Note – the video introductions may take some time to load as they are 6MB to 10MB
VIDEO INTRODUCTION I
VIDEO INTRODUCTION II
VIDEO INTRODUCTION III
CONS TO AVOID
MY CURRENT SET-UP
MY TRADING JOURNALS & VIDEOS
There are numerous arbitrage sports betting subscription services available on the net, each with their own way of doing things. Over the past couple of years I’ve used most of them at one time or another and I continue to use a small number of them. I’ve categorised them into three entry levels: Basic, Intermediate and Professional and the type that may be appropriate for you will depend on your level of experience and the level of trading activity that you think you will be involved in. Some services provide several thousand each month, whilst others manage less than 50 per month. Therefore, it’s quite important that you match your requirements with the right service. Otherwise you will either be inundated with arbs or starved. Either way you’re going to be very frustrated.
Of course, my reviews are largely subjective because they are based solely upon my own personal experience. However, there is one aspect of each review that is objective and which is perhaps the most important measurement: the bottom line. That is, how much I personally made (or continue to make) with each service. I’ve included this profit analysis in greater detail in my accounts, which I will update every quarter.
The reviews use a star-rating system where 5 stars means excellent and 1 star means atrocious. The headings I’ve chosen to rate are:
|Excellent||Very Good||Acceptable||Poor||Very Poor|
1. BASIC LEVEL SERVICES
These services are suitable only for the absolute beginner. The first three are free and the other two are inexpensive. The overall quality of these services is extremely low & you will almost certainly not make any profits using them. They appear to be subject to a time delay which means that the odds have usually changed by the time you receive your notification. However, they will provide some education and a chance for you to get used to your processes and the bookmaker websites. This will surely pay dividends in the future.
|U CAN’T LOSE||****||**||**||*||***||**|
Betbrain, Odds Exchange & Tip-Ex
The first three services are exactly what you would expect for free. The information is seldom current and the support levels are very low. However, the information you will receive will show you where arbs tend to crop up and this is very valuable when you’re starting out and have little or no idea where to start looking.
This company offers a guaranteed minimum of 25 arbs per month depending on the number of sporting events in play.
They appear to have a “clone” at www.riskfreebetting.org but I’m told by the folk at ArbHunters that the site is an illegitimate copy, so one would probably be best off steering clear of them, as second-hand arbitrage information is a waste of time.
Three delivery options are available:
1. Arb alerts to SMS: £50/month
Arb alerts are sent immediately to your mobile phone via an SMS text message. Each message contains all of the details required to place your bets.
This service is actually close to useless as you will never be able to place your arbs using a mobile phone. Although the idea of an SMS to notify you is attractive in theory, the fact is that if you are not at your PC when the arb comes through, you have no chance of betting on it successfully.
2. Arb alerts to email: £30/month
Arb alerts are sent immediately to you via email.
This is the most useful method of delivery although it may mean that you miss a number of arbs if you are not at your desktop at the time they arrive. But this is a restriction that applies to all arb services.
3. Access to the Members Area: £10/month
Subscribers to the first two options have access to the private Members Area where the latest 5 arbs are displayed. You can, alternatively, just subscribe to the Members Area and work the five latest arbs using the tools provided. The Members Area has an odds converter (UK, European, U.S., percent), an arb calculator and a currency converter.
You will gain some understanding of where to look for arbs by using this service. However, don’t expect to actually bet on any of the arbs successfully. There is some delay between the arb being located by the people who run the service, them sending it out to SMS and email subscribers and then posting it in the members’ area. On top of that, if you do not refresh your screen at the right time, you have no way of knowing that a new arb is available.
When I used this service, I opted for the email subscription and managed a small profit most months.
This is a relatively new site which provides a very basic service at a very low price. The fee is just £2 per month or £20 for the whole year, and of course, you get what you pay for.
The arbs are definitely sourced manually rather than by software and some of the bookmakers used are not ones that I would choose to have accounts with. You can expect to receive 5-10 workable arbs per month (plus up to 100 unworkable ones), usually quite small in their profit percentage (i.e between 1% and 2%) and, in almost every case, the professional services will beat them to the information. For me, unworkable arbs are those which involve bookmakers I don’t trust or deal with, arrive late or are errors.
It also seems that whoever sends out the arbs is also betting on them first. This is not surprising given how cheap the service is but it does mean that you will struggle to make any significant money using this information alone.
I “stuck my neck out” with this one and sent £20 for a year’s membership.
