Arbitrage Betting – How it Works

August 25, 2016
Arbitrage betting explained

Updated: February 21, 2024

Getting to Know Arbitrage Betting

Arbitrage betting is also known as arbs, surebets, miraclebets and surewins.

In simple words, arbitrage betting in sports is a kind of activity where you place your bets on possible results of an event that promises gains. It is also described as taking advantage of the variation in odds offered by different bookmakers. This is in order to make a profit regardless of the outcome of an event.

In the given definitions above, it is evident that profit is ensured notwithstanding the result of the sporting event. That made arbitrage betting more appealing to the public. It is one of the most popular and controversial techniques in sports betting. It is said to be the only technique that gives constant profit.

Arbitrage Opportunities

Arbitrage opportunities usually occur due to discrepancy in bookmaker’s opinions on a particular sporting event. One bookie’s estimation of the odds would not be the same with that of the others. Comparing these odds, calculating if these can make you profit, placing bets and collecting profit. This is how arbitrage betting works.

An Arbitrage Example

For example, Bovada sportsbook assess Player 1 a win at probability of 65.3% and loss of 34.7% on a particular sports event, while Betonline assessment of win for Player 1 is 76.2% and loss of 23.8% on the same event.

Backing Player 1 with Bovada and his opponent with Betonline could instantly put you in an advantage no matter who wins the bet.

The internet has made everything easier today. Arbitrage betting in the past needed several people physically spread out at different bookmakers. The punters would be constantly in communication with each other in order to find arbitrage opportunities.

Arbitrage Cons

In general, the discrepancies are too small, so to earn higher, a higher stake is also needed. A substantial amount of time and effort is required in tracking favorable odds and acting fast enough to take advantage of them.

It seems easy to benefit in arbitrage betting, but a great deal of discipline is key to success. A record of transactions should be kept as this would be essential in monitoring your progress and maintaining consistency in your method. Making research is important as well as being well acquainted with different sportsbooks.

Searching for arbitrage opportunities necessitates patience and due diligence. At times, the chance of human error may be unavoidable especially if under pressure. That is why there are special software made available for prompt search of arbitrage odds.

Beware Bookmakers who Don't like Arbitrage Betting

Bettors taking advantage of the differences transpiring on the market is not illegal. But it is unlikely to be favored by bookmakers. Should an arbitrage bet be discovered, possible cancellation of bets may follow. In the example above, if Bovada learned about the arbitrage betting, it might cancel the bet leaving you with a single bet in Betonline. This may result in a serious cash outflow from your pocket and a large amount being at stake.

Where to Place Your Arbitrage Bet

There are bookmakers who publicly state their approval of arbitrage betting. One being Pinnacle bookmaker. So we would recommend using Pinnacle first to try out your arbitrage bets.

Pinnacle is the best Arbitrage betting site

Indeed, arbitrage betting guarantees profit and is almost risk-free that is why it may be one in the list of practical good ways of investing your money. However, one mistake might take everything away, so bet wisely.

Author Andy

Hi I'm Andy and as a regular bettor on sports I know where to spot a good sportsbook sign up deal. With over 25 years of placing wagers on horse racing and football I can lend my expertise to writing and advising you on everything sports and NFL betting. To your success.

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