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What is arbing in matched betting? Arbitrage betting guide

Arbitrage betting (also known as arbing), is where you bet on all possible outcomes of an event to lock-in a profit.

Customers who place arbitrage bets are known as “arbers”.

An arb bet is where there is a discrepancy in the odds between different betting companies. Betting on all possible outcomes will make a profit.

Where can I find arbs?

Arbs can be available in various betting markets such as:

A two-way market such as tennis, snooker or cricket with two possible outcomes (player/team A wins or player/team B wins).

Or, a three-way market like football Match Odds (home team wins/draw/away team wins).

Arbing is different to gambling on an event. Arbers use simple maths to profit on a betting market.

Bookmakers and arbing

Bookmakers dislike arbing, as it’s not profitable for them in the long-term. If a bookmaker suspects you of arbing, they will restrict your stakes and close your betting account. This is called gubbing.

Is arbing risk-free?

Arbitrage betting is not risk free. The odds can change between placing your different bets with each bookie or exchange. You need to be quick when placing each bet.

What is arbitrage betting?

The word “arb” is short for “arbitrage bet”. Arbing occurs when a bookmaker’s odds are too high compared to the rest of the market.

Arbitrage betting opportunities are usually available when a bookmaker’s system is slow to change their odds. Also, bookmaker traders sometimes fail to spot arbs.

The goal of arbing is to guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome of an event.

How to do arbitrage betting

Arbitrage betting between bookmakers and betting exchanges is simple.

You need the back odds (at the bookie) to be higher than the lay odds (at the exchange). For example:

Backing at 2.0 at a bookmaker

Then laying at 1.90 on the exchange

As your bankroll increases, you can arb on different events and increase your stakes.

Horse racing is good for arbing, but only on gubbed accounts. The two most common arbing strategies are to:

  1. To lock in a profit by laying at the exchange to cover your bookmaker back bet, or
  2. To ‘underlay’ your bet.

If you win an underlayed arb – then you will make more profit than from a standard lay.

If you do not win an underlayed arb – you will not lose an money, nor will you make a profit.

The OddsMonkey Oddsmatcher is great for finding arbs. Look for a 100% rating or higher.

Bookmakers perspective of arbitrage betting

Bookmakers do not like arbitrage bettors. Arbers make a profit from a standard bet (rather than a free bet like in matched betting), and arbers take too much long-term value from the bookmaker.

Matched bettors often place mug bets to give value back to the bookie, whereas arbers will only bet on value selections.

It’s easy for bookies to spot arbing activity, especially on horse racing. Consistently beating the Starting Price (SP) by a big margin will see you marked as an arber. Consistently arbing a bookie will lead to stake restrictions on your account.

Arbs and price boosts

There is a difference between arbs and price boosts.

Bookmakers don’t intend to offer arbing opportunities, as arbs are unprofitable for bookies.

On the other hand, bookies actively promote their price boosts to gain new customers.

Price boosts allow matched bettors to lock-in a profit. For example the Skybet weekly special treble. Simply back the treble at Skybet, then lay at Betfair for guaranteed profit.

Therefore, it is wise to matched bet on price boosts and enhanced odds, but try to avoid the temptation to arb.


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