2. INTERMEDIATE LEVEL SERVICES
Once you feel comfortable with the actual arbitrage process and have become proficient in finding your way around the bookmaker’s sites, you may wish to progress to the intermediate level. These services provide you with supposedly real-time information that changes as and when the odds change on each individual bookmaker’s site. This should give you a better chance of getting your bets on with the relevant bookmakers before the odds change.
Odds Exchange (Pay Service)
This service is apparently an off-shoot of the company’s main business of odds-comparison. The site is very professionally presented so I was more than a little disappointed to find that the actual value of the paid-service is minimal. You get access to a nice user-interface, where you can choose the bookmakers that you have accounts with. The main problem seems to be the frequency with which they update their database of odds.
When I wrote in to them to ask why their updates were so infrequent, they told me that the arb service is updated more frequently that their other odds-comparison services but that the amount of data that needs to be gathered and processed (from 81 bookmakers) is too large to allow real-time updates. In my opinion, it’s shameful that they don’t make this clear on their site because this is critical information for anyone purchasing an arbitrage service.
Another problem with this service is that their software sometimes mixes up matches to create seemingly large arbs which are actually not arbs at all. A good example of this is when they show arbs in F1 – usually it’s just because they have mixed bets on the Qualifiers and the Race, so if you were to act on the advice, you would potentially have two losing bets on your hands.
They offer a 3-day trial for €5 (about £3) so it’s worth checking them out for yourself as you may have a different experience to mine. Unfortunately, I dived straight in with an annual subscription and although it was only €249 (about £150) I think I’ll struggle to make the money back from the arbs they send me.
WARNING: Oddsexchange.com are now affiliated with hedgesyn.com and send out mailings to their client-list trying to convince them to invest in the fund. Please click here to read my warning about this before sending any money over to them.
Unfortunately, Arbbest no longer offer an arbitrage advisory service.
3. PROFESSIONAL LEVEL SERVICES
At the professional level, the prices go up and so does the quantity and quality of arbs. It’s possible to use some of these services to make very decent profits, although you will need a larger betting bank to do so. Something between £5,000 and £10,000 would be okay, but the more you have to bet with the better.
Although they are in the “professional” category, these services are not perfect. However, the level of customer support tends to be very high.
I was rather excited when this company contacted me with news of their service and a free 1-month trial in return for some feedback. A new service geared towards the professional trader sounded like good news.
Unfortunately, the 1-month trial ended after 1 day! I sent the owner some feedback by email, which I assume he did not appreciate, and my trial was terminated without notice. It’s a strange way to go about things and it is only because I did not actually pay for the trial that this site has not been placed in the “Cons” section. I’ve copied my email below as it gives a detailed account of the service as I found it.
Thanks very much for writing and providing the free trial.
Your site looks great both in the public and member areas. I like the
calculator feature and the overall layout is pleasing. The filters are
simple to use, which is good.
You mentioned in your email that you believe your service to be superior to that of ZRA and you asked for comments. On a side-by-side comparison with ZRA throughout this morning and early afternoon, I have found your service to be lacking significantly. I’ve provided some examples below. The arbs on your service are fewer in number and always (so far) highlighted later than with ZRA:
3 arbs from arbitragepro on “Canas, Guillermo vs Volandri, Filippo” the
first arrived at 12.18 and there was a 4-5 minute delay before each of
the others were notified.
These arbs (plus a few more with differing rules) were all sent to me by
ZRA at 11.59 – that is, 19 minutes earlier.
ZRA also sent a number of arbs on other matches which arbitragepro did
not. Koukalova vs Stosur, Ferrer vs Nalbandian, Costa vs Davydenko,
Chela vs Lisnard, Ferrero vs Novak, Gonzalez vs Philippoussis
4 arbs from arbitragepro on Calcavecchia vs Price vs Sindelar; the first
arrived at 12.59
1 arb from arbitragepro on Curtis vs Funk vs Ogilvy arrived at 13.13
ZRA sent 4 arbs on Calcavecchia vs Price vs Sindelar and they arrived at
12.55 – that is, 4 minutes earlier
ZRA sent 6 arbs on Curtis vs Funk vs Ogilvy and they arrived at 12.55 –
that is, 18 minutes earlier
I stopped actively comparing after this because arbitragepro has not
notified me on any new arbs after 13.20
I am not sure whether your notifications are late because your software
is slower or because you put in delays intentionally to allow yourself
to trade the arbs first but my general concluson is that you have a long
way to go even before you can truthfully proclaim your service as equal
to ZRA’s let alone superior. I’m going to continue monitoring the
service for the rest of the month to see how things improve.
