Should I Automate My Betting?

How do I automate my betting?

What betting bot would you recommend?

Those are the two most common questions I receive every single week.

But the real question should be…

Should I automate my betting?

Automated betting is a very powerful tool when used in the right way at the right time. But it can also be devastating if you get it wrong.

The large choice of commercially available software has taken us away from the question of whether we should be automating our betting and into the question of which tool does the automation for us.

I should clarify for anyone who is a new reader of my articles, I love automated betting.

In fact, if it wasn’t for automation I probably wouldn’t be betting anymore.

So, this article isn’t going be to someone who is anti-betting bots bashing them

What I want to do today is make you question whether you should be using a betting bot and if it will help you improve your betting.

I’m going to ask you to be completely honest with yourself. Nobody else will ever know your answers. This is just for you personally.

With that in mind, please answer this question:

Why do you want to automate your betting?

The answer to this question is critical. And, if everyone is honest, more than 90% of the readers of this article will be knocked out of considering a betting bot at this stage.

If your answer is similar, in any way, to…

I want to build an automatic income stream
Because I don’t have enough time to analyse races
I’m looking for a way to place bets without me having to monitor the market

Then you almost certainly shouldn’t be looking to use a betting bot.

There are a few exceptions to that rule, but we’ll come to those later.

I’m going to start with: I want to build an automatic income stream

This is a serious desire for a lot of punters. And there are plenty of websites out there that will cater to this desire in order to sell you their products.

However, the Race Advisor isn’t one of those. So if that’s what you’re looking for then you’re going to be better off looking somewhere else.

Because the reason the Race Advisor was started was to share with you the truth about making a living from your betting.

Yes, it’s awesome when you’re doing it.

But… there is no secret way to get there, no automatic money machine and no silver bullet.

All there is, is hard work, dedication and the ability to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses.

If you think that you can do all those things. Then I’m pretty sure we can make you profitable!

So, with that in mind, if you’re looking to make an automatic income stream then the first thing you must do is make a manual one.

If you can’t do it manually, then there is no way that you’ll be able to do it automatically.

It’s only by knowing exactly what needs to be done manually that you can discover which parts of your process can be automated.

All this means is that if a moment ago, when you honestly answered that question to yourself, you said anything similar to building an automatic income. Then you are not in the right place to use a betting bot. Yet.

The next answer was: Because I don’t have enough time to analyse races

Did you give an answer similar to this in any way?

If you did then you are also not ready to use a betting bot, with one exception… you’re already making massive profits and a change in lifestyle means you can no longer dedicate the same amount of time to this each day.

With that exception, it’s time to start considering how to automate your betting. But you need to go through the method of doing this correctly. And I’ll look at that shortly.

However, if you’re not already making great profits and you’re looking to find a way to analyse more races by automating then you’re going about it the wrong way.

What you need to do is analyse less races. In fact you should only be analysing the amount of races each day that you have the time to do.

But there are loads of races, how will you choose which ones to start with?

And that is the key. You SHOULDN’T be analysing a ton of races.

You should be focusing on a niche. If you are trying to analyse more races because the more you analyse then the better chance you have at winning, you’re always going to struggle to make a profit.

Trust me, I know because I’ve been there.

You can save a lot of time and money by scaling right down. Choose the type of race conditions that interest you the most and then focus just on them.

If you’re getting more than five races a day, then you haven’t narrowed down your race conditions enough.

And finally that brings us to: I’m looking for a way to place bets without me having to monitor the market

Again there if you’re already making great profits but you need to monitor the markets and no longer are able to, a betting bot is probably going to be the right step for you to take.

But if you’re looking to monitor the markets because you’re using an approach that requires this and you want to bet every day, even though you’re not making great profits yet.

Then you don’t want to automate your betting.

Instead you should only be betting on the days where you can monitor the markets.


Because if you don’t watch the markets for yourself then you won’t fully understand how they work with your selections.

If you don’t fully understand how a market works for your selections, then there is no way you can make a betting bot do it for you.

A betting bot is just a tool. It will only do what we tell it to do. To make matters worse, compared to the human brain it’s a very blunt instrument. Which means we need to adjust what we do manually so that a betting boy can understand it.

