While there are no guarantees in predicting the winner of a football match, punters can still achieve guaranteed profits from sports betting. All they have to do is use arbitrage betting. Commonly known as arbing or surebetting, arbitrage betting is a strategy that relies on the variation of odds held by different sportsbooks.
In this strategy guide, we'll show you how to engage in arbitrage betting while minimising the risk of having your gambling account limited, aka 'getting gubbed'. We'll also show you how to find sports betting arbitrage opportunities. Whether you take advantage of this knowledge is entirely up to you.
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What Is Arbitrage Betting?
Arbitrage betting is a way to guarantee a profit by betting on one outcome with bookmaker A and betting on the opposite outcome with bookmaker B. With this method, punters can average a 1 to 10% return on a bet. This might not seem like much, but the profit is risk-free. Moreover, the cumulative profit per month can exceed 20%.
In general, bookies give close quotes for specific football markets, but there is always some difference in the odds displayed by the leading sportsbooks. While the gaps aren't that big at a glance, decimal points are usually good indicators of potential value.
The quickest way to find and calculate arbing opportunities is to use software, and there are plenty of choices on the market nowadays. However, before you go shopping for Ultimate Arbing Hack 3000, it would be best to learn the working principles of surebetting.
Arbitrage Betting Tips – How to Spot and Take Advantage
Let's examine the following table as an example of a surebet opportunity.
|Liverpool – Man City|
|Over 2.5||Under 2.5|
Usually, bookmakers include a commission in their odds which gives them profit for both outcomes of an event. While the commission is not obvious, it can be easily calculated by adding together the inverses of the odds. You can do this by separately dividing 1 by the odds of both outcomes and then adding the numbers together. Then, multiply everything by 100, like this:
- Bookie A Commission: (1/2.10) + (1/1.72) = 0.47 + 0.58 = 1.05 ; 1.05*100= 105%
- Bookie B Commission: (1/1.75) + (1/2.20) = 0.57 + 0.45 = 1.02 ; 1.02*100= 102%
Everything that is above 100% is the bookmaker's commission. It appears Bookie A have a 5% commission on each stake, while Bookie B charge only 2% for their services. Moreover, there is a significant difference in the odds for the same outcomes. However, the difference in quotes is not sufficient to determine whether arbitrage betting will be profitable.
Calculating Potential, Stake Size and Exact Profit
Before we proceed, we need to calculate whether betting on opposing outcomes with different bookies will give us value. In order to investigate the potential profit of arbing (aka the yield), we need to cross-check the inversions of these odds. We are looking for a sum that is less than 100%. Here is how to calculate it:
- Inversion 1= (1/2.10)x100 + (1/2.20)x100 = 47.6% + 45.45% = 93.05%
- Inversion 2= (1/1.75)x100 + (1/1.72)x100 = 57.14% + 58.14% = 115.28%
The first inversion gives us an outcome below 100%. It's clear that the profit from arbing will be around 6.95%, as calculated by subtracting the result from 100%. However, to get the optimal profit, we need to determine how much to bet on each outcome. We can do this by multiplying the sum we intend to invest by the individual arbitrage percentage and divide it by 93.05%:
- Stake 1 = (47.6% x £100) / 93.05% = £51.16
- Stake 2 = (45.45% x £100) / 93.05% = £48.84
- Profit if Over 2.5: 2.10 x £51.16 – (£51.16 + £48.84) = £7.43
- Profit if Under 2.5: 2.20 x £48.84 – (£51.16 + £48.84) = £7.44
By betting the above sums on the respective odds, punters are guaranteed to earn £7.43 in profit. Any investor will agree that 7% is a decent return on investment. In sports betting arbitrage, however, the return is per bet, not per year, like in stock trading.
