Arbitrage betting. What is an arb in sports betting: how this strategy works for bookmakers.
Forks in sports betting allow the player to earn money regardless of the outcome of the event. But even a win-win strategy has drawbacks. Next, you will learn what surebets are, how they work and how to find them, how bookmakers relate to surebets, types of surebets, pros and cons.
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What does arb mean in sports betting?
A surebet is an opportunity to place bets on opposite outcomes of the same sporting event with a guaranteed profit. Fork shoulders are opposite outcomes that form a fork.
A bettor is a player who uses surebets to make money.
How arbs appear at bookmakers
Forks appear when the odds of the bookmaker diverge from the market, that is, the rest of the bookmaker. This happens for the following reasons:
- The bookmaker inflates the odds to attract customers.
- The odds change with different delays for different bookmakers.
- Large bets lead to a sharp drop in the odds. This is also the result of a large stream of regular-sized bids received in a short period of time.
The forks do not last long - a matter of minutes. Bookmakers monitor the odds of competitors and abnormal betting flows in order to quickly get out of the surebets. Players use publicly available and self-written programs for monitoring surebets: as soon as a surebet appears in a public service, a large number of bets come to it - and this leads to its end. Therefore, fast arbers remain in the profit.
Examples of calculating surebets in sports betting
Let's look at two examples.
- Tennis match Roger Federer - Rafael Nadal. For bookmaker A, Federer's victory goes for 2.05, and for bookmaker B, you can bet on Nadal with odds of 2.10. If you bet 1000 rubles on each of the choices, you will be in the black no matter the outcome of the match. Roger's success will bring 2050 rubles: 1000 x 2.05, and Nadal's victory will pay out 2100 rubles: 1000 x 2.10.
- Football match Chelsea - Arsenal. Bookmaker A gives 2.00 to win for Chelsea. Bookmaker B offers to bet on a draw at 4.00, and on the success of Arsenal at 4.50. This is a fork. If you bet 900 rubles on Chelsea, 450 rubles on a draw and 400 rubles on Arsenal, the total bets will be 1750 rubles. Potential payout if Chelsea succeeds: 900 x 2.00 = 1800 rubles. In case of a draw: 450 x 4.00 = 1800 rubles. If Arsenal wins: 400 x 4.50 = 1800 rubles. You will receive a profit of 50 rubles for any outcome of the match.
How to find surebets at bookmakers
There are two ways to find a surebet at bookmakers.
You can determine the surebet using the formula: Sp = 1 / K1 + 1 / K2 +… + 1 / Kn , where Sp is the sum of probabilities, n is the number of outcomes in one market, K1, K2, ..., Kn are the odds on outcomes of one market.
Take the tennis match between Federer and Nadal from the previous example. If the coefficient on the first is 2.05, and on the second 2.10, then: 1 / 2.05 + 1 / 2.10 = 0.964. The result is less than one, that is, it is a fork.
Use surebets scanners
Use the services that search for surebets from bookmakers for you and calculate the amount of bets that will allow you to earn. Many of them are free and work online. The disadvantage of this method is that the capacities of public scanners are mediocre, and there are a lot of users. Therefore, they fix only a part of the forks, and even those quickly disappear.
How to calculate the amount of bets for a surebet
You can determine the amount of the bet on the arm's shoulder using the formula:
S = 1 / odds / Sp x B , where S is the amount of the bet on the arm's shoulder, Sp is the total probability of outcomes in decimal terms, B is the pot size allocated for the entire surebet.
Let's take the same example of a tennis match. Let's say you bet a total of 1000 rubles on this surebet. The amount of the bet on Federer: 1 / 2.05 / 0.964 x 1000 = 506 rubles. The stake on Nadal: 1 / 2.10 / 0.964 x 1000 = 494 rubles. If you bet exactly these amounts, you will receive a net profit for any outcome, and it will be approximately the same.
How bookmakers relate to surebets
Most bookmakers impose sanctions on players who bet on surebets. The most common measure is to lower the maximum rate. Some bookmakers can block the account and deprive the player of their own funds, but legal ones do not do this.
Here are guidelines to help you avoid bookmaker sanctions.
- Bet round sums. Fractional values such as 8574 rubles and 30 kopecks raise suspicions among bookmakers.
- Don't bet the entire pot. The average player will not risk the entire amount of his account every time.
- Avoid high-yield surebets. The bookmaker can specially create a surebet with a high profit to catch surebets and later make a return on the bet, citing an error in the line.
- Do not deposit or withdraw funds after every bet. Leave funds on the balance sheet.
- Place your regular bets on popular events. Bookmakers draw on players who are constantly betting large sums on unpopular outcomes and minor tournaments. Diversify your arbitrage bets with regular and express bets.
Types of surebets in bookmakers
Forks are divided into groups according to several criteria.
- By the number of shoulders: two-way, three-way, and so on.
- Complete and incomplete: In incomplete surebets, you do not bet on the most unlikely outcome of the market, but in full surebets, you bet on all outcomes.
- In prematch and live: during a live match, surebets appear often, but you may not have time to place a bet with the desired odds.
Pros and cons of betting on surebets in sports
The advantage of surebets is in making a profit for any outcome of the event.
There are many disadvantages to surebets.
- For a large profit, you will have to keep large sums of money on the accounts of several bookmakers.
- There is a high risk of account blocking, delay and loss of money.
- You will have to bet, including with illegal online bookmakers in Russia, and this is the blocking of sites and transfers.
Forks are only formally considered a safe bet. The risk of account blocking and the need for a large start-up bank make this strategy not very attractive. To be successful, surebets need to devote a huge amount of time and take into account all the described nuances.
In addition, bookmaker companies are constantly improving their algorithms, and there are fewer surebets, and it is more difficult to bet on them without suspicion.4
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