Most punters love the sound of a sure thing. If you fall into this category, some further investigation of arbitrage betting may be the tonic for you.

If successfully implemented, arbitrage betting allows you to guarantee a profit every time you bet.

This is done by betting on all possible outcomes in a given event simultaneously, using the best available prices, and thus ensuring that you will return a profit regardless of the outcome.

Not every sporting event allows you to do this, but there are regular opportunities where you know what you are looking for. Arbitrage betting removes the element of luck from your punting experience. Instead, arbitrage betting relies solely on mathematics. By using the correct formulae, you will be able to guarantee that each and every bet you place results in a profit.


In today’s online betting market, competition between bookmakers is fiercer than ever before. There are more opportunities and more avenues for punters to place bets than has previously been the case.

As a result, there is a huge amount of competition in the marketplace. Bookmakers are striving to offer the best value to their customers on various events. This creates an opportunity for arbitrage betting. By researching and finding the ‘best price’ offered on every outcome, you can uncover the chance to place an arbitrage bet.

There are various forms of software available to assist with this process that will act as an arbitrage betting calculator.

For the simplest form of arbitrage betting, you will be focused on sports events where there are only two possible outcomes, e.g. tennis, darts, snooker or basketball – one player/team versus another where there is no option of a draw involved.

arbitrage betting example

Arbitrage betting is also possible on events with three potential outcomes, such as soccer, where there is win, lose or draw potential.

arbitrage betting example

Often, the window of opportunity for arbitrage betting is relatively short. Prices on a given event are subject to fluctuation and so the arbitrage bettor must wait for the correct conditions in which to strike.


To make a successful arbitrage bet, you need to have two bookmakers offering differing odds on the same event. You must find the bookmaker offering the best odds on each individual outcome.

arbitrage betting example

With this done, you can then use the formula to calculate the arbitrage percentage, i.e. how much you must invest on each outcome to ensure a profit.

One key point to note on arbitrage betting is that it requires a large bankroll due to the fact the margins are relatively small. In most instances, the margin available for profit using this betting method lies between 2-5%.

Should you have the expertise and patience to implement an arbitrage betting system, over time you can accumulate significant and consistent profits.

arbitrage betting example


Take, for example, a darts match between Michael van Gerwen and Phil Taylor.
arbitrage betting example

The best available odds offered on Taylor to win are 5.7, while the best price on van Gerwen to win is 1.25. Using mathematics, you can determine how much to place on each outcome in order to generate a guaranteed profit.

Assuming a bankroll of £1000, you would calculate your bets as follows:
arbitrage betting calculation

By placing a £175 bet on Taylor and an £800 bet on van Gerwen, you will make a profit of either £22.50 or £25 irrespective of who wins. If van Gerwen wins, that means a 2.56% return on the initial investment.

By familiarising yourself with the margins and numbers involved, you will be able to spot when an arbitrage betting opportunity exists, meaning you can place your bets quickly while the window remains open.

The potential for an arbitrage bet exists when the arbitrage percentage is less than 100%.

In the example above, using the odds for Taylor versus van Gerwen, the arbitrage percentage would be calculated as follows:
arbitrage betting calculation
If the sum of the percentages is less than 100% then you have an arbitrage betting opportunity.
This is a simple explanation of arbitrage betting. You should be familiar with this form of betting before getting started and keep in mind that patience is key; you must wait and identify the opportunities as and when they arise.