# Betting Arbitrage, the strategy that always wins

Posted by Mitko Atanasov in Sep, 2009

## Betting Arbitrage has been known to bettors for a really really long time. However most of it, is just theory and it’s hard to be put in practice, especially now a days.

Perhaps you have heard of **betting arbitrage** or also called sure bets or arbs,perhaps you haven’t. Betting arbitrage is a type of strategy that involves placing bets in two or three bookmakers, where the coefficients differ is such way that you win no matter what the outcome of the game is. To view which bookmakers are good to use, be sure to check our Bookmaker Reviews section of the site.

Your winnings will be relatively small around 1-5%, which means on every 100$ you place, the return will be 1$ to 5$. How’s that possible one might ask? Well usually it’s either the different calculations of the bookmakers or just a calculation error.**Warning:** A lot of bookmakers can change your odds even after you have placed your bet, using an excuse such as “You have placed a bet on a game with undecided odds” or something similar. I had it done to me a few times so be aware of that.

So let’s get in details to see how the whole system works.

Let’s say you have Team A and Team B and the following **odds** are given to you:

Team A win – 3.75

A Draw – 3.40

Team B win – 1.80

In order for you to win, no matter what the outcome of the game is, the sum of the above odds to the power of -1 has to be less than 1. In simple words every number to the power of -1 is a fraction,so the calculation is as follows:

1/3.75 + 1/3.40 + 1/1.80 = has to be less than one;

However bookmakers always have a 7-15% profit and most of the time the sum will be anywhere from 1.07 to 1.15. In our example it is .27 + .29 + .56 = 1.12 – the bookmaker’s profit in our example is 12%. Now let’s say that those are the **odds** for bookmaker 1, but bookmaker 2 is giving out an odd for Team B to win of 2.50. You calculation then would be .27 + .29 + .40 = .96 which results in 4% profit or for every 100$ you place you would get back 4$.

Now you will have to calculate how much exactly to place on each outcome. This is done by the following formula:

(1 / odd) * return % (in our example 100% + 4% or 1.04) * the total amount you plan to place (in our example 100$);

So 1/3.75 * 1.04 * 100 = 28.08$ on Team A to win, 1/3.40 * 1.04 * 100 = 30.16$ on a draw, and 1/2.50 * 1.04 * 100 = 41.60$ . Due to our rounding we might be off with some cents.

To summarize, you will need to place 28.08$ on Team A , 30.16$ on a draw and 41.60$ on Team B in order to win 4$ no matter what happens in the game. As you may notice the profit isn’t much, and that is why sure bets are played usually with large amount of money. However the above calculation is just on theory as most bookmakers give out pretty close or identical odds. Finding a sure bet is an extremely hard task.

You can also bet on Back – Lay sure bets where you have only two **odds** and it’s easier to calculate. Those for example are the soccer under/over goals, basketball point spreads and etc. The calculations are exactly the same, but this time you have only two odds to sum up and it’s just easier.

So what’s the catch? Why isn’t everyone doing this? Well first off it’s extremely hard to find such games, if not impossible as I mentioned before. A lot of sites on the Internet claim to have such games and give you real time calculations and tips, believe me I’ve checked them out most of the games given out are wrong, since the **odds** are entered manually by an users or the bookmakers have updated already the odds.

Second, this type of betting, requires a lot of cash, so if you are not ready to take out at least 10,000$, do not expect big profits. Not to mention that this doesn’t really look fun.

And last be not least, the bookmaker has the right to cancel your bet at any time, if they find out that they have made a calculation mistake. This means that you might end up losing a large sum of money,so there’s a risk in this strategy as well.

It’s really up to you, the reader you if you want to try out the betting arbitrage, depending on your goals this might be the strategy for you. If you however want to enjoy gambling just as a leisure activity, be sure to check out our daily football picks and or bookmaker reviews section.

Category: Football Betting, Gambling Guide Articles