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The ideal football bet

Betting Wagers: How Should I Bet?

I. The Ideal Betting Strategy - Making Money From Football Bets

     1. Define Your Starting Capital
     2. Only Bet on Matches That You Can Assess
     3. Choose the Right Betting Category
     4. Stay Away From Combined Bets!
     5. Stay Away From Live Bets!
     6. Find Value Bets
     7. Use Your Expertise in Niche Markets
     8. Create an Effective Money Management Strategy
     9. Keep Multiple Betting Accounts at Different Bookmakers
    10. Keep a Record of Your Bets!

II. Portfolio Management / Calculation of Wagers

     a) Kelly Formula
           1. Kelly Complete 
           2. Fractional Kelly Formula
           3. Fractional Kelly Formula with 10%

b) Underbetting

III. Profit Maximization with Football Bets

 

I. The Ideal Betting Strategy - Making Money From Football Bets

To consistently profit off football bets, you need a sound betting strategy. However, there is no universally valid strategy that will lead you to success in every single event. Moreover, you should come up with a plan of action that complies with your own style of betting. For you to know where and how to start, we have compiled the 10 most important basics of how to create and customise your very own betting strategy.

1. Define Your Starting Capital

Before placing money on bets on a regular basis, you ought to determine how much capital you want to start with. You should only budget the money you have at your disposal and that you can afford to spend. Do not use money that you need for rent, insurance or other living expenses in your starting capital. A clearer mind makes it easier for you to make smarter choices and be more successful in the long run.

2. Only Bet on Matches That You Can Assess

A comprehensive knowledge of sport (in this case, football) and information about each individual match is vital if you want to be a successful bettor. Therefore, you should get to know each team in detail. Assess form curve, missing players, match history and many other indicators that can help you analyse every match as fully as possible. For an extensive list of the most important parameters you should look out for, check out our page on Strategies for Successful Football Bets in our Predictions and Forecasts section.

Bets placed intuitively on your favourite team or high odds will probably lead to the occasional streak of luck - a successful betting strategy, however, cannot be achieved this way. Instead, you should bet on matches in leagues you are familiar with, and on matches you can evaluate properly. Our KickForm Algorithm can help you make better predictions for a match that will grant you an advantage over bookmakers.

3. Choose the Right Betting Category

Place your bets only in categories you are familiar with, or where you have already been considerably successful. At the beginning of your betting career, you should test different betting categories to get a good impression of your options. Simple and low-risk bets for betting rookies are the classic 3-way bets, where you can place bets on Home win, Draw or Away win and Over / Under 2.5 bets. Statistical analyses have shown that these two categories of bets are won quite frequently.

4. Stay Away From Combined Bets!

Even though combined bets have a certain appeal, we recommend avoiding them as much as possible. When playing combined bets, each additional match on your betting slip makes it more likely that you will lose the bet. The best betting strategies are based upon high probabilities which in turn are achieved by making the right bets. Professional players, therefore, exclusively bet on individual matches.

5. Stay Away From Live Bets!

Live bets also carry a high probability of loss, so again, you should try to avoid putting your money on them. For these kinds of bets, you have to make multiple decisions in a matter of seconds. This usually doesn’t give you enough time for a comprehensive analysis which is needed for placing successful bets. As a result, most bettors frequently make crucial mistakes that end up costing them a lot of money.

Moreover, the odds of live bets are always under the offers before the match. For that reason, the payout percentage only rarely exceeds 90%.

6. Find Value Bets!

This is the basic rule for every bettor. Before placing money on a match, you should always check the bookmaker’s odds to find out if your bet has value; only then should you put money on it. Our KickForm ValueBets Finder will help you to detect Value Bets in no time – for more on this in detail, check out our section on “Finding Value Bets”.

7. Use Your Expertise in Niche Markets

Big betting companies offer you up to 40,000 different bets to choose from on a daily basis. For obvious reasons, they are unable to accurately assess each and every match in detail. You can almost be certain that you will not be able to find especially valuable odds for matches played by well-known and popular teams like Bayern, Dortmund and Schalke. So, if you know your way around in other leagues, it is worth shifting your focus on them instead. Are you an expert on the 3. Liga or the second Spanish division? Use your knowledge to your advantage! Check those matches for value and, in this way, get one up over the bookmakers.

