How To Stop Bookies Shutting You Down

One of the most oft-heard stories from profitable bettors is the issue that bookies shut you down. You hear punters complaining about it everywhere.

I get it. You’ve spent years learning how to be successful with your betting and now you are the bookmakers stop allowing you to place bets with them. Or they force you to take odds that will prevent you form making a profit.

It sucks.

But as I see it there’s no point in complaining about it. The bottom line is that will never change.

The bookmakers business is based around losing punters and if you start winning then you taking your winnings from their profits.

If they allowed every winning punter to place bets with them then they would simply go bankrupt.

So… it can never happen!

Which means that there’s only one thing we can do…

…figure out a way to stop it from happening for as long as possible, and when it does happen purely place bets on Betfair.

Why wouldn’t we just start placing bets on Betfair immediately?

Because bookmakers have special offers and Best Odds Guaranteed which make a huge difference to your profits if you can take advantage of them.

That makes our goal to be able to place bets at bookmakers for as long as possible.

And this is how you’re going to do it!

You MUST have accounts with as many bookmakers as possible. You can often find the same odds with bookmakers you may not often use.

As a general rule bookmakers monitor anybody placing bets regularly above £20, which makes rule 1:

Place bets under £20 and spread them around multiple bookmakers

The second part of the strategy for going undetected by bookmakers for the longest period of time is by never taking your profits out from them.

What you need to do is move your money across from your bookmaker accounts to Betfair.

This is done simply by placing bets that are likely to lose and laying them off on Betfair.

You do pay a “fee” for doing this in both your Betfair commission and the difference in odds, although if you’re careful the difference in odds is usually minimal.

But there are a couple of tricks to doing this:

  1. Never place bets of the same stake and always round them up to the nearest pound.
  2. Never bet on long shots.

If you place bets of the same stakes then the bookies will very quickly pick up on what you’re doing.


Because most punters don’t use the same stakes and so it flags on your account to be monitored.

For the same reason you don’t want to place bets that have pence in them. E.g. £5.79. You would round that up to £6.

Varying these can go a long way to helping prevent your account being flagged to be watched.

Then you want to make sure you’re not placing bets on horses that are clearly going to lose.

In fact, you are better off placing your bets to move money on soccer matches because there is more liquidity and the difference in odds is usually very small between bookmakers and Betfair.

This allows you to place larger bets to move bigger sums from your bookmaker account across to Betfair and you minimize the cost of doing so.

Of course, sometimes your bet that you’re planning on losing with the bookmaker will actually win.

That happens. Just try again a few days later.

The most important rule to remember is never do anything that’s pattern based, it should be as random as possible.

That means:

  • Random stake sizes
  • Random bets to move money across
  • Random time periods between moving your money across

Using this approach you can keep your bookmaker accounts in a permanent loss while you’re actually making excellent profits and moving them over to your Betfair account.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. Michael, have you considered starting an e-petition regarding this treatment of punters by bookies?

    1. I haven’t but I know people who have Chris. It’s a tough one because bookmakers could potentially be forced to close if they were made to accept bets from winners.

  2. As a pensioner I was placing bets of £2-£5 between Betfred, Paddy Power and Betfair.
    I had £27 in my betfred account, tried to put a bet on of £2 and they restricted me to 20p bets.
    Whats all that about.
    I contacted them by telephone but got no joy.


  3. I got my Stan James account closed for suspicious betting patterns!!
    I was betting over and under 2.5 goals in football , trying out a new system at £2 per bet.
    Suspicious betting patterns!!??

  4. I moved over a grand to my betfair acc from unibet by backing favs & laying on betfair, still got shut down. Same with coral w/h Ladbrokes bet Fred & all the rest. Don’t have a usable acc left anywhere & I’ve done all my son’s in as well

    1. Thanks for the comment Ian, were you placing bets of less than £20, always using whole pounds (never pence) and randomly placing bets across different sports and bet types?

  5. I’ve done all those things, and still had accounts restricted. I do think it is time they were forced to take bets and honour their licence as bookies, or have their licence taken away. A petition might be a good start. They make you offers, you take them, they ban you. If a shopkeeper constantly kept turning business away, something would be done. And I can’t see the difference.

    1. Absolutely Wendy. It’s a tough one because the government make a lot of tax off them, which is why there is such a grey area. Obviously that’s only a small fraction of the argument, bookies put forward a completely different perspective. In other countries where you don’t have bookmakers and everything is tote based then the possibility isn’t even there but it’s harder to beat the tote than a bookmaker.

  6. I’ve had accounts restricted despite rarely staking more than £10 on any horse/event and despite not making much, if any, profit on my account. Most bookies waffle on about betting patterns but Sky came closest to telling the truth by saying it was because of the type of price I was taking. I told them that the type of price I took was the type offered on their website so they elaborated by stating that I was using them too often when they were offering the best price and not when they weren’t. Seems to me that another necessary way of avoiding restrictions is placing bets with a bookie when their price is not the best available, which I am reluctant to do as they show little loyalty in return.

    1. Yes absolutely, at least they told you! IF you’re consistently only taking value prices then they’ll close you down. You can sometimes get around this by placing random bets at less than value and trading off on Betfair for a small loss. It’s almost a fee to attempt to keep your account open longer.

  7. I couldn’t agree more with Wendy’s sentiments above. The product bookies are offering is a chance to win money. And if they “deliver” on only half of that promise (when THEY win), they aren’t honoring their part of the agreement.

    As much as I appreciate the great advice in this post, I must also say that I think it is absolutely silly for a bookie to take offense at any particular betting strategy (same stake, progressive stakes or whatever).

    Surely there must be enough losing punters for them to stay in business anyway?

    1. The problem is the winning punters would far out-bet the losers. If you’re a winner and you’re not getting closed down you would want to place as much money as possible with the bookies at their best odds. For the big teams that would be bets in the 10’s and 100’s of thousands of pounds and there’s no way the bookies would be able to survive that.

  8. VC bet closed my account despite the fact that I mostly used them for Casino play! Some sports bets but always under £20 & not arbs.

    I still wonder why on earth my account was closed.

    1. That’s strange Dave, had you had a very big win on the casino and will they still let you play casino or did they block you from everything?

  9. Ladbrokes closed my account about 5 years ago. At the time I guess I was a so called “fun punter” that had a bit of luck selecting winners. Bets were just on the horses at around £10 with the occasional go on one the casino games, which yielded little success. I believe my problem was the amount I was withdrawing. Work was going through a rough patch and money was needed. Bookies don’t like withdrawals.
    These days my approach is different. I have accounts everywhere – except Laddies. I use Betfair as much as possible.
    Has anyone received the email that states they love all punters…winners and losers?
    I had a good laugh at that.

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