Betfair Trading: Trade the ups and downs of sports odds

Betfair trading or sports trading is about fixed odds trading in sports events. Trading on Betfair, the leading betting exchange, means to predict the fluctuations of fixed odds either before the start or during an event. Much like stock trading, in order to make money in Betfair trading, traders need to buy low and sell high. Only this time buy and sell orders are replaced by lay and back bets respectively. As a betting exchange, Betfair brings together people willing to back a selection with people interested in laying the same selection. Bettors need to understand that they are not betting or trading against Betfair, since a betting exchange is very much different compared with sports betting bookmakers. It’s more like the middleman, who charges commission in the process of sports trading in order to be a viable business.

betfair-tradingIf you are a regular stock trader, you’ll find that the similarities between stock trading and Betfair trading are more than a few. Read here why Betfair trading is like online stock trading.

Success in Betfair Trading

Who am I to talk about Betfair trading, right?  I was successfully trading on Betfair the horse racing fixed odds before the start of the races in the 2000’s. Why horse racing? Horse racing markets in Betfair have a unique characteristic. Betting activity worldwide peaks in the last 10 minutes before the off. That means liquidity and volatility increase dramatically during those minutes, an ideal scenario for any kind of trader. When fixed odds move, there are opportunities to make money, whereas it’s much more difficult when odds don’t fluctuate at all. Why don’t you watch the following video that shows Betfair trading of the horse racing fixed odds in action:

Yet horse racing isn’t the only popular sport for Betfair traders. Many profitable traders are to be found at the tennis or football matches. They are mostly trading in-play, meaning their trading strategies apply while the sports event is in progress. I myself am not such a big fan of in-play trading. That is why I usually discuss about Betfair trading strategies before the start of a game.

However that doesn’t mean you cannot trade successfully in-play on Betfair. In fact the reward could be substantially higher during live events. Bear in mind though that the reward is proportional to risk involved and bigger reward normally goes side by side with bigger risk. Personally I try minimizing my risk when trading live sports events on Betfair by trading fixed odds that are not changing that quickly, such as during the first set of a tennis match.

Long term Betfair Trading

Another favorite Betfair trading strategy of mine is trading long term events. This kind of trading resembles a lot of in-play trading I suppose, although the trades are completed in days, weeks or even months! Let me give you some examples before I continue.


These are all markets that are settled in several weeks or months’ time. Yet the odds of the contestants fluctuate a lot during that time. What I like more about this kind of Betfair trading is that surprises and market’s shocks rarely come by and there is plenty of time to ponder our next trading move. Trading decisions should be made in a calm state of mind and without pressure of time. That is why I consider long term Betfair trading one of the best trading strategies to begin with. Unless you are impatient and want your bankroll available at all times, because in long term trading Betfair traders need to invest and tie their money down for a long period.

Technical Analysis in Betfair Trading

betfair-trading-formula-1-technical-analysis-graphIn brief, for those unaware of the term, technical analysis is a method of prediction depending on graph formations. Almost all of my trading decisions are based on technical analysis. That is why most articles include at least one graph with lines drawn all over it! Whether you believe that technical analysis work in Betfair trading or not, I have come to realize that technical analysis is a useful and – most importantly – free tool that will be foolish not to take advantage of in your trading activities. Here is how technical analysis has helped my Betfair trading:

Betfair Trading Software

Finally a word must be said about the available Betfair trading software. Trading on the betting exchange includes a lot of back and lay bets. While traders can still place their bets and execute their trades via a web browser, they are missing out tons of choices that offer popular trading software. Depending on the speed you need to execute your trading orders, you’ll quickly find out that you are in a disadvantageous position by using the default Betfair interface when it comes to fast trading. The most common functionality trading software offers is the automatic refresh of fixed odds several times per second and single-click trading. While more tools are available like more informative and detailed charts or automation, those two functions make the use of Betfair trading software a necessity. I guess sophisticated software won’t matter in long term trading though.

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