For a true professional sports arbitrage trader it is virtually impossible to conceive of working in this business without using the most powerful and efficient software they can find. Instead of wasting time scouring the web searching for trades, professionals rely upon their software to do the hard work.
The arbitrage information arrives to their desktop, with all the parameters and calculations already in place. All that the sports arbitrage trader needs to do is to place the wagers, and wait till the event finishes and the profit to roll in.
Nowadays there are many companies offering software to handle sports arbitrage trading online. Some of them are fairly simple and inexpensive, and might appeal to the beginner. Yet if there ever was cause for the argument "cheap is dear" then it certainly applies to sports arbitrage trading software. Starting off with the best is a prerequisite for success.
Any reputable company marketing sports arbitrage trading software will be more than willing to provide short term trial periods to enable you to get the feel of the software. They should also provide learning tools that will allow the new trader plenty of opportunity to approach his or her trading project fully prepared. You may even find yourself able to earn profits during your trial, although you should not be disappointed if this does not happen: the experience you gain at the early stages will be far more valuable in terms of long-term profits.
There is a school of thought that says if you are just learning the ins and outs of being a sports arbitrage trader, you should set aside a little time after registering your accounts at the various bookmakers you will be working with, doing dry run' wagers. That means picking out arbitrages located by the software and simply going through the process of finding the bets on the bookmaker sites until you feel comfortable with the software. You might even take this a stage further by putting together some low value arbs to get more of a feel of actual trading.
At this stage, you probably won't recover your subscription overheads and any bank charges, but the real-time experience will enable you to hit the ground running when you eventually start trading with higher stakes.
The fact is that professional-level sports arbitrage software will do almost all of the donkey work' for you. It will scan the bookmaker sites frequently and consistently. It will calculate the arbitrage trades and display them for you in an orderly manner on your desktop. It will calculate your stake for you and provide you with a 1-click system to open and log you into the relevant bookmaker sites when you have decided on a particular trade. At after you have placed your bets it will record the information for you so that you have a record of all of your activity.
This leaves you free to focus on the knowledge work' aspect of your trading. This will include things such as:
* managing your cashflow to ensure that your accounts are always tradeable when necessary
* looking for new bookmakers to trade with (the best software vendors will add new bookmakers to the software if you request it)
* doing background research' on prices once you have been alerted to an opportunity (this is an excellent ay to leverage the information you receive from your software)
As you conduct your research into sports arbitrage trading software, you'll discover that there are many different offerings available. It's worth trying them all out (those which offer free trials) to find out which suits you best.
However, there are some features which you should look out for in the sports arbitrage trading software you choose:
Sports Arbitrage Filters
An Arbitrage Filter enables you to restrict the types of arbitrage trades you receive. This will help make your trading more efficient as you will only ever be alerted of opportunities which are of real interest to you. The filters should operate on at least the following parameters:
1. Minimum Profit: This filter will block arbs which yield profits below the threshold you have set.
2. Bookmakers: This filter will block arbs which involve bookmakers you don't want to use.
3. Restrict By Sport: This filter will block arbs which occur in sports you don't want to trade.
4. Rules Coherence: In MLB and NHL, and in tennis, prices may differ solely because of unique rules revolving around things like pitcher-changes, injured players, overtime and so on. This might not bother you, but if it does, your sports arbitrage software should be able to block them
Bookmaker Bonus Trading
As an active sports arbitrage trader, you will almost always have some bookmaker bonuses waiting to be turned over on your accounts. Some sports arbitrage programs will allow you to list those bookmakers and it will then go on to alert you, in a separate window from the main arbs, whenever one of these bookmakers can be traded with either in an arbitrage or break-even trade. This type of feature allows you to become very systematic about extracting multiple risk-free bonuses on a regular basis.
If your sports arbitrage software allows it, the ability to chat and share trades and other information with other traders can be very helpful. As well as providing an instant community of like-minded individuals who are actively engaged sports arbitrage at the same time, if the Chat is built into the software then it should allow much faster sharing of sports arbitrage trades than would be possible using a normal instant messenger service such as MSN or ICQ.
With many arb alarm programs, websites and other services, you'll receive emails or messages into your private account at a site. The problem with this is that you won't actually know about the arb unless you check for it. Some opportunities come and go in a flash, and if you're only refreshing your email browser once an hour, you may miss some golden opportunities.
Other programs which actually provide up to the minute updates onscreen, by simply keeping a little window open as you browse the internet, work, watch TV, etc. Take a glance at it now and then, and it will only show you the opportunities available at that precise moment. No outdated messages, just currently available opportunities.
The best arbitrage trading programs should let you complete a trade within 1-2 minutes by pre-calculating your stakes and opening and logging you into your bookmaker accounts automatically.
Comprehensive Arbitrage Calculator
As touched upon above, your software should automatically calculate your stakes for any type of trade, including those with betting exchanges. It should be able to take into account, automatically, issues such as exchange-commissions and up-to-date currency exchange rates.
If you cannot get a free trial of the software, the chances are that the seller has something to hide. You should be allowed to play around with a trial version of any arb program before investing in it. Beyond how effective the software is, you want something user friendly, easy to understand, and easy to use. Remember, you'll be using this software extensively as you trade so you must feel comfortable with it.
Some things to consider while using your free trials
1 - Is it fast?
Sometimes a program acting slowly isn't your computer's fault, it might just be clumsy or careless programming by the software developer.
2 - Does the user interface make sense?
If you can't get to grips with all of the features of the program in less than a day, it's probably going to be too unwieldy to use quickly and efficiently in a trading environment.
3 - Does it get you good results?
This is the most important thing. A good sports arbitrage alerts system is meant to do one thing: help you to make more money. If you're not being presented with plenty of great, genuine & tradeable arbitrage bets, move onto the next software.