5 Simple Tips To Help Avoid Bookie Restrictions & Closures

Earlier this month I announced the launch of our 2016 Restrictions & Closures Survey – where you can help share your experiences as per unfair bookmaker limitations on your betting.

(If yet to take this – please do so as it should only take a few minutes of your time and you can enter a prize draw to win a brand new laptop computer once its complete!)

The results of this survey will be published next month as part of a major FREE SBC Report ‘Getting On’, which will be tackling the issue. First of all, in terms of unravelling the depth of the problem but also talking to those involved (both punters and bookies) and most crucially of all putting forward some solutions for you as punters impacted by it.

Because whilst bookie account restrictions are a fact of life – there are plenty of punters out there still able to get on, especially on sports such as horse racing where the biggest issues lie.

And as part of this quest to understand some of the ways you can get on, I have been talking to a number of experts on just what they do and their tips to avoid unwanted bookmaker interest.

Below you can read a cross section of some of the advice being put forward so far by this panel of experts so far with 5 tips to share…

Take SBC’s 2016 Restrictions & Closures Bookie Survey

Help us to highlight the issue of bookmaker restrictions/closures and name and shame the very worst culprits for limiting how much you can win betting. Our survey takes just a few minutes to fill in and once complete you can also enter a free prize draw to win a brand new Toshiba Chromebook Laptop


1. Try to build up an account history gradually

“If you are opening new bookmaker accounts, it isn’t ideal if you hit the jackpot straight away and go steaming in and maxing out your stakes and winning big. On the flip side, I would try avoid suddenly ramping up stakes if you have maintained a previous level of staking. If you are normally a £20-a-bet punter and suddenly you have £200 on a 33/1 shot and it wins, there is the possibility that the result may arouse suspicion. Some traders are scared of their own shadow and may think you have access to inside information that means you are a risk to them. If you are fortunate they might think you just got lucky and let you off.”

2. Laying off on the Exchanges 

“There is one stand out bit of advice I would offer anyone looking to prolong an account: After you make a profit on one bet, you should consider laying the money made off on the exchanges.

I do this and look for bets at odds of around 1/2 to evens to place with the bookmaker and lay off. I might take a tiny hit on the trade but it’s a great way to move profits from the bookmaker to your exchange account. Of course sometimes trying to find losers at short prices can be hard and I once had a run of 5 winning bets on the bounce – I just kept going until I lost the lot in one go.  If you have any historically solid accounts, the above method should help preserve them.”

3. Spread stakes about as much as possible.

“This is one of the key things for me. I try and not have a liability of any more than a few hundred pounds with any one firm. It isn’t always ideal if there is a busy punting day and it takes time to get all the bets on, but, generally speaking, the more stakes can be spread (even if it means taking a point or two less or forsaking BOG at times), the better. If you can lower your liabilities with any one firm, you become less risky to traders. I guess it is finding the balance between coming across as low risk and also spreading stakes to a practical level for yourself as many punters have jobs and other commitments and don’t want to be sat at their PC all day placing bets.”

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4. Be wary of each way doubles on two short priced selections.

“Bookies hate taking these bets and consider them to be ‘bad’ bets. For example, if you back two 5/2 shots, both probably have strong chances of winning and they also have excellent chances of placing. Even if one gets beat you stand a good chance of getting two placers and covering the bet. I would back such bets away from any sensitive online accounts. “

5. Be careful with bonuses & use shops.

“In terms of bonuses and promotions (e.g. enhanced prices and enhanced places) if you use them too often or more often than normal bets you’ll get flagged up straight away. Bookies hate bonus abusers with a passion. If you want to play bonuses get to BetFred shops on big race days and use Paddy Power shops for enhanced places if there is something you really fancy.

When placing bets in shops keep the liability of your stake to under £500. Shop staff should accept bets that do not pay out more than £500 without referring said bet to the trading team. If you get referred 3 times and beat the odds 3 times then there is a good chance they will refuse your custom.”

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More Advice On The SBC Site Now

The 5 tips posted above are extracted from a series of expert interviews available to read now in the Smart Betting Club members area. In the run-up to the release of our special report on this topic, we are publishing one new interview each Friday full of content like this on how to ‘Get Your Bets On’!

If interested in learning more on this topic, you can access all of these interviews with a Smart Betting Club membership.

Look out for a lot more from myself and the SBC Team on this topic in coming weeks and months, including the release of our special ‘Getting On’ Report.

P.s. You can also check out more on my take on the issue of Restrictions & Closures via a number of articles and interviews in which I have been involved (links below).

BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC News
Gambling Insider Magazine