Automated spread betting

A wide range of powerful technology is available to take the legwork out of spread betting, helping you to identify new opportunities and manage your positions more effectively.

The simplest form of automation comes from using stop and limit orders, which will act to open or close positions for you when a price hits a certain level. We cover these in detail in course 2 and course 5, so here we’ll focus on some of the more sophisticated tools for automated spread betting.

When you become a confident spread bettor, automating some processes can save you time and help make you money

Building dealing strategies

You can create specific dealing strategies which can be implemented by a computer algorithm on your behalf. This is a way to build on the dealing discipline and structure you follow in your spread betting plan.

Essentially, you instruct the dealing platform to open and close positions for you based on parameters you define, such as:

  • Specific technical indicators
  • Risk management triggers
  • Market high, low, opening or closing levels
  • Current market prices

The platform software will normally take you through an assisted process to build each strategy. An example step from the popular ProRealTime chart analysis and dealing software package is shown below. However, if you have the necessary skills you can even code your own algorithms. 

Assisted back-test creation in ProRealTime | Automated Spread Betting |

Alternatively, it’s very easy to find pre-built strategies online for the popular spread betting software packages. You can import these into your platform and use them yourself, or export your own strategies to share with others. For example, on the MT4 platform, you can import or export automated dealing programmes called expert advisers (EAs)


Having created an automated spread betting strategy, you can then find out how well it’s likely to work in practise using a backtest.

This involves running a simulation of your intended strategy against a period of historical market data. Ideally, your platform will hold an extensive archive of past data for you to test against. You run the simulation, the software reconstructs the positions that would have been opened and their outcomes, and you receive a report to show how your strategy would have performed.

You can then make tweaks and retest as necessary until you’re happy to set the strategy live.

Remember, however, that past performance of markets or strategies are not necessarily a guide to future performance.

Learn more about spread betting

The courses on this site are designed to introduce the key concepts of spread betting. To explore the subject further, subscribe to the IG channel on YouTube, where you can find an extensive archive of educational guides plus daily market analysis and more. 

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