Searching for information about arbitrage betting is the first step in learning this smart betting strategy. You can find tons of information on blogs, forums, and Youtube videos.
While researching, you will find many comments about people who are in doubt if arbitrage betting is still possible or not.
This article won’t be the shortest one you will read today, but I strongly believe that here you will find the answers to the majority of your questions about arbitrage betting:
- What is arbitrage betting?
- Where can you find sure bets?
- Advantages and downsides of arbitrage betting
- Is arbitrage betting still possible and worth trying?
- Arbitrage betting example
- What is an arbitrage bet?
- What is arbitrage betting in sports betting?
- Arbitrage betting tips & guide: how to spot an arb
- Is arbitrage betting risk-free?
- Will arbitrage betting still be possible in the future?
- Is arbitrage betting worth it for you?
- Do bookies allow arbitrage betting?
- How Does a Bookmaker Know You Are Arbitrage betting?
- How to read betting odds?
- How do the bookmakers are defining odds?
Is arbitrage betting still possible and worth trying?
The short answer is that arbitrage betting is still a very profitable income source, and it is worth trying, you still can make serious profits with it.
Bookmakers are making it harder and harder to make money from arbitrage betting. If you are dedicated to learning, you can do sure betting even for a living. I’ve been doing this since 2013.
Below you can find proof of me using BetBurger (I think it is still the best arbitrage betting software in Europe since 2014). If I’m able to still actively place sure bets, you can too. Check my in-depth BetBurger review (best for bettors from the EU). OddsJam, on the other hand, is the big player in the USA (more info below).
Those bettors who have the intention of finding arbitrage bets, or any kind of smart betting technique for a living, have to dive deeper into the betting industry.
If you want to be an arbitrage bettor for a long-term and main income source, you need to know all the pros and cons of arbitrage betting.
No.1 Arbitrage betting software in the USA & Canada
- OddsJam is the fastest real-time arbitrage betting scanner for the US & Canadian bookmakers.
- With their software, bettors from these countries are able to take advantage of overpriced odds.
- With OddsJam you can practice strategies like arbitrage and value betting.
- Both are accepted as the most profitable and surest techniques for betting.
You can try them with the 7-day Free Trial! – subscribe to their newsletter and you will get 3 daily sure bets for free in the e-mail!
Need more information? Check my OddsJam Review
The more you read about smart betting the more feedback you will get about how hard it is these days, and how fast bookmakers are limiting bettors.
You may hear that no matter if you are placing obvious arbitrage or value bets if you are a winner, you will face the hammer of the bookmakers.
Some bookies like Pinnacle are exceptions. They are welcoming arbitrage bettors, so you don’t have to be afraid of limitations, even if your stakes are above €2000. I have a comprehensive Pinnacle Sports Review that might be interesting for you.
Another great solution for sustainable sure betting is using Betting Brokers. They are giving you instant access to many bookmakers on a single platform. Arbing is welcomed here!
Limiting stakes to 0 at an arbitrage bettor is the end of their betting career at that bookmaker.
After hearing these negative opinions, you might ask yourself, is arbitrage betting still possible and profitable for the long run? Or this smart betting technique is enough only for a side income?
I can assure you that from arbitrage betting it is still possible to make serious money. You won’t find a lot of people bragging about their income from this, because most of them don’t like to share any information.
Arbitrage betting example
The bookies are not getting the same information about sports events as their competitors, or at least not all the time. This difference is causing them to offer higher or lower odds than other bookies, like in the following example.
- at the first bookie, the tennis player A has an odds of 2
- and the player B at the other bookmaker has 2.1 (which is not normal. Normally it should be around 1.80)
- you place a stake at the first bookie with 100 euros on odds of 2 and at the other bookmaker on the second player, you place a stake of 95 euros on an odd of 2.10
Regardless of who wins you will end up with a profit of approximately 4.5 euros. This kind of betting is called arbitrage betting.
Exact steps for starting arbitrage betting
- Check if sports betting is legal in your country/state or not
- Find the best software for bookies in your country: Between these articles or by checking my country-specific table in my article about the best sure bet finders
- Pick arbitrage-friendly bookies or betting brokers to cover your bets besides using your local soft/slow bookies with many wrong odds
- Check some reviews about the bookies you want to use. Make sure they are not scam bookies.
