A Professional Approach To Sports Arbitrage Betting

The vast majority of people that get involved in sports arbitrage betting or any other form of gambling do so without any real plan or strategy. It’s a cliché but it is true:

If you fail to plan then you plan to fail.

The easiest way to think about this is as a business. If you were running this as a business how would you do it?

Would you come home from the pub after a few pints and start placing bets?

Would you keep records of all your bets or just try and make a mental note of them?

Would you take a note, review and analyze what went wrong or just forget about it?

Unfortunately the majority of people that embark on any type of betting fail to do any of the above. No wonder then that the majority of people lose money. Ask yourself this question:

Is there any reason why you should be less professional in your approach than a bookmaker?

Of course there isn’t.

Record Keeping

One of the easiest things you can do to improve your chances of long-term profitability is record keeping. I believe that record keeping is the gambler’s secret weapon. This applies not just to sports arbitrage but ALL betting and gambling. Record keeping forces you to review what you did so you can easily find out what went well and what went wrong.

How can you learn from mistakes when you don’t remember what you did wrong?

Most sports arbitrage betting opportunities have a margin of between 2% and 5%. As I have already mentioned, the key to success therefore is turnover. You will probably be making a large number of bets every week with a number of different bookmakers, possibly using a few different deposit methods. If you don’t keep a record of what you are doing, wins, losses, deposits, withdrawals, bonuses etc. it will be very difficult to say with certainty where your money is. Not a good idea for anyone.

Be organized. The devil is truly in the details.


These days it is easy (for me) to assume that everyone has the same level of technology in their homes. I have a ridiculous amount of IT equipment in my house although that is not necessary to run a successful sports arbitrage project. Taking a professional approach in relation to the equipment that you are using does not mean expensive.

The minimum you will need is:

  • A modern, fairly up-to-date computer – Some relic running on Windows 98 probably won’t do.
  • A broadband connection – It does not have to be the fastest in the world. It does however have to be reliable; the cheapest option is not always the best. Dial up is out.
  • Screens – You can never have too many screens! I personally have 3 and find it invaluable. It would be hugely frustrating to have to go back to just one. More screens make it far easier to see what you are doing with each bookie, especially when placing the bets. If you don’t want to have multiple screens, then have one large one that allows you to view lots of information.


Without discipline you are doomed to failure. Again, ask yourself how a bookmaker would behave. Would they chase their losses when a result goes against them?

Should you chase your losses if you have a bet voided?

The vast majority of bookmakers out there are professionally run companies who know what they are doing and adopt a disciplined business approach in every thing they do.

To beat them you need to be as professional in your approach as they are.

Read the article “What If The Odds Change?” to know your steps when odds change.