Podcast 126: How An Experienced Trader Selects Their Trades

By Ryan Carruthers •  Updated: 08/11/23 •  28 min read

Welcome back to another episode of the Betfair Trading Community podcast! In today’s episode, titled “How an Experienced Trader Selects Their Trades,” we dive into the world of trade selection with an expert trader who shares invaluable insights and strategies. Join us as we explore the factors that influence trade selection, including defensive struggles, goal-heavy games, and understanding the style and structure of different football leagues. We’ll also discuss the importance of passion, knowledge, and staying focused while trading. But that’s not all – our host will also share personal experiences from their trading journey and draw parallels between trading and other areas of life, such as their own racket stringing business and the development of football formations. So, whether you’re new to Betfair trading or a seasoned pro, get ready to enhance your trading skills and make more informed trade selections. Stay tuned, because this episode is packed with trading knowledge and strategies that will help you succeed. Let’s get started!


00:00:00 Podcast on selecting trades: Finding passion, choosing markets.

00:04:49 Trading unders or overs determines defensive struggles vs. goals. Predicting winners involves using the match odds market.

00:08:54 Even trades, profit in familiar markets, focus.

00:15:20 Knowledge of leagues impacts trading confidence.


League knowledge crucial for successful trading.

00:17:56 Unforeseen football trend sparked widespread imitation. Interesting.

00:22:13 Moments where trading feels absurd and confusing.

00:25:10 Football leagues vary in standards and scoring. Awareness of patterns is important in trading.

Key Topics & Bullets 


Martin Futter [00:00:00]:

Hi, guys, and welcome to another podcast from betfair tradingcommunity.com. With me, your host, Pro trader Martin. And today, we’re gonna be talking about selecting trades. so the last 3 weeks, I’ve been talking about strategies, discipline time. And what I’ve done is I’ve kind of tried to put the focus on you guys. Okay. Because I believe there is not enough trading, training out there, where the focus is actually on you as a trader. You know, I can talk all day about my achievements and what I’ve done in my training career. But, really, what matters is how you’re doing. And what’s going on with your trading. So with this, what I really wanna do is kind of talk a little bit about my journey in terms of how I came to my process of selecting trays. And what I really want you to focus on is how you can apply some of this stuff to yourself. because I think Ultimately, what matters is that you pick you’re picking up stuff from these podcasts and going, okay. That’s how I’m gonna improve my trading. Okay. I can add that in. And I also want you to think about your journey when you’re listening to this and think, okay. What’s my journey? How does it differ? what are the things that, you know, I’m passionate about, the things that I really wanna focus on? Because the first thing I think about when I think about selecting trades is you know, where do you start when you’re selecting your trade? Well, where you start is where your passion is, usually. So I started on football. I’ve started on football trading. I started way back in the day when I first I actually started on tennis, but it wasn’t really trading. It was more just outright betting on tennis matches and letting them run. and not entering even in play, just literally pretty much bang. That’s my bet. So when I when I get into training, this first sport I I really started to trade was football. because that’s where my passion was mainly. Right? I love watching football. I loved playing football when I was younger. I just loved the sport. you know, I grew up on it. My dad was a sports journalist before he became a pro trader. So sport has kind of been, you know, my religion for many many a time. And I’ve had it really interesting that we kind of we kind of get a bit stuck sometimes when we’re thinking about, well, what do we trade? you know, how do I select my trades? Look at what your passions are, 1st and foremost. What sport do you love? Because the reality is if you love something, if you love a particular sport, that is probably gonna help improve your trading. It’s gonna give you the motivation to trade. It’s gonna give you kind of the, you know, the it’s gonna give you that feeling that, ah, I really wanna get in there and trade. And So I think that’s really important. When you’re thinking about selecting trades, selecting which which sport to trade, that’s my first thing. Where’s your passion? right? Cause that’s gonna massively help you. Okay. So once we got past that stage, what we really need to think about is which markets do we trade? now, I use someone who likes to watch football and see lots of goals. or are you someone who actually quite likes to see solid defensive performances? You know, I know that most people go for goals in general. And to be fair, I’m pretty much that way, but there are some people who like to watch defensive master classes, you know,

Martin Futter [00:03:45]:

Watch the Commentaries of any football match. And when there’s a defensive master class, the commentators love it because when you understand the kind of nuances of the game. You realize,

Martin Futter [00:03:55]:

actually, this this is what this this is really what matters the most in some respects. You know? Man City this year. it’s 2021 if you’re listening in the future, but Man City this year have done so well won the league quite easily, or they’re going to win the league quite easily. They’re in a Champions League final.

