Restricted Accounts – how to avoid the pitfalls

One of the most common topics in the online betting industry is the issue of restricted accounts.

Time and time again irate punters go online to vent their anger at bookmaker X or bookmaker Y who has just decided to restrict the amount the punter can bet on certain events. Some bettors feel that there is a “fair play” aspect not being respected here, while others would say that the bookie was very happy to collect money off them in the past and now they should be happy to let them try and win it back. However venting anger at such a situation is not unlike writing a letter of complaint to a budget airline after they’ve hit you with a hidden fee that you weren’t expecting. You might feel vindicated in your outrage and you might hope that karma comes into play, but ultimately, it’s ineffective and a waste of time.

Instead, here are four golden rules to bear in mind that should help keep you on the straight and narrow and help you ensure that you continue to have the chance to get money on for as long as possible.

(1) No blatant thieving!

There’s a reason we made this number one – nothing will mark your card like being seen to try to dip your hand in the till when the shopkeeper isn’t watching. By this we mean betting on events that have already started or finished, taking blatantly wrong prices that are clearly palpable error and expecting to get paid, or equivalent behaviour in shops, such as constantly trying to rob prices that have already been cut, slow counting, or any of the other blatant pieces of robbery that go on. Let’s be clear about this – the bookie may have made a mistake here, but it’s still stealing. If a shop attendant turns their back and leaves the till open, that’s a mistake too – but it doesn’t excuse dipping your hand in and pocketing a handful of tenners.

Bookies understand the difference between someone trying to play fair and somebody trying to take advantage, and they’ll know that there’s nothing to be gained in trying to accommodate those who are happy to go down this morally dubious road.

(2) Value your accounts

Just as the bookmaker appreciates the value of a new account, so the punter should be able to appreciate the importance of being able to get a bet on with a good service provider at your convenience. Everybody wants to make money, but try to be aware of how things will be perceived from the other side.

For example, if you’ve an account with a bookmaker that provides a lot of the markets that you like and offers competitive pricing, that may not be worth the small winnings you could get on certain markets. Certainly market leaders in terms of offerings, like Paddy Power and Bet365, are really useful accounts to have. Maybe it’s not worth going online with one of those firms to bet €20 on a horse at a morning price of 12/1 when you’ve got an inside tip and it’s going to go off the 5/2 favourite. Whether that horse wins or not, your account will be flagged up immediately in such an instance. Either the horse is worth backing to the point that you’re willing to potentially never get a bet on with that firm again, or else just place the bet in a shop.

(3) Don’t act like trade

Anyone who’s worked in the betting trade can recognise almost immediately the betting patterns of someone else who’s in the same line of work. Their account will quite often be littered with bets that bear no relation to each other. If you bet Italian Serie B football, low grade sprint handicaps from Southwell, first round tennis matches between unknown Russians and untelevized snooker matches, chances are you’re working in a trading room. Nobody is interested in that many sports to that low a level. If you must bet like this, try to use certain bookies for certain sports, otherwise you’ll stand out by a mile.

(4) Don’t arb

This falls in with point (2) above. On paper, arbitrage sounds great. To the unaware, that means backing all possible outcomes in order to guarantee a profit. To take an example, let’s just imagine there’s a soccer match and you can back Team A at 4/5, the draw at 3/1 and Team B at 9/2 with different firms. It’s possible to place €556 on A, €250 on the draw and €182 on B, thus guaranteeing a return of €1000 or more regardless. €12 guaranteed profit, all for a couple of minutes time clicking your mouse.

The problem is that the bookies will also be flooded with countless other arb sharks and robots, and they will mark the card of every account that looks like they’re trying to buy money, and for the sake of that €12 you could lose the ability to bet with one or two big firms. Not worth it.

* Our Free Bets page offers over £600 to new customers

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