Talk:Arbitrage betting

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Opening comment[edit]

I think I've corrected the issues below. I've changed the example and changed the math. I hope the idea makes sence now?

I've added another section describing a related system, sports bonus arbitraging as well, but I have some issues with it I need help with:

1) It's probably the same thing mentioned in matched betting which I saw later. So should the articles be merged, reference to each other or should what I've added be moved over there and meregd?

2) I've tried to add a link to a site describing sport bonus arbitraging, but its been removed a couple of times because it was suspected to be spamming. So I'd like your opinion on if the link is relevant or not?

Starkodder 23:36, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

There's something wrong with the formulae.

shouldn't return be:

r1 = s1o1 - (s1 + s2);

r2 = s2o2 - (s1 + s2);

Sports Arbitrage Guide - External Links[edit]

For some reason User 2005 keeps removing the link to Sports Arbitrage Guide from the external links section and calling it spam, while leaving there. This makes no sense whatsoever and I would like an explanation from him, and any input from other users.

There is nothing spam-like about Sports Arbitrage Guide (SAG), neither in its display, its advertising, nor in its information. It is a truly unique source of high quality information on sports arbitrage betting, and often recognised as the most reliable source of information on sports arbitrage trading. I think it deserves a mention in the main article personally, but I will leave that up to someone else to do should they think it appropriate.

Sports Arbitrage Guide has an introductions section which thoroughly goes through all of the basics of Sports arbitrage betting. It explains what sports arbitrage is [1], it provides thorough examples of it [2], explains the calculations simply [3] and provides more complex examples of calculation [4] and even goes into details about the risks of sports arbitrage betting [5]. It then also has a FAQ, which provides answers to a lot of the questions most people think to themselves while reading through the sort of information found in this article here, and in the text on SAG [6].

All of that information is provided without pushing any sales on the visitors, without obscene flashing lights, and all as easily readable as possible. The information is unique, useful, and practical.

As well as that, SAG provides practical information for people investigating Arbitrage. It provides information on Bookmakers, E-wallets and alert services. It has the *only* comprehensive listing of all of the alert services online [7], and it presents them all in an unbiased, non-sales-laden way. The information is once again unique, useful, practical, and above all else it is appreciated by a great number of people. No one who visits SAG and uses it thinks that SAG is a spam website, yet people who are interested in learning about Sports Arbitrage Betting all think that SAG is the best website they have found.

Last but not least, SAG provides the *only* Sports Arbitrage Betting dedicated news blog [8] with a history of providing useful, and insightful news pertaining to the sports arbitrage industry.

Can someone please explain to me how having a link to the most relevant website online with regards to Sports Arbitrage Betting is out of place in the "External Links" section of the wikipedia entry on 'Sports Arbitrage Betting'? And if you can do that, then please follow up with an explanation for how is still appropriate. Aegist 10:22, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Please stop spamming your website link in this article. You have repeatedly vandalized the other link and added your link above any other link. Wkipedia is not a place to promote your website, and besides WP:SPAM it is a conflict of interest for you to do so. Please read the two links as your actions are clearly prohibited by both guidelines. If you think your site merits a link, suggest that here and perhaps someone will add it... but not by vandalizing the other link or by adding it to the top of the list. 2005 12:21, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
OK, Consider this that discussion then. Obviously I am not a wikipedia veteran, and I added the link in the first place because I knew it was relevant. I only figured out how this discussion page worked today because it was annoying me that someone was calling SAG link-spam over and over again when I think any reasonable look will find that it is not. So sorry, for doing it the wrong way to start with. Also note that I didn't add it to the top every time, and I had no malicious intent towards the other link. I was simply trying to figure out why SAG was being removed, and the other link wasn't.
I will remove the link myself now, and allow someone else to add it, or else at least present an argument as to why the most arbitrage betting relevant website online shouldn't be referenced in this article. Aegist 13:20, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
2005, stop it. It is a good informative link from the article. What is your agenda here? Or do you plan on just continuing to delete it without actually explaining why, and reporting people to the admins who act contrary to YOUR choice? God complex or something... John0912 (talk) 08:15, 10 April 2010 (UTC)
Whilst very informative, SAG is obviously a commercial website, geared towards making money from visitors and referrals, so I can see their point. In Aegist's support I could also note that links to any newspaper website (or indeed any website?) take the visitor to a commercial website to which the above comments would equally apply. Perhaps we should be thankful that Alan Seymour does not have his own link! SlipperyJim (talk) 09:15, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

And I don't get it why got removed as a link. I use that resource everyday for sports arbitrage. It is a good example of arbitrage betting and it is also free. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pm1337 (talkcontribs) 07:16, 2 August 2010 (UTC)


There is something wrong with the table. I fixed it once but it was changed back in a few days... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:01, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

As they stand, the figures here don't seem to make any sense to me. Surely the math looks like this, right?

outlay: $130 ( $100 stake to b1, $30 to b2 )

outcome 1: b1 pays $130, b2 pays $0 ( break even )

outcome 2: b1 pays $0, b2 pays $90 ( $40 _loss_ )

Has someone been dicking with the numbers?

