Podcast 170: How To Improve Your Football Trading Strategy!

By Ryan Carruthers •  Updated: 08/16/23 •  20 min read

Welcome to another exciting episode of the Betfair Trading Community podcast! In today’s episode, we’re diving deep into the world of football trading strategies and discussing how to improve your approach. We’ll explore the challenges of making the right decisions and the role emotions play in successful trading. With a focus on risk management and proper preparation, we’ll uncover the importance of analyzing odds and finding value in lower league matches. Our expert host shares valuable insights on league analysis, staking strategies, and the significance of thoroughly testing your strategies before diving into live trading. Plus, we’ll hear firsthand stories of traders who have learned the hard way and discover actionable steps to maximize profitability in the world of Betfair trading. So, grab your notebook and get ready to up your trading game in this must-listen episode!


00:00:00 New traders risking large stakes without learning.

00:03:16 Test strategies thoroughly before staking, seriously!

00:07:47 Smaller leagues are profitable due to low interest.

00:11:50 Invest time in strategy for worthwhile returns.

00:14:01 Reversing incident leads to accidental lamppost collision.

00:16:58 Indiscipline in trading hurts in long run.

Key Topics & Bullets 


Martin Futter [00:00:00]:

Hi, guys, and welcome to another podcast from Betfair trading community.com. Obviously, me are host Martin. today, I’m gonna talk about a subject that concerns me. Something that I see lots of traders doing, especially newer traders that really concerns me. And that is the concept of running before you can walk. So I’ve noticed recently, and this has probably always gone on, but you know, just something I’ve picked up on a lot more recently is that a lot of traders seem to be using live steaks, often quite large steaks, Basically, as soon as they start trading, you know, not giving themselves time to learn the profession, not giving themselves, really not giving themselves a chance to be successful with that money because they’re essentially running before they can walk. They’re Jumping in at the deep end, which, you know, if you’re trying to learn to swim, I don’t think they chuck people in at the deep end anymore and think, well, they’ll either learn to swim or they’ll drown. And that’s not really a strategy that works with Betfair trading because where Betfair trading really excels itself, is when you gain the knowledge and you get the skill and you get the confidence, and that’s when you start to make the right decisions.

Martin Futter [00:01:21]:

When you don’t have any of those things, it’s very difficult for you to make the right decisions. In fact, what I’ve seen time and time again is it’s actually very difficult for people to follow good instruction even in that situation because the emotions and everything else just plays such a big part of it. So I’m really concerned that people are getting live stakes in straight away. And the problem with this is that it where does it leave you? You know, where does it leave you to go? When it doesn’t work, which invariably it won’t if you take that approach. you know, let’s say you have a bankroll and you lose that bankroll. Were you ready for that? Was that something you, you know, had accepted before you started? Because I feel like if your approach is to jump in at the deep end too quickly, then you almost should just go, well, I have to write that money off because you know, it’s just a bit of fun. I don’t, I don’t even know, but the, and I get it. I get why people do it.

Martin Futter [00:02:22]:

I’m not having a go at anyone who’s done this because I did get why there’s this temptation or why even there’s a school of thought that you should just dive straight in with real money and and often quite large stakes but the problem is, like I say, you’re running before you can walk, and there’s a reason that phrase exists Right? I’ve got a little, one year old. Just turn one this weekend. He’s always trying to run about the place falling on his face, left, right, and center. but he’s lucky because we’re there to protect him. We’re there to pick him back up again. And if we weren’t, he’d seriously injure himself. You know, because babies don’t have any concept of danger, babies don’t really have any concept of fear. So there’s there’s a lot of things in that that are similar to starting as a Betfair trader.

Martin Futter [00:03:16]:

The problem is you know, when you do these things with staking, overstaking, sure, we can help pick you up emotionally, but physically, you know, there’s no one there to you up. Right? There’s no one at your house, and unless you’ve got some sort of sugar daddy situation. It’s unlikely someone’s just gonna go, well, here you go. I have another have another few grand to to blow before you’re ready to trade. So I really want people to take this message seriously. and think about, you know, if you’re using live stakes, are you ready? Is this something you’ve tested thoroughly first? This is the first point, and I harp on about this. And I’m sure some of you guys are so bored of hearing me say, test, test, test before you go live with stakes. But I am gonna mention it briefly here because It’s such an important concept that so many people just flat out ignore, but you’re doing yourself a disservice when you don’t test a strategy thoroughly.

