What is valuebet


Value – this is the backbone of good betting. Only by mastering and deeply understanding the theory of value can you make profitable sports bets. In betting, there are only two types of bets with a positive mathematical expectation that are guaranteed to bring profit at a distance - surebets and value-betting. We will talk about surebets in other materials, but today - value, value bets are the main topic for those who want to play bookmaker's office correctly .

The essence of value

Value (ˈvælju) can be translated from English as "worth". The meaning of this concept is that each bet has its own value, which, among other things, can be negative. The essence of the value-betting strategy is to place high-value bets and avoid bets with negative value.

The concept of value is directly related to the concept of mathematical expectation, which can be positive and negative. If the math. expectation is positive, then the bet has value. If not, then this option should be abandoned - it will not bring profit.

Let's analyze the mathematical expectation using simple examples:

Let's say you wager on a coin and you get paid double the amount every time heads come up. If you flip a coin ten times, any number of heads can come up - five, eight, three, or even zero. Your winnings in such a short period are completely dependent on luck, and you cannot understand in any way whether you will win or lose in this game.

But mathematics can answer this question. To do this, we need to calculate the mathematical expectation from such a game. Obviously, the chance of getting heads and tails is equal and with an infinite repetition will be 50%. How to calculate the expected value?

(Probability of winning x amount of net gain) - (probability of losing x amount of net loss) 

If you bet 100 rubles and get 200 rubles (100 rubles of net winnings) for each headshot, then the formula will look like this:

(50% х 100) – (50% х 100) = 0

It immediately becomes clear that the expectation value in this game is zero and it is completely pointless to bet on it, because after 1000+ repetitions, the distribution will inevitably come to about 50%. However, this was already obvious enough.

But what will happen if for winning a bet you are offered quotes not x2, but x2,2, that is, 220 rubles?

(50% х 120) – (50% х 100) = +10

The alignment has changed and you already have a positive mathematical expectation of 10 rubles. This means that with every heads up, you are guaranteed to receive 10 rubles of profit at a distance. This means that it is in your interests to play this strategy as much and often as possible, because distance profit is literally guaranteed to you.

Another example: let's say the bet in the bet is again 100 rubles and the payout is x2, but the coin was caught with a defect and comes up heads only in 47% of cases. The alignment is changing again:

(47% х 100) – (53% х 100) = -6

This is an example of negative expectation. The number (-6) means that you will lose 6 rubles from each win until all your money runs out.

But what happens if the players who offered you a bet decide to enter a commission like bookmakers and pay you a win for heads x1.9? That is 190 rubles for the same bet amount of 100 rubles.

(50% х 90) – (50% х 100) = -5

We get another example of a negative mathematical expectation, at which you will remain in a guaranteed minus at a distance. That is why the bookmaker is always in the black. 

Confirming remote settlements:

You flipped a coin 10000 times and placed bets for 1000000 rubles in total. Heads fell 5000 times and you got 5,000x1,9x100 = 950000 rubles in winnings. In total, you are in the red by 50000 rubles. Even if you are lucky and the distribution will turn out a little in your favor, for example, heads fall 5050 times, this will result in 959500 rubles of winnings, which will still not cover the commission. Actually, this is exactly what all bookmakers and casinos in the world make money on.

It is for this reason that all casino games such as roulette, gambling like more or less, solid equiprobable markets in the bookmaker (for example, which team will start from the center of the field), as well as betting on binary options are a priori unprofitable strategy. It is very easy to calculate the expected value for them and understand everything.

Relationship between value and mathematical expectation

So how can gamblers win on bets if there is a priori negative mathematical expectation and only bookmakers are in the black? This is where we come close to value and its connection with expectation. 

 There are only two ways to get positive expectation and advantage:

  • Increase the payout rate (coefficient); 
  • Increase the likelihood of an outcome.

Bookmakers deliberately will not put odds higher than 2.00 on equally probable events, but this can happen due to their mistake in assessing the probability or under the influence of loading in the other direction. In this case, bookmakers are forced to increase the odds for the opposite outcome in order to balance the cash flows. Then the odds no longer accurately reflect the probability, and you can get the values.

It's easier to understand this with an example. The bookmakers initially set equal odds for two equal tennis players, at 1.95 each. If we calculate the expectation for these events at a rate of 100 rubles, it is obvious that it will be negative:

(50% х 95) – (50% х 100) = -2,5

The players in the bookmaker loaded the first tennis player, placing bets on his victory, and the bookmakers changed the quotes: 1.80 to 2.10. But the probability of each athlete winning at the same time, in fact, remained the same, 50%! We calculate the expectation now:

  • For the first player: (50% х 80) – (50% х 100) = -10
  • For the second player: (50% х 110) – (50% х 100) = +5

Here it is! For the first player, the expectation has become even more negative, and the bets on the second player now give a positive mathematical expectation. Which means that there is value in this bet and such a choice will be profitable remotely. So you can put.

Formula value

In fact, there is a separate formula for it, which looks like this:

Odds x probability of outcome (%) - 1 = Value

The higher the number obtained, the more profitable and valuable this choice at a distance. 

 Let's calculate the value for our example with the second tennis player:

2.10 х 50% – 1 = 0,05

A positive value tells us that there is little value in such a bet. Actually, 0.05 here is the same +5 rubles (5% of the rate of 100 rubles), obtained when calculating the mathematical expectation. In the presence of value, the expectation will always be positive, and in the absence - negative.

