All successful bettors face the ongoing challenge of getting their bets down.
That’s because many bookmakers are much better at marketing than bookmaking. ‘Spanky’ calls them dressmakers, not bookmakers. They are very good at generating lots of publicity for big bets taken (from losers) or parlays paid out (again from losers) but they are very quick to limit or ban winning bettors.
The business model pioneered by European bookmakers is one of exclusively targeting recreational players. If you show the ability to consistently beat the closing line and/or win more bets than you lose, it is likely you’ll be needing a new out very soon.
There is a mix of man and machine in deciding when to ban or severely restrict a player. Here are some tips on how to stay under the bookie’s radar for as long as possible:
Unless you’re taking advantage of a big sign-up offer it is worth starting small. If you make a large initial deposit and start off well you’ll be under the microscope very quickly.
As a general rule the bigger the bet, the more likely it is for your account to be flagged. It is worth the extra effort of spreading your bets across multiple outs while understanding bankroll management. This will also help you stay under their bet limits which is important to do. Bettors consistently betting the maximum are under scrutiny very quickly.
The less consistent you are, the more the bookies will like you. They don’t want to see a disciplined bettor as they are far more likely to be profitable compared to those who vary their bet size depending on whether their recent bets have been winning or losing.
Most recreational players are on their mobile devices so you should do the same as much as possible.
Many +EV bettors get their action down well before game time. Bookmakers know that these are the softest lines and don’t take kindly to bettors who take advantage of this weak spot. They are also very quick to limit ‘steam chasers’ (aka board cleaners) who consistently get just in front of wider market moves.
Wagering large amounts and winning (or even just beating the closing line) on prop bets or low-profile events will see your account limited very quickly. You should mix up your bets with smaller wagers on bigger markets to reduce your average bet size and show that you’re not a single sport specialist. You can even make the occasional parlay just to look like a Joe not a Pro.
Small market specialists get limited or banned very quickly.
This is an obvious one but bookmakers will look at total dollars won and also the ROI on that profit.
Many bookmakers believe that you haven’t really won money from them unless you’ve actually made the withdrawal. As long as you’re still betting with them, they believe they’re a very good chance of winning it back. So consider every withdrawal as a potential red flag in their eyes.
We’re in a battle with the bookies every day so it’s easy to have a strong adversarial attitude towards them. But we need outs to survive so taking a longer-term view can help. Winning $30,000 over 6 months is likely a better result than winning $5,000 in the first month but then getting shut down.
Take note of the above tips to try and extend the longevity of your betting accounts.
Many successful bettors use the accounts of friends, family or acquaintances as ‘betting partners’. Just be aware that some bookmakers are so wary of winners that they will call the account holder to try and make sure it is actually them who are doing their own betting. They may make it sound like they’re calling to congratulate you on a winning streak, but really they are trying to find out if they know anything about sports and betting.
Some readers will be able to take advantage of a ‘Winners are welcome’ bookmaker like Pinnacle. We have explained how they take on the sharpest players with high limits and low juice. Unfortunately US residents can’t bet with Pinnacle right now, but for bettors from many other countries Pinnacle is a godsend. They will take action from all-comers and that means Pinnacle account holders can disregard almost all of the above tips. For everybody else it is worth trying to stay under the radar as much as possible. Developing a profitable approach is essential for betting success, but many winning bettors would argue that an even bigger challenge is actually being able to get their bets on.