Sports betting, in recent years, have evolved in leaps and bounds – from the traditional sportsbook house in our neighborhoods to online sports betting websites like Sbobet.org. And as a result of this evolution, many players have started flocking in.
And as we all know, wherever there’s a multitude of persons, many innovative strategies are bound to be discovered. In the world of sports betting, the “arbitrage betting” is one such strategy. So what exactly is it, and how does it work?
What is arbitrage betting?
Although the general consensus in the betting world is that nothing is assured as far as betting goes, the arbitrage betting strategy actually begs to differ. In fact, the sort of guarantee it assures is so certain that a player is bound to win almost every time.
Otherwise known as “arb betting” or “arbing,” arbitrage betting is a simple betting strategy that involves placing bets on every possible outcome of an event.
While most regular punters often place their bets on either side to win, lose or draw, arbitrage betting requires that you place your money on every possible scenario.
Now, that must be sounding like a counterintuitive idea already. How could you ask a player to place their money on different outcomes? On the one hand, that would cost more money, and on the other hand, whatever winnings they generate would never be enough to offset the costs they’ve incurred. So, arbitrage betting doesn’t sound too appealing, after all.
Well, before you rush to nail it to the cross, let’s see how it really works first.
What is betting market price?
Before going into the discussion of how arbitrage betting works and how you can leverage it to make money, it is important that we talk about a subject first – market price. What is market price? You may wonder.
In simple terms, the market price is the odds value that is currently available on various betting platforms or even at another bookmaker. Normally, a bookie will try and offer odds that are lower than the market price, which is how they make their money, which is also a situation known as “bookmakers overround.”
Now, in order for arbing to work, it is important that a punter first spots the arb bet floating around. Usually, many bookies post higher odds (that is, odds higher than the market price) to attract new customers, but only for a short while. Now, after this brief spell, these odds are brought in line with the market price, to equalize those of other bookies.
How does arbing work?
As earlier mentioned, arbing is a process of placing bets on every possible outcome of an event, in a bid to turn a profit in the end.
Quick case study one;
A simple example of this can be seen in the case of a football match, which usually has three possible outcomes – win, draw, or lose. No, while arbing, a punter would have to place a bet on each of these possibilities, that is, bet on team A to win, place another bet on team B to win, and lastly place a bet on the match to end in a draw. If it was tennis, however, a punter would only have to bet on two scenarios, that is, bet on each player to win.
Now, here is where the trick of this strategy comes in. In order to turn a profit at the end of the day, punters cannot and shouldn’t place all of their at bets just one bookmaker. The reason is that when you place all three or two bets at just one bookmaker, you’re already setting yourself up for a loss and condemning your bankroll to jail already. Because, bookmakers always set their odds to balance out, in order to give themselves a chance to make profits. So, when you pour all your eggs in one basket, you’d virtually guarantee a loss.
Quick case study two;
Let’s say in a tennis game, the odds on player A to win are 1.87, and the odds on player B to win are also 1.87. Now, let’s assume that a punter places a bet of $100 on each of these outcomes, their total bet cost would be $200. But their possible return on any winning event is $187, including their initial stake. So regardless of who won, the punter would walk home with a loss of $13.
This has happened because the punter chose to stick with just a bookie for all their bets. For arbing to work, you need to visit different bookie for every one of your bets. The reason for this is that different bookies will have different ideas about a game and its outcome. As a result, they are all bound to post different odds, which is actually an opportunity for any willing punter to turn some decent profits.
So take a look at case study 2 from an arbing angle:
Odds on bookie 1:
Player A to win is 1.87, and player B to win is 1.87.
Odds on bookie 2:
Player A to win is 1.65 and player B to win is 2.24
Now, when you arb, you may place a bet on player A to win with bookie 1 and another bet on player B to win with bookie 2. From this, you can clearly see the potential for profit developing gradually.
Although your total outlay would still be $200, you can then wager $110 on player A to win on bookie 1 and wager $90 on player B to win on bookie 2
If 1A wins: $109 x 1.87 = $203.83
If 2B wins: $91 x 2.24 = $203.84
From the above case study, it’s glaring that you’ll always make a profit regardless of the outcome. But keep in mind that arbitrage betting can only happen when the right set of opportunities are available. Luckily the odds on various sporting events can vary enough between different bookies to create plenty of these opportunities.
This strategy has the following downsides:
- Harder to win big money if you don’t have a pretty big bankroll. But if you do, you can stake big money to earn big returns.
- Works best for a two-outcome game like tennis. Although it can work for a triple outcome game like football too, it will require much work and calculations.
- Punters have to be pretty fast with their bets because these opportunities may only be up for a few minutes.