What are Sure Bets?
Sure Bets are part of the Arbitrage system which is derived from the financial market.
The Arbitrage system allows you to take advantage of the imbalance between two or more markets. You might recognise the term from Forex trading which takes advantage of currency exchange rates.
So how can this work with betting? By finding odds which provide you with a margin that benefit different outcomes, you are guaranteed a win. This might sound easy, but it really requires you to do your research carefully.
Explaining how this system works might get a little complicated, but we want our site to make sense to both the betting beginner as well as the pro, so we have tried to break this system down into simple examples.
Luckily the betting arbitrage system is a little easier to explain than its financial equivalent.
Arbitrage comes from the French for 'arbitre' which means referee or umpire
About Sure Bets
Sure Bets or Arbitrage, which it is often called, is a system which takes advantage of the difference between the betting sites’ odds. The theory is predicated on the idea that you are guaranteed a profit regardless of the outcome because the odds form a margin in your favour.
The theory requires you to bet on diverging outcomes if you find that the odds allow you to make more than your original investment back, with a profit, if either of the outcomes occur.
The method - which we will go into more detail about below - was once reserved for only the most dedicated betting experts but the advent of the internet made it much easier, and less conspicuous to perform arbitrage.
Nowadays, betting sites often copy the odds from the Asian markets which means that almost all the betting sites offer similar odds. So nowadays you really need to be dedicated, devote a lot of time and have an incredible grasp of mathematics to pull this off. There are a number of websites and software available that can point you in the right direction and help you find Sure Bets.
Djokovic playing tennis. The sport is popular for Sure Bets as there can only be one winner in a tennis match. Football games, for example, can end in a draw.
Types of sure bets
There are many different names for Sure Bets: safe bets, secure odds and arbitrage bets. However, they all mean the same thing; you find different odds in some different markets to make a profit, regardless of how the match ends you will win.
So, a typical sure bet will require you to bet on both teams to win a match.
This is easier said than done and there are many factors that you need to be aware of before you chase a Sure Bet. Something, for example, that you should be mindful of, is that several betting sites have banned Sure Betting.
No European betting site, for example, will allow Sure Bets or arbitration betting. Here is an example of how a betting company might express this in their terms & conditions regarding arbitrage:
“We declare that a bet or investment is either completely or partially invalid (and/or will close the account) if we believe that arbitrage has occurred:”
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How do Sure Bet Odds work?
To understand the logic of sure betting, you need to first overcome ideas that seem completely illogical.
Like betting against yourself, let us explain:
All betting sites earn their money by taking a margin of the odds they are offering. For example, if a betting site believes that there is a 50% chance of an outcome, the correct odds would be 1/1, but in order to earn money, they will offer 9/10 instead. Obvious right? Everyone knows the odds are stacked in the favour of the bookie. Let's continue...
The betting site will then try to balance the investments on both sides of a bet by adjusting the odds so that they can earn money, whatever the outcome of a match. With Sure Bets you are following the same logic.
Sure Bets work by ensuring that betting with two different betting sites which have different odds on a match provide you with the margin rather than the betting sites.
To break it down we have used an example with a match which has at least two outcomes. Tennis player A and tennis player B as well as betting site 1 and betting site 2.
Tennis player A
Tennis player B
Betting site 1
Betting site 2
Here is an excellent opportunity to bet with a Sure Bet. If you place a £100 on player B at 1/1 and £90 on player A at 6/5 you will have a guaranteed profit of £8.
So, let's break this down further:
- You bet £100 on tennis player B with betting site 1
- You bet £90 on tennis player A with betting site 2
Tennis player A wins.
- You lose your £100 with betting site 1.
- You win with your £90 with betting site 2. The odds with betting site 2 were 6/5. so, £90 at 6/5 = £198.
- So, you lose £100 with betting site 1. You get your £90 stake back with betting site 2 and you win £108. Your total profit is £8.
Tennis player B wins.
- You lose your £90 with betting site 2.
- You win your £100 bet at odds of 1/1 with betting site 1. So you get your £100 stake back and win £100.
- So, having spent £190 and received your £100 stake back and £100 in winnings you have ended up with £10 in profit.
If tennis player A wins you get £10 and if tennis player B wins you will get £8. As you can see, you win regardless of the outcome. Win-Win, right?
It's important to understand that this was just an example and it can be very hard to find betting sites that offer such different odds on a tennis match. As you can see, it is ‘only’ a £8 to £10 profit on an obvious Sure Bet, with a total investment of £190. This example may appear straight forward but remember it requires a very high level of investment or a large volume of Sure Bets in order to be able to earn money. Please, bet responsibly!
