Matched Betting to Sports Trading – What’s Next?

Matched Betting to Sports Trading

Matched Betting to Sports Trading – What’s Next?

More and more people are moving from matched betting into sports trading. 

Matched betting is a great way for anyone to get involved in the sports betting and trading markets as it is the easiest way of making money. Eventually bookmakers remove any bonus eligibility from your account or in some cases (Boylesport) close your account all together.

Matched betting is a great introduction into sports trading as it shows people that money can be made from the bookmakers. You should also become familiar with the betting exchanges and how they function.

Matched betting to sports trading
Matched betting is an easy way of making money. Whats the next step?

Life after matched betting what’s next?

  • Value Betting

First off you should still have a lot of bookmaker accounts left. There is still the potential to make more money from these accounts and value betting is probably one of the best ways of doing it.

By exploiting the fact that many bookmakers move their odds slower then the sharper Asian bookmakers such as Pinnacle we can find odds that offer good value.

  • Sports Trading

At this point you are familiar with the betting exchanges and are looking to start making money trading. There are lots of potential options with sports trading.

Which sport? Pre match or in play? Lay drifting horses? Back potential steamers? Lay low odds in Tennis?

Its important to find your focuses and break down the sport that suits you best. Which sports are you most knowledgeable about? How much time have you spent looking at the markets? What have been your most profitable markets?

  • Sports Betting

Matched betting might have allowed you to build up a big enough bank to consider going into sports betting. 

One way of taking on sports betting is to build up a portfolio of proven profitable tipsters and looking at sports betting as a long term investment.

Recommended Reading

What is value betting?

Sports trading which sport?

Sports betting as an investment


Matched betting to sports trading
Its ok to lose sometimes

Matched Betting to Sports Trading

Major differences?

  • You will lose sometimes

This is the big difference from matched betting to sports trading and betting. If you have been matched betting you will be used to constantly racking up the profits but trading and betting is a different animal.

Losing money is never pleasant but it is inevitable that at some point you will lose money and you have accept this as part of the game.

If you look on social media you tend to see lots of nice screenshots of winning trades or people going 5/5 in sports betting for the day. If you are not experienced this might give you the impression that sports bettors and traders rarely lose but in truth everybody has losses.

Once you accept that losses will happen it makes it much easier to find long term profitability as you aren’t constantly changing strategies, sports or tipsters.

  • Learn about variance 

This ties into the above buts it is really important to learn about variance.

Variance in the short term can make us believe an unprofitable strategy is profitable and a profitable strategy unprofitable.

If you start to build an understanding of variance then it diminishes the stress and shock of losing periods or losing trades.

Recommended Reading

Understanding variance

Learning from your losses




Understanding Variance in Sports Trading and Betting

Positive Variance

Understanding Variance in Sports Trading and Betting

Variance can be defined as the expectation of the squared deviation of a random variable from its mean, and it informally measures how far a set of (random) numbers are spread out from their mean.

If you struggled with that don’t worry your not alone. This definition doesn’t help those of us that are not very mathematically minded but there is a simpler way of looking at variance.

Variance is one of the key reasons why a lot of people struggle with sports trading and betting. It is something that I myself struggled with a lot when I first started sports trading and betting.

Understanding Variance in Sports Trading and Betting
Heads or Tails?

If we look at a coin flip there are two outcomes heads and tails. An equally weighted coin means that there is a 50% chance of it landing on either heads or tails. The nature of variance however means that if  we flipped a coin a 100 times it may land on heads 63 times and tails 37 times or heads 44 times and tails 56 times.

The results of a 100 coin tosses would not be exactly 50/50 very often.

We know however that with a fair coin toss the odds are 50/50. With a greater volume of coin tosses the number of heads and tails recorded should move closer to evens.

Understanding Variance in Sports Trading and Betting
Variance isn’t always negative and we sometimes do better then expected.

Understanding Variance in Sports Trading and Betting

Variance exists in sports trading and betting. There are several variables that we need to take into account when we looking at variance in our own betting and trading results.

We need to be aware of the odds that we betting/trading, the sample size of results that we have and what our expected edge is in the market we are trading or betting in.

It is important to develop a better understanding of variance as a sports bettor or trader. When we don’t understand something it often to leads to feelings of frustration and anger.

These feeling often have a negative effect on our sports trading. By breaking down and understanding the different aspects of sports trading we become better more profitable traders.

I am not an expert in probability and statistics it is something I am constantly learning about and trying to develop a greater understanding of. Luckily we live in an age were we can easily access articles and books published by experts in these fields.

Here is some recommended reading if you want to develop a better understanding of variance.

Its all about variance

Luck vs skill in sports betting



Treat Your Sports Trading Like A Business

The first time that I really took gambling seriously was when I started to play online poker. A big influence on me managing to make a consistent profit from poker was from a book called “how to treat poker like a business.

One of the best poker books I have read.
One of the best poker books I have read.

Now sports betting and trading are different from the game of poker but a lot of the same principles apply. In this article I will look at how to treat your sports trading like a business.

Treat Your Sports Trading Like A Business

Record Keeping

So lets start with what might be the most boring aspect but also one of the most important.

You need to be recording your trades and bets. Its important to see where you are making money and where you are losing money. What is the most profitable part of your trading business is it pre match trades, inplay, favourites, underdogs etc.

All good businesses will have detailed record keeping to know where they are making their profit and look at where they may be potentially losing money.

It is fairly easy to keep on top of this with so many software programs available to help with record keeping.


Open Office



Look at the small margins

Small margins amount to big profits in the long term. Increasing a profit margin by 2% or 3% is going to make a huge difference to your profit over the course of a year.

One of the best ways of looking to increase those small profit margins is to look at Matchbook and Smarkets.

This year I have really looked a lot more at Matchbook and Smarkets as obviously the 3% commission difference between these exchanges and Betfair is a big factor.

Betfair is still the most ideal platform for trading it has the most liquid markets and the most real punters. There are markets you can trade on Betfair that you couldn’t on either Matchbook or Smarkets.

Matchbook and Smarkets are however growing and you see more and more liquidity becoming available in these markets. If I am looking to make a standard bet or pre match trade on the bigger football leagues its Smarkets and Matchbook that I look to use ahead of Betfair.

If you can transfer some of your trading or betting to Matchbook or Smarkets then its going to make you are lot more profitable in the long term.

Invest in your sports trading business 

If you are treating your trading like a business then you should not be afraid to invest or reinvest some money into it. Even simple investments like a comfortable chair or extra monitor might pay dividends in the long run.

Don't be afraid to put money back into your trading.
Sports Trading and betting could be looked at as your new startup business.

If you prepared to invest in a more formal trading education there are some good traders out there that are offering face to face courses. Peter Webb, Steve Howe and Caan Berry all offer courses that focus on trading the horse racing markets.

If you are trading fast moving markets then you should probably look at using some api software such as Geeks Toy, Bet Angel or Gruss.

You can take a look at some of my recommended betting and trading products to see if there are any that would benefit your sports trading business.


Structure is very important in trading and betting. You really want to structure your trading and betting to be as efficient as possible.

Successful business’s don’t trade at random and erratic times. They have a structure in place to capitalize on the most profitable times and most profitable customers.

You want to do the same. You want to make sure you are trading when the best opportunities are available.

What is the best day to take off? When should I spend time with friends/family? How can I trade around work?

Spend some time structuring how and when you are going to trade. This can make a big difference to your mentality and help maintain discipline when trading.

If you treat your trading and betting like a serious business you have a much greater chance of making it a success.