Matched Betting Arbitrage Guidance - How to Matched Bet Without Free Bets
In this post, we will explore matched betting arbitrage. We look at what matched betting arbs is all about, including the reasons you should be very cautious before using this tactic and why it can be profitable and perhaps more sensible to adopt in some circumstances.
It is possible to earn money matched betting without free bets, but you need to consider all angles fully before starting; this post is here to help you with that so you know what matched betting without offers is all about.
Matched Betting Arbs
Matched betting arbitrage, known commonly as arbing or arbs for short, is often mistaken as the same thing as matched betting but nowadays has several key differences that it pays to be aware of.
People who carry out this activity are often referred to as “arbers”.
With arbing, you match your bets as with standard matched betting. However, you match your bets with a rating over the standard limit of 100% match that you would generally do in usual matched betting.
Arb betting allows a customer to place multiple bets to guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome but without the need to use the free bets that matched bettors use to get guaranteed profit. It’s no surprise that these bets are sometimes called “miracle bets” or “sure bets”. We still use the oddsmatcher to identify the matched bets, such as on offer from the Profit Accumulator software.
Even though arbing doesn’t exploit the free bets offered by bookmakers, it holds a much greater risk of being stake restricted by a bookmaker, primarily due to the amount of value you are taking from them (more on that below).
What is an Arb?
When the (back) odds for a market at a bookmaker is higher than the lay odds, the match rating for a matched bet will be above 100%.
Anything above 100% is considered an arb, and when you place a back bet and lay the bet off accordingly at the exchange, you have placed an arbitrage bet.
Arbs occur when bookmakers do not quite quickly enough update their odds, and they are higher than the odds at the betting exchange.
Arbs are frequent enough to often show on your matched betting service oddsmatcher (usually highlighted in red as they are a higher than 100% match) and you can select the usual alerts to identify opportunities if needed.
If they are so Profitable, Why Doesn't Everyone Do It?
To do an arb, you find back bets with the bookmakers and lay bets at the exchange, in the usual way you would for any simple matched bet.
However, for an arb, you find back bets that have a match rating over 100%, thus guaranteeing you an instant profit (entirely irrespective of the result). To carry out an arb bet, you do not need to rely upon free bets of any kind.
The problem with arb betting for a regular matched bettor is that you take a considerable amount of value from a bookmaker. This is why we DO NOT advise that you do arb betting unless you are doing so on accounts that are gubbed (see below) or you are confident you will not use it in the future.
Especially don’t do arb betting when you start with matched betting, nor on valuable accounts such as bet365, William Hill, and Paddy Power.
Therefore, many matched bettors will not be taking out arbs and perhaps even advising against them due to the damage they can have on your bookmaker account health and the increased chance of gubbings.
All this taken into account, though, you may wish to make arb bets on some of your smaller accounts after completing your welcome offers since you would not expect to have ongoing value from these bookmakers. Find out more on how to matched bet arbs below.
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How to Matched Bet Arbs
As we have discovered, a match rating for a matched bet (say on a football game), when over 100% is an arb.
To match bet an arb, you find these matches, place a back bet, and lay the bet off accordingly at the exchange (always place the back bet first). Use the matched betting calculator in normal mode.
An arb is essentially the same as a standard matched betting qualifying bet, but you make a profit rather than a slight loss this time.
Once you have done this, you will have placed an arbitrage bet, and you will have earned the instant profit as shown on the matcher calculator/arbs Finder before you place your bets.
To receive the most profit from an arb, it is common practice to bet quite large amounts. You must ensure that you have enough availability in the market. Arb opportunities will likely arise from more obscure markets (such as lower league football), which therefore may equally have a low amount of availability at the exchange, so the arb may not be possible to match.
Always ensure you do not match your bets at an exchange sportsbook and then lay at the same exchange; you must use a separate bookmaker and exchange (do not dutch an arb).
Some other techniques to ensure that you can increase the amount of arb betting you can do in the future, hopefully avoiding difficulties, include:
- Consider using e-wallets (for arbing it is pretty much a no-brainer)
- Deposit your money into bookmaker accounts in small chunks to avoid suspicion (withdraw similarly and not immediately after bets settle);
- Never do an arb on an obvious bookmaker error. Although rare, these odds (referred to as “palps”, i.e. a palpable error) will be from obvious mistakes such as 31.10 instead of 3.11;
- Similar to the above, some experts suggest keeping arbs to no more than a 3% profit line, which should ensure they are not completely obvious errors from the bookmaker who could cancel your bet.
- Round your stakes.
- Consider throwing in the odd mug bet
Matched Betting Arbs on Gubbed Accounts?
Due to the dangers associated with arb betting, when you have accounts that have become gubbed and no longer have access to promotional offers, it may be an excellent strategy to consider arbing these accounts.
As we have discussed, arbing is in no way illegal, bookmakers only dislike it, and if they are already limited in their value to you, then it can’t hurt if done correctly.
Elsewhere we discuss gubbing and mug Betting, which is of value when considering which bookmaker accounts you should and should not use for arbing.
Always place your back bet first, then lay the bet (good advice for any matched betting but essential for arb betting and when working with gubbed accounts).
It is also possible to bet at a physical betting shop and then lay at the exchange online. Still, it may be difficult to identify relevant opportunities and action them speedily enough to be successful.
Matched Betting Arbs - Summary
There are other types of more specialist arbing that we do not go into here, but hopefully, this guidance on arb betting has been of use.
Remember, only consider arbing in particular circumstances with accounts you do not fear losing or using for other matched betting offers or strategies.
You may also see old references to “arbing” interchangeably with “matched betting”. This is because in the early years, matched betting used to be called arbing before arbing became the term for the more specific tactic, as discussed in this post.
You can do dutching with arb betting, find out more here.
There is plenty more help throughout the site, on all things matched betting.