Betfair trading software – Live vs practice mode

Practice / Training mode on Betfair trading software

When you first start trading on the Betfair exchange you will need some sports trading software. When you first glance at any software it can be a little daunting. The One click grid interface, ladder interfaces, automation, there is a lot to take in. Fortunately quite a few bits of Betfair software, now contain practice modes, training modes, or simulation modes, whichever you prefer to call it.

Be careful though as not all software for trading has these features, so it’s worth putting a giant tick against that box to ensure you can get used to trading and using any piece of software without risking any of your trading bank. On Bet Angel Professional all you need to to do to enter training mode is to select that option when you first log in. The screen will change colour to ensure you are aware you are still in practice mode.

To exit training mode, simply close down Bet Angel. That’s the only way to switch between modes else you could easily run in either mode without knowing it.

Practice makes perfect?

Practice mode is great, you can use it to familiarise yourself with the vast range of features on Bet Angel. Whatever exchange markets you are in and whether it is using automation, servants, excel, one-click trading, the ladder interface, you can basically use everything on practice mode. Bet Angel is the only Betfair trading software where all trading tools, including automation work in practice mode.

One of the key features of the practice mode is that it will allow you to familiarise yourself with the software without any risk to your money in your account. But it will also allow you to experiment with trading styles, tactics and the most common Betfair trading strategies.

However, there are subtle differences in the way the practice mode works compared to live trading. Just like a football/soccer game, practice is necessary, but it will never fully simulate a live game!

We will look into what you can get out of both the practice and live trading on Betfair and Bet Angel…

Let’s size up our teams

Practice mode is brilliant because you can play with all of the features of the software and you don’t need to worry about making mistakes. You’re in a position where you are not risking any money at all in the market, making it’s simpler to learn all of the features of the software.

But what about live trading? Well, one of the problems that you have, when you are actively using practice mode, is that when you kick the ball towards the goal, there is nobody in the goal making it very easy to score from pretty much anywhere!

What I’m trying to say here is that when you’re using in practice mode, you’re not up against anybody within the market, so it’s a little bit easier to be able to make money when in practice mode.


Firstly you can avoid any red cards in practice mode as you can get away with things that you probably couldn’t do in live mode. For example, if you traded with £2 stakes, that would feel really realistic. It’s effectively like being right next to the goal.

However, if I put a £10k stake into practice mode, that would feel exactly the same in terms of having a clear line of sight. It’d be like trying to score from ten metres away instead of just in front of the goal, without any obstacles.

See when you are actively trading in practice mode, imagine that you’re kicking into an open goal. You’re probably quite likely to be able to score a goal, i.e. you’re likely to be able to profit when you’re in practice mode. It’s not impossible that you will make a loss when you’re in practice mode, but it’s certainly a lot easier!

A screenshot of the video on this topic – click here to watch (you get to see my football skills as well!)

However, you can see above that I’m now standing within the goal itself, let’s imagine somebody (not necessarily me!) is standing in the goal. Practice mode is a bit like shooting into a goal when there’s no goalkeeper. The market doesn’t know what you’re doing; it can’t anticipate or react to what you’re doing.

But if I’m actively in the goal, I can stick my hands out, I can defend the goal very actively. That’s what it’s like in a real market, you put money into the market, the market will react and the market will try and defend its position effectively.

A screenshot of the video on this topic – click here to watch (you get to see my football skills as well!)

Therefore, you have to understand that there is a difference between trading practice and live mode. If you become to familiar with practice mode you will notice that when you put money to use in the market for real, you’ll probably find it a little bit more difficult!

Post-match analysis

Let’s walk through trading with practice mode to understand how realistic the simulation is to live mode. First things first, how do you know you’re using practice mode on Bet Angel? Simple – the top of the screen is orange which we did deliberately so that you could understand when you in practice mode and when you’re not.

If I go into this market pictured below and place a small order, on both sides. You can see that the market’s moving the way that it should do.

Actions highlighted in blue

It feels quite natural and it’s quite useful for getting a feel for the flow of the market the way that the market is operating. The great thing about the practice mode is you can really go for it. For example, I’ve slammed in a few orders here and it’s like having all of the money in the world at your feet! It’s very easy to slam orders left, right and centre and it’s working pretty well.

Laying in stakes

And in fact, it would feel similar if you were in a live market because we’re using relatively small stakes. What Bet Angel is doing behind the scenes is measuring where you are in the queue and then when you get near the front of the queue, we start matching your bet. When your bet is matched, which is based upon the amount of money that’s going through the market, you can then start doing stuff on the other side.

It’s quite realistic in that sense, especially when using slightly smaller stakes. If you use practice mode sensibly, it works really well and if you use it in the way that you probably would live.

Where things sort of break down a little bit is if you start using silly stakes. If you look in the image below you can see I’ve gone in and modified the staking to something much larger.

blue box highlights laying a large stake!

When I select this large stake and go into the market, Bet Angel takes all of that money out of the market. Additionally, if I pop it back in on the other side, it also took it back out. Why is that? Well, as the money reaches your stake, we have to make a judgement on basically whether we should start eating away at that stake.

If the market moves, then the market goes right through that particular price point and takes all of the money with it. So how do you simulate that? We’re taking live data off of Betfair here so the live data is basically telling us what the current prices. So if the current price moves, it has to wipe out your stake and that’s why using those larger stakes are not so representative.

It’s one of those issues where we have to do a bit of a compromise, we allow you to put in large stakes to the market but of course, we can’t accurately represent that. If the price moves, then that implies that steak must have been taken. Therefore, we have to show that as your stake being taken within the market.

So that’s where there’s a subtle difference between practice and live mode.

Practice mode – A summary

If you use outsized stakes in the market, you begin to lose that level of accuracy within the simulation. If you use reasonable stakes or small stakes, then it will probably be pretty accurate for you. But practice mode is great if you’re learning to trade. Whether it be developing the genesis of a strategy, something that you’re just trying to test out or just understanding how it all works.

You need to be aware that when you’re using practice mode is that the best way to get a close simulation to the market by using low stakes. But when you start using larger stakes, that begins to break down a bit. Why? Because it’s a bit like trying to play football with a no goalkeeper, you’re bound to score!

However, if you put somebody in the net, they’re going to react to what you’re doing and therefore it becomes a little bit harder when you go in live mode. So my recommendation to you is use practice mode to develop an ideal strategy where you should learn to implement this within the market. As soon as you can switch to real money, even if it’s small stakes, it’ll give you a much clearer and true representation of the market.

Therefore, just like a professional footballer training for a big game, hitting the ball into a net without a goalkeeper is great to finesse your skills and aim, the same way that practice mode can help develop a new trading strategy.

However, playing a real match versus a team with varying skills and elements of unpredictability is the best way to improve, just like when you trade on a live market!

Practice mode on Bet Angel

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