Arb of the Week, 2/10/11 – 8/10/11 / Mike C’s Arb Service Test

As regular readers will know, I’m a huge fan of Mike Cruickshank’s Bonus Bagging Service, and have racked up some very nice risk-free profits testing it on my site.     I believe that it represents an easy way of building a betting bank, before moving on to other systems later.

This week therefore, I’ve decided to test Mike’s new arbitrage service.    Can it deliver the same sort of risk-free profits as the basic bonus bagging product?

Well to begin with, unlike Bonus Bagging, the new arbitrage service is a pay-as-you-go product.    The cost is £10+VAT per month (i.e. £12 / month), which does compare favourably with other arbing services.  However, the focus seems, on first use, much narrower than say, Sports Punter, with the arbs offered by Mike being almost exclusively of the ‘back and lay’ type (i.e. backing at a bookie and laying off at an exchange).

There is of course nothing wrong with back-and-lay arbitrage in principle provided the service does deliver a profit.  However it does mean that profits can be eroded by Betfair commission, plus, most worryingly, liquidity may become a serious issue at the exchange.

Take for example the following sample screenshot from today:

Mike Cruickshanks Arb Service
Mike Cruickshanks Arb Service


On first sight, I was hoping to select the match between Espanyol and Real Madrid, with an away/draw combination in the half-time/full-time market delivering a nice little profit.   However, the lack of liquidity is shown in the right hand column.    With only £102 being available on Betfair, I wouldn’t be able to place bets for more than about £5, and even then I might not be matched if another user of Mike’s came in at that precise second.

To be fair, I have subsequently got the following arb matched, precisely because the odds on offer are a lot lower (thus helping the available Betfair liquidity go further):

Mike's arb screen #2
Mike's arb screen #2

Unfortunately though, I have had to place a little more on the Lay side of the arb to compensate for Betfair commission, which in turn reduces the overall profit potential as follows:

Stan James Back Bet Win for La Equidad Winnings Possible
Back 3.9
Stake £40.00 £116.00
Betfair Lay
Lay 3.6
Stake £42.10 (£109.46)
Potential Profit £6.54


Still, as you can see, a win for La Equidad would deliver a nice little addition to the Arb of the Week running profit total – so fingers crossed!

In summary though, I do still have one or two reservations, as described above, about Mike’s arb system: certainly in contrast to his Bonus Bagging Service which strikes me as a complete no-brainer.   And although his arbing product is good value, its usefulness is likely to be limited.   So if you sign up, do so with your eyes wide open…

Lucy x

ps why not instantly download my free 30-page ebook on making £1000 per month from betting systems?  The methods are all low-risk and re-usable, so why not click here and get it now!

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  1. Lucy says

    In the end, the match ended as a 0-0 draw, which means we remain at a running profit of £100.96 after 13 arbs. It also leaves me feeling slightly underwhelmed about this arb service: certainly less so than I am about Mike’s Bonus Bagging product anyway….

    Having said all that, I should re-emphasize one thing about Mike Cruickshank: his customer service to date has been second to none. Of course, I have only experienced this on Bonus Bagging, but I have no reason to expect things to be any different with his arb service. This is worth a heck of a lot in my opinion, and may well be decisive for you.


  2. says

    Hello Lucy
    Great review site.
    I to would recommend Bonus Bagging to anyone, but like yourself, I tried the arbitrage software and became increasingly frustrated with it.
    As you state, the majority of the arbs are at high odds and laying these becomes a problem with liquidity on Betfair or Betdaq.
    I tried highlighting those arbs priced up to 10/1 and using Mike’s system of breaking even at worst and getting the big profits if they won. This proved frustrating as the odds suggest, I was breaking even most times.
    I also found that the majority of my bets were with the same bookmaker (Stan James) as their prices seemed to hold, but the likes of Blue Sq, Paddypower, Betfred, Coral and to a lesser extent, WH, Ladbrokes and Victor Chandler there prices were gone as soon as I hit the refresh button.
    Also frustrating was the fact that prices were still highlighted in somes cases 10 minutes after they had been shortened by the above bookies in particular Paddypower. A lot of their arbs came up but the prices had long gone. In my time using the software, I never once got a bet on with PP.
    As a whole the software was OK especially with SJ and I appreciate the work and effort involved with it. But with prices changing on lots of events so quickly, it was unable to keep up with this which was my main concern. I don’t know if any software would be able to do this.

