Arbitrage Betting Explained - all you need at BettingOnline

Arbitrage Betting Explained

Let’s look at Arbitrage betting. The growth in popularity of online betting means placing a wager on your selection and sport of choice has never been easier. You can now gamble your cash on the traditional sports, including horse racing, greyhounds, football, tennis, golf, boxing, darts and snooker, or seek out the value in one of the niche markets, such as politics, reality TV and awards. If people have an opinion on the outcome of something, you can be sure online bookmakers will be accepting bets on it.

As well as the many sports, there are also hundreds of markets available under each category. With football you have match winner, both teams to score, total goals, corners, cards. Horse racing offers to win, each-way, without the favourite, fav to win or not, ante-post and Tote. Boxing gives us the option to predict the fight winner, over/under rounds, method of victory, total rounds, to get knocked down and win. As punters, we’ve never had it so good as modern gamblers really are spoiled for choice.

You can bet on these sports and markets in any betting shop on the high street, over the phone, by SMS, through the bookies’ website on a desktop computer or when out and about thanks to a user-friendly and responsive betting app. In short, you can bet on what you want, where you want and when you want. This applies to markets available before the start and those continued with in-play betting.

Out of Your Comfort Zone

Strangely enough, despite us being spoiled for choice with all these betting opportunities at the click of a button, many punters prefer to stick to what they know. Gamblers are often creatures of habit and continue to risk their stake on the bets they have always placed, despite the fact it has brought them limited success and one of the new releases could make it easier to turn a profit.

Another reason many don’t venture out – preferring to stick to win/lose/draw, handicap betting and first goal scorer – is they don’t fully understand how many of the new bets work, the risks involved and the advantages that come with swapping. Often there’s not enough education on the bet and, being fearful of dropping their stake, wasting a bet or making themselves look foolish by trying to collect a bet that didn’t win, they stick to shallow waters and that’s a bit of a shame.

Long Term Profits

That’s why our team take great pleasure in providing easy-to-follow explanations on different types of bets and new ways to wager your cash. Remember, gambling can be fun, but it can also be a way to boost your bank balance over a period of time. Would you accept an annual profit, even if it meant a dull approach, nicking pennies and pounds slowly and regularly?

Many don’t see the point of looking at long-term profits, and many just don’t have the time or discipline to stick to it over the course of a year. For others there’s arbitrage betting – a way to consistently beat the bookies, lining your pockets through love and dedication to sports and sports betting. It takes a strong will and limitless patience to make it work, but it does work and provides many with a steady income, either as their main source of cash or as a way of boosting their wages.

Interested in finding out more? That’s what we’re here for. Let’s take a closer look at what arbitrage betting is, how it pays, the pros and cons associated with this style of gambling and how you can make it work for you.

What is Arbitrage Betting

Arbitrage betting – known commonly as arbing – takes its lead from a similar method of simultaneously buying stock and shares over an extended period of time. It’s the most discussed form of betting and is one despised by many on the trading floors of major bookmakers. Arbing will often make you a profit but what you won’t gain from doing it is too many friends and you’ll also see bookmakers distance themselves from your custom, either severely limiting the amount you can get on a selection or closing your online account.

You’ll be an enemy to bookies who will work hard to make your gambling as difficult as possible, but users see that as a small price to pay for regular profits. Punter vs bookie is a war that has raged from the beginning of time, arbing is just the latest weapon in the arsenal of backers, and it carries a good bit of weight.

Arbitrage betting is nothing new, of course, and it can be traced back to the early days of legalised gambling in this country. It didn’t change much over the years and was often a full-time job to those who wanted to make it count, sending employees around different betting shops to get the desired stake down, rushing around the country. It was a game of cat and mouse, made even more difficult by the fact most in the high street bookies were regulars and any new faces stood out, making clued-up cashiers instantly wise to the game. Developments in the training of staff also educated those behind the counter as to the tricks of arbing and how to avoid falling victim.

Arbitrage Betting and Online Betting

Then it all changed, and arbitrage betting was made easier by the invention and growth in popularity of online gambling. Not only was it quicker and easier to get a bet on across multiple betting sites, but it was also more difficult for traders to catch people out.

Arbing was done through dozens of sites with different bookmakers, the bets were sometimes placed by different customers and having your stake rejected or limited was no longer a big issue as instead of finding another betting office to get on with, all you had to do was change the URL in your internet browser. That changed the lie of the land and the ease of arbing with modern technology led to an increase in the number of punters aiming to make a profit from it.

It’s thought that thousands of punters adopt this style of betting around the world every day and bookmakers are powerless to stop them, the more customers doing it the harder it is for traders to keep up with. Some firms have banned it entirely, closing the accounts of anyone even suspected of arbing, but that’s a risky business and it could also cost them genuine customers in the long-term.

