What Is Arbitrage Betting? | Example & Tips To Avoid Getting Caught

by | 29 Apr 2022

You may have come across the term “arbitrage betting” before in your search for sports betting strategies to help you win more. The word “arbitrage” refers to the practice of taking advantage of pricing discrepancies between two or more markets.

In other words, you can use arbitrage betting to get a price advantage on your bets. It can be a great way to make money from sports betting, but it’s not easy.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about arbitrage betting. We’ll explain how it works and how you can use it in your own sports betting strategy.

Defining Arbitrage Betting

Arbitrage betting is a betting strategy that involves placing your bets on all possible outcomes of an event to guarantee a profit. The main objective of this betting strategy is to capitalise on pricing differences between different bookies.

This means that although arbing involves betting on every possible outcome of a game through two or more bookies, bettors ought to choose their bookies wisely. Arbers should ensure that the bookies significantly differ enough from each other in terms of the odds to secure a profit.

Bettors can usually find an opportunity to engage in arbitrage betting when:

The Odds Are Too High

Bookies typically set their odds much higher than usual in order to keep existing and new bettors interested.

Real-Time Live Events Get Hectic 

In fast-paced sports like basketball or tennis, odds can change at any given time. This often leaves bookies unable to react and adjust the odds accordingly. 

An Example of Arbitrage Betting

Let’s get into an imaginary example between two soccer teams. We’ll have Manchester United and Chelsea. Due to the unpredictability of the game and human error, the bookies set the following odds:

 

EventsDescriptionOdds
W1Manchester United win4.5
W2Chelsea win4
XDraw2

 

Let’s say you want to make use of arbitrage betting and bet $202:

 

$46  on the Man United win

$52  on the Chelsea win

$104  on a Draw

 

Your profit, if Man United wins, is:

4.5 x 46 – 202 = 5

 

Your profit, if Chelsea wins, is:

4 x 52 – 202 = 6

 

Your profit if there is a draw

2 x 104 – 202 = 6

 

Related: Top 3 Sports for Successful Arbitrage Betting 

Regardless of the outcome, you will receive a guaranteed profit for any outcome of the game if you make use of arbitrage betting. As such, you should make it a habit to monitor the odds of several bookies and calculate the potential income. Luckily for you, Edge Alerter has just the thing. 

How Bookies Detect Arbitrage Betting

That said, arbitrage betting isn’t exactly a secret sports betting strategy that bookies will never know about. Unfortunately for many sports bettors, bookies keep a keen eye on suspicious activities and indicators on accounts that could indicate arbing. 

That said, arbitrage betting isn’t exactly a secret sports betting strategy that bookies will never know about. Unfortunately for many sports bettors, bookies keep a keen eye on suspicious activities and indicators on accounts that could indicate arbing. 

Some of the ways bookies track arbitrage betting include:

Repeating Bets

Bookies may flag accounts for arbitrage betting alongside other reasons if they see bettors making repeated bets.

Bet Size

Bookies may suspect an account to be arbing if they see the bettors stake high amounts that approach the maximum threshold..

Deposit/Withdrawal Frequency

Bookies can suspect an account to be arbing if they see bettors frequently withdrawing/depositing their money.

Related: How Do Bookmakers Know If You Are Arbing?

How To Not Get Caught Arbing

Here are some things you can do to avoid getting caught arbing:

Avoid Making Too Many Max Bets

While placing high wagers to maximize your arbing opportunity to try and take advantage of guaranteed profits might sound like a good idea on paper, bookies can tag you as an arber if you consistently place max bets.

Bet On A Parlay Every Now And Then

Make yourself look like a recreational bettor by betting on a parlay often. If bookies see you only bet on big profitable opportunities with high odds, your risk of being banned for arbitrage betting increases.

Related: How Bookies Profile Accounts

Avoid Frequently Withdrawing/Depositing Money

Arbers tend to make large deposits to fund their efforts and cash out to enjoy the fruits of their work. Frequent bank transactions could also count as a red flag which could indicate arbitrage betting for bookies. 

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