Although this is just what I think and i'm sure you'll get different answers, I'd rate it as the following:
Assuming I stake £100 at the bookie,
If I stand to make £1-2 then it's a fair arb
If I stand to make £3-4 then its a good arb,
If I make £5+ its an excellent one.
I would consider those EXCELLENT bets. I would take much much less than that, if you found those quickly you are a natural and carry on like that you will make a fortune. Personally i take much worse odds because i would rather get more done quicker. I go for a low margin on a high turnover, there is more out there than you will ever possibly have time for, so i find maximising the time i do spend is best, and its better to get 75% of two £50s than 95% on one £50. Thats just me though.
Have a plan and stick to it
Yes they are pretty good definitely... I think the thing to be careful of is when you see a massive arb of say more than 10-20% you really need to just stop what you're doing and don't jump into it too quickly until you've double/triple checked it out and made sure you've not tried to match the back market against a slightly different lay market. As always if it looks too good to be true, it usually is!
Having said that though I've done it and probably most others have too (even if they won't admit it)... you see what looks like a cracking arb and dive in, sell the house, the wife, the kids etc and pile it all into the arb... only for it to turn out that you're matching two different markets or two different selections! See the mistakes threads for those kind of stories
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They look ok to me, i'm not the best at finding arbs though to be honest!
Another way to calculate the % return of an arb is on the entire amount tied up in the bet at both the bookies and Betfair.
Therefore a £100 bet at odds of 2.1/1.98 gives you a profit of £3.37. You also tie up £106.63 at Betfair in liability giving you a profit of 1.63% overall
For comparison a £100 bet at odds of 20/18.5 gives you a profit of £2.98. Although they're similar in terms of profit you're tying £1897.02 up in liability so your profit margin there is 0.15%.
Doesn't mean you shouldn't do it - if you've got nothing else to do at that time then profit is still profit, but if the bet wins and that money's taken out of Betfair for a few days it could mean you are unable to take advantage of a reload offer etc
I don't know if it's just me, but I'd be wary of doing qualifying bets/bonuses on arbs as good as that if you want to continue to use the bookie.
I started out getting arbs on everything and found myself limited extremely quickly; admittedly not at the 2 books you mention, but at 3 or 4 large UK bookies.
I don't know if they monitor your qualifying and bonus bets to see if you're betting on odds that are out of line with the market, but they did seem to pick up on it very quickly.
I've since started trying to place all my early bets with a bookie on UK football markets and I seem to be lasting a bit longer with them.
I know it's just a matter of time before I get limited with some of the bookies, so it probably doesn't make any difference, but I just thought I'd throw in an opinion.
Long Term markets can be good for arbs because they are not very efficient at betfair because of the liability being potentially so high and the fact it doesnt finish for so long. BUT if you pick one long term market you can then keep using that one and the liabilities all combine so it is not so bad and since you end up having bets on most of the field by the time it is settled you win at a bookmaker (or two) somewhere so dont actually pay any commission on all the other lays.
I am using the FA cup winner market at the moment but have in the past used the Champions League which is probably better as the odds move about more on that. For example at the moment in the FA Cup winner you can get:
Arsenal 7.5 @ Jaxx. Betfair 7.2
Fulham 29 @ BlueSq/Lads and a few others. Betfair = 28 (27 being taken)
WestBrom 151 @ Lads. Betfair 140
Peterborough 1000 @ Skybet. Betfair 840
They are all there now and will stay there for quite a while, the reason they are not snapped up is having just £5 on Peterborough at Sky will mean you are laying over £4k at betfair for almost six months. So on its own it is not worth it. BUT if you had £4k liability on one of the others already then it would be worth it as it is not costing you any more overall. Also for freebets it is a good place to "dump" them all, for example BlueSq often give out voucher codes so Fulham at 29 and lay it for 28 on a market you already have liability elsewhere is ideal.
I have forgotten why i started writing this now i am just rambling. Oh yes i remember, when i look at an arb or even any time of matched bet as well as the % return i will be getting i also factor in the total liabilty that will be involved and also the length of time it will take to settle. Those two things are very important when assessing a "good Arb" I think.
Have a plan and stick to it
At the end of the day you've got no way of knowing what criteria each bookie uses to limit users so if a profitable arb comes up I would take it - certainly if I was doing a bonus, more so if I was doing a bonus if anything because then you're winning twice. You can't know what criteria they use to limit you so IMO it's not worth worrying whether the bets you place will get you limited.
I think the one single and only criteria you can GUARANTEE will get you limited is if you win a lot at a bookie (again though how much you need to win to get limited will differ with every bookie)... so with that in mind like I said above I think it's important to maximize any profit you make from a profitable arb and underlay accordingly.
What Lazza says about using lay liability to calculate %age arb profit ratio also makes sense if you're taking on a longer term arb... for example if you find an arb on the EPL outright market of 20% you might think 'waheey'... but if the arb is something like 20/16 or w/e then you're tying up vast amounts of cash for a long time when that money could be working for you in the mean time. This is why I love horse arbing, it has such an incredibly quick turnover it's no problem to take something say 60/55 if the race starts in 20 minutes... in 30 minutes time your lay liability will be freed up to move on to the next arb!
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