How bookmakers identify arbers: Strategies and precautions

 Mike Bowl
Updated at: 25 January, 2024
4 minutes

Arbitrage betting, or 'arbing,' is a strategy that bettors use to guarantee profits, but it often leads to scrutiny from bookmakers. This article explores how bookmakers identify arbers and provides tips to avoid being flagged. It's a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the dynamics between arbers and bookmakers.

Bookmakers are struggling with arbers, this is not a secret. But how do bookmakers find arbers? In this article, we will talk about the basic rules of arbitrage betting and give some tips to beginner arbers.

Who are arbers

Arbers are people who make bets on certain outcomes referred to as arbs

Long story short, arbs are a playing strategy that involves making bets on all possible outcomes in such a way that allows the player stay in pole position whatever the outcome. However, risks and nuances are inescapable here.

Bookmakers, like all of us, only want one thing, that is to gain a profit. The only distinctive feature here is that we want to outplay the bookmaker, and they want to outplay us. It comes as no surprise that betting offices consider every single player that brings no profit (but doesn’t lose their money) an unwelcome element.

We can safely classify arbers under this category, because the key principle of their playing manner doesn’t rely on the notion of a classical wager, where a random event can happen. The core of their strategy is always comprised of guaranteed profits under any outcome, which means that any arber is an undesirable client for a bookmaker.

How do bookmakers identify arbers

So, what do bookmakers pay attention to and how do they spot arbers?

Bets on obvious mistakes in the line

There are frequent instances when there is an obvious mistake in the line made by the bookmaker. An example would be when an obvious outsider has the odds of winnings amounting to, say, 1.2, whereas a favorite has, say, 7.2.

More often than not, such odds form an arb, multiple arbs being a usual situation here. The bookmaker will certainly fix such the mistake eventually, but by betting on it you’d draw unnecessary attention to yourself. Moreover, your bet would be given back to you, and the arb at stake wouldn’t actually be an arb any more.

Traps set by bookmakers

Very often, bookmakers deliberately set such odds that will assuredly form an arb, thus using a bait for all the arbers who use such arbs in their activity. As a rule, such arbs are highly profitable in the case of prematch arbs.

Frequent fund withdrawals

Frequent fund withdrawals don’t fit into the normal behavior of a usual player. The fact of such operations poses an extra reason for a bookmaker to take a closer look at you.

Bets on non-core outcomes

The bulk of players bet on core outcomes (like victories, overs and, a bit less frequently, handicaps) and prefer to avoid specific outcomes like, “The team will score a goal in the first half and will win the game”.

Bets on non-major championships and leagues

Unpopular championships and leagues are normally another sign of an arber using special software to find arbs: very few people can understand the second football league of Ghana to the extent of being able to forecast a possible outcome, don’t you think?

Bets on multiple sports

There are very few people that have an equally good command of multiple sports, so making bets on a large variety of sports is one thing that draws the attention of a betting office.

How to be a proper arber

There are so many techniques helping to identify an arber that working out universal rules for the complete avoiding of sanctions on behalf of the bookmaker is impossible. It is necessary to be ready to face additional attention to your account at all times. 

Our prime aim is to ensure the account’s being free of suspicion for as long as possible, so we tried to formulate the basic rules for prolonging the existence of your account.

  • Always round your bets.

  • Don’t bet on arbs whose figure exceeds 10–15% (for a prematch).

  • Try to reduce the number of your bets on unpopular championships.

  • Sometimes “dilute” arb bets with ordinary ones.

  • Don’t make fund withdrawal requests too often.

  • Don’t make too large a number of bets a day. 10 bets a day is already a large number.


How do bookmakers fight arbers

If you have failed to avoid sanctions on behalf of the betting office, the situation’s still not as bad as it may seem at first sight.

Listed below are the basic methods to fight arbers:

Request for additional documents for verification

As soon as you enter the sight of a betting office, it can demand account verification (confirmation) on your part via requesting for additional identification documents. These documents may include a passport scan and a scanned copy of a utility bill.

Video call and interview on the basics of bet making

Another common sign of additional attention drawn to the account is a request for a video call during which the bookmaker’s representative will ask clarifying questions about your bets, devices which could have been used by you for making bets, time and even location.

Cutting of maximum sums

The betting office places limitations on the maximum sum of bets a user can make to such an extent that very often undercuts the ability to make arbs properly. Imagine that your maximum sum has been cut to 50 rubles — how soon will you want to abandon this bookmaker?

Cutting of the account in the bookmaker (blocking)

One of the extreme measures is the complete blocking of an account with no ability to make any bet left. A few options are possible here:

  • Funds withdrawal is still possible.

  • Funds withdrawal is still possible, but only for the money you deposited (withdrawing the earnings will most likely be impossible).

  • Funds withdrawal is blocked too. In this case, the money in the account balance can be “stuck” there seriously and permanently.


Like any other way of making money, arbs can’t be described as an easy way, especially when confrontation with the bookmakers themselves is involved. We hope our article will help you if not to guarantee the avoidance of cutting, then, at least, to prolong the existence of your account. Good luck!


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