Bots were always surrounded by an aura of mystery and fascination, sometimes regarded as magical tools capable of guaranteeing massive profits, true “money machines”!
The reality is very different though and the ultimate objective of this article is to finally put this question to rest, showing clearly what a bot can (and can’t) do for the bettor.
1. With a bot I will always turn a profit?
A bot does nothing beyond what it is programed to do. If we tell a bot to open a Lay position at 1.15 on the home team that is winning after the 75th minute, it will do so without thinking twice time and time again or until your bank runs dry! But what guarantees that that is the winning strategy? Who tells me that I will win money on the long run by faithfully running these steps?
A bot will give you money yes, but only if it is programmed with a winning strategy.
I usually say that, the work of coding a bot is only 1% of all the work needed, the remaining 99% are all about the (sometimes unrewarding) work of developing, testing and perfecting a winning strategy.
So, if you intend on creating a bot, focus first on the strategy and, only then, when everything is finely tuned get into the programming technicalities of its creation.
If you can consistently profit with a strategy, then you have 99% of your work done. Which leads us to our second point.
2. Any strategy can be coded into a bot?
A bot has some important limitations that should not be overlooked by the bettor.
Even the most talented of programmers will have a hard time “showing” a bot certain aspects that, sometimes, might be crucial to a winning strategy.
For instance, how do we tell a bot that a team is turning the pressure up during a match? How would a bot tell if a team is more actively searching for a goal than the other?
This is a truly unsurpassable barrier and, as such, if your strategy uses a subjective analysis of the actual match moment it cannot be coded into a bot.
3. With a bot I will always be ahead of my fellow bettors?
A bot is fast! Faster than any human can hope to be!
On a fraction of a second a bot is capable of preforming calculations and comparisons between a large number of different markets which would take a normal bettor several minutes to perform, stopping him from taking advantages of some truly lucrative opportunities.
There is an important point, however, that many times seems to be neglected by bettors: a bot is also subject to the 8 second delay (in live) between bet placement and bet acceptance. So, even if you can identify a great opportunity on 2 or more different markets, the bot will take exactly the same 8 seconds that a human would to place its bet.
Summarizing, a bot is fast (true) but is also subject to the same rules and limitations as a human bettor.
4. Once a bot is ready, I don’t have to do anything else?
Betfair’s markets are constantly shifting! There is a very perceptible evolution on the way that the markets interact. The Under Goals will keep dropping as time goes by, the Over Goals will continue to climb, the Draw will keep going down (if no goals appear), etc. The profit though, is on the odd variation subtleties which are always changing, because of this a bot must always be kept under vigilance.
Adaptation is the key to success and a bot that is stagnant in time is bound to fail on the long run.
Fact: The strategy that today works like a charm, tomorrow might not work at all.
5. Only experienced programmers can construct bots?
Although some bot programming knowledge is required (namely object oriented languages like C#, VB.Net, or Java), there are some solutions available that give you the option to create these kinds of resources without a lot of technical savvy. For instance, BetAngel allows some very interesting interactions with Excel, with the user only needing some knowledge about VBA to build some very interesting bots.
If the objective, however, is to build something much more customizable and perfected, the user will inevitable have to use some more advanced programming language. Even in these cases, with the amount of free modules available online, only some basic /medium knowledge is needed to “put the pieces together” and build something functional.
6. With a bot I can have much more discipline
A bot, if properly programmed respecting healthy bank management criteria, becomes a tool 100% free of panic crisis, which will prevent the bettor from falling into suicidal red recovery bets, as we so many times see here.
Truth be told, it isn’t easy to “eat” a red! Men is an emotional being ant it is very tough to admit that we were wrong, being confronted with the palpable outcome of our mistakes (the reds) is even tougher. It is this lack of an ability to deal with negative situations that sometimes makes bettors place some absurd bets with the slim hope of recovering from a recent mistake. It is usual that, on the attempt to recover 5 or 10% of their losses, they risk 50 or 60% of their remaining bank.
Unfortunately, the results tend to be negative again and the consequence is usually bankruptcy.
A bot, on other hand, does not have this predisposition. As long as the rules are set he will follow them to the letter and will not get carried away with false and sometimes disastrous hopes. This, in my opinion, is one of the greatest advantages of using bots on betfair.
I hope this article was able to enlighten you about the bot “world”.
See you next time!