How to Use an Arbitrage Calculator
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Bettors looking for a guaranteed win might want to try placing an arbitrage bet. When you place arbitrage bets, also known as arbs, surebets, miracle bets, or sure wins, you bet on two or more outcomes of a match at different sportsbooks. By covering all your bases in this way, with the right odds, you can guarantee a win.
Not all matches are conducive to arbitrage betting. An arbitrage opportunity only arises when sportsbooks offer different odds on a sporting event. The best arbs are when the variances between the bookmakers’ odds are large. Put simply, arbitrage betting takes advantage of the difference in odds offered by different sportsbooks on the same match.
A straightforward calculation can determine whether or not you have an arbitrage opportunity. While the manual calculation is relatively simple, it can be time-consuming and provides unnecessary room for error. To ensure that you are as accurate as possible in determining an arbitrage opportunity, you can use an arbitrage calculator.
- How Do You Calculate Arbitrage?
- Difference Between Hedging & Arbitrage Bets
- Sports Arbitrage Example
- Where to Place an Arbitrage Bet
- FAQ - Arbitrage Calculator
- Final Thoughts
HOW DO YOU CALCULATE ARBITRAGE?
A betting arbitrage calculator is an online tool that calculates whether a specific sporting event is a good option for an arbitrage bet. You enter the odds on two or more bets into the calculator, as well as your stake, which is the total amount of money you wish to wager.
The odds arbitrage calculator automatically splits your stake between the bets based on the odds you entered. The screen shows the expected payout so you see exactly what your profit might be and whether an arbitrage bet is worthwhile.
It’s also possible to do a manual calculation if you don't have access to an online arbitrage calculator. The arbitrage formula determines the total arbitrage percentage of the potential bets.
The more significant the difference in odds, the larger your payout. When selecting the match and sportsbooks to use for your arbitrage bet, ensure that when you add the outcomes together they total less than 100%. This total is the arbitrage percentage and anything more than 100% won’t net you a profit.
Now, are arbitrage bets illegal? They're not, but a sportsbook can opt to ban or suspend you if they suspect such activity.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HEDGING BETS AND ARBITRAGE BETS
On the face of it, hedge betting and arbitrage betting are very similar and easily confused. While bettors use both for wagering on possible event outcomes, these betting types have some fundamental differences.
One of the most significant differences between hedge bets and surebets is the way bettors use them. A hedge bet is a second bet placed on a different outcome to the one you initially wagered on. You place it after you made the initial bet if you feel that your original wager no longer looks like a sure thing.
The main reasons for hedge betting are to minimize your risk or to guarantee your chance of profiting from the wager. If you wager on a team to win, but they lose their key player and the expected outcome looks less likely, you can wager on the opposition to win. By hedging your bets this way, you benefit regardless of which team wins.
Ok, but is arbitrage still profitable?
Bettors use arbitrage bets to guarantee a profit based on the difference in bookmaker odds on the same match. You place these bets simultaneously, rather than at different times like hedge bets.
You can place hedge bets on any event with more than one possible outcome, but arbitrage betting needs more consideration. A sports betting arbitrage calculator can determine if an event is suitable for an arb bet.
WHAT IS A SPORTS ARBITRAGE BETTING EXAMPLE?
As we mentioned, an arbitrage opportunity occurs when sportsbooks differ in the odds they offer on the same match. Let’s take a look at a hypothetical scenario.
((1/decimal odds for Jets win) x 100) + ((1/decimal odds for Raiders win) x 100)
Jets: 1/1.2 x 100 = 83.33% Raiders: 1/7.1 x 100 = 14.08%
The total is 97.41%, which is less than 100% and therefore a surebet.
It’s also possible to determine your profit based on the amount you choose to wager. Without a betting arbitrage calculator, we use this formula:
(Stake / arbitrage %) - Stake = Profit
If you choose to wager $1,000, your profit will be:
($1,000 / 97.41%) - $1,000 = $26.59
But how much of the total wager do you place on each outcome? To work this out, you can use the following formula:
Individual bet = (Total stake x Individual arbitrage %) / Total arbitrage %
Using this formula, you can determine that the amount to wager on the Jets is $855.45 and on the Raiders is $144.54.
From the example, you can see that although your profit isn’t huge, it is guaranteed. Unless something goes wrong, like a match cancelation, you’re going to make a profit from this arbitrage bet. Although following these formulas is straightforward, there’s always room for error, so using a sports betting arbitrage calculator is recommended.
WHERE TO PLACE AN ARBITRAGE BET?
Here is our expert selection of the bookmaker where you can place an Arbitrage Bet right away :
*In-person registration and betting only in MS.
**The BetMGM app is available for mobile wagers in Washington DC, but only at Nationals Park.
Updated on : 11/30/2023
FAQ - ARBITRAGE CALCULATOR
ARE THERE ANY RISKS IN ARBITRAGE BETTING?
There are risks involved in any form of betting, and arbitrage betting is particularly risky. Although not illegal, it’s frowned upon by bookmakers. If a sportsbook catches you making arbitrage bets, they are likely to either restrict your activities or ban you from their site altogether. You stand to lose your account and anything in it. Another thing to watch out for when considering arb bets is if there are large discrepancies between sportsbooks’ odds on a specific outcome. This discrepancy could be a sportsbook error, and the bookmaker may cancel the bet, leaving you out of pocket.
CAN I PLACE ARBITRAGE BETS WITH THE SAME SPORTSBOOK?
By definition, surebets take advantage of various outcomes of the same event, with odds at different sportsbooks. Betting on two or more outcomes with the same sportsbook doesn’t constitute an arbitrage bet, and you will lose money.
HOW DO I WORK OUT IF AN ARB BET IS VIABLE?
You can use the formulas we’ve supplied for a manual calculation, but your best option is to use an online arbitrage calculator.
HOW DO YOU CALCULATE 3 WAY ARBITRAGE?
You calculate it the same way as with 2 way betting: you just add up the inverse of the odds.
HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU NEED TO ARBITRAGE?
You should start with any amount that suits you and your bankroll the best.
Arbitrage betting isn’t for bettors who are not committed. It takes time to choose the right event and find the most suitable sportsbooks. Ensure that you use a sports betting arbitrage calculator and that you have sufficient funds to make a bet worthwhile. Although profit is guaranteed, it’s only substantial if your stake is considerable. Arb betting is fast-paced but requires dedication and discipline for success.
If you want to learn how to convert odds to different formats, read our Odds Converter article.
Other great calculators you can use to choose your best possible returns:
Betting Odds Calculator | Hedge Calculator | Moneyline Calculator | Teaser Calculator | Odds Converter