This process of ‘dumbing down’ for the betting bot also brings with it a reduction in ROI and profits.

So, you need a deep understanding of how the markets work for your selections, when they can be false, what happens if they move the wrong way etc…

If you don’t have that, then a betting bot is simply going to lose you money faster than you ever could without it.

In summary, the question you need to ask yourself is why do you want to automate your betting?

Answer that, and you’ll know if the time is right or not.

Next week I’ll look at how to start automating your betting if you have determined you are ready.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. Hi Michael,

    One of the main reason’s I like using my betting Bot is that it takes the emotion out of my betting, especially when laying, which is my preference. Despite paper trading for moths before going live, it can still be extremely difficult at times, when the inevitable happens and things go wrong. At times such as this, the Bot just goes ahead regardless, whereas a human may either bottle out, or be hiding behind the sofa!!

    The major downside to a Bot in my experience is that they are not infallible, and at times bets do not get matched, no fault of the Bot, but it does happen from time to time.


    1. Thanks for the comment Gordon and some excellent advice. As you say, bots do have the excellent benefit of taking all emotion out of betting. A reason I use them as well. Do the bots you use allow you to define rules for when bets don’t get matched by certain times?

      1. Hi Michael,

        I use the GHB Lite, which is a fairly basic Bot. I have them set to fire in bets a close as possible to the off as possible, normally 30 secs or less. It has the option to go in-play if unmatched.
        Another big plus with a Bot is that it allows you to test ideas to very small stakes, I regularly run my Bots with 10p stakes. The GHB has the facility to paper trade, but the results it produces are meaningless, so small stakes allows testing in the real world with very limited liability.


        1. Ah, I know GHB and Malcolm well 🙂 a great piece of kit. Interesting about the results of GHB paper trading being meaningless, I assume this is due to it assuming you get matched even if you don’t?

  2. Hi Michael,

    I use a betting Bot to automate the calculations of the Lay and Back bets or Dutching and also to trade out using a predefined trailing Stop Loss on the ladder if things go wrong by hedging (greening or reding up automatically) when the profit target or maximum loss is reached (no hesitations nor second thoughts and, as Gordon said, no emotions (fear, greed, anger whatsoever).

    Moreover, if the trade is successful it can be automatically repeated by the Bot if set to do so. Actualy, I only do Pre Race trading or scalping the market looking for low risk, low return trading opportunities. The Golden Rule is to trade out just before the race kicks off and as you surely know the Bot indicates that very clearly.

    I am eaggerly waiting for your analyze and your opnion about the different Bots actually available on the market. I am happy with the one I’ve been using for 3 years now but I am sure there is still room for improvement.

    By the way, according to your experience, in pre-race market conditions, is it more profitable to do scalping or rather place swing trades mainly based on early morning prices looking especially for Steamers and Drifters or is there eventually a Bot or software able to spot those early market movements ?

    Thank you for your comments and advise and keep up the good work.


    1. Thank you for the comment JP. Which bot are you currently using? I’m wondering what kind of technology it uses to replicate a trade and how detailed the replication is.In terms of pre-race markets, you can do well using either technique. TBH the best is to use both if you’re personality is suited to both types of trading.

  3. Hi Micheal,

    Thank you for your quick answer.

    Currently I am using the latest version of Fairbot (Binteko for my pre-race scalping and swing trading purposes using the ladder option. The trading replication process is fully automated with the same preset stake amount, spread or ticks and trailing stop loss and you can even choose the number of times you want the successful trade to be repeated with or without cheking the fill or kill option.

    Now as there is 15 day free trial period available maybe could you simply donwload the trial version and see for yourself how it all works without any risk as there is a simulation option available ?

    If you prefer, you could also contact Andrey on my behalf at to ask him if you could review Fairbot together with other Bots actually available and maybe use this opportunity to ask him all the questions you may have on your mind regarding Fairbot. I am pretty sure he will be happy to accomodate you.

    Have a nice day,


    1. Thanks for letting me know JP. Fairbot used to be one of my favourite tools but unfortunately they don’t offer a version for Mac and I only use Mac’s now. So for trading I now use Racing Traders. I will definitely be in touch with Andrey regarding doing a review comparison along with all the other bots as well.

  4. Hi Michael,

    You’re welcome. Why not ask Andrey if he wouldn’t care to set up a Mac version ? I’ve also a Mac aside but for the moment use a windows PC to operate FairBot.

    By the way, I’ve noticed that repeated automated trading works fine when there is so to say a sudden “break out” (up or down) in prices, but not so well in a zigsaw market conditions which as you know is the case most of the time, except maybe in the 5 last minutes before the race gets off.

    I’ve read about an IP race trading technique called “dobbing”. Any idea, comment or post on that matter ?

    Oh, I’ve almost forgoten to mention your daily free guest tip today 12:55 Southwell (A.W) – Back – Queen Of Skies was spot on a winner even if only ranked second favorite. Keep sending them please…:-)



  5. Hi Michael,

    I’ve just finish to read your posts about Pace Rating and it really was an eye opener for me also a lot of very usefull information to digest, so I guess the best is to read it all over again and see how all this applies in real race and how it affects the odds both in pre race and in running while also keeping an eye on Dobbing opportunities.

    As to allthough I found some YouTube videos on this topic this website seem to be gone. Any suggestion how to find this information elsewhere ?

    By the way, I normally only short trade pre race odds and get out green or reding up when the race starts off. Problem is I have to monitor each race and stay in front of the computer 2 to 3 hours a day for and have no clue how the race is going to folded out. Moreover, it’s both tiring and time consuming.

    But yesterday I managed to place a free bet (trading money) on your free tip Queen of Skies and as you know it won and I called it a day.

    So, with your help and experience, I’d like to learn how to find some potential selections by myself using your Pace Rating technique and place some free Dobbing bets if pre race trading was successfull no matter how small the amout I could hedge. If the selection wins the better if not no harm done to the bank.

    By the way, I’ve tried to subscribe to your Magazine online but apparently subscription didn’t go through. Can you please put me on your list ? Thank you.

    Have a nice day and please keep me informed about your new post or any other information, suggestion or ideas you may have.

    Cheers ,


  6. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for the confirmation so I don’t have to look around the web to find it…:-)

    Is there some place or website where I can get some usefull form info, race comments and mayèbe also race video Live or eventually remote for free ?

    I live in Belgium (Brussels) and therefore I can’t watch the races live on TV, but maybe is there a way to do that on computer. I think this would probaly help me to maximize my in running trading operations, especially when to stay in the trade till the end or even more important, when to trade out to cut the losses. I suppose that there is always some delay. I have a broadband VDSL 2 cable internet connexion at home.

    Exactly that magazine you mentioned.

    By the way, what’s the monthly, quaterly, yearly cost of it please as there is apparenly no info except that the first month is free, right ?



    1. You can get race comments from most sites such as RP or Sporting Life, but only after the race. Racing Post Betting Site has in-running commentary but there’s quite a delay. I wouldn’t bother with any kind of internet tv for inplay trading, the delay is far to long to make it effective.

      The SmartSigger magazine is monthly at £4.75 per month after your first month which is free. You can cancel anytime in that month if you decide it isn’t for you and you won’t be charged.

  7. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for all this usefull information and advise (hence your name …:-) as well as for your posts on various horse racing topics, you’re really a man of the trade who knows what he is talking about…and I suppose Bookies don’t like you very much as a punter…:-)

    By the way, I’ve been paper trading DOBs for two days now with mixed results so far (more losses than wins), but I suppose I have to pass the learning curve about which race to select and the one to avoid.

    What about reducing the Lay bet percentage from 50% to 25% or even 10% of the Back bet stake ?

    I think that doing so, even with smaller returns but also smaller and fewer losses, it could rise the overall SR and still be profitable despite a small ROI…and, last but not least, it also let you to trade out or hedging green much quicker once the profit target is matched, avoiding the bank devastating final furlongs uppsets…After all for me as a trader, green is green and better one bird in the pan than two on a wire…:-)

    Of course you need, for example, to win ten races at 10€, or 4 at 25€ hedged average profit to equalize one straight winning Back bet or a DOB at 100€ profit…According to your experience, what is the best approach in a long term perspective ?

