3 Reasons Most Punters LOSE On Betfair

lose on betfairI read an interesting statistic that suggested it was less then 10% of Betfair accounts that actually made a consistent profit of the previous 12 months. I am not sure how accurate that number is but we can all be pretty sure that the majority of those who have accounts with Betfair are actually losing money.

This made me wonder why? Why do most LOSE on Betfair? Since after all, it is an open exchange with no “house edge” to worry about. Perhaps if we can look at the reasons why most lose on Betfair it can help us work out what to do in order to be a winner!

1- Impatience

The biggest reason that most fail on Betfair or any sort of trading or gambling is usually due to impatience. The average person is used to going to work from 9-5, putting in the hours and getting paid at the end of the month. Trading is the total opposite. Initially you will have to put in lots of hours and probably LOSE money in order to learn the markets, then even when you become professional you might have a losing day/week/month or so. The average punter will open a Betfair account and expect to be making money immediately, let alone 6 months to a year down the line. Once they realise it will take a while to get to that stage they usually give up and have ended up with their account at a loss. As they saying goes… “Quitters never win and winners never quit”!

2 – Laziness

Some traders on Betfair are making 6 figures a year with plenty making the high 5 figures also. In the UK this is a pretty good salary and to get a job earning similar amounts of money usually takes years of education and hard work to get there. Think, doctor, lawyer, pilot etc.
So it baffles me that many expect to be profitable at Betfair trading whilst also putting in the minimal effort.
I get many emails from newbies who ask me if there is a simple system they can follow without actually watching the match or something they can automate and make money from. This immediately shows me that they are not willing to put in the hard work of watching and learning the markets and developing their own strategies. To be successful on Befair requires you to have good knowledge of your sport and, usually, to watch a lot of it. To become a doctor earning 6 figures probably takes 5 years of medical school to get there and then many years of experience before you get to that point. Becoming profitable on Betfair to the point of earning 6 figures probably only takes half of that time and effort yet for most it seems like even that is too much.

3 – They Don’t Care

Probably the biggest reason that the majority end up losing on Betfair is simply because they do not care. They do not care since they are not actually hoping to make a long term profit or become professional gamblers in any sort of way. It is important to remember that not everyone who opens a Betfair account is looking to make a profit like you and me. The majority of those on Betfair are still the casual punters who fancy the odd bet on the live games and races. I have met many “mug punters” in my time and they only have a bet as a means of entertainment. Most fully accept they will probably lose long term but enjoy the odd win when it comes in and it enhances the entertainment of the live event. I am not a horse racing fan but every Cheltenham I find myself getting involved and actually having a bit of fun with it also.


I think point 3 goes furthest to explaining why most people lose on Betfair. A better statistic would be to look at how many take up trading and do not make a profit before they give up but I guess that would be far harder to work out!


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  1. Daniel Victor says:

    With all due respect,since Betfair takes commission on exchange bets,its customers as a whole must lose – since every winning bet is a losing bet for the same amount for someone else,but then Betfair’s commission is deducted from winnings.

    1. Sports Trading Life says:

      Betfair also take a tax from the winners called the premimum charge, they would not do this if there was not lots of winners.

  2. john wheatcroft says:

    I am still testing a lay system on Betfair. I started testing on June 24 this year my first stake was a limited liability of £15 that was the only money I put in to start with. Since then I have continued testing using returns for stakes and so far the bank is in profit to the tune of £341 . so until June 2015 when my test ends I have 22 bets left @ £15 until the bank is wiped out. Longest winning sequence 30 longest losing sequence 3 It will be interesting to see the figures next June.

    1. Sports Trading Life says:

      Sounds good John and good that you know the importance of long term testing.

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