It also requires time to find these odds. For simplicity's sake we used betting site 1 and 2 but it would have been more accurate to say betting site 14 and betting site 29 as you'll really have to look at a lot of betting sites before you can find an opportunity like this. Most bookies have very similar odds these days, so it is not as easy as it used to be.
It is also important to remember that many bookies operating under a certain brand are part of a larger group, which contains many betting sites in its portfolio and will have access to their odds and bets places. This means it will be unlikely that you will find odds for opposing outcomes that will result in a sure bet. And, if you do they'll know about it.
How do you find reliable Sure Bets?
- Open up all the betting sites in different tabs and compare odds for the same event.
- Use software or websites specifically designed to identify sure bets.
There are a number of different ways you can find Sure Bets. You can do the hard work and click on each betting site to find the odds which will give you a margin in your favour for various outcomes. The easiest way though is to use websites and software designed to help you find Sure bets. Some are free but some cost money, the quality of this software and websites tend to vary considerably. Many websites that offer free services for finding Sure Bets often have a time lag on its odds, which means that the odds have to be adjusted when you click on the betting site.
We really recommend you think twice if you are considering buying a service which offers Sure Bets. These services are often expensive and require you to invest very large amounts with your bets in order to be able to be pay off the services costs. On top of this, Sure Bets have very small margins and usually you will only earn 5% of your original investment.
The risks associated with not-really-that-sure bets
So far we have named a number of different advantages with Sure Bets and naturally, it sounds tempting to earn money in a secure way. But using Sure Bets is anything but certain nowadays and there are a number of risks you need to be aware of before you use arbitrage betting.
- Betting restrictions and limitations
Most betting sites have restrictions on how big your bet can be. This means that one betting site could accept £500 whereas another one could take £100. This could create a problem when you use Sure Bets.
For example, you can bet £500 on betting site 1 and then place £500 with betting site 2. However, when you are placing a bet with betting site 2 you only then receive the information that you can’t bet the amount that you want after you have placed your first bet. This means that you won’t have the opportunity to make a profit with this bet by using the Sure Bet system. Sure Bets often require large bets in order for you to be able to earn money, so when a betting site doesn’t allow you to bet more than a certain amount, then this will be a problem and a restriction for your arbitrage betting.
It is also possible for betting sites to restrict your betting as an individual. This means that you can - without warning - be restricted to, for example, £5 per bet which is not good if you are in trying to place a Sure Bet.
- Voided bet
Sometimes you can find odds from certain betting sites which stand out from other betting sites. If this happens then it may be a good opportunity to Sure Bet. The problem can be that: if you place a bet on certain odds, the betting site can withdraw your bet afterwards if they consider them to be the wrong odds. This might sound strange but it really does happen. You should be aware that betting sites have the right to do void a bet. So, if you have bet on odds that are considered incorrect in retrospect then they will take back your winnings. At the same time, you will not be able to get back your money from the other betting site in which you have a placed a bet in order to secure a Sure Bet.
- Changing odds
Another problem for those who want to use Sure Bets is that odds can change. The betting site can adjust their odds in a matter of seconds and a Sure Bet is rarely available for more than a minute. If you place a £100 with betting site 1 and then click on betting site 2 in order to place another £100 bet, then the odds could well have changed in those few seconds and your opportunity of securing a Sure Bet is lost. In this instance you will already have placed a £100 bet and will have no opportunity to secure it as guaranteed profit, all you can do then is to try and minimize your loss.
The fact is that most betting sites do not allow Sure Bets. It can be difficult for betting sites to know whether you have placed a bet on the same match with another betting site in order to commit arbitrage. However, if it becomes apparent that this has happened - which is not entirely unlikely as it may be the same provider used by both sites - you can be banned from the site and have your winnings withdrawn. Our tip is to visit the site's terms and conditions and work out if the betting site allows arbitrage betting.
Betting sites for Sure Bets
It is only really betting sites in the Asian market that allow Sure Bets that don’t limit you as a punter. Pinnacle, SBOBet and Betfair are three betting sites that are useful if you want to use Sure Betting. However, finding Sure Bets in the Asian market is very difficult. The betting sites in Asia almost always have the same odds which make it very difficult to find differences in odds. In order to be able to bet using Sure Bets, you will need an account with many different betting sites in order to find odds that stand out.