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Trading On The Betting Exchanges (Q & A) By TimIt's Tim here from Above All Odds.
As many of you will have noticed, "trading on the betting exchanges" is one of the most talked about (ie: HOT) topics in the horse racing and sports betting arenas at present and the "buzz" that's going around is for good reason too.
Now, with little more than the tools you have around you, it's possible to work from the comfort of your own home, trading on betting markets, using similar strategies and techniques to those the bookmakers have used since day one.
In today's newsletter, as I promised in the last issue, I've put together a quick guide that explains the in's and out's of the betting exchanges and points you in the direction of some of the best tools and resources you can use to start trading for profit on the exchanges almost immediately.
Hope this helps... ;-)
First off, let's talk about betting exchange training...
I've seen a few people touting betting exchange manuals and guides around the Internet for anything up to £1000 recently and after paying £500 for one myself not so long ago, I've got to say that I was thoroughly disappointed with it. The information was basic, the majority of the techniques (and there wasn't many of them!) were either outdated or largely ineffective and most people, with a little commonsense, could easily have figured out most of it themselves.
That said, I think it's essential to learn as much as you can about trading on the betting exchanges before you get too heavily involved in it, but if you've been tempted to take out a second mortgage to buy any of these guides, I'd simply say DON'T DO IT. Chances are you'll end up feeling "robbed".
Instead, what I would recommend is clicking over to Amazon and getting either, or both, of the following books:
#1 - Lay, Back & Think of Winning - by Nigel Paul.
This is an informative and entertaining book that covers a number of guaranteed winning systems for profiting from the betting exchanges. Nigel is a talented guy, who obviously has a great deal of experience in exchange trading and his book is the ideal primer for new and "wannabe" traders.
For just £8 you can pick up a used copy of the book or for £10.49 you can get a brand new copy. When you consider that this book contains 192 pages of information, the majority of it very useful, and the guide I paid £500 for had only 60 pages, half of it useless, the one to get is obvious. It's a good read and I'd highly recommend it...
#2 - Game, Set & Matched - by Iain Fletcher.
Game, Set and Matched is the work of Iain Fletcher, author of the widely acclaimed The Tilt, and in this latest creation he offers his readers a unique look into the life of a professional betting exchange trader. Subbed £5,000 by Betfair.com to carry out the research for the book, Iain takes you step-by- step through his life as a trader and reveals the highs and lows of professional trading.
While you might not learn any "inside secrets" from this one, for the sake of a fiver (that's all it costs for a used copy on Amazon) I'd recommend getting yourself a copy of this too. It contains 224 pages, in diary format, and it's an enlightening look into Iain's daily rollercoaster ride through the betting exchanges.
If I come across any others like this I'll let you know, but in the meantime these two books will provide you with all of the basic information you need to get started - and, unlike some, it won't break the bank to get your hands on them.
The equipment you use will largely depend on three things:
- Your style of trading.
- Your workspace.
- Your budget.
If you work full-time, don't have a lot of time, or if you're only looking to make a handful of lays/trades per day, then your requirements won't be as high as someone who wants to trade every afternoon on a race by race basis, but regardless of the type of trading you're involved in, here is the very minimum of equipment I'd recommend:
#1 - A decent PC: This really goes without saying. If you're working with a cranky old computer that crunches and creaks while you're working then it might well struggle with the rigours of trading. The last thing you want is your computer giving up the ghost when you've got your hard earned cash layed out on an event, so ensure that your PC is reliable.
In my opinion, Dell PC's are the best around and they've also got some excellent discounts on at the moment:
#2 - A broadband Internet connection: Speed is key when you're trading and as the majority of traders are using a broadband connection these days, you don't want to be crawling along the Internet Superhighway with an old 56k modem or you're going to be at a massive disadvantage.
There are many different deals available for broadband services now, so it pays to spend a little time finding the most suitable package for you. There is a handy broadband comparison site I've used before at the URL below:
If you're new to broadband and need more information about it before upgrading, you can also download a free 10 page report from the site above which is very useful.
