The Complete Player Guide to Arbitrage BettingPublished July 10, 2022 by Brett C
Arbitrage betting is a unique form of wagering where the player places bets on both sides of a potential outcome to generate guaranteed returns. Known colloquially as arbing, Arbitrage betting is designed to always generate a profitable result. Naturally, there are inherent risks involved. Timing is paramount with arbitrage betting. The bettor places wagers on opposite sides of the identical bet.
What is Arbitrage Betting?
Arbitrage betting is a system of betting that allows you to make a profit no matter which team wins. This is possible because you are placing bets on all game outcomes with different bookmakers, so you are guaranteed to win one of the bets. The key to successful arbitrage betting is finding the right bookmakers offering different odds for the same event.
You then need to place your bets quickly before the odds change. Arbitrage betting is legal in most countries, but some restrictions may exist. For example, in the United Kingdom, you can only place bets on horse racing and greyhound racing. Overall, the practice is conducted by sophisticated bettors, under the radar.
How Does it Work?
Remember that arbitrage betting is a system of betting that allows you to make a profit no matter which team wins. This is possible because you are placing bets on all game outcomes with different bookmakers, so you are guaranteed to win one of the bets.
For example, let's say you are betting on a football match between Manchester United and Liverpool. You find two bookmakers who are offering different odds for the same event.
Bookmaker A offers odds of 2.00 for Manchester United to win, while Bookmaker B offers odds of 3.00 for Liverpool to win.
You then place a bet of $100 with Bookmaker A on Manchester United to win and a bet of $100 with Bookmaker B on Liverpool to win. No matter which team wins the match, you are guaranteed to make a profit.
If Manchester United wins the match, you will receive $200 from Bookmaker A (your original stake plus your winnings). You will lose your $100 bet with Bookmaker B, but your winnings from Bookmaker A offset this. So, your total profit from this bet would be $100.
If Liverpool wins the match, you will receive $300 from Bookmaker B (your original stake plus your winnings). You will lose your $100 bet with Bookmaker A, which is offset by your winnings from Bookmaker B.
So, your total profit from this bet would be $200. As you can see, arbitrage betting allows you to make a profit no matter which team wins the match.
The Betting Exchanges
There is another channel available for arbitrage betting nowadays, and it involves betting exchanges. When conducted in this way, sports bettors can break against an outcome known as lay bets, and they can also bet for an outcome known as backing an outcome. These two bets, i.e. lay bets and back bets, are placed on the betting exchange and sportsbook, respectively. You need to use an arbitrage betting calculator to determine a favorable outcome.
Is Arbitrage Betting legal?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on the jurisdiction in which you are betting. Some jurisdictions may consider arbitrage betting illegal, while others may not. Therefore, checking with your local authorities to determine if arbitrage betting is legal in your jurisdiction before engaging in this activity is advisable.
Arbitrage betting can be considered illegal if it violates any laws or regulations in your jurisdiction. For example, if you are placing bets on behalf of another person or entity, this could be considered illegal. Additionally, if you are using insider information to place bets, this could also be considered illegal.
While generally legal, the inherent risks should give players pause. A significant degree of technical expertise is required to understand the minuscule differences and relative advantages various bookmakers and exchanges offer. More importantly, the operators (bookmakers, sports books, and exchanges) don't approve of arbitrage betting for obvious reasons. The bookies will likely flag your account once they detect arbitrage betting.
Tips to succeed in Arbitrage Betting
Here are some tips to help you succeed in arbitrage betting:
- Do your research: make sure you understand how the system works before you start placing bets.
- Find the right bookmakers: as we mentioned above, you need to find bookmakers offering different odds for the same event.
- Place your bets quickly: the odds can change rapidly, so you need to be quick to get the best odds.
- Be prepared to lose: Sometimes, the odds will change, and you will not be able to place a winning bet. It is important to be prepared for this and not to bet more than you can afford to lose.
- Ensure that you are fully aware of the odds presented at betting exchanges and bookmakers to take advantage of arbitrage betting.
What are the risks of using Arbitrage Betting?
There are some risks associated with arbitrage betting, such as:
- The odds may change: as we mentioned above, the odds can change very quickly, so you need to be quick to get the best odds.
- You may not be able to place a bet: if the bookmakers suspect that you are trying to do arbitrage betting, they may not allow you to place a bet.
- You may not make a profit: sometimes, the odds will change, and you will not be able to place a winning bet. It is important to be prepared for this and not to bet more than you can afford to lose.
Arbitrage betting can be an effective way to profit from sports betting. However, it is important to do your research and to be aware of the risks involved.
Arbitrage betting is best explained by way of actual examples. Let's say you wanted to bet on the upcoming cricket match between England and Australia. So, you find two bookmakers offering different odds on the same match.
Bookmaker A offers odds of 2.00 on England to win, while Bookmaker B offers odds of 3.00 on Australia to win. You decide to place a bet on both teams so that you will come out ahead no matter who wins. You bet €100 on England to win at odds of 2.00 with Bookmaker A and €100 on Australia to win at odds of 3.00 with Bookmaker B.
If England wins the match, you will receive €200 from Bookmaker A (your initial stake plus your winnings). You will lose your €100 bet with Bookmaker B, but since you placed an arbitrage bet, you will still come out €100 ahead overall.
If Australia wins the match, you will receive €300 from Bookmaker B (your initial stake plus your winnings). You will lose your €100 bet with Bookmaker A, but since you placed an arbitrage bet, you will still come out €100 ahead overall.
- Arbitrage betting is a type of betting that takes advantage of different odds offered by different bookmakers on the same event.
- Arbitrage betting aims to place bets on all possible outcomes of an event so that you are guaranteed to make a profit no matter the event's outcome.
- Arbitrage betting is legal in most jurisdictions, but some restrictions may exist.
- It is important to check the terms and conditions of each bookmaker before placing any bets as they may differ on arbitrage betting.
- With arbitrage betting, there is often a commission that needs to be paid – around 2%.
- When placing arb bets, it's best to fly under the radar by placing less conspicuous bets (smaller bets) to avoid detection by bookies.
- Players are also encouraged to open different accounts to avoid the same account being linked to two bets on opposite sides of the same wager.
Responsible Gambling Message for Arb Betting
Arbitrage betting, like any other form of betting, is inherently risky. Whenever uncertain outcomes present, losses can occur. Even with arbitrage betting, there are risks for players. For example, odds may not be locked in with specific bookmakers that would guarantee a favourable outcome, whatever the result. Therefore, players must always work with reputable online bookmakers (licensed and regulated to offer gambling services to legal-age players in your country).
While we have cited several examples of how to profit from arbitrage betting, the differences in payouts between bookmakers are generally negligible. Large amounts of money would have to be gambled to profit from the differences in odds presented by bookmakers. Players are encouraged to take advantage of various perks, rewards, promotional offers, and other bonuses to make arbitrage betting count. Match deposit bonuses, new player bonuses, free bets, and odds boosts can help arbitrage betting.
Never bet more than you can afford to lose, never exceed your budget, and never chase your losses. When you back & lay the same outcome on different sports matches, the differential between the odds is known as an arb. One of the bets is placed at an online sportsbook or a retail bookmaker, and the other bet is placed at sports betting exchange. You back and lay the same bet at different odds with sports betting exchanges. The margins should be sufficient to warrant bet placement. Ultimately, the assured profits reel in punters – but care and consideration are always warranted.