Most sports bettors don't have problems placing bets. They simply walk into a sportsbook and place a bet or log into an internet based sportsbook and make a wager.
Professional sports bettors often deal in larger amounts of money than normal sports bettors so they can run into trouble trying to place as much money on a contest as they want.
Sportsbooks, both off line and online, set limits to the amount of money one person can bet on a contest. To understand why they do this you need to know a little bit about how a sportsbook protects itself financially.
When a sportsbook sets a line on a game most people believe that it's set based solely on the expected outcome of the game. But the book is more interested in enticing roughly the same amount of money in wagers on both sides of the game than the actual outcome.
If the sportsbook can create the same amount of money bet on both sides of a contest they lock in a profit from the vig they collect from losing bets.
Here's an Example:
If the sportsbook charges 110 to win 100 and has $55,000 placed on each side of a contest to win $50,000 it doesn't matter which side wins. The sportsbook gives back the $55,000 placed on the winning side and pays out the $50,000 in wins from the $55,000 placed on the losing side.
This is a guaranteed profit of $5,000 for the sportsbook.
Rarely are both sides evenly wagered on, so the sportsbook works on averages over all of the games they post lines for.
The books also do things after setting the lines to try to balance the action. One of the most common things they do is adjust the lines.
Here's why you see lines move between the time they open and when the contest starts.
If the balance between the amounts bet on each side of a contest becomes too wide the line moves in the direction that entices more bets on the side with less money wagered and makes it cost more in the form of points, runs, goals, etc. to place bets on the side with more bets.
This isn't a perfect system, but it's a method of hedging the sportsbooks use to reduce their risk.
In the long run the sportsbooks that set good lines, adjust the lines when they need to, and keeps the balance close, is able to ride out the ups and downs of short term variance and operate profitably.
But in the short run they can lose a great deal of money if the balance isn't maintained. The ability to stay in business long enough to show the long term profit requires a great deal of money and constant monitoring.
This all ties into the upper betting limits on individual contests because if they take bets that are too large it can move the balance too far in one direction.
It can also move the balance too far before they can adjust the lines.
Another issue that most recreational and small time sports bettors don't often consider is that the sportsbooks don't really want to deal with a large amount of professional sports bettors.
It's not easy, but some people are able to beat the sportsbooks in the long run, and when these bettors are able to accumulate enough money to make wagers with they're able to hurt the sportsbook's bottom line.
By keeping the maximum bets low the sportsbooks reduce their exposure to professional bettors.
Professional sports bettors often need to try to get large amounts of money down on a game without moving the line. If they're forced to place a number of bets in order to get as much as possible down on a game the line is always in danger of moving before they can get all of the bets placed.
Some of the methods listed below can help you do this, but when you reach the upper levels of betting on sports this is something that you always need to keep in mind.
In the rest of this post, you're going to learn 7 ways professional sports bettors get around betting limits.
But before you learn more you need to know two important things. These two things involve your risk and the legality of some of the methods listed below.
Your risk in this context doesn't have anything to do with picking winners and making profitable bets. The risk comes from moving money around and in some cases, finding people you can trust to work with when you're dealing with large sums of money.
Some of the tips included below require methods that place money out of your immediate control. The best advice about this is to keep as much control as possible and be slow to trust. You can hire people to do things for you, but the risk is always present when you give someone tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to place bets with.
One way around some of this risk is using people that have a vested interest in the bets. You can learn more about this in the section about syndicates.
The other danger is that in some parts of the world some of the suggestions listed below are illegal. In many places, it's illegal to have someone else place a bet for you.
The laws vary by country and often by region, and this page isn't a legal document. Nothing you read here can be used as legal advice. It's completely up to you to learn the laws where you live and place bets.
Investigate all of the suggestions below where you operate to learn more about the ones that are legal and the ones you need to avoid.
The simplest and least dangerous way to place large amounts of money on sports contests is to live where many sportsbooks are located. You travel from sportsbook to sportsbook and place all of the best yourself.
The two biggest dangers to using this method are the lines may move between your bets and you need to have access to large amounts of money.
You can carry around cash or chips, but there's always a danger that someone will figure out that you have a large amount of money and decide they want it.
One way around this is to keep money in the casino's that have the sportsbooks you use.
The other problem with this method is that it reduces the number of places you can operate. Las Vegas in the U. S. and a few places in Europe have a concentration of sportsbooks, but most other places don't have many options.
On the positive side, this method should be legal everywhere and you can easily shop for the best lines. If you travel around a small area placing bets you'll also quickly learn the fastest way to get in and out of the sportsbook. You can also create relationships with the sportsbook personnel that may be valuable.
Creating relationships is an important part of the tip about negotiating higher lines below. It can also help you negotiate lower vig in some cases.
The internet is filled with sportsbooks and seems like the perfect solution for professional sports bettors. With all of the available options, it looks like you could open accounts at dozens of different online sportsbooks and place bets at as many as you need in order to get the maximum amount of money on a game.
But internet sportsbooks have a risk. Here's a list of a few things you need to be aware of before you start looking for online betting opportunities.
