Arbitrage Betting Vs Matched Betting
19th May 2024

Arbitrage Betting vs Matched Betting: Unraveling the Best Betting Strategies for 2024

The world of sports betting offers a variety of strategies to those looking to make a profit, with Arbitrage Betting and Matched Betting standing out as two of the most popular methods. Despite their shared goal of minimizing risk while maximizing potential returns, these strategies differ significantly in their approach, mechanics, and suitability for different types of bettors.

Arbitrage Betting, often referred to as ‘arbing,’ is a technique that capitalizes on discrepancies in odds offered by different bookmakers for the same sporting event. This strategy ensures a guaranteed profit regardless of the event’s outcome by placing bets on all possible results. The essence of arbing lies in its reliance on the bettor’s ability to quickly identify and act on these odds disparities.

On the other hand, Matched Betting is a method that takes advantage of the free bets and bonuses offered by bookmakers. This strategy involves placing bets on all outcomes of a particular event, using the free bets to cover the potential losses on one side and the actual cash bets to gain from the other. The appeal of Matched Betting lies in its relatively low risk and the utilization of bonuses as the primary means of generating profit.

While both strategies have proven to be effective in reducing risk and ensuring returns, they cater to different betting preferences and require varying levels of expertise, time commitment, and capital. The following sections will delve deeper into each method, exploring their intricacies, pros and cons, and the key factors that differentiate them.

Whether you are a seasoned bettor or a newcomer to the world of sports betting, understanding these strategies can be crucial in deciding which path aligns best with your betting goals and resources.

What is Arbitrage Betting?

Arbitrage Betting, also known as arbing, is a sophisticated betting strategy that guarantees a profit regardless of the outcome of a sports event. This method exploits the differences in odds set by different bookmakers, capitalizing on these variances to ensure a positive return.

The Mechanics of Arbitrage Betting

At its core, arbitrage betting involves placing multiple bets on all possible outcomes of an event with different bookmakers. The key lies in identifying events where the combined odds from various bookmakers create an “overround” – a scenario where the sum of the probabilities implied by the odds is less than 100%. This creates an opportunity for a risk-free profit.

For example, imagine a tennis match where Bookmaker A offers odds of 2.10 for Player X to win, and Bookmaker B offers odds of 2.10 for Player Y to win. By placing a bet on each player with the respective bookmakers, a bettor ensures a profit irrespective of who wins.

Live Arbitrage Bet Example.
Legal and Ethical Considerations

Arbitrage betting is entirely legal, provided that betting is permitted in the jurisdiction of the bettor. However, it’s worth noting that while legal, bookmakers are not fond of arbitrage bettors. Many bookmakers have measures to identify and restrict accounts they believe are engaging in arbing, as it goes against the bookmaker’s interest.

Profit Potential and Challenges

Arbitrage betting’s allure is in its promise of guaranteed returns. However, these returns often come with slim margins. Successful arbitrage betting requires significant capital investment to realize substantial profits. Moreover, the rapid fluctuation of odds and the need for timely bets add to the complexity of successfully executing this strategy.

Additionally, arbitrage betting demands substantial time and dedication. Bettors must constantly monitor various bookmakers, quickly calculate potential profits, and place bets before odds change. This makes arbing less accessible to casual bettors and more suited for individuals who can dedicate the time and resources to this demanding strategy.

Arbitrage Betting is a unique approach in the world of sports betting, offering a low-risk pathway to consistent profits. Its requirement for capital, time investment, and quick decision-making skills, however, make it a strategy best suited for the dedicated and resourceful bettor.

What is Matched Betting?

Matched Betting stands as a contrasting approach to Arbitrage Betting, primarily known for its use of bookmaker bonuses and free bets to secure risk-free profits. This strategy has gained significant popularity due to its accessibility and ease of execution compared to more complex betting techniques like arbing.

Fundamentals of Matched Betting

The principle of Matched Betting is straightforward: it involves placing two bets to negate each other. The first bet, known as a ‘back’ bet, is placed at a bookmaker using a free bet offer or bonus. The second, a ‘lay’ bet, is placed on the same event at a betting exchange, betting against the outcome of the back bet. This combination ensures that regardless of the event’s result, the bettor either breaks even or realizes a profit from the free bet.

