Betfair Trading

Betfair Minimum Bet Size for SP Lay Bets

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One thing about Betfair starting price (BSP or Betfair SP) which is not widely known is the minimum Betfair liability for lay bets. For example, when placing a normal lay bet at available odds, you are not limited to a liability. The only restriction is the minimum bet size which must be at least 2 pounds for UK customers. You can place 2 pounds even at 1.01 producing liability of only 2 * 0.01 = 2p. However if you are laying at Betfair SP the rules are completely different and it’s important to know them. It turns out that Betfair has a minimum LIABILITY for lay bets placed at SP. For UK customers it’s 10 pounds. For customers with other currencies it’s now well known, I was able find a clear size only for Australian dollars, which is $30. For all other currencies there is no information, Betfair only states that it’s “equivalent of 10 pounds in your local currency”. So if you want to know the limit in euros you probably have to use exchange rates to convert pounds to euros. If you try to place a lay bet at SP which gives a liability less than the minimum amount, the Betfair will not accept it with error “Bet is below the minimum permitted bet size.” (MINIMUM_PERMITTED_BET_SIZE). There is also a minimum liability for BACK bets at SP, but it’s the same as minimum permitted bet size of bets at regular odds i.e. 2 pounds for GBP. I wish there was more information on this topic because it’s hard to figure out why some bets are not being accepted.

Greyhound Racing

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Greyhound racing or dogs racing is one of the most popular sports to bet on Betfair. There are many betting systems specializing in greyhounds. So what are features of greyhound racing?

Greyhound races are common in UK, so most of Betfair listed races are UK based. Unlike horse racing these markets don’t go inplay, but results are available quickly, usually in few minutes. All races have six number of runners. There are WIN and PLACE markets like in horse racing. Two dogs to be placed. All bets are being placed on trap numbers, not names of dogs. Each races has a class, showing the level of runners. It grades from A9 (lowest) to A1 (highest).

I have to mention one another detail. Taking into account that there are so many daily races on Betfair and usually with intervals less than 10 minutes, money comes in the market only around 2-3 minutes before the start. Even 2 minutes before the start there is no much liquidity (not like in horse races) so it’s worth to wait till 15-20 seconds before the off to place your bet.

Betfair Odds

Everything I know about Betfair odds.

1. Betfair displays odds in decimal format, i.e. 2.00, 4.20, 10.5.

2. Betfair odds can be anything between 1.01 and 1000.

3. Winnings for BACK bet are equal to Stake * (Odds – 1).

4. Your bet will be matched at best available odds. For example, if you place BACK bet at 1.80 and there is money at 2.00, your bet will be matched at 2.00 instead 1.80.

5. Odds are often called “prices” on Betfair betting exchange.

6. On Betfair there are specific odds ranges with own minimum increments. These minimum increments usually called “ticks”.

From 1.01 to 2.00 one tick is equal to 0.01.

From 2.02 to 3.00 one tick is equal to 0.02.

From 3.05 to 4.00 one tick is equal to 0.05.

From 4.1 to 6.0 one tick is equal to 0.1.

From 6.2 to 10.0 one tick is equal to 0.2.

From 10.5 to 20.0 one tick is equal to 0.5.

From 21 to 30 one tick is equal to 1.

From 32 to 50 one tick is equal to 2.

From 55 to 100 one tick is equal to 5.

From 110 to 1000 one tick is equal to 10.

So there are no 2.21 odds on Betfair, instead there are 2.20 and 2.22 odds. Odds like 4.15, 6.7, 22.5, 57, 995 are all invalid on Betfair. If you try to place a bet at these odds it will be rejected.

7. You can see the latest prices on Betfair only if you have an “active funded account”. Otherwise Betfair will show prices with small latency and they will be outdated. Here is what Betfair writes about this on it’s site:

Only customers logged into an active funded account will be able to view the latest Betfair prices. We do this to discourage extreme usage of Betfair website data by software programs that don’t use Betfair to bet. Your account becomes an ‘active funded account’ the first time you make a deposit.

