How to find bets with value: Basic theory for beginners


For thousands of years people have been drawn to risk and opportunity. Gambling was therefore already very early an exciting thing to do. Long before the invention of slot machines, poker, blackjack and roulette people attended certain sporting and competitive events placing free bets of winners and losers of the competition.

Today the betting and gambling industry is one of the biggest in the world making more money than the entire music and film industry put together. While more and more people get into the business of online casino slot games, enjoying the new opportunities the internet and certain inventions like the new digital cryptocurrencies have brought to the industry, others are more interested in sport events and betting on them.

In the United Kingdom alone the betting industry has reached a value of more that 14.5 billion pounds,  between 2017 and 2018. There is no doubt that the industry has grown a lot since then.

Betting has become more and more popular over the last couple of years. With the industry growing also advertising the whole thing has reached a new point, getting more and more people on board. Nowadays you can not only bet on horse racing but on every kind of sport you can think of.

While the old sentence “The house always wins.” may often still be true, players have found ways to avoid high risks and look for new strategies that increase their chances of winning such as so called “value bets”.

As many people keep on making the same mistakes losing their money, we have put together some simple instructions for finding the best bets with value.

What strategies and odds exist?

People have developed many different strategies and calculations to find the best bet. As betting is about randomness, it is all about the odds. Understanding the basic systems that exist for odds can be crucial to successful betting.

One kind of system is called Decimal Odds or European Odds. This system is mostly used by European, Australian and Canadian bookies. It is a pretty easy system for calculating potential winnings. All you have to do is to multiply your stake by the European odds and then take away your initial stake.

That means that if the odds stand at 2.75 for the team that you chose to bet on and you bet 20 pounds, you multiply 2.75 with your stake of 20 getting 55 and subtract the initial stake of 20 pounds, which leaves you with 35. That means you would make 35 pounds profit if your bet is right or lose all your 20 pounds if not.

Another system is called American Odds, that is obviously it is used by mostly North Americans. At first sight this system looks pretty confusing but it is still pretty helpful. The idea here is that the odds are represented by the amount of money you must bet in order to win 100 dollars if the odds have a minus symbol.

A plus symbol means that the number represents your profit if you bet 100 dollars. In an example of Trabzonspor playing against Diyarbakırspor with Trabzonspor having odds of -175 and Diyarbakırspor +700 and you bet on Trabzonspor, you must bet 175 dollars to make 100 dollars profit. If you bet on Diyarbakırspor betting 100 dollars will bring you additional 700 dollars in case of winning.

That may seem confusing but it is important to understand those systems in order to get an overview over what is happening to your money.

What are value bets?

Now we should talk about what are value bets and how to find them. The idea is easy. You try to find a wager at favorable odds that will offer you an advantage over the bookmaker. Do not forget that you not only play against the odds but also always against the bookie. But some have found ways to beat the bookies systematically.

A “value” bet is something you have if the likelihood of an event happening is significantly higher than what the bookmaker’s odds indicate. That sounds like a dream of course, but there is a way to find those opportunities.

For instance, the oddsmaker is giving Diyarbakırspor 2.50 to defeat Rizespor. This event’s suggested chance of happening is 100/2.50 – 40. In other words, the oddsmaker predicts that Diyarbakırspor will win the game 40% of the time. If Diyarbakırspor has a 45% probability of winning, you have an advantage since the “actual” odds should be 100/45 = 2.22.

Long-term financial gain is possible if you continuously place bets at odds of 2.50 while the correct odds are 2.22. If you play right you will have a great opportunity to increase your chances and actually win.

How to find value bets?

Now that we found out what value bets actually are and stated that they exist, we just have to find a way to identify and find them.

The key here is simply knowledge. To know a lot about the sport, the teams, the players and the history of the past events will give you the tools to know better than the bookie.  Specializing is the best way to begin sports betting. It’s a good idea to specialize in leagues and competitions that you are already familiar with in particular. You will be able to apply what you have learned to other leagues and tournaments once you have built your sense of betting value by concentrating on leagues you are familiar with. Prior to starting to diversify your portfolio, stick to what you know best.

Specializing in specific sports or leagues is a smart idea, at least at the start of your betting career. And it’s a good idea to do it in a league or sport you are already familiar with. If for example you are into football in Turkey and follow what is going on in the first league, you should start betting here.

If your main knowledge is about Hockey and you follow the British National Hockey League that is the right place to start. The more you know about the match that is about to happen and all its participants, the more sure you can be about its odds. As soon as you see the bookie got it wrong, you bet and win.




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