There is always an element of chance involved in betting, where the outcome of the event will govern whether you're to enjoy a bumper profit or muttering to yourself in frustration.
Rather than waiting for the outcome of an event, placing surebets means you can almost guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome of the event. While there are a couple of potential issues along the way, we can confirm that sure bets do indeed work, provided you do your research into the process, find the right software, and are aware of all the potential errors you may face.
The term "sure bets" (also stylised as "surebet") is used to describe bets where the bookmaker back odds are higher than the lay odds at an exchange. For those unfamiliar with the terms, here's a quick primer:
So, let's look at a very specific example of what odds will usually look like prior to a match, and what the odds need to be in order for a sure bet to develop.
Usually, the back odds as a bookmaker will be higher than the lay odds for the same market at a better exchange. Manchester City to win a Champions League tie, could, for example, be at odds of 1.5 at a bookmaker; you'd therefore expect the Manchester City lay odds (remember: the odds for a bet that says Manchester City won't win) to be slightly higher, say 1.75. That's the standard pattern you would expect in sports betting; the lay odds are always slightly higher.
With sure bets, however, the opposite is true: the lay bet odds have to be lower than the back bet odds. So, returning to our example, if the back odds were 1.5, then the lay odds would need to be 1.4 or lower. If that happens, it's a sure bet.
Essentially, sure bets offer a chance to take advantage in the odds discrepancy and lock in a profit. In order to do this, and using Everton as an example of the team the surebet is available on, you will need to go through the following process:
If you can get the above right, then you are guaranteed a profit. You have performed the correct calculation, so you know exactly what to lay to lock in a profit, and the outcome of the Premier League or Champions League match City are playing in is irrelevant — you've bet on them to both win and not win. Thanks to a nifty calculation and a clever bit of betting, you're going to win either way.
Before we continue, we just want to take a moment to underscore a very crucial point: the calculation will only work if the back odds are higher than the lay odds. If the back odds are lower than the lay odds (as is standard), then backing and laying the same event will actually result in a small loss.
If you are backing and laying a true sure bet — i.e. where the back odds are higher than the lay — the benefits are very simple: you'll win, whatever happens. The amount you will win depends on how much you stake, but the basic promise is very much a reality.
The sure bets process is simple, and will largely proceed exactly as described — so why isn't everyone doing it? If it's possible to win either way, why bet and take a chance at all?
Surebets do offer a guarantee of a profit, but the profit margin is rather small, and especially when compared to a successful back bet (or punt) that is used in standard sports betting. Surebetting is very much about accruing profit over the course of a huge number of wagers rather than a singular big win.
Bookmakers are not big fans of sure betting; in fact, they have been known to restrict customers who place surebets, sometimes to the point of banning their account altogether. As a result, sure betting really can't be seen as a long-term strategy: it's more something you can do while it may last, until the bookmakers catch on — and they will catch on. Most bookmakers invest in software that allows them to spot patterns in user's betting habits, and one pattern they look for is consistently placing back bets at a time when the lay odds were lower (i.e. a sure bet had developed). Do this once too often, and your account will suffer, either through a lowering of your maximum stake account (sometimes to near zero) or just removing the account completely.
The idea behind sure bets is that you can lock in a profit whatever happens in the fixture you have chosen to bet on. However, to win that profit consistently, users have to do everything correctly — which is unfortunately far easier said than done. As surebets are relatively short lived (bookmakers will remove them within minutes of the back odds shifting above the lay odds), users have to work very quickly in order to ensure they place the back and lay bets in time. This means calculations have to be done quickly, the right markets selected, and the bet slip filled out, all under significant pressure. We therefore prefer to say that yes, surebets can guarantee a profit, but that's if everything goes as it should. The underlying maths and principle is correct, but there is always the potential for error.
Finally, we must address perhaps the most significant issue of all: surebets are very difficult to find. As we touched on above, bookmakers will quickly change the odds if the lay amount dips below a back bet, and will in fact use software to simplify this process. For this reason alone, finding and actually actioning sure bets will always be a challenge.
Another layer of difficulty is presented by the huge number of betting opportunities there are nowadays. Surebets can occur in any market, at any time; from Champions League matches to Premier League fixtures to Ligue 1 in football to literally any horse race, there's simply so many opportunities that it can be next-to-impossible to spot where a surebet has developed. Or at least, it's next-to-impossible if you don't have a helping hand...
Bookmakers use software to identify sure bets and adjust their odds accordingly, but users also have the opportunity to do the same. There are a range of software options out there that can help to find sure bets and, in some case, help to simplify the betting process itself — which helps to go at least some way to reducing the risk of user error when calculating a stake or placing a bet. At Betting.co.uk, we have covered as many of the available software options out there: from our BetBurger review or our RebelBetting review, we've covered as wide a landscape as possible to help you choose an option that might suit you.
Realistically, if you're going to try surebetting, then you are going to need some kind of automated help via the likes of our Arbmate review and giving the software, or those like it, a try. It's simply not plausible to manually search for sure bets on a consistent basis, and especially if you are looking to cover as broad a section of betting markets and options as possible.
Having established the basics in regards to what surebets actually are, and the importance of using software in order to find them, here are a few additional fast facts you may find useful...
If you're sure betting, then the betting world is your oyster when it comes to finding bets. While most commonly used on football, surebetting is actually compatible with a range of sports. What's more, the markets are expansive too: crossing all competitions, leagues, and bet types such as double chance, both teams to score, and every other football market — and markets for other sports, in fact — in the world.
There's no doubt that using sure betting is unpopular with bookmakers, but it's important to note that it is not illegal to give it a try. At its heart, surebetting is just a different way of using a bookmaker's odds — it's not anything nefarious, just uncommon.
Surebetting is, on occasion, conflated with matched betting — another system that uses a free bets and other offers such as best odds boosts to guarantee the user will win a profit every time — or EV+ betting. However, sure betting is an entirely separate proposition to these, and should be treated as such. If a system isn't reliant on placing two bets, with the back odds higher than the lay, then it's not a surebetting system. Of course, that's not to say these other systems can't also be worth learning more about, as we have covered here on Betting.co.uk as part of our focus on betting systems that work; it's just important to maintain the distinction.
If you've decided to give sure betting a try for yourself, you should find the following sure betting tips useful...
Sure betting is not an easy process; it requires time, practice, and no small amount of dedication to perfect the art. We therefore consider the need to take your time and familiarise yourself with the process one of, if not the, most important tips we can offer to our readers: there's no rush, so make sure you are 100% certain of everything you do when surebetting.
Most of the systems we cover offer introductory trial periods, which can be a great way of learning to see if that system — or surebetting in and of itself — is suitable for you. When you have tried each of the various options, you can pick the one that you found the easiest to work with; everything is subjective, so a little experimentation to find an option that suits you is always a good idea.
It can be helpful to take a few dry runs at placing bets, so that you can hone your speed and respond to available surebets as quickly as possible. It's usually best to do this when there are no funds in your bookmaker or exchange accounts, just so you don't bet by accident. Pick a market and imagine there is an arb, running the calculation, and logging into the relevant bookmaker or exchange to fill out the bet slip. Do this over and over until the process feels familiar; it will make a huge difference.
As a final note, we thought it might be helpful to draw a few start lines between standard sure betting and punting:
When surebetting, the only chance for loss is if a mistake is made (such as input the wrong stake amount, or the odds shifting between placing the back and lay bet). With punting, the chances of losing the bet are high.
There are a huge number of experts, including many found here at Betting.co.uk, who provide betting tips for every sport under the sun: from football tips for the Champions League or the Premier League to betting tips on horse racing, there's a huge variety of choice. With surebetting, however, there is little need for football betting tips or betting tips for any other sport: tips are ideas and suggestions, whereas surebets are more based on odds and mathematic calculations — the actual people or teams involved are largely irrelevant. For this reason, sure bettors will spend less time seeking football tips, analysing stats for goals scored, or hunting down the best odds for an individual fixture, and more time researching and using software to hunt down sure bets as they appear.
Sure betting requires volume in order to generate a decent profit, so bettors will place a large number of bets on any given day. In comparison, people who are looking to win at sports betting in the more customary way will place fewer, well-researched bets that focus on sports and events that are of particular interest to them.
As well as reading football tips, researching form, looking for the best odds, and making predictions as to the outcome of matches, standard punters can also available of a range of offers that can enhance their overall experience. Whether it's benefiting from the "2up" goals offer from Bet365 during a Premier League match or having access to free bets and best odds boosts, offers are a standard part of the betting scene — but not for sure bettors, who are focusing more on simple maths than various deals. That's not to say you can't still use free bets or hunt down a good odds boost here and there, but these will always be more applicable to you as a punter than a surebettor.
There's no doubt that sure bets are not without the potential for problems, given how seldom they occur, their fleeting nature, the risk of user-error, and the not-insubstantial risk to betting accounts. Nevertheless, some — though not all — of these potential causes of concern can be allayed by the use of the right software and plenty of research. If you're willing to undertake the right steps, then looking into surebetting could well be an option worth exploring in more depth.
For as long as sports betting has existed, people have wondered if it is possible to win every single bet that they place — and the answer is... perhaps. To find out more about the various methods available for those looking to win a profit from every bet at your favourite UK bookmaker, read the Betting.co.uk guide to betting systems that work.
Finding a sure bet can be a real challenge, due in no small part to the volume required. To learn more about how you can try sure betting for yourself, visit Betting.co.uk — we've covered the subject in-depth and provided a range of sure betting tips to help familiarise you with the process.
Sure betting is very different to standard punting, the latter of which is heavily reliant on predictions, football betting tips, and expert opinion. As an entirely different prospect, the practice should be approached differently too, so it's worth visiting Betting.co.uk to read our latest sure betting tips and guides.
Modern betting, and particularly modern football betting, provides a huge range of options when it comes to placing sports bets. The markets are seemingly endless, from double chance to betting on teams to score at a particular time to goals and corner betting. Which of these markets (or bets) is easiest to win is a very difficult question to answer, though looking for football betting tips or even exploring systems such as matched betting or surebets could be worth considering if you're looking to think outside the box.
There's a range of ways to find surebets — or arbitrage bets, as they are more commonly known — and you can explore the various options at Betting.co.uk, where are helpful guides will assist you in learning more about everything from arbitrage to betting on horse racing to football betting of the Premier League.
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