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Last updated: 05 Mar 12:45
Bookmakers are for-profit enterprises and can act in ways that damage the people who create accounts with them and put their money there. The purpose of this article is to enrich your betting knowledge, to prepare you for some of the techniques the bookies are deploying, to save you time and money and to help you be more vigilant and pragmatic.
It may seem like a bargain when a bookmaker sends you an email such as “BET NOW – massive price boost”. However, just because they have increased the price does not mean that you cannot find a better price at their competitors. Usually, the bookmakers provide some useless stats in conjunction with the offer such as “Both teams have scored in each of their 5 games”. Cool. Very helpful.
Take with a pinch of salt the bonuses the bookmakers are giving you – very few people actually read the turnover conditions. These requirements could be quite ridiculous such as “stake your bonus + deposit 10 times in 14 days on exclusive markets for specific betting options only” – otherwise you lose the bonus! This is especially relevant for sign-up offers but can also apply to day-to-day free bets.
Cash out has been advertised lately as something that benefits the punter. It must be though – right? A tensioned game on which you have staked on is happening right now, and you can hedge the risk and secure some nice money without having to sweat until the end! Not quite…In fact, their competitors will quite likely be offering an option to win more money.
Example: You bet 10 GBP on Chelsea to beat Arsenal at odds 2.1 (pre-game) 10 Minutes into the game Chelsea takes the lead, and you can cash out for 13 GBP However, it is quite probable that if you bet 6 GBP on Chelsea NOT TO WIN with another bookmaker (i.e. Arsenal to win or the game to end in a draw), then the odds should be around 3.6.
Hence, with cashing out, you are in profiting 3.00 GBP. However, if you bet 6 GBP (you total stake on the game is now 10+6=16 pounds) on Arsenal to NOT LOSE, in another bookie, which will increase your betting nakroll more dramatically. In that case, you will be profiting 21-10-6=5 GBP if Chelsea wins AND (6x3.6)-10-6=5.6 GBP if Chelsea does not win. Shopping around is the first step to successful betting management!
The bookies will proceed a withdrawal request when you have the relevant documents to verify your identity and address (you are free to deposit as soon as you sign up though!). That can take days and sometimes you would have to chase up – naturally getting the documents in the first place may be time-consuming as well. An efficient and simple remedy for that is to send your documents when you open your account (and sending an updated document for proof of address every 3 months). Such solution can also prevent the bookies from taking other actions against you. For example, Unibet and 888sport are from the same group and have 99% the same odds offerings. If you submit your documents before depositing with Unibet, their accounts’ team will inform you if they are applying any restrictions to your account in case you had/currently have an account in 888sport.
Worth underlying that is quite important to keepi deposits and withdraws in the same currency. For instance, if you have deposited in one currency (say GBP) and then try to withdraw money in other currency (say EUR) in your e-wallet (Skrill/Neteller, etc.), then the conversion charge will be quite high.
Some winning players are bound to have their maximum available stakes cut to only a few pounds. However, it is key to know that you are much more likely to get your account limited if you win say 100 pounds betting on remote low leagues (such as Argentina Reserves Division 2) than if you gain 10,000 pounds betting on English Premier League. If you bet on top leagues, it is MUCH HARDER to get an edge over the bookmakers in the long-run since they are very precise with their odds. You can find out why betting on lower leagues is more profitable by reading an article I have recently published in the Betting.com betting blog. Even if you win a lot high end football leagues, bookies know that this is most likely due to chance rather than acumen. On the other hand, doing a small research for obscure games can mean you can evaluate odds MUCH BETTER than the bookmakers! Whatever your circumstances, here are some PRO TIPS on how to keep your account for longer:
Do not bet with weird numbers: Do not bet 160.16 GBP, even if you are using Kelly Criterion for a better betting portfolio. Stake 160 GBP and you should be fine. Weird numbers arrest the attention of traders, since their software alerts for a potential arbitraging strategy!
Do not bet the maximum stake available: For instance, if the maximum stake at bet365 for a game from Romania, Division 3 is 450 GBP – do not invest more than 400 GBP. Maximum bets again are something that software will flag.
