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The betting system is quite easy to understand. On the one hand, you have the punters who want to maximize their winnings by using proven strategies and choosing the best odds. On the other hand, you have bookies who want to pay out way less money than they get from punters. Everyone is trying to make the most money to the detriment of the other, making it challenging to maintain a good stream of income from wagering. However, punters have now formulated another strategy that guarantees to increase their chances of winning- arbitrage (arb) betting.

Simply put, this betting strategy allows you to make a profit regardless of the event’s outcome by betting on more than one possible outcome. Be warned, though, that it does not offer a 100% guarantee; but instead, it increases your chances of coming out on top. To arb successfully, you need to put in the work, be patient and avoid getting flagged by bookies who often frown upon such bets. Let’s discuss how it works and how you can make the most out of it:

Win and Get the money

How does it work?

Suppose there is an event, such as team A playing against team B, most people often choose one outcome, such as team A will win. In arb betting, you place more than one bet. Take the example of football. You have three possible outcomes. Team A could win, draw or lose in the game. You would then place three bets to match all these outcomes.

Now, if you do this with one bookie, you would end up losing. Let’s assume you are betting on a tennis game with two outcomes- player A winning or player B winning. We can take it a notch further and make both of the players highly competitive, having reasonably high chances of winning. As such, a bookie may give you odds of 1.80 for a player A win and odds of 1.80 for a player B win. If you put up $10 on player A and another $10 on player B, it means you will win either way. However, if player B wins, you will make $18, and if A wins, you will make $18. Keep in mind that you originally invested $20, which means you would have made a loss in the end.

That’s the first thing you should note about such bets- do not use the same bookie. Bookies will always offer odds that give them the highest profit margins. If team A’s losing and winning chances were close to each other, you may even find that the loss odds would be something close to 2.00, which would mean that even if any of your bets succeeded, you would still have lost money.

So, what do professional arbitrage bettors do? They have to be smarter than the system. Again, you have to remember that bookies are on to almost every trick in the book. As soon as punters discover a new way to increase their winnings, bookies follow through with limitations and new terms and conditions. However, if you are patient and willing to learn some new strategies, arb bets could work.

Calculating Arbs

Let’s use the same tennis match we used above. Bookies set their odds differently, and you’ll find that though the figures will be close to each other, they will be different. Instead of offering 1.50 on player A and B, another bookie may offer odds of 1.82 on player A and 2.30 on player B. Now, you can see there’s a difference, giving you an opportunity to arb. It’s not as easy as seeing such a difference and placing a wager. Instead, you have to work out some calculations and make sure you’re getting the best deal for your money.

First, you need to understand if you can find the best odds available on both outcomes of the event. You then follow the formula (1/odds) and multiply this by 100 to get the individual arb percentage. For example, in our case, we would use (1/1.80*100), giving us 55.56% for player A from the first bookie and (1/2.30*100) to give us 43.48% on player B from the second figure.

Next, we add the two figures, (55.56% + 43.48%=99.04%). If your result is less than 100%, you are good to go, and you have found a gap in the odds. If not, you need to keep searching. Please note that in our case, we do not have the highest profitable odds. You are better off getting a less than 98% value because the lower the percentage, the easier it is to make some good money. But even our 99.04% will work as it signifies there is a gap.

Your work continues. Now, you have to figure out how much money you should wager on the two sites to make a good profit. You’ll need to multiply your investment by your percentage above to get how much money you should wager. Remember, we have $20 to wager. The math will be ($20*55.56%=$11.111) and ($20*43.48%=$8.695). Follow up by dividing your results by the total percentage, which is 99.04% in our case, giving us $11.22 for the first bookie and $8.78 for the second bookie.

If you place $11.22 with the first bookie, the result will be ($11.22*1.80= $20.196), and when you put up $8.78 with the second bookie, you will get ($8.78*2.30= $20.194). The results will pretty much be the same; give or take a few decimals. Suppose you put up $200 instead of $20; you can see you will have made a higher profit. Again, our odds are not the best, but you can see you will not lose in either case. For higher profits, work with percentages much lower than 100%.

You can see the calculations are pretty easy to grasp, and if you have an eye for good odds, you can always make some good money.

Where to

get arbs

It’s not easy to spot arbs in the market. However, you can still get your hands on the best odds by checking:

Betting Forums and Websites

Very many websites feature punters who are willing to share new opportunities. Scour through such resources, find the best odds and take advantage of these. However, please note that most people will not share the best odds and often share the least lucrative options.


You can buy software that can let you in on any key differences between the odds. With such software, you don’t need to crunch the numbers much or rely on your resources. However, you will need to pay a fee to access such services.


Be open to looking out for opportunities and see what else you can find combined with what you get from the above resources.

Is it Legal?

Here’s the easiest way to put it. As long as online gambling is legal in your region, arb betting is legal. If not, you would be breaking the law. Please note, though, that bookies do not encourage this form of gambling, and if they catch up with you, they could ban or limit your account. Be tactful! More info