Betting Hacks; How to Not Get Banned by Your Bookie
Once upon a time, bookies used primitive forms of communication – tic-tac men on the racecourses and (unreliable) phone lines or a telegraph system between their offices and those of rivals.
Back in those days, it was somewhat easier for a punter who took his betting seriously to spot some unusually good odds and quickly place a bet before the bookie could even think of laying it off, never mind doing so.
In the 1960s and 70s, most betting shops were family-run businesses. Bookies knew their punters in person (like you used to know your bank manager and be able to talk to him as an individual, not just a number) they congratulated punters on big wins and continued to take their bets or commiserated on significant losses and continued to take their bets.
Fast forward a few years, to the mid-1980s, and the heyday of the 'Big Four' bookmakers with multiple outlets. Communications have improved considerably, and you can now view events in the bookie's shop and sit on a comfy chair. However, your bet is now taken by a faceless assistant (the manager is out playing golf) and your wins and losses go unmentioned.
In the 1990s, the era of the Internet arrived, along with other smart technologies like digital spreadsheets and analytics programs. Mobile phones are no longer bricks and bookies have become 'the enemy' for punters and conversely, winning punters are the bookies worst nightmare.
The thing the bookies did not foresee, was that a percentage of the gambling masses were no longer merely making selections with a pin and their eyes closed, they were making the best use of those very same technologies to up their winning percentages.
It's the start of a new millennium, let the battle commence. Two relatively equal sides go to war, but then it turns out that one has an unfair advantage, a superpower if you like and that is the bookies. They no longer need to fight with you, they have the power to beat you by reducing your weapons, or simply wiping you (and your account) out completely.
What Did I do Wrong?
There are several things you can do to get entirely banned by your bookie and have your betting account terminated. It is not rocket science to work out what some of those are.
However, there is an even bigger list of things you can do to make him prick his ears up and restrict your privileges, meaning that you are now on a 'watch' list and it is not fun in the same way as buying on eBay.
The problem now is simple algorithms. Going back to Chapter 1, your bank did not do telephone or online banking; you were forced to walk into your branch for every transaction. The bank manager was always lurking in the background and if you had been a bad boy, he would come to the counter to ask for 'a word' and swiftly pull out the 2-inch thick folder relating to your account.
Now, it is all about the numbers. You are an account number, with a numbered income and a numbered credit rating. You can either have a loan, or you can't, based entirely on those numbers. Unfortunately, algorithms do not have an understanding ear for when you have a 'bad month'. Those numbers make a binary decision: Yes or No.
It's the same with a bookie's algorithms; a faceless computer has put an alert on your account for six consecutive wins. Albeit you only won £26.47, but a win is a win and now your betting maximum is restricted. So you go along with it and place more, smaller bets. Unfortunately, you win several times again, with a total profit of £8.26. Your account is now toasted and you are banned.
You have no comeback and no manager to discuss this with (he's busy out on the golf course with the bank manager) so no more local bookie entertainment for you. Unfortunately, scenarios like the fictitious one above are all too common.
What Shouldn't I do?
Other than winning too consistently, several other deadly sins can lead to either the restriction or closure of your sports betting account.
Here are some of them:
- Betting 'random' amounts, i.e. not round pounds
- Betting only on minority sports
- Not betting regularly and then placing a big bet
- Only betting when you get a bonus or promotion
- Changing markets too much, or too little
- Placing too many ‘last minute’ bets
- Withdrawing your winnings too quickly
So What Should I do?
Your best bet (pardon the pun) is to start by reversing the above list and then doing your utmost to appear more of an average 'mug punter'. Two easy ways to achieve that include betting on events that have a live stream and staying online to view it, as well as placing a fair number of losing bets (you can always lay them off elsewhere).
You can find a few other (tongue in cheek) ideas here.
The Final Chapter
Ultimately, if you are good at betting and showing an overall profit, sooner or later you will come onto your bookie's radar as a potential threat. At that point, if you continue with your winning ways, you will get your privileges reduced, or have your account removed altogether.
Even if you employ a variety of tactics to conceal your true potential, sooner or later, the bookie will catch on, so it's always best to have extra strings for your bow and use multiple accounts. Be careful though, these days the bookies are becoming a little incestuous, so make sure that you know who is in bed with who before you choose where to open your accounts.
Analytics will out, and if you are too successful, your bookmaker is highly likely to interrupt his golf game for long enough to ban you. Still, it's always good to delay the inevitable for as long as possible.
Tracy started writing for us in early 2017 and is a crucial player within our team. She’s the editor of our Blog and regularly writes other articles. Tracy’s online gambling insights are born out of years of real-world experience as a Croupier overseeing table games.