Arbitrage Betting: Definition, Examples & How To Arbitrage Bet

Arbitrage Betting: Definition, Examples & How To Arbitrage Bet

Within the realm of sports betting, there’s a special chance to take advantage of market inefficiencies and earn earnings without taking any risks. Known as arbitrage betting, this tactic entails staking bets at varying odds on every conceivable outcome of an event in order to ensure a profit regardless of the final conclusion.

What Is Arbitrage Betting?

What is arbitrage betting? In order to ensure a profit regardless of the outcome of a sporting event, arbitrage betting involves placing bets on opposing sides of the same conclusion. This is conceivable as many bookies frequently provide disparate odds for the same event. For an example of arbitrage betting, one bookmaker could offer 2.00 odds on Team A to win, while another might offer 2.20. By placing $100 on Team A to win at the first bookmaker and $100 on Team B to win at the second bookmaker, the bettor may guarantee a profit of $20 regardless of the outcome of the match.

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Legality Of Arbitrage Betting

How to find arbitrage bets? Depending on the country, arbitrage betting’s legality is a complicated matter. While arbitrage betting is generally not prohibited, bookmakers do not support it. This is due to the possibility that it may reduce their profit margins and compel them to modify their odds.

How Arbitrage Betting Works?

How Arbitrage Betting Works

Does arbitrage betting work? Using various odds provided by multiple bookmakers on the same sporting event to one’s advantage to ensure a profit no matter how the event turns out is known as sports betting arbitrage.

How to look for possibilities for arbitrage:

  1. Compare odds: The first step is to compare the odds offered by different bookmakers on the same sporting event. This can be done manually or by using an arbitrage betting software or website.
  2. Identify discrepancies: Once you have compared the odds, you need to identify any discrepancies. These are situations where the implied probabilities of all possible outcomes, summed together, exceed 100%.
  3. Place bets: Once you have identified an arbitrage opportunity, you need to place bets on all possible outcomes at the favorable odds. The amount of each arbitrage bet will depend on the specific arbitrage opportunity.

How Do You Calculate An Arbitrage Bet?

How to arbitrage bet? The amount wagered on each wager multiplied by the variance in odds yields the profit from an arbitrage bet. For instance, you would benefit by $20 if you wagered $100 on Team A to win at odds of 2.00 and another $100 on Team B to win at odds of 2.20.

Examples Of Sport Arbitrage

Let’s imagine you want to wager on Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, the next soccer match. You compare the odds offered by different bookmakers and find that:

  • Bookmaker A has Real Madrid at 2.20, Barcelona at 3.40, and a tie at 3.60 odds for their respective wins.
  • Bookmaker B: 2.10 for Real Madrid to win, 3.50 for Barcelona to win, and 3.70 for a tie

It’s evident that this presents a chance for arbitrage. Over all potential outcomes, Bookmaker A has suggested probability of 145.5%, whereas Bookmaker B has implied probabilities of 144.8%. This implies that you can earn no matter how the game turns out.

You would need to wager $100 on Real Madrid to win at Bookmaker A and $100 on Barcelona to win at Bookmaker B in order to take advantage of this arbitrage opportunity. Should Real Madrid triumph, you will make $20. If Barcelona wins, you will profit $20. And if the match ends in a draw, you will profit $10.

How To Do Arbitrage Betting: Easy Steps

There are steps on how to arbitrage sports betting:

Step 1: Choose a bookmaker

There are several bookies to select from, so it’s critical to pick one with a good reputation and competitive odds.

Step 2: Open an account with the bookmaker

You must establish an account with the bookmaker you have selected. Typically, this is a quick procedure that only requires you to create a password and provide basic personal information.

Step 3: Deposit money into your account

You must fund your account with money before you can begin making arbitrage bets.

Step 4: Find arbitrage opportunities

Arbitrage opportunities arise when there is a difference in the odds offered by different bookmakers on the same sporting event. There are a number of different ways to find arbitrage opportunities, including using manual search methods, gambling arbitrage software, and odds comparison websites.

Step 5: Place your bets

Once you have found an arbitrage opportunity, you need to place your bets accordingly. This means placing bets on both sides of the event, at the favorable odds.

Step 6: Collect your profits

After the event is over, you’ll need to pick up your prizes.

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What Are The Risks Of Arbitrage Betting?

