There comes a point when all sports traders realise the Betfair website platform is quite limited in it’s ability to take advantage of market movements and place entries and exits quickly enough for successful trading.
This doesn’t apply to all methods, the lay the draw method for example can be employed perfectly fine just using the browser. But various other methods such as in play racing trading and pre-race trading can not be done safely without instant submission software.
Over the years I have tried out most dedicated trading programs. Some I loved and some I hated, but most of the main contenders will provide just about everything the average trader could need. There are three of these main contenders, all three have a few of their own unique benefits and drawbacks, making it a fairly personal choice for each trader but I will of course offer my personal opinion.
1. Gruss Betting Assistant
This scrapes through for my top vote for the best all-round trading software package for beginners. The primary reason for this is price. I have always believed Bet Angel (mentioned next below) was the most powerful software and it probably still is, but it is expensive. This is why Gruss takes my vote for best Betfair trading software currently available.
Gruss is a fantastic piece of software. The price is a very reasonable £6 per month or £60 per year. That’s less than half the price of Bet Angel. Can it do everything Bet Angel can do? No. But for me, most of the extra bells and whistles in Bet Angel are surplus to requirements. Don’t get me wrong, BA’s extra features are pretty neat! But for beginner’s I just don’t think they’re worth the extra spend.
Gruss has excellent charts and everything you need to see when trading the pre-race markets (my main use for software) is clearly displayed right under your nose near where you are clicking, this makes split second decisions to back a steamer or lay a drifter as easy and uncomplicated as possible. It also has a nifty feature for opening up Betfair live video feed (important for in-play racing trading) right there inside the software. This is extremely useful and I know people who chose Gruss purely for that feature.
Gruss Betting Assistant was built by two brothers, Mark and Gary, and they do a fantastic job of supporting their customers. When you are trading for a living, and when your trading software plays such a vital role in that business, having fast and efficient support staff is vital. Bet Angel is big, and they do support their customers well, but Gruss still has that small “family business” feel (because it is exactly that) and I personally like that a lot. But then I am the type of person who goes to a little back street hardware shop for a 3 inch countersunk screw, rather than queuing up behind 200 families in B&Q to buy a blister pack of cheap Chinese mass-produced junk. 🙂
In terms of usability and functionality, I can’t fault the Gruss program in any way. It’s reliable, fast, and a pleasure to use. The settings are quite intuitive and easy to work with. You can play with colours and layouts to your heart’s content. I am fussy about how my ladders look when I am trading so I like the flexibility Gruss offers, everything is tunable and customisable. The quick pop-open charts under the ladders are a great idea, and really useful when assessing a horse’s prior trend during the morning before the trading period.
As far as value for money goes, I think Gruss takes the biscuit.
2. Geek’s Toy
This to me is a bit of a ‘Marmite’ program. Many people absolutely love it, and it gained a massive following due to being free, then very very cheap (a fiver if I remember right) for many years, some time ago now. It is fast and powerful, not as well laid out or as pretty as Gruss, but at the price that didn’t bother many people way back when, so it’s following grew to an army of newbies and semi-professional users (and some pros too of course). I know people who use GT daily and absolutely swear by it.
I personally never liked it, I just wasn’t keen on the screen layout and colours etc. I wasn’t hard up enough to be pushed into it by a free or very cheap price tag, so I suppose that’s why it didn’t get enough time on my machine to get me hooked like it did so many others! But remember I am fussy and I like what I like! I also get a lot of “screen headaches” so if something doesn’t work nicely on my eyes, it’s a bin job for me, and sadly Geek’s Toy didn’t suit my visual needs and therefore never got much of a seat at my trading table.
Having said that, virtually everybody I know who has tried it, liked it. A very good friend of mine uses it daily, and it’s far more powerful than it was in the early days.
Whether or not it’s the best Betfair trading software will always be a personal opinion rather than a fact. However it’s worth noting that Geek’s Toy is the most commonly used trading software package in use today. I am sure the price has a lot to do with that, especially the historically low price which got many traders hooked on it early on in their careers. However, just because it is cheap, don’t think it can’t do everything you need. If you are on a tight budget but you do want to start trading with proper order submission software, you would be crazy not to try out “the Geek”!
3. Bet Angel Professional
Well the name is apt, it’s extremely professional. I have used Bet Angel for everything from trading horses in-running through to pre-race scalping, from laying the draw in league football games to backing the server when I am trading tennis! Bet Angel is one very powerful package, and with a very nicely organised interface which is easy on the eye and is nothing short of functionally perfect.
Peter Webb is a well-known full time Betfair trader and he designed Bet Angel to suit his own trading needs with a heavy emphasis on charting. Over the years he added elements to it for trading football and tennis among other things. I personally find some of these things surplus to my needs, but I can’t fault the software in any way. It’s absolutely jam-packed with clever but useful features.
So why don’t I rate Bet Angel as number one? Well, it’s just the price really. It’s expensive at £150 per year. Of course that’s a snip if you’re trading full time but I know most of my readers are not there yet, and so the price does (so they tell me) grate people a little bit. I have to say though, if you get into detailed charting then Bet Angel really does come into its own.
It’s a personal choice whenever you’re choosing the type of program you’re going to be using for hours every single day. Bet Angel is a cracking program, but you can definitely learn to trade (and keep trading for ever) using either Gruss or Geek’s Toy so it’s not a requirement to use it. Bet Angel offer a free trial so if you want the charting options or just like the look of the software, you might as well try it out.
P.S. Just to be fair I ought to mention Bet Trader Evolution. The reason it doesn’t factor in my top three is simply because it is browser-based, I prefer locally installed software. For Mac users it’s a great program definitely worth looking at. Just thought I would mention it, I have used it (many years ago now) and I have to say I found it excellent, it’s just the web-based thing which bugs me so I don’t use it. I like locally installed software more than web-based programs. Worth a look if you are trying out the various software packages.