Bookie Restrictions – Steps you can take

Matched betting is a big thorn in the side of bookmakers profits, there’s hundreds of thousands of people that are either using matched betting or have done so in the past.
This isn’t purely a matched betting service targeting free bets only and looking to make guaranteed profits every time, there’s more to it than that as we do risk our money and make many stand alone bets as well.
That said following MatchdayProfits advice will likely lead to a restriction being placed on your account excluding you from any promotions or specials at some point in the future. This effectively makes the account next to useless to you and is something you want to avoid for as long as possible -if at all possible.

Why bookmakers restrict

Using Matched Betting techniques to liquidate bookmaker free bets is very commonplace. Customers who simply target free bets and use their accounts for nothing else are not the type of customer bookmakers want. The offers and promotions are there to get new customers and get existing customers back to their site and betting with them. Specifically they are after spur of the moment punters, recreational punters (or call them “mug” punters if you like). Basically they are after losing punters.
With the market getting very competitive, getting rid of customers who are not losing, or are deemed unprofitable, makes business sense and that’s what happens.
Chances are you will not get your account closed but you will get an email advising you that you will no longer be eligible for promotions. The fact of the matter is that there’s a massive pot of millions of potential new customers for them and saying goodbye to you, or anyone else, isn’t something they are going to lose sleep over.


Here’s the big question. How do they target accounts to close/restrict?
It certainly isn’t just accounts that are well into the black. Restrictions often happen to people with very small or no profits and often with a very small sample of bets. I personally don’t know anyone making the decisions (often its likely a computer in any case) and like everyone else I’m going on common sense and rumours.

If you’re only using an account to qualify for free bets, and you only ever place the exact amount required for the free bet, this isn’t going to be hard to spot for anyone taking a look at your account, indeed it could draw attention to your account. Likewise any pattern like this of using an account solely for one purpose is gonna be easy to spot for anyone looking at the account.Winning money, surprisingly isn’t something that necessarily red flags your account, bookmakers know that they are going to take losses and even the most reckless punters will land the occasional winning bet.

Generally though, if you don’t get greedy, and keep potential winnings small (below £100 for most bets), individual winners shouldn’t do you a lot of harm (in the short term at least), even with the smaller firms. Withdrawing your winnings – now there’s something that I believe irks them!
You see, looking at it from the point of view from the bookmaker, they pay for a transaction charge for deposits/withdrawals, and having the money with them is like still having a player in the casino, so long as they are there they can still lose!

So the two big things I’m going to suggest we look at are – organised bets/betting patterns, withdrawing winnings.
(*update* I recently found this graphic which offers up some interesting pointers as to how bookmakers go about profiling customers.)

What we can do

First up is the issue of not looking like an organised, winning punter.
Here’s my suggestions.

Qualifying Bet and Free Bet disguise – Suggestions!

-When placing a qualifying bet that requires a £20 stake, don’t always stake exactly £20, go with a bit more, especially when the odds allow to lay off without losing much.  You’re less likely to look like someone simply doing matched betting.

-When using a freebet, don’t always go for something with higher odds. It  makes sense from a profit point of view, as whether you are laying off by underlaying to secure a guaranteed profit or simply trying to find a winner, the higher odds on free bets amplify the free bet stake.  Bookmakers are not stupid and were they to consider your freebet usage, you’ll look like a matched bettor if they are all at higher odds, regardless of if they are winners or not. So, maybe occasionally use a free bet on something in the Evens to 6/4 range, or even odds on.

Padding/Turnover bets

Row after row of betting only on special offer matches, or one particular offer, could easily be viewed as business not worth having in the eyes of risk assessor/account manager. If you can pad this pattern out, by including bets on normal markets that don’t have any offers or concessions, it will make you look less like an organised punter just there to take the stand out prices or offers.

Now, it goes against my constitution to suggest you deliberately place obvious and poor value bets, but having an occasional “mug bet” could go a long way to making you look like, err… a mug!
Markets to consider are the ones that they typically advertise the most! These include-
Any of the “requestabet/oddsonthat/whatooddspaddy” type bets, Score-cast, 1st goalscorer, Win/BTTS double, over/under multiples, straight trebles, Accas (that don’t qualify for offers) etc.
Obviously you can look to lay these off via the exchange when you can, and that ties in with reducing your withdrawals.

Here’s some more ideas: placing frequent bets on the same team, betting on high popularity events, and playing the casinos. These are all commonly-used manoeuvres in an attempt to stay one step ahead of bookmakers. Turning over £5 or £10 regularly on the slots in particular might prove effective – just be sure to keep a tally of spins and stick to your turnover – take a note of your balance before hand and – do not gamble. Do NOT gamble.

Betting close to the start of an event could also have a bearing on looking like someone not putting in a lot research, as could placing in play bets.
Inplay markets offered by bookmakers generally offer poor value, especially when compared to the exchanges, but I would estimate that they make a lot of profit on them, with punters betting on the spur of the moment with no real handle on value. So betting in play (when there’s no offer) could help you look like a good customer.

Its all about “blending in” and not having a list of bets on your account that will “stand out”.
So try to think for every bet, is it something that’s going to make your betting look more or less like an “average losing punter”?

I go over some newspaper tipsters that are profitable to follow  in my Winning with Accas guide.
You should consider placing these even if the ROI is small, or even if they result in a small loss in the long run  – as they could help keep your accounts under the radar. 

Minimising/Avoiding withdrawals

I used to always withdraw on a regular basis across all my accounts. It keeps everything in order and when I look at my balance in my betting (bank) account it would give me a good handle on how I’d been doing. I’ve been restricted on at least one account that I suspect withdrawing money played a part in. Now I’m looking to avoid regular withdrawals.
If you are operating from a larger overall capital this is easier as it won’t mater if you’ve got hundreds spread across several firms because you’ll still have more in your bank if you need to deposit to another. So consider increasing your betting float if lack of capital is an issue.
Instead of withdrawing regularly I’m now going to be looking to do an account sweep roughly every 2 months or longer.
So I will go through all my accounts and look to withdraw funds I have with them. Or at least skim off so that my betting capital in my bank account is healthy.


  • Look at your accounts and the overall transactions and lists of bets from the perspective of the bookmaker. Do you look like a winner? Or a regular recreational punter?
  • Review your accounts regularly and don’t wait until you get restricted before checking your account history!
  • Minimise withdrawals as much as possible.
  • Try to pad you accounts out with bets that bookies like, think “requestbets”, bets on the biggest matches, main markets, and inplay if they offer it.
  • Bet small amounts on the casino games here and there.
  • Keep track of all of your side bets/padding bets and the P/L on them. Keep in mind that if you lose ~£100 on these but make another £1000+ following promotions and the rest of my advice and you’ve kept your account active then you’ve done OK.
  • Those that do nothing to protect their accounts will be the first to lose them.
  • Remember that when all’s said and done bookmakers are not charities, they are in it to make money just like we are and despite all of this you may find there’s nothing you can do to stop certain bookmakers disqualifying you from certain offers or promotions.