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Cricket Trading - The Ultimate Trading Start Guide

Ryan Carruthers's picture
Aug 28, 2019

Have you ever had a dream that you could trade cricket full time and make your living from it? 


Have you just started using the Betfair Exchange and want to learn how to make money from the cricket markets? 


Do you dream of working from home, being your own boss and working whenever you want to?


If you answered yes to any of those questions then this is the start guide for you!


Cricket is one of the most popular sports to trade on Betfair. One of the reasons is that there are often good trading opportunities in each match that is played. 


What time of the day is it on?


Cricket matches can last a long time. There are three main types of matches:

  • Test matches - played over 5 days usually from 10.30am-6.30pm at the ground’s local time each day. 

  • One day 50 overs matches - These are played on one day usually at a similar local time to test matches. Although there are some day/night matches which tend to start around 2pm and end around 10pm again at the local time to the ground the match is played in. 

  • T20 matches - 20 over matches that last around 3 hours, these can be at any time but tend to be evenings again local time to where the match is being played.


Regarding the specific time of day, if you live in the UK the local cricket will be on between 10.30am and 10pm most days during the summer. Of course cricket is a global sport and so at certain times of the year will be on at various times of the day. In New Zealand and Australia cricket will be on from 12am-12pm UK time. In the Carribean cricket will be on in the late afternoon/early evening around 5pm onwards. In the Indian Premier League T20 competition (one of the biggest trading events of the year in any sport) matches tend to start at 3.30pm UK time on weekdays and earlier on weekends around 11.30am.


So regardless of what time of day you like to trade you should be able to find some cricket to meet your needs! 


How much time do I need to spend trading on Betfair?


Cricket traders will usually spend 6-10 hours a day working. This can vary depending on the quality of the matches that day. There are a few days in the year where not much cricket it on, so cricket traders tend to take their holidays and time off during these periods.


When are the big events on?


Cricket is an all year round sport, which means we can trade it practically every day. However, there are some major events scheduled each year that are worth keeping tabs on. You have probably heard of the IPL, the Ashes and the World Cup but there are plenty of other events to look out for.


The ICC has a handy calendar for international cricket:


The biggest non-international matches are the T20 competitions, Cricinfo has written a brilliant guide for these which includes the general time of year they are played:

What are the key rules to be aware of? 


A cricket match is won by the team that scores the most runs when batting. Teams have ten wickets that they can lose before they are bowled out. So essentially a team is trying to score as many runs as they can before losing their ten wickets. 


In the limited overs cricket (50 and 20 overs matches) a team will run out of overs often before losing all of their wickets, so in this case a team is trying to score as many runs as they can before they use all their balls that are bowled to them up. More info on the specific rules can be found here:


One key rule to be aware of in cricket trading is that a ‘tie’ and a ‘draw’ are not the same thing. 


  • A tie is when the scores are exactly the same, for example: England score 267 runs for 9 wickets (267-9) and New Zealand score 267 runs for 5 wickets (267-5). In this example runs scored are the same and therefore it is a tie.

  • A draw is when the sides do not finish the match, most widely used in test matches where teams innings only finish when they lose 10 wickets or declare on their current score, as there is no overs limit and each side bats twice matches will often be unfinished after the five days of play. In this case the match is a draw. 


Why does this matter?


This matters because in cricket trading if a match is a tie the market is voided and Betfair cancel all bets on the win market. This could effectively mean that even if you had a profit on both teams your profit would be wiped and you would not get that money. As you can imagine this can be a kick in the teeth for any trader who was not aware of this rule. On the bright side this can be avoided, if a match looks like it could be a tie and we have a profit on the win market we can put a small insurance bet on the ‘Will it be a tie’ market so that we make some money no matter what! 


You can read more in detail about the rules of the sport on Betfair here:


Key Terminology:


When cricket trading it is important to know what all the terms being used mean. Commentators do not do a great job of explaining cricket terms for people and so many of them can just go unlearned. You will pick up and learn the key ones as you continue to trade and watch the sport but here an extensive list of them to satisfy even the most learned cricket trader:


What are the most popular trading markets for cricket?


