There are certain conversations when it comes to the world of betting that don’t have a fixed answer. One such conversation is around the idea of finding ‘value’ when you’re placing wagers. What exactly constitutes ‘value’ will differ from person to person, but it is fair to say that most people will think of it in a financial sense.
Are you getting value from your bets? That will depend on the likes of how you’re betting and whether you’re seeing a return on the wagers that you place. For others, betting isn’t about winning so much as it is about enjoying what they do.
If you fit into the latter category then you might not spend huge amounts of money, keeping your stakes low in the acceptance that the returns will not be high, but you enjoy yourself thanks to the very act that you’re engaging with.
Provided you can keep your bets at a sensible level, you will be able to find value in them because it isn’t about what you win as much as it is about what you spend your time doing. Value, then, is different for everyone, which is a crucial thing to remember when assessing it.
We will start by considering what we consider to be value when it comes to the actual bets that you’re placing. In short, value can be found when you discover odds on offer that are better than the actual true probability of something happening.
Let us imagine, for example, that the true probability of Liverpool winning a match against Everton is 1/4. You logon to your betting app and discover that they are offering odds of Evens for that outcome. You have discovered something that has genuinely good value, even if you end up losing the bet for some bizarre reason.
Finding a bet with value doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to win it. You could place a bet on something with odds of 100/1 that should have odds of 75/1, as an example.
The fact that you’ve been able to place a bet that is better than the actual odds of it happening means that you have technically found good value, but if the selection ends up losing in the manner that its odds suggest then the fact that you’ve ‘found value’ in the odds is irrelevant. Indeed, any bet that goes on to be a losing one is, by its very nature, poor value, but that is obviously not what we’re looking at here.
If you’re hoping to find value in bets then you need to first work out the implied probability of a bet, calculate the true probability, which equate to the fair odds, apply an expected value formula to it and then calculate your expected return. If the expected return ends up being a positive one then you have found a value bet. Again, this doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to win, but it means that you’ve discovered a wager that offers more value than one that would offer you a negative expected return. It is all the sort of thing that you need to think about when placing bets.
For some people, value bets can be found by successful matching bets or arbing in such a way that it guarantee a return. This is a practice that is frowned upon by most betting companies, but if you can pull it off successfully then you can put yourself into a position whereby the value is found not through complicated formula, but on account of the fact that you’ve guaranteed yourself a profit with the bets that you’ve chosen to place. This, however, isn’t an easy thing to do and many who have tried it have ended up either losing money or having betting accounts suspended or even closed as a result.
Finding Value In Other Ways
There is no doubt that winning bets is something that everyone would like to do, but it isn’t a guarantee in and of itself. As a result, there are some things that people do in order to try to find value in betting in a different way.
For some people, that can come in the form of receiving free bets or taking advantage of promotions in other ways. Bookmakers will regularly put promotions out there into the world in order to win customers. It is one of the most competitive industries that there is, so the businesses that compete against one another have to try to win your custom somehow.
By offering the likes of free bets or promotions that include money back guarantees, bookies and betting companies can win your business. For the punter, taking regular advantage of such offers is how they find their value.
They move from betting site to betting site, constantly on the look out for the next big offer or promotion that will mean that they will feel as though they’ve been successful in their wagers. Of course, the only way this can actually result in value being found is if you don’t lose money as you try to take advantage of such offers and promotions.
Entertainment As Value
For some people, betting in and of itself is something that they think is fun and that they get value out of. They enjoy the entertainment of placing a bet, regardless of whether it wins or not. They head to a casino not because they’re trying to beat the House but because it means that they can spend time with their friends or relatives and enjoy themselves.
For those sorts of people, it is all about setting themselves an appropriate bankroll and knowing that once it is gone it is gone, so they won’t be pushing themselves to try to win anything back that they’ve lost or return home with more than they left with.
There are others who place bets in order to make what they’re watching more exciting. They might have been invited to the pub by a friend, only to discover when they get there that rugby union is on. They don’t like the sport, but by placing a bet with money they can afford to lose, they are able to give themselves a reason to be invested in what they’re watching.
Again, they will know their own limits and not bet more than they can afford to lose, but they will be able to gain value from their bets by taking part in them in this way, allowing the value that they find to be about something other than monetary returns.