6 Major Risks of Arbitrage Betting and their Solutions

(2) Bet Cancellation

If a bookmaker makes an obvious mistake, it is possible that accepted bets are cancelled before the start of the event in question.

It is quite a common occurrence for a bookmaker to publish incorrect odds which, at first glance, may seem to offer a fantastic arbitrage opportunity.

Euro banknotes cut with a paper shredderImage: Claudio Divizia (Shutterstock)

It is also not uncommon that a match is declared void if, for example, the bookmaker notices unusual betting patterns, a classic indication of match fixing.

Another reason for bet cancellations is a match ending prematurely (e.g. abandonment caused by extreme weather, crowd violence, accidents during the game, etc.). Different bookmakers and betting exchanges apply different rules regarding the settlement of the bet or return of the stake.

Some bookmakers may void all bets not yet decided up to the point of termination, others may pay out on the basis of the result when the match was ended, and many apply a 36-hour or 72-hour rule for the game to be replayed, meaning your stakes are tied-up for this period whilst the final outcome or replay date is determined.

When and how bets are cancelled or voided depends on the terms and conditions of the respective bookmaker or betting exchange.

Possible solutions:

The usual profit margin of most arbitrage positions is in single percentage figures, so any combination offering 10% potential profit or more should be viewed with suspicion and checked out thoroughly before committing any money. An arb offering 5% or more should also be treated just as warily.

An arbitrage situation is obviously false if, for example, the average price for “over 2.5 goals” is advertised in odds comparison sites as 1.8, but one bookmaker stands alone offering odds vastly above this figure at, say, 2.2. Look to see if the opposite bet “under 2.5 goals” is also reversed as it may have mixed up its prices.

With clear mistakes such as this, the bookmaker will eventually realise when it has received an abnormal amount of wagers on the event, and is likely to cancel all bets placed on this particular event.

  • Recognising odds that are false or likely candidates for cancellation or amendment will help you avoid such sticky situations. The old adage applies of if it looks wrong, it usually is.
  • Regarding match fixing and the subsequent cancellation of bets due to suspicious betting patterns, there is no ideal solution except by avoiding susceptible leagues and games.
  • Losses due to differentiation of terms regarding uncompleted or abandoned games can be avoided by appreciating the terms and conditions of each bookmaker or exchange so that transactions for every arb are made only with those firms following the same rules.

Last Update: 15 February 2016

Categories:Arbitrage Betting Systems

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

  1. 3 July 2019 at 2:11 pm #

    ArbMate is another new player on the arbitrages services.

  2. 8 January 2019 at 5:16 pm #

    MathBet has been closed down. Betslayer.com is new to the space and has asian handicap bets.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 17 May 2013 at 4:36 am #

    Hi Soccerwidow,

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


    • 17 May 2013 at 6:09 am #

      Arbitrage software which we think is pretty good:

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

    • 8 June 2016 at 3:03 pm #

      OddStorm is also good arbitrage software.

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