Category: Betting

Maximise sports betting profits with the Kelly Criterion


The world of online betting is populated by account holders who are every day, searching for the best strategy. If the Kelly Criterion Strategy is not on your list, it is about time you add it. When it comes to betting the most common challenge that players face is, how does one ensure that they place stakes so correctly that wins will be ‘big’ and losses will be ‘small’?

What is the Kelly Criterion Betting Strategy?

We use this strategy in betting, to calculate the highest and lowest probabilities of winning and losing. Although it sounds like all other strategies, it is significantly different and more complex. Why? The Kelly Criterion helps to determine how much you should place a winning bet and increase the value of the returns, as well as the amount you should stake on a game that you are not so sure of winning.

The Kelly Criterion Strategy is used to balance the equation of risk and reward.

Players who have mastered the math behind the Kelly Criterion can say that the strategy has helped them to determine the optimal size of their bets. The advantages of using the Kelly Criterion are evident over time when players realise that the fraction of won bets equals the probability that any bet will be a win.

The Kelly Criterion maximises your advantage and minimises your risk by taking the available value and the size of your bankroll into account.

Kelly Criterion betting in sports

With all the math involved, you could be wondering how it will apply when betting in the world of sports, where there have never been two exact games. So, how can you use the Kelly Criterion to calculate probabilities in the sports industry?

It is extremely difficult to determine the exact probability that a certain sport- bet will win, especially if you are basing your argument on personal opinions.

How to calculate Kelly Criterion

To calculate Kelly Criterion betting strategy, you have to understand, master and practise the formula, which is:

(bw – l) /b = f

‘b’ is the multiple of your money, which you can win from the bet. With decimal odds, the value of ‘b’ is equal to the odds, minus 1.

For instance, a £10 bet at 5.00 gives a return of £50, including the initial amount. Therefore, the total amount of money won is £40 or a multiple or 4 (based on the principal amount).

‘w’ is the probability of the bet winning, meaning that a bet with a 30% chance of going your way has 0.30 probability of winning.

‘l’ is the probability that your bet will lose.(Using the example above and assuming there are no ties) if you have 30% chances to win, it means that there is a 70% chance of losing. Therefore, the probability of losing is 0.70. You can also determine ‘l’ by subtracting ‘w’ from 1.

‘f’ is the solution that provides you with the fraction of your bankroll that should be used to place your desired bet.

If we use the values from our examples, our equation will look like this:

( (4 x 0.30) – 0.70)/4 = 0.125

Based on this example, you should bet 12.5% of your bankroll on your chosen game.

Positive Expected Value in the Kelly Criterion Strategy

When the probability of a bet winning is more than the implied probability of the odds, we say that there is a Positive expected value. For instance, if the odds are two and the implied probability of you winning is 0.50 or 50% but you still believe that the bet has over 50% chances of winning, it means the bet has a positive expected value.

Rules of using Kelly Criterion

It is important to be keen when using the Kelly Criterion in sports betting. It is advisable to only make bets in games with a positive expected value. Value is not constant in sports, with people differing on views and analysis. However, before placing a bet, you should always ensure that the odds are high enough to make up for the risk of losing.

The Kelly Criterion will help you to balance the odds of winning and the risks of losing as you bet on your favourite games. If there is no positive expected value, your formula will return a negative which means it is not a good bet to make.

What are the pros and cons of in-play (live) betting?


The world of gambling has undergone drastic changes in the recent past, thanks to the internet. The fact that people can gamble and play games using the world wide web is a massive development. Even though online gaming might be relatively new, it has experienced significant changes since its inception. Online casino standards were not even close as to what we see today. The games, the casino software, playing styles and overall experience of online gambling have immensely improved especially in the last five years.

One of the notable developments, however, is in the field of sports betting. Online sports betting has grown incredibly popular among gamblers worldwide, and this has seen the introduction of thousands of online betting sites. Due to this immense competition, each and every casino has been trying every tactic possible to get the attention of customers. One of the things that were introduced was Live Betting, also known as in-play betting.

Contrary to the norm, where bettors place their wagers before the games have started, Live Betting enables them to place bets while the game is in session. It not only increases your chances of winning, but it is also incredibly exciting. Sports enthusiasts who value their money, this is the best option to go for. It gives sharp bettors a huge advantage of sportsbooks since it is easier to predict the outcome of a match you are watching than the one that has not yet kicked off. However, before indulging in live betting, let’s take a look at how live betting works and the advantages it offers.

Live Betting Explained

As mentioned above, Live betting involves placing online wagers for sports games that are currently taking place. It functions more or less like traditional sports betting in every other aspect including types of wagers, payment modes and selecting bets based on what you think will happen. However, the odds differ as the game continues. This depends on the time remaining, goals scored, cards given out and any other major event that might affect the outcome of the match. When you place a wager, you will get a fixed odd at that time, and your winnings will be calculated using that odd.

Types of wagers

In-Play betting introduces some new types of betting selections that would not be possible in traditional sports betting. These bets include goal scorers, the next team to score, the time of the next goal, time of next booking among others. These wagers differ from one casino to another, but it is possible to find some that are similar among several casinos.

Odds in In-Play Betting

Bookmakers adjust odds regularly depending on the direction the game is taking. You might find that as a football match starts, the odds were: 1.80: 3.5: 3.90, and this means that the home team is the favourite to win the match. However, if the away team scores first, that means that the home team’s chances of winning the match have reduced, and now the away team is the favourite. In that instant, the odds changes to something like 2.90: 3.5: 2.10. It is therefore very crucial for one to be keen on the events taking place in the match since they dictate the betting odds.