    • Lucy says


      Thank you for your kind remarks and welcome to my site.

      Your experiences seem to align well with my own. I really wanted to like this service, as I have been so impressed with Bonus Bagging. But real-time detection and flagging of arbs – especially of the back-and-lay variety – is a much more difficult trick to pull off, and I’m not convinced Mike is quite there yet. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if version 2 came along soon, and with it some improved results.

      So I suppose I’m sort of sitting on the fence with this one – and as a result not placing it in either my ‘Passed’ or ‘Failed’ category!


  3. Chris says

    I tried the software a couple of times and after a few seconds it would disappear altogether, Mike said that it wasn’t available in my area which kind of baffled me really. So I lost a tenner on subs and no harm done. As for other arbing software on the market there looks like there’s some pretty hot software out there but it comes at a premium, and you’ll need a roll to suit, which kind of makes it difficult for most of us to start up I think. I do wonder how arbing will evolve in the future as more and more people get involved and more bookies get wise to your betting patterns and close you down along with other setbacks incurred along the way.

    • Lucy says


      I can’t resist pointing out that this is kind of why I evolved my own system…. 😉 Arbing systems that involve wagering huge amounts really aren’t realistic…

      I plan to trial Rebel Betting sometime soon, which I believe looks very promising. More soon when I’m home from Cyprus…


  4. Steve says

    It really amazes me how impatient and thick most people that buy betting systems are – “I tried the software a few times????” Do you really expect to make any money trying things a few times.

    I also have mikes arbs software and it works very well. If you think you are going to make money from 50p bets then you are wrong. To make good money arbing you need decent size stakes

    The software is right about 80% of the time. Certain bookies do not update well, so you ignore then. I am able to clear roughly £15 a day with no risk

    • Lucy says

      Hello again Steve,

      I take your point about the need for persistence, and indeed I do think it applies well to most systems – as you will notice from the length of most of the system tests I run. Maybe a lot of the anti-climax with Mike’s arb service simply arose from the fact that it wasn’t anywhere near as much of a no-brainer as Bonus Bagging…. it certainly requires a lot more work, and appears to deliver modest returns for quite a lot of effort.

      Having said that, if you are making £15 profit per day, then I think you are doing very well. I’d be interested in hearing a little more about your day-to-day experiences… How long have you been achieving this level of profit? How much time do you put in per day? Also, given your comment about “decent size stakes”, have you had problems with over-zealous bookies limiting your accounts? :-)

      At the moment, the system is in neither my Passed nor Failed categories, so more information might conceivably help inform a final decision!

      many thanks

      Lucy x

      • Anne says

        Hi Lucy,
        In your “how to make £1000 per month” paper, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading by the way, you mention that using DIY arbitrage you can expect to make £10 per day. Why, therefore, would you use a paid service that doesn’t appear to offer much more?


        • Lucy says


          Thank you for your kind remarks.

          The simple answer is – hassle, as DIY arbitrage involves a fair bit more effort than a good arb alarm service. It all depends on your personal tedium threshold, I guess. :)

          The monthly costs of a service like the Bonus Bagging alarm product should be recoverable within a couple of trades, after which it’s delivering pure, low-hassle profit. Many users will therefore find it more attractive than the basic DIY approach.


  5. Brian Coyle says

    Lucy, I know it’s about 5 months ago, but I was looking forward to a response from Steve, regarding the questions you raised about exactly how he manages to make £15 a day, with no risk. I too tried Mike’s arb service, but found like many people that in practice, it’s almost impossible to profit. To make it worthwhile, you have to place large sums on the available odds – which invariably changed or disappeared when you clicked on them – to gain a small return, and the time involved did not justify the result. Also, I have read on forums, about many people who had their accounts restricted or closed, not so much because they were winning, but simply due to the fact that the bookies realised that they were ‘arbing’. Remember, bookies do not particularly like winners!
    Because of this, I personally would put this in the Failed category.

    • Lucy says

      Hello Brian,

      Nice to have you on the site!

      I will drop Steve an email and give him the opportunity to reply. I do understand your concerns though. I struggled with the system and really only went with Neutral on account of the short trial duration.

