Sports Betting Arbitrage in the Internet Era

Hundreds of bookmakers throughout the world now use the Internet to serve their sports betting customers. It is inevitable that the contestant popularity for each locale can vary significantly. Those “in the know” are finding sports betting arbitrage situations daily, without leaving home. Follow these steps and you too may be “in the know.”

Sports betting is one of the few opportunities that offers anyone with time and patience to learn, the opportunity to make a decent living as a professional gambler. There are many professional gamblers that make mid five-figure incomes from sports betting, and most of them don’t know anything about the sports they are betting on! Read on to find out how you could become successful in the game of “sports betting arbitrage”.

What is Sports Betting Arbitrage?

“Arbitrage” can be a noun or a verb and can apply to any risk-free hedged investment. A “Sports Betting Arbitrage” is a bet placed on two sides at once, such that you must win, no matter which side loses. Also called scalping, surebets, or risk-free bets.

Betting Arbitrage

Here is a sports betting arbitrage example from the pre-internet era. Suppose a London team was playing a Paris team. In London, more people were betting for the London team, so that if you bet on Paris and won, every $100 would bring you $110. Whereas in Paris, if you bet on London and won, every $100 again would bring you $110. A sports bettor might notice this, and so with the help of a friend and a long distance call, he might bet $1000 on London in Paris, and $1000 on Paris in London. Then whichever team won, his sports bet would have won him $100.

Does this sound cold-blooded? Alright, so instead he could have bet $1100 when it was for his favorite, and only $1000 for the other. Then if his favorite won—he would have had a net win of $210. If his favorite lost, he won nothing and lost nothing.

These types of sports betting opportunities used to be rare and difficult to capitalize on. You cannot go betting huge amounts like this, and what can you do with an occasional $210? However, imagine if you could do this continuously with nominal overhead and somewhat larger amounts…

1. Open free accounts with numerous reputable online sports betting bookmakers. This is free, and the more bookmakers, the more possibilities.

2. Only watch events with 2 outcomes. A political race with 2 candidates—a match-play golfing event—a one-day cricket match that does not allow for a “draw”—etc. If there were 3 or more possible outcomes, you would have to wager at least 3 ways, greatly reducing any margin.

3. Find the 2 bookmakers offering the lowest price for each side. You can use a calculator, but if possible, configure a spreadsheet to speed up these calculations.

4. Start with small wagers on the widest price discrepancies. There are opportunities almost every day, but as a beginner you may make mistakes, so plan to watch for several days in several categories until you spot something special.

5. Bet immediately and together. When ready to bet, open two windows with your browser, one for each bookmaker. Deposit the necessary funds for each. Proceed to the pricing page in each window. “Refresh”—re-check the prices—place your bets.

Caution: watch for stake limits. Before you attempt to place these simultaneous sports bets, be sure to check that for both bookmakers, you are within the maximum allowed. Most sports betting bookmakers list this, but some do not. If one does not list their maximum: then place that bet first and make sure it is accepted. If a bet ever is over-limit, then you will be told the limit and should make note of it. If both bookmakers do not list a maximum, contact them and ask.

6. Take notes and keep records. Depending on your country, you may or may not need to pay taxes on net profits. In any case, you need to keep track of all costs. Also, note the event, the maximum bet allowed, and the location of each sports bookie. Soon you will learn to factor in all limitations—and you will know the “arbs” like a bee after honey.

7. Go for diversity, not jackpots. Unlike other forms of “advantaged gambling,” with sports betting arbitrage you do not compete directly with other players or with the bookmakers, so stress is nominal. However there are mixed feelings, it is imprudent to stand out. Therefore instead of larger and larger bets, make an increasing number of moderate bets. This eliminates possible complications and amounts to the same profits.

8. Keep looking and learning. Specialize in one type of event first. Then each time you get the feel for one category, start poking your nose into another. Then your experience and your bankroll will grow steadily and together.

9. Watch for special events. Just because you “never heard of something” is not a reason not to place a sports bet. On the contrary, during some car racing events for example, sports betting bookmakers have set some rather wild odds in new match-up listings that pair numerous sets of two drivers. Such “bookmaking experiments” can create an sports betting arbitrage windfall that seems “almost too good to be true.”

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