The vast majority of cricket trading professionals simply use the ‘Match Odds’ market for each game they trade. This market is the most ‘liquid’ (has plenty of money in it to make the odds stable and means you will be able to get your money matches even at higher stakes) and is realistically the only one to use if you want to make a living from cricket trading.


In ODIs and T20s this will simply be a two way market, you can back either team to win. If the result is a tie the market is voided but this is extremely rare.


In test matches the market also adds in the option if a ‘draw’ so the market becomes a three way one. Again a tie voids the market.


What are the popular styles of cricket trading on the Betfair Exchange? 


There are a few various styles of trading cricket, I am going to talk here about the two most popular and worthwhile ones, scalping and swing trading. I will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each trading style. 


  1. Scalping:

Scalping is the simple idea of placing a trade with a view to trade out as soon as there is a small bit of movement in the market, ideally in our favour.  So for example, I might back England at 2.0 to beat Australia in a T20 match today, after they won the toss and got the advantage of choosing whether to bat or bowl. The market catches up and realises England’s price should be shorter. Within a minute the odds come into 1.95 so I hedge and ‘green up’ (cash out for a profit). Cricket trading has a more stable win market than most sports, making the patterns quite predictable in this respect. Therefore, scalping in play or at the toss is very popular.


Advantages - 

Your money is not in the market for long, so there is a low risk of a big price move against you.

You can use a higher bankroll percentage per trade as you know you are never really risking much of that stake.

You can watch and learn the markets while doing this with very small stakes to see if it suits you.


Disadvantages - 

You will not likely ever get a big price move in your favour, rather setting for small gains per trade.

Sometimes prices can move in these small amounts due to one trader lumping a big bet into the market, this can hit your stop loss (a predetermined exit point if the price moves in the wrong direction) very quickly.

2. Swing Trading: 

Swing trading is simply looking for bigger price movements and taking advantage of these market swings to make money. So for example, England are trading at 3.0 vs Australia, they have two set batsmen at the crease and I think they could bat a while with no wicket falling. I back England at 3.0 and ride the price down all the way to 2.0 as the partnership grows and the price keeps on coming in.


Advantages - 

You can use smaller stakes to make a bigger profit per trade.

If you strongly believe the price is wrong, you can take it and let it ride longer again leading to a good profit if you are correct. 

You can take a bit longer with your trades and not have to rush in and out of the market as quickly.


Disadvantages - 

If the market goes heavily against you, you will make a bigger stake loss.

Unless you have a set plan it can be difficult to know when to trade out. 

You will need a very strong mentality to let your money be at risk for a longer period of time. 


Reducing Liability: 

As a conclusion to this section on styles of trading I will briefly mention a tactic many of us here at BTC use and that is reducing liability. This is simply removing liability gradually as the price moves in our favour, rather than just removing it all at once.  As an example I could back England at 3.0, take out 50% of my liability at odds of 2.5 and the other 50% at 2.0. Essentially, this gives a trader a great level of insurance by reducing the risk and potential loss if the trade does go awry.


What do I need in order to start my cricket trading journey then?

We recommend a few things:


  • A diary or online notepad to make your daily plan - this is essential for research work and planning your trades for the day ahead.

  • Trading software like - This will enable you to get in and out of your trades efficiently and quickly. There are lots of these softwares out there so try a few and see which you like.

  • A laptop or PC with at least 2 screens - it makes a world of difference being able to view more on two screens and work with them both. You can often purchase second screens for a laptop or PC cheap from ebay for around £20 locally.

  • A social network of traders - - It can be lonely to do this alone and working together to make money like we do is an advantage in this game.

  • To be willing to learn, it does take time to master but remember the journey is so worth it in the end. 

We interviewed one of our Pro cricket traders Richard and he told us how he prepares to trading cricket each day. This is well worth a read:


What popular Cricket trading strategies can I use to get started?


OK so hopefully you feel ready to give trading the cricket a go now. As with anything that you are learning we advise baby steps. Practice trading without money or very low stakes to start with and test how you would get on. I will leave you with some links to strategies we have had success with and tested thoroughly. 


We have written an absolute masterclass in scalping here:

If you want an idea of good entry and exit points read this:


For members we have other great cricket strategies here:


Again, for members we have the forum which is full of cricket trading discussion: