Beginners Guide to Scalping Betfair (Video Post)

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How to scalp betting exchanges

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 you’re time wisely.

In this post, I’m going to share 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.

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The image below show’s a winning ‘scalp’ in it’s simplest form.

Simple Betfair Scalping on Horse Racing

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.

Not enough?

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.

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 a betting exchange software, we want speed on our side. Personally I use A GeeksToy Pro. The main benefits are once 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 require’s a fair amount of discipline and self-control. When both 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.

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 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.

Scalping Betfair System Staking Bad

Where-as you’d get away with significantly bigger stakes in this kind of situation. Purely because of the amount of unmatched money available.

Good staking for scalping Betfair

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, theirs 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.

Conclusion

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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24 thoughts on “Beginners Guide to Scalping Betfair (Video Post)

  1. Very interesting article.l’m new to trading so I’m still learning. I have some success with scalping but I’ve also had a few disasters where I’ve an unmatched bet in running because the price has drifted. I think I should take heed of your comment and employ an exit strategy more often then I wouldn’t end up in a vulnerable position. Keep all the info coming it’s really useful and encouraging. Thanks.

  2. Hi Caan,
    I’ve spent a lot of time looking at your info and also that of a certain Mr. Peter W. 🙂

    As a relative ‘newbie’ who now knows what a blown bank really is, I keep coming across this word ‘work’. Educators – like yourself – keep saying we need to put the work in. My question though, is this: Put the work in where/how?

    Also – and please don’t take this personally – why are people such as yourself bothering to put all this info ‘out there’ if you can make so much money trading? I know, I know – I’m an old cynic – but after several times of being ‘shafted’ I’ve got quite a sore backside! lol

    Still and all, I wish you well in all you do. Your educational content is really good. If you just want to mail me back to tell me B*******! Thats fine too!

    All the best
    George.

    1. Hi George,

      Of course, work on yourself too. I mean half the trading game is self control, and trading, like gambling is one of those things that carry a lot of impulsive behaviour. I think when Peter and I say such things we are just being aware we don’t want to lead people down the garden path into the believe that it’s a get rich quick scheme or something.

      The course content question is one thats popped up elsewhere. But it’s another income stream, would be foolish to turn it down right? Also trading becomes quite solitary if you just do that. I did for the first couple of years and it’s like being a robot. The blog etc gives another level to the day, interaction etc.

      Don’t worry about the sore back side… if you look back far enough I had one of those too at points!

      Cheers,
      Caan

      1. Hi again, Caan. Many thanks for your reply. I see exactly what you mean and in fact, am working on another income ‘stream’ to bolster my trading bank. 🙂

        All the best
        George. 🙂

  3. Thanks for the article. Scalping is still an area of trading that I find difficult to profit from on a consistent basis. Sure I have winning scalps but I also have plenty of losing ones and the upshot is that I do struggle to win often enough to make a consistent profit from scalping. The biggest hurdle for me is when there is a sudden spike in price that turns the trade into a loser so that even when I hedge I end up with a small red. And then if I try to recover the red I just end up with a bigger red. I can make good profits from swing trading and Back to Lays but scalping remains the one area of trading that I just can’t quite crack yet. I’m hoping that enough demo trading on Geeks Toy will help it to sink in.

    1. Why even bother if you’re making good profits from swing trading? They’re two completely separate skills to learn and at odds with each other when to play. It’s quite possible your trading brain is homing in on swingers why risk messing up a winning formula, there’s no need to be a jack of all trades in trading. Plenty of us concentrate on single sports like horses, not football etc avoiding scalping is no different.

      1. If I can master scalping it will allow me to bet on more races and also take advantage of the bigger meetings and consequently make bigger profits. I don’t trade other sports – just focusing on horse racing. But I appreciate that learning to scalp will take time. As I have not cracked it yet I am only demo trading it as I don’t want to lose money if I can help it! With Back to Lay and swinging on the other hand I am using real money. Had a nice back to lay with Xebec earlier this evening.

    2. A lot of successful scalping centres around the situation you do it. Not all situations suit it… also the tendency is to over-trade for many newbies learning to scalp Betfair.

  4. Brilliant post Cann. I make about £3 a race on average now through scalping but find some places like dundalk will wipe me out for 3-4 races profit in one go. Do you know why this is?

    1. Hi Steven

      Good work on the £3 per race.

      It could be that it’s a poor race choice. As Caan says, it’s best to scalp in steadier markets so Saturday meetings lend themselves to that better, particularly those that are on Channel 4.

      I don’t do much scalping but if I do, I use a stop loss as well – gives some protection in event of the price flying away from you.

    2. Yes, Dundalk is typically illiquid, making it harder to when scalping the betting markets. Not every situation is suited to this style of trading. Also, as I’ve said elsewhere – not all opportunities are created equal. It’s best to adapt to the situation at hand, while avoiding over-trading and opening positions for the sake of it. It’s fine to just sit back and watch sometimes too!

  5. Caan,
    Like most here am fairly new to trading. Have been learning the art of Scalping with some success. With relation to money management, what is the safe way to do it in terms of your overall bank size per trade? Ie. Do you use a set % of your bank per trade or what?? Still have not got that side sussed out properly yet.
    Cheers

    1. Hi James, I’d try to steer away from that % view. It seems to carry itself over from financial trading. Focus on the process rather than the outcome and things may change 😉

  6. Possibly one of the most inspiring posts for any newbie to trading! I just started with the videos yesterday with no prior knowledge but I really appreciate the work and honesty you put into your teaching.

  7. I was just wondering caan. How many scalping trades do you put through on each race that you trade on betfair? is 5 to many?

    thank you
    Gary

    1. Hey Gary, it really can fluctuate. Starting out I’d advise a few simple scalps, limited to what you expect to be very good situations. Once experienced it’ll be far easier to know when you can push the boundaries. Typically it becomes easier to scalp as liquidity increases, giving you more chance to get more bets matched.

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