Lay the field on Betfair still works well. Let’s have a look at making it work for you.
If you are serious about making lay the field work for you need to record lots of data. You need your own data. Consider courses, field size, time of day and prices that were matched to try and work out patterns. The secret to profiting long term with lay the field is by developing your own formula.
The challenge you face when laying the field is to remember that every lay you make does add up. The higher the price you lay at then the more you need to get matched in order to make a profit.
Every time you get 2 horses matched at evens you are breaking even and only when you get 3 horses matched at 2 are you going to make a profit. At this price you have a risk-reward ratio of 1:1 and need to be winning over 50% of your trades in order to make a profit doing it . This is why your record keeping is critical. It will tell you if you need to go for a shorter price in order to make the break even point more achievable.
If you lay the field at 1.5 you will have a risk reward ratio of 1:1. You need 2 horses to get matched to make a profit. At prices below 1.5 the risk reward ratio is in your favour and you may be winning more than you risk. The conclusion you make may be that you should target races where you will get lots of short prices below 1.5 turned but only YOUR data can tell you which ones.
Many novices think that with laying the field they can just repeat the process on many races and make a profit.
If you lay in every race at 1.5 then you may not be profitable for long. Always consider the field size AND how competitive you think the race will be. A short priced favourite will always make it much harder for many horses to be backed at short odds. Guess what? These are the type of races you should avoid.
Heads up. Most traders would use lay the field no more than once or twice in a day. It may make sense to combine this strategy with another lay strategy that has also been profitable for over eight years.
Now, here’s a tip. To be matched you should avoid laying at 1.5. Maybe move to 1.51 or 1.52? Other in-play racing traders will go for round numbers that end in a 0 or 5. Be different. Split seconds matter in-play.
Those who are still doing well on lay the field these days mainly go in-play. It will give you the edge. But please don’t try it manually. Use BetTrader or any other trading application. The main strategy of traders using this method is to watch the race live and wait to see if it’s competitive. My, how things have changed. It used to be so simple.
Anyway, back to today. If the race is competitive then lay the field traders will pump their prepared lay orders in to the market and wait. If they can see that one horse is dominant then they won’t bother. They’ll just wait for the next race.
Another variation on this strategy is to put in lay orders at 1.51, 1.26 and 1.16 for £100 each. Scaling in into a trade can be lucrative. I always feel that single entry tactics are the height of arrogance anyway.
A lower strike rate might not make you happy. I guess it depends on your patience as well. Can you build a Betfair strategy you can be proud of? Lay the field may be a good foundation.