I would be interested to hear your comments.
All the best.
There was no comment – I leave you to draw your own conclusions
SportsArbitrage.com provides over 100 arbitrage opportunities each month without any filters applied. Most arbs tend to be in tennis and soccer and they do not seem to focus much at all on American sports. One of the principle benefits of this service is that you can use filters to exclude arbs on certain days of the week, during certain times (sleeping periods) and even holiday dates. This enables you to optimise the kind of service that you would like to receive. There is a minimum deposit of fund here of $100 (approx £62.00 GBP).
Unfortunately, there are some major disadvantages to this service. The fee structure is one where you pay for each arb received, rather than a subscription which lasts a set period of time and allows you to receive all of the arbs. I don’t really like this type of pay-as-you-go system because I find that I’m usually unable to get on most of the arbs I’m sent. This means that I’m often charged for arbs I got absolutely no value from. This “over-charging” averages out to about £45-£50 per month in wastage.
There seem to be a lot of lookalike sites offering the same service as sports-arbitrage.com and after a little investigation, I realised that these are merely affiliated sites offering exactly the same service, for a cut of the fees.
I manage to use this service with reasonable success. My costs run to about £60 per month and I am usually able to make around £120 each month from the information supplied.
They used to provide a forum which was quite an interesting and useful read but they shut this down recently because of the spam they were getting from the James Beattie crowd and others. Unfortunately, the guidebook that they sell is the rather poor quality publication from www.greatgamblingsystems.com
A word of warning: this company has recently started to push what they call “Live Arbitrage Monitoring Software”. This software is actually just a rebranded version of the WinRiskFree software which I have reviewed elsewhere on this site. You install this software at your peril – it is not stable and may crash your system while you are in the middle of an arb as it has done to me on several occasions.
Zero-risk-arbitrage.com currently provides several thousand arbitrage opportunities each month.
The information is sent by email and each message may contain many separate arbs within it. At the time of writing, their software scans the prices of 30 types of event across 80 bookmaker sites in real-time.
The arbs contained in an individual message may be in a variety of sports or different matches but they are also sometimes permutations of a single arb using various bookmakers. Although slightly overwhelming at first, over time this has proven to be highly advantageous to me. The variety of permutations allows me to see at a glance which bookmaker is out-of-line which means that I can focus on getting that price first. I’m then able to pick and choose which bookmakers I want to bet the other side with and in case of a price moving, I have a ready list of alternatives.
The subject of each message contains the time and the percentage figure of the biggest arb in that message, which is useful as one can pick and choose which messages to open or ignore.
The messages also contain hyperlinks to the bookmakers involved in the arbs which helps shave off precious seconds from the betting process.
SMS text messages are available as a no-cost option, but as with other services, I find these to be less than useful because I never attempt to place bets unless I am at my PC in a state of readiness. The extraordinarily high number of alerts that are sent also makes SMS text messaging somewhat annoying.
They recently introduced filters on the service which allow you to block arbs based on profit, sport, bookmakers, day of week and time of day. Uniquely, this service’s filters also allow you to exclude which involve bookmakers with differing rules in tennis and baseball. This is of enormous benefit to anyone concerned with the risks that come from the differences in rules.
There are some problems which arise from the service being automatic. Sometimes, bookmakers input prices incorrectly on their sites, leading to a palpable error and the zero-risk-arbitrage.com software will sometimes include these prices in an arb, whilst a human who is looking for arbs manually might ignore such a price as an obvious error. This doesn’t happen too often, but when it does, someone from zero-risk-arbitrage.com will usually send an emailed warning to ignore the arbs in question. Nevertheless, one does need to be careful when checking arbs before betting.
I also recently started to use their ArbSurfer Professional browser which helps to speed up my trading.
The customer support is, in my opinion, second to none and most of my emails are answered well within 24 hours but very often within minutes. The service is very progressive and professionally run, with updates being added regularly. The site’s FAQ section contains a wealth of information, which I would recommend to anyone who is thinking of starting up as a trader.
The service costs £149 per month or £397 per quarter by credit card or Paypal. You can request a free 5-day trial of their service by clicking here & you can download a free copy of the ArbSurfer demo from here
I started using this company at the beginning of 2002 and have since paid a quarterly subscription. My costs run to just over £130 per month and I usually make between £1200 and £1500 each month from the information supplied.