Martin Futter [00:04:17]:

the only person you’re hurting is yourself. Right? It doesn’t make any ends to me. I don’t, I don’t benefit from telling you this stuff. I don’t, I don’t gain anything. from telling you this. I’ve got no personal dog in the fight here. I’m literally telling you this for your own good. And the reason is I wanna see people succeed.

Martin Futter [00:04:37]:

When I hear that people have had a rough time because they’ve jumped in or because they haven’t tested their strategy, it turns out it wasn’t a good one, then I’m kind of left with the thought of, oh, that’s horrible. Because One thing I’m very passionate about is I don’t want people to lose money. I do not want any of you to I don’t care if you’re a member or not. I don’t want any of you guys to lose money at trade thing because I know that there’s money to be made, and I know that if you follow the steps that we give you, you will succeed. You know, we’ve seen it. Well, we turned 12 a half percent of traders who were profitable when they joined up to 60%. So that’s over half of you. Right? And we’re working on getting that number even higher right now.

Martin Futter [00:05:27]:

So I know that this is this is very possible. And I was thinking, what is it that people are doing? Like, what what are some of the ways we can sort of improve people’s trading techniques? And I’m gonna talk about a couple of things here. once you’ve got your data. So let’s say you’ve been testing a strategy and you’ve got 500 results, I’ll often talk about the concept of having a deep dive. And what I mean by that is that when I get 500 results, invariably, I will go back to the strategy and have a deep dive and really look at it There’s 2 things I’m looking for. The first thing is the leagues. I separate out all the leagues, all the results from every league, and I work out which leagues are being profitable, which aren’t, and the leagues are unprofitable. Now I’m not talking about maybe one point down after 20 games.

Martin Futter [00:06:18]:

I’m talking about a league, you know, that’s let’s say it’s 5, 6 points down at that stage. I’m quite willing to get rid of that league. especially if I’ve got got a lot of leagues anyway. if it’s 1 or 2 points down, I’ll probably keep it and then reassess at the next five hundred games interval. and see if it’s made some sort of recovery. But then if it goes to 4 or 5 points down, it’s showing a trend that it’s not profitable, and I’ll get rid of that league as well. So leagues are the first thing I look at. I don’t just look at countries.

Martin Futter [00:06:48]:

So some people, and when, especially when I get to like a 1000 games, let’s say, on something, I want to look at every individual league, not just the countries, because, you know, you make a situation where the Premier League is really unprofitable for you, but the championship’s profitable. And this happens, right? I’ll give you an example. I know for a fact I’m under 2.5s, and I haven’t even done this deep dive yet. I know for a fact, that the Germany region, Aliega, is much stronger than the higher German tiers for this strategy is doing a lot better. And that’s counter to what a lot of people believe. A lot of people believe are, well, we should only trade the good, the top leagues. I often think that actually the top leagues can be some of the worst leagues to trade, the reason being that I think bookmakers have quite a solid grasp on that. I think their computer models x, y, and zed actually have a pretty solid grasp of what’s going on.

Martin Futter [00:07:47]:

I don’t think they’re very good at lower league or smaller leagues. I really don’t. often see odds and often strategies will pick out odds of, you know, even on the under 2.5 that we’re doing where it’s close to 3.0 and you you’ll find that actually, wow, these leagues are really profitable because people aren’t pricing them up correctly. And it doesn’t matter as much either. This is the other thing, right? because less, there’s less money in these markets, bookmakers don’t concentrate on it. You know, bookmakers aren’t that bothered about a gain that’s happening in Guatemala cause they know they’re not gonna see much money placed on it, but they’re really worried about Manchester United playing Man City when they know there’s literally gonna be 1,000,000 of pounds placed on this match on Becca and obviously with other bookies, you had to pull that money, probably tens of 1,000,000 over the course of a weekend will be better or traded on one of the biggest matches. And that’s what you have to consider. you know, at the end of the day, we are still trying to beat these odds makers, these people who see the money on bet for, the people who are giving us the odds that we’re taking.

