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Directional Scalping on Betfair: Low-Risk Trading Strategy?

directional scalping on betfair

Directional scalping is regarded to be the lowest-risk strategy for making money on betting exchanges.

But not being a Betfair scalper isn’t for everyone.

Making money on betting exchanges is a lot easier when you understand how a betting market functions. This article will walk you through every aspect of directional scalping.

If you’re a beginner, it’s probably best to read this Betfair scalping guide first.

What is Directional Scalping on Betfair?

As the name might suggest, directional scalping on Betfair is about taking an opinion on market movement whilst attempting to profit from the betting market’s fill rate. It’s a subtle strategy change from traditional Betfair scalping.

By tactically positioning our bets in the unmatched queues we are able to make sure we limit exposure and maximise profit.

We’re not ‘certain’ about where the price will go, but we are looking to exploit short-term trends as the live betting show heats up.

Note: forming these opinions has nothing to do with horse racing form.

See an example in the next section…

How Does Directional Scalping Work?

See the circled bets in the image below:

directional scalping geeks toy betfair

Looking at the centre ladder of the Geeks Toy I want you to focus on three main areas:

  1. The streaming price movement (left of centre column).
  2. Recently traded volumes (dark green bars)
  3. My bets in the market (£200 x 3)

See how the current market pressure is trending downward?

We know this because of the recently streamed price activity and actively traded volumes. The dark green bars represent money matched in the last 40 seconds, the light green bars show the overall traded volumes at such prices.

Now there’s a bit more to this as many different trading indicators make up a market, but directional scalping on Betfair is about operating around the market activity. This is why my three bets are offered above the trading prices.

When they are matched, I have been given an advantageous position. This is how money is made on betting exchanges via directional scalping.

How Much Can Be Made?

It’s a burning question that comes up time and time again, although it depends on 3 variables:

  • How many trades you make
  • The size of your betting stakes
  • How skilled you are

I’d love to give an arbitrary figure, although it fluctuates wildly from person to person. The most successful Betfair scalpers will focus on the most liquid betting events and use thousands of pounds at a time whereas beginners might only take one or two directional scalps per sporting event.

When you consider that a single directional scalp of £200 is worth around £4-5 per tick at a price range of 4.0 to 4.1, it’s easy to see profits building up. Compared to other Betfair trading styles that may not seem like a lot, although consistent trading is the best trading.

betfair profit trading

The above image was achieved on a Saturday afternoon through directional scalping on Betfair (maybe a few small swings too).

Your own personal mindset is also a big factor in making money on betting exchanges with techniques like this. This is regarded to be one of our best articles on the different stages of trading Betfair for a living. Anyone aspiring to be a Betfair scalper should check it out.

When is the Best Time For Directional Scalping?

I consider timing to be THE BIGGEST factor in directional scalping. So many people attempt to trade the market at the wrong time in the wrong way. If you do this with your directional scalping, you’t going to get your ass handed to you. We need to manage risk and minimise the downside, and that’s just not possible via an inactive market 20 minutes before it starts.

Factors like the weight of money often deceive new traders. They become even more confusing when it’s long before the start of a horse race or footie match…

geeks toy betfair timer

Those dying moments on the lead-up to a race are the best for directional scalping. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to pick your trades carefully, only nipping in and out of the market in the final 3-4 minutes.

Directional scalping on Betfair is covered in more detail within our pre-race trading guide here if you’re serious about making money.

Common Mistakes When Directional Scalping:

We all make mistakes at one time or another, myself included. Here’s a quick rundown on the most common ones to help you save a few quid…

  • Staking larger than the situation permits
  • Scalping an inactive market (too early)
  • Directional scalping when there’s no trend
  • Placing too many scalps

When you look back it’s always obvious but we can’t live in reverse! Try to see these issues before they happen when you’re directional scalping on Betfair and you can thank me later.

Making money on the betting exchanges takes time and persistence, although it’s totally worth it. Be patient, offer your bets to the market, only take value and don’t try to force your trades and you’ll succeed as a Betfair scalper.

Related: Pre-Race Trading Guide for Betfair

One thought on “Directional Scalping on Betfair: Low-Risk Trading Strategy?

  1. Caan.I have been scalping in play football matches since May.Made mistakes at first but after using low stakes to gain experience with a high strike rate I find the 6 second delay on getting matched both in and out means I only get a small fraction matched using my smart phone.Would software speed up getting matched.I live off grid using 12 volts so can software work on my smart phone.Thanks.Paul.

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