Risk free betting and arbitrage

By | January 16, 2014


risk free betting guideRisk Free Betting and Arbitrage

The idea of risk free betting is exactly that, take the risk out of betting, ensure that you get a result every time and beat the bookie in the process. Is this really possible? Surely whenever you place a bet there is a gamble and a risk that something will go wrong? Even if you are using brilliant football betting systems, there is always a risk that a strong favourite will lose and winning streaks come to an end eventually don’t they?

Well, with arbitrage betting, careful planning and the ability to get bets placed quickly, there is a way to ensure that your bet is completely risk free. This must be the Holy Grail for every punter. Sit back and enjoy the match, knowing that you are going to make a profit whatever the result!

How does risk free betting work?

The beauty of the market is that different bookies predict different outcomes and therefore they offer different odds on the same game.

A canny punter can take advantage of this and beat the bookie, but it is a time intensive exercise so the use of arbitrage betting software or getting help from specialist websites is recommended. (See below for some helpful links).

When you find the appropriate opportunity, placing a risk free bet will mean that you are guaranteed to make a profit, but don’t get carried away – the profits are not always that big as the bookies tend to take reasonably similar views on the likely outcomes. Having said that, a small but guaranteed profit must be better than losing a huge profit in the last minute because of an unexpected goal!

Example of Risk Free Betting

Suppose that you were able to find the following odds available:

Tottenham v Ajax Amsterdam


Type of Bet 1 Home Win X Draw 2 Away Win
Odds 2.18 3.75 4
Bookie Bookie 1 Bookie 2 Bookie 3


This game presents an excellent opportunity for a risk free bet.

Suppose that you have £1,000.00 available to spend.

  • If you bet £470.29 @ 2.18 on Tottenham, you will get back £1,025.24 if they win.
  • If you bet £273.40 @ 3.75 on the draw, you will get back £1,025.25 if it is a draw.
  • If you bet £256.31 on Valencia, you will get back £1,025.24 if they win.

This means that you have bet £1,000.00, but whatever the result, you are guaranteed to make a profit of £25.24.

This risk free bet means that you are certain to make a 2.5% profit whatever happens. How many other forms of investment can give that sort of return inside 90 minutes?

This is an example of a pretty low profit, as we want to be realistic and not give the idea that arbitrage sports betting is the path to untold wealth, but there are often much better profits available if you place the bets quickly.

Working out how much you should place on the different odds is really important and we recommend using an arbitrage calculator like the ones provided by OddStorm.


Are there any downsides to Risk Free Betting?

Firstly, bookies do not like sports arbitrage bets, because they prefer the punter to have the risk of losing.

If they know that the punter is going to beat the bookie, the purpose of being a bookmaker has gone! Obviously, in the example above, 2 out of the 3 bookies are actually going to win, so why should they care as they still make a profit.

In practice, they know that if someone is good at risk free betting, they will beat the bookie eventually, so bookies will often either close accounts or set financial limits on people that they suspect of using arbitrage.

The way to avoid this is to slightly round up or down your bet, so that you are betting a round number. This is less likely to arouse suspicion with the bookie and reduce the chances of you having your account closed.

Secondly, you have to be quick when you find an arbitrage opportunity. The bookies are monitoring the same websites as we are. When they notice that they are a potential target for someone looking to place a risk free bet, they will change the odds quickly.

There are lots of websites offering arbitrage tips and they offer different levels of service. Often the free tips are up to 20 minutes old and have already been changed by the time you place your bet. Paying for one of the premium services will meant that you have more time to place the bets before they are taken down.

When you are making an arbitrage bet;

  • Login into each bookmakers website and locate the bet,
  • Make sure that your account is funded with enough money to place the bet that you need,
  • Only when you are sure that each bookmaker is funded AND that the bets at the right odds are still available should you place the bets.

Thirdly, you need to be able to fund all of your different bookmakers accounts easily and move money between them as appropriate. The most convenient way to do this is by using Skrill. This is easy and convenient to use and takes a lot of the hassle out of moving money about when placing a risk free bet.


The 7 most common risk free betting errors made by novices

How can I find out about risk free bets?

We have used the following websites to locate good risk free bets. They all have different options regarding premium and free services so check out each one to see what you can find.

My Arbets – This is a simple to use site with links to the relevant bookies and a very helpful and convenient calculator to help you work out how much to bet depending on the size of your own bank

Oddsmeter – They give tips on football, tennis and basketball matches all over the world. There is a useful indicator on the site to show if the odds are going up or down.

Bet Brain – Another simple to use surebets site. There is a 20-minute delay with the free tips so watch out that you get your bets on quickly. The premium service is faster than that.

Odds Portal – This is a very thorough and detailed website looking at lots of different aspects of odds available in the market. Click on the sure bets page to find risk free betting opportunities. There is also a really helpful live scores page to follow matches as they are taking place.

These are some examples of good risk free betting sites, but if you find any other sites worth reviewing, please leave a comment below.

Check out Bet Champion’s Profitable Betting System

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