If you happen to become a winning sports bettor, you may be limited by your online sportsbook. In fact, if you use all the tools and great information on our sports betting advice page, we bet you’ll find yourself being limited by a few sportsbooks.
Do All Sportsbooks Limit Winning Players?
Pretty much, yes they all do. If you come into the sportsbook firing away and winning you are going to get limited at no matter where you play. You have to be strategic about how you bet, and how many books you are betting at. If you are smart then you should never get limited. Making it obvious you’re a sharp bettor you will get limited, plain and simple whether it be 5dimes or Bovada. Their team consistently monitors if you’re a sharp or a square and if they feel you’re a sharp it’s game over.
Sports betting is different than online poker for the house from a profits perspective because excellent poker players who win money only from other players while contributing to the house through rake. Sports bettors who consistently bring in profits, however, make money directly from the sportsbooks, also known as the house.
For this reason, if a player begins to beat the sportsbook on a consistent basis, it’s in their best interest to lower that users wagering limits. While there’s a broad range of what individual sites will put up with or how much they can take losing to a single player, limiting profitable bettors is a business decision that sportsbooks are forced to make.
Even though sportsbooks limit players, it shouldn’t make you view them in an unfair light. They can’t just let profitable bettors attack them and make unlimited profits. If they let it go on, their business will eventually have to close its doors.
Of course, depending on the sportsbook, the reason an account gets limited may vary, as will the amount you win before drawing any red flags.
Sportsbooks that have higher betting limits and sharper odds will generally give players more leeway when they consider lowering betting limits. Some high-volume sportsbooks may be fine with some large, consistent winners on their site, as their action will drive up volume and help shape their markets. However, this is the exception, not the norm.
Many recreational-level sportsbooks can be quick to ban players who they deem as sharps, even if they haven’t necessarily won a lot of money just yet. These sites are purely catering to those who bet for amusement, and once they find out a player has a clue, they will likely be quick to limit their action.
Why Do Sportsbooks Limit Players?
It’s not as cut and dry as just winning. The types of bets made and the markets a player frequently bets, along with the amounts, will all factor in when a sportsbook manager looks at your account.
Chasing Steam and Getting Limited
Chasing steam is one of the easiest ways to get limited. Oddsmakers will notice if you’re consistently beating the market moves, especially if steam plays are the vast majority of your wagers. Managers will almost certainly notice you chasing steam if you’re max betting odds that are slow to move.
In the long term, it will result in money won for bettors because they will be consistently beating the market’s price. Of course, this is something the sportsbooks aren’t particularly fond of players doing. Not only does the bettor pick out the inefficiencies in the market, but once the line moves, the sportsbooks cannot offset the extra action from those who bet the steam play.
Attacking Smaller Markets
Many US-facing sportsbooks offer odds on just about every sport and league across the world, but their odds won’t be nearly as sharp as they are when it comes to more US-focused sports. Betting limits will also be a lot less.
However, someone who knows these smaller markets can do significant damage, even by betting several hundred dollars a game. Some bookmakers will have limits as low as $500 on these markets and will still end up limiting players further.
Remember, there’s a reason why bookmakers have lower limits on particular sports games in small markets. Since they aren’t as popular as other sports, they can’t devote much time to handicapping those markets.
This makes them vulnerable to bettors who know the sport inside and out. This is especially true if the wagers made by players are the maximum amount. Max betting smaller or obscure markets is likely to draw red flags.
Beating Props Will Get You Limited Quickly
Similar to small market betting, but most player and team props are for large market sports. Props are an area where bookmakers are especially vulnerable due to considerable differences in lines across multiple sportsbooks.
There is an extensive list of player and team props for just about every major sport – particularly, NFL football and NBA basketball – but depending on the book, there will be many other options as well. 5Dimes and Bovada (review pages), for example, offer propositions on every major professional sport and player props for more prominent contests.
Betting propositions are an excellent market to attack for inefficiencies, and the bookmakers know this. They have betting limits similar to smaller market sports. Most have a maximum of $500, but some can be as little as $200. Max betting propositions, like smaller markets, will also likely attract the attention of managers.
Avoiding Negative –EV Bets
Bookmakers are looking for bettors who are wagering on high vig markets. This means betting on larger parlays or teasers (more than two teams) and other exotic bets. If a better is simply going after markets that narrow the bookmakers’ edge and avoiding those that recreational bettors choose, it’s going to be clear that the player isn’t wagering for amusement. Steering clear of –EV bets is a smart betting strategy (and one we wouldn’t advise changing), but it makes it clear what type of player you are.
If Your Account Is Limited
In the vast majority of cases, if you get an email stating that there are limits on your account, there’s little that you can do to change that. The reduced wagering limits will stay on your account forever.
There’s always the potential chance that the oddsmakers have made a mistake when they assign limits to an account. It’s fine to inquire about a limit reduction placed on your account and be sure that it has been appropriately placed there, but in 99.9% of circumstances, this change won’t be reversed.
These drops can be pretty drastic. Many sportsbooks will limit players to $50 or less on both smaller and major markets. Higher volume sportsbooks may opt to go with a few hundred dollars as a limit, but this can also be changed later and further decreased.
If you continue to bet and win (even over a extended period), your limits may be cut again, or you may be banned altogether. It’s not unheard of for bettors to have their maximum bet reduced to just $5 to deter the bettor from making any bets.
Author: Joseph Falchetti
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