All trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.
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How to spread bet with IG

The principles of spread betting are the same wherever you go, but the way you do it can vary between providers. Here's a step-by-step guide to getting started with IG: opening an account, finding an opportunity and making your first trade.

All trading involves risk. Losses can exceed deposits.

Spread betting example

1. Open and fund your account

Creating an IG spread betting account is a straightforward process and usually takes only a few minutes to complete.

Once we've verified your identity and opened your account, you'll need to deposit some funds before you can deal. You can do this using your credit or debit card, or via bank transfer.

Try a demo account

If you'd rather take some time getting to know our platform  and apps without risking any real money, you can open a demo account which gives you £10,000 virtual funds to practise with.

3. Open a position

Once you’ve identified a market you think is going to move up or down, you're ready to place a deal. For instance if you think the Vodafone share price is about to go up, you can buy Vodafone; if you think it'll fall, you can sell.

When opening a position, there are few things to bear in mind:

1. Buy and sell prices

The prices for buying and selling Vodafone will be different. The difference in prices is called the spread. The price to buy will always be higher than the current underlying value of the asset you are dealing, and the price to sell will always be lower.

2. Bet size

Each of our markets has its own minimum bet size per point.

Our minimum for Vodafone, for instance, is £1 per point. A bet of this size will see you make (or lose) £1 for every point of movement in the Vodafone share price. Here, one point equates to one penny, so if the price of Vodafone increases by £1, you stand to make £100.

3. Expiry

You can choose between a daily funded bet (DFB) that remains open in effect indefinitely, and a longer term bet that will expire on a specified date.*

For more information on bet sizes and types of bet, see the components of a spread bet.

4. Stop-losses

To help restrict your potential losses, you can use a stop. Stops close a position once the market reaches a specified level (unless slippage occurs). You can set that level when you open the bet, or attach a standard stop to an open position. 

Guaranteed stops are also available – guaranteed stops are not susceptible to slippage, but must be placed before you open your position and will incur a fee if triggered.

To find out more about stops, see managing risk.

2. Find an opportunity

Once you're logged in to our platform or app, you can browse or search over 10,000 markets, including:

  • Forex
  • Indices
  • Shares
  • Commodities

Of course, with so many markets to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. That's why we offer a range of tools and resources to help you analyse markets and identify opportunities:

  • Our free essential charts give you a variety of tools for analysing market movements, with advanced options available
  • ProRealTime charting provides over 100 technical indicators and automated dealing at no extra cost if you transact at least four times in a given month, otherwise there is a £30 per month fee. We reserve the right to charge you for the service if your qualifying trades are of an extremely low value
  • Our team of experts provide up-to-the minute analysis of what's happening in the markets, including four live videostreams each day
  • Our market data pages provide a huge range of insights, from the day's most traded markets and biggest movers to current client sentiment and recent activity
  • Our economic calendar provides a full schedule of macroeconomic events and company announcements, showing previous, estimated and actual data
  • With our market screener, you can narrow down our list of share markets according to company fundamentals, location, index and industry sector
  • Our signals highlight potential deals by alerting you to significant trends or patterns, as identified by Autochartist technology and PIA-First analysts
  • Our range of alerts will help you keep in touch with what's going on in the markets

4. Monitor and close your position

You can view all your bets in the ‘open positions’ section of the dealing platform. The profit/loss column will contain details of how much you are currently making, or losing on each bet.

When you're ready to take your profit or cut your losses, providing the market is open you can close your bet by clicking on the market name and placing a bet in the opposite direction to your original bet (selling if you bought, buying if you sold).

Open an account now

It's free to open an account, takes less than five minutes, and there's no obligation to fund or trade.

You might be interested in...

  • Spread betting

    An overview of what IG offers for spread bettors of varying expertise

  • What is spread betting?

    Learn about the principles of spread betting, and the reasons why traders spread bet

  • CFDs vs spread betting

    Compare spread betting and CFD trading; see the features and benefits of each

* DFBs have an arbitrary expiry in the future. DFBs offer our tightest spreads but are subject to a funding adjustment each night. The cost of holding a quarterly bet to expiry is built into the spread.

Contact us

We're here 24hrs a day from 8am Sunday to 10pm Friday,
and 9am to 5pm Saturday.

0800 195 3100

You can also email us at newaccounts.uk@ig.com