    By the way Micheal, do you think a RP monthly subscription (i.e The Essentials) would be usefull to refine the DOB selections or not ?

    If ever you come accross a new website giving usefull horse racing information for free, please let me know and I’ll do the same on my side.



    1. Thank you very much JP.

      Regarding dobbing, without much detail on what you’re doing I would say that you need to consider the selection process and race conditions further rather than the percentage trying to gain. Obviously the two do go hand in hand but you need to find horses that are consistently shortening in-running and once you have that you can then determine the best percentage drop for those selections.

      I couldn’t really answer about the RP question as I’m not a member. But it would depend on what other tools you have. My gut feeling would be that it is unlikely to help significantly as too many people have use that information to make it really useful.

  8. Patternform hasn’t “Gone” I’ve just been having problems with my hosting company – the server went belly up and they’ve been trying to fix it since 6-Dec. Anyway for the meantime I’ve created signed up with a new hosting company and have created – to be used until I get the www, site back from Nominet and into the hands of a new hosting company.

    It’s always worth having a look at the patternform facebook group – since that’s usually where I report problems

  9. Hi Michael

    A good article that raises some good points.

    I have used a bot for about 5 years now but for only two specific reasons.

    1) to avoid betting on a selection that is above my maximum price limit. ( normally max 20.00)

    2) to avoid betting in a race that has less than my preferred number of runners ( eg when late nr’s take the number of runners below 5 ).

    This has saved me countless hours by setting the bot and leaving it to run rather than having to stay in and watch the race right up to the off.

    I beleive bots can be a great device when used in the correct manner

  10. Hi Micheal,

    Thank you for the info about patternform and the link you gave works fine. A lot to test and to study, rereading your posts about “pace makes the race” and learn how to use and set the filters to find out the best selections which should be shortening their odds on a consistence basis looking for theTrue Favorites and avoiding the False ones. But what should I do if there are 2 joint favorites even sometimes 3 close odds in pre-race conditions ?

    For the moment, the only “No Bet filters” I use are “No Bet” if odds lower than evens because no value (odds son as you explained in one of you posts) and “No Bet” in short races (Spint races)as things can turn against you very fast as you know and if there are less than 5 runners. In those cases I only do Pre-race trading and get out when times up.

    About SportingLive, is it a free or paid subscription to have access to their information ?

    After 3 days of using the DOB technique i.e at 10% of the Back Bet stake, using only the 2 subjective filters mentioned above, the avg ROI is around 9.6%. Any idea how to use Patternform filters to improve the accuracy of the selections allowing to raise the DOB percentage at let’s say 25% or even 50% ?

    By the way, I watched some YouTube video’s about a Bot called BetTrader evolution and also read your review about it. But despite the candlesticks along the ladder (which give a clear picture of the market movements in Pre-race conditions, I still prefer to use Fairbot as there is a “Market watch list” allowing to review all you P/L for each race you selected at the end of your betting secession and report them manually to a XL sheet for your records and further calculations.

    Have a nice WE,


    1. Hi JP, the Sporting Life is free to use at

      Regarding how to use PatternForm, there is some really good information on their site which I recommend you read but without knowing what you’re doing at the moment, i.e. what races you’re using what the two subjective filters are, what your results are etc… it’s impossible for me to recommend possible changes.

      BetTrader is the software I use for trading because I like the way it works and… they have a Mac version 🙂

  11. Hi Micheal,

    As you know I am pre-race trader and a leek punter. For the moment I use to do Pre-Race trading and a 10% DOB in play if the trades were successful. I’ve decided to avoid both low odds (under 2.00) and 2 joint favorites situations.
    Now, as I only enter the in-play 10% DOB with the gained pre-race trade money, I am always in a free bet, no loss situation. Overall profits are small but, as you know, they tend pile up quite rapidly especially when you’re using a compounding bank percentage staking plan.

    As to BetTrader it looks quite appealling to me (especially the ladder candlestick feature) I’ve watched on various Youtube video’s. I think this fearure could really be a useful market indicator for pre-race trading, but for now I stick to FairBot as I’ve just renewed my yearly subscription two month ago.

    Wish you warm, cosy and joyfull Xmas days and a Happy, healty and prosperous New Year,


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