Like the spread betting platform itself, deal tickets vary between providers, though they all follow the same basic principles. To give you an idea of how they work, we’ll use IG’s version as an example.
Whenever you select a market to bet on, you’ll be presented with a deal ticket. This is where you make your essential dealing decisions.
Size: Enter your bet size, which defines how much you’ll gain or lose for every point the market moves. Just underneath, you can see your minimum bet size for that market.
Currency: Some providers allow you to change the currency of your bet – for example, instead of betting 10 GBP per point, you could bet 10 USD per point. It will normally be set to GBP by default.
Buy/Sell boxes: These are populated with live market prices, and they’re constantly updated. As soon as you enter your bet size, the boxes will light up red (for ‘sell’) or blue (for ‘buy’) to indicate your deal is ready to be submitted. You can click your preferred direction to place your bet.
Force open: This setting enables you to have two positions in different directions open at the same time on the same market. Usually if you try to open a new position in the opposite direction to an existing position, they will ‘net off’, and both positions will close. For example, if you were to place a bet to buy Vodafone at £10 per point, then try to open a new position selling Vodafone at £10 per point, you’d actually close your original ‘buy’ bet. If you’d have ticked the ‘force open’ button while opening the ‘sell’ bet, however, you’d have ended up with two separate open positions.
Margin required: As soon as you enter your bet size, your provider will be able to calculate your initial deposit or margin for that position. On the IG ticket this is shown at the very bottom, and represents how much money you need to put up to open your bet.
Some providers offer advanced options which can help increase the chances of your deal getting accepted when betting in large sizes.
Most providers offer ways for you to close your bet automatically, should the market move a certain amount up or down. These are called stops and limits.
Stop: As a way of controlling your risk, you can use a stop to make sure your bet is closed automatically if the market moves against you by a specified distance. So you might, for example, attach a stop 20 points away, meaning your position will be closed as soon as it loses 20 points in value. Some providers allow you to choose whether your stop is based on the number of points the market moves, or amount of money lost.
Limit: A limit works the opposite way to a stop, closing your deal once your bet has moved a predefined distance in your favour. Again, you can sometimes choose whether this is based on points or money gained.
Other stop types: Some providers offer a range of other stops that you can use to your advantage in certain situations.
Order to open
If you don’t want to deal at the current price, you can set up a bet to open only when a market reaches a certain price. This is called an order to open.
Current level: This shows you the current buy and sell prices for the market.
Direction: Here you decide whether to buy or sell at the specified order level.
Order level: This is the market price at which you want your bet to open.
Size: Where you enter your bet size (in an amount per point).
Type: There are two types of order to open. If you want your bet to open at a less favourable price than the market's current level (that is, if you wish to buy at a higher price than the current level, or sell at a lower price) you’ll select a stop order to open. If your bet is set to open at a more favourable price (that is, if you wish to buy at a lower price than the current level, or sell at a higher price) you’ll select a limit order to open.
Currency: Again, some providers allow you to change the currency of your bet.
Time in force
Because your order depends on the market hitting a certain price at some point in the future, you also need to specify how long it’ll remain active.
Good till cancelled: Until triggered, your order will remain active unless you cancel it.
Good till date/time: You can choose an expiry date and time for your order.
Just like a normal bet, you’re able to add a stop or a limit – though these will only apply if the order is actually triggered. Keep in mind that stop and limit distances are relative to your order level, and not the market’s current price.
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