In simple terms arbing is taking advantage of the different prices between book makers to secure a small profit regardless of the result (its also a town in Germany but that not important to this page!). This is done by either backing multiple options to secure a win or backing at a high price to then lay of Betfair or Betdaq. Although it’s quite tough to find a good arb there’s still plenty about and it’s possible to make a consistent return this way.
Arbing – a simple guide
An example of arbing
Personally I think the easiest arbs are in the both teams to score markets. This is where you find two bookies who are at over evens for yes and no. This usually means the markets are around evens and I find a 3-5% return is about standard. An other examples of similar arbing markets I sometimes use is over 2.5 goals, this again is when the market is around evens.
How to find arbs
Fortunately we have oddschecker.com where you can find the odds from all the bookies in one place. If you’re going to get into arbing online oddschecker will become your daily starting point. Once on the site I select a league from that day then go into the both teams to score market. To speed things up use the drop down menu to switch between games without changing the market. This means you can quickly check a whole league in no time at all.
My advice to finding arbs this way is to use the lower leagues across Europe. There’s more variation in prices between the bookies in these markets and I find much better arbs this way.
When you find one it’s always best to double check the prices shown before you place your bets. Sometimes you’ll need to be quick too in order to get the bet placed but you’ll get quicker as you get used to it.
Other ways –
This is not a way I use my self but I know a few people who arb using in store bookies. This is usually done by finding odds on the in store coupon and laying them shorter on Betfair or Betdaq. As the prices shorten on the exchange they don’t on the coupon which creates the opportunity. There’s usually a maximum bet in the shops so you may need to go in a few times to get a decent stake on!
Risks when arbing
There’s a couple of risks when you’re in the process of placing a bet and a couple when the bet is placed. When you first place the bet the risk is the odds change whilst you’re placing both. This does happen very occasionally. If this happens and one of the bets place I personally choose to change the odds and place the bet for a small % loss. This is much better than letting the bet that has placed run. Remember – arbing is about making a small % profit on each bet, it’s not about letting bets run.
Once the bet is placed then there’s a couple of other risks associated. The bet may get cancelled if the game is called off and different bookies have different rules around this. There is a chance one will get cancelled and the other will stand. This is very rare though but can happen. The other risk is you get your account closed for arbing, this is more common and can happen. Most bookies don’t like you arbing bets so if they think you are there’s a chance you can have your account closed. Pinnacle sports, as above, advertise that they are arbitrage friendly. There’s ways to avoid other bookies problems though – starting small and building is the best way to do it. If you start off with big stakes (£100+) then you may get busted quickly.
I’m yet to have an account closed as I keep it small and infrequent, but I know a number of people who have had accounts shut down. It’s just worth baring in mind that this can happen.