Most of the time professional sports bettors find that the internet based sportsbooks aren't a real option. They might be able to find a few that are safe to work with and willing to take bets, but it's usually only a small percentage of the total amount they want to get down on a contest.
But even a small extra amount placed on a contest can be valuable to a professional sports bettor.
A runner is someone who places bets for you. In some areas using runners is illegal.
It's simple to set up a network of runners to place bets, but using them costs you money because they don't do it for free.
You also need to find runners you can trust or find ones that are too scared of you to steal your money. This may sound dark to some people and we don't support violence, but these are the only two ways to make a runner operation work.
You can also use a group of runners to place a number of bets at different sportsbooks at the same time so you get the maximum amount of money down on a game before the line moves.
The simplest way to use runners is to give them money or chips to use to place bets and contact them with the time, place, and bet to make. The problem with this is that all of the ways to contact them can be traced, seen, and / or listened to.
If you decide to use runners start with one and build from there. Find a close friend or relative and each of you can place bets. This doubles the amount you can place on each contest.
By starting small you can learn where you might have challenges as you grow and streamline your process. When you start using a new runner start them with smaller amounts of money and responsibility. Only after they prove that they're reliable should you trust them with more.
The way you run your business is up to you but most bettors who use runners are clear that the runner is 100% responsible for the money. This means that if the money gets stolen that the runner is responsible. This helps reduce the chance that a runner decides to steal from you and tells you the money has been stolen.
You also need to determine the best way to make sure mistakes aren't made when bets are placed. Finally, the runners will appear to be the sports bettor and may run into tax related issues depending on the amounts of the pay outs they collect.
It's easy to think that these issues are the runner's problem, but the truth is that it's your problem. If the IRS or other tax authority or government comes down on a runner do you think the runner is going to protect you?
You also need to determine how much you can afford to pay runners. When you become a professional sports bettor it's important to treat it as a business. This means that you need to know how much it costs you to do everything in your business.
The profit margins for winning sports bettors can be thin so every little bit you spend getting bets placed reduces your profit.
Here's an example:
If you place bets at 110 to 100 and are able to win 54% of them, here are the numbers.
Let' assume you place 100 bets for $10,000 each. You invest $1,100,000 including the vig. You get back your investment and a win of $10,000 on 54 bets and lose your investment on the other 46 bets. This is a positive return of $34,000.
The two things you should take from this are that even if you're a winning sports bettor you need to risk a large amount of money for a relatively small gain and you can't afford to pay much for runners.
In this example if you place half the bets and a runner places the other half and you pay them $20 per bet your cost is $1,000. This may sound reasonable if you're profit before you pay the runner is $34,000 but let's look at the numbers if you only win 53% of the games.
Your investment is the same $1,100,000 but your return is only $13,000 in profit before you pay the runner.
One way to eliminate the cost of runners is by having them invested in the process. You can learn more about this in the next section.
Another way to possibly find a runner willing to work for free is let them use your information to place bets of their own. This is not always safe because when you have a run of negative variance it can create a problem with your runner.
The only way to make this work is if you actually are able to turn a long term profit, can convince the potential runner that you can, and use someone who can control their personal money in a way to not bet beyond their bankroll.
This is all challenging and the reason you should usually consider paying a runner and forbidding them to use your picks first.
If you don't let your runner use your picks the smart ones will eventually start using them anyway once they figure out that you're winning. But the smart ones are more likely to bet within their means and not bet so much to cause a real problem for your betting.
A syndicate, or betting syndicate, is a group people who pool their money and make bets on sporting events. These can be set up different ways, but the basics of most are that one or two people are able to make profitable long term bets and everyone invests a certain amount for a certain part of the return.
Here's an example of a possible syndicate set up:
Two professional sports bettors have a long history of being able to make profitable long term bets. They start to pool resources and decide to create a syndicate of investors for a gambling investment fund.
Each of the two professional bettors are going to own 10% of the syndicate and they sell the other 80% to raise the funds for the bankroll. They decide to raise $800,000 to make the math simple. Each $10,000 investment buys 1% of the syndicate.
They find 8 investors who each put up $100,000 and receive 10% of the profits.
The two professionals don't buy in. They're being compensated for their expertise and ability to turn a long term profit.
This is just an example. Real syndicate can be set up as simply or complicated as you can imagine.
For the purposes of how you can get around betting limits, a syndicate offers a ready-made group of runners. The investors have an interest in the syndicate and this even gets around the laws in some areas that don't allow others to place bets. Since the members are actually placing bets with funds they have an interest in they're betting their own money. Once again, this is in no way legal advice. Check the laws where you live and consult an attorney if you need advice.
In this example the syndicate has 10 members who can place bets. This is a way to create a situation where you have free runners. These runners are also less likely to steal from you because they have a vested interest in the syndicate and fund.
One major issue that you need to be aware of if you form a syndicate is what you're doing with moving money around can look like money laundering. You don't want the government to start looking at your activities. If the government suspects you're laundering money they can seize your sets and make your life miserable.
