‘Arbing’ is the act of placing bets on all possible outcomes of a particular event where there is an aggregate margin in the bettor’s favour. It is usually carried out in a way that yields a guaranteed profit regardless of the event outcome. This relies on different bookmakers offering different odds to each other for the same event. A few problems are to be overcome – we’ll go into those in a moment. Once overcoming these hurdles, you, as the bettor, need to then wager a calculated stake (it’s not as simple as same stake on each selection, there are a few arb calculators online to help) on each outcome, resulting in ‘green, green’ for a two outcome event.
We mentioned problems so we’d better identify and address these:
- “Yes there is an abundance of bookies, but don’t they all just copy each other’s and the market’s odds?”
Most sportsbooks do indeed operate in this way. However, markets (particularly in-play) move quickly; by means of something not too dissimilar to Chinese Whispers, arbs can come about. Furthermore, at JAbet we’re no copycats; we are powered by our own proprietary pricing engine. Therefore our odds do differ from the field so we regularly offer one side of an arb.
- “Aren’t all bookies’ margins too big to facilitate an arb, even when their odds differ substantially?”
Different bookies do operate with different margins, some bigger than others and this is something to be aware of. At JAbet we typically operate at around a 2-3% margin which is the lowest in the industry. We are able to do this due to the confidence we have in our traders and our pricing model – the same cannot be said for most other bookmakers.
- “Consistently selecting ‘best-price’ only leads to bookies quickly closing or restricting your account though, right?”
JAbet treats all as equal; we welcome winners and will never close or restrict accounts. So if you’re regularly selecting our best-price and/or consistently winning through JAbet, all we say is “well done and good luck to you”.
- “To maximise profits from arbing, large stakes are required. Don’t bookies often reject big bets?”
Again this can be true, or at the very least bets over a certain size might be sent for trader referral. None of this at JAbet! Instead we operate a unique, automatic stake-sensitive pricing system (involving no trader referral). If you wish to place a large enough bet, as you enter the amount into the stake-box the odds we offer will automatically change before you click confirm. This allows you to view then accept or decline the adjusted odds. Different matches and odds will have different stake and odds auto-change thresholds, of course, but these changes are minor so any arb is likely to still be available.
Which situations lend most profitably to arbing?
Well, clearly the bigger the difference in odds between bookmakers, the bigger the profit available. Aside from this obvious fact, the degree of bet repeatability is key. Finding an arb for a Match Winner market is great, but this can only be profited from once. Identify an arb for a Game Winner market however, and you potentially have a repeatable bet which you may be able to apply to multiple games as the match progresses. This market also has the advantage of not being volatile in play, giving you sufficient time to place all bets. A best-of-5 Davis Cup match contains up to 65 games – a large number of events within a single match to potentially profit from.
Click here to take a look for yourself.