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3 Simple Horse Racing Trading Strategies (for Betfair)

Horse Racing Trading Strategies Betfair
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Horse Racing Trading Strategies: Where Do You Start?!

Of all the trading opportunities on the exchange, horse racing holds the most. With so many races, day after day, week after week, 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 things 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 did take some time (and a lot of mistakes on route).

Throughout this post; I want to give you the short-cut to developing your own horse racing trading strategies. But before we begin, it’s important to realise that focusing on one at a time, highly increases your chances of success …and reduce that over-whelming feeling that new traders are 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…

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Horse Racing Trading Strategies: 1. 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 much 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… 

Have you tried? Do you find scalping frustrating? If so, the chances are you’re either:

  1. Operating in the wrong setting
  2. Slow to react (poor discipline)
  3. Not executing well
  4. Over-trading

Or all of the above. For most people, the main problem is discipline to start (I’ve been through it too). However, with the right stake management and patience it’s completely do-able. Usually I find followers begin to struggle after they’ve had some success scalping.

Why?

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…

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. 

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 stake you wish to use, you will need to consider the situations stability more. 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.

Horse Racing Trading Strategies: 2. 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’s far less opportunities to use this strategy each day. Mainly because the criteria for use is far more specific than scalping or swing trading. But given the right selection and execution, its seriously fast money.

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 written history around previous performances.

Several followers have messaged me since I introduced them to it, saying how it’s the easiest of horse racing trading strategies. The only potential downside being; 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 comparing 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 profit always is).

Other horse racing trading strategies often bring a lower stake-profit ratio, although more opportunity for use balances any kind of 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: 3. 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 opportunity 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 its winning, but let it run if its 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…

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 in the horse racing markets.

On route I’ve done it all. I’ve made many mistakes and found plenty 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 markets are fluid, they behave differently to 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’s 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 video’s and help, check out this link. 

Book Simple

Bonus Hint:

Think about who you are trading against. Winning consistently requires an advantage of some kind…

If you’re 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 price?

Answering questions like this could be quite lucrative.

Found this post of use? Got a question? Please share and comment below!


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36 thoughts on “3 Simple Horse Racing Trading Strategies (for Betfair)

  1. Nice post. It seems that are a lot of similarities to tennis trading. Since I started to scalp I am on the winning path. Obviously we also have swings at tennis and back to lay (or the opposite) is also a way to make profit. It seems that the biggest advantage of the horses are the high amount of races, you can trade. At tennis I don’t see more than 4-5 opportunities a day. You have to wait for the right moment, some games are not tradeable (for example most first round matches, where a big favourite like Federer or Djokovic is involved).

    Keep up the good work. It’s very interesting to read your blog. Perhaps you can put my blog at your link list. Your one is already at my blog roll.

    Kind regards,

    Martin

  2. I have immersed myself in the racing markets over the past 6 months. After many ups and downs I do feel that it’s beginning to click into place. I’m starting to get a lot more consistent with my swing trades, and scalping is getting there (although I have focused primarily on swings). Thanks for all ur content. It has definitely helped me improve. Cheers pal

  3. Hi Caan,
    Am trying to purchase your Trading Guide by debit card but the “pay now” button seems to be “greyed out” so nothing is happening when I try to process the payment???
    Can you help?
    Cheers
    Kevin

  4. Might be boring as you say but let’s look at that.
    2 mins to 15 mins of work, and you can trade out on a profit of £20 before the race starts.
    Do that 10 times a day, that is £200 a day tax free…
    That’s a cool £5200 a month if you do it on weekdays and on Saturdays.
    Yep that sounds boring…
    Brill stuff Caan.

    Downside is as you say, care must be taken but as long as you are okay with a few losses each month – attitude to risk that is means you don’t mind – as you profit anyway, this works. You will make mistakes especially if you go inplay a lot to go for better odds. I do it as a secondary income on top of my usual day job as a freelancer. I use Bet Angel, perfect for this method.

      1. Oh yes, I agree. I get days when staring at stats on sites and bet angel so long numbs my brain. I tend to keep the time consumed under control partly as I run my own business too. Lots of sites are making scalping out to be easy and I want to add that on the surface, yes mostly but readers should not think ‘easy money’. That kind of approach brings easy losses. Newcomers here should take scalping carefully, and keep updated via your site and some others.

  5. Hi Caan,
    im quite new to this but 100% serious about getting up and running. I was wondering if you could provide some one2one (online) assistance for me if i were to pay for the service.
    Is this something you’d be willing to consider or not?

