Sports betting » A Full Guide to Arbitrage Betting & Surebets
Betting odds explained

Though almost all betting systems won’t give an edge to the punter, there seems to be a new contender: arbitrage betting. Arbitrage betting (arbing in short) has recently become very popular among many professional gamblers, as it can guarantee a profit when used properly. Below we’ll explain you all the ins and outs.

What is arbitrage betting?

Arbing is a strategy where you simultaneously place bets on all possible outcomes of an event at odds that guarantee profit, whatever the result of the event will be. The bettors who take advantage of this are referred to as arbers.

Arbitrage betting is possible when there is a discrepancy between odds, allowing a profit to be made by covering all outcomes. Usually, this is a bet with just two outcomes, for example in a tennis match, where only two results are possible.

Arbing opportunities most commonly arise when bookmakers disagree on odds, or make a mistake when pricing a market. Sportsbooks and oddsmakers like to be in sync and usually are when it comes to setting lines and odds. Most lines are set by the major sportsbooks, and they are all in constant communication with each other.

Arbing engages a more mathematical approach to ensure profit; most arbers have little or no interest in the sport they are betting on.

Many football betting systems and horse racing strategies are underpinned by the theories associated with arbing.

Arbitrage betting strategy

Arbitrage wager

An arbitrage wager is when you simultaneously place bets on every possible outcome of a sporting event. When done at the right time and with favourable odds, you’ll make a profit, no matter the sporting event’s result. Some people refer to this as a surebet. Most of the time you will only find arbitrage betting opportunities when there is a binary bet, as it has only two outcomes. For example, a tennis match where there are only two final results possible.

Surebet opportunities

The most common surebet opportunities present themselves when different sportsbooks disagree on the stakes of a single game or if they just make a mistake when predicting the market. Sportsbooks and oddsmakers like to be in sync and usually are when it comes to setting lines and odds. Most lines are set by the major sportsbooks, and they are all in constant communication with each other. However, there are hundreds of sporting events every day and mistakes can be made. This is when the arbers strike.

Surebets strategy

Be cautious and learn the ropes

Good arbitrage betting will require you to have many accounts open with a variety of oddsmakers and sportsbooks with different amounts of money to be spread around at any time. It takes some time to really learn when arbitrage opportunities present themselves, and it’s good practice to use a spreadsheet to keep track all of your wagers. Many players use the profit accumulator and other tools to calculate odds correctly.


double check the odds

You need to find odds that favour both outcomes of the game. For instance, even odds on Team A, +120 on Team B. A ten dollar bet on both sides will make you a winner or, at the very least, you’ll break even.

Once you have spotted an opportunity, it’s essential to double check the odds before placing both sides of the arbitrage bet. Odds tend to fluctuate after all. Be cautious, as the margins of an arbitrage wager can be very tight and any potential profit can be wiped out by failing to spot a shift in odds in the right.

Is arbitrage betting legal?

Arbitrage betting is perfectly legal:  it encompasses just calculating odds to your advantage. However, just because it is legal doesn’t mean it is allowed. Arbitrage betting is very much like counting cards in blackjack: it is legal but frowned upon, and sportsbooks, just like pit-bosses, will suspend you if they think you are arbitrage betting.

Surebetting profit

The main reason is fairly obvious, and it costs them money. This is why you need multiple sportsbooks.

Account limitations

Identifying customers who are using arbing can be quite difficult for sportsbooks. If you are consistently winning, they will closely monitor your activities. If your betting patterns lead them to suspect you’re using arbitrage, your account could be restricted or closed, sometimes without any warning.

Get some arbitrage betting software

The value of an arbitrage bet can be worked out using a mathematical formula. Most regular arbers will be using betting software which is widely available. It allows the user to input both sets of odds to work out how much should be bet, and it will also calculate the potential profit. Profit Accumulator’s oddsmatching software finds thousands of markets every day.

Arbitrage betting software

The software rates arbitrage opportunities to save players the time of trying to find their own which can be very time-consuming.

Arbitrage is a long game

Remember, you are more interested in placing a secure wager than collecting a big payday. If you find an arbitrage bet that will generate you more than 5 percent profit, nice work because those can be rare.

Arbitrage betting is not a get-rich-quick scheme; it requires patience, diligence, and time. It is not free of risks and it will take time for you to master.

See also:

How do bookmakers make profit?

See also:

Getting limited by bookmakers