Ideas for Betfair trading - Horse Racing.


Draw Bias and other advantages     Hedge Bookie Bets.     Hedge using small stakes     Hedge several bets
Hedge out of trouble     Hedge 3 Runners     Profit Targets     Free Money

Dutching using the Be A Bookie spreadsheet.

This is a very versatile Dutching spreadsheet that has both Lay and Bet spreadsheets.
These spreadsheets can be used to Bet or Lay all the runners in a race to an equal profit or liability.
Bet to LESS than a 100% book, and you show an equal profit on every runner,
Lay to MORE than a 100% book, and you show an equal profit on every runner,

Adjusted stakes.
A facility is built into both the Lay and Bet spreadsheets, that allows stakes to be adjusted to favour one or more outcomes over others.

For example, if you are Laying, you may decide that the winner will come from the first few horses in the betting,
You could decide to Lay all the runners, but break even on any horse with odds in double figures.
That strategy would boost the profits from your Lays if the winner came from the horses at shorter odds.
Examples :-

  • You could Lay all runners for an equal profit whichever wins.

  • Alternatively, you could Lay all runners, but stake those priced in double figures to break even.
    The profit from laying any shorter priced winner is boosted by this adjusted staking.
    For example.  The profit if the favourite won the race, would be bigger than if you had not targeted the outsiders to break even.

This spreadsheet can be used to work out the Lay stakes.

You may have some other selection method that favours one or more horses.
You could :-

  • Bet all your favoured runners to profit

  • Lay all those not favoured

  • Lay all the runners, but stake to break even if your UN-favoured runners win.
    That would boost the profit from Laying your favoured runners if they win.
    Since you are Laying, a bigger profit from Laying your favoured runners is probably not what you would expect to happen, but this strategy is exactly the same as Laying all runners, but favouring the few shortest horses in the betting, as described above.

Draw Bias and other advantages.

Suppose you have a selection method that you know favours just a few runners in more than 50% of races.
You may be able to Lay all the disadvantaged runners to more than 50% of a book.
If your selection method indicates that the winner has less than a 50% chance of coming from those runners, you should be on the winning side in the long term.

Take Beverley 5F races for horses aged 3 years and older as an example.
Beverley 5F races have a very well documented Draw Advantage that favours High drawn horses.
Follow this link for a very accurate description of the Beverley 5F draw advantage.
During the 10 years
1997 to 2006, on good or better going, in races of 8 - 18 runners, the Top 6 stalls
won 51 of 66 races 77% of races.
It could be argued that horses NOT drawn in the Top 6 stalls may have only a 23% chance of winning these races.
If you are able to Lay horses not drawn in the Top 6 stalls to more than a 23% book, you could make a profit in the long term.
In theory, the odds of horses starting from the Top 6 stalls should account for approximately 77% of the book in these races, and those 6 runners should win slightly more than 7 out of every 10 races, if the current draw bias continues.

The odds of horses not drawn in the Top 6 stalls in Beverley 5F races under those conditions probably won't account for more than a quarter of the book percentage, as this is a very well known draw advantage, but there are plenty of very strong draw advantages at other courses that are unknown to the majority punters.
Quite often, newspapers advise against these favoured draws.

If you have a bit of knowledge that others don't have, maybe you could use the Be A Bookie spreadsheet to your advantage.


Hedge Bookie Bets.

Hedging is all about Betting a selection at High odds and Laying the same runner at Low odds.
Do that staking correctly, and you can Green Up for guaranteed equal winnings, no-matter what the outcome of the event.
The big problem is of course, "How can we decide which way the odds will move, and get it right every time ?"

One way to Bet High, and Lay Low and get it right every time, is to Bet with a bookie, and Lay on Betfair.
Open 2 windows, one showing a bookie's web site odds, and the other showing the same market on Betfair.
Compare the odds, and mostly the bookie Bet odds will be slightly shorter than the Betfair Lay odds.

Where bookie odds are bigger, you can trade to a guaranteed profit, without having to anticipate which way the odds are likely to move ........ The odds on that runner have already shortened.
If you move quickly, you may be able to Bet High with the bookie, and Lay Low on Betfair for guaranteed winnings, even after commission on any successful Lays, providing you get sufficient difference in the odds.
Chip away with lots of small gains, and you will be copying what lots of other traders do in our very tight trading markets.
The Hedge Your Bookie Bets spreadsheet shows the stakes required, including commission on the Lay side of the trade.

Hedging using small stakes.

The Green Up, 3 Stakes Hedging Method of staking versus 2 Transactions Hedging Method of staking.
There is plenty of interactive trading software available for Hedging and Dutching "Live Odds".
I would guess that most interactive software uses the simple
Green Up, 3 Stakes Hedging Method to work out Hedge stakes.

How to Green Up using the 3 Stakes Method :-
Bet and Lay the same selection to equal amounts, making sure the Bet odds are bigger than the Lay odds.
Divide the profit by the available Lay odds for an
All Green screen.