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How to Do Arbitrage Betting
Now that we've shown you how to calculate the potential profit and the optimal stakes, we can concentrate on arbitrage football betting itself. There are three steps to engaging in arbitrage betting, and while they are simple, each presents a challenge on its own:
- Find the surebet opportunity
This is both the most important and hardest step that starts the journey of a thousand miles. Experienced arbitrageurs can spot these opportunities just by scrolling the sportsbooks, but then again, experienced arbitrageurs usually use specialised software. These programs scan sportsbooks' odds for surebets and report any that they find.
- Place the stakes
This is a simple step to perform, but some sportsbooks are not fans of arbing, and they may take actions to limit the maximum stakes on your account. Placing stakes calculated to the penny may alert such bookies that you are surebetting, so you may want to round your bet up or down to a multiple of five. It won't hurt your profits too much.
- Collect and deposit
Since you will win with one of your accounts, you will be losing with the other. You can always withdraw the money you win but keep an eye on the balance of the losing account. If you place several surebets per day, they may all fail on the same betting account. In such cases, make sure the account has sufficient funds for more action.
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How to Find Betting Opportunities
There are three ways to find opportunities in the UK for arbitrage betting, and each of them has advantages and disadvantages:
Search for surebet opportunities This is Easter egg hunting for punters. Scrolling through sportsbooks and looking for the right odds to bet on can be a truly time-consuming ordeal, which makes it cost-ineffective.
Get software that searches for surebet opportunities If all you need to do is click a button, why go through all the hassle? Websites like rebelbetting.com and betburger.com offer excellent tools for surebetting. The disadvantage is that you have to pay for the service, so you need to be serious about trying it for at least a month.
Creating your own surebet opportunities This method involves using betting exchanges like Betfair and Matchbook. The idea is to create your own bet and wait for another punter to bet against it. Then, you stake on pre-selected odds with a bookmaker, effectively creating an arbitrage bet.
Is It Worth It?
In the end, it comes down to money, and UK arbitrage betting on football offers plenty of money if done right. Using surebet software, punters can get leads for opportunities, and all that remains is to then capitalise on them. Many people criticise arbing because it doesn't offer as much value as normal betting. However, when the risk is taken into consideration, surebetting definitely looks like the winner.
Frequently Asked Questions
🚨Q: Is Arbitrage Betting Legal?
💬A: Arbitrage betting is legal, and it has nothing to do with actual courts or arbitrations, as its name might imply. However, some bookmakers may look down on this practice because it guarantees profit to punters. They erroneously assume that if punters are winning, bookmakers are losing, which is not necessarily the case.
Still, many sportsbooks have limited betting accounts due to arbing, which might have created the perception that there is something wrong or illegal with the practice. Still, reputable sportsbooks have nothing against surebetting, and here are the top football betting sites for arbing: 888sport and Betway
💸Q: Can You Make Money from Arbitrage Betting?
💬A: Arbitrage sports betting is a guaranteed method to make money from sports betting. The method returns 1 to 10% on a single betting opportunity. Making one to ten pounds from a hundred might not seem like much at first, but there are several betting opportunities per day. Therefore, even higher yields are possible when you calculate the monthly return on investment from arbing.
In addition, following the old maxim that you need money to make money, bettors can make even more profit. By increasing their budget per surebet, punters can increase the amount of money they make per arbitrage. If one thousand pounds are distributed on both ends of an outcome, the bettor will take 10 to 100 pounds as profit.
⚽Q: Can You Do Arbitrage Betting for a Living?
💬A: Theoretically, it is possible, and some punters are even doing it in practice. However, professional punters rarely limit themselves to arbing because they would miss a lot of value from matched betting and regular bets as well. Furthermore, it is a challenge in the UK to find enough surebet opportunities that are profitable enough to pursue.
Arbitrageurs find a lot of value during hugely popular events where bookmakers are competing for punters. Such events include the Champions League's Finals for football and the Grand National for horse racing. However, surebets are available year-round, and in order to reap sufficient gains, punters should not limit themselves to the betting Christmas of popular events.