Betfair Setup Pt 1 – Beginners

Latest posts by Man of Mystery (see all)

Where To Start

Betfair is a complex website which caters for a variety of punters and there are a bewildering variety of settings and options. My aim in this series of 3 posts is to guide you in setting up your display to enable you to use Betfair to best advantage. You only need to set it up once and then it should save your settings and load as you want it every time.

Note: These articles contain information and screenshots from the old Betfair site. This is still available, and is much better than the new site, which I have never been able to tolerate for more than a few minutes. Currently (December 2014) there is the option to revert to the old site or go to the new one below the login/logout button.

When you see pictures of Betfair in articles and videos it probably looks like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However when you first visit a race market on Betfair you are more likely to find that it actually looks like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is extremely confusing and it is not at all obvious how to find your way around. So if you are presented with “Racecard View” (the 2nd of these pictures) the first thing you need to do is to click on “Exchange”, as in the picture on the left below. You may also find that Betfair SP is showing, as in the picture below right, in which case you need to untick the Betfair Starting Price box, as SP is no good to us.

In order to get the display to look like the one in the top picture you need to make sure you have the boxes for “Back & Lay” and “Market Depth” ticked (outlined in black below) and to display the rules tab on the left, click on “Rules” (outlined in blue).

 

 

 

 

The back and lay odds are circled in red – this horse is 2.46 to back and 2.52 to lay. These are the prices that are available to take now – if you wish you can queue for better odds, although this is not recommended until you understand the risks. Underneath the odds you can see sums of money – these are the amounts available at these odds (money which other customers are queueing with). If someone decided they wanted to back £10 at 2.5, when they placed their bet it would be “unmatched” because there is no money to bet on at 2.5 at the moment. The 2.52 would move to the right and 2.5 would appear in the purple square, with £10 underneath. This would then be available for you to lay if you wanted to. Similarly if someone wanted to lay £10 at 2.48 they could queue and the blue box would show £10 available to back at 2.48. The amount of money available (or liquidity) is important, because if you calculate that the amount you need to lay at particular odds is £22.50 but there is only £10 there, £12.50 will not be matched unless someone else comes along and takes it. You may find that the odds move and leave you unmatched, and if you need to move the bet to higher odds the calculations will then be wrong. You should always check that there is plenty of money available at the odds you want before you bet.

There are a few other things in this screenshot which are useful.

The odds will refresh once every 30sec on Betfair (this may now be 15). Although this sounds quite frequent, it is actually quite long enough for the odds to have changed or money to have disappeared, particularly if the match or race is not too far off starting. Above the odds on the right there is a refresh button and you should get into the habit of using this before you finally commit yourself just in case something important has happened.

The rules tab on the right shows you that there is a non runner in this race (Jeninsky). When betting on horse racing always check the rules tab for non runners before you start, and until you understand Rule 4, avoid any races with non runners in.

The search option at the top left is useful if you want to find something quickly without navigating through various football leagues for example. Entering a team or horse name will show you a list of all the markets in which that name appears, but unfortunately it doesn’t show the date. The only difficulty can be with spelling as it has to match the Betfair spelling exactly, but nevertheless it is a useful shortcut.

Placing Bets

To place a bet on Betfair you simply click on the odds you want (blue to back and purple to lay) which brings up a betslip on the right. You then fill in the amount you want to place, and click “Place bets” at the bottom right. You will then need to click “Confirm bets” in the same place before your bet is finally submitted, unless you choose to untick “confirm bets before placing” which you will find right at the bottom left hand side of the betslip panel once you have loaded a slip.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here we have a betslip ready to go to place a £2 lay bet at 2.58. The liability (amount you will lose at Betfair) if the horse wins is shown on the right – in this case it is £3.16.

Note the red cross on the left – if you want to cancel the bet just click on that.

 

 

 

 

 

The 2nd screenshot shows the bet after it has been matched at Betfair – note that I have had to move the bet up to 2.6 because while I was taking screenshots the odds moved, leaving my bet unmatched. My liability has now changed to £3.20.

Once your bet is matched you cannot cancel it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 3rd screenshot shows the unmatched betslip that I got when I tried to place the lay at 2.58. The large white “cancel unmatched” box and the bigger blue heading alert you to the fact that your bet was not matched. Always check carefully that your bet has actually been matched before you go off to do something else!

If you need to move your bet because it hasn’t been matched you first need to click on “Go to ‘My Bets’” at the bottom right. This then gives you the up and down arrows that you can see in the first screenshot, allowing you to alter the odds.

IMPORTANT – Betfair does not allow you to alter both odds and stake on a betslip at the same time when your bet is unmatched. You must either cancel the bet or alter one of them, submit the bet again and then alter the other. It is probably quicker and safer at first to cancel and start again at the new odds if you need to.

Read Setting Up Your Betfair Options Part 2 here.

In Other News
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