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Value Betting System

I have been talking recently to a guy who started his betting career on a serious basis a few years ago. And by serious I mean he had to live off of the money he won.

He told me about the method that he used to find his value bets, which required no form study, and essentially was just comparing prices between bookmakers and Betfair.

This is a method I've heard about before and I've now done a bit of research for this article.

Basically the theory goes something like this…

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1. Betfair odds represent the true chance of a horse winning (Wisdom of Crowds etc)

2. If you can get better odds from a bookmaker than the Betfair odds you have value.

3. When you find such a bet you either back with the bookie and lay off at Betfair for a guaranteed profit or just back the horse with the bookie because it is a value bet and you will win in the long run.

So I'm sure that has raised two questions in your mind, how profitable is it and how hard is it to find the selections.

On Course Profits free Horse Racing magazine

Let's start with finding the selections, basically all this requires is to scan though the cards at Oddschecker looking for horses that have a bigger bookies price than the Betfair price.

Then clicking through to Betfair to see if you can lay the selection at shorter odds than the bookie price. If you can then place the bet with the bookie and either lay it or not at Betfair depending on which strategy you are using.

While looking for some data to confirm that this is still a profitable strategy I came across a tool that will find the bets for you and this tool has a results page showing results going back three years. Here's a screenshot for 2012.

Racing Synergy results

You can click here to get the full breakdown on Bet Synergy.

If you've used this method, this software or anything similar do let me know in the comments.

Today's Selection

Southwell 4.05 Burgoyne – win bet – 2/1 Bet365

9 thoughts on “Value Betting System”

  1. I have bought several methods/tipping services that use this approach. I have not found any of them to be satisfactory for me. The main problems since you are basically arbing (or might be arbing)are:
    1. Bookies close your account, or restrict stake size, or withdraw BOG for you.
    2. Insufficient liquidity on Betfair – you are competing with hundreds or even thousands of Arbers and Arbing Bots. In the time it takes to get the back bet on, theres nothing much available at the required odds on Betfair. So lots of work for little profit and some losses.
    3. If you just do the backing part of it, expect long losing runs and periods of no increase in your account. The Bet Synergy graph shows no progress for about 1/4 to 1/3 of the time period – if the graph is of results for 1 year this is bad enough, if the graph is for 3 years it is, for most people, unacceptable.

  2. Hi I did look into it and sent some relevant concerns and questions but no one ever got back to me which put me right off!!!
    This tactic is well known but its amazing how hard in practice it is to place these bets fast enough and all the outsiders are usually bigger prices on betfair and the other end of the market tends to balance with each other very quickly!!!

    1. HiI’ve worked for both sptors and financial spread betting companies so the answer depends upon what you are betting on.Sports bookmakers (including the few sptors spread betting companies) will let people win for a while because the theory is that they will lose eventually. Some people however are talented gamblers and their accounts used to be closed. That practice received bad publicity. Instead, now, the bookmakers are less likely to close your account and more likely reduce the amount you could bet so that your bet is meaningless. The hope is that you will go elsewhere.Financial spread betting is different. Some companies will take the bet on’ ie essentially become a financial bookmaker. Other companies will simply hedge the bet against other investors. Often they will hedge your bet off on the underlying financial market itself – because of the volumes they trade, the spread betting company itself can get a better price than you. They can make a small margin on that bet.Talking with an ex-trader at FinancialSpreads, the current practice is a combination of the two. They try to segregate the client base into talented investors’ and novice investors’. They hedge off the talented investors’ trades. They may take on’ the novice investors’ trades.In short, because the financial spread betting company is able to pass the bet on, the spread betting company doesn’t necessarily lose money if you win. Therefore your account is unlikely to be closed.In fact most spread betting companies would like a lot of winners. They could hedge off all those trades, make a small margin and they would have a very active client base.Either way, a word of caution, financial spread betting has a habit of catching people out. New investors get over confident, increase their stakes and then lose. It’s not for everyone. Stop Losses’ can help restrict your losing trades. Discipline is needed. Good luck.

  3. Can confirm Davi’ds comment. I used a variation on this method for 3 months last year and by Dec using £100 stakes, Stan James banned me completely, PaddyPower, Ladbrokes, Skybet, Corals all offered me alternative stakes of such a low level (Skybet offered me an alternative stake of £1.10 for £100 stake)!! BetVictor would take stake but stopped giving me best odds before start. Only one who did take stake all the time was Bet365. Having all of the aforementioned taken away there are not many others that would give you a better price than Betfair by checking Oddschecker. So basically I’ve stopped doing it.

  4. David Could you please work out a STAKING PLAN to back The 1st and 2nd Fav to Win in the same race . And to increase Stakes after a Win THANK YOU .Harry

    1. Hi Harry

      You can use this tool to work out how much to stake on the 1st and 2nd favourite so that you get the same profit whichever wins.

      I’m not sure what would be the best plan to recover any losses because pretty much any recovery plan will catch you out eventually. The only one I would recommend would be to increase stakes for a set number of follow on bets, say the next 2, and if they both lose then accept the loss and move on. If you just keep increasing eventually a long run will come along and wipe you out 🙁


  5. With regard to comparing betfair to the bookies prices as above what is the best time to do the comparison, i.e. morning prices or just before the race.

    1. Hi Brian

      Anytime from when the bookies first price up until about 10 minutes before the start is good. Once the on course prices go up all the bookies align and any differences between the course and Betfair disappear.


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