June 3, 2023

# What is Value Betting?

Keen understanding of the meaning of value is the first step to profitable betting. Novices are more likely to be excited at the prospect of winning and forget the necessary precautions to achieve a balance. The odds in any game suggest the probability of the win; so to make real money one needs to define what is value betting for your wager. There is really simple statistics and mathematics behind the value of a bet. Betting odds are basically prices set by the bookmaker factoring the profit margin they hope to make. They come in different formats such as decimal, fractional and American.

While making a profit is good, look around for ways to make an even better profit by considering all the options that might be left out by others. Betting is everything but a game of chance. There are very many sides to a bet and the highest profit is made from proceeding on the less traveled roads. Experienced bettors often refer to value in a bet based on the odds and the price and as a newbie this might be hard to follow. Basically, when the odds are a little higher than the actual probability of the event; then we have a value situation. Considering the bookmaker is out to make money, the value then must be hidden and not just exposed to every bettor. In fact many bookmakers will close accounts of highly successful punters. Why? They are exhibiting an ability to continuously unlock the value in the situations.

In betting, there is no room for intuition, beliefs or feeling. It is hard math running into statistics and probability. Unfortunately, these are subjects that not many people have dealt with even at educational institutions. It is impossible to feel value and price which many people go into the field with. This could be the main reason why people have lost so much in the name of betting and this has in fact given it a bad name. No game is ever the same and each event is offering a totally different scenario.

Skill and experience is important but taking the window opportunities is what brings into practice the player. For instance, when a favorite team is playing it is likely there will be too many people betting for it. This is a perfect chance to lay bets against them or look at other games that are being overlooked. There are more losers than winners in sports betting and it is not hard to know why. The losers’ stake is what pays out both the winners and the book maker. Betting odds as laid out by bookmakers do not necessarily reflect the value; they are just a pricing placed by the statistics team at the bookmaker. Even if sports betting odds appear to be genuine offers, the fact is that odds are frequently distorted.

Once you’ve understood the simple math behind what is value you then need to devise a method of actually finding it. This is a difficult skill but you can often apply common sense to help you decide when a bet is likely to be value.

The real task for anyone looking to make money in betting is to find value situations since no one is offering them. Do this one thing and you are on the road to becoming the most successful bettor. Furthermore, comparing what different book makers are offering gives us an opportunity to calculate the expected value of our bets. Value can be calculated in two steps. First is to estimate the probability of the event in normal circumstances out of 100 chances. Give it a decimal value. Second is to divide 100 by the odds and you have the value that the bookmakers are giving you for this buy. If your first estimate is higher than the bookmaker’s you have a value situation.

100 divided by Odds = % chance the bookies are giving this selection

The expected value in a situation is what a punter expects to win or lose if they place bets on a certain odd. These is calculated by taking the probability and multiply by the amount to be won in each bet then subtract the amount you would lose per bet multiplied by the probability of losing.

## How to Calculate Expected Value

(Probability of Wining) x (Amount Won per Bet) – (Probability of Losing) x (Amount Lost per Bet)

In sports betting you are playing against the bookmaker so having a negative expected value may not necessarily mean that you will lose money. This is also a good measure when you engage in arbitrage betting to ensure your profitability while eliminating losses. Before getting into arbitrage betting, give yourself duration for learning to understand the concept of expected value. There are several guides online that can help you as you try to understand the practice. Some of the factors that seem too far removed may have an impact on your profitability. If you bet using different currencies, you could end up making a loss so it’s important to use the same currency in arbitrage.

It is not always easy to understand the implication of an outcome on our bets. Since betting odds are the selling price for the bets, we can evaluate the likely profits to be made on our “purchase”. Bookmakers have bets for many match outcomes and their variations giving an endless list of available bets. To narrow down we use our knowledge of probability to see what is value betting for our money and what’s not. Bookmakers’ profits are calculated from what is wagered after paying the winners. This is usually between 2% to 8% and determines how much winners can take home.

Bookmakers do not knowingly offer value situations because then they would not make money. As a general rule they always offer odds that are less than value. Furthermore, betting situations are not a clear cut and determining probability will take more than a small calculation on the back of your hand. The bookmaker profit popularly known as the juice must come out of the bets placed. They will also use the bet amounts to settle the wins.

### Ingibjörg Ólafsdóttir

author
Inge is a big football fan and a risk taker. She likes to bet on football, but in the past it often ended with a loss, she never gives up. She's a boots lover and wears them all the time, no matter the weather. She's always trying to find new ways to enjoy life and connect. It's football season and we don't just watch the games. We do it with BIG \$ :)