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Arbitrage Betting Guide

Arbitrage Betting Guide

Sports betting in Nigeria or anywhere across the world is not a cakewalk, as anything can happen during a sports event. These unexpected circumstances often result in failed predictions and tons of lost bets. As a result, most Nigerian punters are always tirelessly looking for a method to guarantee winning bets. However, most experienced punters will say that this is impossible unless you engage in fixed games, which is illegal.

While there is no betting market to guarantee that you will win every bet you place, a strategy called arbitrage betting guarantees that you could rake in profits with your bets, regardless of the outcome of a sports event. Arbitrage betting is a betting method that punters employ to earn a profit by covering all the possible outcomes in a match with well-placed stakes.

This guide to arbitrage betting will explain everything you need to know about arbitrage betting in sports betting and how you can use it to guarantee a profit. We will cover what it is, why it is possible, how to maximise it, its pros and cons, and other essential details.

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What is Arbitrage Betting?

What is Arbitrage Betting

According to Merriam Webster dictionary, arbitrage is “the nearly simultaneous purchase and sale of securities or foreign exchange in different markets to profit from price discrepancies.”

This is also the basic principle of arbitrage in betting. The idea is to bet on all the possible outcomes of an event, using a combination of odds and stakes that will guarantee a profit at the end of the day, regardless of the actual outcome of the event.

How does it work? In an ideal betting world, all bookies would be able to perfectly calculate the likelihood and probability of outcomes in a sports event and feature uniform odds on their sites. However, we don’t live in that world, and each sportsbook computes its probabilities differently, resulting in discrepancies in odds values.

Arbitrage betting involves taking advantage of these odds differences between sportsbooks to guarantee a profit by betting on opposing outcomes with well-balanced stakes. This can involve placing a bet on one team to win at one sportsbook and betting on the other team to win in another sportsbook.

Why Should Punters Make Arbitrage Bets?

Why Should Punters Make Arbitrage BetsPerhaps, the most attractive feature of arbitrage betting is that it offers punters a guaranteed way of securing profits if done right. By placing bets on opposing outcomes on the same sports event at different sites with the right stakes, you stand a chance to always get a profit. Also, arbitrage betting comes with zero risks on your stakes, unlike most sports betting options. Although you will lose the stake on the losing bet, the return from the winning wager will cover the entire money you used on your stake plus extra profit.

However, you should note that this will only be the case if your arbitrage bet is placed correctly. So, before you try out any arbitrage bet, make sure it is the right opportunity.

Maximise Your Advantages with Arbitrage Bets

Here are some points to keep in mind to maximise your advantages with arbitrage betting and enjoy guaranteed profit always.

Stick with Two-Way Bets.

While you can successfully engage in arbitrage betting on three-way betting markets, it is not the best option for arbitrage betting. Adding a third possible scenario can complicate the process and make it harder to find an arbing opportunity. So, it would be best to stick with two-way bets, as they provide the perfect scenario for arb bets.

Engage Arbitrage Betting Software.

One indisputable fact about arbitrage betting is that finding the opportunity yourself can be difficult. It often involves a few complicated mathematical calculations to determine how much money you need to stake on each outcome to guarantee a profit. While you can opt to do these manually, different arbitrage betting software and calculators are available online to make the job easy for you.

Create Accounts on Multiple Sites

As mentioned earlier, arbitrage betting involves spotting odds differences in betting sites that are big enough to guarantee profit. As a result, you need to create accounts with multiple betting sites to succeed in arbitrage betting.

Arbitrage Betting Example

Arbitrage Betting Example

Before we go on to a practical example of arbitrage betting, we should mention that arb betting requires fundamental maths knowledge on calculating winnings using odds. Finding arb betting opportunities manually can therefore be a cumbersome endeavour. Thankfully, several different arbitrage betting software and online calculators have made the process far easier.

We will look at a fictitious tennis match between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for this example. Your first task in arbitrage betting is to find the best possible odds for either of the two pro tennis players to win. For this scenario, let’s say that the best odds found for the event are:

  • Rafael Nadal @ 2.45 (Sportsbook A)
  • Novak Djokovic @ 1.80 (Sportsbook B).

