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What is Arbing?

Arbing or arbitrage betting is a trading technique where you bet on all the outcomes an event, exploiting the different prices provided by bookmakers and betting exchanges. An arbitrage opportunity occurs when bookmakers / exchanges offer sufficiently high odds on each outcome of an event. The result is a risk-free profit if you place bets that cover all outcomes. Arbing has long been used in financial markets.

Here is an example to illustrate how arbitrage works. Assuming the case of a tennis match, an event where there is guaranteed to be a winner, where one online gambling site is offering odds of 2.05 on player 1 and another site is offering odds of 2.05 on player 2. If you bet £500 at each site, you win £25 regardless of which tennis player wins, which is your risk free profit.

You should earmark a minimum of about £500 for arbitrage betting. The reason for having this relatively large amount is that you need to keep accounts with a number of different bookmakers and betting exchanges permanently funded. The time frame for an arbitrage opportunity may be short. You need to ready to go as and when the arbitrage opportunities present themselves. The delay incurred by funding the necessary accounts may be enough to miss your arbitrage bet.

Sometimes the question is asked, is arbitrage betting legal? The answer to this yes. Arbitrage bets are the same as "regular" bets. The only difference is that you are placing multiple bets to exploit price differences on betting sites, there’s nothing illegal or illicit about this.

To find the arbitrage opportunities you need to use both bookmakers and betting exchanges. With bookmakers comes the question: will they limit my account because I am a successful bettor? Possibly, but there are a lot of bookmakers out there all competing for the business of customers who have transparent way of monitoring the various odds on offer.

Finding arbitrage bets may seem like finding a needle in a haystack unless you use arbitrage betting software. This is because only a small proportion of the vast number of bets placed every day will provide the opportunity for arbitrage betting. In addition, because of the time critical nature of arbitrage betting you need software that provides as close to real time odds as possible from the bookmakers and exchanges.

Arbitrage betting software monitors the bookmakers and betting exchanges for arbitrage opportunities. When the software finds one it alerts you. You then click on the arbitrage if you want to pursue it, and the software does the rest.

Isn’t this all to good to be true? A software application that gives you a "hands free" way of making money. There must be a "gotcha" somewhere. The gotcha is that arbing involves placing at least two bets to succeed. If one of the bets is cancelled, the locked in profit is gone, and the remaining bet is now just a regular bet (an open bet). A bookmaker or exchange may void a market or bet on which your arb depends. Occasionally bookmakers cancel bets because they have made a "palpable" error, this is a mistake with a published set of odds that the customer should have known was an "obvious" error (e.g. the odds are completely out of line with what’s on offer on other betting sites). You, rather than the bookmaker, may make an error. For example, you make the first bet and then realise you don’t have enough funds to cover the other bet with the second bookmaker. Additionally, when odds are moving fast it’s possible that while you are in the process of placing a bet at the first bookmaker, the odds move against you at the second. Finally, a bookmaker where you need to place a bet to complete an arb may have limited your betting activity in some way that prevents you from making the necessary bet.

In addition, don’t forget that software applications that use near real-time odds will not be free. So the cost of using arbitrage software needs to be factored in as well.

An example arbitrage software application is RebelBetting.

Even if you do not plan on using the RebelBetting application, a useful list of bookmakers and betting exchanges is to be found at the RebelBetting web site:

Supported bookmakers

The list includes a RebelBetting rating, which indicates how useful the bookmaker or betting exchange is with RebelBetting, and, by implication, how likely they are to provide an arbitrage opportunity. (The list also includes Sports Book Review rating for the bookmaker / betting exchange.)