What is Arbitrage Betting?

Arbitrage BettingArbitrage betting (also known as arbing) is a betting strategy based on making bets on a sporting or non-sporting event at odds that ensure a profit regardless of the result of the event. The strategy typically implies placing two or more punts at a time on opposite betting outcomes. Arbitrage betting always rests upon maths rather than knowledge of sports and generally involves minimal risks of losing money. Arbitrage players cover all possible outcomes of the sporting event and receive a profit without any risks of losing money. The system works when an online betting website offers the betting odds higher than prices provided by other bookmakers. The bets placed according to the principles of the sports betting arbitrage strategy are called arbs, sure bets or sure wins. Likewise, punters who benefit from arbitrage betting are known as arbers.

It is important to understand that arbitrage betting can’t be implemented in every sports match as bookmakers almost always offer the similar betting odds or odds that vary a little. Basically, if you place bets on all the opposite outcomes of a certain sporting event with one bookmaker, you only lose your money.

Let’s take a football match, for example. You are going to bet £300 on all possible outcomes: £100 on hosts to win at odds of 9/10 (1.9), £100 on guests to win at odds of 12/5 (3.4) and £100 on the draw (at 5/2 or 3.5).

£100 х 1.9 = £190 (£90 profit)

£100 x 3.4 = £340 (£240 profit)

£100 x 3.5 = £350 (£250 profit)

As you see, the maximum profit you can gain from such combination of bets is £250. So, in the worst case, you lose £210, and in the best case — £50. Due to the bookmaker’s margin build into the betting odds, regardless of the game result, you can’t beat the bookie.

With that, sometimes sportsbooks still set different prices or make mistakes while creating the odds. In such a case, the discrepancy between prices allows bettors to get a profit from making sports betting arbitrage bets. Therefore, comparing the betting odds for a certain sports match offered by different online betting websites can disclose an arbitrage betting opportunity.

Now, let’s consider an example of how arbitrage betting works. Suppose you’ve found an arbitrage bet in the Draw No Bet betting markets provided by two online bookmakers for the same English Premier League match between Liverpool and Arsenal. The first bookmaking company prices the Liverpool Draw No Bet betting outcome at odds of 11/10 (2.1) and the Arsenal Draw No Bet outcome at odds of 4/5 (1.8). The second bookie’s prices are slightly different: Liverpool Draw No Bet at odds of 4/5 (1.8) and the same betting outcome for Arsenal at odds of 21/20 (2.05). Making of two betting arbitrage punts that cover two opposite outcomes provides a guaranteed return of 3.6% (100 – 96.4 = 3.6). So, you place two bets and, regardless of the football match result, remain in the black. For example, a £100 stake brings you a profit of £3.6.

Liverpool (Draw No Bet) Arsenal (Draw No Bet) Margin Stake
Odds Bookmaker A 2.1 1.8 105.56% £49.40
Odds Bookmaker B 1.8 2.05 102.83% £50.60
Arbitrage Bets 2.1 2.05 96.4% (3.6% profit margin) £100

The arbitrage betting technique can be applied to any sports betting market, including the Straight Win, Double Chance, and Corners markets. You are also able to use free bets in arbing, however, you want to make sure in advance whether you are eligible to participate in the promos, due to restrictions applied to users from certain countries.

Arbitrage Betting Software

Arbitrage SoftwareEven though you are an experienced arber, it’s nearly impossible to find a sufficient number of arbitrage bets manually. To hunt the betting outcomes with a negative margin, you need to use a special arbitrage betting software. By scanning thousands of betting markets and odds, this software quickly determines the discrepancy in odds, allowing arbers to find the betting arbitrage bet within seconds and without any effort.

There are a lot of free arbitrage bet finders on the Internet, however, the free versions have many limitations. They provide fewer betting markets and don’t update information fast enough. It is a significant drawback since arbitrage opportunities don’t last for long, so, you might not be able to do all things in time.

You are also able to benefit from paid arbitrage services. The paid software usually updates feed faster and offers the wider array of betting markets and outcomes. Such services usually turn out to be more profitable. Providing more betting options, they allow arbers to make the most of betting arbitrage punts. The paid services also boast an arbitrage betting calculator and feature mobile apps allowing players to bet right on the go. The arbitrage betting calculator is definitely an indispensable thing when you need to calculate stakes for each betting outcome quickly. All you need is to input the total stake you want to risk and the betting odds offered for each betting outcome. Then calculator will display how much money you need to wager on each of the outcomes as well as how much money you win.

Although placing sure bets is considered to be legal, however, as you might understand, not all bookmaking companies are glad to deal with arbers. The reason is clear — by allowing such players to make bets, they just lose their money. To cope with arbers, bookies often restrict or close their accounts. That’s why try to spread out your sure bets across different online betting websites. It’ll definitely allow you to be under-the-radar longer.

Arbitrage betting is an effective strategy which can be applied by anyone who wants to make a profit in the long run. It produces a risk-free income and involves minimum efforts even for novice arbers. With that, arbing always requires high attention and knowledge of the strategy basics. So, before making your first sure bets, you want to do research and delve into arbitrage betting details to be prepared to compete with bookmakers.