The best way to spot arb betting opportunities in betting sites is to convert the odds of each outcome into the winning percentage and then add them together. If the combined percentage is less than 100, it is a perfect chance for arb betting. For our example:

((1/2.45) x 100) + ((1/1.80) x 100))

= (0.40816 x 100) + (0.55556 x 100)

= 40.816% + 55.556%

= 96.372%

You can safely go ahead since 96.372% is less than 100%.

With the right stakes, betting on this event will guarantee a profit, regardless of who wins the game. The table below shows the two possible outcomes:

Stake Potential Return (Stake x Odds) Winnings (Return – Total Stake
Sportsbook A (Rafael Nadal @ 2.45) #400 #980 #30
Sportsbook B (Novak Djokovic @ 1.80) #550 #990 #40
Total #950

By wagering a combined stake of #950 at both sportsbooks, you have guaranteed yourself a profit of #30 (#980 – #400) if Rafael Nadal wins or a profit of #40 (#990 – #950) if Novak Djokovic wins.


You will agree with us that arbitrage betting offers many benefits to punters compared to other traditional betting options. However, arbitrage betting is not all roses, as it also has a few downsides. So, in this section, we will look at both the positive and negative aspects of arbitrage betting.


  • Guaranteed profits: Perhaps, the biggest advantage of engaging in arbitrage betting is that you can almost always guarantee a profit, as long as you spot the right arb opportunity and place the appropriate stakes.
  • Zero risk: Another advantage of arbitrage betting is that it usually poses no risk to your funds. Although you will lose your bet on one of the two required arb bets, the return you stand to gain on the other bet will cover the entire stake and leave you with a profit. However, you must ensure to do your maths right.
  • Plenty of opportunities: While arbitrage betting may seem too good to be true, it exists, and there are many opportunities to enjoy it regularly. Sportsbooks often differ in the odds offered on sports events, and many of these differences provide arbitrage betting opportunities.


  • Bigger returns require bigger stakes: As mentioned earlier, arbitrage betting involves placing separate stakes on opposing outcomes of the same sporting event. So, while you will win on one of the bets, you will naturally lose the other or others, as the case may be. As a result, the remaining profits on most arbitrage bets are always quite small compared to the stakes spent, which means that you will need to spend a lot more to get a decent profit.
  • Not easy to find: As you might have already inferred from this guide, finding arbitrage betting opportunities is not easy. You will usually need to dedicate time and effort to look through the odds offered by different sportsbooks on the same sporting event to find an odd difference big enough for an arbitrage bet. And often, the slim profit earned on arbitrage bets is not worth the effort it will usually take to find one.
  • Not supported by sportsbooks: While arbitrage betting is not illegal, it is not accepted by many sports betting sites, which is, of course, not surprising. Hence, if any of your preferred sportsbooks discover that you are arbing, they may limit or ban your account on their site. Luckily, as it usually involves simultaneously placing stakes on two different sportsbooks, betting sites don’t yet have a concrete method of spotting arb gambling. However, you must ensure that your wagers do not appear ridiculous or suspicious by avoiding uneven and erratic wager amounts.


Odds arbitrage bettingAs they determine how much a punter stands to gain when they place bets on the outcome of any event, odds are everything in sports betting. Since sportsbooks are in the business of making profits, just like any other business, they tend to be careful when deciding the odds offered on any outcome on their platforms.

As a result, each sportsbook has oddsmakers responsible for carefully curating odds for each outcome in sports betting events with computer algorithms that rely on game trends, history, team/player performances, ranking, and other essential factors. However, there is no uniformity in the odds offered across sports betting sites for several reasons, so the odds on the outcomes of a sports event on one site may very well be higher or lower than those on other sites.

These discrepancies are what arbitrage betting capitalises on. It takes advantage of the different odds offered by bookmakers when the difference is big enough to guarantee a return regardless of the actual outcome of the event.

Thus, you need to get familiar with odds and be able to spot potential arbitrage betting opportunities just by looking at the gaps in the odds offered across different bookies.

Arbitrage Betting Offers and Promotions

Arbitrage Betting Offers and PromotionsWhile it is not illegal, arbitrage betting is an act that is frowned upon by most sportsbooks, which is not surprising. As a result, you are unlikely to find any betting bonus or promotions tailored specifically towards arbitrage betting enthusiasts. However, this does not mean that you cannot enjoy bonus offers when you place arbitrage bets.

