Football — Rules Differences

Latest posts by Man of Mystery (see all)

Football is the accepted “safe” sport to bet on for matched betting and arbing because there are very few rules differences. Nothing is quite that simple though. I have come across 3 instances where football arbing has not been quite safe:

1. First/last goalscorer markets at Bet24 and possibly others. There are differences in rules if the first/last goal is an own goal. This may also apply to first team to score bets but I am not certain of that.

2. Re matches. When a match is abandoned, Betfair will void the bets if the game is not completed within 3 days. Some bookies have different lengths of time – if you find a match you have bet on has been postponed you should check the rules at the bookmaker as the number of days may not match Betfair and you may on very rare occasions have to back or lay again to match up as best you can.

3. Abandoned, part played games can cause trouble if they are almost finished when they were abandoned. Some bookies (mainly European ones) have a rule that they will settle on the team that was winning the match if the postponement happened after 80 minutes of play. Betfair will void if the match is not completed within 3 days. This is very rare and there is nothing you can do about it. You can, of course, benefit from this if your team is winning at the time.

Handicaps and Asian Handicaps

These can sometimes be useful for completing wager requirements. Make sure that you match like with like or follow the rules below:

  • Back team A match odds, lay team A on the -0.5 asian handicap
  • Back team A +1 handicap, lay team A +0.5 asian handicap; back team A +2 handicap, lay +1.5 asian, etc
  • Back team A -1 handicap, lay team A -1.5 asian handicap; back team A -2 handicap, lay -2.5 asian, etc

DO NOT do these the other way round (eg back -0.5 asian, lay match odds) as this is NOT the same thing.

The 0 asian handicap is the same as “draw no bet” – if it is a draw your bet will be void.

Split asians appear in the form -0.5, 0 or -0.5 & 0 etc, some bookies may call some of these things like -3/4 (which I think is -0.5, -1 but I’m not sure). In these cases the stake is split half and half between the 2 bets. You need to be very careful with these that what you are backing and laying are exactly the same. If in doubt, don’t bet.

There is a more detailed post on Handicap and Asian Handicap bets here.


A classic example of the sort of thing you can’t do because markets are different at bookie and Betfair.

Forum discussion from BetSeventyTwo

Soccer Correct Score

by majorsam » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:05 am

I’m trying to work out a soccer correct score bet where I back all scores above 3-3 with a bookie and lay “Any Unquoted” on Betfair.

I have looked at Bet365 and the score only goes up to 6-1 which would give me 14 bets which is about 12%. There may be other bookies with higher scores to add to it. The lay bet at present is 15.0 so on paper that looks like a nice low risk profit with the over round being well under 100%.

Obviously there may not be enough liquidity for the bet to be worthwhile and the bookies may have a betting limit but I would like to know anyway how I could work out such a bet. I understand percentages (eg 100/1 = 0.99%) but some odds are way above that and I don’t know the formula to convert them.

It’s probably completely unworkable but I am just curious at the moment.


by corner123 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:43 pm

I don’t know of any way of arbing any unquoted successfully. There is always the tiny chance of a really really bizarre score coming in that is not covered at the bookie. If, as you say the book is well below 100%, then somewhere, almost certainly, is the potential for you to lose.

by Gentari » Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:13 am Majorsam,

I have been looking at some options for this and there is no reasonable way in my mind that this can be done.

If you do some good research and find the right type of matches then there is mileage in covering a range of scores including 5-0, 5-1, 5-2, but you are only ever going to be able to treat this as a punt.

There are NO risk free correct score trades.

The best thing you can do is try match AUQ with another market, that way as the odds come up on AUQ they come down on another market, Under 4.5 goals perhaps.

Good Luck with finding the holy grail – let us know what you work out

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