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What type of sports trader are you?

Martin's picture
Aug 04, 2017

Tick Trader - Commonly known as ‘Scalper’


Tick trading or scalping is very common among Betfair Traders. It is the principle of taking advantage of very small moves in active markets, a trader will open a trade and look to exit within a couple of minutes for a tick or two gain. The outcome of the event is entirely irrelevant, often tick traders do not even have an opinion on who/what will win, they are trading quick market moves.


Winning example: I lay a horse at odds of 1.5 just before the start of race, it rises to 1.55 in one minute, I close for a 5 tick profit.  

Losing example: I lay a horse at odds of 1.5 before the start of a race, the price comes in to 1.45, I close for a 5 tick loss.



  • Not huge knowledge of sport needed so can quickly learn

  • Not a huge risk if things go against you with quick exit

  • Money not at risk for a long time


  • Often it does not take a lot of action/money to push price towards the stop-loss

  • Not likely to make huge gains per trade

  • Must have quick trigger finger and great software


Best sport: Horse Racing


Swing Trader


Swing traders look for a fairly big move in the market during a trade. When they open the trade they are usually in for longer than tick traders would be. Swing traders tend to settle for around 50% roi per trade or will take a 50% loss, although this does vary somewhat trader to trader.


Winning example: I lay a tennis player at 1.1 they lose the first set and trades at 1.6, I close my position taking a large profit as a result.

Losing example: I back a tennis player at 1.6 he loses the first set and trades at 2.5, I close my position taking a significant loss as a result.



  • More time for the price to move your way before exiting

  • You will have more time to exit when it goes for or against you

  • More profit per swing


  • More can go wrong during the trade making your exit point more of a judgement call

  • If you don’t know your sport inside out you will likely lose money

  • Bigger losses per downturn


Best Sport: Tennis


Insurance Trader


This kind of trading is not far removed from outright betting. The only real difference being that you give yourself some insurance during the event. Often a trader will look to back or lay an outcome and the price go for or against until near conclusion. Only greening out when odds have moved wildly in favour, or redding out when fully all hope is lost.


Winning example: I back over 3.5 goals at odds of 3.0, 3 goals are scored first half and I close my position for a massive profit at 1.25

Losing example: I back a football team at odds of 2.0, they get a red card and now trade at 6.0, I close for a big loss as circumstances have changed.



  • Can yield big profits if you are good enough at making selections

  • No pressure to be a quick trader

  • Can set up and go if you find a good enough strategy


  • Usually either a big win or a big loss

  • More reliant on your tipping skills

  • More betting than trading

Best Sport: Football

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