Kelly Strategy - Sports Betting Calculator

The Kelly Strategy, also known as the Kelly Criterion, is a renowned formula used in sports betting to determine the optimal amount to wager. This mathematical concept, designed to maximize the exponential growth of your betting bankroll, has been effectively employed by many successful bettors and investors. In this tutorial, we will explore the formula behind the Kelly Strategy, see it in action, and highlight the achievements of notable individuals who have mastered this method.

Kelly Strategy - Sports Betting Calculator
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Behind the Betting Strategy

The Kelly Strategy, conceived by John Larry Kelly Jr., a scientist at Bell Labs, is based on the idea that your betting amount should be proportionate to your betting edge. This strategy helps maximize returns while also mitigating risks by preventing total loss. It's worth noting that while the Kelly Strategy originated in the realm of telecommunication, its principles found relevance in the world of sports betting, harnessing the power of probability and statistics.

The Bet-Making Formula

The formula for the Kelly Strategy is simple yet powerful. It calculates the proportion of your bankroll to bet based on your betting edge and the odds provided.

F = ((bp - q) / b) = ((b × p) - q) / b


  • F is the fraction of the current bankroll to wager.
  • b is the net odds received on the wager (i.e., odds is "b to 1").
  • p is the probability of winning.
  • q is the probability of losing (which is 1-p).

Applying the Kelly Strategy

Let's consider a real-life example: You are betting on a football game with a $1000 bankroll. You estimate a 55% chance of your team winning. The betting site offers odds of 10 to 1. How much should you wager?

F = ((10 × 0.55) - 0.45) / 10 = 0.1

This means you should wager 10% of your bankroll, or $100. This keeps your betting risk-managed and your growth potential optimized.

Achievements in the Betting World

Many successful sports bettors have used the Kelly Strategy to make profitable wagers. One notable person is Edward Thorp, a mathematics professor and author of "Beat the Dealer", a book that revolutionized blackjack betting strategies. Thorp successfully used the Kelly Criterion not just in gambling, but also in his hedge fund, achieving consistently high returns.

Similarly, Bill Benter, considered one of the most successful horse betting individuals in history, used computer algorithms based on the Kelly Criterion to place bets, reportedly earning billions of dollars.

The Kelly Strategy is a powerful tool in the world of sports betting. With its understanding, you can maximize your bankroll's growth while minimizing the risk of ruin. Whether you're a novice bettor or a seasoned punter, the Kelly Criterion is a valuable addition to your betting arsenal.

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