Betfair trading strategies : Building A Strategy

Interested in learning to trade on Betfair. Check out this section for advice, knowledge and discussion on trading strategies.
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Thu Dec 06, 2012 1:24 pm

I gratefully thank you both then :lol:

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Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:51 pm

It's a good post by PeterLe and I'd like to thank him for taking the time to make it.

Not many people would turn down a chance to play a round of golf with Tiger woods. You would learn a lot, but most people would realise that it took him time to reach that level. So you can learn his tricks and knowledge but have to accept there would be a learning curve to reach that level. Trading is no different.

I can tell within a few minutes if somebody is set up well to be a good trader. Anybody who starts out by asking how much they can earn and how quickly, generally doesn't make the list.

I've always set out down the hardest and most complex path, because I know that's the one that holds the greatest potential. I'm prepared to work hard to get there.

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Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:09 pm


You wrote: "If you look at the graph, after 14 days it was negative by -£29 ". The graph that is there now is a beautiful uptrend that never went negative. Has the chart been changed?

The uptrend wouldnt match a strategy of laying at 1.01. At best, one would lose consistently, then have a big win. That is not what the chart shows, so I am confused!

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Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:46 pm

I thought excatly the same as nzbryant when i read/saw it.

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Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:28 pm

Well as I said, I dont want to say exactly what I do, or it would stop tomorrow!

What I will tell you :-

- Its not laying at 1.01, its generally above those odds and the odds are dynamic, ie they change from race to race (there is no point putting a lay bet in at 1.07 for example if there is 10,000 sitting at 1.08

- The stakes vary from course to course based on data I have collected over the last five years. (I dont even bother on some courses). I hardly used this from before Christmas, but hope to do so in the next month or so, when the real racing starts

- Also during the race, the characteristics are monitored and sometimes the bets are cancelled/modified. Eg if the leading horse is trading at sub 1.2 and the next horse is at 5's, then it is unlikely to be close thing is it? Think about how the odds are likely to change in running

There are other factors too.

On reflection, I did say that it was nothing fancy, but I have incorporated a lot of prior learning into I did get off to a good start...however, it is fair to say that I (and many others) started at the beginning and it is a learning process. You have to put a lot of time into this to get into that 1% of profitable trader territory. I dont pretend for a minute that it is easy and it is a journey you have to make on your own

The intention on this post was just to show that it is possible with hard work and dedication and I'm sure there are many others doing similar things on Cricket; Tennis, golf etc


By the way, to answer NZ specific question "The graph that is there now is a beautiful uptrend that never went negative"
It is difficult to see from the graph, but the red profit line does drop slightly below the 0 line right at the outset. I was lucky that I started this at a good time, but you can see that if I had started on a different week, I could have quite easily have gone -£500ish too. The key thing is knowing when to pull the plug completely..the truth is; i still dont know whether it will be positive long term or not

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Mon May 06, 2013 4:21 pm

Hi Peter, I just found this great post! I don't suppose you have an update on how the strategy is going? Im intrigued... :D

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Mon May 06, 2013 5:59 pm

Yes but Euler. You will note that I am still here a year on and a lot more experienced even though in my first ever post I asked if it were possible to make £300 a day. Problem is that if you ask that question it can be taken in two ways. Without actually knowing whether the person is willing to learn or not sometimes the experienced traders tend to draw a negative to the post before its even started. Unfortunately Letiss gave me some s~~t,amongst others, when I joined and my simple question was 'was it possible?' The answer should have been yes if you work hard and learn or simply ignore the post. I am still here winning and losing but perfecting and its coming together I am pleased to say. The be all is most people are looking for a get rich quick idea, particularly now a days so just a little sympathy doesnt hurt sometimes. Afterall for every lay you need a backer and every back you need a lay. Newbies can provide good fodder. Just my opinion that is all.

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Tue May 07, 2013 6:50 pm

LinusP wrote:Hi Peter, I just found this great post! I don't suppose you have an update on how the strategy is going? Im intrigued... :D
I had a defined exit plan with this strategy and I exited on the 11th April. The P&L started to level off and start to trend downwards and I felt it had run its course (no pun intended!), I'll update the graph when I get time (its on the VPS and its running at the mo)

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Fri May 10, 2013 10:49 am

Hi Peter,

i just picked up on this thread and its a very interesting one for me as about a month ago i identified what i believed " may " be a strategy. It involves laying horses in running on auto which is something i think you also do.

i have now recorded around 800 races where i have placed bets and am trying to identify whether it may be an ongoing profitable strategy. On Eulers guidance i have taken my cumulative profit as a percentage of cumulative staked to see where i am at and what he basically said was if the % starts to level off and stops jumping around then it may be a goer. After 800 races its at around 0.9% and fluctuating from 0.8 to 1.1 so i think its pretty stable. I'm only doing £12 stakes and laying at 1.53 so max liability per race is just £6.36. Very interesting to me on your graph is that from around 6000-7000 races you had a big downswing and i have a number of questions :

1) Is 0.9% ( cum profit/ cum staked ) any good ? i have no idea ?

2)Every hunderd races or so i tweak it ( remove certain race types , green up conditions go in , change unmatched bet criteria , change the price i'm laying at etc ) and i dont know if i'm fiddling too much and should leave it for a bigger sample.

3) Were you worried that 1000 races went by and the strategy looked like it was failing or did you just stick with it or make changes at that point ?

Anyway , dont want to make this an essay so i'll stop there. Thought it was very interesting Peter as i am trying something similair

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Sun May 12, 2013 11:25 am

Maybe Peter can comment there; it's not a metric i use, so Im not sure either whether that is good or bad?
The image below is an update on that particular strategy.
There is a lot of talk on the forum as to whether something will be profitable long term. If you look at the update, my gut feel was that this was starting a downward trend.
There was one particular course from a total of 84 (Wolverhampton) that was producing a large proportion of the profits initially. This produced >£1k and went from position 1 to 82 and finished on -£216 over exactly 1000 races.
You can compare that to Naas (87 markets £647 (7.44 average) or Bath (141 Markets £862 (6.11 Average)
At the end of the day, someone is losing that money and they are going to be taking measures to stop the loss. I was just very surprised to see Wolv drop so fast. The stakes were linked to individual profit on each course. Once a course went into the negative,the stakes were reduced to minimum and where a course was doing well the stakes were increased.
Stoping losses is as equally important as making profits. If you dont take anything else from this post. make a mental note of this line!!
Anyway, it traded on 10,810 markets and produced a profit of 3,865.04 with a positive strike rate of 4.18%

To answer your specific questions:-
1 Not sure; Peter may comment
2 I personally downloaded the Betfair P&L into Nigel's spreadsheet and the stakes were calculated for the following day. So no I think you are doing the right thing.
3 To be honest, I was fairly confident this would be profitable overall and once I was using betfair's money, I wasn't really bothered if some of the profits were lost. If you think about it logically, there are only two families of strategies; Back or Lay, everything else is just a variation of a theme.
I think its important not to measure success on profits alone, you should also consider how much new knowledge you have gained in the process too
Anyway good luck to it.

PS I wanted to take to reply to this as there had been some negative comments on using automation; no its not perfect, but as my dad used to say "A bad workman blames his tools". You have to have a logical approach to implementing things like this, Concept; Test and dev, Implementation and Production. Put safeguards in to your strategies, use test mode and have a minimum in your betfair wallet.
I was sorry to see someone lose £500 this week using automation. Its a tough lesson to have but it could have been avoided (PS I had some tough lessons early on too!)
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