      I also have a lot of time for Mike and wouldn’t be surprised if he improved matters with a second, updated version.

      But yes, I do agree it’s important to not let on we are arbing to the bookies. A good idea is to only ever bet at bookmakers in units of £5.


  6. puppyguts says

    hi lucy,

    you mention that you have made 100+ from 13 arbs, this is pretty decent imo especially when you consider it is risk free, seems harsh to say the system isn’t successful after the return you have made.

    the best way to use this system/service imo is to use it along side bonus bagging as you can extract maximum value from your free bets and qualifing bets, which i believe it was originally intended and would easily justify the sub

    and as some1 else mention, this system shouldn’t be evaluated on a short term basis

    • Lucy says


      Thanks for your comment and welcome to my site.

      The 100+ from 13 arbs was achieved using my own Arb of the week method…. I simply inserted Mike’s system in here as one example of an arbing approach. Sorry if that’s confused you!

      I put Mike’s Arb Service in my neutral category for the reasons you give. I agree it could be used effectively in conjunction with Bonus Bagging, but still think my reservations about undue reliance on back-and-lay arbs stand.


      Lucy x

      • Ian says

        Hi Lucy

        I have signed up to Mike Arb system having recently benefited from Bonus Bagging. However I am not experienced when it comes to betting.

        I am intrigued as to how much you had wagered to place the 13 arbs with £100 profit and over what period of time, was it a single day, week, etc.

        If you could let me know as I may be interested in your methods. Thanks

        • Lucy says


          Thank you for your comment and welcome to my site.

          The full log of how I made £100+ profit in 13 arbs is contained in the Arb of the Week series of articles of which this post is one. In fact, this was the running total as at Oct 2011, so is massively out of date now, though I have since stopped updating it. The series of articles however continues on a weekly basis!

          You will also be pleased to hear that almost all the methods I have used in this series can be obtained instantly, for free, by downloading my 43 page manual on making £1000 per month from betting systems.

          Kind regards

          Lucy x

  7. chris pallister says

    Hi Lucy

    I came across your site today and have downloaded you guide it looks very interesting.

    Well I am also a fan of Bonus Bagging and have being bagging since Christmas 2011. I decided last week to start concentrating on arb trading using Mikes service. This moring I was was unable to place a bet with Stan James as they stopped my account as I was deemed to great a risk by thier traders.

    Hence, I wanted to find out best betting strategies to place arb bets to avoid further rejections. Incidentially my stakes were no more than between 10 or 20 pounds and all rounded numbers. It was a bit of a shock to be but on stop. I have boat loads of other bookies to deal with but Stan James has been lost witihn a week of Daily trading and only when I come home from work. Hence looking for answers I came accress your site.

    Hoping to find answers to protect the golden goose



    • Lucy says


      All I can say to that is that bookies never cease to amaze me. Stan James do appear to be closing a lot of accounts lately, as I know from anecdotal evidence from several other readers.

      They recently dropped their BOG offering too so it looks like they’re adopting a safety-first stance.

      I shouldn’t panic about the golden goose. There are a lot of bookies out there offering better terms than SJ. Just try to stick to good principles – see here for more.


  8. Robert says

    Been doing BB arbs for 1 month and have profited $700. Not used it every day but can normally make $30 a session. Much easier than Betfair trading.

  9. says

    I have been using Betfair Baggers arbitrage service since the beginning of January 2013. I certainly have not made a huge amount of money, but combined with other systems and being aware that Betfair prices go up and down (with an indication of what the betting odds are likely to be then I can use the service to obtain other arbs. Mike gives additional advice which is also useful. I would recommend the arb service as a supplement as I do not have a large enough Betfair pot make a lot of money. The service certainly pays for itself and can be used in other ways.
    I also have been disallowed by STAN JAMES which seems strange because I lost money with them more than made money; is is just that my reward came from Betfair. Shame because they do good odds.

  10. Squirrel says

    Mike`s Arbitrage service is a copy from what I can see of the Odds Monkey website. There is a free service with a 30 minute delay or a premium servivce with no delay at £8.00 per month.

