Avoid Note on DartboardThe variety in the online betting industry means that we are spoiled with the number of betting markets to choose from. In less than 10 seconds on a site you’re going to be bombarded with hundreds of sports, games and markets that can be all accessed within just a few clicks.

For some, it gets a little overwhelming and it’s hard to know when to start. If you’re totally new to online betting and you’ve come from a high street betting background, then it’s likely going to be a whole new world compared to the bets you can place in your local high street bookie.

As a result, there are some markets that are better to bet on for the punter than others. For each, there is often a different reason as to why, so we’re going to walk you through some bets to avoid from your online bookmaker.

Accumulators that Exceed the Max Payout

Long List

We know that lots of you like to place an acca every now and then. This dates back from the days of The Pools, where people used to come door to door and collect your slip. You have to pick a series of score draws from the 50 games that weekend and if you managed to win, then you got a life changing sum of money.

The Pools is not as popular as it once was, but accumulator betting is definitely just as popular, if not more so. The reason so many people like these bets is that you can bet small amounts and win huge sums of money. In fact, we’ve a whole article on some of the biggest acca wins that you can check out, here.

So, How Many is Too Many?

Well, this is where you have too many picks in your acca which creates odds or a payout that is too high. What you need to be aware of here is that bookmakers will have payout limits on all their bets. The majority are hundreds of thousands of pounds and some even millions, but accumulator bets have been known to hit these sums.

When this happens, the bookmaker will only ever pay out on their limit and not the bets limit. For example, if you have an acca that pays out £5 million, but the bookies max pay-out is £1 million, then this will be the most you can win.

Therefore, it’s pointless adding in more games to increase odds if the bookie won’t pay out the full acca if it wins.

It’s also worth noting that just because the bookie won’t pay out the returns stated, they won’t inform you of this prior to placing the bet. They allow the punter to make sure they know the rules which are stated in their T’s and C’s, so if your bet would pay out over the limit, they would take your money still if it lost.

0-0 Instead of No Goalscorer

0-0 on LED Scoreboard

As there are so many bets to choose from, there are times where there will be one market that works in a similar fashion to another. In fact, they might mean exactly the same thing, but could pay out different odds or have different rules attached to them.

One of the most common is when people bet on 0-0 compared to the no goalscorer bet in the first goalscorer market. You would think that if there is no goalscorer then the game would be 0-0, so it would be the same, but you would in fact be wrong.

The reason behind this is for the no goalscorer bet, if an own goal is scored, then this does not count towards this market and the bet will remain live. Therefore, it’s possible that if the game ended 1-0 and it was an own goal, the no goalscorer bet would pay out, but the 0-0 correct score bet would lose, given that the score is 0-0 and it does count own goals.

This actually affected 2 games in the Premier League 2018/19 season and 3 games the season before, where no goalscorer bets would have paid out and 0-0 bets would have lost. As you can see, it doesn’t happen all that often, but it’s a huge edge to take as a bettor and the prices are usually exactly the same or very close at worst.

High Margin Accumulators

Percentage Sign Red Background

We want to come back and revisit accumulator bets a little deeper here as even though they are very popular they are actually some of the most difficult bets to win in terms the margins involved.

Before we dive in, the first thing to note is how a bookmaker works. We have an article specifically on margins, so we won’t go too deep here, and feel free to check them out for more info.

The basics is that the bookmaker creates a margin on all their markets. This is usually about 5% on each market which then in turn is the profit margin they make from those bets.

The problem with accumulator bets is that you are piling up the cut that the bookmaker takes by including more and more results.

For example, if we have 5 bets that we include in an accumulator all priced at odds of 1.90, then this would pay out at odds of 24.76. If we then assume that the true odds (odds taken before margins have been adjusted) and assume each would have been priced at 2.00, we would have an acca at odds of 32.00, some 7.24 difference.

What happens is that as we add in more bets, we start to increase the margin that the bookmaker makes from these bets. It would look something like this:

Selections Odds Margin
5 24.76 4.02%
7 89.39 11.14%
10 613.11 24.76%

This is one of the reasons why the bookies love punters betting on accumulator bets. This is also why you see some bookies offering rather large bonuses for increasing the number of picks, because even the increased pay-out will be offset by the huge rate in which the margins continue to grow.

Poor Margin Markets

Football Against Goal Net

Some bets offer tighter margins that other when it comes to betting. The overround that a bookmaker will charge will vary, but there are certain bets that will always have the highest margin, no matter what. And if you’re a seasoned football bettor, look away now.

One of the worst of the mainstream bets is that of the Both Teams To Score market. To give it come context, most of the bookies that we tested with the match result market were around the 3-5% mark, which is more than reasonable. The BTTS market saw these numbers double to that of anywhere between 5% up to a massive 10%.

Given there are only two out comes here – BTTS yes or BTTS no – the margins are crazy high.

But, the BTTS is not the worst and it’s not even close. The single worst market for bookmakers’ margins is that of the first goalscorer. We’ve seen numbers range from anywhere between 50% right up to almost 200% and this was with some of the biggest and best bookies in the industry.

Why are the margins so high for this market you might ask? The primary reason is that the bookies don’t know who will play so have to price up every possible player as if they would start. This means that you can have a striker at the head of the betting who doesn’t get on the pitch, or worse, comes on for the last three minutes.

Worst Bets for Bonuses & Free Bets

Red Bonus Keyboard Button

If you’ve just signed up to a bookmaker, then it’s likely that you’re going to have got some sort of bonus or free bet for doing so. Some of the better bookies might have given you one as an existing customer as well.

These bonuses or free bets often come with some strict terms and conditions. One of those is usually a limitation on markets that you can and can’t bet on.

It goes without saying that you don’t want to be placing these bets on markets that are excluded or at odds that are lower than the qualifying terms. For example, if the bookmaker states that you need to place bet at odds of 1.50 or greater, then you need make sure the odds are higher enough or it could be that the bet is then voided.

They may also limit the markets that you can bet on as well. The Asian handicap is one that lots of bookies exclude and some also exclude accumulator bets, just to give you an example.

But there are bets that are included in the list of accepted markets that should still be avoided. These are generally bets or markets where the bet will be voided for whatever reason. Usually a voided bet will mean that you get your money back, but more often than not, if your bet is voided with a free bet or bonus, then you will lose that offer.

Obviously, there will be times where this can’t be helped, but there are markets and bets that are more prone than others.

An example of this would be the first goalscorer market. If you place a bet on someone to score the first goal and they don’t start the game, if they don’t come on then the bet is void. In fact, if the come on after the first goal has been scored, then the bet is also voided. This would mean you lose your free bet as a result.

In football this would apply to a lot of the “player” based markets, such as bookings, assists, scorecast, wincast, time casts and team goalscorers. If you trigger a void market your bet might not be refunded either, so you would lose out completely.

So, if you do decide to use your bonus on one of these markets it can be beneficial to wait until you can be certain that a specific player is taking part in the match that you are looking at.