Sports arbitrage trading guide

In this guide readers will learn how to trade arbitrage between bookmaker odds. New traders will learn how to get from knowing little about sports arbitrage betting to knowing how to start making a regular income from trading quickly by reading this guide.

This guide and these experiences have been gathered from doing sports arbitrage trades and research collected from sports arbitrage trading professionals.

Here are some reasons why people have decided to start sports arbitrage betting.

It is a chance to earn a tax free second or main income and it’s something that can be done with minimal resources, just a computer, internet connection and betting bank.

Is sports arbitrage betting easy? Well the answer to this has to be no. Unless you have certain privileges in life there is no easy way to make money. Depending of course of what you think easy means.

What information is available in the sports arbitrage guide?

First steps to sports arbitrage betting

How to prepare?

Potential problems and risks

Sports arbitrage service reviews

First steps to sports arbitrage trading ?

As you’re reading this you probably have a pc. If you don’t you will need a PC for sports arbitrage trading. A broadband connection is essential.

A reference book would be good to have at hand. There are some good reference books available.

The next task is setting up accounts with fixed odds bookmakers. This can take a long time. Some sports arbitrage traders have between 30 to 40 accounts. To make it easier we suggest you start with betting bookmakers which do not limit stake size and do not actively close accounts for people suspected of sports arbitrage trading. Many bookmakers offer new customer promotions if you do not already have an account.

You may also be thinking to yourself, how will I manage my funds with all these bookmakers. A good solution to this is to use an E Wallet like Skrill. You can manage all your funds from one place with low fees.

The high stakes fixed odds bookmakers are;



Will Hill

Other accounts can be found on the compare bookmaker accounts page.

Preparation for sports arbitrage betting?

Spend time learning how to spot sports arbitrage bets and getting acquainted with bookmaker websites.  Use a process that works for you.  For example, I always have two web browsers open each showing the fixed odds bookmaker’s web site. I navigate to the bet slip and enter all the details without placing the bet for each bookmaker, one account open in each browser. From the two bookmakers used, one will have odds that is out of line with the market (this is how sports arbitrage bets are created). It is a good idea to place a bet with this bookmaker first. The reason is that the odds are more likely to change first as the bookmaker corrects the mistake. Then place the next bet with the second bookmaker as soon as possible. Getting both bets set up in advance in each browser allows both bets to be placed quickly.

It is also advisable to get a feel for the types of sports where sports arbitrage opportunities occur. Subline markets are good for sports arbitrage betting. These include two and three ball betting in Golf, wickets, runs, top batsman, and next man out in Cricket, Tennis match betting, and Rugby.

Lets have a look at a sports arbitrage betting opportunity that occurred in golf: two balls and three-balls betting. You are asked to choose who out of up to three golfers will have the best score. A mini-mini tournament if you want. Lets look at a scenario that did happen at a Benson and Hedges tournament. Fixed odds and percentage odds are provided. You will notice the percentage odds add up to less the 100%……this is the sport arbitrage bet we are looking for.

  • Garrido. 6/4 40% (Pinnacle Sports)
  • Moseley. 9/4 30.7% (WillHill)
  • Bickerton. 11/4 26.6% (Gamebookers)


The total underround is 97.3%. Here, you need to invest 97.30 to get back £100 (or currency equivalent). It doesn’t sound like a lot, but, as we’ll explain you start small, but your winnings will soon start building. The idea is you win money on your winnings which has a snowball effect on you betting bank.  Traders will a large betting bank will be able to take 15 to £40 from each trade.

Organisation is also important. It is a good idea to use an excel spread sheet to record every sports arbitrage bet you make. You may want to use an accounts program later on. You should record how much time you spend finding sports arbitrage bets, the returns from each bet and what your costs are.

Potential problems

Odds changing.

The odds are like the price of a financial asset. With each sports arbitrage trade there is an execution risk. Simply, if the odds of the bet converge any profit is lost and there could be a small loss.

If a betting bookmaker has got their odds out of sink with the other bookmakers the normal response would be to correct the disparity as soon as possible. They bring the odds in-line with the heard.

Changing odds may mean that the small profit margin disappears.  A solution is to place a bet with the bookmaker who’s odds look like they are priced different to all the others.  This price is likely to be change first.


Some bookmakers charge a fee for credit card deposits. However, all the bookmakers we recommend do not. Currency fluctuations may also effect profits as not all bookies deal in the same currency. Netaller is a good may of depositing money with dollar based accounts. If you are using a betting exchange like Betfair don’t forget to take into account their commission.

Stake limits

Fixed odds bookmakers do limit the amount you can bet on each event. Although normally the amount is reasonably high. You need to double check that the intended stake size is within the limit for both bookmakers. Pinnacle Sports, Centre Bet, Can Bet, and WillHill all allow high stake sizes but others do not.

Bookmaker spotting you as an arbitrage trader

Betting bookmakers don’t like people profiting from sports arbitrage betting. If a bookmaker suspects that a member is arbitrage trading they are free to take any action they please, for instance limiting stake size, close an account or void bets.  A void bet is the most unlikely scenario but it is important to do research on the bookmaker to ensure that this is not the preferred response.  Here are some action that help to disguise that sports arbitrage betting is being carried out.

One solution is set up other accounts in other peoples’ names, like a family member or a good friend (of course only with their express permission). Some important tips for keeping under the radar of fixed odds bookmakers are;

Not betting maximum stakes. Stick to around 75% of the maximum.

Try to bet in round numbers rounding up to the nearest £5. Normal punters do not make bets of 457.33 when they are having a weekend wager.

Don’t repeat the same sports arb bet or continually make winning bets with the same bookmaker.  Do not use them for a while or make a loosing bet and hedge your position on Betfair by betting against the outcome.  This will result in a loosing bet with the bookmaker and a winning bet on Betfair that will cancel any loses.

No more than one bet on each sporting event.

Don’t withdraw funds too regularly.

Use an online bookmaker for the bet where odds seem that they are priced differently to the other, and, use a high street bookmaker for the other bet.  A smart phone or tablet will allow you get both bets on in a short space of time.

People who read this also read

Sports arbitrage services reviews