An Astronomical Arbitrage Betting Guide

Here at PlayersBest, we believe in going beyond what is considered the usual realms of cyberspace. Alongside providing the most comic comparisons for sportsbooks and online casinos, I also look at the outer realms of what’s possible.

The strategy known as arbitrage is a perfect example. It’s a way of getting the most out of your bets, often talked about, but often misunderstood by earthlings. Well, with my help, it no longer needs to be an alien concept to you. I’ll be taking you through everything in the known universe you would want to know about arb betting.

Mission Log: Understanding Odds and Arbitrage Strategy

Today, I’ll be taking my recruits out on a mission to understand arbitrage betting. As a core concept, it’s as simple as a casino bonus comparison. Arbitrage gambling, very simply, is where you take odds from different bookmakers, covering all possible markets on an event. The trick is because different bookmakers have different odds, the mathematics of this can work out to a guaranteed profit.

Before I get into discussions of any kind of surebet calculator or arbitrage calculator, we’re first going to be talking about understanding odds. Now, odds are those mathematical symbols you see next to the many betting markets available to you. There are a few different versions of odds, and you’ll almost certainly be familiar with one or more of them. Let’s use evens as our example.

With fractional odds, evens would be 1/2. With decimal odds, this would be 2.0. American odds would be +100 odds. And all of these represent a 50% probability. They’re just different ways of saying the same thing. They are just like the different alien languages used across the planets in the solar system.

What is vital for you to understand, my new recruits, is that they are not abstract. This is the bookmaker saying to you that they think the chance of that event coming true is 50%. Understanding that is important to betting strategy in general, as it is for arbitrage gambling.

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Learning Navigation with the Overround

Odds are the key to understanding the betting universe, just as they are key to understanding arb betting. And the next step of that education is the overround. This is a crucial factor in how the arbitrage strategy works.

So, we know that odds are not just numbers, or calculations of potential returns: they are reflections of a prediction. It can be understood as a percentage of probability. Now, 100% means a certainty. If something is 100% likely to happen, that means it must happen. There’s no room for other possibilities. If someone said to you how you rate this space class, and you said 100%, that would mean there’s no room for improvements.

In sports, a common and popular option is 1X2 betting. There are three markets in this example. Let’s say you wanted to bet on the Earth sport football – I hear it’s very popular in most solar systems in sight of the Milky Way. You could, in one match example, back Liverpool to win, back Manchester United to win, or back a draw as the final result. These are all the possibilities: that means that logically, those converted percentages should come out to 100%.

But they won’t, they will come out to more. When you convert the odds of all of the possible markets, you will end up with a number above 100%, usually between 100-110%. This is known as the overround. It’s the percentage by which odds are inflated to give the bookmaker their edge, and consistent profits. This is the case for even the best odds, including those boosted by award-winning sports betting promotions.

Sending Your Betting Strategy into Hyperspace: How yo Use an Arb Strategy

So, the bookmakers have that percentage advantage. Arb betting aims to not only neutralise that advantage – much like I neutralised the Tondurian master ship to win my fifth commendation – but to actually take that advantage from them. How by all the moons of Jupiter do you manage that?

Well, you’re going to have to use multiple bookmakers and multiple odds across several different sites. Because they have different odds, the right combination between a wide variety of operators can make all those possible markets add up to less than 100%. Now, this is a practise that bookmakers are aware of and are constantly battling against.

However, odds are ever fluctuating, much like the universe is ever-expanding, meaning there are opportunities to find a complete selection of odds that come to less than 100%. This is especially the case in the UK market where there is such a massive amount of betting options.

How does it make money? Well, those percentages aren’t just a reflection of odds – they’re also an indication of how much money you’ll get if you win. Let’s say that you utilised a selection of odds in that Liverpool vs Manchester United game and found odds that came to 98%. If you were to bet the same amount of money across all markets, that would net you a profit in the form of 2%.

It all sounds very simple and as a concept, I’d say that it is. But finding those markets can be difficult. Like I said, bookmakers move quickly to prevent this, meaning that there’s a big demand for arbitrage calculators and other tools. Make no mistake, arbitrage strategies can work, but it’s also hard work.

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Message Incoming: the Legality of Arbitrage Strategies

All planets have their own laws and the UK – a small location on the water-based planet Earth – is no exception. If you’re reading this from there, then the positive news is that arbitrage gambling is entirely legal where you live. It actually is in most places. Really, you’re just betting on odds that are advertised: it’s quite hard to justify penalisation in that sort of way. You can even use promotions, including those that have come out favourably in our in-depth sportsbook bonus comparisons, to boost those odds if you like.

In terms of consequences, there’s not much from a legal perspective any site can do to stop you essentially shopping around. Utilising multiple sites is something that’s a common betting tip. For example, you may want to open up multiple accounts in order to get the casino bonuses that come out best in comparisons to take full advantage of the extras often given to newcomers. Once again, this is something that betting sites would rather you did not do, but that doesn’t make it illegal.

Avoiding The Asteroids: Steering Clear of Cyberspace Disaster

However, not being illegal doesn’t mean that this betting strategy, like all betting strategies, doesn’t come with its own risks. This may be a little perplexing considering that the whole idea behind arbitrage betting is that it’s a guaranteed profit. And indeed, it doesn’t have the same risks as normal betting. If you successfully identify and bet evenly on odds that come to under 100% implied probability, then the result doesn’t matter.

However, like going from a wormhole into an asteroid field, there are new dangers to be aware of and to avoid. The crux of the issue is that bookmakers wish to stop you from using this strategy, and we don’t think there are many better indicators of its success than that. In order to do so, they work together to close gaps as quickly and as efficiently as possible. That’s why something like a surebet calculator is so needed, and indeed why there’s a litany of tools out there in the betting universe to make this process more efficient.

Time is of the essence and if you don’t move quickly enough, you could easily find that the opportunity you’ve spotted has flown by like a shooting star. Worse still, if you’ve already placed one of your bets, you could be stuck with a potentially losing situation. Considering the percentages involved in arbitrage gambling are usually quite small, people often bet big, meaning large losses can be a result of missing those changing odds. Speed and as close to synchronised betting as possible is a way of minimising this risk, but never totally eliminating it.

In addition, if you’re suspected of utilsing these techniques, then you could see your account penalised, either with restrictions or a complete ban from the site. Remember operators can do so for any reason, so you’ll really have no recourse if this happens.

Captain’s Log: Final Thought

I think what strikes me most about arbitrage betting is that it really shows you how vast and complicated the world of online betting is. There’s a constant force, like gravity, as players and operators jostle for an advantage. This kind of strategy is like hitting hyperdrive in that battle, really putting you in a confrontation with the bookmakers as you try and outmenovour each other.

It certainly won’t be for everyone. In fact, it may be something which damages your ability to enjoy betting the traditional way. After all, many people bet because it cranks up that tension with their own stakes. This system puts that tension on it working rather than your prediction being successful. But, some people will enjoy this battle of betting wits against the bookmaker, perhaps considering it a sport of its own.

Wherever you land in that regard, I think it’s important to remember that the rich tapestry of online betting means more people being able to approach betting how they want to – which is a very good thing indeed.

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Rating
Neteller
UKGC - UK Gambling Commission
100% up to
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Highlights
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UKGC - UK Gambling Commission
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