I am looking at trading bets on tennis, football and horse racing in particular as these appear to have the most liquidity.

How much background research and how much trial and error is generally needed to trade confidently with some knowledge of how the prices will move? Also how big of a bankroll do you suggest starting with?

The exchanges I am looking into currently are www.Betfair.com and www.WBX.com, however I have read that Betfair has a 60% premium charge for long term winning accounts, does this generally affect traders if dealing with multiple trades daily? I am hoping to get it to a level where I make a consistent ~£100-200/daily profit to supplement my income and continue to work my way up from there.

Any advice is truly appreciated, thank you in advance!


1 Answer 1


Have a read of the paper posted here:


It pertains to MMA but expounds on research method and what a profitable strategy may look like.

I wouldn't suggest liquid sports at all. Liquidity will imply often imply prices which correct quickly to represent the best guess at the underlying probability. Also have a look here:


Again, it pertains to MMA but most of the advice is generally applicable.

If you're predicting price movements then you need only so much capital as to cover some multiple of the variance of your strategy. I you're intending to be a market maker on illiquid sports then you need a lot more capital.

As far as exchanges go, also have a look at smarkets.com which do not have a premium fee and charge 2% commission.

  • $\begingroup$ Interesting read and good advice for beginners. Some of it should generalise to betting on other underlyings as well. $\endgroup$
    – g g
    Jan 29, 2015 at 14:09
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Emir! It was a very interesting read. The information is quite useful and greatly appreciated. I will start with smaller stakes until I can get a handle of things and put together a system that works for me. I considered Smarkets, but I read a they have suspended accounts of winning punters: bookmakersreview.com/bookmaker-news/… If they have done it in the past, it sets off alarm bells to me. Thanks for the reply! $\endgroup$
    – Andrew WU
    Jan 30, 2015 at 6:52

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