Learn to Trade On Betfair In Training Mode: Pro’s & Con’s

learn to trade Betfair in training mode

When you first learn to trade on Betfair, thing’s aren’t easy… at all.

So why make it any harder than it needs to be? 

Learning to trade on Betfair in training mode is just one option. But is it worth the time?

In this post I’ll explore the pro’s and con’s of using training mode along with my own personal view.

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Why Learn to Trade on Betfair in Training Mode?

There’s various reasons to learn to trade on Betfair in training mode, some better than others.

Some are forced (though financial circumstances) while others are just very cautious… but like most things, there’s a balance to be struck. Completely ignoring training mode isn’t the best thing to do, but spending your life in it isn’t going to help either.

Personally I didn’t do the training mode thing from the start, a mistake possibly…

So here are the main pro’s and con’s along with my perspective.

Pro’s of Training Mode

Let’s get straight to the point. When you learn to trade on Betfair in training mode it costs nothing. Except your time.

Obviously you don’t profit either, but does that matter?

Many will ignore this im sure, but it’s a real benefit to learning to trade on Betfair. The cost of learning will far outweigh the cost of not winning if you jump in with both feet before you’re ready.

I don’t care what anyone else said about it; I never heard of anyone that found trading, started, made some money and walked off into the sunset counting their profit to live happily ever after. It’s not how it works.

But learning for free isn’t the only benefit.

When you learn to trade Betfair in training mode you see things differently. That devil doesn’t sit on your shoulder ushering you to make a bad decision in the moment so much, why? Because you’re not emotionally attached to the money you trade with, after-all it’s not actually there.

Seeing the situation clearly is a great benefit which leads to a third benefit, confidence, compounding that bit quicker…

On the other side of the coin you don’t berate yourself so much when you lose. Training mode is good for building trading confidence without a doubt.

training mode

Con’s of Training Mode

Ok, so it’s got a downside too, unfortunately…

The first to mention, that often goes over-looked; staking and risk management sometimes goes out the window but you’re to blasé about it. Any pro-traders main concern is risk management, by getting a little trigger happy its possible to develop a bad habit without a realistic sense of responsibility.

Over-staking is a real problem for newer traders so there’s a need to keep things realistic, also in training mode you are gifted a ‘free bank’ to play with. Would your real-money bank be of the same size? Probably not.

Delusion is common in gambling, we’ve all had that mate that’s always talking about the monster bet he landed… but then goes all sheepish when pressed about how often he loses. I think it’s a fairly normal thing amongst human beings to be honest, but don’t let training mode encourage this.

Keep a record of your imaginary results is decent advice.

Finally it’s worth noting that; when using larger stakes in training mode it’s not 100% realistic. Why?

Because large stakes can distort the market at times, and be harder to get out at the price you’d like. Seeing training mode doesn’t account for the amount of unmatched money in the market, things aren’t so real on large stakes. Obviously its situation dependant, although in the horse racing I’d say it applies to stakes much north of £250.

My View…

As I said at the beginning; it’s all about balance. In my opinion you’re best off using training mode as you learn to trade on Betfair within the first few months.

It’s going to save you a fortune in mistakes, really it will. It’s easy to bypass this advice though and then lose £5, £9 and maybe have a mini-blowout losing £50… the end result being you use training mode after anyway, £64 worse off… which of course is another 3 months software subscription and a trading guide, with a fiver change. Just a thought.

From some of the emails I’ve had over the years it could be a hell of a lot worse too!

Seriously, take the advice… spend the first 8 weeks at least using training mode. Find your way, learn a little about the markets, how they function, watch some YouTube videos and read some blogs.

Find a preferred edge that you’re comfortable with and then make the transition over to real money. The idea is to lose nothing and then once you have something start to profit… or at the very worst break even.

Although there was little help on offer then, I did it the other way around and my ‘education’ must have cost me about £5,000 in losses before I found a way of operating I was comfortable with.

We’re all only human at the end of the day but if this post has stopped just one person from doing the above it’ll have been worth it!!

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17 thoughts on “Learn to Trade On Betfair In Training Mode: Pro’s & Con’s

  1. If a successful trader like yourself recommends using training mode EVERYONE LISTEN!!!
    I had planned on using it before l read this post.

  2. Very interesting to read. I was wondering if you think practice mode is good to learn how to trade Betfair with? I have tried but sometimes my bet is matched too fast.


    1. Thanks Stuart, we’re going to answer this one in the YouTube Q & A if that’s okay. It is possible that your bets are getting matched when they might not have fully in real-time although there are a couple of other issues with training mode. The upside being – it’s free to learn with.

  3. Hi Cann, it might be worth noting that if anyone is using training mode for 6-8 weeks continuously be prepared to have there betfair account restricted due to data usage because betfair arnt making any profit. This happened to me twice, it’s an easy fix by sending a ticket email and explaining. But when it first happened to me It came as a shock especially when they wanted £150 to get my account back up and running. I very nearly paid it! Luckily I read about this before I did. I hope this helps any new traders.
    BTW love your video pack it’s helped my trading massively
    Thank you

    1. Thanks for answering a question I was about to ask Paul. Nice to know I have around 6 to 8 weeks before Betfair reacts to my using practice mode. Also, your advice on sending off a ‘ticket email’ and explaining your position to BF is invaluable information. Thanks again.

  4. I recently downloaded AGT and my intention was to use it in practice mode. Fortunately I checked out AGT’s forum where members described problems they had with account restrictions (trades delayed by 60 seconds or more). One guy had only been using PM for under 2 weeks! Surely a warning should be writ large on AGT software AND any articles about using the mode as apparently it can be very difficult to get the restrictions removed, and you may even have to pay for a data licence which costs a couple of hundred pounds.

    1. Hi Susan, that’s not correct though. Sounds like a lot of scare mongering… practice mode is fine, if you are limited you just email BDP and they unlock it unless activity suggests your data harvesting. The easiest way around this is to put a few quid in your account and match a bet from time to time. The cap on accounts is put on by Betfair too, not GeeksToy, applies to all softwares. It’s certainly not very difficult though – unless you’re data harvesting.

  5. Does this have to be done via something like GeeksToy or is there a training mode on Betfair itself? It’s not obvious if there is! TIA

      1. Thank you. I certainly think I’ll run with learning about GeeksToy. All double dutch when I have nothing but a bit of matched betting knowledge but I appreciate it takes time to learn. I’ll go with what you recommend though!

  6. cann i`m wondering how could i possibly switch to betfair training mode . i already have an account which is not verified. could you please explain how ? thank you.

  7. Loving the blog Caan, i’m gunna plunge into the videos, I have knowledge in matched betting but I’m getting gubbed out.

    What would you say the entry level is for the video pack? I’ve not done trading before, and while I know some of the betting lingo (arbing, dutching, back and lay etc) from matched betting will it be enough to learn to trade?

    1. Hi Jay, i think that’s common after a while! The videos are becoming more comprehensive all the time, starting there would be fine. Although it’s not the same as MB’ing. Caan

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