Place the Bets
Once you have calculated how much to place on either side of the arb, enter the amounts into both bookmakers, and start submitting both sides. The side you should ultimately ‘confirm’ first is the side you are least sure about being accepted. Either it will have not shown you a maximum bet amount (so your bet may still be rejected), or maybe you simply hadnâ€™t used this bookmaker before so donâ€™t know whether there will be a confirmation screen.
Explaining Bookmaker Confirmation Methods
In order to explain this I am going to have to define a few stages of bet placement. Different bookmakers may label these differently, so do not assume that these terms are absolute. Assuming a confirmation screen, the first thing you will do is ‘Enter‘ your bet amount, then you will ‘Submit‘ that bet and a confirmation screen will appear. Unless the bet is ‘Rejected‘ at that stage you will be able to ‘Confirm‘ your bet, after which your bet will be ‘Placed‘ if it isn’t ‘Rejected‘ on account of the odds expiring.
Not all bookmakers follow this entire process of confirming your bet before placing it. I have found 3 general methods of placing bets across all of the bookmaker I have encountered:
Firstly you have books which simply accept or deny a bet after you submit it once. So you Enter your bet amount, and press a Submit or Confirm button, and your bet will be immediately Placed (if it isn’t rejected for some reason). Lets call this method NC for ‘No Confirmation’.
Secondly you have books who have a confirmation screen, but that confirmation screen does not indicate whether your bet will be Placed or Rejected. So you Enter your bet amount, Submit your bet and reach the confirmation page. The confirmation page will always simply display your bet amount and ask you whether you are sure – you still don’t know whether your bet is going to be accepted or not. You then have to Confirm your bet and find out whether the bookmaker has Placed your bet, or Rejected it. This method, like the first method, is problematic if you don’t know the maximum bet you are allowed to place and you have to Confirm your bet to find out if you are over it or not. Lets call this method UC for ‘Useless Confirmation’.
Finally there are books who use the first confirmation screen to indicate whether your bet is acceptable or not. So you Enter your bet amount and Submit it, and the confirmation screen will indicate that your bet will be Placed upon Confirmation, or it will indicate that the bet is Rejected for whatever reason. Once you are on the confirmation screen with an accepted bet, you Confirm the bet and it will usually be Placed – the only exception is if the odds actually change in the time between when you Submitted the bet and when you Confirm the bet, so you do need to be fast when placing bets. Lets call this method GC for ‘Good Confirmation’.
I think this is another good bookmaker variable to note in your spreadsheet next to all of your bookmakers as you get set up. You will remember them all soon enough, but in the early days having notes will help. Just mark NC, UC or GC next to bookmakers as you use them for the first time.
Order of Placing the Bets
First thing is to Enter our two bets into both books. You then want to do everything you can do except for the final Confirmation step, leaving you with 2 or 3 books which are 1 button click away from Placing your bets. You should always Confirm the book which you are least sure of being accepted first, so you find out straight away if any of your bets are going to be Rejected.
This is quite difficult to explain abstractly, so if you are still confused, read through a few examples of placing arbs (coming soon). Also, you can find another explanation of this in the Fifth and final video in the Sports Arbitrage Guide Fast Track Video Series. See the video series by subscribing to our Newsletter on the Sports Arbitrage Guide homepage.
Check and Record
Reread the confirmation slips. Do they both have the same sports and markets on them? Do the two (or three) bets cover ALL possible outcomes? Are the odds right? Obviously you checked all of this before you placed the bets, but now the stress has passed and your brain should be working again, so it is good to check them one last time.
If everything looks good, then enter the information into your spreadsheet (or program) which you are using to track all of your arbs, bookmaker balances, and profit. I have made a simple spreadsheet available here (Arbitrage Trading Log) for anyone to use, but there is nothing to stop you from making your own. Once again, entering your arb into the spreadsheet should be the final check verifying that the maths adds up on the odds (clearly showing that your arb will turn you a profit).