True or False? 7 Common Betfair Trading Myths

betfair trading mythsTrading the Betting Exchanges is still a relatively new form of market trading and the lack of mainstream media coverage about it has led to many myths being developed. Here are 7 COMMON BETFAIR TRADING MYTHS along with the reasons behind them and whether they are true or false!

You can profit without understanding the sport

When Betfair first came into existence it was actually quite possible to make money from the markets just by having a better understanding of the markets and “filling gaps”. Jim Makos told us that he found most of his success this way. Therefore, I can understand why this myth still exists however it is fair to say that those days are long gone. The betting exchanges are far more competitive and a good knowledge of the sport you are trading is much needed. If you want to find an advantage in-play then you need to be a match-reader and a good knowledge of the teams and players involved will help with that.

Ten years ago this was probably true but now it is certainly FALSE!

You can always win no matter the result

I believe many Betfair trading systems that have been advertised down the years have often mentioned how you can “win no matter the result”. This is true if you green up your screen but it has definitely led to the myth that it is possible to ALWAYS win no matter the result. I often get emails from a football traders who find themselves in difficult positions during a match and they ask what they could have done to turn it into a winning position. Failing to realise that not every match can provide a profit and there will actually be times when you lose.

Unless you are a superstar trader then this is definitely FALSE!

That trading is a fun and exciting way to make money

I feel it is a myth that trading is a fun and exciting way to make money but only once you have got into the routine of making that money. I still remember when I first came across the betting exchanges and I became a little obsessed about it and I was definitely excited to get involved. Nothing will ever beat the buzz you get the first time of locking in a profit. However, after several years of being behind the screen and being involved in a lot of markets it is definitely not as exciting as it once was. It still beats working a boring a 9-5 but as with anything, once the novelty wears off, it is not as fun but just another “job” in a way.

This myth is TRUE for a little while then it become FALSE in the long run.

Professionals profit on every market they enter

I must admit to beleving this myth myself when I first started out. There might be some traders out there who will upload screen-shots of their P&L where they have profited on every single market they have entered but these traders are either one of the few who can do that or have faked the screen-shot. In my early days I fell for this and I would find myself wondering what I was doing wrong when I was not winning every market I entered. So much so that I might scrap a profitable strategy just because it was not winning on EVERY market. Sounds crazy now but I was naive and I admit it. Most professionals will have plenty of losing trades every day so do not expect to try and win every market you enter.

I am sure even the great Peter Webb has some losing markets so this is definitely FALSE.

That every sports event has opportunities

Similar to the above, many newbies often think that EVERY event is tradeable and they will sit down and and try and trade whichever football match happens to be on the TV at the time and then wonder why they came out with a loss. The reality is that you need to pick and choose your moments. Not every match will provide an opportunity and it is important to be disciplined enough to say that you will not get involved and hang back till something that fits your strategy comes along.

Every sports event does have opportunities but will they always present opportunities for YOU? Probably not. So this is FALSE!

Betfair dictates market prices

betfair trading myths 2There are plenty of bookmakers based in the UK that follow the Betfair prices however for sports events like big football matches you will often find that Betfair is the follower of the Asian markets. There is some big money in the Asian betting markets and when a big bet comes in then you will see the Betfair markets adjust instantly. By the way, do not think you can watch the Asian markets move then get on Betfair quickly to follow the trade as they will move far too quickly for you to do that. This leads to the myth that Betfair dictate the prices, it is actually the asian markets that move first. Therefore, this is FALSE!

You Need Multiple Monitors & Expensive Software To Succeed

Many will have seen some trader post a picture of his “set-up” which features multiple screens and you may feel that you need this to succeed but this is not totally true. It is very likely that a racing trader will use multiple monitor set up and expensive software but if you trade sports like football, tennis and cricket then this really is overkill. In fact, I know of one tennis trader who prefers to trade exclusively via the Betfair web browser or the iPad app and he makes a killing. Therefore, you should not believe that you need this sort of set-up to succeed although if you trade racing then it can be a help. So this one is FALSE unless you are a racing trader!

BONUS MYTH: Betfair love traders

Perhaps this is a controversial one but it could be a myth that Betfair love their traders. Betfair originally launched with a marketing slogan which said “Winners Welcome” however less than a decade into their existence they dropped the slogan and introduced 2 separate premium charges designed at milking their most profitable traders. The fact is that Betfair do not make as much commission on traders as they would a normal punter and with traders always beating the regular punters and potentially scaring them away from the markets then it is not unfair to suggest that Betfair probably do not like traders as much as we all believe. Probably the only reason traders are allowed on the exchange is due to the liquidity they provide.

We are torn here, this one might actually be both true AND false 😉


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  1. Cannot agree any more with any of the points.Specially loved the second point.Trading is so much popularized with a tagline “Always in green” that it has created a mythical impression.You lose in trading also but its all about minimizing it .Its operational cost as it is in any business.

  2. Have to agree with the last one premium charge goes against that whole “winners welcome” marketing they used to establish themselves.

  3. Thank you for the mention! I suppose extended access to broadband connection and improved internet (think ping times) speeds worldwide also reduced sharp scalpers’ edge. Regarding the required knowledge of sports teams and players, there are traders both in sports and financial markets that have minimal fundamental knowledge, but are still be able to beat the market just by reading the price action.

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