Value betting strategy


A detailed guide to value betting in a convenient question-and-answer format. Everything you wanted to know about edge bets, but hesitated to ask. What is the essence of value betting strategies, where do the values ​​come from, how to use them. How this strategy helps to beat bookmakers at a distance and how much you can earn from it. Go!

What is value-betting

Value betting is value betting, an overweight sports betting system. The overweight in this case is the difference in the assessment of the probabilities of the outcomes between the bookmaker and the player. For example, a bet on odds higher than 2.00 with a probability of passing higher than 50%. Systematic bets on such outcomes have a positive mathematical expectation and lead to distant profit for the player. 

This term has a lot in common with the game of poker, there is also the concept of EV (expected value). Its essence is that with a correct, scientific poker game, some actions (made on time raise, check, check-raise or fold) have a positive mathematical expectation and, with constant use, give a remote bankroll growth.

It sounds complicated, but you can use a simple example?

Sure! The easiest example to understand is a coin toss. If we are paid double the stake for the “heads”, then this will not give us anything at a distance, because the chance of knocking out the “heads” is always 50%. At a distance we will come to an equal distribution of "heads" and "tails" and will not earn anything. 

And if the person accepting bets from us puts his commission into this process (just like a bookmaker), then over a long distance, we are guaranteed a minus in money. Suppose we are paid not x2, but x1.9 for getting heads.

We count:


  • 1000 bets on “heads”, 100 rubles each = 100000 rubles total turnover;
  • 500 heads with a bet of 100 rubles x 1.9 = 95,000 rubles of payments;
  • -5000 rubles loss at a distance of 1000 bets.

This is exactly how bookmakers work, earning on their margin from each bet from the players. But what will happen if we are paid for the "heads" not x1.9, but x2.1?


  • 1000 bets on “heads”, 100 rubles each = 100000 rubles total turnover;
  • 500 heads with a bet of 100 rubles x 2.1 = 105,000 rubles of payments;
  • 5000 rubles profit at a distance of 1000 bets.

This is the main essence of value betting - to find values, odds that the bookmaker underestimated for one reason or another, and systematically put them down, making a distant profit.

It's still not very clear, but what does sports betting have to do with it?

Any outcome has its own nonzero probability. The bookmaker's assessment of this probability is included in the odds. It is calculated very simply, it is enough to divide a hundred by a coefficient:

  • 100 / 2.00 = 50%
  • 100 / 3.5 = 28,6%
  • 100 / 1.7 = 58,8%

Etc. If the player's estimate of the probability is higher than this figure, then a bet on such a coefficient will be remotely profitable and has a positive mathematical expectation. There is another formula for calculating value:

Probability score (%) x coefficient

If the result is more than one, then such a rate is profitable. If not, then this is a negative expectation bet. And the greater the calculated difference with one, the more profitable such a bet at a distance.

This is 100% information, it works for absolutely any sport, league and type of outcome. The value can be found in any range of odds, but most often it is found in odds from 2.00 and above.

All the same, somehow I can't believe it, but you can use an example from the world of sports?


Let's say we analyzed the match and came to the conclusion that Ana Konyukh's chances of winning are close to equal. Who will be worth betting on in this game? Of course, the second tennis player. If we calculate the distance of 1000 similar matches and are not mistaken in determining the probability (for example, the groom will win 480 of them), then we will receive payments of 480 x 2.19 x 100 = 105,120 rubles with a turnover of 100,000 rubles on bets. 

What happens if we place bets at a lower odds on Nadia Podorosk? Even if she wins 520 matches out of 1000, we get 520 x 1.74 x 100 = 90 480 rubles or almost ten thousand minus.

But bookmakers are not stupid to set odds above 2.00 for a probability of 50% +?

Bookmakers are definitely not stupid, but sometimes they have to do it. Of course, such obvious options, when a 60% probability is offered for 2.10, are extremely rare. Usually, everything is much more subtle and in order to identify value, you need to be in the subject of sports, the chosen league, take into account the news and many factors at a level comparable to the bookmaker.

At the same time, sometimes values ​​arise and not because the bookmaker poorly estimated the probability of the outcome. There are several main reasons:

  • In a particular office, the opposite outcome was loaded, for example, the victory of Nadia Podorosk. As a result, the bookmaker was forced to lower the odds on W1 and raise it to W2, inviting players to bet there too. This is how Valui was formed.


  • In large matches, when football giants or generally recognized favorites in other sports play, bookmakers from the very beginning underestimate the quotes for the favorite. Because they know that bets from the overwhelming majority of players will arrive on it anyway. And the bookmaker's task is not to guess the winner, but to balance the streams of bets and make money on the margin. Or at least "sell" the stream of bets on the favorite at the most disadvantageous rate for the players.


  • There is also the concept of "territorial load". If a team from a large country and a small one meet in a football match, a disproportionate flow of bets on the former is guaranteed. Bookmakers know this and in advance underestimate the quotes on the side of a team from a large country. And on the side of the second, accordingly, there may be a value.


  • In addition, the players themselves help to correct the line. Large bets on any outcome from a verified professional's account are a reliable signal to the bookmaker that his line needs to be adjusted.