Advantages of Live Betting

Live betting is suited to increase the winning chances of the bettor. It has several advantages over traditional sports betting, and when maximum attention is paid to it, it can prove to be a great value for your money. One of the biggest advantages of in-play betting is the additional types of bets. They not only provide more opportunities to consider but also enhance the betting experience. When a bettor is given a chance to bet on the time of the next goal, for example, it will keep him on the alert and fingers crossed as he waits for that particular minute. You will also find that these bets have a higher odd than usual bets thus you can make more money if you win.

Also, being able to bet as you watch a game increases your chances of making a correct decision. Due to your previous experience, you can be able to predict the outcome of a match when you see the intensity of the match, the formation of the team, or if by any chance a favourite player gets an injury during the game. For example, in football, if a defender is given a red card, you can easily predict that that particular team can rarely win the match.

Another advantage of in-play betting is the constantly changing odds. Live betting odds offer more value as the game proceeds, which give you the advantage of making more money out of your bet. Sports bettors have gained a real edge of bookmakers using this option. Also, as odds changes are dependent on events taking place in the match, you might find that the bookmaker’s predictions are not correct, and if your instincts tell you otherwise and bet on the higher odd, you can make a big profit.

Disadvantages of live betting

No doubt, everything has its good and bad sides. Live betting can prove to be more emotional and a bit hard to control. When you lose your cool, you will find it hard to process decisions intelligently, and this might lead to you losing.

Similarly, live betting needs quick action. Therefore you don’t have time for match analysis.

Another disadvantage is that you have to be watching the game. It is hard to predict an outcome in a live bet if you are not concentrating and watching the game.

In conclusion, Live-Betting demands considerable expertise and fast analysis tactics. You could be significantly disadvantaged if you are a slow bettor or new to the betting scene. Thus, it is recommendable you take time to learn live betting strategies and consider starting out with minimum stakes to avoid high losses. Other than that, ensure that your internet connection is fast and reliable since a delay of few seconds can lead to great inconvenience. Also, choose to bet live games from a reliable and reputable sportsbook and on that offers a variety of wagering options.

Your next bet on sports is a sure winner, but does it have value?


It’s fair to say that betting is part of our heritage. Small or large, we’ve all bet on something. Young kids betting their sweets that their best friend can’t jump over a stream without getting their feet wet, old men huddled in the bookies on race day, housewives clutching their lottery tickets. Betting is omnipresent in our lives.

If you’re sports mad, the chances are you’ve bet on your favourite team to win a few times, maybe even won a few quid. And with most sports and betting online being accessible from anywhere, you’ve probably sat in the pub with your mates and placed bets from your mobile. But, would you ever bet against your team? Seriously, if you could win a decent amount of cash by betting they’d lose the final round in a major competition, would you bet against them?

That’s the difference between betting for fun and betting to win. Loyalty stays at the door. For betting veterans, if there’s no value in it, then there’s no point. Simple as that.

 

Value betting: the odds in your favour

If you really want the odds in your favour, you need to do what the pros do and learn the art of value betting. Like finding a rough diamond, they spot value where others (bookmakers) think there is none. But how do you know there’s value in a bet?

Calculate bet value like the bookies do

Bookies base their calculations of probability based on lots of data like past results, player health, how a team performs away, the weather, and even the crowd’s temperament. Remember, if bookkeepers always offered favourable odds there would be no betting industry. But as the savvy punter knows, bookies can get it wrong. They know this by doing their own calculations and collecting their own data.

We’re all privy to a lot of information these days. In a few clicks or swipes we too can find out past results, if a striker is on form after an injury (and whether his substitute is any good), if the away team’s crowd is geared up for hostility, previous performance, etc. But none of this is useful data if your calculations tell you there’s no value in the bet offered.

Spotting value

Let’s say you’re going to bet on your friend making a jump over a stream without getting his feet wet. You can place a bet with one of two bookies. Bookie 2 doesn’t know much about him, just that he’s average-looking and he’s got a 50/50 record for making the jump. So out of 100% there’s 50% probability either way. By calculating 100/50, the true decimal price is 2.00. Because they need their cut, Bookie 2 offers odds at 1.90.

Bookie 1’s data suggests your friend will probably get his feet wet. But to make the bet look attractive, they price it at 2.10. What Bookie 1 doesn’t know about your friend is that he’s practised hard recently. Out of the hundreds of jumps this past week, he never got his feet wet.

Calculate the value

It sounds obvious, but to calculate bet value you need a percentage over zero. To work it out, multiply probability by the decimal odds, minus 100%.

Bookie 1: 50% x 2.10 minus 100% = 5%

Bookie 2: 50% x 1.90 minus 100% = -5%

With 5% value, the 2.10 odds offered by Bookie 1 means your bet is a sure thing. You’ve spotted true value (in their mistake).

Back to the real world: how do you make money long term through value betting?

The odds mentioned are fictional, but hopefully you get the gist and know how to calculate betting value. Bookmakers have access to lots of information and statistics. Luckily, so have you. There are excellent websites offering prediction services based on data like the bookies use. You can also get tips from various sources like a relative who always seems to win, or use one of many tipster websites dedicated to sports and betting online. Bookie 2’s odds reflect a more accurate picture of the odds you’ll often come across; makes you wonder how you’re supposed to win anything.

Don’t worry, bookmakers know, with the right calculations and data, and a good banking strategy (more about that later), a percentage of punters spot value and win. It wouldn’t be fair game otherwise.

So when you see value in a bet, even against your own team, why not go for it and win either way?