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6 Major Risks of Arbitrage Betting and their Solutions


(3) Simple, Stupid Mistakes

In the excitement of finding a good arbitrage and hurrying to place the necessary bets, or maybe due to a large number of bets needed to close the position, it is not uncommon that calculation and/or placement errors are made.

For example, getting the stakes wrong or even placing an incorrect bet on the wrong match, the wrong market, and so on.

Intimidated older female with wide eyesImage: CREATISTA (Shutterstock)

Perhaps there are not enough funds in the bookmaker’s account you are relying on and precious time is wasted whilst funds are topped-up or transferred. The delay only increases the risk that the arbitrage position may have fizzled out by the time you are ready to make the transactions.

If you are using betting exchanges, forgetting to apply the commission deduction in the arbitrage calculation or getting this amount wrong are other factors which could turn a safe arb into a tense gamble.

Possible solutions:

  • Practice makes perfect. The only real solution to this problem is to practice, practice, and practice.
  • Newcomers should always paper-test first without money, and then practice with tiny stakes until technique is sound. Only then should stakes be gradually increased.
  • As well as accepting that it may take many years of apprenticeship, arbitraging requires a lot of patience to master.
  • The main aim at the start is to limit exposure and losses to a minimum, but the time it takes to learn any new trade should be gauged in terms of the money spent to achieve mastery. Count the hours and calculate the costs (computer hardware, software, electricity, online banking charges, etc.) to decide whether it is indeed all worth the effort.


(4) Stake Limits and Termination of Bookmaker Accounts

Some bookmakers and all exchanges welcome arbers, but if a bookie happens to take an anti-arber attitude and recognises the betting patterns of an arber, it can very quickly close down that client’s account or seriously limit the stakes it is prepared to accept (effectively closing the account anyway).

Other countermeasures include stake limits for certain bets or, caps on winnings over a certain period (of course, losses are always unlimited!).

Possible solutions:

  • To circumvent being classified an ‘arber’ and avoid the closure of accounts, it is advisable to place bets with as many bookmakers as possible and spread bets across the market.
  • Some arbers may even use multiple accounts using different names (or even different IP’s) with the same bookmaker and take care that betting activities look like “normal betting patterns” (e.g. not betting ‘odd’ amounts such as, € 87.36).
  • Of course, it is crucial to know the terms and conditions of each bookmaker in detail, especially their limitations. Exchanges like Betfair, for example, are only limited by the liquidity of the event in question and can therefore handle a portion of the arbitrage. However, with a commission charge as high as 5% for most clients, arbitrage profits may be completely wiped out.
  • There is only one bookmaker, Pinnacle, which advertises its welcome for arbers. All other bookmakers are either openly anti-arbitrage (e.g. Stan James, Unibet), or are not keen on arbitrage clients.

Last Update: 15 February 2016

Categories:Arbitrage Betting Systems



9 Responses to “6 Major Risks of Arbitrage Betting and their Solutions”

  1. Aussiebettor
    17 May 2013 at 4:36 am #

    Hi Soccerwidow,

    Are there any arb software programs you have used or reviewed that are any good?

    AB

    • Soccerwidow
      17 May 2013 at 6:09 am #

      Arbitrage software which we think is pretty good:
      RebelBetting
      MathBet

      The latter, MathBet specialises on finding cross-market arbitrages, and may be there even the current market leader.

    • Leroy
      8 June 2016 at 3:03 pm #

      OddStorm is also good arbitrage software.

  2. Editor at LetsCompareBets.com
    29 July 2014 at 11:43 am #

    Good post. Being aware of the risks is very important IMHO. Get an arb trade wrong and the result goes against you, that can serious empty your arbitrage betting bank…. ouch!

  3. Carl
    2 November 2014 at 9:28 pm #

    It is also really annoying when the bookies limit your account before your bonus is unlocked.Personally I think surebetting is one of the safest way of making a long term profit. Also, I found this website: surebetadvice.com, which is full of useful tips.

  4. don rees
    12 September 2015 at 1:11 am #

    i would like to comment on “the time that an arb may last “, in my opinion no one knows how long an arb may last , i have heard 3/4 minutes , in the article above the author suggests 3 /15 minutes.
    i do know from experiences i have had in the development of my own arbs program that arbs can and do last for days and days , in my opinion it mainly has to do with the ” date the match /event is to be played ” , we find lots of arbs fin our arb tables for matches that may not be played for 3 / 4 /5 etc days , obviously there will be less activity in these matches than say one that is due to start in an hour and the bookies are adjusting their odds all of the time .
    to me i am much happier arbing those matches that are days away from starting , my biggest fear has alway been getting maybe 2 of the 3 wagers on , only to find the bookie has altered the odds on the third bet , so i am now out on a limb , i am now straight out gambler with the 2 bets i have already placed , of course to make arbs on matches that are days away from being played requires more capital but ,i am afraid nothing is perfect( i would like to say that NOW i will never be left out on a limb with 1 or 2 bets already placed and the odds changed for the remaining bet , i now know how to ” kill ” the firts two bets with the remaining one , it may not get me out of trouble 100% but it certainly ” will soften the blow ” enough for me to live another day, donar

  5. Right Winger
    12 September 2015 at 2:53 pm #

    Well said, Don.

    It takes an enormous amount of mature thinking and unemotional actions to become good at any form of gambling.

    The major factor governing arbitrage success is the size of the initial bankroll – the larger it is, the easier it becomes to make faster money in agreeable amounts.

    But it should always be remembered that the final outcome should pay for the time invested and provide a healthy profit on top.

  6. don rees
    16 August 2016 at 7:14 am #

    hi guys , i have previously mentioned a program i have that is much better than arbing ,the returns are heaps better , you can round off your wagers to hide from the bookie and the inevitable banning . the website is at www.saverberts.com, a free 12 day trial and then only $65.00 usd a month , have a look if you need any instructions email me i have 3 documents i can send to you explaining saverbets, but a simple explanation , you make a primebet then a saverbet (or saverbets ), if your primebet loses your saver must win and you will get all of your stake money back , you have had a free bet , donar@westnet.com.au

  7. Alex
    20 September 2016 at 10:02 pm #

    Some sportsbook software providers will allow customers to connect their trading software directly to their feeds so they can view market data in real time and place bets as soon as they find a trading opportunity:

    Example: sportsbooksoftware.com – they have a page with data feed information and example JSON file

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