Legal and Ethical Aspects

Similar to Arbitrage Betting, Matched Betting is entirely legal as long as betting is allowed in the bettor’s jurisdiction. It’s a legitimate method to exploit the promotional offers provided by bookmakers. However, bookmakers may limit or restrict accounts that they suspect are solely used for Matched Betting, as it affects their profit margins.

Profit Potential and Accessibility

Matched Betting is particularly appealing to beginners and casual bettors due to its lower entry barrier. With a basic understanding of betting odds and access to bookmakers offering free bets or bonuses, almost anyone can start Matched Betting. The initial profits are usually linked to the value of the free bets available, making this method less dependent on large capital compared to Arbitrage Betting.

The sustainability of Matched Betting profits hinges on the continuous availability of free bets and bonuses. Seasoned matched bettors often migrate from one bookmaker to another, capitalizing on the various promotional offers. While profits can fluctuate based on these offers’ availability, Matched Betting typically provides a more straightforward and accessible path to risk-free profits for the average bettor.

Matched Betting is an accessible, relatively easy-to-learn strategy that makes the most out of the promotional offers from bookmakers. While it may not offer the same high-profit potential as Arbitrage Betting, its lower risk and ease of use make it an attractive option for those new to betting or looking for a less intensive betting strategy.

Arbitrage Betting Vs Matched Betting

Comparative Analysis: Arbitrage Betting vs Matched Betting

When deciding between Arbitrage Betting and Matched Betting, it’s crucial to understand their distinct characteristics. Below is a comprehensive comparison of both strategies, focusing on various aspects crucial to bettors.

Differences between Arbitrage Betting and Matched Betting
AspectArbitrage BettingMatched Betting
DefinitionBetting on all outcomes across different bookmakers to exploit odds discrepancies.Using free bets from bookmakers to bet on all outcomes, ensuring profit or breaking even.
Capital RequiredHigher initial capital required to see significant profits due to small margins.Lower initial capital needed, mostly dependent on available free bets and bonuses.
Risk LevelLow risk, as profits are guaranteed if executed correctly.Very low risk, especially when using free bets and bonuses.
Profit PotentialConsistent but smaller margins; reliant on finding favorable odds discrepancies.Initially higher due to bonuses but may decrease as free bet offers are exhausted.
Potential ProfitSmaller per bet, but can accumulate over time with high volume.Higher initial profit from bonuses, with a gradual decline as bonus opportunities dry up.
Learning CurveSteeper; requires understanding of odds, quick decision-making, and constant monitoring.Easier to learn; suitable for beginners with basic understanding of betting.
Time InvestmentHigh; requires continuous monitoring of various bookmakers and quick action on odds changes.Relatively low; more flexible and less time-consuming than Arbitrage Betting.
SustainabilitySustainable as long as odds discrepancies exist, but accounts may be limited by bookmakers.Dependent on the continuous availability of free bets and bonuses from bookmakers.
Legal ConsiderationsLegal where betting is permitted; subject to bookmaker’s terms regarding arbitrage betting.Legal where betting is allowed; watch for account limitations by bookmakers.
Tools/Software UsedArbitrage betting software (e.g., OddsJam, RebelBetting) for identifying odds discrepancies.Matched betting services (e.g., OddsMonkey, Profit Accumulator) that provide tools for bet calculations and offer tracking.
Analysis of Differences
  1. Capital Required: Arbitrage Betting often requires a larger bankroll to start with, as profits are made from small margins across large bets. In contrast, Matched Betting can be started with a smaller amount, leveraging bookmakers’ free bets and bonuses.

  2. Risk Level: Both strategies are low-risk, but Matched Betting is often considered safer due to the use of free bets, which reduces the potential for loss of personal funds.

  3. Profit Potential: While Arbitrage Betting offers more consistent returns, the profits per bet are typically smaller. Matched Betting can provide higher initial profits due to bonus exploitation, but these may diminish over time as bonus opportunities are used up.

  4. Learning Curve and Time Investment: Matched Betting is generally more accessible and requires less time investment, making it ideal for beginners or those with limited time. Arbitrage Betting, however, demands continuous monitoring and a good grasp of betting markets, thus requiring a higher time commitment.

