After learning about sports arbitrage betting, one of your first questions will surely be: how do you find arbitrage bets?
Today, I’ll share with you the 3 best ways to find arbitrage betting opportunities, including step-by-step guides for each of them.
Method 1: Manually
Yes, I know, it’s not popular, but even now it is still possible to find arbitrage betting opportunities manually, without any software.
Sure, your profits will be lower, but I really do recommend that you try this for a while before purchasing any software as doing this gives you a really good feel for how all of the bookmaker sites work without the pressure of placing bets quickly before an arb disappears.
While preparing this article, I decided to have a go at finding some arbs manually myself to prove that it was possible. I managed to find a decent one within just 10 minutes.
Let me walk you through the process.
- 1Get a pen and a notepad.
- 2Open up all bookmakers you have accounts with in separate tabs in your browser.
- 3Choose a sport you like, or which you think has good arbitrage opportunities (Soccer/Football is a great place to start).
- 4Choose an upcoming match, and navigate to that page on each of the bookmaker websites.
- 5In your notepad, make a small table with the bookmaker names as the first column, and the possible outcomes as the other columns (see the example table below for a Korean football match).
- 6For the first bookmaker, write down the odds for each outcome.
- 7For the second bookmaker, see if any odds beat the first bookmaker. If so, write down the better odds as a new row in the table (recording bookmaker name on the left). If they don’t have any better odds, ignore them.
- 8With the subsequent bookmakers, write down any odds they have which beat the rest. Keep doing that for all bookmakers you have open.
- 9Summarise the best odds for each outcome in the final row of the table.
- 10Take the best odds for each outcome and enter them into The Arb Academy's arbitrage betting calculator.
- 11If the calculator has probability less than 100% and a profit margin greater than 0%, you have an arbitrage betting opportunity on your hands!
- 12Enter a desired total stake into the calculator and use the stakes it recommends to place your bets.
So without any software, we were able to find a 1.56% arbitrage bet!
As you can see, this is a fairly tedious process. However, once you have done it a few times, you will be fairly quick at it.
An advantage of doing this for a while is that you will soon get a very good feel for the odds required for an arbitrage betting opportunity.
Soon enough, you will be able to tell when the odds aren’t good enough for an arb and bypass the calculator check step entirely.
Method 2: Find Arbitrage Bets With Free Software
Once you have practised enough with manual searching for arbs, it’s time to graduate to using software to automatically detect and alert you to the presence of arbitrage betting opportunities.
To begin with, I recommend that you try out a few different free tools so that you can figure out which one you like before signing up for a subscription.
Essentially, all of these tools allow you to compare the odds for a wide variety of sporting events over a number of bookmakers (and betting exchanges). The software will alert you when it detects a potential arbitrage opportunity.
Note that as we will be using free tools here, not all arbs will be displayed, only a limited number to give you a taste of the software.
The quantity of arbs shown differs based on the software provider.
They typically have either a maximum profit limit (eg. 1%) per arb, or a time delay (you will be seeing the arbs 15 minutes late, by which time they may have disappeared). Some software packages use both limit types.
The table below summarises the restrictions in place for the free versions of the arb hunting software:
Max Profit per Arb (%)
I recommend that you download one of these tools and have a play with all of the different settings and filters and place a few bets through them too.
If you try one and you’re not happy, try another one until you find one that you like. Once you’re happy, you are ready to get serious and finally get a proper, paid arb hunting tool.
If you want a more detailed comparison of the free arbitrage betting software available, check out the article below!
Read my detailed comparison!
Method 3: Find Arbitrage Bets With Paid Software
You’ve found some arbs manually, you’ve played around with a few free tools and now you’re ready to use some paid tools?
The paid tools operate in essential the same manner as the free tools, but with all of the restrictions lifted.
The truth is that these restrictions make the free software quite ineffective. The vast majority of arbitrage opportunities disappear within 15-20 minutes of being found by the software, so having a delay like this on the odds feed from the software means that the vast majority of arbs that you see will have disappeared already.
By upgrading to a paid tool, you will receive all of the arbs in real-time as they are being found.
You will also have access to the high profit arbs (>1%) as well as middles and cross-market arbs.
Some paid tools also have extra features like built in arbitrage betting calculators and email alerts.
They also allow you to place your bets via their integrated web browser, which is kept entirely separate from your regular web browser. This ensures that the bookmakers can’t track which websites you are visiting and potentially wise up to your arbitrage betting.
Here are my picks of the best arbitrage betting software:
If you want a detailed comparison of each of these and the many other paid arbitrage betting software available, feel free to check out the article below!
Read my summary of arbitrage betting software!
How to Find Arbitrage Bets - Summary
The 3 main ways to find arbitrage betting opportunities are as follows:
- Manually searching the bookmaker websites and using free calculators to help determine whether an arbitrage opportunity exists.
- Using free arb hunting software to find arbitrage betting opportunities for you.
- Using paid arbitrage betting software.
Manual searching is the most laborious and slowest of the 3 options. It is recommended only for beginners, to help them get used to the bookmaker websites.
Free arbitrage betting software is useful for figuring out which software you like the most. However, the restrictions on the arbs displayed are quite severe, rendering the software ineffective for those who are serious about sports arbitrage betting.
Finally, the paid software is fairly expensive, but it is the only way to consistently and reliably find arbitrage bets.
Thankfully, as long as you have a decent bankroll when getting started, you will find that the arbitrage software pays for itself very quickly.
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Disclaimer 1: This post may contain affiliate links. I will earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product or service after clicking on my link. This helps pay for the cost of running the website. You will not be disadvantaged in any way by using my links.
Disclaimer 2: The betting examples and odds provided above are purely to demonstrate proof of concept.