Value and sports rates

So, the main task of a bettor is to find bets with value and positive mathematical expectation on an ongoing basis. Such bets will bring distance profit, and players who place bets on matches without it are guaranteed to get a loss. 

 In fact, such bets are very common in the lines of any bookmaker. Even in the largest markets, loads create very profitable betting options, and on the middle and smallmarkets, the value is literally lying around - just have time to bet. 

 To do this successfully, you only need one thing - the ability to correctly determine the probability of occurrence outcomes. We considered examples in which the probability is obvious, but in real life one has to deal with uncertain probabilities. Neither the bookmaker nor anyone else knows them for sure. 

 The outcome of any event has its own probability that is different from zero and the main thing that players should do is to estimate it as accurately as possible and substitute it into the formula. Or just compare with the probability inherent in the coefficient. You knew that the bookmaker's odds contain information about the estimated probability of the outcome?

100 / odds = approximate probability(%)

It is approximate, because this scheme also involves a margin - the commission that the bookmaker has laid. But for a rough estimate, and it is quite enough.

Let's practice identifying value

NBA basketball game, Charlotte vs. Chicago, the bookmaker put odds on the outcome markets of 2.27 by 1.71. 

 As the bookmaker sees the odds:

  • Outcome "win 1": 100 / 2,27 ~ 44%;
  • Outcome "win 2": 100 / 1,71 ~ 58,5%.

If you estimate the likelihood of these teams winning about the same, say, 45 to 55 percent, then there will be no value for you here, as well as a positive mathematical expectation. It will be negative due to the margin that the bookmaker has pledged. In this market, it is about 2.5%.

  • Victory 1: 2.27 x 45% - 1 = 0.02 - the minimum value, almost 0;
  • Win 2: 1.71 x 55% - 1 = -0.06 - negative value.

But if you think that the Charlotte players have a good chance of playing at home and you rate the teams roughly equal, then the odds on the Hornets become very attractive and it will be profitable to bet on it.

  • Calculate the mathematical expectation: (50% х 127) – (50% х 100) = +13,5
  • Calculate value: 2,27 х 50% – 1 = 0,135


An important point: if you find values ​​on one side of the event, then on the second side the quotes will be a priori unprofitable, it doesn't even make much sense to count it. Moreover, with a high degree of probability, any outcomes in favor of your choice (1X, plus, minus handicaps) will also be valuable if there is the same level of net profit.



Another example, football, English Premier League match, Leeds - Tottenham. The odds on the outcome markets are 3.50 x 3.84 x 2.09. The odds for 1X are 1.833. How the bookmaker estimates probabilities:

  • Outcome "victory 1": 100 / 3,5 ~ 28,6%;
  • Outcome "draw": 100 / 3,84 ~ 26%;
  • Outcome "victory 2": 100 / 2,09 ~ 47,8%;
  • Outcome «1Х»: 100 / 1,833 ~ 54,5%.

And again, it all comes down to your personal assessment of the likelihood. If you think that the bookmaker was wrong and make a prediction for an easy win for Tottenham (60%), then bets on his side will be profitable (60% x 2.09 - 1 = 0.25). If you are sure that the points will be taken away from Leeds at least 60%, then value this bet on 1X (60% x 1.833 - 1 = 0.1). If at all you think that the chances of a clear victory for Leeds are 40 percent, then it will be super advantageous to bet on W1 (3.5 x 40% - 1 = 0.4). 

 And absolutely not it is important who wins the match today - Leeds, Tottenham, Charlotte or Chicago. If the bettor has correctly identified the probabilities and made value bets on events, then this will definitely be rewarded with distance profit. If you make predictions for matches without relying on this factor, then this is, in fact, a guessing game leading to a guaranteed minus.

How to accurately determine probabilities and find values

We cannot teach you this within the framework of one material. The skill of correctly determining probabilities comes only with experience. With thousands of bets made, matches watched and hours spent analyzing bookmaker lines. The better you understand the sport and the chosen league, the more accurately you will be able to estimate the probabilities in the outcome markets. Professional gamblers see value in outcomes almost at first glance at the quotes offered by bookmakers. 

 With the odds and totals markets, the story is a little different, where you still need to dive into numbers, make calculations, compare values. Any strategy can be, your calculations can be based on any factors. Obviously, the more they are taken into account, the more accurate the result will be. But the essence will always remain the same - determining the probabilities and comparing them with what the bookmaker offers before making each bet.

The more accurately the bettor determines the probabilities, the greater the distance advantage you can get over the bookmaker's lines. Valuy - this is the very advantage. It is he who remains in your account after passing the path of 1000 bets in the form of some surplus of funds. If you do not verify the probabilities, then, in fact, you are playing the very same "coin" from the first examples. Moreover, and on deliberately unfavorable terms, taking into account the commission that the bookmaker pledged.

How bookmakers treat value betting

Bookmakers are wary of them, like any method that poses a danger to their earnings. But at the same time, the average bookmaker treats gross bets much more calmly than the same surebets. 


Firstly, this technique does not allow guaranteed earning on every bet. And the player still needs to prove and discover his remote advantage. Secondly, for the same reason, bookmakers are not able to identify money-scammers as effectively. In large markets, you can play using this system for a very long time without fear of account cuts and other sanctions.