8. Create an Effective Money Management Strategy

To stay in the game, you should avoid placing too much money on a single match. Nor should you try to make up for a loss by placing a risky wager afterwards. Instead, you should have a well-thought out Money Management strategy in place. Many bettors work with flat wagers or dynamic wagers, where the amount to be placed follows an initial betting budget (flat wagers) or a current betting budget (dynamic wagers). Whatever kind of money management strategy you choose to follow, you should begin by wagering smaller amounts of no more than 3%-5% percent of your betting budget.

You can also set your wagering amount depending on how risky the bet in question is. Many professional bettors use some form of the unit-system to do this. In this system, 1/10 units, for example, equal the smallest betting amount, and 10/10 units equal the highest one. Depending on the risk of the bet, you then place a diverging number of units on the match. The units, however, have to be linked to fixed percentages that will then determine how much money you should place on a bet.

Example:

Bayern is set to face off against Hoffenheim. Since Bayern is not only in first place at the moment, but is also putting in strong performances, you think Bayern will win the match. You also think the risk of losing is rather low. Therefore, you bet 7/10 units. You have linked 7/10 units to 7% of your betting budget. Let’s say your budget amounts to 100 Euros, so you place 7 Euros on the match.

Apart from the above, you should set targets for your bets. Determine in regular intervals what profit you want to earn in which period of time. Do not set your targets too high in order to keep a clear mind and make well-thought out decisions.

 

9. Keep Multiple Betting Accounts at Different Bookmakers 

Exploit the variety of bookmakers on the market and keep multiple betting accounts with different providers. Depending on the match, odds at different bookmaker tend to differ, so it pays (literally) to look out for the most valuable ones. Furthermore, registering with multiple bookmakers is worth it, as many of them offer welcome bonuses that could boost your bets.

10. Keep a Record of Your Bets

If you have many different bets taking place at the same time, it can be hard to keep track of what’s going on. However, the latter is crucial if you want to keep an eye on how your bets are doing and where you stand to suffer losses. You should, therefore, keep a record of your bets. In this way, all profits and expenses are available at a glance, and you can quickly react to developments and refine your betting strategy if necessary.

 

II. Portfolio Management / Calculation of Wagers

You’ve done your research, discovered different matches and Value Bets and know exactly when you want to place a bet on whom and with which strategy. As a result, your plan of action, also known as your Portfolio, is fixed. How much money should you now place on each match? Admittedly, you may arbitrarily determine how many percentage points of your betting budget you place on a match, depending on the bet’s risk - however, you have not based this on scientific calculations. But a professional Portfolio Management includes the exact calculated amount which you place on your bets. So, how can you calculate this?

As a general rule, never place all of your money on a single bet, no matter how safe it seems to be. Instead, you should spread your wagers across your bets to lessen risk. But how does this help you in practice? For you to calculate in detail how high your wagers should be to expand your capital, you can choose from different models:

a) Kelly Formula

The Kelly Formula, also called the Kelly Criterion or the Kelly System, is one of the most well-known and common methods of calculating wagers for football bets.

How it works

The Kelly Formula solves a basic problem of sporting bets: as a bettor, you face the issue of how much you should wager with each bet. If you place only a minimal portion of your budget, the chance of you going broke admittedly lessens; however, at the same time, your account balance increases only in very small steps. With regular high wagers, you might quickly and considerably increase your budget, but you are also in danger of gambling away your budget with just a few bets. The best possible strategy lies somewhere in between.

The Kelly Formula solves this problem by merging the two extremes. It calculates your wager, depending on your budget, so that it equals the advantage you got from the bet. It therefore follows that the higher the probability of an outcome of a match is, the more you bet on it. This also means that, if the probability is lower, your wager decreases as well. All in all, the probability of you completely losing your betting budget falls to almost zero. At the same time, you (ideally) gain the best possible maximisation of profit.

Evaluation of the Kelly Formula 

The Kelly formula calculates probabilities. However, there are numerous factors in football games that cannot be calculated based on probabilities but depend on other factors such as chance. Therefore, the formula cannot pre-analyse certain factors, such as an unauthorised penalty, sudden rain, or injury to an important player, and cannot take them into account. With the Kelly Formula, you cannot therefore calculate all probabilities. At the same time, however, it is unlikely that unforeseen factors and events occur constantly and you lose bets because of that. Thus, the Kelly formula offers an important component when calculating the stakes for football bets.