#3 - A handily positioned Television: The ability to watch the racing, or whichever other sporting event you're trading on, is pretty much essential regardless of whether you're a part-time or full-time trader. Personally I've got two small monitors in my office; one for flipping between At The Races and Racing UK (why we need two racing channels in the UK is beyond me!) and the other for monitoring the live bookmaker prices from the William Hill teletext service.
You can pick up cheap televisions for as little as £30 on Ebay (or often at your local supermarket) nowadays and the investment is definitely worthwhile if you're looking to become a successful betting exchange trader:
That's the bare minimum of equipment I'd recommend, but if you're looking to do this full-time then you might want to consider two PCs (or a PC and laptop) networked together through one internet connection, two television screens and an allocated office space to work from. Remember that when you're trading you're effectively competing against other people who do have this kind of set-up, many much better, so it will pay you to invest in your future.
With the introduction of Betfair's new "Developer Program", we're likely to see a whole host of new tools and software being released for assisting betting exchange traders in the very near future, so I wouldn't recommend jumping straight in and buying any of the (generally over-priced) trading software that's available on the market at the moment.
Some of the software I've seen is 'okay', but with price tags in the region of one thousand to several thousands of pounds a year, you can trust me when I tell you that you'll be left feeling "done" if you go ahead and purchase now.
I've been testing a couple of new applications that are due to be released very shortly and I can promise you that MUCH bigger and better things are just around the corner. I can't reveal too much about it in this newsletter, but to give you a little hint - it won't be too much longer before you'll have the ability to able to wake up in the morning, turn on your own "bot" and have it backing and laying for you all day long, generating profits on "auto-pilot".
Okay, maybe that was a rather LARGE hint ;-)
The world of betting is about to change in a big, BIG way because of these revolutionary new products, so take the hint and keep your powder dry for another few weeks until these new software applications are available. From what I understand, both will be available for a low monthly fee and when you compare them to what's on the market right now, they'll each offer a tremendous amount of value.
In the meantime, here are a few smart tools you can start using immediately to speed up your act (and your PC) while trading on the exchanges...
#1 - Slimbrowser
Slimbrowser is a fast, extremely light, free browser that resembles Internet Explorer in many ways, but is packed with additional features that make trading (or even working on the Internet in general) a breeze. Where IE is clunky and requires you to have multiple windows open to flip between different websites, Slimbrowser allows you to set up your own "groups" of websites that can be opened up with a single mouse click and browsed from within one window, so you'll notice an instant difference in the speed of your PC.
#2 - Tune Up Utilities
With TuneUp Utilities, you can make Windows faster, more secure and much more comfortable to work with. If you've ever noticed that your PC gets slower and crankier as time goes on, chances are that it's because of all of the junk and clutter it's picking up every time you switch it on. TuneUp Utilities solves all of this by cleaning out your registry, removing unwanted temporary files, accelerating your Internet connection and a whole lot more.
With their "one-click maintenance" feature you can clean up your computer right from your desktop with only one mouse click - it's essential stuff if you're trading regularly!
#3 - Keyboard Express
Keyboard Express is an excellent utility that allows you to record your mouse and key strokes and play them back with a single click. This is especially useful for trading because you can record the entire process you perform while backing and laying on the exchanges, then play it back by hitting just one "hot-key" button on your keyboard.
The way I use this is often for backing and laying the favourites on in-running markets, because what you can do is record yourself clicking the back or lay buttons, entering your stake and confirming your bet, then repeat the entire process in an instant with just one click of your keyboard.
I don't have to tell you how useful this is, especially for backing or laying in-running, and you're really only tied by the limits of your imagination with what you can do with it.
#4 - Betfair Scripts
If you're already using Betfair regularly I'm sure you'll be well accustomed to click, click, clicking the refresh button over and over again to ensure you're always on top of the market and seeing the most up-to-date prices. When I first started trading this was the only option available, but now it's possible to install a simple little script that allows you to set your browser to auto-refresh the Betfair markets in 1 second intervals - automatically!