Martin Futter [00:04:17]:

Why have they done that?

Martin Futter [00:04:19]:

It’s not by scoring because they’ve always been a decent scoring team. They sorted their defense out. You know, they sorted their defense out. They got a really solid back line. and it’s made a big difference. And, you know, these things do. let’s look at Chelsea who’ve also made the final since Lampard left, 2 calls come in. And the first thing he’s done is sort of defense out, and they’ve barely conceded any goals.

Martin Futter [00:04:45]:

you know, So it’s it’s absolutely fantastic

Martin Futter [00:04:49]:

sometimes to see these defensive struggles. Now if you like defensive struggles, well, you’re probably gonna trade unders. Right? You’re probably gonna trade under 2.5 goals, something like that, maybe under 1.5, whatever. If you want goals, if you like watching goals, if you wanna trade and and kinda hope for goals during your trades, then you wanna on overs. Right? You wanna go for overs, Marcus. So That’s just quite a simple way of sort of figuring out 1 or 2 things. And do you like trying to predict the winner? Is that is that where your interest is? Do you like trying to predict who’s not gonna win. because if you like predicting the winner, use the match odds market, and the same with laying the winner. the same market, the match odds market, you’re just backing and laying. That’s the only difference.

Martin Futter [00:05:36]:

so, again, we’re using our kind of something that we’re passionate about. We’re using our our main focus,

Martin Futter [00:05:45]:

and we’re kind of we’re using that to make it into a really good strategy for ourselves and and and help us select our traits because If you’re trading something you’re not interested in, I don’t know about you, but for me, I’m gonna struggle. I’m gonna struggle to stay motivated I’m gonna struggle to do the necessary work.

Martin Futter [00:06:07]:

And yet, when I’m trading something I’m passionate about, like, when I was trading about you know, when I’m trading the football and I’m going, right, for Saturday morning, I can’t wait to get up in the morning and start researching those trades. You know, there’s there’s some real joy in that and I’m going for goals, and I enjoy that. That’s what I enjoy. And they’re the markets in general that I’m involved in, but, you know, if you if you aren’t passionate, if you don’t have any kind of passion for it,

Martin Futter [00:06:34]:

I think it’s a struggle. You know, remember why we’re doing this. Right? I think it’s always really important to remember why we trade. And I think 99% of people, they trade because of their love of the sport. They love of sport, their love of of trading, their love of investing money and being clever. And the competition of beating the

Martin Futter [00:06:55]:

market you know, the competition of it. It’s why people invest in anything.

Martin Futter [00:06:59]:

You know, the stocks and the shares, it’s a similar concept. Why do people invest in that? They wanna beat the market right? They wanna make solid investments, and they wanna grow their money. And Betfair trading, of course, is no different. So you know, we really wanna think first about our passion. So let’s say you’ve got all this stuff set, right? You named a sport You know what market you wanna trade. And then your next real step is to go, okay. But how exactly am I gonna select the trades I do each day. Right? How am I gonna you know, I talked a bit last week, and if you haven’t listened to the podcast from last week, you really shook. So I talked about creating strategies, how to create your own strategies. and, of course, selecting trades kind of comes out of this stuff. But what really interests me about selecting trays is that, obviously, you’ve got a lot of selections sometimes on a weekend. You’re not quite sure which ones to follow. and I think that, like I say, when you when you think about which games interest you, and which games have the strongest stats in your categories. And let’s say you’ve got games that are fairly even. You’re not sure. Right? There’s a handful of games, and they all look decent opportunities, but you only wanna trade 1 or 2 of them. That’s all you’ve got time to do. then, obviously, you’ve gotta make a decision. Right? Which ones do I trade? Now, again,

Martin Futter [00:08:32]:

I’m gonna think about this from my perspective.