- Deposit money to more bookies: to some of your local bookies and to sharp ones that don’t limit arbitrage betting (Pinnacle)
- Follow some basic rules to avoid fast limitations: check my article about how to not get caught arbitrage betting
- Need some video tutorial about arbing? Check my article about how to find arbitrage bets with a video included
- Got limited? Read about your new possibilities like multi-accounting
What is an arbitrage bet?
An arbitrage opportunity appears when the same product has a much different price in different markets.
Arbitrage is the act of simultaneously buying and selling the same product on different markets for a guaranteed profit. In the world of finance, the most common examples of arbitrage are in trading with currencies, stocks, or commodities.
What is arbitrage betting in sports betting?
Arbitrage betting opportunities in sports betting are very similar to the ones in stock trading. In the industry of sports betting, we are buying different outcomes on sports events. The price in this case is the real probability of the outcome in odds format.
Arbitrage betting is the technique of finding odds discrepancies between bookmakers that can offer a guaranteed profit if we cover both outcomes.
Odds are the numerical format of the probability of an outcome.
- if a tennis player has 50% to win the match, the decimal odds for that outcome without the profit margin would be 2.
- Arbitrage betting is based on finding odds that are not representing the true probability of an outcome.
Often, bookmakers are making mistakes and offering lines, odds, or prices that are higher than the average at other bookmakers.
Smart bettors are taking advantage of these wrong odds by placing bets on them and covering the other outcome at another bookie or exchange.
Below you can see a video of how I use BetBurger for finding and placing arbitrage bets.
Arbitrage betting tips & guide: how to spot an arb
I have several articles about techniques and solutions to find sure bets. But there are two main routes you can choose from finding them manually or with the help of an arbitrage scanner.
1. Use the right arbitrage betting tools & bookies
You can check my article about the free arbitrage betting software, and start practising without thinking too much!
Check my RebelBetting Review, they are one of the best tools for beginners because of their 14-day free trial and guides.
Don’t know which bookies are the best for covering your bets? Check this article: arbitrage friendly bookies.
Having the right betting site to hedge your sure bets can mean a significant difference in the long run. Covering your bets on the highest odds possible will guarantee you the most optimal profits every time.
At the end of the month, it can generate an additional profit even above $150.
2. Always learn new arbing strategies
Everyone wants to keep their arbitrage betting strategy a secret to make it viable even in the long run.
The more unique the betting strategy you have the harder it is for bookmakers to flag your account. Most sure bettors are following an arbitrage betting software because they don’t know how to find arbitrage betting opportunities manually.
It’s the easiest way to take advantage of those wrong odds but finding overpriced odds manually can open a new and many times more profitable way of sure betting.
Bookmakers have a lot of algorithms and tactics to find those smart bettors. If you are using those arbitrage scanning services for pre-match you probably will meet those limitations faster than you would think.
However, in live betting bookmakers are not so fast in adjusting odds. They are making mistakes more often, this way creating arbitrage bet opportunities without realizing it fast enough.
3. Don’t be greedy while arbitrage betting
How can you make sure bookies won’t limit you too early?
In this article about how to not get caught for arbitrage, you can find a more detailed description with a lot of basic and more advanced tips.
But here I want to focus on more unique arbitrage betting strategies. Any betting style or market choice that is different from those simple arbitrage bettor actions will increase your chances to do arbitrage betting for a longer period.
In this betting industry, there are a lot of bettors who are placing arbitrage bets and value bets for long years.
The experience they gain in these years allows them to find new betting possibilities. They can notice trends in sports or markets that a beginner can’t, and they are building social networks and sharing betting secrets.
This is the way I get some valuable information from time to time, which allows me to stay in business.
4. Arbitrage bettors should have many friends
The other thing that makes arbitrage betting still possible in the long term is increasing your social network. This strategy is kind of a “grey hat” solution for getting new accounts from friends and family.
But each bettor who wants to make a decent profit from sports betting will face the sad truth that bookies don’t like winning players.
The help from friends and family is the only way to practice arbitrage betting in the long run.
Another way of arbitrage betting, in the long run, is a more advanced one. Making money with the help of bots, scripts are getting a bigger and bigger role in the betting industry.
Arbitrage and value betting recurrent tasks can be automated with this software. You would think that it needs a lot of knowledge about betting and coding to make software like this.
But to be honest, if you are interested in computer sciences and you have a basic knowledge of coding, you can start building a betting bot.
You won’t succeed too fast, but the internet is full of information, you just need to find what you need for your project.
