Value Betting: A Guide To Beating The Bookies
Unless you have a crystal ball, value betting is actually the only way to guarantee that you make a long term profit from gambling. But some people still don’t understand the concept, or how to use it effectively to beat the bookies.
This is the first in a series of articles that will show you how to beat the bookies over the long term. In this guide we’ll explain what value betting is, why it works and how you can use it. This could be the most important betting guide you’ll ever read…
What Is Value Betting?
Many punters believe that the only way to bet successfully is to predict the outcome that is most likely to win.
This is one of the most common misconceptions among rookie punters. It’s understandable, but wrong. Because as we said before, you probably don’t have that crystal ball. So unless you can accurately predict the future every time, you’ll inevitably win some bets, but lose others.
The problem is, when you back the favourite, you get the lowest odds. This means that the profit you make when you win won’t make up for the lost stakes when you lose. So what’s important is not predicting the winner, but placing your bet at the right odds.
A Simple Example
The simplest and most popular example is to consider betting on the toss of a coin. This isn’t so silly as it sounds, you can actually bet on the toss in cricket.
You probably already know that, assuming the coin is fair, there’s an equal probability of it landing on heads or tails. In betting odds, that is represented as Evens, or as 2.0 in decimal odds.
Of course, in reality no bookie is going to give you odds of 2.0 on either outcome. Even at the best bookies, most odds compilers would price up this market as 1.83 for Heads, or 1.83 for Tails. So even if you felt you could somehow predict the outcome, you would still be mathematically certain to lose money over time.
How It Works
But what if some bookies got their odds wrong? What if you found one who was offering 2.2 for Heads, and 1.5 for Tails? You would bet on Heads every time, because you know that the odds are better than the actual probability of Heads happening.
Of course, Heads won’t win every time, but that doesn’t matter.
What matters is that you’re placing your bets at better than the “true” odds. So that way, you don’t need to try to predict what will win. The profit you make every time Heads does win would more than make up for your lost stakes when Tails won. Over time, you would be mathematically guaranteed to profit.
And that is exactly how value betting works. You look to make a long term profit by only betting when the odds are in your favour.
Tips For Successful Value Betting
Later on, we’ll look at how you can develop your own system to find bets where the odds are always in your favour. But first, here are some golden rules that you need to follow no matter what system you use.
- Develop your own niche method for spotting value. Read the rest of the articles in this series for ideas on how to do that.
- Always remember that you are not trying to pick winners. Instead you are finding opportunities to bet when the odds are in your favour.
- Know your expected strike rate, and ensure you have a betting bank large enough to cope with losing runs.
- Based on the above, decide how much of your bank to stake on every bet. Never vary your stake.
- Never panic or change your method if you lose. The only way to profit long term is to keep following your method through good runs and bad.
Next Step: How To Find Value Bets
So that’s the theory, but what about the practice? How do you actually find value bets to place?
Well unfortunately, there is no easy answer or foolproof system. Or if there is, the owners aren’t likely to share them with you. But all is not lost – you simply need to do some research and find your own.
So in the next in this series of articles, we’ll look at a few ideas you could try in different sports.
- Finding value bets on football.
- Finding value bets on horse racing.
- Finding value bets on tennis.
So now you can choose your preferred sport and read the article that is most relevant to you. Or better still, make time to read them all and see which methods you feel will work best for you.