Martin Futter [00:08:35]:

Which matches am I gonna trade? Let’s say one’s an Icelandic 2nd division game. and one is a Premier League game.

Martin Futter [00:08:43]:

Well, the reality is I’m gonna I’m gonna trade the Premier League game. Why? Well, there’s money in the market. The now what’s important here is in this scenario,

Martin Futter [00:08:54]:

and suggesting the trades are pretty even in terms of how good value they are. So because some people might look at that and go, we’ll go for the lower match because you’re likely that it’s more likely the market’s wrong because, obviously, It’s a lot more focus on the Premier League. But the reality is if we’ve got a strategy that’s that’s beating the market, and it’s it will beat the Premier League as well. you know, if we’ve got a profitable strategy that’s beating the Premier League, then there’s no reason to just go, well, you know, there’s more money in it and people know more about it. Therefore, we shouldn’t trade and I also think as you go up the levels and become a pro, you know, you want the markets where there’s some money in them. You want the markets where there’s more money and there’s more money, the more opportunity. That’s how I always look at it because in some of these lower markets. It can be hard to get in and out. It can be hard to get the right price. you’re never gonna have that issue in one of the bigger games. So One of the things I like to do is is choose the games. If if I really have to make a choice between two games and the opportunity looks similar in both. You know, there’s the value, etcetera. And that’s important in this scenario. the opportunity looks similar, then pick the match you’re passionate about, pick the pick the game you wanna watch. Because again, You’re gonna be more focused. You’re gonna be watching the game. You know? And some of this stuff, I mean, it might seem obvious, but it’s amazing. You know, how many people trade over trade matches, trade too many games, then come to me and say, mine, I lost this trade. It was ridiculous. I should have won, but I got distracted by my kids or you know, and I think, okay, but when you’re trading, make sure that, a, you can, even if you get distracted, it, you can still manage to get out at the right time. And, b, make sure that when you’re when you’re in a market, you’re fully focused. Okay? And I think the easiest way to do that is to trade on matches that interest you. You know, maybe leagues you know about. Again, selecting trades. If there’s a similar opportunity and one matches a SER game in Italy, and one matches, you know, series B game in Brazil. Right? I’m gonna trade Italy because I know those leagues really well. you know, I’ve always loved Italian football since I was a kid because, when I was a kid, Italian football was the, the absolute best football. football, Italian, used to be a really exciting show. I mean, I remember remember watching that before watching any matches, really. the other thing is when I when I was young, and it’s about 6. I think Norwich played against into Milan, in Europe, and I didn’t even know what football was. back then. Well, I knew what it was, but I didn’t really know anything about club football or anything like that. I was just kicking a ball about in the back garden, you know, trying to score goals. And my dad brought me back into my land shirt because he went over there to, you know, cover the game for TV or whatever. And, it was amazing. You know, I’d I’d never had a football shirt, and, I still got a picture of me in it somewhere. I should I should post it somewhere in the forum. This is quite funny. But, you know, that started my love for for inter Milan and and my love for Italian football. So like I say, there’s there’s some quite clear answers there for me. If I if this league has an opportunity versus a Brazilian, well, I’m gonna go for the Italian because I know the league. And knowledge does help. Right? That old, you know, the the philosopher, Fuku said, Denis, knowledge is power. Right? Remember this from my sociology lectures at university, but everyone knows this quote anyway, because it’s always getting banded about knowledge is power. And it’s

Martin Futter [00:12:49]:

it’s so true, isn’t it? The more you have knowledge on something, the more confidence you have the more power you feel you have.

Martin Futter [00:12:58]:

