At the moment I am backing a horse early that is a fairly good match at bf (i.e +0.5) then closer to the race I'll wait/ hope the lay odds go below what I backed at then lay at them odds.
Is this the best way to do it? It's worked well so far but recently I got burnt using this system althuogh I still managed to cut my losses and got £19'ish from a £25 free bet. Is that just the way things are?
I've tried watching the odds at the bookie when they go up when they go down and how that effects BF but there doesn't seem to be any pattern whatsoever, its driving me insane!
I'm currently attempting Bet365 and BS I'm want to minimize my risk.
If you want to minimize your risk, bet and lay at the same time in full.
"doesn't seem to be any pattern whatsoever"
Exactly, there isn't. If there was, anyone who knew about it would be rich. If you at back the bookie and wait to see what happens with the odds at Betfair, you are gambling. Pure and simple, you are gambling.
If that doesn't bother you (i.e. you don't mind taking the losses with the wins), then no worries. But if you really want to minimize your risk, then just lay at the time of the back. If you don't see a good enough match doing that, just check back later or look at another race. This isn't a sprint, it's a loooooooooooooooong distance venture. You don't need to finish offers as quickly as possible (and if you do, you should accept that you will get slightly less from each offer anyway).
However, if you don't mind a gamble on the odds shifting, then have at it and hope they shorten at betfair for you. Sometimes you will be lucky, sometimes you will get burnt. That's gambling
I have noticed that often odds-on horses (less than 3.0) often come down as the race nears, seems to happen more than them drifting out. But that doesn't help for SNR's and it could get you burned when they do drift out.
Yes doing it that way you're basically just trading - think about it as buying a hundred shares in a company, holding on to them until a certain date and then no matter what the price on the date you HAVE to sell them no matter if they've shown a profit or loss.
If you don't mind doing that then it's all good but it's really not a recipe for making money - if you are doing that you might as well actually have a go at trading properly, open a position, put in a trade one or two ticks higher, try and get it matched or trade out for a small loss... but again that's just gambling, some people are successful with it, it takes a bit of a knack, but personally I'm not good at that so I don't do it.
A more profitable option for me personally when horse arbing was to always lay first before backing, but the process is a lot more complicated than backing and laying at the same time if you're going to reduce the risk and you really have to have 110% patience and concentration (you can sit staring at the same queued bets for 10 minutes sometimes, then something will happen in a split second and you have to react very quickly to complete the matched bet without making a loss).
Thanks for the advice guys. I've been following your advice for the last few races and am surprised by what I have managed to find just through some perseverance. I don't mind a little gamble on the odds when the stake is only £10-£20 but with £50 it is a little more stressful!
Thanks again for the advice, I wonder if I'll ever stop being a noob at this game?
To keep the liability down, try laying odds on favourites first and hope they drift, (hope being the optimal word there), but doing that keeps your liability down at least, laying a horse at 11s is considerably more stressfull!
Its just gambling really, with a small element of skill, a bit like poker i guess, essentially its luck because if you hit your flush or not can not be predicted, its just a chance you take and down to luck, but if you are "good" and weigh up enough correlated factors which are significant, looking at the odds/risk/reward, you can make a profit over the long term.
I am not clever enough to make a long term profit trading on betfair or playing poker but im not arrogant enough to suggest that means that some people cant. They just have more brains/skills at it than me. Practice probably helps a lot too.
Have a plan and stick to it
Lots of discipline helps too - If it moved against me I'd find it hard to lock in the loss and move on - probably end up waiting for it to get back to even again, which of course is a bad idea.
Originally Posted by Andy
Also if you have a busy day of racing, like a major Group1 event, quite often you can share the lay liability by backing/laying a lot of horses in the same race - this has the advantage that a. you don't have to have a massive betfair balance to do it and b. if one of the horses does win, you probably won't pay any commission on the horses that didn't win because your net profit/loss for that race will be negative.
I've seen this mentioned a couple of times lately but I don't understand how it would work (I've only done three races so far). Please could you illustrate with an example?
Originally Posted by munk
Say there are two Horses in the race at 11s (as well as many others), when you lay one of them for £50 you have -£500 on him but +£50 on all the others. When you lay the second horse also for £50 at 11s you end up with +£100 on all the other horses, and two -£450s on those two horses. Because they cannot both win, by definition one of your lays will win if the other loses.
So overall by laying two horses in the same race you hae reduced your liability from -£500 worst case result to -£450 worst case result. As you have increased your chances of winning at the bookmkaer (im assuming you back somewhere at 11s to) if you do win there you get that +£500 without comm paid on it.
Hope that helps, its not a very detailed example but you get the idea. Try it for real in a race with just £2 stakes and you will see it work in practice. Its a very good idea to get yourself maybe £25 in betfair, withdraw the rest, so the WORST that can happen is you lost that, and just play about with it. Back a few things, watch how the total liability goes up, lay a few in the same market to see what that does, watch the odds move and how and try to see why and then trade some bets back etc etc etc. It is a REALLY good idea to actually know the ins and outs of it and you will only get that by experiancing it for real. You might even make a bit while you are playing. Go to an In-play footie match thats 0-0 and back the Draw, a few mins later "green up" and lay your stake back for a few pence profit regardless. Just have a play basically.
If the very worst happens and every bet/trade goes against you and you lost £25, but in that hour or so you got a working knowledge of how betfair really works, it will be the best £25 you ever spend. And also you might actually win while doing it.
Have a plan and stick to it
Thanks for such a patient response; I still find it v difficult to grasp. Will steel myself to do a bit of playing about as you suggest and hope it sinks in.
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