Arbitrage Betting Strategy An Introduction to Arbitrage

I am sure that many people will have heard of something that is called an arbitrage bet, or you may know it by its common name of an ‘arb’. To put this simply, it is a way of having a bet on an event where you back different outcomes at different prices to put yourself in a position where you can’t lose any money. This is a very dangerous and difficult technique and is very hard to execute, which is why successfully landing an arb is very difficult to do. As with a lot of other things connected to betting, if it was a simple to do as it sounds then we would all be doing it, and landing great arb bets every single week.

When you place a normal bet on any sporting event, essentially you are cheering on one outcome, and the bookmaker is cheering on the other possible outcomes. You put your money down with them and cheer on your selections hoping you can win but you know that realistically, regardless of how much you fancy your selection there is a chance your bet could lose. That means the bookmaker wins and takes your money. However, arbitrage eliminates that risk and it puts you in a position where there is no chance you can lose your money, which is why the bookmakers hate these bets and the people that place them. If you place an arb correctly, you put yourself in a guaranteed no lose position. Regardless of what happens in the game and it is all down to the position you can put yourself in because you manipulate the odds offered by different bookmakers.

The problem with arbitrage betting is that it is now getting more and more difficult to get a bet on due to the bookmakers being a lot more clued up on the tactic. However, the one thing in our favour still is that we have many new bookmakers opening up online and they are all competing for our business. That means they go to extreme lengths to try to bag our custom and a lot of the time that means offering stand out prices on the big events. That allows arbitrage betting to continue and although a lot of bookmakers are trying to stop it, the chance to place and win an arb bet is still out there if punters look in the right places.

How to Find an Arbitrage Bet

When an event is coming up, bookmakers will set the odds that they believe is correct on what will happen in the game or race depending on the sport. When the prices come out, the favourite for the event will have the shortest odds and this is normally the same with every bookmaker, they usually all agree on the order of the contenders and price them accordingly. However, with so many different bookmakers out there taking bets, and so many different opinions from the many different odds compilers out there, from time to time their opinions will differ.

It is on these events where the bookmakers unknowingly create a potential arbitrage bet for us to take advantage of, but you have to be quick to spot this because many other people are looking for it. To place an arbitrage bet you need to have several different bookmaker accounts available to you and you need to specifically work out the amount of money to place on each bet to ensure you guarantee a profit.

The easiest way to work out an arb and the staking amounts for each bet is to use decimal odds when you are comparing. With the majority of arbs found online, I would recommend you change your odds type to decimal on all of your betting accounts.

Below is a basic example of how to place an arbitrage bet, I will use a football cup final as an example.

The betting below is based on a two way market, to win outright and the two outcomes are the only two possible outcomes in this market.

Team A vs Team B in the cup final

Bookmaker 1 fancies Team A to win the game, who are the favourites

Bookmaker 2 Fancies Team B to win the game, even though Team A are favourites

Bookmaker 1 prices the game up as follows:

Team A 1.50

Team B 2.50

Bookmaker 2 prices the game up as follows:

Team A 1.727

Team B 2.00

The odds on offer here are different enough to create an arb opportunity and this is where you need to calculate how much money to place on each selection to give you a guaranteed profit. It may not seem like an obvious opportunity to the untrained eye, but a difference in odds of this much will set alarm bells ringing for any experienced arb bettor.

The calculation you need to do is to divide 100 by the decimal odds on offer. This will show you how much you need to spend to win £100 on the event. Always make sure you take the best odds from each bookmaker so in this example, back Team A with bookmaker 2 and Team B with bookmaker 1.

Team A calculation – 100 / 1.727 = £57.90

Team B Calculation – 100 / 2.50 = £40

In this instance, you would have a successful arbitrage bet and you would guarantee yourself a profit on the event.

The above-market has only two possible outcomes, which make it easier to work out an arb on, those, are my favourite arb markets. If Team A goes on to win the game then you will win £100 back, and if Team B wins the game you will also win £100 back. As the above calculation shows, the total outlay for your two bets on the two teams is actually £97.90. This means that regardless of what happens in the game, you have guaranteed yourself a profit of £2.10. This is only a small profit, but if you place more money on these events, which are risk-free betting opportunities, then you will quickly build up a strong betting bank.

You will never make money quick when you are finding arbitrage opportunities, and it takes a lot of time and effort to find potential opportunities, which is why a lot of people are put off by it. However, when you do manage to find an arb, you know that you are betting risk-free and you can

place on the market any amount that you can afford. Even if you only receive a few pounds profit, that is still a profit and a guaranteed profit too. The biggest trait you need when arb betting is patience and if you want to do well using this method you must be a patient gambler.

You also need a good eye when it comes to looking for and comparing prices, although this only really comes with experience, especially being able to do it at speed. Being fully clued up will allow you to quickly work things out, work out what one bet will return compared to another one and then you will know if an arb opportunity is available. Making a mistake when looking for an arb can be very costly, so before you place a lot of money on a bet, make sure you are 100{5782443060cad75bcdbe069ee06e2d13f622f9e7a77ba35581ed75609da42958} comfortable doing what you are doing. If you do not have this, arbitrage betting could quickly become an expensive hobby that loses you money and that is not what we want.

This method of betting is only really for people who are prepared to spend hours of their time working out different bets and putting a lot of effort into their gambling. It is also only for those who are prepared to take a long-term approach to betting, and they are happy picking up small pieces of profit when they can find them. You also need a strong grip on odds, you must fully understand them and know quickly what two prices go together to form an arb. With so many odds checking websites available it is quick and easy to compare the odds from different bookmakers, however you need to skills to be able to work out what those odds mean to you.

It is becoming more and more difficult to make money from arbitrage betting because a lot of bookmakers are cracking down on it. However, we do have a lot of bookmakers out there, and a lot of new, internet only bookmakers who want our business so the opportunities are still available to us. We also have tools available to us, to make searching for an arb easier, things like odds checking websites are very useful and cut down on a lot of time-consuming searching.

If you intend to give arbitrage betting a go, make sure you have a great knowledge on the subject, make sure you know your odds, have patience and give it your best shot.