  6. Thanks for this post Caan. It’s probably the best horse racing strategies post I’ve seen on the web. You’re YouTube channel has been of great use too!

    Only question is: which of the 3 strategies are your preferred approach?

    Thanks x

  7. I’m 80 years of age so watching the ‘Scalping’ video lost me completely.
    Betting odds I understand, this stuff.. no!
    My first bet was in a factory. A guy had a timed bag to take to the bookie. 1959.
    First bet – 3 sixpenny doubles and a sixpenny treble. Had a 7/1 and a 7/2 double up – never looked back. High street bookies took me to the cleaners. 🙂

    Wish I could go back with what I know now!

  8. Awesome article here Caan. Your free content is brilliant, and helped me out so much already! Thank you.

    Stu

  9. Hay Caan, Great post and I’m learning a lot. I went and dabble the scalp method and i entered £5 stake @6.6 and exit at 6.2. All happened before the race, but after checking my Betfair statement, I haven’t won or lost at all. Is it because my stake was too low?

    1. Hey Andrew, sounds like you may have not hedged up?

      If you see the scalping Betfair post linked earlier in the article you’ll see that it’s best to use software (it’ll do the calculations for you). That way you can hedge up quickly. By backing and laying the same values at different prices you’d have only been left with a profit for the race if your selection won. And no loss on the other runners. Good luck with your scalping!

  10. Hi Caan, great post, really informative. I do back and lay trading. I back the night before on a horse whose odds look very good value and lay out generally about 20 minutes before the off. The scalping I’ve found a bit confusing. Does anyone else do this back and lay strategy?

    1. Hi Lisa, do you mind if I ask how you choose the races / horses to back? I’ve tried this method with mixed results. How successful have you been with this strategy?

    2. I do it this way as well, either the night before or get up early in the morning. After 9 O’clock it is no good as the value has gone and the market is settling down. Being a woman I don’t think I have the required nerve to trade 10 mins before the off, as it doesn’t give you much time to correct your mistakes. I’m going to give it a try though, and thanks to Caan I am learning more

  11. Hi Caann,
    How do you go about selecting your horses to back and lay for a profit? do you use Sporting life? If you could give me your criteria that would be great :).

    Kind regards

  12. Hi!!!
    A question about horse race: preracing trade How many tits do you take 1-2 ticks?

    And you’ll be fine if you’re going wrong, go out of your trade 1-2 ticks or scratch?

    What size in% of your bank should run at prerace trade?

    SINCERELY

    Roger

  13. Hi!
    Question about prerace trading: how many% of the bankroll should you use for prerace trading?

    SINCERELY
    Roger

  14. Trying to replace password . Bought racing info but password will not replace.
    How do I set up Geeks Toy for 2 week trial?

    1. Hi Roger, don’t quite understand this? If you’re having trouble resetting your password via the link, drop the support email a message with your details and they’ll get it fixed.

  15. Dude. This is glorious. I’ve been studying, reading, watching for a while now but yet to take the plunge. I’ve been betting for years (Not too bad, got restricted on a few in the end lol), matched betting ran it’s course and arbs done ok.

    It’s the scalping I really like the look of.. some real gold material on your site here.

    Top stuff.

  16. Good post Caan. I have been attempting some different horse racing trading strategies for a while now without too much success. It seems that I may have been doing a thing or three wrong. This blog has helped me see some of the situations in a different way, you are a wise fella. Wish me luck!

  17. Hi Caan,
    Really enjoyed watching a lot of your videos this morning.
    After losing money on Betfair (hopefully this will offset future premium charges) gambling over the years I feel trading is the way I can be successful.
    I don’t expect it to be easy and will ease myself in with small stakes just trying to understand how the markets operate although I think I have picked up some knowledge over the years. I really think there is an opportunity for me and my main concern is understanding the software and technology that goes with it. I plan mainly to trade pre-off horse racing and maybe some scalping on goals market in football matches. Do you have any advice for me? Thanks.

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Obviously I am biased with it being such a big part in my life, but trading is certainly the way to go for many reasons. Logic being the main one. If software concerns you have a search on the sidebar of the blog, plenty to help you out there for free. Horse racing trading strategies often require a decent software setup as there are so many moving parts inside of the live show. But like anything in life, the larger the barrier to entry, the bigger the prize on the other side.

      Cheers,
      Caan

      1. Hi Caan,
        Thanks for the reply.
        When you mention the software set up are you talking about trading software such as Geeks Toy? I set up the 14 day trial on Monday but while I do the learning not sure how much I’ll use it. I’m going to start the video pack course this morning and try to be as patient as possible for now (which isn’t one of my better traits). Thanks.

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