Semi-Automated Scalping with Servants

For users of Bet Angel, Betfair trading software, there is a unique tool at your disposal called Servants. Since their introduction a few years ago they have become a large part of my daily manual trading tools and during the Cheltenham Festival that won’t be any different.

If you have never used Servants before, we offer a free trial of Bet Angel professional on this link. It includes a training mode so you can get familiar with the concept.

Servants give the manual trader the speed and power advantages traditionally reserved only for those using automation. This makes them an invaluable tool when tacking the slower markets at Cheltenham which as many will know attract huge volumes of money and for many people, this can cause them problems mainly through boredom and losing concentration. Small price movements often create small profits as well, so you may need to get a lot of matched bets to end up with a decent profit if you are using these types of trading strategies.

Using Bet Angel you can with a click of a mouse or press of a key deploy a servant to monitor one or more selections or even the whole market for a specific set of circumstances. They will do this without ever tiring or wavering even in a slow-moving Cheltenham market and when the circumstances they are waiting for do arise they will leap into action and perform the specific task you have given them – and much faster than any manual trader even if they have sat staring intensely at the screen waiting for something to happen.

You can use Servants on any market, you are not just limited to a horse race.

Ready-Made Servants

The shared Servant section on the Bet Angel forum has nearly 50 ready-made Servants you can download and use for free, but here I’ve picked out just 5 that will be suited to the type of markets you’ll get at Cheltenham and other festivals. You can use servants on the one click betting screen or the ladder interface.

Pressure Scalping Servant

This first Servant will monitor a selection for a build-up of pressure in money waiting to be matched, but rather than simply look at the WOM its rather more sophisticated than that and looks at the individual amounts of the money waiting on the best 3 prices on each side and compares that to what’s available on the other side of the book at the respective best 3 prices. Only when one side has significantly more waiting money and the pressure has built will the servant nip in front and place a bet to try and scalp a 1 tick profit.

In this example the rule has been configured to trigger if the amount of money waiting at the best prices is 100% greater (double) on one side of the book, the money then waiting at the two second-best prices are compared to each other and one side must have 50% more money waiting, it’s then the same for the 3rd best prices. Basically, only when the money waiting on one side is greater than the other plus 100% at the best price, plus 50% at 2nd best price and plus 50% at 3rd best price will the servant place the bet (see the image below)

Trap Trade Servant

The next example is called ‘Trap Trade’ the concept here is that you instruct the servant to place the opening bet at the price of your choice where there is little money already waiting in comparison to other prices, then as the odd move towards that price and the prices touch the servant will place an opposing bet 1 tick away for you which should ensure you now have front queue position on both bets.

Spread Entry / Exit Servant

The third example is another way servants can make your job easier and quicker by placing a spread of back and lay bets to either enter or exit a trade, across multiple prices, all with a single click or push of a key. This technique can be used to help get a good position on catching the end of a move/reversal or even for scalping with under the correct conditions as we should see plenty of during the Cheltenham markets.

At the click of a mouse or push of a key this servant will first cancel existing bets on that side of the book then divide your selected stake up and place 3 bets as follows;
50% of stake will be placed at the price you point at
25% of stake will be placed 1 tick away from this
25% of stake will be placed 2 ticks away from this

Scalp using Best 3 Prices Servant

The next example of a way to use a Servant, is another way to scalp the markets by monitoring and using the money waiting at the best 3 prices. When the money at the best prices is below £X on both sides and the money still waiting behind at the 2nd and 3rd best prices are greater than £X it will jump in with a back and lay bet at the best prices. The image below should explain better how this servant works and when it will trigger.

Defensive Scalping Servant

The final example will scalp the market defensively looking for 1 tick profits, when started it will place a back and lay bet at the best reverse prices, the hope is, of course, to get both sides matched and scalp a 1 tick profit, but if one side gets matched and the waiting money drops to less than £2500 a closing bet will trigger and the trade will be scratched (closed for zero loss).
If one side is matched as the price moves against a closing bet will trigger and close the trade for a 1 tick loss.

There you have just five ready-made examples of how Bet Angel’s Servants can help give you an advantage over other market participants that don’t have access to them, but remember you can create a Servant to cover just about any situation or task and if you want to have a go at creating your own there is a separate blog which details exactly how to get started and go about creating your own Servant.

Servants are a great way to carefully semi-automated trades in a market. They will allow you to put more trades through and in a much more effective manner. They will significantly enhance your betting exchange trading. Make sure you give them a try.

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