Arbitrage betting (sure betting or arbing) is a type of sports betting when a bettor wagers the bets on opposite outcomes of the same event in different bookies so he guarantees a profit regardless of the outcome of the event. Such betting system is based on the differences in odds in the lines set by the bookmakers.
Arbitrage betting can be very effective, but it also can be very risky. If the bettor cannot find / does not have enough time to wager the correct bets, the bettor loses the money. More so, many bookmakers expressedly prohibit arbitrage betting, and if the bettor is caught in surebeting, then his account may get cut or even blocked.
If one intends to try arbing, it is important to do research and choose the right bookies. You must also be prepared to take the risks of losing money.
[!] This article uses both the "arbitrage situation" and the "surebet" terms, while in fact these are synonymous terms.
Arbitrage situations in sports betting arise for various reasons, but always depend on the discrepancies in the odds in the lines set by different bookmakers. The most common reason for the arbs is competition, where the bookmakers overstate their quotes in order to increase the attractiveness of the line to new bettors.
It is important to note that arbitrage situations are quite rare and hard to find. If you intend to try arbitrage betting, it is important to do some painstaking research, and choose the right bookmakers. That, or you can use the Betwasp app to find suitable arbitrage situations in a matter of minutes.
An arb means a situation in a betting when a bettor is guaranteed a profit, regardless of the outcome of the event. Such situations arise due to significant line discrepancies between different bookies. Thanks to surebets, the bettor is to just wager the correct bet on the opposite outcomes, and the wait for the end of the event to collect guaranteed "plus".
At first glance, the search for an arb looks easy thanks to a special formula for this. However, in reality, it is extremely difficult to find an arbitrage situation manually. Skilled bettors have long been using customized services and software to scan bookmakers lines for surebets. One of the best services is considered to be BetWasp, the service constantly scanning the lines of more than 40 popular bookmakers from around the world. With its help, any bettor in a matter of minutes will be able to find any and all arbs suitable for the sports and the bookies the bettor is interested in. This scanner provides access to hundreds of arbitrage situations existing at the moment at any time of the day or night.
[!] We highly recommend to read our other material on this topic "What does EV Betting mean?".
In the world of betting, there are only two types of arbitrage situations, both working differently:
It is quite possible to find and recognize an arbitrage situation, but it is difficult for beginners to understand the inner workings without live examples. So let's take a look and analyze one of the NHL regular season matches, the New York Rangers vs the Detroit Red Wings for the signs of betting surebets. In two Bookmakers, we've found the following quotes for the win of the opposing teams:
New York Rangers | Bookmaker | Detroit Red Wings |
-204 | Bet365 | +197 |
-156 | William Hill | +155 |
First, we need to convert the American odds to decimal format. To convert quotes to decimal values, use the following formulas:
EK = 1 + (K / 100), with positive American odds;
EK = 1 + (100 / K), with negative American odds.
After some simple calculations, we get the following quotes in decimal format:
New York Rangers | Bookmaker | Detroit Red Wings |
1.49 | Bet365 | 2.97 |
1.64 | William Hill | 2.55 |
Bookmaker no. 1 (let's take Bet365 here): L = (1/1.49) + (1/2.97) = 1.0102.
Bookmaker no. 2 (let's take William Hill here): L = (1/1.64) + (1/2.55) = 1.0016.
Based on the above calculations, it turns out that the profit for the Bookmaker no. 1 is 1.02%, but the figures for the Bookmaker no. 2 are 0.16%. However, said profit does not depend on the outcome of the event.
Let's say we chose a bet on the win of the Detroit Red Wings for the Bookmaker no. 1, and for the Bookmaker no. 2 we took the win of the New York Rangers. Then the inversion will be as follows:
L = (1/1.64) + (1/2.97) = 0.947
According to these calculations, the inversion for the counter bets turned out to be less than 1.0. It turns out that this betting option suits us perfectly. Now let's properly calculate our arbitrage situation.
