Arbitrage in Online Betting

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Each method that allows us to have some kind of edge in sports betting is valid. Arbitrage in online betting is a mechanism utilized with this intention, looking to minimize or extinguish the possibility of loss. Below, I’ll give some explanations about the topic.

What is arbitrage in online betting?

The arbitrage method in online betting or sure bet is nothing more than the condition the bettor tries to find to extinguish the possibility of loss, which means, having 100% chance of getting profit after his bets.

The term sure bet means “safe bet”. I have been writing here and I always say that there isn’t a 100% sure bet, but this is not a “regular” method.

This method appeared on the financial market, where the investors looked for opportunities to generate their profits, through buying and selling their assets, and due to the variation of the market rates, secure a certain profit at the end of the operation.

In a clearer way, the bettor will have to find odds that might allow him to profit, independently of the outcome of the event.

Of course, it is not easy, since these days it is harder to find, but due to the infinite number of bookmakers, the available offer is quite large.

Arbitrage in Online betting: How does it work?

On a bookmaker, the odds offered generally generate a profit for the bookmaker, independently of the result.
The premise of these bookmakers is offering odds that don’t allow you to ensure profit betting on both possibilities of the same event.

Example on 1XBet:
Over 2.5 Goals – 2.02 | Under 2.5 Goals – 1.72

On this case, if I bet 100€ on each option, I wouldn’t have profit independently of the result. In case there are 3 goals or more, I win 2€ (102€ profit on the over minus the 100€ lost on the Under) and if there are less than 3 goals scored, I lose 28€ (72€ profit minus the 100€ lost on the Over).

Therefore, here, we are looking for odds that give you profit utilizing the example above, in a scenario of Over or Under 2.5 Goals.

We will then utilize 2 different bookmakers. And the objective is to look for odds in both that are misadjusted.

Example on Bet365:

Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal
Bookmaker A: Djokovic –  2.30 | Nadal –  1.82
Bookmaker B: Djokovic –  2.05 | Nadal –  1.95

In this case, we would bet a regular unit value, let’s say 100€. Djokovic would ensure us a profit of 130€ on Bookmaker A.


On Bookmaker B, we wouldn’t bet the same amount of 100€, but due to the different odds between Bookmakers A and B, we would still secure profit if we made a quick calculation. If we bet 117.95€ in Nadal’s victory on Bookmaker B, we would
have a profit of 112.05€.

• If Djokovic wins
130,00€ (profit from bookmaker A) – 117,95€ (loss from bookmaker B) = 12,05€ profit

• If Nadal wins
112,05€ (profit from bookmaker B) – 100,00€ (loss from bookmaker A) = 12,05€ profit

Understand that on this example, we would have 100% sure profit, independently of the outcome of the match. It is good to remind that it is essential to choose markets that offer us only two outcomes and without the option of refund, such as the Asian lines.

Then the objective is “finding” these oscillations on the odds, between the several bookmakers available and then find your “surebet”.

This method doesn’t depend on your analysis as scouts, in terms of absences, playstyle, position on the league table, etc. Here we just need to find variations on the odds and calculate our investment to have an ensured return.

What are the disadvantages and risks?

It seems like a paradise, but just like other methods, arbitrage also has its risks.

Firstly, to have significant profit, it is important to have a slightly larger bankroll. A lot of bettors place huge amounts on these situations and ensure a large profit. The problems here are simple, and I’ll explain the most common situations below:

• Quick changes of the odds
Most of the bookmakers open their markets with slightly misadjusted odds, and they suffer variations according to the amount of money that goes into one or other option.

When there are these diferences between the X and Y bookmaker, generally there is a lot of money going into these options and the bookmaker quickly lowers the odds.

That way, you might be placing a high amount on the bookmaker A, wanting to cover your bet on bookmaker B, but that caused the other odds to drop a lot. If the bookmaker A doesn’t offer cashout, you’ve exposed your money and you can lose a hefty amount.

risk artigo

• Void bets
The bookmakers have a control for when they make “mistakes”. A lot of times the odds are absurdly wrong, and you can place a bet on that market and after the match, you receive a message saying that the bet was cancelled due to the mistake on the odds offered. In case the chosen bookmaker had been the one you’ve won your bet on, you’d lose money.

• Excluded account

A lot of times, bettors that have exaggerated profits on a certain bookmaker end up being excluded or limited. They will give you some excuse, but the fact is that the bookmaker didn’t want to lose any more money to you.

Then, when you win too much on a bookmaker, they can exclude you or limit your stake to a very inferior amount to the one you usually bet, “inviting” you to close your account.

These are the definitions of arbitrage in online betting. You can utilize an arbitrage calculator, sign up to a notification service regarding arbitrages or even analyse the market yourself and identify investment opportunities. Good Luck!

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