Depending on the sites you sign up with, you will have access to loads of bonuses and promotional offers that can help boost your bankroll. This includes free bets, risk-free bets, cashback, bonus cash, etc. And since arbitrage betting is like every other single bet at an online casino, all these bonus offers can be useful to you. You should also pay attention to enhanced odds, profit boosts, and some other unique offers that you can enjoy on betting sites. Furthermore, you can also enjoy some incredible exclusive offers by participating in online sportsbooks’ VIP or Loyalty programmes.

What are the Alternatives to Arbitrage Betting?

As mentioned earlier, arbitrage betting is not your typical bet type in sports betting. Instead, it is a betting strategy that provides an almost fool-proof way of making money in sports betting. Hence, arbitrage betting is 100% unique, and there is no real alternative to it apart from match-fixing, which is to be avoided by all means as it is outrightly illegal.

That being said, there are some other exciting alternative options in sports betting that are also unlike typical bet types and are just as exciting as arbitrage betting. However, unlike arbitrage betting, these betting options are not profit guaranteed.

Accumulator Betting

Accumulator betting is perhaps the most popular form of sports betting. It involves combining different selections into a single wager. The odds of all the individual games in the bet slip are multiplied, resulting in a significantly bigger potential payout for punters. The downside to this betting option is that since different games are combined into one, all the selections must be successful to win an accumulator bet.

System Betting

Another alternative that you can check out in sports betting is system betting. System betting is a form of parlay within a parlay. It involves placing bets on many combinations within a three or more multi-bet selection. Unlike multi-bet accumulators, a system bet gives punters many ways to win, even if one or more selections lose. Hence, you stand a chance to win a lot of money with calculated risks.

Live Betting

Live betting is an innovative betting option in sports betting that has exploded in popularity in recent years. Unlike the typical pre-match betting option that has to be placed before the game starts, live betting involves placing bets on sports events when they are already underway. The most exciting feature of this betting option is that it gives punters the chance to assess the game’s progress and decide their course of action based on what they observe.

FAQ – Arbitrage Betting

How do I place an arbitrage bet?

To place an arbitrage bet, the most important thing you need to do is find an actual arbitrage betting opportunity and determine how much you need to stake on each sportsbook. Once you have done that, pick the appropriate selection at the first sportsbook, specify the predetermined wager, and submit the bet slip. Then, proceed to the second sportsbook, stake the predetermined amount on the opposite result of the first bet, and submit the bet slip.

Is it possible to make multi bets?

Theoretically, arbitrage multi-betting is possible, but it is not practical. This is because the betting option works better on single bets, and multi bets will only complicate and make it hard to get the guaranteed profit

Can I cash out a still-to-be-settled bet?

The availability of the Cash-Out feature often depends on the sportsbook of choice and the type of bet you place. However, since arbitrage betting is set up to guarantee profits for you as a punter, cashing out early will only lead to losing out on your stakes.

Can I use my mobile for arbitrage bets?

Yes. Mobile optimization has become a mandatory culture in today’s sports betting industry. As a result, most sportsbooks come with a mobile compatible platform, be it in a mobile-enabled website, a downloadable mobile app, or both. This means that you can easily engage in arbitrage betting using your mobile smartphone or tablet.

Should I expect to win every bet I make?

Yes and no. As we have explained in our guide, the strategy behind arbitrage betting involves placing two opposing wagers to cover the outcome of a sports event. So, while you will win the wager on one of the two stakes, you are bound to lose the other one. However, if everything is done properly, you will still have some profit to go home with, despite the loss.

Responsible Gambling

Responsible Gambling 3You will agree that sports betting is fun, exciting, and thrilling. As a result, it can be easy to get carried away with the activity that you forget all logic and start placing bets erratically.

Thus, you must practice responsible gambling when placing arbitrage bets online to prevent this. You should set a budget aside for your gambling activity, be it weekly or monthly, and not go over it. Furthermore, it is important that you only play with money you can afford to lose, as going above your limits can lead to undesirable consequences for your finances.

Thankfully, responsible gambling has become a mandatory practice in today’s sports betting industry. Most betting sites today now come with resources and tools that will prove helpful to players in keeping their online betting lifestyle under check. You can take the self-assessment test on your preferred betting site to see if you are still in full control of your betting activity and if it is not starting to become an obsession. You should also use the available limiting tools at your preferred betting sites to set limits on how much time and money you spend placing bets.