Betfair Trading Techniques

I have recently published Betfair Trading Techniques, which I hope will be of interest to sports traders. The book is directed at a wide range of abilities and tastes. Beginners will be expected to know the basics of sports trading and betting. Intermediate traders and bettors can further improve their skills and I hope even experts will find something new to think about.


Betting exchanges are becoming ever more like financial markets. This has seen the rise of technical traders who find new and inventive ways of trading, little of it having anything to do with the underlying sports. Manual traders are having to give way to automation and algorithmic trading.

To stay ahead, the most successful traders are resorting to systematic and automated methods to build and trade their strategies. This book demonstrates techniques for sports trading, including; fundamental and technical trading, statistical arbitrage, money management, Monte Carlo methods, machine learning and the increasing necessity for algorithmic trading.

This book comes with application code so that readers can program a money management system using Monte Carlo methods and a machine learning application for building trading models. All programming is done within Microsoft's free of charge Visual Studio environment. Spreadsheet software (Excel or openware) will be required too.

Amazon - Betfair Trading Techniques

Screenshots from the applications.



Chapter 1 – Information is Power 

Betting and Trading
Fundamental and Technical Trading
Is All Sports Trading and Betting Arbitrage?
Data Requirements

Chapter 2 – Tools of the Trade 

Spreadsheet Software
Microsoft Visual Basic
Web Scraping With HTML Agility Pack
Trading Software
Additional Skills

Chapter 3 – Trading Models 

Entries and Exits
Data Lore
Market Efficiency
Wisdom of the Crowd
In-Play Trading
Measuring a Model's Predictive Ability
     Return and Yield 
     Strike Rate 
     Winning and Losing Streaks 
     Sharpe Ratio 
     Walk Forward Analysis 
Time Frames
Monitoring and Refinement
Protecting Edge

Chapter 4 – Fundamental Models 

Dutch Masters
Horse Racing
     Creating a Dutch Book 
     Finishing Times 
     Exotic Arbitrage 
Association Football
Remarks on Fundamental Modelling

Chapter 5 – Technical Models 

     Weight of Money 
     Weight of Flow 
     VWAP & TWAP 
     Moving Averages 
What Moves Prices?
Market Dynamics
     Price Tick Transitions 
     Resistance Lines 
     Associated Markets 
Bonus Arbitrage
Remarks on Technical Modelling

Chapter 6 – Money Management 

Trade Sizing
     Level Stakes 
     Percentage Stakes 
     Kelly Criterion 
Martingale and Other Madness
Analysis of Staking Methods
Market Capacity
     The Myth of Compounding 
Monte Carlo or Bust
     Using RiskSimulator 
     Further Experiments 
Which Staking System Should Be Used?
Portfolio Trading

Chapter 7 – Machine Learning 

With a Little Help From My (Human) Friend
Combinatorial Explosion
Genetic Algorithm
     Implementation – GA Optimiser 
     Pre-Processing the Training Data 
     Running the Application 
     Fitness Measures 
     Local Maxima 
Expanding the Application Further

Chapter 8 – Algorithmic Trading 

Why Trade Algorithmically?
Emotional Trading
First to Market Advantage
     Algorithmic Trading Software 
     Dedicated Trading Servers 
Scalable Income
Closing Comments


Microsoft Visual Studio Quick Reference
Starting a New Project
Adding Components to a Form
Adding Forms, Modules and Classes to an Application
Running the Application from the IDE
Creating a Standalone Application


Is there an eBook?

There is no eBook and no likelihood of there being one.

Need help with the book?

If you are looking for help on this page then you are reading the book too quickly. Start again from the very first page, read carefully and you will find the URL for the book's support web page.


  1. Congratulations for your new book, James! Looks really interesting! I've seen your other book is at, will this new one be there, too?

    1. Vendors outside of Amazon will get the book about two to three months after publication.

      My books are published through Amazon so they are available on Amazon's UK, US and various EU sites immediately.

  2. Thanks James for the early Xmas present going to order today.

    1. I hope it is a good read for the holiday period.

  3. Not exactly light reading. If I get time I am going to rewrite my existing code in C# using SOA and EDA and then see what I add on to that using the new book, which I have just ordered.

    I was just reading your market efficiency post and remembered your comments about the favorable economic data after the referendum indicating a positive outcome for the UK from the process which reminded me of Mao's answer when he was asked about the influence of the French Revolution on world history which was, "It is still to early to tell".

  4. This looks very interesting. Could you tell me how much it will cost to buy the software you use to do the programming, so that I can try your techniques? I already have Excel (if needed).

    1. I use Microsoft's Visual Studio, which is free. All is explained in the book.

  5. I just got mine in the mail today so early Christmas present. I learned a lot from the first one so I'm looking forward to getting stuck into this one.

  6. James, does your book provide a means to access, or acquire, timestamp data that can be used to backtest a trading technique or strategy?

    I can only find historical Betfair timestamped data that is provided by a third party vendor called Fracsoft (, but their most recent data is from November 2014.

    1. My other book, Programming for Betfair, is the book you need.

      The API returns prices and volume with a timestamp. Either in realtime for a £200 licence or delayed for free. The delayed data will have an accurate timestamp.

      If you are going to trade then the licence is worth it as most people subscribe to third-party software long enough and end up paying more than £200.

  7. I love this blog, refreshing to see honesty in this shady business. I came into betting from matched betting which is pretty fun mainly because it is free money. Much money to me atleast.
    Played poker around 2012 and competitive as i am did i want to get good at it but one just need to face the fact that poker is drying up. Heads up just got solved by a computer.

    I like the honesty in this blog, i have been through so many of those sellers who sell programs so you can trade. They tell you how good scalping is.
    You don't need to know anything about the sports just read the markets. The thing is that while i have reaserached about all those things to find an edge have i come across science like that of Eugene Fama and all those scalpers seems scaringly similiar to traders (wall street) to me...

    I am thankful for matched betting and i feel like i have learned new things while i have researched for an edge.

    Your blog resonate very well with everything i have learned my own hard way. Next step for me is to read some of the books your recommend.

    To me it seems like genuine knowledge is the way in sportsbetting, being one of a few is crucial to beat the market and make money. Then you can either "trade" valuebets/surebet or let the games run and take the variance.

    I just wanted

    A swedish reader.

    1. I am always happy to read comments from those that find this website useful and are discerning between those who are trying to help and those who are not.