The “Lay The Field” or LTF trading strategy is a Betfair strategy that is primarily used on Horse Racing markets in-play. This strategy is a well known strategy available generally for free across the web. In theory it can be used on almost any market but the racing markets are most ideal. There are some that use this on long term football markets such as Winners/Relegation or next manager markets to good effect.
What is Lay The Field?
This strategy does pretty much what it says on the tin. You will be laying the whole field and depending on the odds you lay at and how many that actually get matched this can mean you can lock in a profit.
It might sound confusing but it is surprisingly easy to operate. For example, if there was a horse race where I wanted to use the LTF strategy I could input a lay of ALL horses at odds of 2 with £10. So I am risking £10 maximum as my liability. I would only lose that £10 if only one horse gets matched @ 2 and goes on to win. If 2 horses get matched @ 2 then I break even and if 3 or more get matched @ 2 then I am making profits. In a really competitive race I might even get 4 horses matched @ 2 and walk off with £20 guaranteed.
Of course, the odds you lay at are up to you. If you decide to lay all @ 3 then you need at least 4 horses to be matched @ 3 in order to make money. You could go lower and lay all @ 1.50 and then you would only need 2 horses to get matched to make profits.
If you have not tried this strategy before or traded horse racing in-running then you might be wondering how likely it is to find races where that many horses trade below those prices. Well, it can and does happen. I have seen races with multiple horses hitting 1.10 and then losing, that would be very profitable if you were trading that race but herein lies the problem with the strategy….
Just which races do you use it on?
The Lay The Field strategy is certainly a cool one to use and it is pretty thrilling to score a winner with it however it is trying to find the best situations to use it in that is the long term problem for many traders on Betfair.
Those who use this sort of strategy profitably in the long term will profile certain races and certain courses to use it on. They will also adjust the odds they ask for on each race too. Some races they might lay the field @ 1.67 whilst some might be more suitable laying @ 1.20. It all depends and it is only market studying and experience that will help you find the edges with this strategy.
It is important to understand there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to laying the field. The course length, the amount of runners and the competitiveness of the race are all huge factors. These days watching the race live to see if there will be a blanket finish is also something that can help.
Overall, Lay The Field really is a great strategy once you do crack it as it can be automated eventually too. The fact there are plenty of horse races to experiment on all day and every day can just add to the fun of trying to build your own perfect formula for laying the field.
If you do want more information on the “Lay The Field” strategy and some good courses along with odds ranges to lay at then check out this issue of The Trend Report.