Horse racing trading gives some of the best Betfair trading opportunities around. With so many races, you only need a small average return to be highly successful.
But where the hell do you start?
It’s often quite daunting at first, but one thing is for sure: it’ll never get boring. This is why I was immediately drawn to developing profitable horse racing trading strategies. But If I’m really honest, the huge sums of money to be made probably had more to do with it!
With 15 – 40 races a day, an average of just £10 per race soon adds up.
Building up a selection of horse racing trading strategies wasn’t quite so easy. While it was absolutely worth it, it took some time (and many mistakes on route).
I want to give you the shortcut to developing your own horse racing trading strategies throughout this post. But before we begin, it’s important to realise that focusing on one at a time, highly increases your chances of success.
It also reduces that overwhelming feeling that new traders are often faced with.
Mastering just one of these three is more than enough to make a stable side income:
- Successful Scalping Before the Start
- Backing to Lay For a Quick Win
- Swing Trading a Large Price Movement
So let’s break them down, one by one…
Horse Racing Trading Strategies: SCALPING Successfully Pre-Race
If you aren’t familiar, scalping is a trading technique where small profits are taken quickly and consistently.
It’s important to be on top of your own mindset when scalping, as hesitation can undo previous progress quickly. Sudden changes in the market can mean several previous ‘scalps’ that were profitable, are wiped out quickly. However, snappy execution allows profitable traders to stay on top.
Of all the horse racing trading strategies, this has long been my favoured approach. Consistently turning a small profit adds up fast and doesn’t require a large bankroll (or market knowledge). It’s the logical place to start in my opinion. Discipline and method of execution will determine just how successful you are when it comes to scalping. But it’s not always easy…
Do you find scalping frustrating?
If so, the chances are you’re either:
- Operating in the wrong setting
- Slow to react (poor discipline)
- Not executing well
Or all of the above. For most people, the main problem is discipline (I’ve been through it too). However, with the right stake management and patience, it’s completely doable. Usually, I find followers begin to struggle after they’ve had some success scalping.
Because once you make some money, the urge is to try and apply it to everything, every race and every situation. That just won’t work. This also leads to over-trading…
Choosing when and where we are active on the Betting Exchanges is a key attribute within a profitable horse racing strategy. The very fact we don’t have to trade everything is an advantage, just think about it for a second. Then take a look below.
Here’s a clip of me scalping on YouTube from some time ago…
If you aren’t yet familiar with the interface in the video above, see this link.
What Is Over-Trading and How To Avoid It?
Over-Trading is basically when you are trading too much. You are opening too many positions, or trading too many races during the course of one session. Horse Racing trading is a game of fine margins, over-trading can really kill your profit. However, the good news is; doing the opposite means you can profit more from doing less.
Everyone with experience knows that over-trading is always difficult. But experienced traders know how important it is to avoid.
To avoid over-trading, you need to be continuously aware that you’re doing it. Awareness is key…
How To Identify That You’re Over-Trading?
You might fall into one of these categories:
Technical Over-Trader: This is a person who looks back at charts to find a reason why they have opened a trade. They are using the charts to justify what they have already done, and not using the charts to determine their strategy. They’re not letting the market’s order flow guide their horse-trading.
Trigger-Happy Over-Trader: This is basically when you doubt yourself; mainly because of a poor run in recent form. Remember Horse Racing is a long-term game, with plenty of ups and downs. Doubting yourself which leads to opening and exiting trades quickly can lead to big losses. One tick may not seem like a lot, but if you open five different positions, giving one away each time then self-doubt is expensive.
Shotgun Over-Trader: This is a trader who tries to trade too many sports, or markets, at once. Because they are trying to do too much at the same time; they lose. This is probably the most common over-trading example. Always focus on quality over quantity. Again, only trade when you have the upper hand.
Bandwagon Over-Trader: I know we all love a good bandwagon from time to time but in trading, it’s a poor method to make a profit. If you open a back after the crowd and exit a lay before the crowd; you’re missing the value. Speed is so important; you need to be decisive. You want to be the first to exploit market momentum, off before the crowd.
Increasing Your Chances:
Shortening the path to success means you will need to find situations where the price is fairly stable, and the volume of matched bets entering the markets is as high as possible.
Depending on the size of the stake you wish to use, you will need to consider the situation’s stability. It can be harder to get larger stakes filled quickly (I’m talking £500-£1,000+).
