As a beginner you’ve probably just found the gold-mine that is scalping Betfair. Like any successful betting exchange trader will tell you; you only need to find one or two ticks regularly to generate a stable income stream.
But, is knowing this enough?
Unfortunately, it’s not.
In order to join the 5-9% of betting exchange users that win regularly, you’ll need to do better than this.
For every hour you invest in the markets, you need a return. The best returns come through knowledge, I can’t stress it enough. The trouble being; newbies are often seeking instant gratification. Play the long game, be smart.
It’s not just about making money on the spot, it’s really not. Use your time wisely.
In this post, I’m going to share a few things you must know in order to succeed when scalping Betfair. Such as;
- What a scalp trade is
- How you can scalp a price on Betfair
- When it’s best to be scalping a market
- Limiting your risk
Let’s start with my definition of scalping…
Scalping Betfair Effectively
Scalping is a technique that relies on small, short-term price changes within any betting exchange market.
To execute a profitable trade it’s always best to start with the end in mind. Considering the possible outcomes before a bet is even placed is the best way to do this.
Sound’s boring right?
Good. Boring usually means safe, and nobody wants to learn through losing money. That’s not why we’re here.
The image below show’s a winning ‘scalp’ in it’s simplest form.
While it may not look that appealing right now, think further ahead. You know, the long game I mentioned earlier. Honesty, when you start to look at scalping Betfair in this way it’s really not that long until profits start to roll in.
Just think if that small £3.03 profit was replicated in 30 races that day, one day a week. You’d have a cool £363.60 a month in the bank.
How about you double the stakes and get busy scalping for two days a week? £360.60 just became £1,442.40 if you can keep up the consistency. I think my points clear though, scalping can be lucrative once you’re consistent.
The best thing about scalping Betfair; you only need to be right for a very short period of time. Most of the time you don’t even need to predict a price will move.
Being right for a short period of time is key, because markets can move very quickly. You want to get in and get out as quickly as possible while making your money, or “ticks.” If you get your money to the top of the queue on either side – you don’t even need the prices to move when scalping!
Placing Your Bets
So, how is a ‘scalp’ trade actually executed?
In order to successfully complete your first scalp, all you need to do is place two opposing bets against each-other. Usually one or two tick increments apart. Once they’re both fully matched we can use our betting software to lock in a profit, otherwise known as ‘hedging’. The key is to make sure they’re fully matched as fast as possible. More about that in a moment.
Play the clip to see a successful scalp in action:
See how quick it was? Magic.
It’s not as easy as it looks though, it’ll take time to perfect your scalping skills. More pointers in a moment…
If you’ve still not quite grasped how a trade works there’s a longer explanation here.
It doesn’t matter which bet is placed first, just that they’re both matched fully. Having a preference as to which way the price will move is helpful of course. If the price moves against you, it’s time to close out fast. It’s not going to be possible to win 100% of the time, but by getting your bets matched more often than not it’s quite possible to come out on top.
The business of placing your bets and managing your position is pretty important. There’s a whole section about it in the pre-race video pack.
How You Scalp A Price:
What factors are important to succeed?
The first thing to remember is; scalping is often a very quick manoeuvre. For this reason alone it’s best to use betting exchange software, we want speed on our side. Personally I use A GeeksToy Pro. The main benefits are one click betting and the speed at which market information is displayed (milliseconds) as well as some fancy charts and indicators.
The second thing is; you’re not the only person to be doing this! Scalping Betfair requires a fair amount of discipline and self-control. When both of your bets haven’t been matched, you may need to ‘scratch’ or cancel the scalp by placing the exit bet at the same price as your opening bet. Remember: scratching isn’t a losing bet.
Mentally scratching a bet may be tough. Especially if the prices moves after you do it (in the direction you wanted). But always remember to protect your bank at all times. There will always be more opportunities in the markets to scalp successfully.
Once you’re set up and ready to go it’s time to think about the actual execution of your trade. Always start with the end in mind.
What will you do if things don’t go to plan?
Not having a plan is the guaranteed route to losing. Successful trading is all about managing risk, when you do that correctly the profits will take care of themselves.
The best single tip I can give you when it comes to scalping Betfair is this; always offer a price when opening a scalp. When you think about it, you’re already at an advantage when the price hasn’t moved if you offered a price. In fact, in many cases you won’t even require market movement. By offering a price at entry and exit of a scalp trade you can make money purely from the market turnover. Matching bets on both sides of the book (back and lay).
When To Attempt Scalping Betfair…
We know what a scalp is, how it works and what we need to execute it. But like everything in life, there’s a time and a place. So, when is this technique best employed?
If you’re anything like me, you won’t like risk. It may limit when you can do it but, scalping’s ideal for the risk averse trader (in the right situation).
As I hinted above, market turnover can be of great assistance to scalpers. Exposure time is limited in higher liquidity situations, limiting our risk in the process. So it’s logical to make sure you’re only looking to attempt a scalp trade in the very best conditions. The better the conditions are too, the larger bets you can use too but that’s a bit more advanced.
To find the best situations to employ this technique you’ll want to look for better quality racing. The Sporting Life is a useful tool for this, it’ll show you the horse racing on offer that day, media coverage and other things that make for a good betting market like number of horses within the race, prize money and race quality.
Limiting Your Risk
Scalping Betfair appeals more than other methods because of the low risk involved. Even so, it’s important to know your limits.
Poor staking is the biggest problem for most. Adding to a scalp trade that’s going wrong is nearly always a bad idea. Even though I’ve just told you, it’s more-or-less guaranteed you’ll do it at one point or another.
Unmatched money can disappear within the market at any point, although it’s a good idea to make sure you are staking in line with the market.
For example; the image below shows a £100 lay bet placed at 5.1 (seen in the centre column). The stake size is well out of proportion to this market if we were scalping.
Where-as you’d get away with significantly bigger stakes in this kind of situation. Purely because of the amount of unmatched money available.
Why’s it important?
Remember we want to limit the downside. So if the trade should go against us in the first example and we had staked £100 we would have to match against money up to 5 ticks away, bringing a significant loss. Where-as if you’d used double the size stake in the second example, you’d only have to match your bet at the available back/lay price of 3.4. Despite double-stakes, there is less risk in the second example.
Remember it’s not just about losing less either! If you’d placed a winning scalp, there’s less money passing through the market meaning it’d take longer to get your winning bet matched. And of course, the more time the trade is open, the more risk there is of something going wrong.
Fund Management When Scalping
As I have spoken about risk above, I felt mentioning fund management was important. To be successful when scalping, you have to control your bet sizes. The bigger your bets, the greater your risk. You definitely don’t want to find yourself in a situation where your bet sizes are simply too big for the volume in the market.
In bigger markets, like say the Cheltenham Festival, you can of course increase your stakes. However, will that impact your decision making ability?
Find the right stake size relative to your bank but, also relative to the market volume. This bound to be the best long-term solution.
Presuming the bank is growing; take money out. Spend it on yourself – you’ve worked hard for it! Don’t let your stakes become too big that the market volume can’t handle them.
Scalping Betfair is often as hard as you make it. Most people come into trading betting exchanges via matched betting or just plain punting. That’s fine but the urge is to have this compulsion to bet again and again without any real edge over the market. It doesn’t matter if you’re scalping or swing trading, you won’t get rich behaving like that.
Take your time, check out the resources mentioned in this post and free videos on YouTube. Knowledge is paramount.
Once you’re comfortable with the markets and how they work your odds of success are dramatically increased. As the saying goes: the more you learn, the more you earn. Good luck!
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