Betfair Formulas

In this post I will be collecting all formulas that may be useful in Betfair trading.

Profit for BACK bet

Profit = Stake * (Odds – 1)

Profit for LAY bet

Profit = Stake

Loss for BACK bet

Loss = Stake

Loss for LAY bet

Loss = Stake * (Odds – 1)

Deadheat profit/loss for BACK bet

PL = (Stake / 2) * (Odds – 1) – (Stake / 2)

Deadheat profit/loss for LAY bet

PL = (Stake / 2) – (Stake / 2) * (Odds – 1)

How to calculate LAY stake from given liability

Stake = Liability / (Odds – 1)

How to calculate BACK stake from given target profit

Stake = Target Profit / (Odds – 1)

How to calculate BACK stake for equal greening up. Assuming that you have a lay bet at LayOdds and want to trade out at higher BackOdds to make a situation with equal profit for win and lose results.

LayWinPL = LayStake * (LayOdds – 1)
LayLoosePL = LayStake
BackStake = (LayWinPL + LayLoosePL) / BackOdds

How to calculate LAY stake for equal greening up. Assuming that you have a back bet at BackOdds and want to trade out at lower LayOdds to make a situation with equal profit for win and lose results.

BackWinPL = BackStake * (BackOdds – 1)
BackLoosePL = BackStake
LayStake = (BackWinPL + BackLoosePL) / LayOdds

How to find a chance % of selection to win from it’s odds

Chance = 100 / Odds

How to convert fractions to decimal odds

Fractions: A/B

Decimal = A / B + 1

Betfair Betting

Today the online sports betting is most promising. No need to go out to place your wager. You can bet sitting at home, thanks to online exchange services like Betfair. Moreover you can trade, just like on a stoke market. Betfair allows you to make a “Back” bet to win and “Lay” bet to lose. This means that if your selection loses you actually make money. So placing, for example, two opposite bets (Back and Lay) on the same selection, but at different odds you are making guaranteed profit which is as big as the difference in odds between Back and Lay bets. This is very similar to normal stock markets, that’s why many traders in online sports betting are saying “price” instead “odds”. And sports events are usually called “markets”.

If you open Betfair market in your browser, you will see what I mean:

betfair market

If it’s your first time at Betfair, you may need to click “Exchange” link on the top (next to “Live Video”, “Radio” and “Tote”). Also make sure you have ticked “Back & Lay” and “Market Depth” boxes. Without this your market will look like an ordinary race form.

So, on the above image you see three Back and three Lay boxes for each runner with available odds (prices) and amount of money available at this odds. As long as Betfair is betting exchange where people bet one against another, the amount that can be matched at BACK odds is limited by amount that other people are offering to trade at this odds. In our example if you would have placed a BACK bet of $200 at 4.8, $197 would have been matched and $3 have remained unmatched until someone would place a LAY bet at this odds.

From trading point of view you can think about BACK betting as “selling” and LAY as “buying”. So to make profit you should “buy” at low price and sell at high price (the order doesn’t matter really, you can first sell and then buy). Sports betting markets on Betfair are volatile, prices usually change up and down in matters of minutes. When a race goes in-play prices can dramatically change even in fractions of second. In Betfair trading it’s matter of good analysis and timely decision to be successful.

If you have backed $200 at 4.8 and then the price on Betfair went down to 4.0 you can trade out laying at 4.0. You might lay $200 at 4.0, then if the horse loses you will make (less Betfair commission):

$200 * (4.8 – 1) – $200 * (4.0 – 1) = $160

Betfair displays all odds in decimal format.
To calculate profit from a BACK bet the formula is:
profit = stake * (odds – 1)
Loss formula for LAY bet is the same:
loss = stake * (odds – 1)

Well, this is very basic of Betfair trading. Good luck, and happy trading!

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