it’s funny because I’ll bring it into another context. Right? I’m I’m very keen on tennis. Anyone who’s who knows me well will know that I play a lot of tennis, play a lot of tennis, club tennis up here in in the northwest, and I really enjoy it. a couple of years ago, I got a bit fed up of, you know, having to travel to get my racket strong, and I always wanna change my strings. I kinda had this belief that if I get the right strings, I’ll magically become an amazing player and all those misses. It’s not me. It’s the racket and the strings. So I used to go and get my strings quite reg done quite regularly, and it was it was getting quite expensive. And you know, not even so much the expense, just more of the chore of getting down. They’re waiting for someone else to do it. And I thought, why don’t I just buy myself a a stringing machine? So I start so I bought 1, and then people started asking me, oh, man, can you just do my racking and things? And and At first, I was really nervous. I was like, oh, I’ve never done this before. Like, you know, I’m hand and Rockets are pretty expensive, but not just that. They’re very important to people. So anyone who plays tennis all know. Your racket is it’s just a special possession to you because at the end of the day, without your racket, you’re not winning. simple as that. And Rockets are very specific, so they do take some getting used to it. And and when you’re used to one, you know, if you if you get a different racket or different strings, it might feel totally different and take a while to get used to. So I kinda I knew I had something powerful in my hands that that was valuable to someone, and I didn’t have experience. Now, fast forward 2 years, I’ve been stringing for, you know, a lot a lot of the time, a strong, you know, loads of my own brackets,

Martin Futter [00:14:39]:

and I’m confident I’m fine with it. I can do it. You know, sometimes I’m I’m doing 3 or 4 a day.

Martin Futter [00:14:47]:

So It’s interesting because something where I didn’t have confidence. I didn’t even know everyone wanted to help people out with. You know, a couple of years later, because I had knowledge. I knew what I was doing. I know how to do it. Now I’m I’m giving everyone racket advice and stringing advice. Oh, this is what you need. This is what and people come back to me and saying, I’ve played so much better since you told me that and things like that. Maybe I should start

Martin Futter [00:15:10]:

charging for some sort of, you know, racket recommendation

Martin Futter [00:15:14]:

service. But anyway,

Martin Futter [00:15:16]:

it’s just something that’s a hobby. It’s something I enjoy doing. It’s got nothing to do

Martin Futter [00:15:20]:

with my career. But it’s interesting how much confidence I gained from that. And it’s the same in trading. So, you know, when you’re trading a certain league, if you know the league, if you know the teams, if you know their attitudes, it makes a big difference. you know, so we know Italian football. in in the old days, it used to be seen as a very defensive league, the serial. It’s not so much. It’s actually quite a free scoring 1. The pace of the game is slower, you know, when you’re watching the play, it’s slow. It’s more methodical. I mean, to be fair, a lot of that has crept into our game now, and I think Man City play that kind of way. And even Chelsea to some extent, and both have made the Champions League final. So it’s certainly a good thing to do. but it’s interesting that the knowledge of the leagues can help when you’re trading a game. You know, so it’s very important to do that. you know, I mean, I’m I’m I’m taking kind of in my mind now to, like, the Chilean leagues and things like that where the goals are pretty free flowing, and the football just I don’t know why. It just seems so disorganized when you watch it. And it seems it seems like it’s quite similar in in places like Peru where you watch your game. And you almost feel like the the players are running around like headless chickens. This doesn’t seem to be the same sort of discipline and organization. Now I have no idea why that is, but maybe that’s just the way the league is. and teams have kind of adopted to that culture of playing, which is fine. You know, it it works for teams. Obviously, some teams are gonna win the league. doing that. So it’s, it’s really interesting, but it’s good to know that because you can get games where there’s like 20 shots and no goals. And then you’re like scratching your head like, why hasn’t there been a goal? And then you watch it and basically everyone’s shooting from the halfway line. And, you know, there’s not a lot of structure to the to the attacks. So the opportunities aren’t perhaps as good as they’re looking on paper. but, yes, it’s it’s amazing how these things kind of develop in certain leagues. Why did Italy get the reputation as defensive league? because that’s how it was. And then other teams just copied, right? Because that’s what happens in football.

Martin Futter [00:17:37]:

Other teams tend to just copy each other. someone has a winning tactic, I remember when conte,

Martin Futter [00:17:43]:

when he was at Chelsea, and he had that 352 tactic that he he loves using. And He’s still using it now into Milan, but

Martin Futter [00:17:51]:

a lot of people in the Premier League’s that are cooking it. Right? No one was really doing 352.

