MetaTrader 4 Spread Betting


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Each month we update average spreads data published by the brokers the retail brokers lose %

Fact Checked

Written by Justin Grossbard

Edited by Laura Wolfe

Fact Checked by Justin Hertzberg

Edited by Laura Wolfe

Fact Checked by Justin Hertzberg

MT4 spread betting allows UK traders to bet on the financial markets rising or falling in a tax-free environment. The spread bet MT4 platform is the most popular in the UK based on its functionality and automation tools.


MetaTrader 4 (MT4) is the most popular spread betting platform in the market. Developed Metaquotes, MT4 a good range of charts, advanced trading tools for technical analysis and Expert Advisors (EAs) for automation and for creating custom indicators.

Given spread betting is a popular form of derivatives trading that allows you to speculate on the markets without actually owning the underlying asset, using MetaTrader 4 for spread betting is a safe and reliable choice.

Why Spread Bet with MT4?

There are several good reasons why you may wish to choose MT4 as your spread betting platform. Given the tools required to spread bet are the same as you found in a good CFD trading platform, it follows that since MT4 is the most popular for CFD trading (a far more common form for derivatives trading), it will be a good choice for spread betting too.

MT4 is tailored to the unique needs of spread bettors, equipped with advanced technical analysis tools and features for automated trading. This makes MT4 an ideal trading platform for engaging in spread betting across a diverse range of financial instruments, including forex, indices, and cryptocurrencies.

The versatility of MT4 extends beyond spread betting; it is also the platform of choice globally for CFD trading. The dual capability is a significant advantage for traders, providing the flexibility to switch effortlessly between spread betting and CFD trading.

1. Wealth of Technical Indicators

MT4 is renowned for its wealth of powerful technical indicators, essential for traders looking to analyse and forecast market movements. The platform’s extensive range of technical indicators allows for detailed market analysis, catering to both novice and experienced traders.

These tools enable traders to forecast price directions, detect trends, and set support/resistance levels effectively.

Key Features of MT4’s Technical Analysis Tools include:

  • 30 Built-in Technical Indicators: for analysing market trends and patterns.
  • Over 2,000 Free Custom Indicators: enhanced analytical capabilities
  • 700 Paid Indicators: for traders seeking more specialised, advanced tools
  • 24 Analytical Objects: to forecast future price dynamics
  • 9 Timeframes: for detailed quote dynamics analysis

2. Top Charting Tools

MT4’s flexibility extends to its top charting tools. Traders can open an unlimited number of interactive charts, customise their appearance, and apply various graphical objects and indicators to them. This interactivity, combined with real-time zoom and scroll functions, makes MT4 a highly adaptable platform for technical analysis.

You can select drawing tools like trend lines, and add indicators like the Fibonacci retracement tool to your charts, which is useful in the complex world of spread betting. As well as being able to select from bar, candlestick and line charts, you can also customise charts by creating custom chart templates.

3. Friendly User Interface

MT4 is renowned for its friendly user interface, catering to both beginners and experienced spread bettors.

Its intuitive design simplifies navigation and you can tailor the platform to your individual trading needs and preferences thanks to endless customisation options.

The platform also offers quick access to useful features including technical analysis tools, automated trading capabilities and custom indicators.

mt4 friendly user interface

4. Automated Trading With Expert Advisors

MT4 excels in automated trading, particularly through its use of Expert Advisors (EAs). This feature allows traders to automate their trading strategies, offering a significant advantage whilst spread betting.

MT4 is equipped with the MQL4 programming language, tailored for creating sophisticated trading robots and technical indicators. This language is specifically designed for developing trading strategies, offering traders high efficiency and flexibility in automating their trading processes.

With MQL4, users can build, test, and refine their Expert Advisors (EAs) to execute trades automatically.


5. Award Winning Platform

MT4 is an award-winning platform, with multiple awards since its launch in 2005. Key awards include ‘best FX trading platform’, ‘best multi-asset trading platform’ and ‘best trading platform’ overall by leading online knowledge trading hub, Finance Magnates.

Winning multiple awards gives MT4 an extra credibility and trust factor, as a leading platform that’s respected amongst its industry peers. The consistency of MT4’s awards highlights a reliability and longevity that few trading platforms can boast.

