The Basics!

Welcome to the football section. Here, we'll cover the most essential elements of football trading on Betfair, the strategies most commonly used, and the tools you'll need in order to profit regularly from the huge Betfair football market.

Firstly, if you are completely new to trading, you'll need a Betfair account. You can get one at and click the sign up button.

Betfair often have deals regarding free bets on their site, so keep your eye out for those as they often provide great value for new traders.

The second thing which I strongly recommend is an API application.

The best by a long way is Evolution, made by Racing Traders. You can get this from

The money you spend on this software will be covered easily within your first few trades if you follow the guidelines on this website.

So what does it do? Well, it has a ladder interface which enables you to view the amount of money in the market at that time, place your back and lay bets with just one click.

Not only that, but Evo allows you hedge your bets, or "green up" at the click of a button. It will work out the required stake you need to make an even profit on all outcomes and that is VITAL to traders. It will save you doing any calculations or trying to get a bet in on Betfair before the odds change and you have to calculate it all over again.

Once you have a Betfair account and Evo, you're ready to go!

Before we proceed to the strategies, there are certain things which absolute beginners need to understand with regards to Betfair.

On Betfair you can "Back" a team, which is the traditional bet, where you're backing something to win. For example, if you back a team at odds of 4 for £10, you'll make £40 - £30 winnings plus your £10 stake.

However, the beauty of Betfair is that you can also "Lay" a team. That is basically saying that you DONT think a team will win. However, the betting is reversed.

What do we mean by that? Well using the above example, if you instead LAYED that team at odds of 4 for £10, and that team goes on to lose, you'll WIN £10.

If you LAY the team at odds of 4 for £10 and that team wins, then you will LOSE £30.

Think of a lay bet as the complete opposite of a back bet. You're saying that team will lose, and at odds of 4 you'll win £10 but risk £30 in the process.

The best thing about Lay betting, especially in football, is that it keeps two results on side. For example, if Barcelona play Read Madrid, and you Lay Barcelona, you're saying that you dont think Barce will win.

Therefore if it's a draw or a Real Madrid win, you take the profit!

So how do we trade? Well, essentially you always need to remember this: BACK HIGH, LAY LOW or LAY LOW, BACK HIGH.

If you can do this, you will take home the profit every time!

It doesn't matter which way around you do it, if you back first, you'll be looking to lay at a lower price than you backed at to bring in a profit. If you layed first, you'll be looking to back at a higher price to bring in the profit.

It is essential that you understand the concept of laying and back high, lay low or lay low, back high before you start trading. If you're not sure, trade with small stakes. Evolution will allow you to trade for 1p or 2p if you want to, unlike Betfair which has a £2 minimum bet, so if you want to practice with pennies first, go for it!

Throughout the website, I'll use the phrase "greening up". What that means is that you've already done your back or lay, the result is going your way, and you're looking to lay lower or back higher to lock in the profit. Once that profit is locked in, it's done and dusted. You can sit back and enjoy the match knowing you have a profit no matter what the result!

The vast majority of the time, I and most other traders will lay first and look to lock in a profit by backing higher.

As a rule of thumb, you'll look to back at double the odds you layed at, for half the stake.

For example, if I layed Arsenal at home to Manchester United at odds of 2 for £100, my screen would show:

Arsenal - £100
Draw - £100
Manchester United - £100

Then if Manchester United scored and Arsenal's odds to win went up to 4, I would back Arsenal for £50.

I am backing higher - at double the odds in fact - for half the stake (£50).

I would therefore lower the green on the Draw and Manchester United to £50 (as I've spent £50 backing Arsenal once the goal went in). However, as I backed Arsenal at odds of 4, that would win me £150. That wipes out the £100 red I had on them before, and adds £50.

My screen would therefore look like this:

Arsenal - £50
Draw - £50
Manchester United - £50

I could sit back and enjoy the game without worrying about if my bet would win in the long run, as no matter what happened, I'd be bringing in £50 by the end of the game. This is known as "greening up" and is the main aim of a trader!

So having got the theory out of the way, use the drop down menu above to check out the different football trading strategies!