author: betcreative   1 February 2016Print page

Kelly criterion

Kelly criterion is one of the best but also the most difficult bookmaker system. It’s better not to use this strategy for beginner players.

Kelly criterion
What is the essence of Kelly criterion?
What is the essence of Kelly criterion?
Surely it is one of the best systems created by an American scientist John Kelly. Of course it is not a simple system and that is why it is used mainly by professional players who can estimate which odds are valuebet. A beginner bettor who only starts his adventures with bookmaker betting should not realize this system, unless he disposes of wide knowledge of one of the sporting disciplines.

The best is to represent this system by an example:

Suppose that Arsenal, playing in an away match, has not had any luck recently, moreover it lost two key players due to injuries. In the meantime the Wigan team, playing at home, lost 3 last matches with a modest result 1:0. The bookmakers have set the odds at the level 1X – 2.37, and 1.53 for Arsenal’s win. It is hard to agree with such decision taking into account all the subtlety. We think that chances for 1X are at 60%, what gives us a mathematical advantage (valuebet).

Suppose we have a 10000 pounds budget, percentage chances of 1X are at 60%.


Bet = [C x (p x o – 1)]/o – 1

C – capital

p – probability that the player guesses the outcome (in percent)

o – odds

x – multiplier

Bet = [10000 x (60%x2.37 - 1)]/2.37 – 1

Bet = [10000 x (1.422 - 1)]/1.37

Bet = [10000 x 0.422]/1.37

Bet = 3080 pounds

Calculation: 3080 pounds (our bet) x 2.37 = 7300 – 3080 = 4220 pounds.

In this strategy we think that you should play only with high odds. Odds at the level 1.90 will most probably not be appropriate. Professional players, using this system for a long time, largely praise it.

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