Being a new trader is tough. We’ve all been there.
Searching the web for hours on end can leave us feeling more confused than when we started. I know it’s how I felt initially.
I’m going to share 7 tips for placing your first trade on Betfair. Following these steps will help give you get off to a far smoother start, placing your first trade.
#1 – Educate Yourself
The first and arguably most crucial tip is to invest in your education.
There’s so much easily accessible, free information about trading out there. Heaps of it on this blog, make the most of it! Before you step foot in your first market, you need to know how the market works. Would you drive down a motorway without knowing which pedal is the brake? Not advisable.
The exact same principle applies when trading. It’s incredibly important that you learn as much as you can before getting your feet wet. You don’t want to fall at the first hurdle and blow your account as soon as you start.
One of the best ways to learn how markets work is to sit back and watch them. Observe how the odds move during certain moments. Make notes and see if you spot any patterns over time. Perhaps you notice that certain racecourse markets act very differently to others? Why is that?
#2 – Starting Size
Again, motorway on your first driving lesson? Insanity!
Start small with your stake sizes.
Decide on an amount of money that you can honestly say, you wouldn’t mind losing. If you’re not comfortable losing any amount of money, you can always use a training mode.
Some people start with a lot, some start with a little. How much you use exactly doesn’t really matter.
As the ladies say; it’s not what you’ve got, is how you use it!
Let’s imagine that you start with £100. If you stake the whole amount in one go, it’s quite obvious that you won’t last long. Even if you manage to win the first few trades, you’ll get stung sooner or later. That’s gambling, not what we’re here for…
To minimise your losses and maximise your winnings, it’s best to stake a small percentage of your bank.
Staking in percentages acts as a cushion to your bank, should things go wrong. Here’s an example:
- Starting with a £100 bank, 60 simultaneous losing bets would leave you with just under £5.
- Starting with the same £100 bank, a winning streak of 60 (assuming you were betting at evens) would leave you with a bank close to £1,800.
Notice how we quickly you can compound your profits whilst still protecting your bank from going completely bust.
It’s all about staying in the game. Manage the downside and the upside will come, given some patience. Anyway, once you find your mo-jo it’s far easier to start clicking with confidence.
#3 – Get In The Zone
Free yourself from distractions.
Planning on trading whilst the kids are running riot? I hate to break it to you, but you’re going to have a bad time.
The most profitable traders are those who have spent years mastering their craft. A good craftsman keeps their tools sharp. A trader’s greatest tool is their mind.
Make sure you are well rested, calm and collected. Remember, you’re only just starting out on your trading journey. Even the most experienced traders struggle to trade well after a stressful day. How do you expect to be any better? We’re just human beings at the end of the day.
Everyone has different ways of getting in the zone. Take a long walk, go for a run, meditate, whatever floats your boat. Figure out what works for you and make a point of working it into your trading schedule.
#4 Specific Research
Specific research is an interesting one. I always advise looking at one thing at a time. It’s like building a wall, you just don’t sneeze 50 or 100 bricks together in one go. You have to focus on each block at a time. Building up successful angles is much the same.
- “How does Manchester United perform in league games vs cup games?”
- “How often does this horse run at the front of the race before losing?”
- “What’s different about evening racing to daytime races? why?”
I might notice that a particular horse is front running a lot. On further investigation, it seems like the market over reacts each time he does it. Bingo! Our research has paid off. We now have something to work with in our trading plan.
Don’t worry about finding a profitable strategy just yet. It’s impossible to know what works without actually testing it.
#5 – Make a Trading Plan
Don’t have a trading plan? Now’s your time to make one.
You’ll want to get stuck in and trading right away but it really does pay to be prepared. Trading without a plan will leave you wondering what just happened when you notice your account balance is back to £0.
Here’s a few things you’ll want to make a note of in your plan. You may want to add other points, depending on how and what you are trading:
How much capital are you going to invest into this strategy? What % of that capital will you be risking per trade?
Under what conditions will you enter a trade? Will you only look at certain markets? Will you be backing or laying?
Under what conditions will you exit a trade?
Almost all successful businesses have a business plan. They may update it regularly or change the direction over time. You have to treat your trading as if it is a business.
#6 – Stick to the plan
This is the tip that most readers will skim past. You might be thinking “sure, of course I’ll stick to the trading plan”.
Let me tell you. It’s far easier than it sounds.
When you’re in the heat of the moment, the horse race is 30 seconds away from the off… What are you going to do to ensure you stick to the plan? Many followers over time have come clean; the only real problem was that they didn’t stick to the plan.
Perhaps you need Betfair trading software that will automatically take the starting price of a horse? Maybe you need to remind yourself to “take a deep breath”?
Sticky notes tend to come in handy at this point. Has worked for me in the past anyhow…
#7 – Review Your Trades
I’ve saved the best until last.
Reviewing my trades were the single most important factor that helped me become a profitable trader.
Looking back through trading diaries, video recordings of trades and other data was incredibly useful. Once you watch yourself trade, your mistakes become blindingly obvious. From there, you can put plans in place to correct those mistakes.
Ask yourself questions such as:
- Did I stick to my trading plan?
- What can I do to improve my trading plan?
- Was I in the right frame of mind?
Don’t beat yourself up about making a loss. Equally, don’t get overly excited about coming out in profit. You’re in this for the long run.
Letting your emotions run riot will only put Betfair Account Statement in the negative!
Related: Guide to Scalping Betfair