Being the simplest of horse racing trading strategies means you can implement this strategy in pretty much any market at one point or another. Although the key to success is picking the right time frame. The more money there is flowing through the market the easier it is to get your bets matched – limiting your risk in the process.
Think about peak periods in the market, where the most money is bet… a subtle hint you should think more about maybe.
Horse Racing Trading Strategies: How To BACK TO LAY For a Quick Win
If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook (links on the sidebar). You’ll have seen me post up Back-to-Lay pointers from time to time.
There are far fewer opportunities to use this strategy each day. Mainly because the criteria for use are far more specific than scalping or swing trading. But given the right selection and execution, it’s seriously fast money. If you want to grow your betting bank faster, then it might be for you!
Sporting Life is my preferred resource to see how horses have previously run. Many others are also useful but don’t give quite so much detail about previous performances. If you’re looking for historical prices that horses have traded at in-running, Timeform lists them.
Several followers have messaged me since I introduced them to this strategy, saying how it’s the easiest of horse racing trading strategies. The only potential downside is; there are maybe one or two really good opportunities a day.
The upside is; returns are high when considering the stake-to-profit ratio when compared to other horse racing trading strategies. Having a lower bankroll but still achieving good results makes it attractive to those just coming into the game.
…be warned it can be quite addictive! (making a profit always is).
Other horse racing trading strategies often bring a lower stake-profit ratio. However, more opportunity for use balances the comparison.
One thing to bear in mind with the video above is that you won’t want to have a large liability at the first hurdle in jumps racing. It’s a good idea to offset your liability by this point, just in case the horse falls. The best horse racing trading strategies limit your potential downside while leaving room for profit, not the other way around.
Horse Racing Trading Strategies: SWING TRADING a Price-Shift (Before the Start)
Of all the horse racing trading strategies (pre-race), this one gets people excited.
It’s easy to see why…
If you can predict a large swing in price, you have far more opportunities to win. Furthermore, this trading strategy is quite scaleable. When you’re confident, it’s possible to use far larger stakes than some other racing strategies. If there was a downside, swing trading well requires the patience of a saint at times.
The natural tendency is to close a trade when it’s winning, but let it run if it’s losing. We’ve all been there, right?
When you read that out loud, it’s easy to see – you should be aiming for quite the opposite. It’s this kind of thing that makes trading difficult, but the funny thing is – it has very little to do with the market. And quite a lot to do with the trader!
However, as ever, knowledge is power.
Having the knowledge to give you that extra bit of confidence in what you’re doing is all the difference. By feeling like you actually know where the price will go, it becomes so much easier to let the profits run.
More importantly, it’s even easier to avoid that horrible sinking feeling should something go wrong.
This live example shows how a consistently low-risk approach pays off:
Above: Swing trading just goes to show how you don’t need a huge bank to win nice amounts
Horse Racing Trading Strategies: SUMMARY
Since twenty-ten, I’ve spent a huge amount of time horse racing trading.
On route, I’ve done it all. I’ve made many mistakes and found plenty of sweet spots too! But why is this?
I’ve always been one of those annoying ‘but why?’ people. I believe this is what initially led me to success, however, I also realised something else quite early on… Mastering yourself, and your own emotional reactions is a large piece of the puzzle. You need to be able to keep your cool when the temperature is up!
Avoiding mistakes before they happen makes a big difference. Horse racing trading is fluid, the markets behave differently from others on Betfair. There’s much money lost and won every day through irrational mistakes and reactions. Not all are scaleable, but horse racing trading strategies offer a huge amount of opportunity. And there are so many ways to trade – even now I’m still finding points of interest to adapt and evolve on.
I’m sure the strategies shared above will be enough to get most traders thinking, old or new. But if you were already aware, just think; how can you improve on them?
Over the years I’ve learnt that if I have a reasonable edge, there are usually half a dozen other ideas that can come from it. Some of the best have been stumbled upon whilst looking for something completely different!
For additional information and trading videos and help, check out this link.
Think about who you are trading against. Winning consistently requires an advantage of some kind…
If you are going to build a plethora of horse racing trading strategies with a significant advantage to yourself – the value has to come from somewhere.
- Why and how do other exchange users lose?
- Can you get access to information the masses don’t have?
- Where are bets struck that do not care for the price?
Answering questions like this could be quite lucrative. That’s another hint.
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