Martin Futter [00:17:56]:

They wouldn’t have really have have dreamt of it. you know, I mean, it’s kind of it’s kind of might be even 532 if you’re thinking about it. It depends how you classify your wingbacks, but it but the important thing was the free central defenders, and and no one was really doing that in England at the time. and yet after that, loads of people started copying it for while. and it’s funny how these kind of fashions and trends develop. but that’s just the nature of of football. So again, selecting your trades. It’s really interesting, isn’t it? That sometimes the things you’re passionate about, the things you’re interested in, it’s better to trade. Also,

Martin Futter [00:18:32]:

Think about time. Okay. Think about what time am I free? Yeah. What time am I free? If I’m only free during normal social hours, do you know what? Brazilian league, probably not the best lead to trade because lot of the games are gonna be overnight. The same with, you know, America, any South American league, you know, and and if you’re not a morning person,

Martin Futter [00:18:55]:

Asian leagues are gonna be useless to you because they’re all playing in the mornings. so if you’re one of these people that likes to lie in till midday on a weekend, Well, you’re gonna miss all the Australian,

Martin Futter [00:19:06]:

Japanese, Chinese football. So, you know, maybe don’t trade those leagues. There are ways of selecting your trades. and just narrowing things down and making them manageable

Martin Futter [00:19:18]:

just by using that kind of common sense. So I think it’s really important to do that.

Martin Futter [00:19:24]:

And let’s let’s move it on to other sports. Let’s sell them in cricket and I want to select my trades. Well, okay. Do I want to trade all types of cricket? Probably best to master, you know, t 20 or test matches first

Martin Futter [00:19:38]:

before you try and add them all together and do the t 20, the one day internationals and the test cricket, because that is a lot to trade. That’s a lot to know about because they’re different formats different rules.

Martin Futter [00:19:51]:

Once you do know them, sure. Feel free to trade them and my dad, you know, probably the best cricket trader in the world. he will trade every every type. No problem, but

Martin Futter [00:20:02]:

that takes some time to learn. He didn’t just start it overnight and then was amazing. and of the way to select trades is gonna come. I’m only gonna focus on test cricket, or I’m only gonna focus on t 20s.

Martin Futter [00:20:14]:

I’m only gonna focus on the IPL for the time being. You know, There’s certain ways of doing it. Tennis,

Martin Futter [00:20:21]:

look at certain tournaments. So I only wanna focus on master’s series and grand slams. or I only wanna focus on tournaments, in countries I know or tournaments that I know much about.

Martin Futter [00:20:34]:

Like I say, the knowledge is the power,

Martin Futter [00:20:37]:

and it’s the power to help you select your trades and then kinda narrow it down. Horse racing. Horse racing’s a great one because there’s always so many races out there in the day. And it’s all over the world, but you can select your treasuries and go okay. I’m only gonna do maybe you’re only gonna do the UK and Ireland. Maybe you’re only gonna do Australian racing, American racing.

Martin Futter [00:21:00]:

I’m only gonna trade

Martin Futter [00:21:02]:

handicaps or I’m only gonna trade short distances. I’m not gonna trade, you know, national hunt events. There’s a lot of ways you can narrow your selections down and narrow your trading kind of boundaries, you know, narrowing those boundaries, kind of making the the areas small of your selection so that you do get a more targeted selections that suit you as a trader. And that’s what’s really important when you’re selecting trades. You have to think about what suits me as a trader.

Martin Futter [00:21:34]:

Because the moment you feel really uncomfortable when you’re trading,

Martin Futter [00:21:39]:

And if you’re trading an event you feel uncomfortable about, that’s the moment you need to take a step back and go, hang on. Should I be trading this? Now, I’m sitting here saying this, and some people might be thinking, oh, well, you know, that’s,

Martin Futter [00:21:53]:

yeah, that’s pretty obvious. Well, you’d be amazed how many people come up to me with these issues. And it’s absolutely fine if you have any of those issues, but, you know, just sometimes taking a step back

Martin Futter [00:22:05]:

relaxing a little bit, you know, rest your brain, recharge, and then think, hang on. Should I be trading this?

