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Betting Strategy: Arbitrage betting For beginners

Betting has always been a game of two sides, going to your local bookies and placing your hard earned cash down in the hope of it coming back with some profit attached, but there was always the chance your hard earned cash would end up in the bookies pocket.

Arbitrage Betting eliminates the possibility of losing money whilst betting. Quite simply an Arbitrage Bet or ‘Arb’ as they are commonly known is a guaranteed no lose bet, and this guide will show you how to find, and take advantage of these situations.

The recent explosion in internet gambling has made this all possible, with bookies websites seemingly springing up every week this has given us the chance to take advantage of this betting technique.

Heres how an Arbitrage Bet or Arb is formed.

All bookies set odds on sporting (and other) events based on what they think the outcome will be, the more likely the outcome in their opinion, the smaller the odds and the smaller the payout. But with the number of online bookies today you frequently get differences of opinion and sometimes these differences are so great that they create an Arbitrage Bet, a bet where if the correct amounts of money are placed on each outcome with various bookmakers then no matter what the outcome is, the winning bet will return enough money to cover your stake and a risk free profit.

Please note that for ease of calculation, arbitrages are usually expressed in European style decimal odds rather than traditional fractional odds. To convert fractional odds to decimal simply use the following equation

(TOP Divided by BOTTOM) + 1

eg. 2/5 becomes 1.40 and 3/1 becomes 4.00

Here is a fictional example of how an arbitrage is formed.

Lets say Tim Henman reaches the Wimbledon final and meets Roger Federer

Badbrokes give the odds as follows

Henman to win 2.50 (6/4) – Federer to win – 1.50 (1/2)

Meanwhile Billy Hills think Henman has a better chance so offer smaller odds on him

Henman to win 2.00 (Evens) – Federer to win 1.727 (8/11)

Now these odds are sufficiently different that an arb has been formed and this is how you work it out by hand

Divide 100 by the decimal odds, this will give you the required amount to bet to win £100 on either player.

So for Henman 100 / 2.50 = £40 needed to win £100 from Badbrokes

Federer 100 / 1.727 = £57.90 needed to win £100 from Billy Hills

So to win £100 on this match you only need to bet a total of £97.90, lets say Henman pulls of the shock win, your bet at Billy Hills has lost, but you bet at Badbrokes has won and you have a profit of £2.10 GUARANTEED!!! Now say you multiplied this by 10, you would have a guaranteed profit of £22.10. do this a few times a day and you will soon have a nice little profit.

Another way to work arbs out after you have found them is to use an online calculator.This allows you to check arbs with up to 6 possibilities and you can also enter how much you want to bet in total and it will work out how much you should bet on each outcome. A very nice piece of kit.

So where do you find them in the first place then?

Well, there are 3 ways of finding arbs:

Firstly you can manually search the bookmakers sites to compare the odds against each other, while this is time consuming and can be very monotonous it is also very rewarding and will only serve to increase your knowledge of which bookies offer which odds/markets and increase your general betting savvy.

Secondly you can use odds comparison sites, 2 of the best for this purpose are and these give a fairly accurate comparison of major bookmakers odds and also a book percentage, if you see the percentage drop below 100% then that’s an arb. The disadvantage of using these sites is the odds they display are usually delayed and by the time you get from there to the bookmakers sites they may have gone. Also the range of bookmakers are limited.

Thirdly you can join an Arbitrage service, these will provide you with arbs in return for a subscription payment.  They act as an extra pair of eyes for you, so you don’t have to sit at your pc all day every day looking for arbs, the main things to look for in an arbitrage service are, how much do they charge for membership, how many arbs they send out and most importantly how good are the arbs they send. It’s no good paying for a service and then not getting a good supply of arbs from it!

Most dedicated arbitrage bettors will use all 3 of these at times, searching when they have the time, odds comparison when they have less time and an arb service to ensure they have a steady supply to compliment what they find themselves.

So I suppose you want to know how much money you can make out of this, well there are 3 limiting factors.

Firstly, Bookmakers Limits, all bookies will only accept a certain amount on each bet, these can vary greatly, for example on a recent tennis match, one bookie would let you bet £31,000 while another just £250 which leads us into the second point.

Secondly, how much money you actually have to bet with, the more you have, the more you can bet, and the more you can make, with a starting fund of £2,000 you should be able to double your money in about 6 – 12 months which leads into the third point.

Thirdly, your dedication, the more time you can spend arbitrage betting the more you can make.

In closing, Arbitrage Betting is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, it is a system which over time will make you a nice guaranteed steady profit. If you have any further questions please feel free to post them below in the comments and we will try my best to answer them for you.

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