Introduction to sports arbitrage

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ARB107: Should I arb? Will I be successful?

We would like to say that sports arbitrage trading is suitable for absolutely everybody – unfortunately it is not. In order to be successful, you must:

  1. commit to read, appreciate and fully understand the basic concepts and more advanced strategies of sports arbitrage;
  2. dedicate at least 2 hours per night to be ‘available to arb’;
  3. be controlled, structured and methodical; and
  4. be able to think on your feet.

We will now discuss each of these traits in more detail:

  1. Commit to read, appreciate and fully understand the basic concepts and more advanced strategies of sports arbitrage

Sports arbitrage trading is very simple and 99% of arbs will be the easiest money you will ever make. However, there are times when things don’t go according to plan and you need to be aware of why it went wrong, what funds you have at risk, and how to fix the situation to eliminate the risk.

Accordingly, sports arbitrage is not for people who rope learn or blindly follow instructions. A good arber will appreciate and fully understand all concepts such that they can adapt their behaviour should the situation require. Much of this learning will come from our lessons and through paper-trading so there’s nothing to worry about, you just need to be aware of this prerequisite.

  1. Dedicate at least 2 hours per night to be ‘available to arb’

The profit derived from sports arbitrage is directly proportional to the time spent and effort put into arbing. If you aren’t willing to dedicate a few hours per day to arbing then it might be best that you postpone this until you are able to do so.

As discussed elsewhere on our website, being ‘available to arb’ does not mean staring at a computer screen, it means having an alert service running on a computer nearby and being available to drop everything and trade an arb when the alert service beeps at you. The act of trading each arb takes under 5 minutes.

  1. Be controlled, structured and methodical

You can undertake arbing at any time during the day, but most Australians will find that the largest volume of arbs occur late evening/early morning. This is because arbs typically arise a few hours before European/USA matches begin.

Therefore, arbing in Australian time-zones will mean that you need to be systematic, controlled and methodical in order to avoid mistakes. This is particularly important at the start of your arbing experience because that is when you are most susceptible to making mistakes.

  1. Be able to think on your feet

Once an arb is alerted to you, you need to evaluate within seconds whether or not the odds are accurate that the arb is valid. If an arb is valid then you need to place the bets as fast as possible (within a few minutes) in order to guarantee the profit before the arb disappears.

In addition, should issues arise then you need to be able to react quickly and determine the appropriate steps to take in order to eliminate any risks.

The above character traits may not be a perfect match to you, but you needn’t be worried so long as you are willing to spend some time and work on that aspect. Starting out in sports arbitrage really isn’t that hard, but there is a steep learning curve.

Bear in mind that 90% of the learning happens in the paper-trading stage while you have no costs or risks, and Sports Arbitrage Australia advises not to start ‘real-money’ arbing until you are entirely comfortable with the processes and systems, in order to minimise mistakes.

Long-term career arbers

Not many arbers will continue their experience past the quick money, easy first months. There is no shame in quitting while you are thousands of dollars ahead!

However, for those people considering an arbing career then, in addition to the above traits, you will require an enhanced ability to learn, rapid analysis skills, advanced mathematic skills for arbing without calculators, a heightened intuition, and technological proficiency. The life of a successful arber after the early phase takes a different path.