- 06:06, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Sports Arbitrage[edit]

I think there are several errors with the explanation

Firstly the point of the Sports Arbitrage is to find games where the Bookies odds for all the outcomes add up to less than 1 (a certainty). This discrepency is where the money is made. If the sum of all the outcomes i.e. win, lose, or draw is less than one then that must mean that there is a probability for another type of outcome - the arbitrage. Of course this probability has no physical meaning it is the result of incorrect odds being applied to the game.

If in the example given

Bookmaker1 Bookmaker2
Outcome1 1.3 1.5
Outcome2 4.3 3

The probabilities for a Bookmaker B of Outcome O are given by

For (Bookmaker 1, Outcome 1) and (Bookmaker 2, Outcome 2) which is the example given in the text

So there is no arbitrage for the example given!

There is however an arbitrage for (Bookmaker 1, Outcome2) and (Bookmaker 2, Outcome 1)

For the punter there are 2 possible outcomes and each outcome gives a return R for a stake S. We want to know what stakes are required to generate the same return on each outcome - a no loss situation!

multiply out and simplifying we get

For a Stake = £100, put £74.14 on Outcome 1 with Bookmaker 2 and put £25.86 on Outcome 2 with Bookmaker 1.

If Outcome 1 occurs:

Return = (1.5 - 1)*74.14 - 25.86

      = £11.20

If Outcome 2 occurs: Return = (4.3 - 1)*25.86 - 74.14

      = £11.20


Did anyone like my Arbitrage Calculator that has been linked from here for about 6 months. It was recently deleted, and I'm not sure why. Maybe because it has ads on the site?

Anyway, if you want to check it out, it is at

Q. does this topic seem to be a little negative[edit]

It's just a question, but having read this topic it seems to take a negative stance towards Arbitrage Betting. I have used sports arbitrages for over a year and succesfully found enough sports arbitrages to make a decent continued profit.

One the risk front, I know that odds can change but you learn to work around this by lining up your bets all at once. With regards to Bookmakers not paying, I've never had this problem but I'd like to hear from anyone who has as this is serious.

The other point is how much money needed to make a decent return. This comes down to two points, firstly the return of each arbitrage. I usually play arbs that yeild 4% or more. I find at least one daily. I also use a stake of £2000. I don't play over the weekend unless a really good arb comes up. Over the course of one month I double my stake, which I think it pretty healthy and gives a solid annual income.

I do accept that there is risk, mostly from human error, but by the same tolken I think there is merit in arbitrage betting and this should be expressed in the editorial tone.

While I don't exactly want to encourage people to try arbitrage betting I also don't think that putting people off is a good thind either. Wiki should be a little more balanced.

Its just my opinion but what does everyone think?

I think that you're Alan Seymour! Do you really expect us to believe that you can find a 4% arb every day (100% return is 4% every day for 25 days after all, with payment the next day!) with bookies who will let you bet £1,000 each way (or £700 three ways) and not call a palp or cancel because they smell an arb? You must be betting on matches playing over a very short timescale (next day?) which is unbelievable. Do you expect an experienced arber to risk so much money on each leg when the risk of the bookie declaring a palpable error is so high at 4%? I have had bookies cheerfully cancel bets of several hundred pounds during play when it was impossible for me to offload, deliberately to torpedo me. When you lose a whole leg like that it takes you a lot of arbs at 2%-3% to make it up -do the arithmetic.
One bookie reneged on my bet and cancelled my account without telling me -I only found out when I tried to log in and called to find out what was up. If you've really been arbing for a year you'll have had bookies cancel your bets, limit your bets to small single figures and even cancel your account altogether. One book took 6 months to pay out £1,000 I had with them at £100 at a time. How many normal punters bet £1,000 on a match? You must be like a flaming beacon to the traders at all the books. The phrase you use: "Solid annual income" sounds straight out of Alan's promotional videos!
(Alan Seymour by the way is a fictional character portrayed by an actor in "instructional" videos to convince people to start arbing and pay for particular arb services. He used to look like this: but now looks like this:
SlipperyJim (talk) 10:02, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Update: Jan 2nd, 10:31 GMT: I did make an update with two external links containing free Sports Arbitrage calculator which after edit seemed inappropriate for the article page. They are BetRiskFree and Sports-Arbitrage-Calculator I use both often due to the fact that it is good practise to check all odds even if you use an email alert service too.

