Profitable Trading Strategies

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This is a short series of profitable trading strategies, created by “laytheodds” which we will now explain and adapt in the following tutorial

This article, Profitable Trading Strategies, is completely different from the analytical approach of the weight of money evaluation and the price/volume graphs’ study (not that there is something wrong with those methods).

We will be explaining several methods, all used by me, despite the fact that there are many other strategies that apply to anything, from horse racing to football or even Big Brother!

I’m going to apologize in advance if you think my explanations are a bit “arrogant” or “patronizing”, but these methods were written for someone who is just starting to learn trading and sports betting, as well as for those who are already “fluent” in many of the basic concepts related to trading or to the betting exchanges.

Besides the supply of Trading Strategies you can use to make money immediately, I hope these articles can also give you some knowledge and enough skills in order to allow you to create your own methods according to your own needs or intentions.

After all, individual study is the only way for a bettor/trader to learn to stand his own ground.

First Chapter

Strategy number 1:

This is my personal favourite of all the strategies here, mainly because if you apply it to the right type of match, you will ensure profit almost 100% of the times. I will explain later what I mean with the “right type of match”. For now, here is the summary of what this method involves/implies and how it works.

The concept is simple – when a goal is scored on an European football match, the prices of all outcomes possible in the match (home win, away win or draw) change. How they change, depends on many factors such as which team scored and the time of the match or the moment that the goal was scored on. In this strategy, we try to bet against the draw (lay the draw) before kick-off, with the objective of then betting in favour of the draw (back) at a higher price, right after the 1st goal is scored, ensuring a good profit in the process.

For example, let’s say that Sporting will play at home against Belenenses. Sporting, with 1.45 odds is the probable winner of the match, and should score first.

In this case, the draw price (7.20) should increase, and then all you have to do is back the draw at its new price, creating your own free-bet, which is always a good bonus, or splitting the profit evenly, whatever the outcome is, it only depends on how you want to approach your bets.

This method, alone, is flawed and defective, by two orders of reasons. Can you figure out which?

If you reached the conclusion that both the favourite and the underdog (Belenenses in the example i gave earlier) can score the first goal or the game can end in a 0-0 draw, congratulations, you’ve got it right.

Obviously, if the underdogs score first, the odds for the draw will go down, which leaves us in an unfortunate situation. In a similar way, if no goal is scored and the 0-0 persists, the draw price tends to decrease constantly, leaving us with an heavy loss.

However, the good news for both issues are that both can be corrected, leaving us with the perfect strategy (or at least, I’ve never lost money this way after using it for a long period, i.e. I’ve won more than I’ve lost)

I will discuss how to eliminate the risk of 0-0 and the 1st goal being scored by the underdog on the next section. For now, I’ll leave you guessing with this question: Are you capable of thinking and coming up with the respective solutions?

It isn’t too hard, the answers are short and this can be a simple exercise to help you resolve your own problems when and if you create your own trading strategies like these ones for personal use.

Second Chapter

Strategy number 1: Betting against the draw (Lay the draw) in European football(Cont.)

Could you find the solution to the problems I formulated on the “First Chapter”?

Well, congratulations if you were able to get to the solution, which is betting in favour (Back) of the 0-0, on the Correct Score market. If you do it in a way that if the game ends up finishing in a draw, it covers your loss on the match odds market, where you had bet against the draw (lay). This way, if the game does end in a 0-0 draw, you don’t end up losing any money, and you don’t risk possibly going bankrupt.

You are also correct if you could come up with the solution of choosing only matches where both teams have a decent chance of winning, in a way to avoid the possibility of an underdog like Vitória de Setúbal scoring first against an European giant like Manchester United.

Simply add these new filters to the previous version of the theory of betting against the draw (laying-the-draw) discussed in the First Chapter and create your own win-win situation.


I’ll leave you with a real example below of a kind of match you should look for, and one which I placed my own money on. It was this season, in the Portuguese League’s 2nd match day, 30th September 2008, when Benfica hosted Porto.

Benfica was in a renewal process and coming out of a 1-1 draw in Vila do Conde against Rio Ave, was hosting FC Porto who was coming into this match after a 2-0 win against Belenenses on their first game of the season at home. The odds on Betfair had Benfica at 2.50, so they were slight favourites, and then the draw at 3.40 and FC Porto at 3.00. As you can see, the differences between Benfica and Porto were really small, so there really wasn’t neither a clear favourite nor a real underdog, which means that, no matter who scored first in this match, the draw price would skyrocket right after the goal, allowing us to close our trade in profit and in a positive fashion.

