Betfair Trading Strategies for Australian Horse Racing

If you’re interested in Betfair trading strategies but don’t know where to start, horse racing is probably the place. With thousands of races each year and so much subjectivity around price – it holds both large and regular opportunities.

Here’s a quick peek at a handful of Betfair trading strategies that Australian traders are using every single day on Betfair’s Exchange.

Check out Part One of Cann’s education series on the Hub here.

For more from Cann Berry, check out his book: ‘Betfair Trading Made Simple’.


Horse Racing Trading Strategy

Not everyone is an experienced exchange user, so I’ll quickly blast you through the basics of horse racing trading strategy.

The aim of any trade is to back high and lay lower, cashing-out the difference for yourself. There are a handful of methods to do this, but all require one of the following:

  • Changes in price
  • An active betting market

Happens in just about every betting market right? This is what makes the racing ideal.

Your objective is to accurately assess when the price will move, and where the active flow of bets is focused. By correctly assessing this you can build a routine strategy to work for a profit.

Understanding the ‘why’ is the important part, as we’ll discuss shortly.


Backing to Lay Front-running Horses

As the name suggests, this is a pretty simple strategy. It all centres around the ability to effectively find horses that routinely lead the race. The larger and softer the lead the better.

You may not have noticed, but when a horse race goes in-play, so does Betfair’s exchange. Depending on how the chosen outcome is doing – the price will change. So when the price contracts, this strategy is sat there waiting.

It doesn’t even matter if the horse loses, you’re just cashing out the difference in price created by the horse’s temporary advantage.

For example, here’s a regular front-running horses price chart:

See how the price bombed? Sometimes this is a quick method to make a serious buck.


Scalping Short-term Price Differences

If you’re not a fan of in-play betting, you might prefer this strategy though. Again the name hints at what we’re looking to do; ‘scalp’ small segments of value between the trading prices.

Typically scalping is focused on 1-3 ticks profit. If you didn’t know, a tick is a difference between two prices, for example, 4.1 to 4.2 is one tick.

This approach is one of the most popular in trading because you can make a profit without any kind of price prediction. For example, placing an unmatched back bet at 4.2 and an unmatched lay bet at 4.1 would see you make a profit if they are both matched.

Here’s a screenshot of a scalp between 12.5 and 12.0. Making a quick profit of $4.17.

Pulling this off is a bit harder than it first looks, although totally possible.


Swing Trading Market Sentiment

At the other end of the spectrum, we have swing trading, profiting from a significant change in price.

I’m sure you’ve seen these kinds of price moves before. Often they are created by a significant bias in betting activity, it’s basic supply and demand.

Maybe you can even think why these price changes happen. Think towards significant changes in public perception – like a famous jockey being on a treble for the day or a horse breaking loose in the paddock

The most reliable way of finding these trades regularly is through market analysis. Assessing the bets traded volumes is a strong hint!

Pro traders like myself love this kind of trades, it’s where the big money is when done right.


Tips & Pointers

It wouldn’t be fair to share this article with Betfair Australia and not share the most effective way to get started.

Here are a few quick pointers:

  1. Trial some trading software from the apps directory
  2. See the articles listed below for extra help
  3. Have a go in the software’s training mode for free!

Aside from this, take a while to understand the different types of betting markets there are. A traders job is to tailor themselves to the betting market, extracting value in the process. If you understand the market conditions it becomes a lot easier.

For example; if you are looking to scalp a horse racing market you will want to do this at it’s most stable point without the price flying off at a tangent. So picking a horse race that is extremely popular, at the point of peak of activity is a good idea. You’re more likely to get both bets matched with limited exposure to risk.


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