Do not bet exclusively on low leagues: Bookmakers love when people stake on top leagues, and if you divert from that, you are likely to get noticed… and potentially have your account limited.
Do not use inconsistent staking: If you stake 4 GBP on Arsenal – Chelsea and then 400 GBP on a game in Bulgaria, Division 2 – that will get flagged by the relevant software as well.
If your account gets limited: You cannot really complain about that, unfortunately… You can still partially mitigate that risk with good betting management! For example, if you want to bet on Team A to beat Team B in an obscure game, you can stake some money on Team A to win and then some funds on Team A -0,50 Asian Handicap. Moreover, you can wait LIVE – then every 3 minutes or so you can stake on Team A and Team A -0,50 Asian Handicap with only a slight change in price.
When it comes to less renowned games, bookmakers may act in a very unfair manner. As mentioned in a previous article of our betting blog, the traders are notoriously bad at utilising betting analytics for such events. However, they may decide to void such games before or AFTER these events have started when they see that they have made terrible mistakes with the odds evaluation! The best way to approach it is to complain via live chat and seek your rights. A colleague of mine received a 20 GBP free bet for bringing such a matter to bet365. Not too bad for 3 minutes of chatting!
It is quite difficult to find such issues when you have many accounts with odds providers – the different bookmakers will not provide you with a common platform for auto bet settlement. By exporting your betting history to one place, using auto bet tracking and a bet calculator, you can identify wrongdoing easier and save yourself time and money. That can also help you observe patterns and enable you to see if you are losing too much.
However, bookmakers may be in their right to be settling bets in a “strange way”. That applies commonly to tennis – for example, if a player wins by walkover of his rival, some companies will merely refund your stake. Others will treat it as if the player who has withdrawn has lost the game. Therefore, be aware of such tricks next time you see amazing odds, especially for tennis!
Bookmakers have the sole discretion to close your account if they want to! This is merely a part of the terms and conditions which you agree to when opening your account. However, if they refuse to return your money IN FULL when doing that, then you have to act fast and contact the relevant authorities.
Whatever you think about established names such as Ladbrokes and bet365 – their activities are observed by governments around the world, and they have to comply with liquidity. However, in recent years new players are coming to the scene and they would try to trick you with sign-up offers, free bets and solid odds. Some of these providers have the intention to remain in the business, but since the market is increasingly competitive, if they suffer financial losses, you may end up losing all the funds you have in your account. There have been quite a few bookmakers in recent years that have vanished and chasing up for your money there is certainly not fun – if at all possible. A few tips would be to contact the gambling commission in your country and look at forums – maybe fellow bettors have the same issue with the same bookmaker.
If you are a high-roller betting with brokers – be advised that SingBet, Mollybet and many others tend to void bets way too often and doing something about it may be close to impossible.
Betting.com are committed to providing a smart bet tracker, equip you with relevant betting knowledge so that you can increase your betting bankroll. Nevertheless, you are investing real money, and if you have a poor bankroll management, you may end up losing a lot. Be aware that the bookmakers are spending millions to advertise their services and attract gamblers (especially ones who are losing!). The outcome is quite clear – more than 95% of the bettors lose money in the long-term. Do not let betting ruin your life! If you need help, contact GamCare.
Note: If you DO NOT LIVE in the UK, there are other regulatory bodies that you should contact in case big problems arise!
About the author:
Please note that any previews, recommendations or information available on the Betting.com website is just with informative purpose. All betting activities do involve risk, please bet with funds that you can afford to lose. Betting.com cannot be hold responsible for any gains or losses occurred as a consequence of information found on the Betting.com website!
Teemu MaarelaEsports & Ice Hockey Specialist
Bio:Teemu is an enthusiastic Finn who spent his childhood around ice hockey and video games, and he has 10+ years of experience with sports betting industry. Teemu specialises in analysing esports and ice hockey games. He contributes to Betting.com website in English, writing about his two passions - ice hockey and esports.