Avoid Bookie Restrictions and Limits When You're Winning

Updated: 6669 Betting

A guide on how to avoid bookmaker restrictions and account closures. A few simple steps and you can hang on to your winning bookie accounts longer

Avoid Bookie Restrictions and Limits When You're Winning
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Never Have Your Account Limited

Make the best you want at stakes of your choice, not the bookmakers

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Have you been affected by an online bookmaker ‘trading decision’ whereby you find your stakes limited by a bookmaker, or worse still, your account being closed after a few wins?

This is the best guide to avoid these things happening to your accounts in Ireland, with hints tips and tricks to avoid having your betting account closed.


One sure-fire way to avoid this happening is to make your bets on a betting exchange such as Betfair.

There are other options in the form of Matchbook exchange, Smarkets and BetDaq and for more information on which of these is best for your betting style check out our Best betting Exchanges guide.

With exchanges working with punters betting against each other, there is no benefit for them to restrict or close your account as they collect a percentage win or lose, so you will never find your account being closed


All Irish Betting Exchanges Compared

Find out why you need 2 exchange accounts and which is the best alternative to Betfair

One downside might be the bets and promotions available. Whilst many exchanges offer each way markets now, things like first past the post and best odds guaranteed do not apply, although if you are smart, the abscence of these will not make much difference.

Another option is to use Spread Betting Companies such as Sporting Index which work in a very different way.

They are known to take larger bets and not restrict or limit bets so much as fixed odds bookies. 

Have You Been Restricted or Closed?

If you are a successful sports bettor like many of the members at OLBG, the chances are you have had one or more of your online betting accounts limited or closed down. 

We know that we need to gain value from our betting, so every account we lose costs us in our fight to gain an edge. 

Are there any bookmakers who do not close or limit winning betting accounts?

In a poll on the OLBG Betting forum about betting account closures we asked…


How many betting accounts have you had closed or limited?

Over two-thirds of members answered that is had happened to them at least once.

Restricted stakes for betting and closures are one of the biggest concerns for sensible punters in Ireland today.

UNFAIR - Why Do Bookies Close Accounts?

If you spot a great price from a bookmaker, where they are by far the standout price, and you open an accountbecause of this and make it your first bet, be aware.

The bookmaker already knows they are offering the best price. If you make it your first bet, they will spot this.

Make another bet first and then take the god price either second or third.

In an article in the Guardian entitled All bets are off:why bookmakers aren’t playing fair, the anonymous writer stated

“G Force’s win last autumn came after I opened a new account with Sportingbet solely in order to back the horse at 25-1, when other bookies were offering just 16-1.

When that punt was duly landed, my new account was effectively closed overnight after just two £50 bets – one a winner at 25s, the other an unplaced loser. When I rang up Sportingbet to ask why I had been offered £7 to win online instead of the £50 I was requesting on a horse as my third ever bet with the firm, I was told that I was on the “restricted list” after placing just two bets.”

But whilst we hear stories like this all the time on the OLBG forum, what percentage of sports bettors are affected by account closures and limitations on their bets? In the same article as mentioned above, there is a quote from the then head of trading at Betfred Bookmakers.

“The guys who are factored really well down [heavily restricted] are 2% of our whole database. They are shrewd. We will try to offer them some sort of bet, but they will get restricted.”

This sort of statement from a bookmaker would likely be met with criticism from betting customers.

How Can Bookies Offer Odds Then Refuse Your bet?

Going back to the example above in the Guardian article, The bet is not an average, day to day gamblers stake. If you were to bet at these odds at then plainly you..

Know what you are doing and maybe a professional

Or this could be an arbitrage bet or trading against an exchange bet [the same thing really]

Bookmakers want to protect their business interest, profits in this case, against it happening too often

Laying you bets ONLY at best odds makes it kind of hard for bookmakers to win. A wise thing to do as a punter but we must recognise that we have no right to expect the bookmaker to be thrilled. So rather than simply moan about the bookies, we need to do what we cant to keep our accounts open. One less bookie to choose from and you may struggle to get the best value odds available. So how can you avoid having your other betting accounts closed? 

If a bookmaker lays every bet at the best odds it makes no business sense. Indeed, they would not be in business very long.

