Beating the bookies is the aim for every punter. Developing your betting and personal skills is certainly challenging, but there is something else that you should bear in mind, if you want to last a long time in this game. Have you ever factored in the bookies in your quest to become a successful punter? Bookmakers look out for themselves and as all profit organizations, they are only interested in increasing their own profit. Thus most of them don’t want to take any risks, so they play dirty and defend themselves against winning punters by banning or limiting successful players. It doesn’t take a lot to have your account restricted and if you aren’t careful enough, you will find your pursuit of conquering the bookmakers gets very frustrating and a lot more complicated. In this article you will read about the biggest mistakes that can lead to your betting accounts being limited or closed and you will learn a few tricks you can use to prevent it.
“We are contacting you today to advise that a business decision has been taken by our Senior Traders and I must inform you that your business account has now been closed and no further business may be executed on your behalf… As explained in our Terms and Conditions, a Traders decision is final and will not be overturned.”
Imagine receiving this email, not only is it very frustrating, but undoubtedly not fair practice by the bookies. And yet, there is no one out there that you can go to and complain about it. At the end of the day, the bookmakers are businesses and will do everything in their power to increase their profits and as long as their business sector isn’t properly regulated, they will continue to get away with this unfair practice.
Getting your account limited or closed isn’t very difficult these days. There are plenty of stories in newspapers and on internet forums from people telling of numerous reasons why bookmakers have done this to them. Most of them are claiming to be banned after a few big wins or good winning streaks. After doing some more research and reading plenty of comments from people who used to work for bookmakers, I found there was more to this story. It would seem that most of the online bookmakers hold the details of so called ‘problem’ gamblers, who are usually the ones who appear to be on a good winning streak or are winning big bets. They exchange this information with each other which again is a questionable practice. This may explain why some punters get their accounts banned with other bookmakers very soon after registering with them and having placed only a few winning bets.
Keeping your bookie accounts usable is even more crucial when betting on more exotic leagues or smaller markets, which can be accessible only with certain bookmakers such as Bet365 or Marathonbet. That’s why you should do whatever it takes to protect them.
Here are some DO’s and DON’Ts to help prevent your bookie accounts from being limited or closed down completely:
1. Place fun accumulators
Bookies love their mug punters and accumulators are one of their best earners. Give them a reason to think that you are also a recreational player and go ahead and place some small, fun accumulators every now and then.
2. Place some of your bets in-play
There is a common perception that in-play betting is seen a little differently to pre match bets, as wagers placed after the game starts are often driven by emotions and are always welcomed by the bookies. It is good practice to place some of your bets shortly after kick off as you are more likely to look like a mug punter and less like an expert.
3. Round your stakes
If you follow a percentage staking plan, make sure not to place bets with exact decimal values such as £52.45 etc. By not rounding the stakes you may be seen as an ‘arber’ (someone who uses the best available odds and spreads his bets across many bookies to secure a guaranteed profit) and bookies don’t like people who do this. You can be sure that they will quickly restrict your betting options once they have suspicions about any potential arbitraging activities. Round your stakes up to nearest £5 or £10.
4. Stay quiet – don’t contact support unnecessarily
If there isn’t anything urgent concerning your account, don’t contact them. Seriously. Especially don’t contact the support about any unsettled bets. There is usually a reason those bets haven’t been settled yet e.g. some suspicious events, losing match coverage etc. They will get settled eventually and there is no need to be impatient. The last thing that you want is to draw attention to your winning account and have it reviewed or monitored closer.
5. Use other bookies whenever possible
Some bookies are better than the others. Everyone has their own favourite and usually sticks to those when betting. But using various bookies for betting is not only crucial to get the best available odds, it also makes it more difficult to track your real betting performance. Using more than one bookie will spread your winners and losers, and you would have to be very unlucky to get restricted for long winning streaks with a particular bookmaker.
6. Use betting exchanges
It’s not always the best option, as the liquidity may not be that great on some markets, but it’s still a very reliable way of getting your bets matched without worrying about getting limited. Your only worry would be the premium charges once you start making too much money, but if you are just getting started you don’t need to worry about that for now.
7. Don’t ask to increase stake limits
Certain bookies such as Bet365 have a ‘Bet Max’ option, which informs you about the maximum stake that you can place at given odds on a certain outcome. This is dependent on the calibre of an event and type of market. You will often find smaller leagues and matches have smaller limits, as these events are not well researched by the bookies and usually provide good value. You would be shooting yourself in the foot if you ask them to take your bigger stake on those matches, so seriously, don’t. It’s better to match those bets again using another account or with another bookie.
8. Be careful when betting on exotic leagues or suspicious events and staking high
If you are lucky to access real insider information or know of any fixed matches then you may want to think twice before placing a big bet with your bookie. It is likely to be a bet on a smaller match or market, with smaller stakes available to bet on. Most likely you will win, but the bookies will probably find out about any unusual patterns and if you decide to target those matches, they will surely show you the door.
9. Break your winning streak with some losing bets (Laying your bets on Betfair)
As you know, bookies don’t like winners, especially those big wins. Have you won too much with your bookie recently? Well, be nice and ‘give some of it back’ to keep them happy. Just try to back some higher odds outcomes with the bookies and lay them on Betfair Exchange. You would be very unlucky to win those big odds bets with the bookie (and will probably get banned too). When your bets with the bookie lose, your other ones on Betfair will be winners. The bookie is happy, you are off the hook and still have the money. Win-win.
10. Don’t move your money into and out of your account unnecessarily
Apparently bookies don’t like it when you request to withdraw your winnings. Do it often and for big amounts and you will be on their radar. Moving money out and back into your account is also seen as something problematic, if you use a paying card. It’s all about the charges that bookies have to deal with when you choose to use your debit or credit card to withdraw your money. Use Skirll or Paypal whenever possible.
11. Don’t abuse the system with bookies’ free bets and special offers
It’s easy to get carried away and start claiming multiple free bets from the same bookie using details of your closest family using the same address or even computer. It’s against bookies’ terms and conditions and don’t be surprised, if they track all your accounts and close them down.
12. Plan ahead – choose your betting strategies carefully
Before you commit yourself to a specific system or strategy, make sure that you won’t have any problems getting your bets matched as your increase your stakes in the future. Many of the stories about limited and banned punters are related to big odds winners on horse racing. Someone winning many long shot bets will ring alarm bells to the bookie and will be brought down sooner or later. If you bet on HT/FT markets you may wish to stick to smaller stakes or use Betfair Exchange whenever possible.
13. Make sure you have accounts with winner friendly bookies
Not all online bookmakers are evil. There are some, who pride themselves as winner friendly and simply allow those successful punters to coexist. The most well known are Pinnacle Sports and SBOBet, however if you live in the British Isles, it may be a little more complicated to use their services as both of these bookies have recently ceased trading in the UK due to changes in the UK Gambling legislation. You may still be able to place your bets with them though if you use betting brokers, who will gain access for you to the biggest Asian bookies.
Do you know of any other tips? Have you ever had an account limited or closed down?