How Arbing Works

Now we know where arbitrage betting has come from and what it is, let’s pull back the covers and explain the inner workings.

In its simplest form, arbitrage betting is the act of a gambler taking advantage of a small variation in prices to ensure they turn a profit from a race, match or fight, regardless of the final result. In a football match, for example, you’ll make cash if the match is a home win, away win or draw. The returns will often be minimal but if done successfully over the course of a day or week, users build their profit into something substantial.

Also known as matched betting, the profit is guaranteed but the returns will depend on the final result. For example, you will often nick a small return on a home win, make more on the draw and most if the away team is victorious. This can be done hundreds of times a day on leagues and competitions all over the world.

The key here is to find two bookmakers offering different odds on the same bet, ie home team 6/5 with Bookie A, home team 13/10 Bookie B. It’s then up to the punter to calculate how much they will have to bet on each market to ensure a profit. It’s the only reliable way to make a consistent profit from sports betting, but players will have to be prepared to place high stakes to get anything back of note and making high bets on outsiders, such as the draw, flags up on trader’s system before too long and they will take action.

Making the Most of Arbing

Arbing works best on markets with two possible outcomes, such as win/lose in basketball, but it can also be used in football where there are three outcomes, win/lose/draw. It can be used on a wide range of sports with similar results but lots of research is required, which is extremely time-consuming. Odds can also fluctuate, and this means arbing must be done quickly, with players monitoring the shift in prices and swooping early. Again, this is very time-consuming.


Let’s take a look at an example of an arbitrage bet in a tennis match involving Djokovic and Nadal…

One bookie is offering Djokovic at 1.7 and 4 on Nadal. A rival is offering 2 on Djokovic and 3 on Nadal. The plan then will be to place a bet on the best price available on Djokovic (Bookie B) and a bet on Nadal at best odds (Bookie A). It then doesn’t matter who wins as the difference in odds between the two bookmakers will ensure you make a profit.

Research is Key

This type of bet will require you to search through all major bookmakers offering odds on this match and do the calculations to set the stake needed on each selection to ensure a return from the match. The underdog winning will often return more, but the final amount back on either result is never large. That means you will have to go through this process many times a day.

To make a profit of note on arbing you will have to start with a large betting pot, have tons of patience, treat it as a full-time job and be dedicated to the process. Anything less could see you lose money as this style of betting shouldn’t be done half-heartedly.

It all seems a bit too good to be true, doesn’t it? Making a guaranteed profit from betting. Surely, it’s illegal? The truth is, although it’s hated by traders and bookmakers, it’s not illegal. Firms will find other ways to put you off, such as limiting your stakes on certain bets and that hits arbers hard as they need the big stakes for it to work. If you come on for a £500 bet on the draw and are offered no more than £5, you’ll quickly realise who is in charge. Remember, bookmakers don’t need to accept your bets, they are a profit-making organisation that will protect their bottom line at all costs.

Doing the Hard Work For You

We’ve already touched on the advancements in technology that makes arbitrage betting easier to do, and we’ll now look at the latest software releases that promise to do the hard work for you, skimming the markets and flagging up possibilities for arbing. It was always only a matter of time.

There are a variety of services on the market at the minute and the basic functions of these is to send an alert to you as the customer when there’s enough of a difference in price to make an arbitrage bet worthwhile. It’s then up to you to act swiftly. Others have added extras, including calculators and filters that allow you to concentrate on particular sports. This is ideal, but it’s not cheap. You’ll have to place more bets to cover the cost, but the system will find them for you.

How Do I Become a Successful Arbitrage Bettor?

This is the question that all punters will ask themselves. To keep it simple, you will need lots of spare time, will always have to be at a computer or have your betting app handy, will need a serious betting balance to start with and must be patient with the system.

You can take a couple of these requirements out if paying for a system to do the hard work for you, but the fundamentals remain, including the need for a large sum of money to get things started. You’ll also run the risk of having your betting account closed or severely limited by certain bookmakers and this will hamper your chances of turning a profit.

Is there a Risk?

Due to the nature of Arbing, the biggest risk is that the bookmaker cottons on to what you are doing. Although Arbing isn’t illegal, it is frowned upon by bookmakers. You will need to have several accounts in order to do it. The likelihood is that if they suspect you of Arbing, they will close your account immediately – and you may lose funds/winnings. You need to be careful because the bookies don’t like it- and if they don’t like it, then that means there’s a risk.

Don’t forget to read up about other betting basics, such as Over/UnderIn-Play betting strategiesCash-OutAccas for beginnersAsian Handicap and more in our betting basics guide.