Alexone234 11:36, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Please stop adding links to these calculators. Lots of them exist, and the article mentions that fact. 2005 11:40, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Fair enough. I just though they were pertinent. As I explained, I find the editorial tone of this topic negative when it need not be. It should be precautionary but not negative. Alexone234 17:36, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Can bookmakers really do that?? Cancelling your bets just like that? Isn't there some regulations around it? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:25, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Merging "Arbitrage betting" and "Dutch book"[edit]

It looks like these two articles are discussing the same concept, and neither is very long, so I think they should be merged. Thoughts? (For now, I've linked the articles to each other via "see also".) MrVoluntarist 13:42, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

In economics, Dutch books can include any series of trades, not only trades of lotteries. The fact that intransitive preferences allow Dutch-booking is central to the conceptual importance of Dutch books. Since this isn't encompassed by arbitrage betting, I would support the merge if the resulting article title is "Dutch book," but not the other way around. Jeremy Tobacman 01:31, 24 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm not so sure. "Dutch book" refers to a state that must exist in order for a type of arbitrage to take place. The article title, however, should be the type of arbitrage discussed therein. MrVoluntarist 21:27, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Casey Mulligan's paper uses an example of a Dutch book without uncertainty; so does this paper by David Laibson and Leeat Yariv. Jeremy Tobacman 08:07, 26 April 2007 (UTC)
I think it is better the way it is now. Arbitrage betting seems quite nice and well-written article to me (of course, some things could be added). I do not think the merge would improve the quality of either of these two articles. --Kompik 20:47, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't matter if one is well-written. If they're discussing the same thing, they should merge so as to avoid duplication. MrVoluntarist 21:27, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Don't merge Dutch book, since it is a statistics and economics term. --SE16 17:02, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

I think they should remain separate. 09:40, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

It seems like the consensus is that the articles should not be merged. Would anyone mind if I removed the suggested merge tag? Rray 04:25, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Refimprove tag[edit]

I tagged this article for citations. Right now there are a couple of external links, but the article really needs to include multiple citations from reliable sources. Rray (talk) 23:12, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

The main problem is that there simply are no real resources on this topic. It is something of an underground movement made by people who have no interest in letting other know about what they are doing. SAG is actually the only really reliable source online, and there is one book that I know of on the topic. (talk) 04:37, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
If that's the case, it doesn't belong in an encyclopedia. See WP:V and WP:OR. Rray (talk) 04:38, 29 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I disagree with's "only one book" comment. Obviosly, there is a lot of material on this topic, see [9] [10]. However, it will need a lot of work to add the inline citations. (I would start with it, but I am rather busy right now. But since the tag has been here since 2007, it's probably not that urgent.) --Kompik (talk) 16:22, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Arbitrage in practice[edit]

What's that about? This isn't a place to get tips. -- (talk) 22:55, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

These aren't tips; they are balancing remarks to the oft-stated claim that sports arbitrage is "risk free". Wikipedia is well-placed to correct misconceptions held by users intrigued by what they've read or heard and check out the Wikipedia entry on the subject. Robma (talk) 15:57, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Lack of citations throughout[edit]

This whole article is full of statements which really, really need backing up. I'm a sports arber myself, and some of the content seems to reflect personal experience/opinion rather than verifiable fact. At the very least it needs citations to support many of its claims. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 3 July 2012 (UTC)

Utter Codswallop Removed[edit]

I have removed the following text from the article because it is utter codswallop, obviously the opinion of a half-wit who has no clue. ==>

A typical arbitrage profit is around 2 percent, often less; however 4-5 percent profit is occasionally obtained, and sometimes even 20 percent.[citation needed] Arbitrage betting involves relatively large sums of money (stakes are bigger than in normal betting), due to large sums of money being required to generate a decent profit. It is usually detected quickly by bookmakers. Arbitrage betting is almost always insufficiently profitable due to detection, hackers, unreliable betting websites, limiting of stakes, and the use of high percentage arbitrages to trick bettors into giving security details.

Bookmakers generally disapprove of betting arbitrage, and restrict or close the accounts of those who they suspect of engaging in arbitrage betting. Although arbitrage betting has existed since the beginnings of bookmaking, the rise of the Internet, odds-comparison websites and betting exchanges have made the practice easier to perform. On the other hand, these changes also made it easier for bookmakers to keep their odds in line with the market, because arbitrage bettors are basically acting as market makers.

The best way of generating profit via sports arbitrage, which has been established in Britain, consists of highly experienced "key men" employing others to place bets on their behalf, so as to avoid detection and increase accessibility to retail bookmakers. This allows the financiers or key arbitragers to stay at a computer to keep track of market movement.

Arbitrage is an extremely fast-paced process and its successful performance requires lots of time, experience, dedication and discipline, and especially liquidity.


To consider why it's stoo-pid, just look at the last paragraph. It would obviously be equally, or in my opinion more, plausible to say "Successful arbitrage is generally done by specialists in other fields who have long considered a situation and see an unusual opportunity. Unlike specialists who work frantically by the day for peanuts, they are often able to make profits of thousands of percent of their investment by taking advantage of detailed study and relaxed reflection."

David Lloyd-Jones (talk) 09:39, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Hmm! -David Lloyd-Jones edits and disappears -this user no longer exists. Personally I find little to fault in the passage he has chopped out of the main section and don't know what he's going on about in his comment. Is he also Alan Seymour? SlipperyJim (talk) 15:23, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
The account still exists and was active recently. Despite saying "I have removed the following text from the article", I can't see that any such edit was ever made; the text is still there today. The "best way" advice does seem quite weak without a source to back it up. --McGeddon (talk) 15:36, 9 May 2014 (UTC)