What is Arbitrage Betting? | Arbitrage Betting Explained

Last updated & tested: 2020-01-12


Arbitrage betting may sound complex, but it actually isn’t and offers the best way of making money. This form of gambling sees you use different bookmakers to bet on different outcomes on the same event. This page is all about answering the question, what is arbitrage betting? In the business world, an arbitrageur would buy a commodity or currency at one price and immediately sell it at a higher price to a buyer elsewhere. In betting, arbitrage offers minimum risk and the chance to make profits long-term. So here is a look at what arb betting is all about.

Arbitrage has been a part of the betting world since the very beginning, but the rise of online bookmakers has made it more popular. New arbitrage betting software also makes it easier to apply. So we are going to explain what arbitrage betting is, how it works and the best bookmakers for arbitrage betting UK.

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Here’s what you’ll find out in this article:

  • Important facts to know about arbitrage bets.
  • Bookmaker comparison for arbitrage.
  • How to find arbitrage bets.
  • Top tips when placing arbitrage wagers.
  • Using arbitrage software for betting.

Important facts to know about arbitrage bets

Arbitrage or arbing is where a gambler takes advantages of the different odds offered by bookies to make a profit, regardless of how the outcome. Also and better known as matched betting, wagers are made on multiple outcomes all while making sure that the combined bets guarantee profit. The key is to use different bookies and find the best prices via an odds comparison website. It is profitable but you need to know what you are doing and to be prepared to wager large stakes, so sites without betting limits are a good option. As the variation in odds offered on sportsbooks is unlikely to be that significant for big sports and major competitions, however, you may have to bet on a more obscure event. You also need to make the bets simultaneously or as close together as possible, so that the prices don’t change between making the first wager and the second.

Now let’s do the maths.

If you were betting on a cricket match for a simple win or lose. You see that one bookie has the home team at 1/2 (or 1.5) and a second has the away team at 9/4 (3.25). By backing both bets, you will make a profit. First you need to work out how much to place on each. Firstly, decide on a rough overall budget and then adjust the stakes accordingly to reflect the prices so that you make profit. You do that by dividing that figure by the odds. If you want a £500 return, you need to put £333.33 (£500 divided by 1.5) on the favourites and £153.84 on the underdogs (£500 divided by 3.25). Your total stake is £487.17 and you are guaranteed to get £500 returned, so your profit is £12.83. Now that’s arbitrage betting explained, so where are the best places to bet?

Top arbitrage betting sites

UK's Top 10 Bookmakers January 2020
Bonus Amount
/ 10
Up to£100
Up to £100 Bethard bonus
Bethard T&Cs apply, 18+
/ 10
Up to£25
Up to £25 Novibet bonus
Novibet T&Cs apply, 18+
/ 10
Up to£30
£30 Welcome Bonus
/ 10
Up to£30
Up to £30 Betway bonus
/ 10
Up to£30
Up to £30 Coral bonus
18+. UK+IRE only. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first bet £10 a odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £30 credited as 3 x £10 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 7 days. Free bet stake not returned. 18+ T&Cs Apply."
/ 10
Up to£30
Up to £30 William Hill bonus
William Hill T&Cs apply, 18+
/ 10
Up to£200
Up to £200 TonyBet bonus
TonyBet T&Cs apply, 18+
/ 10
Up to£30
Up to £30 Unibet bonus
/ 10
Up to£100
Up to £100 Mr Green bonus
Mr. Green T&Cs apply, 18+
/ 10
Up to£50
Up to €50 Bwin bonus

Betfair has an interesting article explaining arbitrage and, as the world’s largest betting exchange, it claims to have many features which are advantageous for arbing. You could even modify traditional arbitrage betting practices by using the Betfair Exchange to lay the outcome you back – this is where the lines are blurred with matched betting.


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Ladbrokes is a tried and trusted household name thanks to its high street shops. You’ll get opening offers when you join up, which at the moment is a matched bet of up to £50. For football, it is worth checking the promotions for any boosted odds as these are giving better odds than previously forecast. This is certainly a bonus for your arbitrage bets.

William Hill:

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Another giant of British betting is William Hill and they offer daily price boosts on horse racing, plus flash odds available for a limited time only. These can increase the value of bets beyond the usual odds on offer, so that will help improve your profit margin in arbitrage betting. Since arbitrage is more suited to obscure games or sports, the wide range at William Hill appeals. As with all their promotions, certain terms and conditions apply.


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Titanbet has unique promotions including free bets each week as well as a wide range of sports, both big and small. We’re impressed by the Tipster sport betting tips and a 100 per cent free bet match on your first wager up to £200 with the Tipster bonus code. These tips are perfect for football betting with their pretty accurate forecasting, tips and odds. OpenOdds experts have also made football betting odds comparisons to help you track down where the best prices are most of often.

Top arbitrage betting tips

  1. Keep a detailed account of all bets, wagers and wins. You’re betting a lot of money for a small profit, so you need to keep your books in order.
  2. Searching through several bookies to find the best odds can be time-consuming, so arbitrage betting software can save money and increase profits. You can join an arbitrage betting forum to keep abreast of which bookies are the best for you. To decide who to join, see our bookmaker comparison tables throughout OpenOdds.
  3. If you don’t want to invest in software, you’ll need to use an odds comparison website to look at the market – and then react quickly before the odds move.
  4. You will need to open several accounts, so you can make sure you have access to the best odds. Also, look for sign-up promotions and welcome offers on our bonus comparison list.
  5. Download an arbitrage betting calculator or app. This can help keep you track of the latest arbitrage bet placed. You don’t need to keep a manual record. It’s quicker and time is of the essence in arbitrage wagers.

Conclusion: Making informed choices to be a successful arber

Now that you what is arbitrage betting and whether or not it works for you, you’ll need to decide whether the commitment involved works for you. If you’re serious about making money from gambling, then chances are you’ll be a successful arber. It is time-consuming and you need to keep a cool head, decide where to wager and when to make simultaneous bets. The upside is that, if you play your cards right, you are guaranteed a win even if the profit margins are modest. If you need arbitrage betting explained to you in greater detail, we encourage you to do some research of your own.

Betting regularly with fairly large sums will mean you can accumulate a fair amount of money and have the satisfaction of beating the bookies. The way to simplify this form of gambling is by using software to with live feeds from many bookies so you can see which ones are the best to place your opposing bets plus an arbitrage betting calculator to see what you need to trade to make a profit.


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