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Bookmaker selection is the most critical component to sports arbitrage, and as such we have spent a great deal of time developing a database full of all of the relevant information you could want to know to help you make your bookmaker selection. Click on the following link to open SureBetBookies in a new window:
SureBetBookies is a growing database of the most commonly used bookmakers (eventually intended to cover all bookmakers used by arbitrage alert programs).
SBB covers a massive list of active bookmakers, exchanges providing information including whether they accept USA based accounts what their attitude rowards professional gamblers is, what bonuses they have, what rating they have been given by rating sites, what their Tennis, MLB and NHL betting rules are, what their maximum bet range usually is, whether they display their maximum bet before you place your bet or not, what their deposit and withdrawal time, maximums and costs are, and what all of their deposit methods are!
Now, other sites exist that catalogue large databases of bookmaker details and allow comparisons and the like, but none are geared more or less specifically towards arbitrage traders, so even if you do use another, always be sure to check the SureBetBookies one first as well. There are some vital details covered that may not be addressed by other databases.
Before you deposit money though, the first step is to select what books meet your needs:
In order to answer this question you must figure out whether the bookmaker in question is firstly desirable, and secondly, reliable.
A desirable bookmaker will either produce a good volume of decent profit arbs (real ones!), or they will offer a good quality worthwhile signup bonus. Either of these qualities are enough for the book to be desirable because both provide profit for your time, and profit is the name of our game.
Finding a desirable book gives you a reason to investigate its reliability – never ever ever invest your money into a bookmaker betting account without first researching how safe that bookmaker is.
Firstly, see if the bookmaker is listed at SureBetBookies – what is its rating there, and what comments have been left for it? If the books is an A or B and has no negative comments, you can be pretty confident that it is a safe book straight away. If you want to be certain, or SBB lists it as a C or lower, you should go through the more thorough investigation to ensure your money is safe.
A thorough investigation, in my opinion, is to refer to two different bookmaker rating sites for several different opinions:
Using a variety of these comparison sites will give you a couple on perspectives on the same book. With a good range of opinions on the subject, it is now up to you to make a decision...
When selecting a sportsbook, the most important recommendation is simply: Be Thorough. It really doesn't take long to ensure that the bookmaker you are about to deposit several hundred/thousand dollars into is an upstanding law abiding bookmaker... And anyone who has ever lost money to one that isn't will certainly agree that the cost is too great to overlook this simple simple step. So when actually considering depositing money at a bookmaker, don't just think about it but actually investigate it!
1. Finding Bookmakers
First start by searching SurebetBookies with your specific criteria:
Use these search terms to narrow your sportsbook selection down to the ones relevant to you.
Then, sort the results to highlight the ones you are most interested in. Sort by rating, or by 'owned by' and identify what bookmakers have the same odds as each other.
Whatever suits you, figure it out and form a rudimentary list in your head in accordance to your own needs.
Don't forget you can save the URL of your perfect search in SureBetBookies, so you can bookmark it and come back at any time.
As another list for grounds of your consideration, you may also want to check our compilation of
Sign-up Bonus Money, Freebets and Rewards
to read about bookmakers that offer redeemable bonus money.
Using bonuses the right way is an excellent to boost profits significantly as a side to arbing, so much so that if you're looking in to new bookmakers to try it may be a worthy consideration to explore your options based on which offer bonuses.
To understand how bonuses work, check our article Sportsbook Bonuses and How they Work. If you already have a good understanding or familiarity with sportsbook bonuses and want to see how to play them in an arb-like fashion for excellent profits, see Playing Free Bonus Money While Arbing.
3. Casing the Bookmakers
Next step is to actually look at the bookmakers...
Check out the layout of their site, check out the terms and conditions of their bonuses if you are going to use them, have a look at what sports they offer and how many bet types. If they look okay, then there is no harm registering right now, or later, as you have time and as appropriate in order to secure your bonuses (some bonuses have time based limits).
Just make sure you don't leave all of your registrations until the last minute, and then skip over the important investigation steps! Take advantage of the opportunity to register when it is available.4. Paper Trading
If you are just starting out in arbitrage, then you should use the time between registration and actual money deposit to paper trade. Paper trading consists of basically pretending to place bets in order to trade an arb. You do everything you would normally do, except submit the actual bet. Once you are ready to move on from paper trading, then the next step is to start the investigation process…
5. Background Checking a Bookmaker
Investigating a sportsbook is also quite simple.
Go to SportsBookReview (SBR), and search for the bookmaker you are investigating.
When you find the bookmaker in the main list, see what articles have been posted by SBR about that bookmaker. Read any threads which look interesting in those results.
Then go to Bookmakers Review (BMR) and check their rating, and any information they provide on the bookmaker.
With those two websites you should be able to firmly determine whether the sportsbook in question is reliable or not. From there it is also worth looking at the SureBetBookies database again to read any comments left about the sportsbook in question, and then searching Arbusers for any perspectives on the sportsbook from arbers. With those 4 sources, you should be able to firmly establish if the sportsbook is reputable, reliable, and how they will treat arbers. And that is really all you need to know.
Apply this same investigation to each sportsbook before you place any money with them, and you are really quite safe (depending on how well you head the advice given by those sources of course). And with funded bookmakers, you are as good as already arbing…