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What is a sure bet?

You really can place bets to make a profit!

sure bet

If you manage to look hard enough, there is sometimes the chance to benefit from a surebet. As the name suggests, it’s a bet which guarantees a profit on investment providing that you get the staking plan right and is also known as arbitrage. This handy betting guide will hopefully help you when it comes to placing sure bets. They can be available for a wide range of sports and it helps to have a number of betting accounts and access to a bet calculator.

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What Exactly is a Sure bet?

A sure bet involves a customer betting on all the available selections for a specific betting market. In doing so, they make a profit no matter the outcome of that market, generally using a calculator. This type of betting must be done with more than one bookie and generally applies to 2-way or 3-way betting markets.

Surebets come about as a result of betting sites having different odds available so that arbitrage opportunities present themselves. It means a customer can take the biggest price about certain selections and devise a staking plan with a calculator which means they will make a profitable return on their overall stake. Surebetting can often involve staking larger amounts in order to make a decent-sized profit.

When the odds shown on different sports betting websites vary significantly for the same event, you can make a certain profit whatever the result of the event. How? Quite simply by betting on all of the possible outcomes when the following calculator formula applies:

  • 1/Odds 1 + 1/ Odds 2 +.... + 1/ Odds n < 1

Example of Sure Bet on football

Let’s use an example of Liverpool v Everton in the English Premier League.

The following betting odds are given. You can see that Bookie A are offering a much bigger price for Liverpool, while B has bigger odds for the Draw and Everton:


Using our formula, we get 1/1.9 + 1/3.4 + 1/6 = 0.987 < 1

Therefore, an arbitrage calculator outlines a certain profit of 2.45 euros whatever the result of the match by betting 100 euros on Liverpool with Bookie A, along with 55.88 euros on Everton and 31.67 euros on a drawn match with Bookie B:

Result for a Liverpool win:

  • A: Profit = 100 * (1.9-1) = 90 euros
  • B: Loss = 55.88 + 31.67 = 87.55 euros
  • Total profit = 90 - 87.55 = 2.45 euros

Result for a draw:

  • A: Loss = 100 euros
  • B: Profit = 55.88 * (3.4-1) - 31.67 = 102.45 euros
  • Total profit = 102.45 - 100 = 2.45 euros

Result for an Everton win:

  • A: Loss = 100 euros
  • B: Profit = 31.67 * (6-1) - 55.88 = 102.45 euros
  • Total winnings = 102.45 - 100 = 2.45 euros

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How Can a Sure Bet Be Identified?

There are two main ways to identify a surebet. The first one involves comparing the different bookie odds when it comes to football matches and other sporting events. The easiest arbitrage sure bets to find manually involve two-way markets where you can instantly tell that a sure bet is available due to the betting sites having a different view.

For example, if Novak Djokovic is 2.10 with Bookie A and Carlos Alcaraz is 2.10 with Bookie B for the same tennis match, then you can back both of the above selections for the same stake and have a guaranteed 5% return on your bets. You don’t need a calculator to see this. Placing 100 Euros on both players would be a total of 200 Euros laid out and a certain 210 Euros in winnings. 

As you can see, this is a simplistic example and most surebets are harder to find. After all, there are so many sporting events and the bookmaker odds are always changing. Therefore, it helps to visit odds comparison sites or even look at an arbitrage subscription service where you can be alerted when sure bets become available and a calculator will have done the hard work.

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Example of Sure Bet on tennis

Here is another example of a tennis sure bet for a match between Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka:


1/1.7 + 1/2.6 = 0.97 < 1

A wide range of odds are offered; you can make a certain profit by betting on Swiatek with Bookie A and Sabalenka with B.

Using a sport arbitrage calculator, you can wager 100 euros on Swiatek with bookie A at odds of 1.7 and 68 euros on Sabalenka with Bookie B at odds of 2.6. This means you can be sure profit of 2 euros, whatever the outcome of the match. This is an example of a surebet:

Result in the event of an Swiatek win:

  • A: Profit = 100 * (1.7-1) = 70 euros
  • B: Loss = 68 euros
  • Total profit = 70-68 = 2 euros

Result in the event of a Sabalenka win:

  • A: Loss = 100 euros
  • B: Profit = 68 * (2.6-1) = 102 euros
  • Total profit = 102-100 = 2 euros

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Are Sure Bets Worth Placing?

There are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to placing surebets. The biggest and only advantage with sure bets is that you are making a guaranteed profit if you manage to back the odds that have been identified with the correct arbitrage staking plan. It’s a nice feeling watching a match and knowing that you will profit regardless of the outcome of the event after using a sure bet calculator.

It should also be noted that you can use a betting calculator to tweak a surebet so that you get your money back if some of the selections win, while you can end up making a bigger profit if a specific pick ends up winning. If you’re looking to place sure bets, we would recommend starting off with small stakes so that you get a feel for how they work and what you need to do each time.

Surebets will always exist because there are sportsbooks that want to stand out and have the best price for football games, horse races and tennis matches. This is particularly the case with new betting sites who will want to attract customers, with the desire to offer best odds leading to bettors spotting the chance to place arbitrage bets.

Some customers will feel as though there’s a lot of admin involved to leverage a small guaranteed profit. After all, you need to have multiple betting accounts available and there might be a need to act quickly with a surebet calculator to take advantage of sure bets before the odds change. On that note, the bookie can change their prices at any moment.

The surebet punters will also need to quickly put money in their specific betting accounts in order to take advantage of any price anomalies. Most bookmakers will quickly spot when they are involved in some kind of sure bet opportunity and will quickly look to pull up the drawbridge to prevent too much money being potentially lost. 

To justify the cost of e-mail alert services and exploit these rare opportunities, you need to:

  • Possess credited accounts with a number of sportsbooks.
  • Have a fast internet connection, be online and place your surebet quickly calculated using a betting calculator
  • Check the maximum stakes that you can bet with each bookmaker before performing arbitrage.
  • Check the different bookmakers' rules: different rules exist for certain sports, especially tennis.

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