  5. Sustainability: Arbitrage Betting can be sustainable but faces the challenge of account limitations by bookmakers. Matched Betting’s sustainability depends on the ongoing availability of new free bet offers.

  6. Legal Considerations: Both strategies are legal in jurisdictions where betting is permitted, but bettors should be aware of bookmakers’ policies, as these can impact the effectiveness of both strategies.

Additional Insights
  1. Potential Profit: Arbitrage bettors usually see smaller profits per bet but can accumulate significant earnings over time through volume betting. Matched bettors often see a spike in profits initially, driven by the utilization of free bets, but this can taper off.

  2. Tools/Software Used: For Arbitrage Betting, specialized software like Arb Amigo is essential to quickly identify profitable opportunities across different bookmakers. In Matched Betting, services like OddsMonkey and Profit Accumulator offer valuable tools for bet calculations, tracking offers, and optimizing bets.

Both strategies have their unique requirements and benefits, and the choice largely depends on individual preferences, resources, and betting goals.

The choice between Arbitrage Betting and Matched Betting depends on individual circumstances, including the bettor’s time availability, capital, risk tolerance, and experience level. While Arbitrage Betting offers consistency and is suited for those willing to invest significant time and capital, Matched Betting provides a more accessible entry point with potentially higher initial returns but may require transitioning strategies as free bet opportunities decrease.

arbitrage betting 2024

Combining Arbitrage and Matched Betting

While Arbitrage Betting and Matched Betting are distinct strategies, savvy bettors often combine elements of both to maximize their profit-making potential. This hybrid approach can provide a more diverse betting experience and potentially increase overall profits.

Integrating Arbitrage into Matched Betting

Matched bettors primarily focus on utilizing free bets and promotions. However, incorporating arbitrage principles can enhance profit margins. For instance, a matched bettor could use arbitrage techniques to find the most optimal odds for their lay bets, reducing potential losses and maximizing the effective use of free bets.

Leveraging Matched Betting in Arbitrage

Conversely, arbitrage bettors can benefit from matched betting by using free bets for arbitrage purposes. This reduces the capital needed for arbitrage bets and adds an extra layer of profit-making opportunities. Free bets from matched betting can be used as a buffer, allowing arbitrage bettors to venture into bets they might not typically consider with their own money.

Tools and Software for Hybrid Betting

Using tools and software designed for both Arbitrage and Matched Betting can be incredibly beneficial in a combined approach. These tools can help identify both arbitrage opportunities and profitable matched betting offers, streamline the betting process, and minimize time spent on manual calculations and odds comparisons.

Considerations for a Combined Approach

While combining these strategies can be lucrative, it requires a higher level of skill and understanding of both methods. Bettors should be aware of the potential risks, such as account limitations from bookmakers, and manage their activities to avoid detection. A balanced approach, where neither strategy is overly exploited, can help in maintaining the sustainability of betting accounts.

A combined Arbitrage and Matched Betting strategy can be an effective way to capitalize on the strengths of both methods. It offers a dynamic approach to betting, catering to bettors who are willing to invest time in learning and applying both strategies effectively. This approach can lead to diversified betting activities and potentially greater profits, but it demands careful management and a deep understanding of the betting landscape.

Risks and Limitations of Arbitrage and Matched Betting

While both Arbitrage Betting and Matched Betting offer structured approaches to minimize risk, they are not entirely devoid of challenges. Understanding these risks and limitations is crucial for bettors to manage their strategies effectively.

Account Limitations and Restrictions

One of the most significant risks associated with both strategies is the potential for account limitations imposed by bookmakers. Known as ‘gubbing,’ this occurs when a bookmaker restricts or closes your account, often due to consistent winning patterns or solely using free bets for Matched Betting. Arbitrage bettors face similar risks, as bookmakers may limit accounts that consistently profit from odds discrepancies.

Sustainability Concerns

The sustainability of both strategies can be a concern. In Matched Betting, the frequency and value of free bet offers can decrease over time, particularly as bookmakers identify and limit successful bettors. For Arbitrage Betting, the challenge lies in continuously finding profitable odds discrepancies, which can become more difficult as bookmakers adjust their odds algorithms.

