Arbing is the ‘short’ term for Arbitrage betting which is a technique using a Sportsbook and the Betting Exchange to cover all betting outcomes on an event and guarantee profit whatever the outcome is. It is a technique that Sportsbooks cannot stand when they spot customers who are doing this and they are usually quick to limit these customers to lower betting limits. Typically customers can win between 2-5% in the long term should they be disciplined and stick only to arbitrage betting. We’ll have a good look at how this all works and explain how you can go about trying it for yourself.

Getting Started

The first thing you will need in order to try arbitrage is an account with a Betting Exchange. There are a few Betting Exchanges you can use but ‘hands down’ the account you will want is a betfair account and you can open an account with them here:

You can have a read as to why Betfair stand out as the number 1 exchange in our article on Betting Exchanges here.

The next thing you will need are a number of betting accounts ready (have a look at our review page here to help you choose some).

Why arbitrage situations happen

There are two reasons why arbitration situations can happen

  • Sportsbooks are slow to change their odds (more likely)
  • Sportsbooks intentionally offer arbitration to increase their turnover (less likely)

When these situations happen it can lead to the sportsbook odds on an outcome being higher than the ‘lay’ side of Betfair.

For any bet to happen you always need 2 people involved. Firstly you need a ‘backer’ (a person who wants a bet to happen) and another person to ‘lay’ the bet (a person who wants the bet to lose). Traditionally, the Sportsbook takes the role of the ‘layer’ however with Betfair, the punter has the opportunity to ‘back’ or to ‘lay’.


Let’s make it happen

Now it’s time to sniff around and find some arbitrage. We recommend that a great starting point is to make sure that you are fully aware of what markets Betfair offer. Spend an hour or two clicking through all ports and specials to really familiarise yourself with the product. It would be pointless if you are looking for arbitrage and there wasn’t a market on Betfair to ‘Lay’ your bet.

Another point of consideration is to have a good look at the ‘Specials’ markets too of the exchange as from experience we find that Sportsbook traders are usually a little slower to react to odds changes that need making on specials markets.

While you can find arbitrage situations many times on a daily basis, It can take quite a long time to manually find arbitrage situations and there is technology that we would recommend to use to help you. have a free version to use but if you’re serious on trying to make money this way we strongly advise to pay for the premium package. If you use the software well and put the effort in, then there is no reason that you won’t be able to make an income from arbitration.


A practical example

Here is an example of a bet with a Sportsbook on Cyprus to with the Eurovision Song Contest.

100 bet with the Sportsbook
Here is the ‘Back’ bet with the Sportsbook

At the exact same time the odds on the ‘Lay’ side on Betfair have shortened to 2.44

quite a big arb here
Time to lay the bet off


So in this example we are betting £100 with the Sportsbook @ odds 2.63 and if the bet wins we will make £162.50 profit.

Next we go to the exchange and offer someone else £152.64 to win £106 (which would be £100.70 after 5% commission is deducted)

We are now in a position that IF Cyprus win, we win £162.50 less £152.64 which is a profit of £9.86

IF Cyprus do NOT win, we lose £100 at the Sportsbook but win £100.70 off the exchange leaving a profit of £0.70

It would be a win/win situation.


Dangers of Arbing

Arbing is not exactly risk free betting for the following possible reasons:

Odds can change during the Arbing bets

Bookmakers may refuse to honour the bet

Bookmakers unable to remain solvent

Make 100% sure that the market rules are THE SAME of the Sportsbook and Betfair as people have been stung before here


It’s also worth remembering that once the Sportsbook has your account marked up as an arbing account, your limits will be reduced eventually so that you won’t be able to get a decent bet amount on at the Sportsbook.

Have a read about Sharbing and Dutching in our articles.