For those just starting to learn arbitrage betting, I would suggest not taking it too seriously from the start. Don’t bust all of the good bookmakers for arbing after arbitrage scanners.
The best you can do is to start small and make it your side income. Do everything to delay limitations as much as possible.
Learn every day and everything about arbitrage betting by reading forums and trying to speak with others with more experience.
Is arbitrage betting risk-free?
Relying only on arbitrage betting as the main income source is very risky if you are not experienced enough. But in the long run, it is worth learning this way of making money.
Unfortunately, even sure betting is not totally risk-free. You can make many unforeseen mistakes:
- making mistakes while calculating the stakes
- odds can drop before you cover every outcome
- bookies can void bets (the ones that were the winner’s leg…of course)
- arbing requires many deposits (bookies can ask for proof of income etc.)
If you are willing to take more risks, a better way of making money from sports betting is value betting. With this strategy, your accounts will last longer.
You will have to accept the risk that sometimes losing some bets is normal in the long run.
Will arbitrage betting still be possible in the future?
The competition between bookmakers is still quite high. Almost all of them are offering good deposit bonuses or free bets, which offers a good income source for matched bettors.
This high competition is forcing them to offer better odds, faster stream, faster updating odds. The competition is allowing us smart bettors to take advantage of these differences between bookmakers.
As long as there will be bookmakers with different odds providers and different ways of calculating odds, arbitrage betting will be possible among other smart betting techniques.
The only way to stop these differences and mistakes between bookmakers would be the unlikely case when all bookmakers would have the same provider.
Is arbitrage betting worth it for you?
I think the answer is more complex than a simple yes or no. In my experience arbitrage betting is not for everyone but it is the surest way to beat the bookmakers. Your earnings from this betting strategy can be very different from those saying that it is very profitable.
I think it’s a big mistake not to practice arbitrage betting for a side income, and you would simply let free money on the table. Arbitrage betting combined with matched betting is a perfect income source for anyone.
Generally speaking, arbitrage betting is worth your time if you learn enough.
The main influencing factor of your possibilities is the country you are from. A lot of countries have very strict regulations about gambling and sports betting.
Those regulations can have a big impact on your possibilities. In some countries, only a few bookmakers have a license to operate.
In a situation like this, your possibilities are very limited to make good money from arbitrage betting. A lot of people are risking penalties and fines by registering at other bookmakers too.
In my experience, if you can’t make sure that your money or identity is untrackable, you should avoid arbitrage betting from your country.
I already wrote an article about the profitability of arbitrage betting, but in this one, I would like to make you think a little bit.
What are your main goals with arbitrage betting?
For a side income, you can start it right now. If you have a job and you just want to make more money in your free time, do it. If you have more serious goals with arbitrage betting you might need to think about the following questions.
How much time do you have for learning arbitrage betting and researching it on a daily basis?
Do you have enough friends who could help you get new accounts if all of yours are limited?
Do you have access to a lot of bookmakers?
I think that if the answer is yes to all three of these questions, arbitrage betting can be a good way of making money.
You can check my article about the free arbitrage betting software, and start your betting journey without thinking too much!
Also, you might want to check my other useful article about the arb-friendly bookies.
Do bookies allow arbitrage betting?
Most bookmakers are not allowing arbitrage betting. This betting technique is based on generating guaranteed profits by taking a rather low risk (human errors).
The profit we can gain from this means a loss for bookies. The fact that bookmakers are profit-oriented companies makes arbitrage betting a not-too-welcomed action.
Every smart betting activity that will generate profits at least in the long run will decrease the profits of the bookmakers.
So, when you are flagged as an arber, you will face the limitation of your maximum stakes, or even block your account.
Only a few bookmakers are allowing this betting technique. They are sharp bookmakers or exchanges.
Arbitrage betting at sharp bookmakers
Sharp bookmakers have developed their strategy of offering odds in a different way than soft bookies.
Some are adjusting them after almost every bet they get. If an outcome gets too much attention, that could mean that is overpriced.
Sharp bookies are dropping these odds in a more proactive way than the others, this way creating lines and prices that are closer to reality.
Adding a profit margin to these so-called sharp lines and sharp odds will generate profit for them. Arbitrage bettors are covering bets at these bookies because they are not getting limited here.
The more stake they are placing here the more a price gets closer to the reality.
This way sharp bookmakers can offer higher and higher odds by lowering their profit margin and still making money.
Arbitrage betting: the role of exchange bookies
Exchanges are following a different business model. They are stepping back in the process of offering odds.
