Imagine that you place an arbitrage bet and you find out that it has been cancelled? There are two reasons for cancelled arbitrage bets:
1) It might be a palpable error – this is an obvious error made by the bookmaker. You can detect it, if and when you understand the market. Usually they incorrectly insert the odds – they swap the odds of the home team with those of the away team. This is the reason an arbitrage bet appears, but not the healthy one.
If you are a more experienced arbitrage trader, you don’t place these arbitrages, because you know that up to 80% will be voided. An advanced arbitrage trader may even try it (not covering immediately, but waiting) and check it before the match, and then cover. But arbitrage traders usually don’t bother with these at all, because these bets are like a big fluorescent sign saying “I am a sports arbitrage bettor, please close my account”.
2) Mostly the match is cancelled due to some trouble, and is not played. As a result, all of the sports arbitrage bets are voided, and returned to your account.
So what should you do when you find out your bet has been cancelled?
First of all it is important to find the other leg of the arbitrage – it might be just one or two bets. Then try to Google something about the match – maybe the weather just went crazy – and it is obvious that it will be voided everywhere.
If there was palpable error: You need to cover the open sports arbitrage as soon as possible, so that you don’t have an open position. Sometimes it happens that this will end up as a negative arbitrage. You might lose around 1–5% of the whole stake – but come on, it is much better than losing the entire stake, right? As an arbitrage bettor you need to cover all possible outcomes of the match – remember that.
If there is unfinished match you need to be careful about the betting rules of each bookmaker. Some bookies reserve up to 48 hours for the match to be played; others only 24 hours. If it is not played or finished, then they will void it. So check the rules and then either wait, or – if you read some news that the match will be played for example next day and one of your bets would not be covered – cover it, so that it is sports arbitrage, and not just gambling.
Hint! Say you have just one leg of the arbitrage, for example at Pinnacle, and the other is palpable error on bwin. Have you considered that you could cover this sports arbitrage bet at Pinnacle (the same bookie)? If you don’t find out anything better, this is always a way to cover your bet. So the sentence “I could not cover my bet anywhere” is just almost never true! Hope this helps!