Chasing Steam Betting Explained – The Ultimate Guide 2023

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Last Updated on: 23.02.2023

Chasing steam betting is where you respond to drastic changes in betting lines before all the bookmakers have caught up, in order to get great odds on insider and professional backed markets. But it’s easier said than done. That’s why we’ve crafted this exclusive chasing steam guide so you can learn how it works, how you can respond and the best bookmakers for chasing steam.

To use chasing steam betting as a strategy, you’re going to have to be signed up to a multitude of bookmakers. This means that as a side benefit to chasing steam, you also get the many advantages of using multiple accounts. They’re too numerous to discuss in detail here, but range from more promotions to better comparable odds, and are a great way of getting more out of your bets whether or not you’re chasing steam.

What Is Chasing Steam Betting?

Conceptually, chasing steam betting is very easy to understand.

  • Steam is when there is a sudden change in betting lines, also known as betting odds. The important thing here is that the change must be sudden and across multiple bookmakers. Gradual changes would more likely be due to public opinion, which isn’t what we’re looking for here. If it only occurs on one bookmaker, that would be viewed as an outlier rather than a true shift.

What we’re looking for is a change caused by expert opinion from syndicates and professional gamblers, and to emulate what they’re doing for the best chances of success. This is what chasing steam sports betting is: paying attention to the markets to track the moves of professionals and copying them before all the bookmakers have had a chance to change their odds to catch up with the sudden move – another reason why gradual changes aren’t useful to us.

And that’s the tricky part. Being able to confirm the move due to the behaviour of multiple bookmaker odds, without leaving it so late that there’s no opportunity to find more favourable odds from slower operators is no easy feat.

Why Drastic Line Changes Happen

The truth is when it comes to chasing steam sports betting, you’ll very likely not know the reason for the sudden change in odds, which is also known as a steam move. The idea is to have faith in the professional syndicates and gamblers to know better than you do. Essentially, you’re just tracking and following the smart money.

There are many reasons it could be happening: some insider knowledge on strategy, team line-ups, injury news, or just a decision among experts that the odds as they stand have gotten the real probabilities drastically wrong. You may never know, but anything which could make the experts believe that a market is worth backing in huge amounts could cause sudden large betting activity and therefore, a sharp change in betting lines.

How Chasing Steam Betting Works

This is a quick and easy-to-understand example of how chasing steam sports betting might work. We’ve decided not to use specific odds here because the principles remain the same regardless of the odds specifics. Remember, both the type of odds used and specific odds in question aren’t what constitutes a steam move, rather the actions surrounding them.

  • 01
    In a match between Arsenal and Manchester City, the latter are heavy favourites.
  • 02
    You notice a seismic shift in odds on some betting sites, shortening the odds for Manchester City. This would suggest the experts now, for some reason, believe City have a better chance of winning than previously.
  • 03
    Look for other operators where the odds haven’t yet shifted. If you find one, back Manchester City to win before they move. This should mean you get a great deal of value in terms of betting odds, as the line movement suggests the professionals believe City winning is far more likely than the odds you just backed. That said, nothing is guaranteed, and you should always practise responsible gaming.
  • 04
    Just like with any other bet, sit back and see if your strategy pays off.

The Best Sites For Chasing Steam

Betfair logo
  • Two sets of odds to choose from
  • Fantastic betting exchange and sportsbook
  • Surprisingly easy to navigate

New customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards or Apple Pay will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.Full T&Cs apply. #ad

  • Tough to beat as an all rounder
  • Huge variety of betting products
  • Can offer you plenty even without chasing steam

18+ - Offer for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and Full T&Cs apply. #ad

William Hill
  • Incredible market variety
  • Always in the conversation for top odds
  • Consistently reliable option

New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. See full terms below. Full T&Cs apply. #ad

  • Incredibly easy to sign up
  • Particularly excellent for American markets
  • Often takes the top spot for best football odds

New 18+ UK customers only. Register using the promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes are not included in any returns. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required Full T&Cs apply. #ad

Paddy Power logo
Paddy Power
  • Great for British sports
  • One of the best for horse racing markets
  • All around fantastic betting experience

New Customer Offer. Place your FIRST bet on any Sportsbook market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £10. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. Full T&Cs apply. #ad

Coral logo
  • Wonderfully easy to use
  • Perfect for newcomers
  • A simple, stress-free sign-up experience

18+ New UK+ ROI Customers only. Deposit & Bet min £5 as first bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x £20 Free Bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excluded. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions apply. Full T&Cs apply. #ad

  • A great choice for comparing football odds
  • Broad variety of betting markets
  • One of the most trusted operators in the world

18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first 5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x 5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + Full T&Cs apply. #ad

  • Excellent choice for esports
  • Versatile selection of markets
  • Consistently top tier odds

New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ Full T&Cs apply. #ad

The Positives of Chasing Steam

By now, we hope some of the positives of chasing steam are already becoming apparent. However, there are likely many more things you haven’t considered. So, we’re going to highlight five of the key positives to chasing steam sports betting, so you can get a clear idea of whether this strategy is right for you.