Confident of having found a win-win situation, I bet against the draw at 3.40 with a stake of 416€, which leaves me with a liability slightly below 1000€ and, to cover my losses in case the match ends in a 0-0 draw, I backed the 0-0 at 9.00 with a stake of 135€ on the correct score market, which would leave me with an 80€ profit, if the match ended goalless.

Deducting the 5% fee charged by Betfair, the profit on the 0-0 draw would only be 1026€, which subtracted from the 1000€ liability lost on the lay-the-draw would only leave me with 26€ profit.

As soon as the match begun, I sat comfortably waiting for the first goal of the match. I hadn’t finished my 1st beer yet and FC Porto had already scored, with Lucho Gonzaléz scoring from a Penalty. This was 10 minutes into the match. As soon as the market re-opened, i checked that the draw odds had increased substantially to 6.00, so I backed them with a stake of 280€, ensuring a nice profit, without much effort.

Instead of waiting for an higher price, risking to lose both initial bets that i had made before the start of the match, I closed my trade as soon as possible. This was a great example of why it is important to be disciplined. I could have been greedy and wait for a better price, suffering with my hear pounding, and that would possibly be disastrous, since in the 2nd half Oscar Cardozo scored for Benfica at the 56th minute. Two minutes later, Kostas Katsouranis was sent off due to a 2nd yellow, and the odds for the draw had lowered considerably so, if i hadn’t been disciplined and ensured my profits immediately, I could have lost a lot of money!

At the end of the day, my bets in terms of Profit and Loss were as follows:

  • + 1330€ won with the bet in favour of the draw after FC Porto’s first goal (+1400€ gross);
  • – 998€,4 lost due to the initial liability of the lay-the-draw (416€) before the match;
  • – 135€ lost in the 0-0 bet on the correct score market made before the match;
  • = + 196,6€ of profit.

PROFIT/LOSS = + 195 Euros, already including the 5% commission from Betfair.

Not bad at all for less than an hour of work!

Let me give you another example, a bit older, of how to win money by laying the draw and then backing the 0-0, in matches were there isn’t neither a clear favourite nor a clear underdog. Remember the 2006 World Cup, played in Germany, where England lost to Portugal on penalties?

In the quarter-finals match between Germany and Argentina, La Albiceleste had given signs of playing good football, but they were facing the hosts, who were “willing to do anything” to return to their old glory, when Gary Lineker famously stated: “In football it is 11 against 11 and in the end Germany wins”.

Some people were forecasting that whoever won this match would win the World Cup, and the odds for this match showed that it was expected to be a really close match.

Germany was a slight favourite at 2.80, while the Draw was at 3.15 and Argentina was also at 3.15. The fact that the odds were this close, really showed that there wasn’t a clear favourite or underdog for this match, which meant that no matter which team scored first, the draw odds could only skyrocket, which would give us the chance to close our trade on a much higher and profitable price, even because both teams were known for their offensive ability.

With the confidence laying on the fact that I had created once again a profitable scenario, I “layed” the draw with 465€, which left me with a liability a bit below 1000€ and, to cover my eventual losses in case it ended 0-0, I betted in favour of that same result on the correct score market, with 120€ at 11.0 odds, which would leave me with a gross profit of 200€ in case the match ended in a 0-0 draw, or a net profit of 140€, due to the 5% charged by Betfair.

Once again, I sat on my armchair to watch the match, waiting patiently for the 1st goal. Roberto Ayala scored that 1st goal for Argentina, after a corner taken by Riquelme, which made the draw odds shot up immediately right after the brief market suspension that happens whenever a goal is scored. I quickly backed the draw at 6.60 with a stake of 250€, knowing that with little work done, I had ensured a pretty interesting profit.

Once again, this match was a great example of the importance of discipline in trading. If I had been greedy and had waited for a better price on the draw, I could have lost my two initial bets, because as soon as Riquelme was replaced, Germany were able to tie the match, and the 90 minutes ended in a 1-1 draw, with Germany then going through on penalties. Consequentially, the draw odds went down to about 2.00, and if I hadn’t followed my rules carefully, ensuring my profit immediately after the 1st goal, I would suffer a big loss on my account balance, losing a lot of money due to my greediness!