For the convenience of calculations, let's take $1,000 stake to use to bet on our surebet. First of all, we need to calculate the exact amount of a bet to be wagered in both cases:
S1 = 1000 / (0.947 x 1.64) = $644.2,
S2 = 1000 / (0.947 x 2.97) = $355.8
For convenience and to follow the bookmaker rules, we may slightly round the amounts for each of the bets:
S1 = $645;
S2 = $355.
It turns out that it is exactly $645 that needs to be bet on the win of the Detroit Red Wings in the Bookmaker no. 1, whereas $355 is to be bet on the win of the New York Rangers in the Bookmaker no. 2 to guarantee a profit from this arbitrage situation.
In the last step, we need to find out the net profit to be made with our bet. To do this, we need to account for any and all possible outcomes of the event.
In case of Detroit Red Wings win:
S = (S1 x K1) - (S1 + S2) = (645 x 1.64) - 1,000 = $57.8
In case of New York Rangers win:
S = (S2 x K2) - (S1 + S2) = (355 x 2.97) - 1,000 = $54.35
It turns out that in any case, we get more than $54 of net profit. This is an profitable arb with a high yield of over 5%. But do not forget that some bookies charge fees for withdrawing funds from the account, so consider these points when estimating the profitability of an arbitrage situation.
Manual search for arbitrage situations is a time-taking process not for every bettor to handle. Not every bettor will be able to find at least a couple of arbs, especially in live mode, when quotes for events are being constantly updated.
However, nowadays there are customized services designed to help you find all the arbs you want in a matter of minutes. There are a number of benefits for its users:
We recommend the software called BetWasp designed to scan dozens of bookies around the world and find the best arbitrage situations. BetWasp provides any and all tools you need to manage your bets, including statistics, charts and predictions.
If you are serious about trying arbing, then using BetWasp is a must. This specialized scanner can help you find arbitrage situations faster, more accurately and more conveniently than in a manual mode.
On our site, you will be able to find a detailed description of the functionality of the BetWasp automated software designed for scanning for arbs and valuebets. We suggest that you also read the detailed manual at the following URL.
Betting on arbitrage situations is not considered somewhat illegal on its own, however most bookmakers prohibit their bettors from wagering such kinds of bets in their rules. This is due to the fact that bookies cannot profit from surebets, but the bettors are sure to make profit.
The bookmaker experts carefully analyze the bettor behavior in order to identify the arbers. Here are some of the most used methods the bookies use:
The bookmakers have different methods for struggling with "dishonest" (in their opinion) bettors. Basically, 4 types of "penalties" may be used:
The arbers are being considered a problem for the bookies because they can make a profit regardless of the outcome of the event. Bookmakers use various methods to deal with such bettors, but they still manage to find ways around said methods.
Despite serious surveillance by the bookmakers, many bettors succeed in using arbitrage situations quite successfully, and making profits. How do they do it? It is quite simple, they just use simple and clear tips that even beginners are able to follow:
By following these simple tips, you will be able to significantly reduce the risks of being discovered by the bookmakers, and will be able to increase your chances of making profits from betting the arbitrage bets.
⭕ What does arbitrage betting mean?
Arbitrage betting means a type of strategy for a bettor to wager the bets on opposite outcomes of the same event at different bookmakers and make a profit regardless of the outcome of the event.
⭕ How much can one earn from one arbitrage situation?
The size and odds of the bet directly affect the profit from the arbitrage situation. Basically, you can expect to make something between 2% and 5% of your betting stake. However, in live mode, you can easily find high-yield surebets of 10% and even more.
⭕ Is it legal to bet on arbitrage situations?
Arbitrage bets are not a scam or a fraud, so they are considered legal in terms of the law. However, the bookies believe that arbitrage situations violate their rules, so they are actively struggling the arbers.
⭕ Can bookmakers block a bettor?
Yes, the account of a bettor engaged in arbitrage situations can be blocked by the bookmaker. However, this rarely happens, most often the bookies use milder penalties: limiting the maximum betting amounts and freezing accounts.