On the 20th of January I was looking at my tweetdeck and a tweet from Juicestorm come up advising to back a particular horse, I could see from the feed it was about backing to lay, so trading not actually betting per se. I had Smarkets open so stuck £20. (As you do!?)
I then proceeded, like the fool I am, to totally forget about this position and hence the opportunity to trade out. Luckily for me the selection won and I was about £42 up.
I realised my idiocy in doing this as throwing random 20s at twitter tips is exactly the sort of thing I tell others not to do. However it did pique my interest in trading.
So I looked after the next days racing I went through their tweets and found that they had apparently been able to trade out on all 11 advised selections and green up.
These were all more than the odd tick and I worked out that to just modest stakes this would be a good little earner – if it was actually a true representation of achievable results.
As with all things that seem too good to be true…
Rather than paper trading (who does that anyway?), I went in with real money, £20s £30s etc to test out the trades. Without an actual plan – aside from working out a stop loss position on the fly. (Again, more madness.)
On the first day I picked up on just the one bet and made traded out for +£3.29.
So the next day I’d try and do much of the whole day’s worth. The first selection I was advised to back at 5.8 to 6.4 and despite my stop loss plan of exiting at 7.1 I ended up taking a loss of £17.25 exiting at 8.4 after a big drift.
I then went on to have 5 winning trades before another drifter set me back, having backed at 6.6 & 7.0 I had to trade out at 11 losing me £9.82.
What a numpty.
I had clawed back the initial loss though to end to day +£2.10
Bit of a mixed bag compared to the previous tweets but I figured that if I could minimise the losing positions I could be onto a winner, so I decided to do more testing.
The next few days ended -£10.39, +£7.18 and -£24.66.
So what happened?
Well first off all a lot more selections didn’t actually shorten in real time than was initially apparent from looking at the feed.
But I actually discovered that they were tweeting that they’d traded out and greened up after the races had started – so inplay.
I’d been using Smarkets and manually trading which isn’t ideal as it turns out for a number of reasons, losing track of races and forgetting entirely to trade out had worked in my favour initially but resulted in me losing £20 (lucky it wasn’t more) on one occasion.
After the last day I decided that I really ought to reconsider my approach.
So do these free twitter trades make any profit and what have I learned?
Well firstly I can’t really say at this point in terms of profit potential one way or the other. The account is run by a bot and the tweets are automatic, (they make no secret of this) there’s no stop loss advice given, and the only exit price advice is often tweeted once the race is underway so is pretty useless in terms of anyone acting on it, at least if doing so manually.
I did question John, who runs the site about this and he said
“If our selections do not reach the target prices we will hedge inplay for a profit or loss within variable percentages. On 80% of markets pre race we are green but often have a chunk left over to favour the traded selection if it wins.”
80% green sounds great, but obviously it depends on how much the 20% are losing as well. I mean if you lose your total stake because you didn’t get matched or 50% because of high exit prices, that makes a lot of recouping.
So to summarise I’m interested in a back to lay trading strategy, its plus points are that you can operate from a relatively small bank (as placing the back bet first means no big liabilities) and that it should be low risk – at least if applying a stop loss correctly.
That last point brings me onto software. It became blatantly obvious that I was very much hindered without using software to trade the racing markets.
The ability to set everything up so that the exit points where automated would clearly benefit as minimising the emotional input and error possibilities is essential.
Time permitting I plant on doing some more trials (more professional I promise!) on this.
The website at Juicestorm is a bit of a maze but you can read about what they offer here:
If you’ve got any back to lay trading strategies that you don’t mind sharing please get in touch!
(Disclaimer: There’s no affiliation with Juicestorm whatsoever from this site and you accept full responsibility for your trading/betting decisions)