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No doubt many of you will have heard of the term ‘arbing’ or ‘arbs’ (or given its full title ‘arbitrage’), and applied it to various betting markets.

Arbs are more commonplace these days than ever before, mainly down to fierce competition among bookies and, of course, the natural difference of opinion between traders who price up the various markets. It’s these differences of opinion that throw up the most arbs.

Arb bets are normally targeted on markets with only two possible outcomes to the event, and where the arber looks to gain an edge by backing both outcomes using prices across differing bookies.

Markets with only two outcomes have the slimmest profit margin for the bookie. As a consequence, prices across all bookies will normally be very much in sync with one another, making it hard to bet both outcomes for a guaranteed profit.

The arber, on the other hand, will scour the entire bookmaking world to seek out such price differences to lock in a guaranteed profitable bet if all goes to plan.

Here’s a classic example of what an arb may look like using a snooker match…

Here we are going to place the same £100 stake on each player.

£100 Win on Stephen Hendry priced 11/10 with William Hill; potential winnings = £110.

£100 Win on Ronnie O’ Sullivan priced 5/4 with Ladbrokes; potential winnings = £125.

Here you can see we will WIN no matter what the result.

We win £10.00 if Stephen Hendry wins after deducting our £100 losing stake on Ronnie O’Sullivan.

We win £25 if Ronnie O’Sullivan wins again after deducting our £100 Stake on Stephen Hendry.

So there we have an arbitrage bet. In reality however, the winning percentage can vary greatly.

Professional arbers typically look to make around 6% to 8% on a given event, and are happy with that figure.

It becomes all the more lucrative as they look to turn over dozens of these every week.

The above is just an example: it would be rare to find arbs between any two UK-based bookies as the prices are very much in line with one another.

Usually you would get a price difference from one UK bookie and a central European, Asian, or Aussie-based bookie.

Are arbs fully risk-free and is there money to be made?

Well at first glance, yes of course they are. From our example, we have bet both outcomes of an event that has to have one outcome, and therefore we can only profit.

There are, however, two potential hazards you may encounter…

1. A sudden price change once you have placed one of your two bets, which wipes out your profit margin. This can be negated by placing your two bets simultaneously through opening two screens, although this is still not risk-free (see point 2 below).

2. Bet restrictions. Yes, you may get the price you want on both selections, but you may suddenly be imposed with a bet restriction, leaving you in an overall loss position if you have not been able to get your full stake on.

Indeed bookie restrictions and sudden price changes are the curse of the arber, and unless you are able to put in some very hard work in opening several accounts ongoing with the same bookie, your time may be better spent elsewhere.

If you do go down the route of opening several accounts in family or friends’ names, with their permission, then do remember to use different I.P. addresses to evade their tracking software!

Maybe use mobile broadband toggles from different Internet Providers and be sure to keep a note of what toggle you use with each bookie.

Having said the above, there are reputable services that do all the hard work for you in sourcing arbs, and they have to be commended for their efforts.

I will look at specialists arbitrage services in future newsletters.

For now, I have listed below many arbitrage events  where they are most commonplace – if you want to fly solo and your accounts are yet to be restricted!

Tennis – women’s tennis (WTA)

With only two possible outcomes, tennis provides an ideal market for arbs. The more obscure the tournament, the better your chances of finding profitable differences of opinion between bookies.

Soccer – South American leagues

It’s worth keeping an eye on the European matches every week, however I’ve found the South American leagues provide the most lucrative opportunities. One of the benefits of soccer betting compared to many other sports is the very large stake sizes that bookmakers will accept, especially Pinnacle.

Snooker – early rounds of tournaments

Once again, with only two possible outcomes, snooker is an ideal event in which to seek arbs, although stakes can sometimes be limited by bookmakers on early round matches in small tournaments.

Cricket – one-day matches

You can get many price discrepancies with cricket on the one-day matches, so watch out for those. The prices differences can be so great in some matches that I often thought it could be a bookmaking error, but it appears not!

Golf – tournaments with Match Play events

The same as cricket: the differences of opinion across traders can provide big percentage arbs.

Special markets – politics and TV

Big Brother / I’m a Celebrity etc can be lucrative with bookies offering price bonuses to attract new customers.

Please do drop me a line if you’re making your arb betting pay consistently.

It maybe worth a try: even one good arb a week could pay for a nice meal out!

Football Advisor – Week 6 profit/loss…

The service took another bashing again in Week 6, over the tricky Cup weekend. This pushes us further into the red.

Let’s hope one of those nice-priced accumulators come in for us next week, as we are going through a drawdown at present.

Start your seven-day free trial here.

Tuesday 5th January

1 Pt Bets
Over 2.5 goals at 2.30 (Stoke/Liverpool) – Lost -1.00

Wednesday 6th January

2 Pt Bets
Roma win at 2.25 – Lost -2.00

1.5 Pt Bets
Udinese win at 2.25 – WON +1.87

1 Pt Bets
Sweden -1.25 at 2.00 – Lost -1.00
Inter win at 2.2 – WON +1.20

1 Pt Roma (2.20), Udinese (2.25), Juventus (1.20) at 6.07 – Lost -1.00

Friday 8th January

3 Pt Bets
Liverpool win at 1.5 – Lost -3.00

2 Pt Bets
Liverpool -1.5 at 2.25 – Lost -2.00

1 Pt Bets
Liverpool win to nil at 2.5 – Lost -1.00

Saturday 9th January

2 Pt Bets
Arsenal -1.75 at 1.90 – Won +1.80

1 Pt Bets
Brentford win at 1.87 – Lost -1.00
Ipswich win at 1.85 – Lost -1.00
West Brom -1 at – Lost -1.00
Aston Villa win at 2.15 – Lost -1.00
Man Utd win and o2.5 at 1.90 – Lost -1.00
Udinese win at 2.60 – Lost -1.00

0.5 Pt Bets
Arsenal -3 at 4.00 – Lost -0.50

Sunday 10th January

3 Pt Bets
Cardiff win at 1.73 – Lost -3.00
Chelsea -2 at 1.82 – Lost -3.00

1.5 Pt Bets
Valencia win at 3.35 – Lost -1.50

1 Pt Bets
Draw at 4.25 – Lost -1.00

***Ante Post Bet***

1 pt Bets
Season Bet – Swansea Relegated at 4.50 (EPL – Relegation Market)

0.5 Pt Bets
Oxford win at 4.00 – Won +1.50

1 Pt Valencia (3.5), Chelsea -2 (1.76), Cardiff (1.73) at 10.66 – Lost -1.00
3 Pts Cardiff (1.73), Chelsea -2 (1.80) at 3.11 – Lost -3.00

Weekly P/L Summary: Bets: 24
Wins: 4
Strike-rate: 16.66%
Weekly P/L = -23.63
Overall Trial P/L = -27.61