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Arbitrage betting

In this article:

Arbitrage meaning
Different types of arbitrage
Arbitrage example
How to place arbs
Matched betting and arbitrage

Arbitrage meaning

Arbitrage or arbing refers to the process in which individuals simultaneously buy and sell a commodity to take advantage of a difference in price.

The aim is to make money simply by buying and selling at different prices. It’s really that simple.

As you may have worked out, this term is typically used in the finance industry. However, we’re interested in betting where the same meaning can be applied. You may also see it written as surebet or miraclebet.

Rather than buying and selling commodities, punters are looking to trade different bets at suitable odds.

Different types of arbitrage betting

There are different formats of arbitrage betting that you may want to use.

In it’s simplest form, arbing allows you to make your bets completely risk free by using back and lay betting. As we’ll see below, this process is used by matched bettors on a regular basis.

Arbitrage betting meaning

A more complex version of arbitrage betting involves placing bets on all outcomes of an event at different bookmakers.

To make a profit using this format, you need to find odds that are significantly different at two bookmakers. For more information, check out this article.

Arbitrage example

Here’s an example of a simple arbitrage bet.

Let’s say that Man Utd are playing Leicester City in the Premier League. The market price for a Man Utd win is around 2.00 or evens. These are the odds most bookmakers are offering.

However, you find out that Skybet is actually offering odds of 2.50 for the same market. This is a significant increase and one that you can potentially profit from using arbitrage betting.

We’ll look at the arbitrage process below to find out what you need to do.

How to place arbs

Following on from the previous section, you need to place two bets to profit from arbitrage betting.

The first bet you need to place is a back bet on Man Utd at odds of 2.50 at Skybet. In essence, you are buying this bet.

You need to place the second bet at a betting exchange, like Smarkets, where you can lay your initial bet. For those of you that don’t know, this is the same as selling a bet.

So you’d place a lay bet at odds of 2.00 for Man Utd NOT to beat Leicester.

Whilst this arbitrage process may seem a little confusing at first, it’s relatively simple once you get the hang of it.

Matched betting and arbitrage

Arbitrage is a commonly used betting technique that any matched bettor will know a lot about.

Matched betting is a method that takes advantage of bookmakers free bets and promotions. To make this strategy risk free, bettors use arbitrage similar to the process above.

The only difference being, matched bettors are not looking to profit from a difference in odds. They just want their back and lay bets to cancel each other out.