The 4 Different Ways You Can Trade Football On Betfair

 football trading betfairWhen you hear that someone is a “football trader” on Betfair I think that many these days will automatically assume that person is an in-play football trader. It is also reasonable to assume that many newbies who are just discovering Betfair trading might actually assume that in-play is the only type of football trading available. Well, they would be wrong and you can read much more about football trading in our FULL Football Trading Beginners Guide!

Here are the 4 different types of football trading and you will often find that those who are professional have only mastered one type fully. This is something to keep in mind when you are deciding what sort of football trader you want to be.

Pre-match Football Trading

This is where you will simply only trade the pre-match prices on a football match. Usually the match odds market but some also delve into the Over/Under 2.5 Goals market and the Correct Score market. All types of football trading are hard to master but this is the one which often splits traders in to different camps. You get some who just can not get to grips with it whilst some who swear by how easy it often is. Once you fully get it then it should be quite easy since the markets are pretty slow and also continue to react to news, hours after the news becomes public knowledge. The fact that you will find most full time football traders are pre-match traders mainly should show you how lucrative this market is.

I have seen with my own eyes how pre-match trading can split the camps. Some think it is the best thing since sliced bread whilst some are not so keen. The fact you need a decent sized bank to make worthwhile profits is usually enough to put off the more casual trader, but for those with money to invest this really is the type of trading you should be looking at primarily. I did a recent post outlining how I often trade football pre-match, read that here for more info. I did not do it to show off but just to show how simple the process can actually be.

Long Term Football Trading

There are some football traders who make their money just by playing the long term “futures” style markets. This is markets like the Premier League winners market, Champions League winners market, Relegation etc. These markets are definitely not to be underestimated as there can be some huge swings within them and most are pretty liquid. The main benefit of being a trader who specialises in this sort of trading is that it does not take up as much of your time as day to day trading might do. If you trade the long term markets you might only check and manage your positions once or twice a week, similar to those who trade in share prices.

This might also include the shortish long term markets such as the “Next Manager” market that can frequently pop up during the season. I know many that have good strategies for those markets and are eagerly anticipating each new one.

Long term trading is definitely the least stressful of the all, the big drawback being you might often have your money tied up for a long time also. This is one for the more patient investor who wants to use football trading as part of a portfolio rather then as a main source of income.

In-Play “Goal Positive” Trading

This is probably the most popular type of football trading judging from what I read all over the web. This is football trading whereby you are relying on a goal or goals being scored in order to get the market move you need to profit, for example by laying the draw. Most strategies on most markets will end up relying on a goal being scored to produce a positive result and the fact that football is all about scoring goals is probably the main reason most prefer to trade like this. The downside is that many will feel that this is veering close to being regular gambling since you are usually so reliant on a goal being scored with many strategies and most of the time the market will be moving against you once you get in.

This might well be the most popular form of football trading but, ironically, I think it is the hardest to master. Having good strategies and match reading skills are essential to this type of trading and the fast pace can often make it hard to make the correct decisions. However, there is no doubt that this is probably the most “enjoyable” form of football trading as you get to watch a live match while you trade and so it is definitely less boring then the other forms.

In-Play Goal Negative Trading

This is probably the least popular form of football trading, however, I see many doing very well with it. This is where you will trade in-play but you are relying on a goal NOT being scored in order to make the profits usually by scalping a market. As the football match progresses you will see the Unders goal markets steam toward 1.01 tick by tick and this is pretty easy to scalp and profit from, providing a goal is not scored when you are in the market of course! This is not just on the unders markets either. As time goes on you will see the price on the favourite drift higher which makes it pretty easy to scalp and Correct Scores will also move in predictable directions while the current score remains as it is.

The upside of this trading is that you know which way the prices are going to go which means you do not need to second guess the market. The professionals that make money doing this sort of trading will get in the markets at quiet moments of the match and scalp a few ticks at a time, being sure to get out at dangerous moments. There are also particular times when the markets move faster then usual in-play and this can mean easier money in a shorter space of time but it takes experience to learn this. Pick the right matches and keep your eye on the ball (literally!) and this can be a very easy way to trade yourself to solid long term profits.

The downside is that if you are caught in the markets when a goal goes in then your losses can be much bigger then usual. One goal might wipe out a whole days profits depending on how you trade and so you need to have thick skin in order to keep at it in the long term. I have tried this type of trading myself and I did well at it but I did not like the nervous feeling of what a sudden goal might do to me. If you can get your head around it then it can be a good way to trade.

I should also mention that one thing that has made this type of trading harder recently is the 8 second in-play delay on football matches. Thankfully, Betfair are reducing this back to 5 seconds once again it seems.

So there are the 4 different types of football trading. It is definitely worth picking one that suits you mentally and focusing on that for a short while. Better to be the master of one then a jack of them all.

And as said, if you want to learn more about football trading then this free beginners guide is truly excellent.


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  1. is betfair really reducing it to 5 seconds? i still see 8 seconds.

    1. Sports Trading Life says:

      Hi Chan,

      They recently publicised that they are planning to reduce it to 5 seconds and it should already be reduced on Premier League matches at least. It is a step in the right direction and only time will tell if they remain true to their word.

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