Their first intention is to build an interface that is allowing bettors to offer lines and odds.
Basically, every bettor will offer and accept odds from other bettors. This business model is creating a flow of bets where arbitrage bettors and smart bettors, in general, are not hurting their profitability.
The income for exchanges is generated from the commission gained from every winning bet.
You, as a bettor, have the chance to place bets against other bettors. For offering this interface, you have to pay a commission to the exchange bookie after your winning bets.
Most of the time this commission is between 3% – 6% of your winnings.
How Does a Bookmaker Know You Are Arbitrage betting?
Placing bets on the wrong odds is not a new thing. A lot of bettors made a fortune after the year 2000.
It took a while for bookmakers to start spotting smart bettors, because back then the algorithms were not so well developed.
Their best chance of limiting or banning arbers was only in the moment when they already made a lot of money. At present, bookies have way more tools to filter out smart betting activities.
One of the biggest signs of being a smart bettor is using a market that is getting too many bets from others at the same time. An overpriced outcome will be noticed not only by smart bettors but the bookies too.
If you are taking advantage of these obviously wrong odds too many times, your account will be flagged. The biggest signs for bookmakers are:
- betting on small leagues
- placing stakes that are not rounded
- placing bets multiple times on the same outcome
- if not a generally accepted bettor: an account from a woman is already a red flag, but one with an age above 50-60 years old will automatically flag an account for suspicious activity.
For more details, you can read the following article about how to not get banned for arbitrage betting.
How to read betting odds?
The purpose of this article is to help you to make money from sports betting.
Even though approximately 98% of people who are betting on sports events are losing money in the long run, there are a lot of ways to make decent money from it.
With dedication, learning, patience, and a well-proven working strategy you can make a lot of money and you can do it even for a living.
In sports betting, odds are representing the statistical probability of a particular outcome. Depending on what country you are from, you may be familiar with the following, most common odds formats:
These kinds of odds are commonly used in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and you can also meet them on horse racing bets. But arbitrage bettors in the UK and generally speaking outside of the US are using decimal odds.
Fractional odds are expressing the net payout you get relative to your stake. As an example, the odds of 3/1 would mean that if you win the bet you get a profit of 30$ if you placed a 10$ stake.
With another example, an odd of 1/5 would mean, that your profit would be 20$ after a stake of 100$.
These are most commonly used in other parts of Europe, Canada, Australia, and Singapore.
These odds at the payout are including your stake too, so for example with odds like 1.90 you place a stake of 100$ and if you win, the payout would be 190$, including your stake too, so with a profit of 90$.
Decimal odds are easy to understand and to use because they are the direct inverse of the probability of the outcome (an odd of 2 for example has the probability of 1 / 2 = 50%).
In the world of smart betting most of the time the decimal format is used so in my examples I will stick to it too. Down below you can see some examples of fractional, and decimal odds, and their percentage format.
How do the bookmakers are defining odds?
While learning about smart betting and being profitable in it, we have to understand how bookies are defining odds.
The base starting points to get the real probability of an outcome are historical data and any additional information about teams and players.
From these probability percentages, they are generating the odds. The key point of being profitable in most of the smart betting techniques is somehow knowing if the bookies are right in defining those odds or if they made a mistake.
Mistakes made by bookmakers mean free money for smart bettors. I’m giving you the most simple example known under the name of value betting.
Start your sure betting journey by visiting my article about arbitrage bet finders. I have used all of them and you can find a presentation video of each in my dedicated reviews.
The short answer is that arbitrage betting is still a very profitable income source. The majority of bookmakers want to limit arbitrage bettors. But sure betting is still possible when there is a significant odds difference between betting sites.
Your earnings from the arbitrage betting strategy can be very different compared to other bettors. If you have access to at least 5-to 8 decent betting sites, arbitrage betting is worth it and can be an excellent side income source for a while.
The competition between bookmakers is still very high. All of them are offering wrong odds a lot of times which creates many overpriced odds and makes arbitrage betting possible even in the future.
Arbitrage opportunities in sports betting are very similar to the ones in stock trading. In the industry of sports betting, we are buying different outcomes on sports events. When the price/odds are fairly different between bookies, we can take a guaranteed profit on these opportunities by placing bets on every outcome with the right stakes.
Only sharp bookmakers like Pinnacle Sports and Exchanges like Betfair allow arbitrage betting. They are capable of generating profits even when arbitrage bettors are looking for weak betting lines.