Financial and Time Investment

Both strategies require an investment of time and money. Arbitrage Betting, in particular, demands a significant time commitment for monitoring odds across various bookmakers and requires a substantial bankroll to capitalize on small profit margins. Matched Betting, while less time-intensive, still requires an initial financial investment and continuous search for new free bet offers.

Legal and Compliance Issues

It’s crucial to ensure that both betting strategies comply with the legal regulations in your jurisdiction. Bettors should be aware of the legality of online betting in their area and adhere to the terms and conditions set by individual bookmakers to avoid legal complications.

Skill and Experience

Lastly, the effectiveness of these strategies is partly dependent on the bettor’s skill and experience. Proper understanding of betting markets, odds calculations, and quick decision-making are essential for Arbitrage Betting. Matched Betting, while more accessible, still requires a basic understanding of betting principles and effective management of offers and bets.

Arbitrage and Matched Betting, while lucrative, come with their own set of risks and challenges. Bettors need to be aware of potential account limitations, the sustainability of their betting strategy, the necessary time and financial commitments, legal considerations, and the required skill level. Understanding and mitigating these risks can lead to a more successful and sustainable betting experience.

matched betting faqs

Mitigating Risks and Limitations in Arbitrage and Matched Betting

While the risks and limitations in Arbitrage and Matched Betting are inherent, there are strategies and best practices that can help mitigate these challenges, ensuring a more sustainable and successful betting experience.

Addressing Account Limitations and Restrictions
  • Diversify Your Activity: Avoid exclusively placing bets that are solely arbitrage or matched bets. Mixing in regular betting activity can make your betting patterns appear more typical to bookmakers.
  • Spread Bets Across Multiple Bookmakers: Use a variety of bookmakers to spread your betting activity. This reduces the likelihood of any single account drawing attention due to consistent winning patterns.
  • Stay Under the Radar: Avoid maxing out the betting limits on offers. Betting slightly below the maximum limit can help avoid flagging your account.
Enhancing Sustainability
  • Continuously Seek New Opportunities: For Matched Betting, regularly look for new bookmakers and sign up for their bonuses. For Arbitrage Betting, stay updated with different bookmakers’ odds to identify discrepancies.
  • Adapt and Evolve: Be prepared to adapt your strategies as bookmakers change their offers and terms. Keep learning and updating your betting techniques.
Managing Financial and Time Investment
  • Set a Budget: Allocate a specific bankroll for your betting activities and stick to it. This helps in managing financial risks.
  • Use Efficient Tools: Employ betting tools and software that can save time in identifying bets and calculating odds. This makes the process more efficient and less time-consuming.  Use a tool like Arb Amigo to find 100s of arbiutrage betting opportuntiies daily.
Navigating Legal and Compliance Issues
  • Stay Informed: Regularly check the legal status of online betting in your jurisdiction and comply with all relevant regulations.
  • Read Terms and Conditions: Understand and adhere to the terms and conditions of each bookmaker. This helps in avoiding breaches that could lead to account restrictions.
Building Skill and Experience
  • Educational Resources: Utilize online tutorials, forums, and betting communities to enhance your knowledge and skills in betting.
  • Practice and Patience: Start with smaller bets to practice your strategies without significant risk. Gradually increase your stakes as you gain confidence and experience.

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Conclusion: Arbitrage Betting Vs Matched Betting.

Arbitrage Betting and Matched Betting are two distinct strategies that offer bettors the opportunity to make profits with minimal risk. Each strategy has its unique advantages and challenges, catering to different types of bettors with varying levels of experience, capital availability, and time commitment.

Arbitrage Betting appeals to those who are willing to invest a significant amount of time and capital into meticulously monitoring and capitalizing on odds discrepancies across different bookmakers. It requires a deeper understanding of betting markets and a readiness to respond swiftly to odds changes. Although it presents a lower risk, the sustainability of profits and the risk of account limitations are crucial factors to consider.

Matched Betting, on the other hand, is more suited for beginners or those looking for a less demanding approach to betting. It capitalizes on the free bets and bonuses offered by bookmakers, providing a safer route to profit with a lower initial capital requirement. However, its reliance on the continuous availability of such promotions can affect its long-term sustainability.

