A lot of Sports Traders (including myself) were introduced to the world of betting exchanges through matched betting with many using it to build a bankroll for their trading.
This article will look at whether moving from Matched Betting to Sports Trading makes sense for the average matched bettor, the reasons why you might switch to sports trading and the reasons why for some matched bettors it might be better to avoid sports trading altogether.
Advantages of Sports Trading over Matched Betting
- You aren’t relying on bookie offers to make your money – with matched betting you are totally reliant on the bookies to provide you with free bets and other bonuses to make your profits.
In contrast, you don’t need to use any bookie offers with Sports Trading as you are simply trading the movement in odds to make your profits.
- Winners are welcome in Betting Exchanges – The main reason matched betting isn’t a long term option for most people is that they will eventually be gubbed by the bookies if they are constantly taking advantage of free bets and bonuses.
In sports trading, you won’t be banned for winning by the betting exchanges as that is not how they make their money. Instead, they charge a commission on every trade you place with them.
- Sports Trading is Scalable – Matched Betting is very much limited by the offers available from the bookies.
Once you have completed all the sign up offers, the reload offers in comparison have a lot less value.
From my experience of matched betting, the reload offers have also got a lot less generous and frequent than they were 10 years ago.
Thankfully, with Sports Trading the only limit is the liquidity available on your chosen market and as there are millions traded on soccer, tennis and other sporting events, it is much easier to scale your trading strategy.
Disadvantages of Sports Trading over Matched Betting
- Sports Trading is Gambling – Some people will probably disagree with this but with sports trading, you are betting on the movement in odds so it is gambling.
You are betting on a certain event to occur or not occur so that the odds move in your favour and you can hedge for a profit.
So if you have had problems with gambling in the past, then sports trading is definitely not for you.
- You won’t win on every trade – Matched Bettors who are used to locking in a profit on every matched betting offer might find it difficult to accept losing trades when they make the switch to sports trading.
But this is something you will have to get used to as you need to focus on whether your trading strategy is profitable over the long term.
- There is no perfect strategy – This is where I see so much time wasted by beginner sports traders as they will be searching for the strategy that will win every time e.g. Dr Slicer’s Holy Grail Betfair Strategy.
The sooner new sports traders accept the fact that there is no one strategy that will win every time, the sooner they will start being more successful with their trades.
You need to accept that you will win some trades and lose some trades but as long as your wins outweigh your losses then you will be a successful sports trader.
- Patience and Discipline are required – This is probably where most new sports traders fail as they lack the patience and discipline needed to be a successful trader.
Common mistakes I see include not testing a strategy, using stakes that are too high and letting losses run.
- There is a lot of misinformation out there – Unfortunately there are a lot of websites out there that are only interested in getting you to buy their product or course and care little about whether you make a profit from sports trading or not.
They will also specifically target matched bettors as they know they will have build up a bank from their matched betting.
They will usually say that sports trading is the logical next step for matched bettors and will literally recommend sports trading to anyone regardless of whether they are suited to it or not.
So should you make the move from Matched Betting to Sports Trading?
For the vast majority of people, the answer to this question is no. I know this is probably not the answer you wanted to see but sports trading requires you have the appropriate skills, patience and discipline to be successful.
Sports Trading requires a whole different skill set to Matched Betting and it is very difficult to be successful in sports trading over the long term.
Similar to forex trading the vast majority of people that try sports trading will end up making a loss.
In contrast, Matched Betting requires very little skill and is very hard to get wrong.
If you are a matched bettor and you still want to give sports trading ago, then I would recommend that you learn as much as you can for free on YouTube and Sports Trading Websites and then paper trade for the first six months.
If you don’t have the discipline to do this, then I don’t think sports trading is for you.
Recommended Resources for Beginner Sports Traders
Bet Angel Academy – Offers free courses on trading on Betfair
Betfair Guides – They are called advanced guides but they are really for beginners.