The bookmaking landscape has changed dramatically over the years with the rapid development of technologies and the rise of the internet. These days, in the sports betting industry you will come across two major categories of operators – soft and sharp bookmakers. In this article, we will explain what is the difference between these two and how can you take advantage of them.

Sharp bookmakers

Sharp bookies influence the movement of odds and operate under different business model compared to the rest. Their profits are based on high turnover and low margins. They rarely make errors in estimating probabilities and this allows them to offer higher value to punters compared to soft operators.

Sharp sportsbooks adjust their lines automatically through sophisticated mathematical models and various techniques and can react very swiftly in response to news or market changes that can affect the particular event. For example, they are capable of adjusting their odds if a key a player gets injured before or during a match, or change in circumstances appear – such as bad weather in horse racing.

These operators allow high stake limits and won’t limit your account, neither will hold your money.

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Soft bookmakers

Simply put, soft bookmakers follow the trends set by Sharps. These bookmakers still adjust their odds manually through traders and are much slower and less accurate when it comes to correction of odds in response to market changes. They model their business on high-profit margins and their offerings bring the worst value on average.

Due to their high margins, soft bookmakers can afford to invest heavily in advertising and developing brand recognition. This allows them to reach more recreational gamblers and constantly increase customer base.

The good news with soft bookmakers is that you can often find good value bets and arbitrage opportunities. However, you need to keep in mind that unlike sharp bookies, soft operators will seek to limit you, if they find out that you are a shrewd bettor or a player that engages in arbs.

Check our list with the most reliable soft bookmakers:

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Importance of using both bookmakers

If you want to be successful in arbitrage betting, you inevitably need to use both bookmakers as generally lucrative bets appear between them. Working only with sharps can be an appealing prospect, but it is almost impossible to place arb with sharp bookies as they simply react in a matter of seconds when adjustment is needed.

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