There isn't an awful lot of documentation about the scripts on this site, but I've used them myself, can vouch for them and if you do run into any problems then Russ, the chap who designed the scripts, is very helpful.
After sending out my newsletter about John Duncan's soccer trading book last month I was inundated with questions about both it and about betting exchange trading in general (hence the reason for today's newsletter).
The main question was, not surprisingly, "does it WORK?"
And the fast answer to that is "YES, very much so!"
One of our readers has tested the system thoroughly over a series of 120 games now, generating a return on investment of almost 30% and earning themselves substantial profits in the process, so you can be assured that it does exactly what it says on the box. If you're looking for a way to get into trading on a part-time, or even full-time basis, then John's website might not be a bad place to start...
Other readers, some who were already actively trading using the techniques John outlines in his book, asked if I could recommend any other systems or guides they could use for low-risk trading on the betting exchanges and although I've read quite a few guides recently, there are only two that I'd be happy to recommend to you with confidence:
#1 - Don't Lose Your Shirt - by Steve Ashley.
One of the biggest problems where new, inexperienced or even some experienced traders go wrong is that they can't shift from the losing mentality that got them involved in the betting game in the first place. They simply don't "get it".
99%, or perhaps more, of the entire population have this "let's crack the jackpot for £1" mentality that - unless you're extremely lucky - definitely isn't going to generate an ongoing income for you any time soon. But, on the other side of the coin, there is a small band of "smart" traders who understand that reaping generous, long-term, profits from trading is all about regular low-risk wagers and NOT about finding another 8/1 chance to stick in with your Saturday Yankee!
Steve Ashley, a successful exchange trader himself, has written a book all about this topic and in it he explains the methods he uses on a day-to-day basis to generate small, but steady profits that quickly build up into a lucrative part- time, or even full-time, income.
The book covers a number of different topics, from dutching systems that produce an outstanding 90% strike-rate, to 'back and lay' methods that lock in profits no matter what the result of the race or other sporting event you're trading on. As well as this he provides readers with his own unique "BetAid" trading software that compliments the methods he describes in the book, making calculations and staking a breeze.
If you're the type of person who wants to hit the jackpot for a couple of bucks this isn't the book for you, but if you're serious about making a career out of low-risk trading, it's probably one of the best "value-for-money" purchases you'll make:
#2 - The Lay Betting System - by Malcolm Pett.
Anyone who has been betting for any length of time will know that it's a whole lot easier picking a loser in a race than it is a winner, but turning a consistent profit from playing the bookie still requires a lot of dedication, a methodical approach to your selection process and a rock-solid trading strategy.
This isn't easy for a lot of people, but Malcolm Pett, author of the "Lay Betting System", is someone who has made it his mission in life to uncover the intricacies of lay betting and in his constantly evolving book (and throughout his websites) he reveals the results of his intensive research in some style.
The book itself is the perfect starting point for anyone with an interest in profiting from lay betting, but the overall service Malcolm provides offers much more value than that:
- His *free* daily newsletter contains Malcolm's opinion on the strongest lay bet of the day and the results from this feature alone are second to none. From October 27th to date he has sent out 34 selections in his free newsletter and no less than 29 have been winners, with only 5 failing to return a profit.
- The book comes armed and ready with all of the software and tools you'll need to calculate your bets, manage your staking strategy and track your profits, so you'll always be in full control of your business as an exchange trader.
- To top that, he also has an active (and very popular) lay betting forum that I visit myself on a regular basis to check in on the latest strategies and techniques he's been using.
The owners-only forum on its own is worth the cost of joining, but when you combine this with the other features and with the help and support you receive from Malcolm personally, a membership to his site should be on your list of priorities:
I appreciate that this is by no means a complete collection of the tools and resources you can use to trade faster (and more profitably) on the exchanges, but I hope for some of you at least, it's helped to answer a few of your questions and provided you with a useful guide to getting started.
In the next issue I'm hoping to be able to bring you an update on the new automatic betting solutions, or "bots" I've been testing out recently. I'm sure that when you see what this revolutionary new betting software can do you'll be wondering how you ever managed without it ;-)
All the best,
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