A drawback of that method is that it isn't suitable for small stakes.

Example.  In a rising market Lay 10 at odds of 9.0 and a Bet of 10 at odds of 10.0 to produce a profit of 10 for a win and a break even for a lose.
Suppose the Lay odds rise to 10.0.
We can equalize our trade if we divide the 10 win profit by the current Lay odds (10.0), and Lay 1 at odds of 10.0.
That would equalize our trade for an All Green Screen profit of 1.00 no-matter what the outcome of the event.
In this 10 example, you would need to Lay at less than the 2 minimum.

A better way to Hedge is to use The 2 Transactions Method to complete your Hedge.
This method works with any size stakes, any size odds. and eliminates the need to place Bets or Lays at less than the 2 minimum.
Also, there are only 2 transactions instead of 3.
This Hedging method is ideally suited to the smaller stakes trader, and is the method used in all my Hedge spreadsheets.

Odds lengthening.  Lay first, Bet 2nd.
Suppose we Lay 10 on a horse at 9.0  (8/1)
The Bet odds then lengthen to 10.0  (9/1).
We can Bet 9 for a successful Hedge and a guaranteed profit of 1.00 no-matter what the outcome of the race.
Lay = 10 at odds of 9.0
Bet = 9 at odds of 10.0
Horse Wins   + 81 less 80 lay liability = + 1
Horse Loses  + 10 successful Lay less 9 losing bet = + 1

Note that using this staking method using the same odds and initial stake, there was no need to Lay at less than the minimum 2.

If the market moves against you and you have to Lay odds higher than Bet odds, the formula to equalize losses is exactly the same, but you will have an all red screen, instead of all green.
Staking using this method, profit or loss is equalized in just 2 transactions, instead of 3.
The Hedge Your Bet spreadsheet shows the stake required to equalize a single Bet or Lay.

Hedge Several Bets spreadsheet.

You may decide to place a series of Bets and Lays on the same runner as the odds change, equalizing your trades as you go.
The idea would be to get into and out of the market quickly for a series of small profits.
Whether the odds are moving up or down makes no difference.
If you are able to Bet High and Lay Low overall, you will show a profit.

If you are trading a single runner this spreadsheet can be used to keep track of your market position.
The spreadsheet decides for you what you need to do next to equalize your trade (Bet or Lay), and shows the stake required.

The odds go against you   .........   a surprising observation.

If you place a bet and the odds lengthen, try placing a Lay with a bigger stake at the higher odds.
If the odds continue to lengthen, you should then be able to Hedge to a profit by placing a 2nd Bet at higher odds, or break even, or make a smaller loss than if you had simply taken a hit by trading out with a single Lay.

And the opposite :-
If you place a Lay and the odds shorten, try placing a Bet with a bigger stake at the lower odds.
If the odds continue to shorten, you should then be able to Hedge to a profit by placing a 2nd Lay.

This is what I noticed from the Hedge Several Bets spreadsheet :-
The odds move against you, and you know you will have to take a hit (an all red screen).
You decide to place a second Bet or Lay in order to trade out with minimal loss.
Your 2nd stake only needs to be 2 above your first stake,
if you are trying the method described above.
This will enable you to exit the market with a stake just above the minimum 2.
In this case, no-matter what size stake you use for your 2nd stake, the loss after your 3rd stake will be exactly the same for a particular size of odds.
Only the size of your 3rd stake will change, in line with the size of your 2nd stake.
Example.  Bet 10 at 3.9.
The odds move against you and you have to Lay at odds of 4.0, so lay 12.
If you are able to Bet at 4.0, your stake will be 2.25 for a loss of -0.25.
Now, on the spreadsheet, change the 2nd stake to Lay 20 at 4.0.
If you are able to Bet at 4.0, your new 3rd stake will be Bet 10.25 for a loss of -0.25.

If you know you will have to take a hit, a stake of 2 bigger than your last stake will be far more likely to get matched quickly than a very large and unnecessary stake.
Until I built this spreadsheet, I thought a bigger 2nd stake would significantly change the size of my loss after my 3rd stake.
That is not the case.
Test drive the Hedge Several Bets spreadsheet to see this in action.

Hedge 3 Bets spreadsheet.

This Hedge 3 Bets spreadsheet was built specifically for trading the 3 outcomes of the Match Odds market in football matches, but you can use this spreadsheet to Bet and Lay 1, 2, or 3 selections in any market.
The only inputs required are your matched bets, to mirror your matched bets on Betfair, and the current odds.

Hedge (Bet and Lay) up to 3 selections in any event - football, cricket, tennis, darts, horses, etc.
This Hedge 3 Bets spreadsheet will enable you to keep track of exactly what you are doing whilst placing a series of Bets and Lays.

  • Your position in the market is shown at all times for each individual selection.

