Pre Match Trading – The way forward?

This time last year I put £100 in my Betfair account and the plan was to gradually build it up by around 10% a week with a very ambitious aim to trade/gamble my way up to around £5k. A year on and I’m back at square one having just stuck another £100 in my Betfair account.

It started so well 12 months ago, by the end of September I had doubled the account to over £200. Then it started to go wrong as by mid October I was down to around £50, and by the end of the month I had bottomed out.

I spent the rest of the football season topping the account up, I haven’t checked how much I deposited yet, but I’m sure it was a few hundred quid and I haven’t got that sort of money to throw away.

Knowing that I couldn’t continue like that, I laid off betting towards the end of the football season and started to have a think about where I was going wrong, and subsequently why I was going wrong?

It didn’t take me too long to work out that my random betting on any old game just for the sake of having a bet might be a good place to start to look for the problem – I know of it in my head as Roulette betting, as I may as well just put my money on Roulette as I know just as little about that, than I did most of these games I was betting on.

If a game was 0-0 after 45 mins and the SP for Over 2.5 goals was below Even money, I would have a bet on Over 1.5 goals as in my own deluded mind there was bound to be a goal. Another method was in a match that was drawing after about an hour, I would just the lay the draw without any reason other than there was bound to be a goal, the law of averages dictates that, doesn’t it? It did to me back then at considerable cost. There were numerous different stupid bets I would do just for the sake of it.

After working out part of the reason I had been going wrong, I spent the summer months thinking about a method I could employ that suited my style of gambling to move forward with. Do I start just laying the draw, or back outright wins, lay a team every weekend, or just use a staking method based on maths rather than football knowledge – therefore taking the emotion out of betting?

I went through numerous variations in my head before I came to a decision, and the method I have decided to go with is Pre Match Trading, with a long term plan to make a low percentage of betting bank profit every week and see how I get on.

I did some trials on Euro 2012 games over the summer and it went well. Moving forward I am planning to trade high liquidity matches, mainly TV games, and mainly concentrating on the Over/Under 2.5 goals market. I want to concentrate on 2.5 goals as there is obviously only two outcomes, and the Correct Score market can also give an indication as too which way this market might move.

With this in mind, the Correct Score market could also be traded, and I will also look at the outright win market, trading this market will be done more with a view to finding prices which look wrong and need correcting a couple of days before kick off.

With the Over/Under market I will just try and trade one tick at a time, ie, lay £100 at 1.84 and then after that gets matched, back at 1.85 for £100, and so on. Going in as many times as possible repeating the same process. That’s why high liquidity matches is needed, for this method static markets would be quite handy where the money just keeps turning over at the same price.

I plan to stick at this market and try to master it, learning a new trade if you like. It’s my aim to get to know this market like the back of my hand.

I will be prepared to achieve as little as 0.5% of betting bank profit a match with as minimal risk as possible. If I can do 1%-1.5% a match then all the better, if this can be achieved in 5 or 6 games a week then I will be more than happy as I should be able to make around 28%-33% profit on betting bank a month.

On top of this I also plan to do some matched betting, using free bets from online bookmakers. This will be a particular good method of helping me build up my betting bank over the first few weeks and is as risk free a trading method as there is. In short, I want to limit my risks as much as possible, after that I am hopeful that the profits will come.

I am already about 3 weeks into my Pre Match Trading and I have made a decent start with some smallish profits, I will blog the results over the next few days.

Best of luck to all for the new season.


Dean Etheridge - Owner, Editor and Writer of Contact on or e-mail for any writing projects, or if you have any ideas or suggestions for Football Gambler.

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