In most areas the law presents itself as innocent until proven guilty, but in money laundering cases the opposite is often what actually happens.
And if all of your assets are seized or frozen you won't have any money to fight the charges.
The first thing you should do is not launder money. The next thing you should do is keep perfect records of everything you're doing so you can quickly show what you're doing and why.
Like most things, the laws about gambling syndicates vary by area so make sure you know if it's legal and how to set it up in a way that keeps you out of trouble.
Another thing to consider if you set up a syndicate is how the pay outs are structured. The nature of sports betting is a long term game so you shouldn't pay out profits too quickly.
One possible solution to handle pay outs and help the fund grow is to invest a portion of all profits back into the fund and pay out the rest of the profits quarterly.
The exact numbers don't matter, but this is something you need to decide before you start putting together the group.
Just like any other business transaction, you need to cover everything you can think of at the beginning. This way everyone knows exactly how things work and what to expect.
This can be tricky, but you may be able to negotiate higher betting limits at some sportsbooks.
The reason it can be tricky is because if the sportsbook figures out you're a long term winner they want to take less bets from you, not more. Some sportsbooks are more open to taking higher exposure than others, but all of them are in the business of making money.
The only thing you can do is ask to see if higher limits are available. It helps if you've been able to build a relationship with at least one of the people who help run the book, but if you haven't simply ask a cashier how you can get higher limits.
The other thing you should try to negotiate is reduced vig. This doesn't directly relate to getting higher betting limits but every point of reduced vig increases your long term profits.
Consider offering to place higher wagers if they give you a reduced vig. This frames the request as a way to get lower vig instead of a way to get higher limits. The people who run sportsbooks are usually smart, but if you frame your request in his way they might not realize your real goal of getting higher betting limits.
You can also try to negotiate a percentage of your losses as a cash back rebate. It's rare a sportsbook will do this, especially if they think you're a professional, but if you don't ask you won't know if it's possible. Once again, offer to bet more when you ask for the chance to get the betting limits raised.
If you can negotiate a loss rebate set it for as short a time as possible. Every week is a good time frame if possible. This way you can benefit from down swings while still profiting from up swings.
The last trick you can try to use in negotiations is offer to leave a certain amount on deposit with the sportsbook to make bets with. This can show you're serious about making a high volume of wagers and may tip the scales in your favor.
Always remember that even though you're negotiating with a business, the people you're talking to are the ones that usually make the final decision. If the person you're talking to won't make the final decision see if it's possible to speak to the one that will.
Opening your own sportsbook might seem like a radical solution, but every sportsbook in existence is owned by someone or a company owned by people. You need to be located where you can legally set a sportsbook up and have enough money to operate, but it's possible to go this route.
Before we dig into this more you should realize that once you go through everything to set up a book and if you run it well you'll probably make more money with the sportsbook than with betting on sports.
But each sportsbook can set their own lines and there's no reason you can't decide which sides you want to back and set the lines in a way that you're effectively betting on a team. The laws in most places are designed so that you won't be able to officially place bets with your own sportsbook, but when you identify contests you want to capitalize on you can try to create a balance of bets made by your customers on the other side.
Here's an example:
If you evaluate a game and believe the visiting team will win outright, you're willing to risk $100,000 on them, and the average line of other sportsbooks is giving the visiting team + 3, you can set the line at even or +1 to try to entice more action on the home team.
As the number of bets come in and gets close to $100,000 more on the home team than the visiting team you can start adjusting the line to even out the remaining wagers you take.
This is the same as placing the bet at another sportsbook.
The other possibility when you own a sportsbook is finding other sportsbooks that agree to exchange bets at reduced vig. This can create an opportunity to place bets on games you consider advantageous with a lower cost.
Sometimes when sportsbooks get too much action on one side of a game they can sell off part of the action to other sportsbooks. This is another way to reduce risk. It isn't always possible, but it's another possible way to balance your action.
This one is probably the most dangerous as far as legality and most people shouldn't consider using it. But it offers a way to get more money on a game if you can pull it off.
Each area has its own laws regarding reporting of money coming in and out. For pay outs above a certain amount in many areas you need to show some form of identification for tax purposes.
But most sportsbooks don't have an identification requirement for placing bets.
This means that if you place bets with different cashiers over a period of time you may be able to make maximum bets at an individual sportsbook multiple times. But you need to understand the requirements to cash out when you win.
If you need a form of identification you're either going to need a runner to cash some of your wins or use multiple identifications. In most jurisdictions, multiple identifications are illegal.
The other problem is that many sportsbooks track the maximum bets and have surveillance. This means that they can often see what you're doing and take measures against you.
You can also attempt to set up multiple accounts at online book makers but this is even more difficult to pull off than trying to do it in person.
The sites have ways to track where you log in from and moving money is hard when you're trying to use different accounts. You might be able to get away with it but most people get caught and lose their money, get banned from the site, and / or end up with legal problems.
Use these 7 ways professional sports bettors get around betting limits to get more money down on games where you have an edge. Remember to check the legality of each method where you operate before you start to make sure you're not going to get into trouble.