The biggest struggle profitable bettors have, when taking on the "soft" books, is not getting limited from them. We have put together a set of guidelines you can follow to extract even more value from the "soft" bookmakers.
This might sound slightly obvious but if you open up a new account, you shouldn’t wait too long to place your first bet. The bookmaker will notice that an account was opened 3 months ago and suddenly you are hammering them with 20 bets on the Asian Handicap line on a Mongolian First Division match. Try to place some bets as soon as the account is open and verified.
Trademate has a filter called recommended leagues. By selecting this, you'll only be presented with opportunities from the leagues with the highest betting limits. This includes leagues like the Premier League, NBA, NFL and many more. These leagues are the ones that most people bet on - so it's easy to hide in the mass of all the non-profitable betters. Although it might be tempting to bet on more obscure events and leagues, as they tend to have the highest edge, this will also get your account flagged much quicker.
Arbitrage betting is very unusual in sports betting (A topic covered in this article) - so bookmakers look out for bet sizing out of the ordinary. Instead of placing the exact recommended kelly amount of $162, bet $160. The Kelly Criterion as a stake sizing strategy for bankroll management in sports betting has been covered in this article.
Never cash out from a bookmaker before you're limited. Bookmakers are paying fees whenever you cash out, so that's an easy way for them to take a second look at your account. So you've tripled your bankroll in the past 3 weeks? Let's take an even closer look..Besides, cashing out offers poor value with a built in margin for bookmakers, so you shouldn’t be doing it anyway, as Alex explains here.
Let's say you try to place a bet of $250 on a game. The bookmaker may tell you that you can only place $238 on the particular bet. Instead of putting the $238 down, bet 60-70% of the max stake, in this case $150.
Some bookmakers even give you the opportunity to automatically put the max limit of $238 and send the remaining $12 for manual clearance. Never do that.
Add in some accumulators with a lower bet size. This will make you look like more of a "recreational bettor" and its something bookmakers appreciate. Lower your bet size for these as the variance is higher.
However, if your account is already stake restricted, then of course feel free to put the maximum stake for that market when you can, while you can. In this situation, feel free to annoy the traders with constant requests for increased stakes. Every now and again they might be in a generous mood to humour you, but don’t count on it!
Bookmakers place betting limits for a reason. The reason is usually that they're not really sure if their odds in a particular game are any good. If someone comes in and places bets on Over 198.5, Over 199.5, Over 200.5 and Over 201.5 - it's pretty clear that they're trying to get value. Bookmakers don't like that.
Also - placing more than one bet on a game has a great impact on your variance, but that's a whole other discussion we touch upon in another blog post.
Try to look like a hobby Sports bettor. Depositing $10,000 in a brand new account is an obvious way to tell bookmakers that you're trying to beat them.
In general you want to avoid accumulators as covered in this article. Bookmakers make most of their money from accumulators. Their margins increases for each bet in the accumulator. But matching different value bets will still give a positive expected value, however, it will increase your variance. So use it carefully. By doing this though, you look more like a non-profitable player to the bookmakers.
However, you can also be clever with the accumulators you place. Instead of going for a treble, go for a trixie bet or if you have more selections, go for a lucky 15, Patent,Yankee or Goliath. These types of bets combine doubles and trebles into one giant set of bets. This way you might still get a nice payout, even if a few of the selections don’t win.
In some cases, you could even combine trademate value picks into an accumulator that ends up being a value bet in itself. Try to place your accumulators on leagues with high liquidity. The big European leagues are perfect for this kind of bet. Place these late at night on a Friday or first thing on a Saturday morning and the bookmakers might think you’re a mug punter.
If the bookmaker you are using has a casino or games section, do a few spins on one of their slot machines. Unless you have a bonus, casino games offer a negative EV. The smallest edge they have on you will be on blackjack, so you could just play a few hands with a low risk blackjack strategy. You might end up with a little profit. If you use one of the slot machines, try and find a game with a high return to play (RTP) such as bloodsuckers, reel rush or starburst.
If you use even a small part of your profits from your sports bets on the casino, the bookmaker will hopefully believe you might spend all your winnings there eventually. Just make sure to stay disciplined and only risk losing a small amount each day!
Lots of sportsbooks have special promotions and contests such as prediction games. Try and enter as many of these as you can. If you constantly refuse to take them up on these, they might flag you up as an unprofitable customer.
Bookmakers use highly advanced methods to monitor their customers. These methods are constantly being improved upon and the bookies employ big teams that try and identify unprofitable customers. Reports are made on a daily basis of all betting activity. They are on the lookout for people working in the industry, tipsters and others with industry knowledge. Be wary of your social media presence. Posting betting slips on twitter or other social media platforms can be linked directly back to your account and matched up with other profitable bettors. The bet slip IDs can be used to identify you.
Unfortunately, by continuously placing profitable bets and beating the bookmakers - chances are they will limit you eventually. After all - they are losing money on you.
However, by following these steps we are confident that your accounts will last longer, thus making more money from each and every soft book! And hey, once they're all used up, you can always transition to the Asian markets.
Remember if you have any questions, we're only an e-mail or message away. Good luck and happy betting!
Check out our articles by industry insiders for how How bookmakers track your every move and how they profile winning customers.
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