What Is Arbitrage Betting? (+7 FAQs about Sure Bets)



One of the basic terms that every gambler should know and include in their dictionary is what is arbitrage betting? Also known as arbing or sure betting, is a strategy used by gamblers to take advantage of differences in odds offered by different bookmakers or betting exchanges. The goal of arbitrage betting is to place bets on all possible outcomes of a sporting event in a way that guarantees a profit, regardless of the actual outcome.

What Is an Arbitrage Bet and How Does It Work?

Arbitrage betting exploits differences in odds across various bookmakers to ensure a profit. By identifying discrepancies in odds for a specific event, bettors strategically place bets on all possible outcomes, ensuring the total payout exceeds the total wagered amount. This approach leverages market inefficiencies, but success requires a deep understanding of the betting landscape, quick decision-making, and the ability to act before bookmakers adjust their odds. 

What Is an Example of Arbitrage Betting?

Let’s consider a football match between Team A and Team B. In this kind of betting, you need only two outcomes. That’s why we bring you an example of spread betting and the most common handicap. Two different bookmakers offer the following odds:

  • Bookmaker One: Team A to win with handicap -0,5 at odds of 2.8
  • Bookmaker Two: Team B to win with handicap +0,5 at odds of 2.5

The implied probabilities are 35.71% for Team A and 40%for Team B, totaling 75.71%, indicating an arbitrage opportunity. You can calculate these percentages through an arbitrage betting calculator. A bettor could allocate $100, placing $60 on Team A and $40 on Team B. This bet ensures a profit, irrespective of the outcome, as the combined implied probabilities are less than 100%. This example demonstrates how arbitrage betting can exploit variations in odds to secure a guaranteed profit.

How to Find Arbitrage in Sports Betting

Finding arbitrage opportunities in sports betting involves monitoring odds across various bookmakers or betting exchanges to identify discrepancies. We bring you a step-by-step guide on how to find arbitrage betting opportunities:

Identify Sporting Event

Choose a sporting event with various bookmakers offering odds on different outcomes.

Select Bookmakers

Identify at least two reputable bookmakers or betting exchanges to compare odds.

Convert Odds to Implied Probabilities

Convert the odds for each possible outcome into implied probabilities using the formula: Implied Probability = 1 / Odds.

Calculate Total Implied Probabilities

Sum up the implied probabilities for all possible outcomes. An arbitrage opportunity may exist if the total is less than 100%.

Look for Discrepancies

Compare the calculated total implied probabilities with 100%. If there is a gap, it indicates a potential arbitrage opportunity.

Calculate Wager Distribution

Determine the amount to bet on each outcome to ensure a profit. This involves distributing your total wager so that it covers all possible outcomes and guarantees a positive return.

Act Swiftly

Odds can change rapidly, so act quickly to place bets before bookmakers adjust their lines.

Consider Additional Costs

Factor in transaction fees or any other costs associated with placing bets. These can impact your overall profit.

Be Mindful of Bookmaker Policies

Some bookmakers have policies against arbitrage betting and may restrict or close accounts engaging in such practices. Be aware of the terms and conditions.

Follow our Odds Calculation Table to realize instant signals

We suggest using a specialized football odds calculation table to identify potential opportunities more effectively.

Which Sport Is Best for Arbitrage Betting?

Arbitrage opportunities can potentially arise in any sport, but some sports are more conducive to arbitrage betting than others. A sport’s suitability for arbitrage betting depends on factors such as the number of bookmakers offering odds, the liquidity of the betting market, and the speed at which odds change. Here are a few sports commonly considered for arbitrage betting:

Football (Soccer)

Football is famous worldwide, and numerous bookmakers offer odds on matches, including the most common wager – moneyline. The high number of games and widespread betting options can create arbitrage opportunities.


Tennis matches often have a two-outcome structure (Player A wins or Player B wins), making arbitrage calculations simpler. The sport also has a large number of matches, providing more options.


Basketball, especially major leagues like the NBA, can offer opportunities for arbitrage betting due to the variety of bets and odds available.


Baseball’s moneyline betting structure and the fact that games are often decided by one run make it suitable for arbitrage. However, liquidity in baseball markets can vary.

Ice Hockey

Ice hockey can present an opportunity, particularly in leagues with high betting activity. Like baseball, the moneyline structure makes it conducive to this strategy.


Esports betting has grown in popularity, and the fast-paced nature of esports events can create opportunities for arbitrage. Like in baseball, liquidity should be considered.

Is Arbitrage Betting Profitable?

This kind of betting can be profitable when discrepancies in odds exist among different bookmakers, allowing bettors to secure a guaranteed profit regardless of the event outcome. However, success in arbitrage requires quick reactions, as opportunities are often short-lived, and bookmakers adjust odds swiftly. Market efficiency, account restrictions, and transaction costs can impact long-term profitability. While arbitrage betting presents a potential avenue for making quick gains, individuals should be aware of the challenges and risks associated with the strategy and exercise caution in its application.

Is Arbitrage Betting Legal?

If you ever wondered how safe arbitrage betting is, here is the answer. It is generally legal, as it involves placing bets on all possible outcomes of an event to guarantee a profit. When played in two different bookies, there won’t be any issues.

Otherwise, bookmakers who identify consistent arbitrage activity may limit or close accounts. Bettors should be aware of the laws in their specific location and carefully review the terms of the bookmakers they engage with to ensure compliance.

How Much Can I Make From Arbitrage Betting in 2024?

The potential earnings from arbitrage betting in 2024 depend on various factors, including the frequency and size of arbitrage opportunities, the amount of capital invested, and the ability to act quickly. While arbitrage can theoretically provide guaranteed profits, the margins are often slim, and success requires careful execution. 

Furthermore, each individual’s earnings from arbitrage betting will vary based on market conditions, personal skills, and the specific dynamics of the betting landscape at any given time.

Football Arbitrage Betting Explained

Even if you are a pioneer in arbitrage betting or an experienced wolf, we hope this article answers all your questions. The most important thing is that arbitrage betting is risk-free if you place your bets with different bookmakers, and you will make a profit nonetheless. 

If you want to learn more from our blog section, we suggest an article about value betting and how it’s calculated. Cheers!

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