The long promised review of Rebel Betting finally arrives…
I have been hinting at this system for a while now, but haven’t had a minute to test it. Until now…. (and I’ve only managed it by spreading a 1 week trial over 2 weeks!). And instead of a full-blown trial, I have decided to carry out more of an ‘overview’ of the software, and the possibilities it presents.
And I can report that the good news is that Rebel Betting is a very powerful piece of software. I’ve spent entire evenings playing with it – and I’m exhausted! There is almost too much to tell you about….
- ranked arbs, where the Return on Investment is used to sort the size of the opportunity into priority sequence
- middles (i.e. arbs where if you’re lucky, both sides can win for dramatic returns)
- automated warnings about palpable errors (where bookies can decide not to pay out after all, because their error is deemed to have been ‘palpable’, thereby rendering the bet invalid)
- bookmakers from all over the world (with no less than 36 in regular use)
- in-built arbitrage calculators, so you don’t need to do any of the sums yourself
- my favourite feature – embedded betting screens which take you directly to the bet entry screen – rather than expecting you to wade through some massive bookie’s site to find a Slovenian Third Division reserve match all by yourself!
In short, it is all quite overwhelming to start with.
The good news is that there is a very sensible 37 page manual that you download when you subscribe; and also some pretty straightforward system options that allow you to focus on just a few types of arb to get you going.
The system also looks good, and navigates really well. Consider the following straightforward back-and-lay arb:
What you are looking at here is the screen used to place actual bets. Rebel Betting brought up two panels within the same window, one for the back bet (at Coral’s), and the other for the lay (at Betfair). I have circled the team I have bet on, to show how the software has correctly located the same game on each site – a remarkable achievement that could save an ocean of time.
Unfortunately this particular arb is for trivial amounts, as it was constrained by Betfair liquidity, but the power of the software design is clear to see.
The software even does the same thing for three-way arbs (e.g. home, away and draw), though in this case, it can be quite hard to work on each of the underlying sites, as your physical screen size can constrain you, and it feels like you’re typing through a letter box! I suppose in this case though there is nothing to stop you using your ordinary browser to jump to the bookie’s site.
I will add updates on my progress with Rebel Betting over the next few days…
Rebel Betting Update, 25/11/11
Well, I’ve been meaning to add some more thoughts about Rebel Betting all week but I’ve been putting it off as I have quite mixed feelings about it.
OK, first things first: Rebel Betting works. So if you take the absurdly simple example above between two teams I have never heard of: Slaven Belupo lost to Istra and made me a net profit of 66 pence. I lost £10 at Coral’s, and made £10.66 at Betfair after commission. This represents a return of about 3%.
If you ignore the ‘palpable arbs’ that RB goes out of its way to warn you against (i.e. arbs with an ROI typically over 5%), you are likely to come up with a lot of 3%-ish returns. So you are going to have to place some very big arbs to make this work, and spend a lot of time doing it. Add in a ‘wasted time’ factor – as several of the arbs I have tried this week have disappeared by the time I got there – and you are starting to look at a significant commitment of time. Why? Because Rebel Betting may be brilliant, bordering even on genius, but it is also pretty expensive.
A one month subscription to Rebel Betting will cost you 129 euros. Or you can go for the quarterly option, which works out slightly cheaper, at 116 euros a month; or finally (in extremely small print on the subscription screen!), there is an option to subscribe for 594 euros over six months, which works out at 99 euros a month.
Which ever option you choose though, it follows you are going to have to make a lot of 66 pence arbs to get your money back! Hardly a fault of the software; more a feature of life with arbing when you’re paying sizeable subscriptions for your alert system.
There is however a one week trial option that only costs 9 euros, but if you do decide to try this (and it’s a very good idea in my view), please immediately cancel the repeat subscription as soon as you’ve paid. You’ll still get your full week’s trial, and it’ll stop you being debited 129 euros seven days later.
Now I recognise that all my quibbles about the price may be unfair, because, as I say, Rebel Betting is a seriously impressive piece of software, and undoubtedly, even at these levels, you should be able to make a clear profit. But it’s basically not offering you much that you can’t get from Sportspunter.com, and you can get that for around £52 a month by plumping for their annual option. (Sportspunter.com does not however have, as far as I can see, the embedded bet placement feature above, but still… it is a lot cheaper). And pricing matters more with this kind of betting than, I think, with any other, as high stakes arbing is purely about return on investment. Meaning, it definitely isn’t fun to do! I’d even go so far as to say it’s tedious in the extreme over any length of time.
Selection of one of the long-running pricing options is however still probably the right way to go if you are going to sign up, as either of these products is going to take a lot of time to master. You will need to invest time, money and patience while you do so, and you should be looking to keep your costs down as you learn, because you may actually lose money whilst you get the hang of it in months one and two.
You will also need a lot of bookmaker accounts, and some pretty smart money management. It stands to reason you will have to use Moneybookers (or Skrill as it is now called) to minimise the risk of credit card charges and reduce transfer delays. You will also have to keep very close tabs on where you are with each bookie, as you are likely to be betting very large sums, and there is therefore a high risk of your accounts getting limited. Personally, I think I would probably get pretty confused as to where I was up to if I got up to the 30-odd accounts required to exploit Rebel Betting fully.
So at the end of it, my feeling is: this is a career, not a part-time income. It might though be particularly well suited to someone who has retired and is looking to top up their pension income, but I fear they may go a little crazy doing it. If you do sign up, please don’t forget to go outside once in a while!
My personal conclusion is that there are easier ways of arbing, but that’s simply my own choice. They don’t however involve spending thousands of euros on subscriptions. For instance, review the comments below regarding the use of the ‘Keep’ option in Betfair.…OK, it’s not strictly arbing but a light form of trading, but it’s free, fun, simple, and works for me.
Rebel Betting is therefore going in neither the Passed or Failed Category. I can’t bring myself to ‘can’ it, as it really is a brilliant piece of software. But, in my view, it is sadly, ultimately, overkill.