Do they just create a buffered market between their own traders or are they part of the wider FX market and simply act as go-betweens?
Do they look at who is long and who is short before accepting a trade?
Do they hold prices until they are in profit themselves?
I ask because I was in a trade and the price moved very nice in my direction on my chart but on my platform it only moved a couple of pips. My chart is provided by a different company from my broker and I was just wondering if this discrepancy was normal? Why would there be such a lag?
Well I think the problem lies in the fact that you arenít using the same charts that your broker provides. If you donít have a feed from your broker you will always have a discrepancy between your chart and your dealer platform. I recommend that you change charting packages or brokers so they are all in sync
You want a broker that offers a non deal desk platform (e.g. InterbankFX).
A deal desk is basically a trader trading against a professional on a desk who can decide when and when not to sell to them. They offer a fixed spread platform where the desk makes their money in the spread trading against all of their customers.
Oanda and FXCM are both dealing desk brokers - or market makers to use the original term from superdupe's question.
While I would agree that going the non-DD route is generally preferred in a lot of ways, especially for a short-term trader, that doesn't mean a DD broker can't provide a good trading experience. I have used Oanda for many years with absolutely no complaint. Nor have I heard any gripes from anyone else about trading with them.