Arbitrage Betting Explained

Arbitrage betting has become hugely popular due to the fact that it promises risk free returns, which is unsurprisingly the pinnacle for any betting customer. However, this area of wagering is still something of the unknown for many. So just how does arbitrage betting work? This page will take a detailed look at arbitrage betting in full, providing customers with all the information needed in order to implement it into their betting strategies.

What is Arbitrage Betting?

Arbitrage betting is a form of wagering where customers simultaneously place bets on all possible results surrounding an event, at odds that guarantee a profit whatever the eventual results turn out to be. Such bets are often known as sure bets or miracle bets, made possible when there is a discrepancy between the odds offered by a bookmaker, allowing a profit to be made when covering all potential outcomes. Arbitrage betting usually comes in the form of a binary bet, with an example of this coming from a tennis match, where just two results are ultimately possible. Meanwhile, arbitrage betting opportunities tend to arise when betting sites disagree on prices for certain markets, as well as when mistakes are made when generating odds.

How Do Arbitrage Betting Opportunities Occur?

While not especially important for betting customers, it is interesting to understand just how arbitrage bets come about, with the following being the main reasons:

  • Differing opinions of bookmakers.
  • Bookmakers running a new promotion.
  • Bookmakers being slow to update odds.
  • Bookmakers making a mistake.

The first factors are perhaps the most common, being particularly relevant to bookmakers who take great pride in their risk management. This is due to the fact that odds tend to feature more than other bookmakers in arbitrage opportunities, as well as platforms who do not provide any betting promotions.

Disadvantages of Arbitrage Betting

Although this form of betting has so far seemed to be nothing but a win-win situation, there are certainly some pitfalls that customers must look out for. Although the mathematical reasoning behind arbitrage betting is not flawed, there are undoubtedly risks associated with the whole process. The following are some of the most important factors to consider when kick-starting this form of wagering:

  • Stake limits and account closures – Betting limits will differ from bookmaker to bookmaker, which may effect how customers can exploit an arbitrage opportunity. Most bookmakers dislike arbitrage players, which comes as little surprise.
  • Cancelled bets – As with any form of bet, bookmakers can choose to cancel bets when mistakes have been made, which can be frustrating for customers. This can also cancel any potential winnings that have been accrued over a period of time, meaning that customers are advised to check out the terms and conditions surrounding their particular bookmaker.
  • Complexity – In order to take advantage of arbitrage opportunities to the max, customers must have accounts with more than one bookmaker. As well as this, punters must be prepared to put a lot of time into this form of wagering, with a significant amount of organisation and planning also needed. As a result, many company’s now charge a fee in order to find arbitrage opportunities for you.
  • Ever-changing markets – Betting platforms update their odds on a regular basis, sometimes even using other bookmakers as a benchmark. However, as a result, arbitrage opportunities can sometimes last for just a matter of minutes, with bookmakers recognising their errors and quickly adjusting prices.

Value Betting vs Arbitrage Betting

While some betting customers would argue that arbitrage betting is simple when bookmakers have made mistakes when generating odds on a particular market, the idea is actually much more complex than this. As a result, the value vs Arbitrage betting debate is one that will perhaps never be settled definitively.

Getting Started with Arbitrage Betting

Whether you are an experienced betting customer or something of a beginner in the world of online gambling, you should now have enough information surrounding arbitrage betting to decide as to whether or not it is something for you. Those looking to take up this form of betting must sign up to at least one online bookmaker, with customers needing to take advantage of the most competitive odds around at the time. There are certain platforms and betting sites that are better than others in this area, which can be found by reading our bookmaker reviews.