Arbitrage in sports betting, while offering a risk-free method of generating profits from sports betting, carries certain risks that you should be aware of before engaging in this strategy. These risks include: 

  1. Account Restrictions or Bans: Bookmakers are not fans of arbitrage sports betting as it erodes their profit margins. They may monitor account activity and restrict or even ban accounts suspected of engaging in arbitrage betting. This can result in the loss of funds and the inability to continue using the bookmaker.
  2. Time-Consuming Nature: Finding arbitrage opportunities requires constant monitoring of odds across multiple bookmakers, making it a time-consuming process. 
  3. Fees and Charges: When transferring funds between bookmakers or withdrawing profits, you may incur fees or charges from your bank or payment processor. 
  4. Changing Odds: Odds can change rapidly, so it’s crucial to act swiftly when identifying an arbitrage opportunity. Delay could lead to the arbitrage opportunity disappearing, resulting in missed profits or even losses if the odds move against you.
  5. Human Error: Arbitrage betting involves calculations and placing bets across multiple platforms. Human error in these processes could lead to incorrect bets or missed opportunities, resulting in losses or reduced profits.
  6. Bookmaker Mistakes: While arbitrage opportunities arise from discrepancies in odds, there’s a possibility that these discrepancies are due to bookmaker errors. Betting on such errors could lead to losses if the bookmaker corrects the odds before the event settles. 

Remember, before engaging in arbitrage betting, carefully evaluate the potential risks and determine if it aligns with your risk tolerance and financial goals.

How To Mask Arbitrage Betting?

Masking arbitrage betting involves taking steps to make it less obvious to bookmakers that you are engaging in this strategy. While it is not illegal to engage in arbitrage betting, bookmakers may restrict or ban accounts that they suspect are using this method to profit from their odds discrepancies.

Here are some strategies you can employ to mask your arbitrage betting activities:

Spread Bets Across Different BookmakersInstead of placing all your bets with a single bookmaker, spread them out across multiple platforms 
Use Different Account Names and Email AddressesCreate separate accounts with different names and email addresses for each bookmaker you use. This will make it more difficult for bookmakers to link your accounts together and identify your arbitrage betting patterns
Vary Bet Amounts and FrequenciesAvoid placing consistently large or small bets. Instead, vary your bet amounts and frequencies to make it less predictable that you are using an arbitrage strategy
Place Non-Arbitrage BetsOccasionally place bets on non-arbitrage opportunities to blend in with regular bettors and make your account appear less suspicious
Use Different Payment MethodsWhen depositing and withdrawing funds, use different payment methods for each bookmaker. This will further disguise your arbitrage betting activities
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Remember, arbitrage betting is a legitimate strategy, but it is essential to mask your activities to avoid potential account restrictions or bans. By following these tips and exercising caution, you can increase your chances of success while minimizing the risk of detection by bookmakers.


Will You Get Banned For Arbitrage Betting?

Yes, there is a risk that you could be banned for arbitrage betting. Bookmakers do not like arbitrage betting because it reduces their profits. They may monitor your account activity and restrict or ban you if they suspect you are engaging in arbitrage betting.

Should You Arbitrage Bet?

Depending on your risk tolerance and awareness of the associated hazards, you can decide whether or not to arbitrage bet. Arbitrage betting has the potential to be a lucrative tactic, but you should be aware of the dangers and take precautions to hide your activity from bookmakers.

Is Arbitrage Betting Safe?

Since you can never lose money when using arbitrage betting, it’s a risk-free approach. But there are hazards associated as well, such the potential for bookies to ban you or for penalties and charges to be incurred. When considering whether or not to place an arbitrage wager, it is crucial to consider the benefits and drawbacks.

The Final Words

Arbitrage betting is a legal strategy, but it is frowned upon by bookmakers. This is because it can erode their profit margins and force them to adjust their odds accordingly. In some countries, bookmakers may have specific terms and conditions that prohibit arbitrage betting. For example, a bookmaker may state that it reserves the right to close accounts or cancel bets that are deemed to be arbitrage betting. You can choose the for arbitrage betting.

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About the Author

Born in London in 1986, Samuel Gray is a distinguished betting expert with a Master’s in Sports Analysis from the University of Leeds, obtained in 2011. From 2012 to 2019, he worked closely with multiple athletic federations, specializing in performance metrics across various common sports. Gray has authored 15 academic papers, predominantly on the optimization of training regimes and injury prevention. Transitioning from research in 2020, Gray began a journalism career. He now pens analytical pieces about the nuances of common sports and contributes regularly to several sports-focused platforms, shedding light on contemporary tactics and athlete assessments.

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