If you bet on a tennis arbitrage at say, Bwin and Expekt, they both have the Group1 rules. This means that even if a player retires, the arb is valid, and you´ll get paid the expected amount regardless of who retires (or who wins). As long as you place arbs on bookies that have the same rules, you’re home free.
But what happens if you bet on “mixed rules”, where the bookies have different rules)? (For advanced arbitrage bettors only)
Let’s see what happens if you bet $500 with odds 2,05 on Player1 on Bookie1 that has the “Ball Served” rule, and $500 with odds 2,05 on Player 2 on Bookie2 that has the “1 Set Completed” rule.
- If neither tennis player retires, you´ll get paid your expected arbitrage percentage ($25 or 2,5%)
- If Player1 retires before the first set is completed, Player2 officially wins the match. You have then lost your bet at Bookie1, and your bet at Bookie2 will get refunded to your account. In total, you´ve lost the entire wager amount on Bookie1 (-$500).
- If Player2 retires before the first set is completed, Player1 officially wins the match. You have then won your bet at Bookie1 (+$525), and your bet at Bookie2 will get refunded.
- If Player1 or Player2 retires after the first set is complete, the bet stands on both bookies, and you´ll get paid your expected arbitrage percentage ($25 or 2,5%).
Though not common, it happens sometimes that tennis players retire. The risk of this happening depends on a lot of factors, such as which the participants are (some players retires more than others) the weather condition, the surface of the event (hard court, clay etc) and so on. For example, in Wimbledon 2009, Michael Llodra had to retire when colliding with the umpire’s chair and a ball girl.
In other words, it could be extremely risky betting on mixed rules, and therefore we do not recommend doing it if you do not fully understand the risks of it.
However, if you do understand the risks and are comfortable with the variance then it can be very profitable in the long run to bet on mixed rules. This is because there are a high number of bets available with mixed rules.