Value Betting Term Meaning

One of the most important betting terms is ‘value’. This is what all punters are looking for when researching their bet selections. Let’s take a more detailed look at this special term and show you why it is paramount to your long-term success against the bookmaker.

Value means the estimated worth of something. Whether you are buying a new computer or placing a bet, you will automatically calculate the value. If you feel the price of the computer is cheap, then you would perceive this as value. In many ways, this is exactly the same when betting. If you feel that the bookmaker’s price is long (so you win more money from the same stake amount), you are getting value. 

Professional bettors; those who are highly successful at what they do, must be able to pinpoint value bets in the markets. This comes from understanding the chance of it happening (in your mind) and the odds the bookmaker has given it. Value can refer to any available bet, it doesn’t have to be the favourite. Certainly, the favourite is most likely to win, but if the price is too short, then you might not believe the bet has any value.

Identifying Value when betting


To identify value, you must first understand the bookmaker’s implied probability. This implied probability is shown as a percentage based on the betting odds of either something happening or it not happening. If the bookie prices a horse at even money (2.00 in decimal), this means he thinks the horse has a 50% chance of winning the race.

As a punter, you must have your own opinion which will come from your own pre-betting research. If you come to the conclusion that the horse has a greater than 50% chance of winning, then the bookmaker’s odds would be good value. The opposite way, if you did your research and believe the horse only has a 30% chance of winning, then that’s poor value. 

You shouldn’t think in terms of favourites and underdogs, value could be in any market and on any selection. For instance, one horse may be an outsider in the betting, but from what you know, you believe it has a good chance as an each-way bet. Due to the higher odds, then returns can be better than simply backing the favourite to win, hence you determine there is value in this bet.

To refine your eye in spotting value bets, it pays to specialise within a specific sport, league or even a particular team. It’s impossible to absorb all the information from every sport, but if you only focus on a small part and learn all you can, you will soon see where the betting value is in each market.