Imagine if Asda offered every single item cheaper and at a loss than Tescos every day of the week. Tescos wouldn't worry and Asda would be out of business very quickly

So let’s have a look at some ways that you can take advantage of god offer, promotions and great odds but lower the chance of having limited betting stakes applied or your online betting account closed.

Tips to Avoid Restrictions and more

Give your winning account a break and start using an account you have losses on

One wise OLBG member suggested on the forum

"Keep records of each accounts profit and loss, try to rotate bets, try to balance bets - i.e. if you have had a big priced winner to a small stake in a small market, maybe your next bet on that account shouldn't be a big priced winner to a small stake in a small turnover market again"

Avoid best odds when you first open an account and don't take best odds all the time

Trade-off a bit of the potential profit. Seriously. Taking the best price with one bookie only when they are best priced every time, will soon see your account limited or closed. This is not good for your long term profit. Let them win from time to time by taking a lower price on something you really fancy. Your account will last longer and you will make more money from them before being flagged as ‘no good for business’

Tread carefully on specialised markets

Just don’t make yourself obvious. Taking the best price on a lowly event in the middle of the week for huge stakes is going to be far more noticeable then doing the same at the weekend when overall nationwide betting turnover is greater.

Mix your bets up around the bookmaker.

Keep your betting turnover high on lower-risk bets. Maybe even have a spin on the casino in low-risk games with a stop loss in place. You may even make a little profit, but what this does is shows you are not concentrating on a single market you may be an expert in, and it masks your specialist profitable expertise.

Make Fewer Withdrawals

Credit and debit cards create higher costs for the bookmaker, they would much prefer you use an e-wallet solution which is often more automated, meaning fewer costs for them to manage your account.

Better still, only withdraw once per month, and try not to do it on the same day each month either. Some bookmakers already have a charge in place for more than a certain number of withdrawals a month. Again this is to control their costs. If you deposit, bet and withdraw every day, the bookmaker's costs mount up and you become a more expensive or less profitable punter for them

Losing funds to bookmakers, whilst laying to Betfair

OK, so some people do this. Losing on purpose. Can you imagine, trying to be a clever and profitable sports gambler and making losing bets by design.

Well, actually, this is quite possible and may be beneficial, so long as you know you are covered on the exchange when doing so. Small losses will not hurt too much, and you can even guarantee a profit using a traditional online bookmaker, an exchange and some promotional features. 

Just lose sometimes with your most important bookmaker. Your account will last longer.

Use even-numbered stakes

In this day and age of matched betting, nothing sticks out like a sore thumb more than a stake of €121.68 - In most cases, this is plainly a staking strategy in play and would suggest, particularly if you hv a history of winning, that you have some system and are taking a professional approach to your betting. 

Round your stake up or down, Use, €120 or €125 it is far less conspicuous.

Spread out your bets if you are using large stakes

Yes, you want to get the best price available, and the biggest return, but huge stakes on stand out prices will be flagged. Maybe spread the entire stake out across a number of accounts to fly a little lower under the radar. For sure have the majority at the best price, but spread it about a bit. 

Don’t be a Bonus Abuser

This is the number one reason people find changes being applied to their accounts and with the advent of matched betting, online bookmakers in Ireland are ever more on the lookout for punters using only promotions and offers to make bets.

Absolutely, if they are offered they should be honoured, but they are offered by the bookmaker as an enhancement to the overall betting entertainment value, and they will remove your ability to use them, or restrict your account, or worse still, close it if you only ever make bets using these promotions.

Don’t say no one ever told you.

What 'Normal' Bookies don't Limit?

OK< so you don’t want to take any of the advice above, you want to fly by the seat of your pants and take your chances. 

Which bookmakers are less likely to restrict stakes or close accounts?

The bookmaker which consistently comes out well in reviews on OLBG is bet365 who at the time of writing [July 2019] have a rating of 4.8 out of 5 from 125 reviews. 

In comparison to other bookmakers, we have had few members complaining of issues in this regard with bet365.

Betfair is second best and we have already lauded the benefits of using an Exchange account for betting in Ireland at the head of this article.

Step-by-Step Guide to Bookie Restrictions

Things to consider to stop your betting account being closed or restricted.

  • Avoid being tagged as a bonus abuser
  • Use round numbers on your stakes
  • Use e-Wallets for depositing and withdrawing
  • Withdraw no more than once a month
  • Don't always bet best odds
  • Lose - Yes, Lose but cover yourself on an Exchange
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