  • Your overall position is shown for all 3 selections combined.

  • You can see exactly where you stand in the market at all times.

  • The spreadsheet shows what you need to do next Bet or Lay, to equalize each trade.

  • Equalizing stakes are shown over a range of 9 odds increments, 4 either side of your current odds.
    As the odds change within those 9 increments, there is no need to update the odds on the spreadsheet.

  •  Plan your next move.
    The spreadsheet shows the effect that equalizing at each of those 9 odds would have on your present position
  • You can input Bets or Lays on the spreadsheet to see "What If" situations, whilst a football game or other event progresses, without messing about on Betfair.

You may decide to Hedge one horse, but after a while you notice a market move on another runner, and maybe after that, another market move on a third runner.
Use this spreadsheet to trade all 3, and keep track of exactly what your position is on Betfair.
Enter the current odds, and this spreadsheet decides for you what you need to do to equalize your trade on each runner, Bet or Lay, and shows the required staking over a range of odds.

Dutch or Hedge to a Profit Target.  Win any amount you like.

At the time of writing, May 2007, I would guess that the Hedge to a Profit Target calculation is not available anywhere else on the Internet.
You may be working to a staking plan or simply need to recover lost stakes.
If you need to trade to a specific profit target, these 2 Dutching and Hedging spreadsheets can do the job for you.
The only inputs required are the odds of your runners or runner, and the profit you would like to make from your trade.
These spreadsheets show the stakes required.

If you were just betting on single runners, you would probably have no difficulty deciding how much you needed to stake to recover some losses, and show a profit on your next bet.
These spreadsheets are no different.
You can Hedge a market move, or Dutch (Bet) several runners to achieve the same profit.

For example.  You have hit a couple of losers.
You are 20 down, and you need to recover 20, and would like to make an additional 5 profit.
The profit target for your next bet is 25.
You could Hedge the odds of a market mover by Betting High, and Laying Low, or you could Dutch several horses.
Use the Hedge to A Profit Target spreadsheet to Hedge the odds to a specified profit no-matter what the outcome if you are able to Bet High and Lay Low.
If you are Hedging some odds, input the profit you require, plus the odds of your runner, and the Hedge To A Profit Target spreadsheet works out the necessary staking to achieve your specified profit.
If you are Dutching several runners, input the profit you require, plus the odds of your runners, and the Dutch To A Profit Target spreadsheet works out the necessary staking to achieve your specified profit.

A word of warning.
Hedging to a profit target can be very expensive if trading just a small change in the odds.
Examples.  Odds decreasing, Bet First.
Bet odds 3.2, Lay odds 3.0.  Profit target = 1
Bet !5, Lay 16 for a 1 profit no-matter what the outcome, win or lose.

Bet odds 3.2, Lay odds 3.0.  Profit target = 25
Bet 375, Lay 400 for a 25 profit no-matter what the outcome, win or lose.

Bet odds 3.2, Lay odds 2.6.  Profit target = 25
Bet 108.33, Lay 133.33 for a 25 profit no-matter what the outcome, win or lose.

Hedging requires quite high stakes to show even a modest profit.
Not many websites will tell you that before you buy or rent software for Hedging purposes.
I hope those 3 examples put Hedging in perspective.
Dutching requires very similar liabilities for the same level of profit of course.

Bookies Free Bets.

When you open an account with a bookie, make sure you tick the box to receive further promotional offers.
Some bookies such as Paddy Power and Blue Square, may offer further free bets, especially for big sporting occasions such as The Cheltenham Festival, or high profile football matches.
Other bookies such as PartyBets may offer free bets if you bet in their named markets, for example during Wimbledon 2008.

If you are in no rush to take advantage of the free money that bookies offer for new accounts, you could boost your guaranteed winnings further by waiting for big sporting events such as the Cheltenham Festival and Royal Ascot.
Bookies know that punters take more notice of these meetings, and usually increase their Free Bet offers.

Compare these offers from Tuesday March 11th 2008, the opening day of Cheltenham, which was cancelled due to bad weather conditions, with of today's current offers.
All except Blue Square were taken from adverts in The Daily Mirror newspaper.
The Blue Square Free fiver (Free money) offer was in The Daily Express newspaper..

Wm. Hill.
Blue Square
Bet 300 get 300 free over the 4 days of the meeting.
Bet 50 get 100 free
Bet 100 get 100 free
Bet 100 get 100 free.
250 in free bets.
5 free bet.  No deposit required for existing customers.

Just 6 bookies were offering well over 800 in Free Bets.  There will have been others.

You should be able to make at least 400 or 500 net profit from over 800 in free bets,
especially if you have a decent Free Bets spreadsheet.

Many thanks for your interest in my web sites, and good luck with your trading.



Copyright H. Hutchinson 2008 All rights reserved
Copying text or any other kind of content from a web site is a criminal offence.