The further down the rabbit hole we go, as Alice no doubt felt, the curiouser it all gets. And Pillar 5, ‘Psychological trading’, sounds pretty deep, don’t you think?
Maybe I should turn it into a retail product – and sell it for a price ending in a 7??
Of course, the mystique of science and technology has always played well with systems providers.
Fibonacci staking plans…
Assorted Betfair code cracking systems ….
All have promised at different times to transform your PC with almost no effort on your part into an out-of-control ATM spewing cash at the foot of your bed.
(Which, while we’re on the subject, has always struck me as a particularly inconvenient place to spew cash in the first place – why not straight into my handbag?!).
All talk of killer systems should of course come with the obligatory montage of spray-tanned supermodels draped over Maseratis, but the only royalty-free image of the latter I could find featured Mario Balotelli in gangsta pose. And I sense he may not appeal as much to the bulk of my subscribers. So gentle reader, you will have to fill in the blanks for yourself on this one.
But back to the plot. For I’m sorry to disappoint you but in comparison to all the mysterious claptrap put about in the name of betting pseudo-science, this article is going to seem a bit humdrum.
Because there isn’t really a short cut – or rather, there is maybe one, but it’s more the moral of the tale, as we shall see later.
In the meantime, in contrast to all this mystery and science, my general approach to psychological trading may appear ridiculously simple… Indeed, so simple I can summarise it in one sentence!
Seven words even!
Are you ready?
I bet with trends but against swings.
That’s it basically… The end of the fifth Pillar.
Nah, only messing …
Let’s define terms.
Trends are gradual, whereas swings are sudden.
Thus a slow drift in a team’s price in the Match Odds market on the day of the game suggests a broadening consensus that the team in question probably doesn’t have as much chance as was first thought.
This is a trend.
A sudden drastic shortening in the same team’s odds when they have taken an unexpected lead, even though there is still half the game to go…
Well – that, my friend, is a swing.
I find following trends easier than challenging swings.
Partly because trends tend to be slower moving – often occurring before an event has started when very liquid markets move at a glacial pace – but also because, whether we like it or not, we are all herd creatures, happy to join in with any stampede, irrespective of whether it’s with bears or bulls.
It seems we have a deep seated need to blend into the crowd.
I know I do.
But whatever your take may be on the psychology of trend following and of what it says about us as people, it is unquestionably one of the easiest ways to profit from the market.
Total Football Trading offers a number of trend following strategies, and I have had a lot of fun playing with the pre-match ones from my Cypriot sun bed. See here, here and here for more, and tell me why you wouldn’t want to make money so easily. It also comes with all an ironclad money-back warranty c/o Clickbank.
I have in fact tested no betting system as thoroughly as this one, having started out a little sceptically (as you will see if you wade through all my comments), then gradually learning to love it as I found my favourite approaches and stuck to them. All of which has a moral of course (for I’d hate you to think I just threw this stuff together!). Which is, as we shall see, to specialise in one or two techniques until you can deliver profits monotonously.
But in talking about particular products, I am getting ahead of myself; as there are quite a few old chestnuts we must roast on our trading fire before moving on.
I therefore give you Lucy’s Ten Trading Truths that, in reality, have been handed down by better judges than I, but without which this article would be severely incomplete.
1. Dare to run profits, but equally feel free to bank them if either you or the market has a wobble.
2. Learn to cut losses by using stop loss points that you decide on up front and don’t subsequently change.
3. Don’t let pre-event trades run too close to the actual event. Announcements about team news in particular can play havoc with football markets. Instead, close out your trades in good time, even if you have to lock-in the occasional loss.
4. And when I say use stop losses, I mean – use stop losses! We all hate to lock in a loss but unless you are prepared to lose, you will never win. You must NEVER let a market run past your stop loss position without closing your trade. To do so marks you out as a mug punter / loss chaser />> insert other humiliating label here <
5. If you feel tempted to chase a loss past your stop position, you are almost certainly not working with a real betting bank. You have to look at your entire bank as money that is as good as gone. Otherwise you’re not being professional, and worse still, deluding yourself that you are.
6. The ultimate tell-tale sign from the betting gods that you’re not trading properly comes when your trades occasionally ‘accidentally’ turn into bets .. E.g. You’ve traded the favourite pre-match and are so reluctant to lock in a loss you allow your open position to go in-play. This is acceptable only if it’s what you intended in the first place, but otherwise is a total No-No! Most likely ye gods are trying to whisper to you that you are not cut out for trading. Which is fine – but in that case, please stop doing it, revert to Pillar 3, then go shampoo the dog.
7. Or – build your bank first with Bonus Bagging and/or ZeroHype’s Banker product, then come back and play later with someone else’s money. This one tip will transform your trading as it takes out all the emotion!
8. If you intend to trade a lot, get some training. Peter Webb of BetAngel fame is the godfather of trading, and £400 and one day spent with him could save you a fortune. If you don’t believe me, read what happened when one of my female readers gave his course a spin, including how quickly she won back the price of the event!