  11. says

    30 minutes delay is not much use to anybody squirel.

    bagging arbitrage training is the best. on thursday one bet made £40 from the video tips – thanks william hill 😉

    i have been doing this for 2 1/2 months and total money made is £650.

    much better value than otthers; rebel betting is a bit expensive for me (130 euros a mnnth). i will be staying with mike.

  12. James says

    I find it a bit disappointing that the arb software makes £15 a day for some. I would have thought the bonus bagging service makes around that. Ok 15 quid a day with no risk is still not to be complained about, with no real work, but it isn’t like an amazing income. From the comments, it also seems that it is kind of challenging to use the software.

    • Lucy says


      If it does indeed make £15 a day – and I have no idea if it does – that would equate to £450 in a calendar month tax free. For an outlay of a few pounds per month. Plus you also get the best customer service I have encountered in the industry.

      I guess it’s a personal decision as to whether this is a good deal, but it does look more than fair to me.


  13. James says

    Hi Lucy. Yeah, in a month that is a nice supplement income. However, I am not sure if it is without risk. We do have risk of bookmakers closing down accounts. Also it does sound from the previous comments that is, that the software can be very tricky to use. Such as lay at high odds, using the same bookmaker too much, etc. Are you still using the software Lucy, if not, why not?

    • Lucy says


      I don’t know what time it is where you are but it’s after 1 AM in the UK, so I’m going to bed!

      The simple answer is that I do most of my trading on the exchange these days. In the end all roads lead to Betfair.

      Please feel free to download my free Rollingstone manual to find out more.

      Lucy x

  14. says

    The software is not tricky to use. If you can do Bonus Bagging then you are more than qualified to use the software.

    £15 a day tax free is good. Not many systems can deliver that. I include a PDF of me making £140 in one day including screen shots of the bets placed.

    Betfair isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Once your account is £1000 in net profit then your profits get premium charged between 20% – 60%.

  15. James says

    Hi Mike. I was wondering why need the software to make 15 a day, when bonus bagging can probably make that? Is it that we can run out of bookie bonuses? Yeh, I suppose if it is mostly risk free, it isn’t too bad. I am taking this stuff nice, slow and easy at the moment. If all is good, I will for sure test the software. I have downloaded your Rollingstone manual, Lucy, it was a nice read. Some nice info on there. However, from experience I have not yet found a betting system that works over long term or even short term. The reason could be maths, we lose on odds. As for arbing, I am not sure I want to, or can do search for the right arbs. I guess that is why I like an arbing service. Cheers :)

  16. Dennis says


    I joined Bonus Bagging after having thought of it for a long time. Finaly i did it and this is the best service i have joined in all my years in the trading and gambling industry. First i thought it was gona be difficult but it turned out to be as easy as making a cup of tea. I made back the member fee in my first bet and after just 23 days i had made roughly 850£. When being a member you get access to a fantastic piece of tool which you can use to find you`r own bets. That tool is the best thing that ever happen to me after my 2 kids, and i am dead serious.

    So when i got a mail from the author of Bonus Bagging about his new software that give you the chance of making risk free cash every day, i didnt hesitated for a second. I have been using this for only a few weeks and i honestly never thought i was gona be given this chance in life. It just works. It looks so promising that i have to calm my self down every morning i wake up and think of the possibilitys i have in front of me every day.

    What ever comes from ther authour of these fantastic tools in the future i will be the first to join.

    Finally there is something and someone i can trust and i whant to send a big thank you to Mike for given me this chance to be apart of the trading world without the risk to loose.


  17. James says

    Well, thanks for the comment. Seems like you are doing well. That tool seems promising then. I am taking my time with bonus bagging. I actually wait till the money is withdrawn before I look for any new bets. As betting accounts need to be verified and time to withdraw your money. I haven’t made anywhere near 850 yet. Just taking it nice and easy.

  18. Bogdan says

    Do you know any bonus bagging service that dosen`t use arbs it just makes me bag the profits i put some money place a bet and then get out my money and the bonus money?

    • Lucy says


      I’m not sure I quite follow you.

      The use of arbs in bonus bagging is optional, but provides insurance against your bookie bet(s) losing. You could of course bag bonuses in the way you describe, but this approach runs the risk of you losing some bets.

      What products like Mike Cruickshank’s Bonus Bagging attempt to do is take the risk element out of the equation, so you can extract the value of the bonus without risking your cash.


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