Betting Strategies – How to Find Value in Sports Betting

In betting, you place a bet on an outcome and get paid when that outcome happens. Betting can be on the winner of a game, event or individual. Betting can also be on non-casino games like bingo, the lottery or dead pool; or on electronic games such as online slots or keno. Some games, such as poker or horse racing, have elements of physical skill or strategy in addition to chance.

A key concept to understand when betting is value. This is the difference between the odds that a sportsbook sets for a bet and its true probability of occurring. Oddsmakers set their odds in order to attract roughly equal action on both sides of a bet. Understanding this concept can help you to spot a potential good value bet and make more profitable long term bets.

One way to find value is to bet on underdogs that have a decent chance of winning a game. Another is to bet against popular teams that are expected to win. This is sometimes called “fading the public” and it can be a profitable strategy.

You can also use a system of incremental increases in bet size after losses to improve your chances of winning. A common example is the Labouchere system (a.k.a the split Martingale). Start by choosing a base betting unit. Write down a sequence of numbers like 1-1-2-2-1-1 and increase your bet after each loss by the same number. After a win, return to the base betting unit.