Low hold betting can refer to a number of betting strategies. It can be in reference to matched betting or free bet conversion, or it can be related to positive EV betting.

I put together this article as a definitive answer to the question, what is low hold betting?

However, to understand what low holding betting means we first need to understand what a hold percentage means.

## What is Hold Percentage in Sports Betting?

A **hold percentage** sometimes referred to as a sportsbooks **vig** or** house edge** refers to the percentage of money that a sportsbook will theoretically profit from every dollar wagered on a sports match.

This is to ensure that a sportsbook has an advantage over a sports betting customer in order to make money. As a result the larger the hold percentage the harder a market is to beat.

As sports bettors, we want to minimize the hold percentage and reduce the margin the sportsbook has against us.

A **Low Hold Bet** is when we bring this hold percentage down to 0% or as close to 0% as possible.

To do this we need to first be able to calculate the **hold percentage**.

## Calculating the Hold Percentage in Sports Betting

The simple way to workout the hold in sports betting is by using a **Hold Calculator**. If we enter the odds for each outcome of a betting market into the calculator. The hold calculator can work out the **Hold Percentage**.

Alternatively, we can workout the percentage manually with the formulas below.

**Manual Hold Calculation**

Firstly, we need to convert the odds to implied probabilities.

##### Moneyline odds:

- Convert the moneyline odds into
**implied probability**:**Negative odds:**Absolute value of the odds/(absolute value of the odds +100) = implied probability

**Positive odds:**100/(value of the odds + 100) = implied probability

##### Decimal odds:

- Convert decimal odds into
**implied probability**:- 1/decimal odds = implied probability

Secondly, we want to add together all of the implied probabilities multiply by 100 to turn them in a percentage and then subtract 100%.

- (Sum of implied probabilities x 100) – 100 = Hold Percentage

As a result we get the Hold Percentage. Which in this case is the amount above 100% when we add together all the probabilities.

#### Hold Percentage Calculation Example

For example, let’s say we have a football match of Denver Broncos vs. Dallas Cowboys at a sportsbook.

- Denver Broncos are +120 to win the match at this sportsbook.

- Dallas Cowboys are -155 to min the match at this sportsbook.

Next, we need to convert these odds to probabilities:

**Denver Broncos:**

- 100/(value of the odds + 100) = implied probability
- 100/(120+100) = implied probability
- 100/220 = implied probability
- 0.45455 = implied probability
- 0.45455

**Dallas Cowboys:**

It should be noted that the term **‘Absolute‘** means a number without any negative (-) signs. In this case the negative odds are flipped to positive for the equation

- Absolute value of the odds/(absolute value of the odds +100) = implied probability
- 155/(155+100) = implied probability
- 155/255 = implied probability
- 0.60784 = implied probability
- 0.60784

Last, we need to combine both of these probabilities to calculate the hold percentage

- (Sum of implied probabilities x 100) – 100 = Hold Percentage
- ((0.45455 + 0.60784) x 100) – 100 = Hold Percentage
- (1.06239 x 100) – 100 = Hold Percentage
- 106.239 – 100 = Hold Percentage
- 6.239 = Hold Percentage
- 6.239 %

In our example the sportsbook would be charging a Hold percentage of 6.239 % meaning that for every $100 bet with the sportsbook they should make around $6.24 profit. Consequently, bettors should expect to lose $6.24.

## What is Low Hold Betting?

Because we now know what a hold percentage represents. We can start to understand low hold betting.

A low hold bet is when we combine the odds on offer at different sportsbooks to give us the lowest hold percentage. **This happens when the betting odds are equal and opposite meaning the hold percentage is 0%**.

For example, if the odds on offer at one sportsbook is +100 for Team A and at another sportsbook the odds on offer are -100 for Team B. In this case the hold percentage would be 0%

As a result this means we could place a bet on both sides of the game. One bet on **Team A at +100** and one bet on **Team B at -100** and **risk no money**.

As we have money on both sides of the market. No matter which team wins, the winnings from one bet would cover the money lost on the other bet. **This means we can place bets without winning or losing any money.**

But why would we want to do this if we can’t win any money?

### How do I find Low Hold Bets?

In order to find low hold bets we need to compare the odds available at multiple sportsbooks against each other across multiple sports and markets.

As a result it can be extremely time-consuming to compare betting odds manually.

Fortunately there are betting tools to help us. We have a free low hold bets tool for bettors to quickly find low hold bets.

## How do we profit from Low Hold Betting?

Good question, low hold betting doesn’t look to make a profit from trying to beat the odds but rather by putting through large betting volumes on sportsbooks to earn rewards and promotions.

Another, strategy is to target sportsbook deposit bonuses and use the low hold method to meet the wagering or turnover requirements without risking our own cash.

For example, Barstool sports will give us a $1000 sign up bonus. However, in order to be able to withdraw the $1000 we need to reach a certain turnover amount. In this example it’s $5000.

Using low hold betting we can place $5000 worth of bets without risking losing our $5000. Once we have completed the wagering we can withdraw the $1000 from Barstool Sports to our bank account.

Alternatively, we can place low hold bets in order to qualify or free bets end then use a free bet conversion tool to convert the free bet to a cash profit we can withdraw.

## Is it possible to get a Negative Hold Percentage?

Yes, it is possible for two sportsbooks to offer odds better than the true odds. This creates a negative hold percentage which in turn creates the opportunity for a risk free bet.

These profitable betting opportunities are called arbitrage bets. If we bet on both sides of the game we can guarantee a profit.

Arbitrage bets are more common on amateur league sports games such as college football and college basketball.

We can use an arbitrage betting tool to find these negative hold betting opportunities. Websites like Oddsjam and DarkHorse Odds both offer an arbitrage betting tool.

## How do I find Low Hold Bets?

In order to find low hold bets we need to compare the odds available at multiple sportsbooks against each other across multiple sports and markets.

As a result it can be extremely time-consuming to compare betting odds manually.

Fortunately there are betting tools to help us. We have a free low hold bets tool for bettors to quickly find low hold bets.

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