One of the biggest issues that people new to ASP trading have is that they try to be too rigid with the rules. Once you have absorbed the information and have a good grasp of the objective with ASP you can relax those rules a little if you so wish (slowly) over time.

Clearly you need a set of rules to get you going at the beginning otherwise you would have no starting point. And you always need a framework to follow at first but, because football is such an unpredictable game, it does not pay to be so rigid and inflexible in your approach that you effectively tie your hands behind your back and cannot relax that framework in time.

Fundamentally ASP commences with two opposites that you put into play that are as far apart as they can be, this never really changes. This is the starting point because we know, for an absolute certainty, that both of these starting positions cannot be losing positions but both can and mostly are (if we do the right games) winning positions. One counters or balances the other. I refer of course to 0-0 and ANY OTHER (home/away) WIN.

Prior to the big Betfair change on correct scores in December 2014, ANY OTHER (home win/away win/draw) was of course ANY UNQUOTED and all 3 of the current ANY OTHER areas were covered by that one thing. But the main principle has never changed with ASP. The score-line 0-0 on the one hand and at one end of the scale is balanced by the catch all 4 goals to one team bet at the other end (or of course 4 goals to each team – so rare as to hardly merit a mention).

I, like most people who have used ASP for a while, have my own particular style of trading and because I have been trading football for a very, very long time on Betfair (and other exchanges) I have the ability to vary my play based on instinct and experience. When you are new to football trading you don’t have that YET. So you need rules and you need a clear approach to begin with until you can be a little more flexible yourself.

I will sometimes (but not often) move outside of the ASP rules altogether by simply dropping 0-0 out of the equation if, for example, I am trading a more speculative game with very low ANY OTHER odds.

Another thing I do is I will sometimes wait until very late into the first half to lay 0-0. I will sometimes even just lay 0-0 and wait for a goal before laying ANY OTHER and, sometimes, I will even wait for a goal before I do anything at all.

Those types of variations are way too much to get into when you are new to trading because to explain when they are likely to work and when they are likely to be acceptable and when they are not would take far too long for anyone to attempt.

They can easily be summarised though.

If I believe the market is overestimating the chances of a 4 goal domination by one side (reflected in very low odds for any other home or away win) I will sometimes lay Any Other to back up that belief but I am always:

a) prepared to take this risk as everything I ever trade is (and has been for some years) traded out of profit and

b) experienced enough to trade out of most situations. That’s me and you need to be aware of your own trading level/ability.

However; small variations can be implemented by most people easily enough at any time.

A common one is to stagger your lays into 0-0. The best variant of this (I believe) is to probably lay a quarter or a fifth of your intended total 0-0 lay at or pre kick-off and then to gradually drip the rest of the lay in over the next 20 to 25 minutes. The advantage of this is that, if there is no first half goal, you have reduced your 0-0 liability (sometimes quite substantially). The downside is that if there is a goal and it is early on and before you got all of your intended lay on, then you have less in the pot for potential profit.

Whether you stagger and drip your 0-0 lay in or not, be warned that one of the most common and biggest starting issues that new traders have is the 0-0 at half-time situation. For some reason the assumption is made that 0-0 at half-time means that action must be taken to rid oneself of the entire 0-0 liability at half-time.

I would argue that whilst it is always ideal to have killed off 0-0 liabilities by half-time it is not essential at all and if you have dripped your lay in, the opportunity to delay on this becomes more obvious.

There are always 3 ways to deal with any 0-0 liability and they are:

  1. Ignore it all together if you feel threatened (never recommended).
  2. Absolutely clear it all or as much as you can as soon as you are aware of the problem (sometimes a good move).
  3. Allow yourself time to clear the balance after clearing a good chunk of it as soon as you are aware of the problem (often a good move).

Relating that more specifically to 0-0 and this would be:

  1. Ignore the 0-0 liability.
  2. Clear all of the 0-0 liability even if that creates an absolute loss everywhere else.
  3. Clear as much 0-0 liability as you can without plunging everything else into liability and accept a loss on 0-0 if it stays at that score-line for the whole game – thus giving yourself a chance to do something else if a goal comes.

Naturally the threat time for 0-0 is the point at which the odds are starting to approach a painfully low level where using all of your potential profit pot is essential to get out of the liability. To put some figures on that, using simple sums and ignoring commision:

If you layed 0-0 for £10 at odds of 11 (-£100 liability) and you also layed ANY OTHER for £10 at odds of 11 (-£100 liability) you have put a £20 potential profit on all of the other possible score-lines. You have also reduced the liability on each by £10 because of the counter lays so you now have a -£90 liability on 0-0 and a -£90 liability on ANY OTHER.

If, at 35 minutes in, the score is 0-0 and the odds on 0-0 are now 5.5 then you need to use all of your £20 potential profit to clear the 0-0 liability completely. That then leaves you with either a £0 win or a -£110 loss (should the game go to 4-0 to the side you have layed in ANY OTHER). It is now a -£110 loss because you added a further -£20 liability to ANY OTHER when you backed 0-0 for £20.

If, on the other hand, you were to use £15 to back 0-0 leaving £5 of your remaining potential profit pot, you would have only a -£22.50 remaining 0-0 liability. And perhaps a goal comes in taking that liability away completely. As the goal is late in the game it is highly likely (if you wish to) that you can still then use that £5 to clear the -£105 liability you have on ANY OTHER – after all you only need odds of 22 there to do this and as the game is well into the 2nd half you can be pretty sure you will have the odds there.

How much, how soon and other such questions can only be answered by you in-game based on where you are and what liabilities you have. Relating directly to that, it is, in my opinion, always best to use smaller stakes (but over more games) than bigger stakes over less games. If you are facing a -£10 loss on one game but you have 4 others in-play that are looking good for £4 or £5 profit each, then overall you are doing fine.

So, in summary:

Don’t feel that you have to lay 0-0 in one go, it’s ok to drip it in even if that is maybe £1 or 50p at a time. I have and still do use both methods, all in at the start and drip in over time and I decide based on soccerway data and the historic scoring patterns of the teams involved (how often they score early etc). If I do not have much in the way of data (very likely to be the case in the Euros) then I will default to the drip it in method. The worst that can happen then is don’t make as much as I could have done on a game.

Don’t tie yourself up in knots by assuming that you need to be fully out of your 0-0 liability by half time. YES it is ideal if you can be but often another chance will come later. Compromise is best, get out of some of it (most of it if possible) and don’t be frightened to leave some for later.

ASP is a long-term strategy that will be profitable with consistency and courage.