6. Customisable And Flexible

MT4 is highly customisable and flexible to your trading style and preferences as a spread bettor. We’ve listed the key ways you can customise your MT4 platform below.

  • Chart Objects: You can customise your charts through objects you want from the toolbar, simply by clicking on the chart. You can draw simple objects like vertical, horizontal and trendlines, as well as more advanced tools such as a Fibonacci retracement.
  • Indicators: Indicators, such as trends, oscillators and custom moving averages, can be added to charts for technical analysis. You do this by dragging your chosen indicator from the navigator window and dropping it on the chart. You can then customise how the indicator is displayed.
  • Add-ons: Add-ons are designed to help you customise the MT4 platform to your trading style and goals. Popular add-ons include a mini terminal, stealth orders and an alarm manager.


7. Most Popular Platform

Developed by MetaQuotes in 2005, MT4 is the most popular trading platform in the world. While MT4 is most widely used for forex trading and CFD trading, it has also become a popular platform for spread bettors.

The reason for MT4’s enduring popularity is largely due to the platform’s reliability, user-friendly interface and advanced trading tools. Perhaps the most popular trading tool is MT4’s Expert Advisors (EAs), which was one of the most powerful innovations for the MT4 platform. EAs are designed to automate the trading process.

MT4 is also a free trading platform, there is no cost to use it, this combined with its popularity is why more brokers offer the platform to their clients than any other.

Despite many innovations in trading technology since its release, MT4 has remained consistently popular for almost 20 years.

8. Social Trading With Signals

MT4 offers social trading with ‘Trading Signals’, which allows you to automatically copy the deals performed by other traders in real time. Many successful traders have shared their forex trades in public access either for free or for a reasonable fee, becoming signal providers.

You can access over 3200 free and commercial signals on the MT4 website and on the Signals tab of your MT4 trading platform. If you are a successful trader, you can also become a signal provider and share your trading strategy with millions of other traders to earn fees from your subscribers.

Is MT4 Suitable For Beginners?

Yes, MT4 is suitable for beginners. Its user-friendly interface and customisable features make it accessible for those new to trading. Additionally, it offers a range of educational resources and demo accounts, allowing beginners to learn and practice trading in a risk-free environment.

While MT4 is great for beginners, we came up with our list of best platforms for beginners for spread betting, to give you a variety of spread betting brokers to choose from.

Who Is The Best MT4 Broker For Spread Betting?

From our extensive analysis, Pepperstone stands out as the best spread betting MT4 broker overall. With tight spreads similar to ECN pricing and high-speed execution, the award-winning broker offers an optimal trading environment for both beginner and experienced UK traders.

As well as low spreads, Pepperstone also provides access to a wide range of spread betting markets, including forex, indices, and commodities, making it a versatile choice for spread betting enthusiasts. Pepperstone even took out the ADVFN international financial awards for the best spread betting broker in 2023.

For more options, we came up with the 10 best spread betting brokers in the UK so you can compare other spread betting brokers before making your final choice.


Pepperstone ReviewVisit Pepperstone

What Mobile Apps Are Available On MT4?

MT4 can be downloaded as a free mobile app for iOS and Android-powered smartphones and tablets. The mobile versions are designed with a focus on user-friendliness and accessibility, so you can place spread bets on the go.
Key features of MT4 mobile apps include:

  • Interactive Quote Charts: Provides detailed and responsive charting capabilities for thorough market analysis.
  • Comprehensive Trading Orders: Includes a full set of trading orders, such as market, pending, and stop orders.
  • Analytical Tools: Access to popular technical analysis tools for informed trading decisions.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface, suitable for traders of all experience levels.
  • Trade History Access: This enables traders to view and track their trading history directly from the app.
  • Instant Execution of Trades: Facilitates quick and easy execution of buy and sell orders.
  • Communication Tools: Features like in-app chat allow for convenient communication with other traders.
  • Real-Time Notifications: Push notifications to keep traders updated on market developments and trading opportunities.
  • Seamless Integration: Offers a consistent trading experience across desktop and mobile platforms.

We ranked our top brokers with the best spread betting apps in the UK, to give you a range of options to choose from.


What Markets Can You Access MT4 For?