Martin Futter [00:08:49]:

So leagues are really important. I can’t stress that nothing. And when I cut the leagues in certain strategies, it’s it improves them so much. So you might even get a strategy that’s think it’s either making a small profit after a few hundred games or it’s about level. And then when you do the league analysis and remove the really bad leagues, you might find that your few, you know, few hundred results yield a nice profit. It’s the same strategy, the exact same criteria. Literally, all you’ve changed is the leagues. Okay.

Martin Futter [00:09:18]:

The second thing I do is I look at odds, and I look at the odds that I’ve taken on all these selections, and I try and see a pattern. So for the under 2.5 goals, I could see quite a clear pattern that games under 1.75 didn’t seem to be performing that well. In games where the odds were over 2.25, the results weren’t doing that well. So I could see the best strategy here was between 1.75and2.25. Now, is this variance? Is this coincidence maybe? What we can do is we can then look at the next few hundred results and compare. And if it’s still the same, that odds range is better than not having the odds limit at all or it’s the best odds range, then brilliant Now, you might think, well, how do I how do I know? How do I find it? I mean, I can’t just look at data and spot something. We’ll test it when you’re looking for your sheet, a sheet, remove everything that’s below. I mean, you can say that you’re on under 2.5.

Martin Futter [00:10:23]:

I probably star 1.5, which I do automatically. then maybe I’ll look at 1.6 when I remove everything below 1.6, how does it get on? When I remove everything below 1.7,1.8. And when you get to point where the profit goes down, then you can go, okay, that price point actually is profitable below, So I’m not gonna, you know, I’m not gonna go any higher with this odds limit. And that’s the thing. Right? Yeah. if I remove everything between 1.51.6 and my total profit goes down significantly, I know that I should keep in 1.5to1.6. Then what I do is I start from the other end and I go, right. What if I cut out everything that’s above 3.0? And if my profit increases, brilliant, that’s not profitable.

Martin Futter [00:11:10]:

don’t need to keep in odds above 3.0. And if it keeps increasing, maybe all the way down to 2.5, I’ll keep doing it. I kinda tend to go in tens. Like, I’ll go 2.6 2.5,2.4,2.3,2.25 feels like quite a nice number. Something about that 25, you know, quarter percent I don’t know. I quite often will do some little five intervals in there as well, but that’s what I do. And if you’ve got a strategy, it’s worth spending time. I mean, that takes me I mean, if I’m concentrating and doing it properly a couple of hours, you know, it’s it sounds like a lot, but it’s not as much as you think.

Martin Futter [00:11:50]:

And if it’s a strategy you’re willing to invest your money on, isn’t it worth putting a couple of hours in to do that extra deep dive? Again, I’m not sure how many people are doing this. I think some people, willing to cut leagues and things like that, but are you adding in our odds filters? Are you working out which odds are actually worth trading? you know, because getting value, getting the return of investment, the best that you can, the best amount of profit you can make, it has to be worthwhile. you know, I I I’d be really surprised if anyone would try and argue against that with me. And that’s a really important way of making sure that you’re making the right decisions when you do whittle things down. So when you whittle things down with the leagues, with the odds filters, then compare that. So when you get your next few 100 results, do it all again, and then work out hang on. Did this work better? Should I have had this odds filter? Should I have taken these leagues out? you know, I really just don’t want people to be jumping in at the deep end when they’re not ready because there’s no rush. The other, this is the other thing, right? I hear so many people, but I’ve got a deadline.

Martin Futter [00:13:01]:

Well, I’ve given myself till the end of the month. Well, I’m giving myself till the end of the year. And I’m just like, you don’t need to give yourself a deadline, right? Cause it doesn’t really help. like, when you put pressure on yourself. So I’ll give you an example, right? And, Lewis is gonna hate this because I’m gonna talk driving again. she says I do way too much, but when I make mistakes, when I’m driving, it’s when I feel pressure when someone puts pressure on me. So I hadn’t stalled for ages, and done quite a lot of driving this past week. And I was in the car.

