Bringing specialist expertise in rugby (both league and union) and cricket, Ella Miller is a dedicated member of the Wetten team with years of experience in creating betting-related content. Having started writing about sports with her own blog while at university studying journalism and, post-graduation, turned her wordsmith abilities to writing for a variety of different sites. She joined the Wetten team in 2019 and is now a Contributing Editor for various sections of the site. When she's not working for Wetten, Ella loves attending any rugby or cricket match she can get to, horse riding, and tending to her garden.
How does a value bet work?
It is common to come across the term Value bets when you are betting online even though you may not be aware of any Value Bet Strategy. So, what is it? In simple terms, you get the value of the bet. How do Valuebets work? In betting, value bet where the chances of a given result are larger than what the bookmakers’ odds show. You place bets on a team that has a higher chance to win, than what the bookmaker suggests, giving you an edge over the bookmaker. Determining the value of bets comes with experience, and no punter gets it overnight. However, a few tips can help you learn faster.
Value Bet Explained: How do Valuebets work? And what happens in reality?
Learn on how to identify value bets
Know when you should not use value bet strategy
Value bet explained
It is important to find the value betting situation where the odds offered by a bookmaker seem lesser than what you think it could be.
Let’s explain with an example:
If you toss a coin, you get two outcomes – head and tails. If you use this to calculate odds in decimal format, you get 2.00 for head and tails both as 100 divided by 50 percent is 2. Now you go through bookmakers, and let’s say there are two bookmakers – Bookmaker 1 and Bookmaker 2. Bookmaker 1 provides you with a decimal odd of 1.90 on heads, while Bookmaker 2 provides 2.10 on heads.
The formula to calculate value bet is: (Probability multiplied by the decimal odds) – 100%.
Therefore, in the above scenario, Bookmaker 1 gives you value or -5%, while Bookmaker 2 gives you a value of 5%, as per the formula. Bookmaker 2 is giving us a value bet here.
In reality, no bookmaker offers such kind of value bets, because if they do, they will quickly run out of their business. Every bookmaker tries to offer a lesser value bet to its customers.
Here’s another example:
Keeping the same coin situation in mind, where the bookmakers offer decimal odds of 1.90 for both heads and tails to its punters. Let’s say a Bookmaker 3 accepts INR 100 worth bets for heads and INR 100 worth bets for tails, totalling up to INR 200. If tails wins, they pay decimal odds of 1.90, which means INR 190 only, and keeps the remaining INR 10 in their pockets.
This INR 10, is the way bookmakers work, or in betting terminology, is their commission or juice, or vig. It is through this way bookmakers even earn their money and keep their business running. This is a simple example, but bookmakers use a lot of algorithms to get the right vig.
Learning value bets doesn’t come overnight. Here is what you need to do to identify value bets:
If you are new in the betting world, it is important to first specialize in one area. This way, you will understand what is the betting value as your focus is completely on one sports league or tournament. Slowly, you can move ahead, applying the same rules on other leagues. Always bet on what you are very sure about, rather than betting on anything you don’t.
You must learn to calculate probabilities first as betting odds reflects the probabilities of a specific result, also known as implied probability. The formula used to calculate the implied probability is Implied Probability = 1 / decimal odds. Thus, in our same example, the implied probability for Bookmaker 2 is 47.62%. But, as per our calculation, the chances of getting heads is 50%. So, this is a value bet.
You may need to set your own odds and see how it works without seeing any bookmaker’s odds. Put yourself in the shoes of the bookmaker and think. You set odds that you are not comfortable yourself. This task is very helpful in the long run. Further, remember it is a betting market, and odds are set also based on general opinions. You should learn to think this way and understand its relation.
End of the day, review your own results and see if you were successful in calculating it in the right way. Never be overconfident and always keep learning. It is this study and reviews that would keep you ahead of the rest.
Be persistent as this is a sort of skill that takes some time in learning. With proper reading, analyzing, reviewing, and knowledge, you will surely learn to identify value bets. With time, you will be an expert in understanding value bets.
You could also use the help of tipsters but ensure the tipsters are reliable, and they don’t charge you too much. There are also a few values betting software in the market as well.
When not to use value bet strategy?
If you love the idea of value betting, you may already be trying to work on the formulas or making your own predictions. However, you need to keep in mind that there are some scenarios where it’s better not to use value betting. You will understand these rules with time, but it’s always great to keep them in mind. Here they are:
When the value is too less
Try to look out for bets where there is a larger discrepancy between what you feel the probability would be and the actual probability of the line. If there is not much difference, you must avoid value betting there. Punters try to avoid betting where the difference is too low. For instance, you predict an implied probability of +131 to convert into a money line, while the actual money line is just +132, then here the value is really close, and you don’t gain much of value here.
Significant underdogs or favourites
You must search for value bet that has a decent value. Although value betting will be your long-term winning strategy, it shouldn’t be too long that you never use it. This happens when you place a value bet on underdogs or favourites. The more you move away from zero, i.e., The bigger the underdogs or favourites are, the less attractive the value is.
What other betting/casino guides and strategies are available?
Value Bet Strategy is very crucial to learn for a punter if they wish to make huge winnings in the betting game. Though it is not a guaranteed way to win, it does turn the tides in your favour when you know how to make the right moves and choices. If you study, revise, and review, you will understand how do Valuebets work. Check the market, understand the team’s position, and what the general opinion of the crowd is. A value bet is one of the most consistent methods of making decent winnings in the long run.