In the end, the balance between Profit and Loss were the following:

  • 1400€ – 999,75€ = 400,75€ (or 330,25€ after fees, in net profit)
  • 330,25€ – 120€ = 210,25€
  • PROFIT/LOSS = +210,25€

Once again, not bad at all for less than an hour of work!


Regarding the calculations above, we have:

  • 1400€ come from backing the draw with 250€ at 6.60;
  • 999,75€ deriving from the liability caused by the 465€ stake placed on laying the draw at 3.15;
  • 120€ originated from the stake used on our 0-0 bet in the correct score market at 11.0;

Final Considerations

And so we reach the end of the first strategy that i will explain on this mini-series. I hope it is useful for you.

However, before finishing, I want to highlight a few important things to take in consideration regarding this strategy that I didn’t get the chance to mention yet:

  • I prefer and always make sure that my stake when backing the 0-0, in case of a goalless draw, ensures me a bit of profit. The alternative is simply betting in favour of the 0-0 in order to cover your liability on the lay-the-draw bet and nothing else. If a goal is scored, I will win more money this way.

However, I should point out that, if you wish to, just like me, ensure profit in the event of a 0-0 draw, it is important not to be greedy with the profit that you will try to make.

First off, the chances of a match finishing 0-0 are very low and secondly, if you back the 0-0 with a very high stake, you might have some trouble getting global profit on the draw trade, when the 1st goal is scored.

-Whenever possible, i tis always better to find matches where goals are expected from both sides. These matches often have very high odds for the 0-0 in the correct score market. This means that you can put less money on your stake laying the draw, less money on the 0-0 correct score bet and you can still generate a bigger profit when and if the first goal is scored.

– If a bookmaker offers a market with “No Goal scorer” option, where the odds should be close to the same as the ones offered on Betfair for the 0-0 result on the correct score market, I advise you to bet on that in the other bookmaker, placing your stake on “No Goal scorer”. The reason is simple: When you bet on “No Goal scorer”, the own-goals don’t count. So, if the game somehow ended 3-3, but all the goals were own-goals, you would still win your bet on “No goal scorer”! Many bettors aren’t aware of this, but this is the rule for most bookmakers.

This means that, in some occasions, where you use this strategy in a match that finishes 1-0 with an own-goal scored, you can really win a lot of money in profit, because you get not only your stake on “No Goal scorer” is won, but your successful trade profit as well.

Many of you will certainly remember England’s opening match on the 2006 World Cup. It ended 1-0 for England, with Paraguay’s Carlos Paredes scoring an own-goal! I had used this strategy and it is needless to say, I won a small fortune.

Now you shouldn’t blindly use this advantage and always bet on “No Goal scorer” just because of own-goals. First, you need to maker sure that you get a good price, similar to the price of 0-0 on the correct score market of Betfair. If the difference is big, then you should just stick to the 0-0 at Betfair.

Less money on the 0-0 stake at a higher odd, can represent a bigger profit when the 1st goal occurs, whether it is an own-goal or not. Remember that the goal of this strategy is to win money by laying the draw, not with the own goals.

– This has never happened in a match that I was trading on previously, fortunately, but at some point, you might be trading on a certain match using this strategy, and come across with the fact that a player got sent off before the 1st goal was scored. For example, a penalty is awarded and the goalkeeper or the defender of one of those teams gets sent off.

As I was saying, that never happened to me, so I’m not quite sure how the market would react, but it is possible that it means that you might lose money, in case the market goes against you. However, I imagine that, when a player gets sent off, the draw odds tend to increase, which would even favour you.

If this is the case, as it should be, I recommend that you close your trade on the draw, with a small profit, and also to close your trade on the 0-0 market, which should be lower too, ensuring small profit there as well.

That has probably happened quite a few times, but, generally, after 5 minutes, the 0-0 odds start to drop more and more, so you should be able to close both trades, both the draw and the 0-0, at least breaking even, when someone is sent off.

If someone gets sent off after the 1st goal, that really isn’t a problem. By then, you should have already closed your trade and ensured your profit, winning money with the match anyway.

The good news are that, despite everything, this is the only scenario that i can anticipate and come up with, which can affect negatively this trading method, and 99% of the tames, you should still be able to generate good profit and earn some money!

I hope you have enjoyed this article – Profitable Trading Strategies

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