How To Start With Trading – The Sceptics View

Facts & Myths

I've had over 15 plus years involved in betting and it’s safe to say that I’ve spent the majority of my time in the Bettor camp, rather than with the traders.

That’s not to say, I had no interest in trading but circumstances and other interests led me in a different direction.

One of the major circumstances was my decision to move to Australia in 2007 and where I would spend the next 10 plus years. 

Living in Australia, had many advantages both personally, (the weather was better for one!) and also for betting (I could do all my research and preparation, and often be ahead of the UK markets). 

But there were two major disadvantages when it came to betting.

  1. No in-play Betting

I won’t go into the ins and outs of this now but incredibly it is still not possible, to be in-play online in almost all instances of betting in Australia.

In the country which allows you to bet on, effectively heads or tails, and sees more than $20 billion ( 10GBP) spent on slot machines each year – yes, thats Billion with a B – Betfair has been fighting a losing battle against the omnibus TAB for more than a decade.

  1. Time Zones

For someone whose interests are predominately UK horse racing and European football, the time zones are not very forgiving and I had pretty much decided that trading (or my definition of trading at the time) was not really going to be an option for more and didn’t give it much thought thereafter.

More recently, I have moved to a more South East Asia based location which, I feel, gives me the best of both worlds. The time-sones are better suited (I can monitor most of the horse racing and the afternoon football) during evening hours. 

So over the last year are so I’d decided to take a fresh look at trading and I really started to step this up towards the end of 2018.

This took a bigger step forward during February of this year, when, due to a family matter, I spent a whole month back in the UK and I decided to use that time to do some intensive testing and upskilling.

What follows here and over the next few posts will be my learnings, insights, tips and, of course, mistakes on my journey so far to becoming a profitable trader.

What is trading?

The interesting thing, for me at least, is that I have had my understanding of trading changed, or perhaps the better would be broadened over the last few months – which has been hugely beneficial. You could even call it an epiphany.

I remember, many years ago, sitting in Betfair event in Sydney watching Tony ‘The Badger’ make it look so easy to lock in trades of a few ticks here, a few ticks there.

And this probably set my initial thinking around what trading is, involving words such as Weight of Money, Trading Bots, Scalping and pictures of Trading Screens like what you see in Fair Bot, Bet Trader and others.

That certainly remains one route into trading and a very profitable one at that for those that can master it – I’m definitely not one of those yet and it probably set me back a few years by thinking that was really the only way to go about it.

But If you don’t know already, I am telling you now that there are many, many other ways of trading, and most importantly, 1000% there is the trading approach that will suit YOU.

The Mentality of a Trader Versus The Mentality of a Bettor

In my opinion, the mentality of both a trader and a bettor are actually similar than they or you may think, but with a few key, crucial differences.

The first key difference is staking.

A bettor's stake is their bet for a particular result or outcome. In almost all cases, their stake is their stake and that won’t change once they are committed to a bet. They know how much they will win and how much they will lose.

A traders stake is just the start. It is the entry point into a market. From here, a trade can go one of three ways – profit/scratch (break even) / loss (some or all of their stake, particularly if no stop loss is used).

The ‘profit’ on their original bet is irrelevant because they are almost always looking to place at least another bet in the market (there are set and forget trades, but that’s a topic for another day). 

A trader's first objective is to get to ‘scratch’ – e.g. be able to lay back some or all of their stake (preferably at better odds) so they can remove their liability and hopefully green up (or have a free bet).

To convey this in another way – if a bettor places a bet, then lays it off and the original bet goes on to win, the bettor mindset is to kick themselves and think they ‘lost’ profit by trading out.

That is the mindset that you need to break if you want to be a trader. The objective is to protect your stake first and profit second.

The other key difference, I believe is that, unless you are scalping or trading odds movements you are still ‘betting’ that something will happen, at least to a certain degree. You could be right, you could be wrong but you have to make that decision on where you will place your flag, at least, initially.

Once the flag has been placed, that is job done for the bettor, they will then sit back and see what the final outcome is.

However, the trader will likely have 1, 2 or more steps after the initial placing of the flag. It could be a time period, an odds movement, or an event/action taking place in a match or race which will determine the next step. But they will always know what those steps will be before entering the trade.

This is what I call “Micro, Mini and Macro Moments”

Micro, Mini and Macro Moments

A bettor will normally look at an event in its entirety (e.g. a full, 90-minute match), whereby a successful trader is often looking at smaller increments of that game.

Micro – a small window of time – usually 15-minute blocks (E.g. the first of last 15 minutes of the first half)

Mini – They will look at a longer period of time than a micro (E.g. a full half, but will use the data and statistics of say, the first 30 minutes, to decide whether to take action in the last 15 minutes)

Macro – Similar to mini, but it will be determined by what happens in the first 45 or 60 minutes of a game, and whether to enter a trade)

These are just examples and not the only way to do this but hopefully, it illustrates my point. They are looking at micro-moments right throughout a game/match/event and reacting to this based on known trends, odds movements, averages and in-play stats to make ‘mini bets’ or trades.

Once you grasp this concept (and start looking at the right data) a whole world of opportunities for success begin to open up.

Truly, when I grasped this I actually couldn’t believe I had been so blind to it for so long.

More on how I got to grips with all of this, next week. Make sure you stay tuned!

  • aungthu

    Thank.for free football tip

  • Michael Ford

    Hi, appreciate your article, I need to take ‘a fresh look at trading’ the group I am in are good but so much stuff like the ‘badger’ above goes straight over my head, now after 18 months of not winning/losing the read above does give me hope in the knowledge that there are alternative ways for me to trade and to learn how scalping, hedging etc. is carried out when ‘in’ a trade, do really want to persevere now, thank you

    • Eddie Lloyd

      Hi Michael, we’re glad you enjoyed the article. Trading can be complicated but if we learn the principles and keep it simple, to begin with, then the other skills will develop. It’s worth keeping your powder dry initially, learn to read the markets and look for ways to scalp the favourites. That’s a great place to start and I’ll look to cover this in a future article. Keep at it and I’m sure one day it’ll all click into place! Cheers, Eddie


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