MetaTrader 4 provides access to a range of markets, including forex, indices, cryptocurrencies, and commodities via CFDs Although it is most commonly associated with forex trading, MetaTrader 4 can be used to spread bet on various markets too. FTSE 100 spread betting is an example of a UK market that you can spread bet.

One downside of MT4, however, is that you can only trade decentralised markets such as forex and share CFDs, limiting the number of financial instruments you can trade like spot stock trading.

Does MT4 Suit All Trading Strategies?

MT4 can suit multiple trading strategies, depending on which style you prefer. From scalping and day trading, to swing trading and position trading, you can tailor the MT4 trading platform to suit your specific needs. What’s more, there are no scalping restrictions and you can hedge your spread bet positions.

You can also customise the MT4 platform by combining MT4 indicators and add-ons to implement the best strategy for you. You can download and install whichever MT4 indicators and add-ons you wish to enhance your trading experience and gain more insights.

Is MT4 Good For Spread Betting Or CFD Trading?

MT4 is good for both spread betting and CFD trading, highlighting the versatility of the platform. As two different routes to the markets, spread betting and CFD trading each have different pros and cons.

MT4 spread betting is a tax-free way to take advantage of markets that are rising or falling while CFDs enable you to hedge your portfolio, as you can offset losses against profits for tax purposes.

Regardless of whether you choose to use MT4 for spread betting Vs. CFD trading, we advise that you understand the specific features of each form of trading to better understand which you are suited for.

What Costs Does Using MT4 Have?

There are no costs when using MT4, although you may be charged a commission fee by your broker depending on what spread betting account you trade with. Commission fees vary from broker to broker, but the industry average is USD $3.50 per-side, per trade.

If you want to spread bet with no costs, you can trade with a commission-free account, commonly called a Standard account. You will, of course, incur spread costs while spread betting which is unavoidable. As such, we always advise you to choose a broker with competitive spreads to keep your trading costs low.

How Do You Get Started With MT4?

Getting started with MT4 involves a few straightforward steps. Before you get started, it’s important to learn how to get started spread betting, develop a sound trading strategy, and choose a reputable spread betting broker.

After you’ve done that, here’s a simple guide to get you started:

  1. Download and install MetaTrader 4 on your desktop, iPad or mobile
  2. Open an account with your chosen MT4 broker
  3. Practise trading on a demo MT4 account
  4. Register for a live MT4 account
  5. Enter your details and choose a password
  6. Take a suitability test (most brokers offer)
  7. Read and accept the confirmation notice
  8. Verify your identity by uploading the requested documents
  9. Short waiting period while the broker verifies your details
  10. Fund your account and begin trading

How Do You Get Started With MT4


How Do You Calculate Spread With MT4?

You calculate the spread with MT4 by subtracting the bid (buy) price from the ask (sell) price. For example, if you’re trading GBP/USD at 1.3150/1.3147, the spread is 0.0003 (3 pips).
To help you calculate your spread betting profits, we created a spread betting calculator that calculates your profit or loss simply by entering your bet size and the opening and closing price.

Can Spread Betting Be Profitable?

Spread betting can be profitable if you are consistently correct in your prediction of whether the market will rise or fall. As with all forms of financial market trading, spread betting carries risks, so it’s important to learn how to spread bet successfully before starting.

While spread betting provides profit opportunities, you should never risk more than you can afford to lose.

How Is Spread Betting Regulated?

Yes, spread betting is regulated. Spread betting regulation is overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK. As a UK trader, you should always select an FCA-regulated broker that offers spread betting.

The FCA’s regulations ensure that a spread betting company (as well as a CFD or forex broker) operates with transparency and fairness.

Is MT4 A Good Choice For Professional Traders?

MT4 is a good spread betting platform for professionals, and, indeed, all levels of trading experience. The simplicity of the MT4 platform makes it user-friendly for beginners, while professional traders will appreciate the advanced trading tools.

MT4’s simple design ensures that, as a professional, you won’t waste time looking around or navigating for charting or algorithmic tools. You can thus carry out your trades quickly, without losing opportunities or wasting time.

About the author:

Justin Grossbard

Having traded since 1998, Justin is the CEO and Co-Founded CompareForexBrokers in 2004. Justin has published over 100 finance articles from Forbes, Kiplinger to Finance Magnates. He has a Masters and Commerce degree and has an active role in the fintech community. He has also published a book in 2023 on on investing and trading.

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