  • 01
    Utilising the knowledge of professional gamblers
    The essential idea behind chasing steam is that instead of betting based on your own instincts, you’re leaving it in the hands of professionals. They’re likely to provide smarter bets than your average punter could. In a way, it’s a rather humble betting strategy, as you’re putting your bets entirely on the shoulders of someone you think will know better.
  • 02
    Take advantage of a broad selection of bookmakers
    To use chasing steam betting as a strategy, you’re going to have to be signed up to a multitude of bookmakers. This means that as a side benefit to chasing steam, you also get the many advantages of using multiple accounts. They’re too numerous to discuss in detail here, but range from more promotions to better comparable odds, and are a great way of getting more out of your bets whether or not you’re chasing steam.
  • 03
    Use alongside promotions
    Speaking of promotions, remember there’s no reason you can’t chase steam while also getting even more value by using relevant bonuses. It could be that you get even better odds through bet boosts or you can use that wager to quality for free bets. There are so many possibilities, you just need to be on the lookout for them.
  • 04
    Many betting strategies require big money for them to work. That’s not the case when chasing steam betting. You can utilise this tactic betting as little or as much as you want. Not only does this make it a safer strategy, but makes it useful to more people, from casual bettors to high rollers on the lookout for the maximum deposit they can make.
  • 05
    Beyond finding chasing steam sports betting opportunities, all the work is done for you. All the research and depths of betting strategy beyond chasing steam? They’re someone else’s concern, because this tactic is all about trusting the experts.

The Negatives of Chasing Steam

All betting strategies have their pros and cons, so don’t view this look at five negatives of chasing steam to be an indication that this is a weak betting strategy – far from it. However, it won’t always be the right way to go. Here are five things to consider when figuring out whether to try chasing steam.

  • 01
    You don’t know where the steam comes from
    Although we can venture a guess at the most common reasons for a steam move, ultimately, the how, why, and who will likely be a mystery to you. It could be that there have been big changes in the team line-up and you can draw a likely conclusion there, but quite often, you just have to go in blind. While that blind faith does take a lot of pressure off, it can also understandably make some people nervous.
  • 02
    Incompatibility with other strategy
    As you’re simply trusting in a close-to-invisible source when chasing steam betting, the fact is your bet is one of sheer luck. We suppose this is always the case to an extent, regardless of how vigilant you are with your research normally. However, here, you’re truly relinquishing control, meaning the majority of other strategies aren’t compatible.
  • 03
    The possibility of account restrictions
    There should be no reason why chasing steam sports betting would see your account restricted. Unfortunately, the reality is often very different. Bookmakers don’t like people chasing steam betting, and they reserve the right to restrict accounts as they please. This means account restrictions, from betting limits to the blocking of your account, are frustratingly possible.
  • 04
    It requires many accounts and fast reactions
    In many ways, chasing steam is an easy strategy. However, finding a steam change and then finding a bookmaker which has not updated their odds in time is no cakewalk. You will need very fast reactions and many accounts, which simply might not be what casual players desire.
  • 05
    Takes away the fun of predictions
    For many, betting isn’t just about winning. It’s about the joy of the process. Analysing teams, stats, performance, it allows many of us to appreciate these games on a different level. It may be extra work, but it can be fun.
    This is very much a preference thing, but if you enjoy betting and the ability it has to get you invested in tournaments – or the ability for handicap betting to make lopsided games interesting – consider that when deciding whether chasing steam betting works for you. For many people, a mixture of tactics is the solution.

Similar Betting Strategies To Chasing Steam

Screenshot of Betbull homepage

There are many amazing betting strategies that work when used correctly. However, some are much more like chasing steam sports betting than others. Here’s a trio of examples you may be interested in if chasing steam betting appeals to you, but you want to mix and match to better tackle a wider variety of options.

Fading the Public

This is often spoken about alongside chasing steam – so much so that many believe it’s the opposite of it. That’s not the case. Fading the public is when you essentially go against popular opinion and therefore the odds – because bookmakers to a large extent must follow the consensus to balance the books, regardless of the result.

