Betting for beginners

Being limited as a sports bettor

One of the pitfalls of being a successful bettor is knowing that eventually you could be gubbed. The worrying thing is, you don't even have to be wildly successful.

There have even been alleged cases of bettors who have made a loss, but the patterns that have been identified in their bets or the type of bets they place have led to them being flagged by the system and ultimately restricted.

What is gubbing?

Gubbing is the act of a bookmaker limiting your account and placing a restriction on what you can bet on and how much you can stake.

Sometimes a bookmaker will prevent you from utilising their offers, which means you won't be eligible to receive free bets or participate in promotions, and you'll be unable to take advantage of matched betting if that's something you're looking to do.

Sometimes, a bookmaker will simply limit the amount you can bet on a market, regularly limiting users to £5 or £10 bets to eliminate the risk on their part.

Behaviours that can see you limited

As we briefly touched on above, a bookmaker could potentially limit you because they flag your bets or methods as something that could turn a profit in the future.

There are punters on social media who claim they were limited by bookmakers even though they'd made a loss.

Another behaviour which could see you limited is if you're only using free bets and promotions, which increases the risk that the bookmaker will pay you more than they take in.

But the most common reason someone will be limited is quite simply that they win too much. If you're a successful bettor and you're taking money from the bookmaker, you won't stay off their radar for long.

In extreme cases, your account may be closed.

Betting is a recreational activity involving small amounts of money for the vast majority of people. If people are winning large scores of money, then the bookmaker has to consider how that impacts them as a viable business.

How do I avoid being limited?

The best and simplest way to avoid the hassle of being limited is to use a bookmaker that doesn't limit you.

There aren't that many out there, because most of their business models involve customers losing as often as possible.

You can try and dance around the algorithm of your preferred bookmaker by engaging in special offers, accumulators, bet builders, and other types of activity that will seem preferable to them, but modern-day systems might see through this.

It's also a good idea to spread your wealth and always look for the best odds. By using different accounts to place bets, inevitably winning on some and losing on others, you prolong the process by which you could be identified.

Find a peer-to-peer betting exchange

Your best bet, pardon the pun, is to use a peer-to-peer betting exchange.

Peer-to-peer betting refers to a bet that is placed between two people. For example, if you bet on three or more goals in a match and want to stake £10, then you'll need someone to bet £10 on two or fewer goals at the appropriate odds.

Sites that operate as a peer-to-peer betting exchange don't get to keep your lost stake, as that is used to pay out the wager, but they will take a reasonably small commission on winnings.

Most of them operate a scheme that allows you to pay less commission based on the volume you bet on a month-to-month basis.

Which peer-to-peer betting exchanges are best?

Betfair, Smarkets, Betdaq and Matchbook are the more commonly known betting exchanges, although the emergence of betting with cryptocurrency has brought some interesting new options to the market.

One of the most promising of those exchanges is SX Bet. You can read more about SX Bet here to discover how they operate as a cryptocurrency bookmaker.

In terms of what a peer-to-peer betting exchange offers that a bookmaker does not, then it is, as the name suggests, the ability to bet with and against your peers.

Remember, a peer-to-peer bet is just one bettor wagering against another. A betting exchange does not survive on the back of your losses but rather by imposing small fees, and in the case of SX Bet, people staking their native currency, SX Token, which you can read about here.

Taken from the SX Bet website, 'The amount of SX you have staked determines your status on SX Bet. Status is important as it gets you entry into special tournaments, and determines the discount you earn on fees. You only pay fees on profit.'

There are also similar systems in place at other exchanges: for example, Betfair, where you get to choose your monthly loyalty rewards. You typically get the choice between a much lower commission or a 10% refund on your monthly losses.

Benefits of a peer-to-peer betting exchange

As we've already touched upon, using a peer-to-peer betting exchange makes it very unlikely you'll be limited, because you're only taking money from your fellow bettors.

Another bonus is that everything is a two-way market. Whereas your traditional bookmaker will allow you to bet on an outcome, for example, a team winning the FA Cup, an exchange will allow you to bet both for or against that outcome.

Best odds is a key aspect of being a successful bettor. If you do the maths, the difference that just half a percent makes over a lifetime of betting is huge.

By betting on exchanges, you get true odds. There is no benefit to the exchange offering odds that have a built-in margin to favour them, whereas it is common practice for a bookmaker to do this.

Ready to learn more? Why not get to know the different betting terminology used by the sports betting community.

Your guide to betting terminology

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