What is an Arbitrage Bet, Surebet or Arb?
In an arbitrage bet or surebet you will bet on all outcomes of the game for a sure win. In a value bet you only bet on one outcome of the game. Thus the risk is higher, but so is the potential reward. A typical arbitrage bet is typically around 1%. In theory arbitrage bets are great, but in practice there are a couple of elements that makes them less appealing. E.g. the odds changing after you have placed one side of the bet or that the bookmaker voids the bet (palpable error). Both of these would lead to the surewin no longer existing. If you loose that bet, it will take you a lot of arbitrage bets to make up for the losses. Also, the number of arbitrage opportunities are less frequent as the odds needs to be high on all of the game’s outcomes. Because of this it is also a lot easier for bookmakers to identify and limit arbitrage bettors than value bettors.
What is a Value Bet?
Value bets are typically between 1-5%. However, the largest value bet recorded with Trademate was 182 % ! Valuebets occur far more frequently than arbitrage bets, because there only has to be deviations in odds on one outcome of the game. This means that you can get in several hundred bets/trades per week. Which again implies that you can get in a higher overall turnover and a higher compounded growth. The downside is that there is more variance, so the ups and downswings are larger. This is best mitigated by reducing the odds range and stake size.
You can read more about value bets in these three articles:
The Pros and Cons of Arbitrage vs Value Betting
- You can read more about the pros and cons of matched betting, arbitrage betting and value betting in this article.
- While this article covers the practical experience with what works and what does not with arbitrage betting vs value betting by Vida, a guest contributor to the Trademate Blog.