9. Remember – if you haven’t been trained – it’s a zero sum game and a lot of your competition has been! As a minimum, you should be following a particular strategy that has been designed for the sport you’re betting on. Never just jump on a trade because you can see odds drifting or steaming.
10. Whilst you’re learning, I recommend you ‘green up’ as a matter of course, as it is truly galling to lock-in a profit that you then cannot realise as the event finishes with the wrong result.
(That said, regular readers will know I am horribly prone to breaking rule 10 – refusing to green up on favourites in particular! I am clearly guilty of that most mortal of sins, hypocrisy, but hey, I was brought up an Episcopalian not a Catholic, so this site is the only confessional I need. Though having just read Our Man In Havana, I might try the approach used by the little girl in Graham Greene’s lovely story of saying sorry for my sins with the simple prayer, ‘Hail Mary, quite contrary’. ).
a) Lay the Draw
A classic example of swing trading is the Lay the Draw (LTD) technique on football markets, which benefits from the sudden lurch in odds that follows a goal being scored. You will read in all sorts of places that this technique no longer works, which suits me fine provided it continues to make me a pile of money.
I am reminded of the theoretical betting overseer of Pillar 4! Nobody controls the way markets behave, yet a lot of punters seem to believe that in some strange way, someone does. Thus they bring to the table their subjective perceptions of ‘the way markets have changed’, and seem to find whatever it is they came to prove.
Don’t let this be you… Test methods objectively and if they deliver profit, be brave enough to ignore all the moaners and groaners.
The key with LTD is unquestionably careful match selection. My approach is to pick very even games with a good chance of goals (both of which I can establish from the markets themselves, without honestly knowing the first thing about football), then lay the draw at half-time instead of at the start, provided of course the score is still level (It doesn’t have to be 0-0, just tied). See pages 25 to 28 of my free manual on making £1000 from betting systems for the precise details of how this is done, or consult Total Football Trading‘s own attractive variant (LTD Reloaded).
I will often select half a dozen candidate matches on a Saturday afternoon, then run LTD on the three or four that are still level at half-time. And, as I am only tracking the second half, I find I can make quite a bit of money in under an hour. Incidentally, although it is a subjective perception only (i.e. I don’t have anything like the exhaustive data required to prove it), games that produce first-half goals seem more willing than 0-0 matches to yield further goals in the second half.
If you insist on placing your lay bet prior to kick-off, it can be worth using inverted middles to obtain a lower price than Betfair is offering. An inverted middle is a sort of derived lay bet constructed from two conventional bookmaker bets, in a manner similar to a regular arb. If there is enough interest, I could probably be persuaded to publish any inverted middles I have spotted prior to the weekend’s football. Obviously, the lower the price you place your lay bet at, the longer the match can run before you’ll ever feel the need to trade out.
Perhaps more than any other sport, tennis lends itself to swing trading.
It may indeed may be the perfect swing trader’s sport; for its dramatic, and in my view rather imaginative, scoring system sets up a whole array of what we might call market inflection points.
Thus, whereas football is predominantly about goals, so that, in between, odds just drift, tennis markets jump about on every little event… service games held, service games lost, break points secured, then won or lost, sets won and lost, tiebreak serves held, tiebreak mini-breaks secured, players losing their temper with the umpire or suddenly developing a possible calf strain…. The list goes on and on!
None of the above produces a market suspension, merely a swing in the odds, and sometimes even a violent lurch! So I repeat, the best possible advice I can give you is to specialise in techniques tailored to individual situations.
All of which is why Total Tennis Trading is currently on long-term test on my site.
It looks an appealing stable-mate to the same company’s football product. The learning phase may take a little while, but we have the comfort of that Clickbank warranty whilst we learn to play, plus it is nicely structured into beginner, intermediate and advanced strategies that address individual inflection points, based on statistical analysis of thousands of matches.
Finally, you must watch a live video stream when trading tennis matches, as judgement and discretion do come into it. Unlike with team sports, you are clearly dependent on an individual’s fitness and motivation level, both of which are easy to check by watching the match, and are often open to question when, for instance, favourites play low-ranking events.
And that about wraps it up for Pillar 5.
Having completed it, I suppose the thing that stands out by way of conclusion is that you absolutely must follow a particular method and specialise.
Whether you adopt one of the various LTD approaches mentioned above, or acquire
Total Football Trading (which I can heartily recommend) or indeed Total Tennis Trading… Or learn advanced methods via Peter Webb’s remarkable course… You simply must have a clearly focused plan.
Do not drift into psychological trading on a whim, as you will come up against opponents who know a lot more than you and have been doing it for a lot longer.
However, to come back to the promised short cut at the start of this article – if you specialise, for instance, using Total Football Trading’s pre-match trading strategies, you can rapidly become very good at one particular type of trade, and learn to extract profits in an almost monotonous fashion. This should be your goal.
I will try and issue it by Friday, 20 July, but am not promising, as I am supposed to be on holiday.
Indeed, from where I am writing, I can actually see my vacant sunbed, and can almost hear a Pina Colada calling…