In cases where passions run high, public opinion and the available odds can be quite drastically wrong and you could get excellent odds by betting in the opposite direction. The reason fading the public is not the opposite of chasing steam betting, although quite similar, is that chasing steam is about following experts and professional bettors, not public consensus.

Following Tipsters

Considering chasing steam is all about getting tips from those who bet professionally, there’s arguably no closer comparison point than simply following tipsters. This can be done effectively through great betting sites like SBK. This also eliminates the problem of not knowing where your tips are coming from, as not only can you view profiles, but also the history of that tipster so you can judge their success for yourself.

Arbitrage Betting

If you’re comfortable with the process of comparing odds and responding swiftly to opportunity when chasing steam, arbitrage betting could be right up your alley. Essentially, this is a process of using differences in odds between bookmakers to guarantee a profit by betting the same across markets which come out to less than 100% of overall probability. A touch more complicated than chasing steam betting, but a very respected strategic process.

What Makes a Good Chasing Steam Sports Betting Site in 2023?

You’ll need a wide variety of betting sites at your disposal to make a chasing steam betting strategy work. We’ve carefully considered what we think would make a great selection of bookmakers for someone to implement a chasing steam sports betting strategy. Here are seven key facets we considered:

  • Security: This is vital regardless of strategy.
  • Usability: If you’re using several sites, you don’t want any extra difficulty.
  • Promotions: You can chase steam and use bonuses, so why not enjoy both?
  • Customer Satisfaction: If a site unnecessarily penalises people, it should come up as a negative when researching customer satisfaction. This is a vital consideration when chasing steam betting.
  • Odds Quality: Naturally, the better the odds, regardless of steam moves, the better foundation we have before we begin.
  • Speed of Response: Actually, we wanted a variety of response speeds to both pick up on steam changes and to take advantage of them
  • Mobile Availability: The need for quick responses means the ability to get on our bookmakers via a quality mobile option is extra important.

Can Chasing Steam Only Be Used on American Markets?

Screenshot of American Odds from Unibet

Earlier in this guide, we decided not to add in specific odds during our step-by-step example of how chasing steam works. We wanted you to instead focus on the general principles.

However, it’s worth noting that whenever you do find examples of this strategy, they’re almost always presented in American odds. We think this is partly because the whole idea and movement of betting lines is simply easier to understand with American odds. For instance, let’s go back to our previous example of Arsenal vs Manchester City.

Manchester City initially have odds of -300. This has an implied probability of 75%. This betting line moves abruptly to -600. This has an implied probability of 85.7%. You can see from the implied probability that this is a significant jump, and thus, the likelihood of them winning is much greater according to serious gamblers. If you find a bookmaker to back at -300, you’d be getting seriously high value odds, and greater returns if you win.

The equivalent you’re more likely to see in the UK is fractional odds of 0.33/1 and 1.33 decimal for the initial odds, and then a move to 0.17/1 fractional and 1.17 decimal when the odds change.

The fact that fractional and decimal odds feel more abstract in this example probably explains why this market so often utilises American odds. That said, this strategy can be used just as easily on UK markets and with different odds. If you get confused, convert the odds and use whatever option you’re most comfortable with.

Chasing Steam Betting FAQs

It’s a betting strategy where you follow sudden changes in betting markets to take advantage of insider information and the activity of professional gamblers.
It refers to the moment the odds change.
We think so. It’s one with plenty of positives and merit behind it. Of course, no strategy can guarantee profit.
No, chasing steam requires you to utilise multiple bookmakers.
Yes, there are many comparable strategies. Following tipsters is incredibly similar, for instance, and fading the public is often viewed as a sister strategy to chasing steam.
You certainly can. There’s no logical reason you can’t combine this strategy with any promotion.
Absolutely not. You’re simply using the variety of odds available to you.
You win with chasing steam by winning your bets as usual. The strategy is about making the best choice of which markets to back in the first place.

ThePuntersPage Final Say

We think chasing steam is an incredibly useful betting strategy, and there’s a great variety of excellent betting sites you can test it out on in a way that suits your budget. It’s a pretty stress-free option as far as strategic formulas go, too. However, while it's much more accessible and versatile than many other option, there’s no such thing as a perfect betting strategy.

Quite often, the markets you’re looking at simply won’t provide a betting opportunity for chasing steam. That’s why it’s best not to think of chasing steam betting as existing in a vacuum. You should view it as a tool, and you can have as many strategic tools as you care to learn, from arbitrage betting to hedge betting. The more you know, the more chance you’ll have the right tool for the job. Even when chasing steam sports betting isn’t right, it’s still part of an important ensemble of tactical options.