1. Back high, lay low / lay low, back high.
This is essentially the key to becoming a successful Betfair trader. Of course it’s easier said than done, but this is how you can consistently make steady profits over time. The key is to specialise in a market that you have the most expertise in. For me this was primarily the FTSE markets, both the hourly markets, and the longer-term midday and daily markets. I used traditional charts used by traditional forex and futures traders such as RSI, stochastics, MACD, moving averages, etc to give myself an edge and identify future price movements to trade on Betfair.
2. Don’t be afraid to back very low odds.
A lot of professional gamblers have in the past made consistent profits just from backing near-certainties at extremely low odds. For example, I know of one pro gambler who made a nice sum of money just from backing selected international teams to defeat San Marino in football for about five years. Yes the odds were very low, but he never lost a single bet on this particular selection. Betfair, and betting exchanges in general, offer a lot of these very low prices every day across various markets, particularly in-running markets. Obviously you don’t want to back them all blindly, as you will occasionally come unstuck, but be selective and use your expertise in a particular area to identify these almost no-lose bets. I’ve placed numerous trades at these low odds on the financial markets, and have made considerably more than I have lost.
3. Don’t follow the crowd.
As human beings we like to be part of a crowd, and this is often very apparent in the world of betting. Let’s take a test match as an example. It only needs a commentator to mention that it has just started spotting with rain, and you will often see the price for the draw plummet, as traders rush to back the draw. Often as a result of this, the actual price of the draw will dip below the true value of what the price should be. Therefore you can lay this price and hope to back it back later at a higher price, guaranteeing a profit, when the market activity and rush to back the draw dies down. These market overreactions can be very profitable for pro traders, ie those of us who don’t follow the crowd.
4. Make use of statistics and trading tools.
To be consistently profitable you need to arm yourself with as much knowledge and information as possible. For example, when trading the financial markets, I use various charting facilities, a live monitor, live futures prices, live news feeds, etc, to identify strong trading positions. Similarly when I trade the horse racing prices, I use oddschecker to compare bookmakers prices with Betfair’s prices, and help me find any price discrepancies.
5. Don’t chase losses.
This is absolutely crucial, and will ultimately determine whether you are cut out to be a trader. Of course no trader, however successful, will profit from every bet or trade they make, so the key is to accept the occasional loss as inevitable, and not to place rash bets to try and win back any losses straight away. Stay disciplined. If you’ve developed profitable trading methods, then you don’t need to chase losses as you know you will make steady profits over time.