Step-by-Step Scalping Tutorial for Betfair Beginners

Betfair Scalping is one of the most talked about strategies online. Amongst trading circles, many consider it to be the easiest place to start. It’s not hard to see why either!

Scalping strategy requires little sporting knowledge and, hopefully, you’ll see why by the end of this tutorial.

We’ve teamed up with one of the world’s leading educational Betfair traders, Caan Berry, to provide you with comprehensive guides on Betfair Trading basics.

For more on Caan Berry, check out his website HERE.


Scalping: How Does it Work?

The process of scalping is simple in nature, but sometimes harder in practice.

We are looking to place two opposing bets, both back and lay on the same outcome nearby. Assuming they both get matched, we scoop a guaranteed profit.

The aim is to then repeat this process as many times as possible before the start of a sporting event.

With so many fluid betting markets on the exchange each day, the opportunity to use this strategy is almost limitless. Horse racing is the focus of many scalpers, although you can use the strategy on practically any betting market.


Step 1: Finding the Opportunity

The first and most important step to scalping successfully is qualifying the correct situation to do it in. It amazes me how many people overlook or don’t value it, but you wouldn’t turn up for a marathon wearing running spikes would you?

Scalping Betfair is exactly the same. You have to find the right situation, when you do, it can be quite effortless.

Looking I to the image above, this kind of betting market is perfect. A popular sporting event, on a busy day of the week (Saturday) with lots of bets flying into the market.

Furthermore, the popularity of this race means there is also a lot of information and form around the horses. A well-informed market often points toward more accurate pricing. That’s great for scalping as the price action is less likely to bounce through us and, alternately it lets us soak up betting liquidity for a profit.


Step 2: Opening a Position

Once we’ve found the right hunting ground, it’s time to place the opening bet. It doesn’t matter which is first, back or lay, however – you want to ‘offer a price’. Meaning your bet is submitted next to the active trading prices as shown below:

We ‘offered a back bet’ of $100 at 12.5. Shortly after, the bet was matched. This is an advantageous position to be in as the price hasn’t moved and we have our bet matched favourably.

Now we’re ready for step 3.

As you become more advanced, you’ll start step 3 before this first bet is matched – just to limit exposure in the betting market. The less time the trade is open, the more risk is reduced.


Step 3: Closing Your Trade

Again, we offered an exit bet to the market. Offering a lay bet of $100 at 12.0.

You’ve probably realised already, but the price didn’t even need to move for this to happen. There just had to be enough betting money flowing into Betfair’s exchange.

Simple in application but a little trickier in reality, but I’ve been doing this a long time now.

Our work isn’t done just yet though, we need to round off our position to ensure we win the same amount no matter the overall result.


Step 4: Hedging the Position

Now, because we have placed a back bet of $100 at 12.5 and a lay bet of $100 at 12.0 we have removed any risk from the situation, but we haven’t spread our profit across all outcomes.

In order to ‘hedge’ our position, we need to place a final bet of $4.17 at 12.0.

This means we will stand to win $4.13 no matter what happens!

If you’re unsure about the numbers, I’ll show you each bet and the maths behind this trade below.

But before I do, don’t panic. You don’t need to work this out yourself each time. Betfair’s trading software’s can calculate this for you.

The bets and their outcomes:

Step Bets Odds Stake Horse Wins Horse Loses
2 Back  12.5 $100  +$1,150  -$100 
3 Lay  12.0 100 -$1,100  +$100 
4 Hedge (Lay)  12.0 $4.17  -$45.87  +$4.17 
Final Result: 4.13 +$4.17 

Your exchange commission will then be applied to your overall net position. So in this instance, your take-home profit would be net of commission.

Remember this is just an example of one scalp trade though. During the countdown to a busy sporting event, it’s quite possible to put many more scalps through the market, and on larger stakes too.


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