1. Kelly Complete

To be able to calculate your wager for each match, you have to find the value of a bet. It forms the basis of the Kelly Formula. If you do not find value in a bet, applying the Kelly Formula does not make sense. (However, since you should only bet on Value Bets in the first place, this should apply anyway). You then divide the calculated value by the quotient from the bookmaker’s odds minus 1. The result is the portion of your betting budget you should place on the bet.

wager = value ÷ (odd – 1)

Example: 

A bookmaker issues the odds of 2.0 for a match between Ingolstadt and Schalke for Schalke winning. You think that Schalke will win with a probability of 55% (or perhaps you’ve use KickForm to calculate this percentage). Your betting budget currently amounts to 100 Euros. How much should you wager on this bet? 

1. Calculation of the Value 
(odd x probability) ÷ 100 = value 
For our example, this means: (2.0 x 55) ÷ 100 = 1.1
The result is above 1, so you have found a Value Bet.


2. Calculation of the Wager
wager = value ÷ (odd – 1)
For our example that means: (2.0 – 1) =  0.1 --> 10% 
You should wager 10% of your betting budget. That would mean placing 10 Euros on a win of Schalke against Ingolstadt. 

3. Upcoming bets
Let’s say Schalke does indeed win and you receive a 20 Euro profit from the bet. If you then again bet on a match with the same odds and the same probability, you will, according to the Kelly Formula, again place 10% of your budget on it. But since your budget is now a little higher, thanks to the previous bet you won, your wager would be higher as well. In this case, you would bet 11 Euros. This way, the growth of your capital curve would increase considerably. If there are other odds and/or other probabilities for the next match, you would have to calculate the percentage for your wager once again with the Kelly Formula.

2. Fractional Kelly Formula

Depending on the respective odds and probability factor, the Kelly Formula can sometimes suggest wagers which are quite high. That way the upward and downward movements of your betting capital may turn out to be extremely drastic. This is especially dangerous if you overestimate your advantage over the bookmakers. The risk the Kelly Formula bears, therefore, seems too high to some bettors – which is why it now has two modifications.

One of them is the fractional Kelly Formula. Here, you calculate your wager according to the Kelly Formula, just as demonstrated above. However, you only use a fraction that you would have determined yourself for your bets. You might, for example, have determined that you always place only 25% of your calculated wager. In this way, you reduce the risk of loss. Admittedly, your profits would then not be as high, but it might be statistically worth it in the long run; if the amount of your won and lost bets is balanced, you stand to gain a profit by using the fractional Kelly Formula. Should you use the Kelly Complete, you might be in the red.

3. Fractional Kelly Formula with 10%

A modification of the Kelly Formula which bettors often use is the fractional Kelly Formula with 10%. Here, you calculate your wager according to the Kelly Formula, and then place only 10% of the proposed wager on your matches. In doing so, you significantly reduce the risk of suffering high losses, and may also place bets on upcoming matches with a more relaxed mindset if you’ve just lost a few bets in a row. Here, the statistics are on your side as well. By using this version of the Kelly Formula, you will still remain in the black if you have a good balance of won and lost bets.

b) Underbetting

The Kelly Formula suggests optimal wagers if your estimated probability and the bookmaker’s odds add up. However, since you never know exactly with what probability a match will end, you might get your estimations wrong from time to time. As a result, the Kelly Formula may suggest an amount that no longer constitutes the optimal wager.

If you decide to use underbetting, you therefore place only a fraction of the amount proposed through the Kelly Formula and thus, decrease the risk of loss. Hence, underbetting simply describes the fractional Kelly Formula.

 

III. Profit Maximisation with Football Bets

If you want to successfully win money from football bets, you should use a Money Management strategy that enables a consistent profit increase. This means that with each bet you increase your betting budget and therefore, your capital.

The Kelly Formula, both in its complete version and in its fractional interpretation (i.e. underbetting) belongs to the models that lets you bet with the aim of increasing your profit. It is based on the assumption that you constantly want to bet and increase your assets. Ideally, your betting budget grows with each won bet with the help of the Kelly Formula, so that each wager increases as well. Like this, the growth curve of your betting assets becomes especially steep. You should utilise a Money Management strategy that also focuses on a maximisation of profit. Should you turn out to be competent football and betting expert, you can, in this way, enjoy handsome winnings from football bets.

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