the risk. So instead of taking a punt, I only entertained the swing in price when confirming signs were there. Traded volume was a big pointer in this situation too.
Swing Trading Conclusion:
Each day there is usually at least one or two good chances of a move (that were very predictable). Sometimes there are fewer, sometimes there are more. It’s a bit like that saying about busses – after waiting, they all come at once! Probably one of the most fitting phrases to describe Betfair swing trading. Finding one or two opportunities a day isn’t that hard if you know where to look.
If you don’t look at it like that; swing trading will probably have you checking into some form of mental institution sooner or later. Think about the long-term, be patient, tactical and deliberate. If you can find a move like this each and every day for just a small stake it doesn’t take long to build up the bank.
Betfair swing trading is the most difficult approach to master, but with the highest financial reward. As with everything in life, the best results often come from the most difficult discipline. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it!
Swing trading is a long-term approach. Keeping that in mind might make things a little easier…
Recommended: Simple Horse Racing Trading Strategies