Martin Futter [00:13:41]:

My mom was in the back seat. I think I hardly have ever driven with her. My dad was in the front seat. I wanted to impress, so I’m gonna show them because, like, you know, obviously, it’s been a long time. I never learned to try. and I’m pretty I’m pretty, capable and confident now. And I’d already been out with my dad that day and not had any issues. I was backing out on my driver, reversing.

Martin Futter [00:14:01]:

You know, it’s always a bit like you’re always a bit wary when you’re reversing because, obviously, it’s really hard to get really clear vision of every thing all the time while you’re reversing, and my mom shouts, what shall the lamp push? And then I panicked and I stood it was a joke. She was just making a funny joke, apparently. it wasn’t very funny at the time. and, you know, actually quite dangerous really. I was backing out onto a road. no lamppost anywhere near me either, which, you know, And the funny thing, this is the funny thing. I I spoke to her later, and, she had a dent in her car. I said, mom, how’d you get that dent? She said, oh, I accidentally hit a lamppost.

Martin Futter [00:14:41]:

So She made a joke about something she’d actually done. It’s, anyway, you can’t make it up, can you? But my point is I’d put I’d had pressure put on me externally from my mom in that situation. It caused me to stop. When you’re trading on Betfair, You can have similar situations where if you go, right, I’ve gotta do it this week. I’ve gotta do it this month. You’re putting pressure on yourself that’s unnecessary. And some of the best advice I can ever give you is just take some time to actually learn it. Take some and enjoy it.

Martin Futter [00:15:13]:

Enjoy learning. I enjoy learning. Enjoy the process. You know, there’s a lot of fun. I have so much fun doing spreadsheets and testing strategies, and I’ve I’ve gone live with lots of strategies but I still enjoy that. So, you know, you’re at a stage in your bet for journey where it’s exciting, where you’ll learn and you’re investing in your learning. Being a member of betfairtradingcommunity.com is an investment in yourself. It’s an investment in your learning.

Martin Futter [00:15:40]:

It’s not an investment that you’re going. I have to make that money back this month because that’s a, that’s not gonna work. And b, you know, what’s the end goal? is your end goal just to make, you know, whatever it is, an x amount of credit cost to be a bank BTC member, or It’s your real goal to make significant profit over time and learn it properly and really learn to trade. So I really just encourage everyone. I’m not the bleat on on this one too long because I feel like I’ve got my point across. Please, please, please do not put money on until you’re ready. And if you’re not sure, talk to us, you know, talk to us. We’re here to help.

Martin Futter [00:16:22]:

I’ve been working with people today who’ve had this issue, and the only thought I ever have is why didn’t you come to me sooner? You know, I’ll help anyone. I don’t care. you know, just just email me info betfairtradingcommunity.com. Say it’s for me. Just put FAO Martin as the title of the email, and it’ll come straight to me. and I’ll help you, because I don’t wanna see people making this mistake anymore because we bleed on about it enough. Right? We bleed on about it enough. that people would have no real excuse anymore to be making these kinds of mistakes.

Martin Futter [00:16:58]:

And it’s this sort of indiscipline that is what cost people in the long run, in the long term. People will tell you that anyone who’s traded for a long time will tell you that it it’s that kind of indiscipline that will hurt you as a trader. Okay, guys. Hopefully, some advice has helped you today. Remember to listen to all the other podcasts. We’ve got so many out there now. literally 100. It’s the same with our YouTube videos, hunt so much great learning you can do just off that.

Martin Futter [00:17:26]:

Go to our YouTube channel. all Betfair trading community. Be aware of all the imitators. Look out for me and Ryan. We know quite a few companies try and use our name now because of the success we’ve had. There’s only really one great trading tutoring service and you guys, hopefully, your part of it already. Alright, guys. Have a great one, and I’ll speak to you soon.

Ryan Carruthers

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