What is Arbing & Bonus Bagging? Free Money!

Posted on Posted in Betdaq, Betfair, Trading Strategies

Yep, 100% risk free.


If you’ve been around exchanges long you’ll know about this already… but for those that haven’t you’ll want to check it out for sure.

It’s one of the easiest ways to get yourself a trading bank to start with – risk free.

All you need is a little time on your hands and a couple hundred quid to get going.

What are they?

Bonus Bagging – Exploiting bookmakers free-bet or increased odds offers. There’s many different types of offer knocking about out there, but they’re all exploitable. Some bookies offer a free £25 bet when you open an account. Where as others might offer something like treble the odds on your first bet.

Arbitrage – Similar to Bonus Bagging, Arbitrage or Arbing is when you find larger odds with a bookmaker on the exchange. We all know this doesn’t happen too often as betting exchanges are king when it comes to value, but it does happen. When the opportunity arises it’s like taking candy off a young child…. similar to what bookies do to mug punters all day long.

How to do it?

It’s far simpler than many realise.

The trickier bit is finding the right opportunities when it comes to arbing, but if you understand the markets at a moderate level it’s not hard at all. The next problem is limitations but I’ll come to that in a moment.

How to ‘bonus bag’:

  1. Open an account with a free bet offering
  2. Place the first Back bet with the bookie
  3. Place a Lay bet on the same selection at the same price on the exchange.
  4. Wait of the even to finish and claim the bonus
  5. Repeat with the next bookmaker

From there you have two options, use the free bet as a bet. Or do the same thing again and lay off half the stake on the exchange, this way you get half of the free bet no matter what happens!

Finding a price that is the same on the exchange as the bookies stumps some people so I’ll just tell you – Look for popular favourites in the ten minutes leading up to the start of a race. 

BUT be aware of bookies terms and conditions (more on that in a moment).

How to ‘Arb’:

  1. Find a bookmakers price that is larger than the exchange price (not as regular as it used to be)
  2. Place the Back bet first with the bookies (because if you lay first and the bookies limit you you’re screwed)
  3. Place the Lay bet at the lower price
  4. Consider if you wish to let the additional value run as a bet, or lay the difference to lock in a hedged profit
  5. Repeat until you’re closed down or limited – much like bonus bagging

Possible problems…

Of course the bookies don’t particularly like this kind of behaviour, they only put the free bet’s out for the mugs so they can then fleece them… for that reason they’ll either limit the stakes you can have or close you all down together. You may have seen this video from last Monday when I was bored on my day off – Stan James closed me in under 24 hours.

Here’s a few problems you may face:

  • Terms and Conditions – make sure you read them before doing any of this. Most bookies will state you have to bet on something over evens (2.0) as it’s a lot easier to find something the same price under that. Also they may state you have to turnover the bet several times before qualifying for the bonus.
  • Delaying Funds – It’s not really a problem but some may want to ‘investigate’ your account when they realise you’ve been taking a bit of value, they hate that. The process might mean a few more days before the cash hits your bank.
  • Account Closures – Won’t lose any sleep over this one, robbing b*$t@rds!
  • Limitation – The bigger bookies are just likely to restrict your bets more than anything else. It means you can still place arbs but they’re so small it’s not worth the time. I’ve been told I can only bet £1.17 before now.
  • Commission – you’ll need to factor in the commission Betfair or Betdaq will take on the Lay bet should the outcome lose. For Betfair it’s 4.9% but only 2% on Betdaq (offered bets).
  • ieSnare – some of the bookies run a program called ieSnare. It’s there to help them locate fraudulent activity and money laundering, it tracks your online activity. The downside being they can see if you’ve got multiple accounts open with different firms at the same time. You can see if it’s installed on your machine by pressing Windows key and F at the same time and searching MPSnare. If nothing shows up it isn’t installed. If it is, you might want to delete the files and clear your cookie cache.
  • Refusing payouts – I haven’t had this happen to me, although it’s documented on-line that some firms have refused to pay out and returned initial stakes instead. By keeping stakes fairly small until you’re well in the green it shouldn’t be a problem to my mind.

What are you waiting for? Go get yourself a free trading bank to get started….

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5 thoughts on “What is Arbing & Bonus Bagging? Free Money!

  1. Worth pointing out that the best time to bonus bag is the Grand National meeting in April, that’s when the bookies offer the best bonuses as they want to sign up mug punters before their peers. They also offer higher bonuses around the bigm eetings like Cheltenham , the Derby , Newmarket etc but the national is a race that brings out mug punters by the bucket load and they know few mug punters will be price aware so they’re likely to have them for life. Meetings like Cheltenham tend to attract more of the purist type of punter so bonuses these days aren’t much higher than usual.

    The days of bookies offering £200 sign up free bets are long gone though and it’s rarely worth the effort, or risk, to bag a free £20 especially with the turnover conditions if you’re unlucky enough to win with the bookie.

  2. Excellent post.

    This is exactly what i am using at the moment while trying to build a betting bank. In 6 Months i have turned £140 into a total bankroll of just over 3k and i am continuing to grow. Considering i work full time and do this as a side hobby i am rather pleased.

    Hopefully in time i can get the confidence and bank big enough to move to trading properly.

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