Greening Up on BetFair

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Why ‘Greening Up’ on Betfair can be a Bad Strategy

Greening Up on BetFairThe introduction of the gambling exchanges at the beginning of this century opened up a whole new way of betting to the public. Suddenly it wasn’t just a case of placing a bet and waiting for the result to see if you had won or lost. Now you could place a bet, and change your position by placing other backs/lays both before the off and during an event – making the whole gambling experience much more involved. One of the options that people like most of all is the ability to ‘green up’ their book, meaning you can lock in a profit whatever the outcome – however this could be one of the biggest holes in your gambling strategy!

In this article I explain why this ‘greening up’ process can be costing you money in the long run, and could be the difference between you being a winning player and a losing one. I use an example soccer market to illustrate why it can be a problem area. I also make a couple of suggestions as to how you can counter the problem to make your overall gambling more profitable. 

‘Greening Up’ – Example

There is a big televised soccer game on the TV between Barcelona and Bayern Munich and you have taken the view that you think Barcelona are a good price at odds of 1.80 – so you decide to place a bet of £20 on the outcome.  Right now you’re in a situation where you’ll win £16 if they win, or lose £20 if they don’t.

Scenario One

You watch the first half and are delighted when Barcelona score just before half time. Barcelona are now priced at 1.15, so you decide to green up. To do this you work out the total return on the bet, which is £36 (your initial stake plus your winning amount) and divide this amount by the new price, so here you’ll lay Barcelona for £31.30 at 1.15, which will mean a guaranteed profit of £11.30 whatever happens in the match.  This is a great position to be in, and you can enjoy the rest of the game with no worries.

Scenario Two

You watch the first half and it’s disappointing when Bayern Munich score the opening goal after 25 minutes. At half time Barcelona are now on offer at much longer odds of 4.9. Although disappointing, you still feel that Barcelona have it in them to win the game, so you decide to let the bet run until the end.

When you look at both of the above scenarios, the judgment to ‘green up’ in scenario one and ‘let it ride’ in scenario two seem quite reasonable. But there is one big problem here. If you were to do this every time, you’d never win the full amount you’d gain if you had let the bet ride and it wins, but you’d have many occasions where you’ll lose the full amount of your bet, where you have let it ride and it loses. This is not terrible in itself – but if you are always ‘greening up’ when you get it right and letting it ride when it is going wrong, you’re probably losing value on your best bets.

Better Strategies

Magnifying GlassOne of the keys to making the most of these markets is to be consistent.

If you like to green up when it is going well, then you should also take the opposite approach when it is going badly, and ‘red up’ meaning that you’ll take a guaranteed loss on the market. Make the decision before the game as to whether you’ll do this in both scenarios and stick to it. This consistent approach will see fewer swings in your betting bankroll and take out the temptation to let it ride when it’s not quite going to plan.

The other way to be consistent is by not ‘greening up’ at all. Why not let all of your bets run? Assuming you are a smart bettor (I assume this because you’ve visited this site) and have picked out a bet which you consider to be value – do you really want to take a smaller win on a market where you think you have an edge? Make the decision to let the bet run whatever happens before the game, and do exactly that. You’ll gain full value for your wins which will outstrip your losses (if you’re smart). It’s the old-fashioned way of betting, but it’s still very effective.

Greening Up – Overview

‘Greening Up’ when you’re winning and letting it ride when losing is something that a lot of Betfair gamblers will do on a regular basis. Don’t get stuck in this pattern, as you might find it is costing you money in the long run. Make your decision before the game, stick to it and your gambling bankroll will feel the benefit.

If you are not already taking advantage of the ability choose which side of the book you play on and many other advanced betting opportunties at BetFair, then now is the time to take your betting to the next level. Check out and see for yourself just how many opportunities you'll find!

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