The combination of both strategies can potentially enhance profit-making opportunities, drawing on the strengths of each. By employing a hybrid approach, bettors can diversify their betting activities, increasing their chances of sustained profitability.

Ultimately, success in either strategy requires an understanding of the inherent risks and limitations. By adopting best practices such as diversifying betting activities, staying updated with bookmakers’ offers, using efficient tools, and continuously building betting skills, bettors can effectively mitigate these risks.

Arbitrage and Matched Betting are not just about the immediate profits; they are about the strategic planning, risk management, and continuous learning that go into making informed and successful bets. Whether you choose Arbitrage Betting, Matched Betting, or a combination of both, the key lies in understanding the nuances of each strategy and aligning them with your betting goals, resources, and risk tolerance.

arbing vs matched betting

FAQs on Arbitrage Betting

Arbitrage betting is often considered a ‘risk-free’ bet in the sense that it involves placing bets on all possible outcomes of an event across different bookmakers, ensuring a guaranteed profit regardless of the event’s outcome. However, it’s important to note that risks still exist, such as the potential for human error in calculations, rapid changes in odds, and the risk of account limitations by bookmakers.

To avoid detection while arbitrage betting:

  • Always round your bets to the nearest whole number. (e.g instead of £34.87 bet £35)
  • Spread your bets across multiple bookmakers.
  • Avoid consistently betting on odd or very high stakes.
  • Mix in regular betting along with your arbitrage bets.
  • Be cautious with betting on markets with low liquidity or on very small sports events.

Larger markets in popular sports such as football (soccer), tennis, and basketball often present more arbitrage opportunities due to the volume of bets and variability in bookmaker odds. These sports have more frequent games and a higher number of participating bookmakers.

The amount you can make per month from arbitrage betting depends on factors like the amount of your bankroll, the number and size of arbitrage opportunities you can exploit, and the time you can dedicate. Some bettors make a few hundred to a few thousand pounds per month, but this can vary widely.

Using a tool like Arb Amigo, you can make about £1350 per month by taking advantage of 3 arbitrage bets per day.

Arbitrage betting can still be worth it in 2024, especially for those who have the time, capital, and resources to identify and act on arbitrage opportunities quickly. However, it requires diligence and flexibility to adapt to the changing dynamics of sports betting markets and bookmaker policies.

You can use a tool like Arb Amigo to find 100s of arbitrage betting opportunities daily.

FAQs on Matched Betting

The risk of losing money in matched betting is minimal, especially if bets are calculated and placed correctly. However, mistakes in calculations, forgetting to place a lay bet, or sudden changes in odds can lead to potential losses.

Yes, matched betting is legal in the UK as long as you are over the age of 18. It is a legitimate method of exploiting the free bet promotions offered by bookmakers.

You can start matched betting with a relatively small bankroll, often around £100 to £200. This initial amount is used to place your first bets and cover any required qualifying losses.

To minimize the risk of being flagged by bookmakers:

  • Avoid placing the maximum allowable stake on every free bet offer.
  • Occasionally place bets on popular events without using free bets.
  • Withdraw winnings sporadically instead of after every win.

The amount varies based on the number of available offers and your time commitment. On average, bettors can make between £300 to £1000 per month, but this can increase with experience and efficiency.

Matched betting can remain a worthwhile endeavor in 2024, particularly for those starting out in sports betting. Its viability largely depends on the continued availability of free bet offers from bookmakers and the bettor’s dedication to finding and utilizing these offers.

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Arbitrage betting is also sometimes called “sure betting” and this is because when you place an “arbitrage bet” or “sure bet”, you are covering al possible outcomes to secure a guaranteed profit. This is made possible because bookmakers set their odds independently and their odds can often be out of sync.


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The easy part, you log into your bookmaker’s website to place the bets and wait for your profit regardless of the outcome of the match or event.

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Arbitrage betting, also known as sure betting, is a strategy that allows you to place bets on all possible outcomes of a sports event, ensuring a guaranteed profit regardless of the outcome. By taking advantage of variations in odds offered by different bookmakers, Arb Amigo helps you identify these lucrative opportunities and make calculated wagers.

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