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'A comprehensive guide to using the Betfair API in order to create and implement automatic betting strategies' - Tom Johnson, Head of API Product Development, Betfair
'for anyone considering using the Betfair API, Automatic Exchange Betting will help you get up and running as painlessly as possible' - Racing Post [read the full review]
Up to now, there hasn't been a book aimed specifically at punters who want to use their computers as part of the betting process, but Colin Magee has filled the gap.
Magee's book covers the building blocks you need to write your own betting software using the Betfair API (application programming interface), which allows you to do everything from logging in to your account to capturing market data, placing bets and withdrawing money - you could, if you wanted to, simply use it to create your own customised Betfair interface.
However, you still need to use some sort of programming language to make a connection between the exchange and your client program, which will make your betting decisions and put your bets on.
The examples given in the book all use Perl and MySQL running in a Linux environment, all of which are powerful, free to download and well documented.
Magee explains most of the tasks you will need to carry out, from dissecting the betting process, to setting up your computer, retrieving data from the internet, making selections and getting your software to run to a schedule which, as it says in the chapter heading, is the key to automation.
All of the topics are illustrated by code samples, which are discussed in detail, and while the example systems in the book are racing ones - one using a commercial form database, the other using data taken from the Racing Post website - the principles involved could be applied equally to any Betfair market.
By the time you have finished, you will have a library of Perl subroutines for carrying out the most common tasks needed for any application.This book is as readable as you would expect such a title to be but getting the most out of it - indeed, getting anything out of it - will mean rolling your sleeves up and putting in some hard work and, as anyone who is dabbled in writing code knows, there's a fine line between "just half an hour, then" and "is it 4am already?"
New programmers, in particular, can expect a steep learning curve. The author does not assume a prior knowledge of programming but neither does he give a gentle introduction for newbies - the reading list at the back will come in handy.
Punters who are already writing their own bots will have thought about and found their own solutions for the problems presented by Magee, but for anyone considering using the Betfair API, Automatic Exchange Betting will help you get up and running as painlessly as possible.Racing Post