Arbitrage betting (arbing) is staking on all outcomes of an event to lock-in profit.
Customers who place arbitrage bets are “arbers”.
An arb bet opportunity arises due to a discrepancy in odds between bookies.
Where can I find arbs?
Arbs can be available in various betting markets such as:
Or, a three-way market: football Match Odds (home team wins/draw/away team wins).
Arbing is different from gambling. Arbers use simple maths to profit on a betting market.
Is arbing risk free?
Arbitrage betting is not risk free. Odds can change between placing your different bets with each bookmaker 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 bet 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 lock-in 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:
Place a back bet at 2.0 with a bookmaker
Then, lay at 1.9 on a betting 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:
- To lock in a profit by laying at the exchange to cover your bookmaker back bet, or
- 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 any money, nor will you make a profit.
The OddsMonkey Oddsmatcher is great for finding arbs. Look for a 100% rating or higher.
Bookmakers and arbing
Bookmakers do not like arbitrage bettors. Arbers 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) will see you marked as an arber.
If a bookmaker suspects you of arbing, they will restrict your stakes and close youraccount. This is a gubbing.
Arbs and price boosts
There is a difference between arbs and price boosts.
Bookmakers don’t intend to offer arbing opportunities. Arbs are unprofitable for the bookie in the long term.
But, bookies 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. 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.