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Limits at bookmakers, an overview of do’s and dont’s 0

Anyone who’s betting on sports is doing it to try to make a profit, and the bookmakers are out to make a profit too. Bookmakers have a profit margin on matches so that they can profit from every bet. Some bookmakers have a low margin, or in other words, the bookmaker has a high payout percentage, like Pinnacle (97.49%), Betfair (95%), 12bet/dafabet (95%) and several Asian bookmakers. The bookmakers that offer much lower payout percentages are usually European bookmakers like Interwetten (89.5%), BetatHome (90.2%), etc. But, these payouts are not conclusive because many of the high margin bookmakers, like Interwetten, are much slower with lowering their quotes. That way you can end up playing a much higher quote than you would be able to with the bookmakers that offer lower margins.

When you play these high quotes often, you are considered to be playing over the average market value. This can be very profitable and you can make “sure bets” or “value bets”. Making a sure bet means securing your profit by placing a lay bet, at Betfair for example, to make a guaranteed profit. Value betting is playing a notation that remained unchanged for too long, giving you a higher payout on every bet, which increases your potential profit. The downside to playing these kinds of bets is that the bookmakers will not want your “action” anymore after a certain period of time. In almost all cases, the bookmakers will cap your action by imposing a limit.

What is a limit? 

A limit is a maximum bet that you are allowed to place or a maximum payout that you can receive. If you exceed the amount of the limit, you will receive an error message or your bet amount will be reduced to below the limit. All bookmakers have limits to protect them from having to pay out a huge winning, which would be too much of a risk for them. A bookmaker prefers punters that bet 1,000 euros ten times than to have one punter that bets 10,000 euros all at once.

Because the bookmaker can limit you, it is very important to read up on the policies and actions of the bookmaker. For example, you can find out that at certain bookmakers many players have received a limit even though they haven’t done any value betting or sure betting. While on the other hand, some other bookmakers may seem to have a much looser policy. Because it’s completely allowed and legal for bookmakers to place

limits on players, you don’t want to end up with a bookmaker that puts you on a low limit! So be sure to do your homework and research where you want to play.

Why would you get a limit from the bookmaker? 

Your account may be limited for several different reasons. You could be placing high odds bets too often or you could be making too much profit. Yes, making too much profit can get you limited. The main reason why you can get a limit imposed by the bookmaker is because they see you as a player that will cost them in the long term. Basically, what the bookies want are losing players. The bookmakers encourage those players to be more by offering them bonuses.

The bookmakers use automated systems, so they can see it immediately when you play high notations and this can get you limited right away. So if you have just started betting with a bookmaker and you are trying to clear a bonus, make sure that you keep a low profile. Trying to clear a bonus when your account is limited will take you a long time. If you contact customer service about the limit, they will most likely tell you that the limit is their policy and they can’t change it.

However, not all bookmakers use limits. For example, most Asian bookmakers (like SBObet, 12Bet or Pinnacle) will never limit you. That’s because they update their odds quickly when circumstances for the match change or due to “syndicate betting” (communities that place a lot of money on the same bet). Another place where you will not be limited are the betting exchanges like Betfair, Betdaq or Matchbook.

How to prevent a b limit? 

Players that use the “sure bet” or “arbitrage” betting strategy have a high chance of being limited by a bookmaker. But, there are ways to delay being limited.

A person that often plays sure bets will usually do so with single bets. A bookmaker, however, prefers players that place combo bets where the expected profit per bet is much higher than when a player only places single bets. So players that place combo bets are limited less quickly that single bet players.

So when you, as an “arber”(someone who places “sure bets”), also place a lot of combo bets, a bookmaker will be less likely to limit you so you can stay longer with that bookie. Another tip is to not pick matches that are being played at the same time, so you can place a counter bet after the first one in case you need to.

You can also reduce the chance of being limited when you’re placing sure bets by placing bets with round numbers instead of rounding your bets to the exact penny

(decimal point). That will make, at most, a difference of 50 cents but it will make your sure bet less “suspicious”. If you bet €57.17 on a notation that drops shortly after you’ve made the bet, then it will be apparent to the bookmaker that you’re placing sure bets. However, if you bet an amount of €57 instead, it will “seem” less suspicious.

Bookmakers can also offer “bad lines”. These are notations that are completely off (wrong). It might be an incorrect assessment that causes the quote to be much too high or low, or the quotes can be reversed by accident. If you place a bet on a “bad line”, it will most likely be cancelled by the bookie, so there is no point in even betting on it. There are rumors that some bookmakers even deliberately place “bad lines” to lure the arbers (sure bettors) into a trap, but that is only speculation. If you want to learn more about “bad lines”, you can watch the following movie (in English):

All in all, regular punters shouldn’t see limits very often. But, players that push the boundaries, place high odds stakes or make too much profit should take this into account – you could be faced with limits.



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