Martin Futter [00:22:13]:

you know, I’ve I’ve had moments like that. That’s the thing. I love talking about stuff like this because, like I say, I can relate it to myself, and I want you to really think about you as a trader here. But I’ve had moments like that where I’m where I’m, you know, I’ve had a tough day, and and suddenly, I’m trading a Colombian second division match at 1 AM, you know. And I’m thinking, what on earth am I doing? You you kind of get that moment where you catch yourself in one of these crazy moment, and you look at yourself and you think, What the hell am I doing? I’m trading in Colombian 2nd. I don’t have a clue

Martin Futter [00:22:52]:

about the Colombian 2nd division. But because it’s the only thing on at this time at night, hell, I’m trading it. Those are the moments where you just go, nope, Now, I’m gonna select trades, and this is a trade I am not selecting.

Martin Futter [00:23:07]:

Okay. So Again, it matters what you know. When you’re selecting trades, it matters what you know. And if you don’t know a lot about a certain sport that you’re trading, you can pick up that knowledge. You can learn it. That’s what Betfair Training Community’s here for. We’re here to teach you We’re here to tutor you and work with you 1 to 1, but we’re also

Martin Futter [00:23:29]:

here to give you the stats software that that helps you create strategies and you know, we even create strategies for people. They they tell us what they want. You know, you can always email us and say, I would like a strategy that does this. And if we can create it for you, we will.

Martin Futter [00:23:44]:

But it’s it’s so important.

Martin Futter [00:23:46]:

You know, it really is important that you’re you’re making sure you’re selecting the right trades. because, like I say, I’ve been caught out in that situation before, and you don’t wanna be stuck trading a game just because it’s the only thing that’s on. I mean, that’s potentially one of the worst reasons to make a trade. You wanna be making a trade when you go, okay. there’s actually an opportunity here. I would trade this even if there was other things on. That only in that moment, should that match be a match you trade?

Martin Futter [00:24:17]:

So just think about that because,

Martin Futter [00:24:20]:

like I said, there’s a lot of people I know that struggle with stuff like this, and they just they don’t really know. how to select their trades. And I don’t really know, you know, when what what’s a red flag to say, woah, woah, woah. I shouldn’t be trading in this league.

Martin Futter [00:24:35]:

And if you don’t know the league, you can learn it, like I say, but don’t invest money while you’re learning it. Just watch the leagues, watch the results, see what happens. Are there patterns? Is there is there an obvious difference between this We know the Australian league is great for goals. Right?

Martin Futter [00:24:53]:

We know that. The Dutch leagues are insane for goals. I mean, from the Dutch leagues a lot of time, the prices are just very skinny. So I don’t even really tend to trade them, but

Martin Futter [00:25:03]:

we can we can get an kind of knowledge of these. And why is it? Why is it that these leagues are are so much more free scoring?

Martin Futter [00:25:10]:

You know, The players are there’s football leagues all over the world of all standards. And, you know, the Australian leagues are somewhere in the middle. you know, the Dutch leagues are are quite high up, but still not the upper echelons of European Football. And yet, you know, all these leagues still have different scoring rates, and you think it’s not just the standard of the football. there’s something else at play here, and and teams will develop patterns, leagues will develop patterns. So it’s important to be aware of that stuff. Anyway, guys, I hope this has really helped you. like I say, really think about yourself when you’re selection trading it. Is this a trade I should be making? Is this a trade I would normally be making? And if you catch yourself in a moment where you’re trading in a bad spot, go, whoop. That’s it. I’m not gonna trade. I’m not gonna trade in a bad spot. I hope this helps you guys. If you if you need to get in touch, info betfairtradingcommunity.com,

Martin Futter [00:26:08]:

And thanks again, everyone, for the feedback. I’m really glad you’re loving these podcasts. I can’t say enough about you guys because They’re just so kind. You know, the way I mean, I mean, I know we’ve worked really hard to create a positive environment for traders because there aren’t really any others out there. And and what we’ve done is

Martin Futter [00:26:28]:

we’ve done that, but the but the thing is it’s you who’ve responded. It’s you guys who have been kind and lovely, and and all your kind words to us. We really do appreciate it. we love having you guys on board. We’re so glad you’re all part of team BTC. you know, And, hopefully, like I said, these are, like, these last few podcasts have been really focused on you guys, how you can apply this stuff to yourself. because these were the 4 topics you told us were your biggest stumbling points, not having enough time, not having discipline. not having any strategies and not knowing which trays to select. So guys, keep it real, and I’ll speak to you again next week.

Ryan Carruthers

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