Arbitrage Betting Explained: How Does Arbitrage in Betting Work?

Posted on February 21, 2023 - Last Updated on March 1, 2023

If you want to get guaranteed wins with your bets, you’ll need to have arbitrage betting explained. Thankfully our guide is here to help as we’ll walk you through how arbitrage in betting works. You’ll get to see the fundamentals behind this betting strategy and we’ll also give you a solid example of how to put it into action. Plus with some simple arbitrage betting tips, you’ll have everything you need to beat the bookmakers.


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What is arbitrage in betting?

Arbitrage refers to simultaneously buying and selling the same asset at different prices so as to make a profit from the differential in values. The same thing can easily be applied to betting.

Here you are betting on the same event, but are betting on different outcomes to get a guaranteed profit regardless of what happens. This means that arbitrage betting cannot be considered to be real gambling as all of the risks have been removed.

How to arb your bets

Arbitrage betting is a fairly simple concept, but it’ll require a little mathematical know-how to get it right. Here is what you need to do:

  1. The first thing that you will have to do is to find an arbitrage betting calculator. You can find one of these pretty quickly by doing an online search and the calculator should be free to use.
  2. Next, you will type in the odds that one bookmaker is offering for one of the markets that you want to bet on. You then enter the stake for how much you want to wager.
  3. Then you would need to find another bookmaker with differing odds for the opposing betting market, type in these odds and then the calculator would show you how much you’d need to stake in order to get a guaranteed profit.

Continue reading: How to read betting odds

Arbitrage betting explained with a simple example

Let’s imagine that you were betting on the LoL Worlds Finals between T1 and DRX. You wanted to try an arbitrage bet so as to guarantee yourself a profit regardless of what happened in the contest. Here’s what you would do:

  1. Go to one betting site that had odds of 2.00 for T1 win. You put down a £10 bet on these odds. This would mean that you’d receive £20 should T1 win.
  2. Go to another betting site that had different odds for a DRX win and you could alter your stake accordingly to guarantee a profit. So for this example, it could be odds of 2.11 that DRX would win and you would bet £9.48 on this outcome. If DRX won, you would get £20 in return.
  3. By doing all of this, you would be betting £19.48 in total, and you would be receiving £20 regardless of whether T1 or DRX won. This would work out as a £0.52 profit.

arbitrage betting explained

DRX winning at LoL Worlds 2022 (Credit: Riot Games)

Advantage of arbitrage betting

The obvious benefit of arbitrage betting is the fact that you are guaranteeing yourself a win. This means no more losing your bets as you won’t even be gambling.

Disadvantages of arbitrage betting

So if arbitrage betting is so good, why isn’t everyone doing it? Well, here are a couple of reasons:

  • Could get banned: Bookmakers take an extremely dim view of arbitrage betting because you are essentially abusing their services. This means that if they catch you carrying out arbitrage betting, you could end up being banned from their sites.
  • No fun: Let’s face it, betting is so much more enjoyable when there is a degree of risk involved. In contrast, there’s not too much enjoyment in typing numbers into a calculator to try and get your bets to line up.

See also: Tricks to beat the bookies

Some simple arbitrage betting tips

If you’re sure that you want to try arbitrage betting, keep these tips in mind:

  • Use arbitrage betting software: There are lots of arbitrage betting platforms online. Bear in mind that these usually charge a subscription service but they will do all of the hard work of finding the bookmakers with the correct odds for you.
  • Compare bookmakers: Successful arbitrage betting is all about examining how different odds appear at different online bookmakers. So be sure to do your research into how different bookmakers calculate their odds.

Be careful with the arbitrage in betting

We have shown you that arbitrage betting offers you a way to get guaranteed wins regardless of what you’re betting on. While this is obviously an attractive notion, it isn’t for everyone and has plenty of drawbacks.

As such, you might want to consider checking out some of our betting guides that cover different kinds of bets that give you a better chance of winning while being a little more enjoyable too.

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Luke Warr

Luke is an esports content specialist, with in-depth knowledge and passion in Esports & iGaming markets, with over 5 years of experience in emerging technologies in relation to crypto, blockchain, AI and esportsbooks.

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