Betfair Tennis Trading Advice: Delay and Trade

A few of you have recently enquired about the purpose of delaying and trading Tennis matches. A few others have also wondered why the Stats on TTL show certain matches to be successful when certain stop losses have been hit.

The following article describes the reasoning behind those Successfully deemed matches but more importantly, the logic behind delaying and trading a match.

The term ‘Delay and Trade’ simply means to Delay trading the Tennis match. Ideally, you would like to see both the players serve and return for at least a game or two. This is generally applicable to matches that has odds of ‘1.5 and up’ on a favourite but most importantly on WTA markets. That’s right! While girls like Williams and Azarenka generally have no big issues with holding serves against weaker players, pretty much the rest of the field has a big problem holding their serves. It is this undeniable ‘break of serves’ factor that has prompted many traders to be more patient before taking the current market prices.

A few months back there was a match with 13 consecutive breaks in a WTA game!! (The worst I had seen yet!).

Delaying and Trading will most likely get
you better odds in WTA. This also means your stop loss odds are higher than the usual and takes more time to cancel out which is what a trader wants ideally.

Let’s take the following tip as an example:

Tip: Back Kerber @ 1.55, lay @ 1.25

The advice is simple; back Kerber @ 1.55 and lay it 30 ticks below. One important thing to note is that the STOP LOSS price (40% rule) for 1.55 back is 2.58 LAY.

Now let’s look at two scenarios from two traders Jack and Jill.

 Jack has stuck to precisely the odds @1.55 without any intention of waiting and put the stop loss @2.58 and the advanced lay price of 1.25. He did this before the match has even started.

The match now starts and Kerber is down a break 0-2 and is 0-30 down in her service game. Now at this stage the markets will react against her eventhough its still early in the match. Assuming the odds shoot up to 2.6, Jack’s trade has hit the stop loss and he has ended up in a loss. What happens next is that Kerber goes on to win that particular game and breaks back to even the match at 2-2. The odds have now come back to its original position, around 1.55. And from here on, Kerber completely dominates this match and continues to win in 2 sets.

Now here’s what Jill did.

Jill has decided to watch the match for 1 game and she noticed Kerber can’t get her first serves spot on. She predicts that Kerber odds must increase a bit more since there is an element of uncertainty in Kerber’s first serve stats. She decides to delay the trading, essentially choosing to go for better odds than 1.55. She gives an advanced BACK price of 1.75 (20 ticks above the original back price). Kerber gives a break point in the very first game. At this stage, Jill’s bet gets matched with 1.75 back price. Now, the Stop Loss for 1.75 is 2.92 (with the 40% rule). Bear in mind also that the profits achieved in Jill’s case is more compared to Jack.

As we can see, both traders showed very different approaches in relation to trading and the more thoughtful trader, in this case Jill, came out winning in the end with her Stop Loss not being affected.

Now you can ask the question, what if indeed the STOP LOSS was hit in both scenarios? The answer is simple. Stop Loss being hit need not mean you should stop the trade then and there. If you have really good reasons to continue trading then you should do so. Obviously you must have really solid reasons to do this. If you are doing it however, remember that its worth doing it early on in the match and not towards the end of the first set. Hence, if you ask me, I would back Kerber at higher odds after the Stop Loss had been hit!

The summary of this strategy is that, ideally, waiting for a few games generally helps you not only to profit more, but also reducing the possibility of our Stop Losses being hit early on!

While delaying and trading makes sense most of the time, it however is not an option for heavy favourites. From my experience of trading, a heavy favourite (odds of 1.4 and below) is not worth delaying. The reason is that odds move very quickly towards the favourite here and since the STOP LOSS odds are much closer, things happen rapidly.

Now let’s take the following heavy favourite Tip as an example:

Tip: Back Federer @ 1.25, lay @1.06.

You have decided to delay backing Federer early on. However, instead of an expected increase in price, Federer odds are now sticking around 1.2 (5 ticks below the average back price). This simply means that Betfair traders think Federer is the superior player and a break could be just around the corner.

The price has gone now further down to 1.15, and at this time you decide to back him. For a 10 unit stake, the Green out profits achieved on 1.25 Back price is 1.79 units. The Green out for 1.15 is 0.85 units. So basically you would be reducing your potential profits by around 1 unit. This is the negative side to delaying heavy favourites.

However, in my experience, overall delaying of a match makes you a much better trader. Even if you are missing out the chance of making a few units extra while delaying heavy favourites, you are still profiting nevertheless. In the long run, delaying will give profits more often.

Remember, trading is pretty much reading the minds of people who are putting money on the Betfair exchange. If you have good reasons to try a strategy, you should give a shot at it. There are no 100% proven strategies that work on betfair. However, with some simple logic and a lot of knowledge about Tennis (where TTL trading tips comes into play!!!), you can beat the markets and cash in. This is essentially what can change you from a part time tennis trader into a full time Pro tennis trader!

Points to note:

1. Always consider delaying and trading in every match, but it’s not mandatory…

2. Ideally, no delaying on Heavy Favourites.

3, If  Heavy favourites are being chosen to delay and trade, watch the serve and return stats of the underdogs closely.

4. For favourites of odds 1.5 and up, especially on WTA, highly consider delaying the trades.

5. If there are wild fluctuations in markets, be patient and wait out the storm!

6. Delayed trading in general gives you much higher chance of profiting as the Stop Losses take more time to hit.

7. Delayed trading generally applies for Back matches but can be applied for Lay matches provided there are sufficient reasons.

An example: A pure show of form of a heavy favourite player in his last match.

8. Delayed trading is not mandatory but highly recommended.

9. Delayed trading essentially makes you a much sharper trader.

10. The more you delay and trade, the more you understand the psychology of market movements and your intuitions naturally become better!

Best regards


  • Profitcsinalo Posted March 25, 2014 1:11 pm

    Dear Patrick,

    “Bear in mind also that the profits achieved in Jill’s case is more compared to Jack.”

    I don’ understand why is the profit more in Jill’s case.

    Backing 10 unit @1.55 and laying 12.4 unit @1.25 produces 2.4 unit profit.

    Backing 10 unit @1.75 and laying 12.069 unit @1.25 produces 2.069 unit profit.

    So in this case backing at higher odds (@1.75) and using the same tick offset (30) the profit is smaller.
    Maybe my math is wrong. I don’t understand why we get different profit with the same tick offset.

    Are you mean that Jill using higher tick offset when she backed at 1.75? So she closes the trade at 1.25 and not at 1.45? So her new tick offset is 50?

    • Patrick Ross Posted March 26, 2014 7:08 am

      Yes the tick difference is higher in Jill’s case so the profit is more.

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