Tips for value betting beginners

There’s a lot to learn in the beginning but there’s no need to rush. Remember, you have the upper hand on the bookmaker. You have to build confidence in the value betting process and put trust in making money long term. Check out out best tips for value betting beginners here:

  1. Get familiar with the layout

ValueBetting is platform-independent and can be used on mobile, tablet and desktop. Familiarize yourself with the layout and how the program works. This 1-minute video below will guide you through the basics of how to place and log your first value bet.

2. Use recommended settings

If you are a beginner and don’t know what settings to choose, just rely on the recommended beginner settings. You can, of course, change settings yourself later on if you want.

Kelly criterion stake sizing strategy
ValueBetting has a built-in staking strategy: Kelly criterion for stake sizing. This will ensure optimal profits, but you can also use it to lower risk. Default Kelly is set to 30%.

Maximum stake
Default max stake is 2% of your current bankroll (your total investment). This is commonly called one “unit” in sports betting when you don’t want to divulge how much money you have. Limiting your bet size is important to handle risk and variance.

Maximum odds
Default settings are minimum odds of 1.20 and maximum odds 3.10. Don’t bet on the highest odds just because they give the highest value. Higher odds are less likely to result in a win and will increase the variance. You can decrease the odds range to further reduce variance, for example 1.60 to 2.90.

Minimum and maximum value
ValueBetting has default settings to show a minimum value of 2% and a maximum value of 10%. Betting on higher value will over time increase your yield (and your profits), and give you a larger buffer against shifting odds.  If you have enough bets, try increasing the minimum value to 3%. 

Time to match start
The default setting is 12 hours. Matches that are played more than 12 hours in the future will be hidden. The closer to match start the higher confidence you can have in the estimated value percentage.

3. Stick to the plan

Value betting is about volume. You need to place as many bets as your time and bankroll allow. Don’t switch the betting strategy too often. Otherwise you won’t know if it works. The number of bets required to reach statistical significance is much higher than what most people think intuitively. You will have to place a couple of thousand bets before you will know with a great deal of certainty. 

4. Understand variance

Value betting is about making long term profit, not about short term gains. When value betting you bet on the bookmakers overpriced odds. This means that you have a greater chance to win than the bookmakers odds imply. But it doesn’t mean you win every bet you place. This also means that you can’t expect a smooth profit curve. There will be variance and you will have to face downswings. We don’t want you to learn this the hard way, so better to be well informed so you know what to expect. This article contains our best tips for value bettors who want to reduce variance

5. Learn the bookmakers

If you are completely new to sports betting, you should first practice betting on your starting bookmakers. Note that value betting on sharp bookmakers is more difficult than using soft bookmakers. If you’re a beginner, you might consider betting on soft bookmakers to begin with. You can also practice value betting without the use of real money. You do all the steps except confirm the bet. This is called “paper trading” and is good to learn without the risk of losing money on beginner mistakes. You will also get a good idea of what profits you can expect. If you’re a sports betting beginner, make sure you also read up on the different bet types you’ll come across at the bookmakers. 

6. Bet on well-known events and leagues

If you’re a beginner you should stick to bet on the most common events and the biggest leagues. Some books might raise an eyebrow if the first thing you do is to bet a lot of money on an obscure low tier foreign league.


7. Place bets close to match start

If you place a bet very long time before match start a lot can happen that affect the odds. For instance, an important player may suddenly be injured. This will affect the odds. Therefore, bets placed close to kick-off will be more stable. The odds at the time the match kick-off is known as the closing line. The closing line represents what the market believes to be the fair odds, meaning the true probability for the outcome of the games.

8. Keep an updated bankroll

Update your bankroll frequently, preferably every day. This ensures the kelly stake sizing is correctly calculated. You can adjust your current bankroll in the Options tab inside ValueBetting.

9. Learn how to avoid limitations

There’s a lot of money to grab out there, so the longer you can go unlimited, the better. This blog post contain all our best tips to make your bookmaker accounts last as long as possible. 

10. Log your bets

Logging your bets gives you an overview of your running results compared to the expected value. Log your bets in the ValueBetting BetTracker.

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