  • Part of the value arises due to the non-operational work of some offices. When important news is released on a match, the world's major bookmakers change the line within a couple of minutes. And less efficient bookmakers can have very valuable quotes for another 10-15 minutes.


  • The lines of many bookmakers are very extensive, and they simply are not able to qualitatively monitor the assessment of the probability in all offered outcomes. In large markets, most of the time, everything is in order, but already at minor competitions, decent oversights can be observed.


All these factors make it possible to find values ​​in the betting lines at any time - from the opening of the opening line to the very end of the live match. The point of value betting is precisely to identify such outcomes and systematically place them.

Well, let's say, what are the ways to look for value rates?

The best way is to be totally on topic for one or two leagues. It is impossible to be ahead of the bookmaker in all directions, but it is quite possible to become a professional in a couple of leagues. To do this, you need to observe the competition in great detail, watch many matches, analyze the tournament layouts on a daily basis, monitor the squads (injuries, disqualifications, transfers) and even the morale of key players.


This is the key to the success of the value-betting strategy - you need to determine the probabilities of the outcomes as accurately as possible and each time use the discrepancies in your favor to place a bet.


There are also several automated options:


  • Compare odds of bookmakers. If in some bookmaker there is a decent difference in the coefficient compared to others, then there is almost certainly a value. In finding the best odds, by the way, the new browser extension BetMAX will help a lot. In general, the size of the odds plays a colossal role in value-betting and the difference of ten points significantly increases the distance ROI (Yield) and profit in money.


  • Look for surebets and falling odds. In the case of surebets, the value is guaranteed to be on one of the shoulders, and maybe on several. In the case of sharply falling odds, you can find super-value bets in slow offices.


  • Some services work to automatically search for gross bets, while simultaneously monitoring the lines of dozens of bookmakers. If there is a serious discrepancy, they offer bets at the best odds. These scanners include Oddsportal, Bet catcher, Allbestbets and other services.

  •  Another option is to independently compare the average statistical indicators with the offers of bookmakers. This method requires a certain amount of perseverance and involves working with large amounts of statistical data. But if you find a discrepancy in numbers of 5% or more, you can confidently talk about the presence of value. And this is not uncommon, especially in medium and small markets.

That's cool! How much money can such a strategy bring?

First of all, you need to understand that value-betting earnings are measured only at a distance. Slices of 5, 10 and even 100 bets can be any. The distance is at least 1000 placed bets. If the bettor has an advantage over the line, then the distance will show it and leave some excess money on his account. This surplus is due precisely to the size of the average overweight over the line. 

We calculated the value formula and there was a difference with one. It is this difference that adds up to the percentage of the overweight and makes up the final bettor's Yield (some also call it ROI).

How to calculate your Yield (ROI)?

(A – B) / B х 100% = Yield

A in this case is the sum of payments for all the player's bets, and B is the entire turnover of funds. That is, we take the net profit (or loss) from the bets, divide it by the entire betting turnover and multiply it by 100%. As a result, we get a number in percent, meaning the percentage of net profit from each player's bet, regardless of its result. 

Example: a player made 1000 bets of 1000 rubles each and received 1200000 payments. Substitute the values ​​into the formula (1200000 - 1,000,000) / 1,000,000 x 100% = 20%. This is Yield, a solid, concrete number that can be multiplied with any indicators - flat size, average annual turnover, bank size in money - and very quickly get any related results.

OK, which Yield (ROI) is considered good?

It depends on the size of the markets in which the bettor plays. On small markets you can make very nice numbers, + 20-50% Yield, but the limits there are much lower, the odds are unstable and accounts in weak offices are cut very quickly. For these reasons, it is not possible to earn much in money even with such an impressive indicator of profit from turnover. 

It is very difficult to beat large markets, so here 2-3% Yield is a very good indicator, but more than 5 % on an ongoing basis are shown by units of bettors. But due to the maximum size of the bet and the loyalty of the bookmakers, you can earn an order of magnitude more in money. 

You can very easily calculate your potential profitability in money by multiplying the size of the flat by the planned turnover of bets and the Yield percentage. So, with a bet of 5,000 rubles, a turnover of 300 bets per month and Yield + 3%, the average monthly income in money will be approximately 45,000 rubles or 9 flats.

And how do bookmakers treat these types of players?

There are a number of large professional firms that only welcome value players. Among them are the BC "Pinnacle", "SBObet", as well as betting exchanges. They do not impose sanctions on winning players, keep maximum bet limits for them, and earn on their turnover. 

Large recreational companies, for example, Bet365, William Hill, Marathonbet , Fonbet, Pari Match, Dafabet, 188bet are also quite loyal to value bettors. Over time, they will, of course, cut your account, but they will give you a certain amount of money before that. 

Small offices are afraid of valuation, especially those who play with large banks. Such bookmakers as "Betcity", "Zenitbet", "Bettery" try to get rid of the winning players as quickly as possible. Sometimes, literally in 2-3 bets.

Great, I'm ready to start! What I need to get started?

It will take three things: a deep understanding of a sports league or sport, accounts at multiple bookmakers, and a starting bankroll. You can start with a symbolic amount of 5-10 thousand rubles, increasing it as you gain experience. It is advisable to bet on one option no more than 5% of the bank, and if the bank is good, then it is better to further reduce the risks and work flat at 2-3%.