It’s essential to understand that all bookmakers will have a maximum payout for each sport and for different sporting events. For the majority of people, these limits will never be an issue due to the stakes and odds that most people bet at, but for those of you who are either classed as high rollers or simply place massively speculative bets at high odds, then this article is worth your time.
For each sport, the bookmaker will outline the maximum that they are willing to pay out per bet, and it’s up to you to understand them before placing your bet. Whilst most bookmakers will prohibit bets that will exceed the maximum pay out, some won’t, and many punters have been caught out in the past, winning what they think are truly staggering chunks of money only to be let down when it comes to the settlement of bet.
It would be useful to point out that a betting limit is not the same as a payout limit. The betting limit is the maximum amount that you are allowed to stake at the bookmaker for an individual bet. This will range massively across the board but will likely be determined on an individual betting market at the price the bookmaker feels comfortable laying at; they need to be able to afford to pay if they lose and still keep running the business. The more popular the market, the higher the limit will be, although even the most popular markets will reach their threshold.
What happens if I exceed the payout limit?
If your bet does exceed the payout limit then the bookmaker will simply pay you the maximum amount stated in their terms and conditions for that sport or market.
For example; if you won a bet that should pay out £1 million, but the bookmakers limit is £500,000 for that market, the bet will be settled but capped at £500,000. So you could have wagered half as much and still won the same amount, half of your stake was pointless.
What sort of payout limits should I expect to see?
Well, like all things in online betting, it depends on the bookmaker and the sport/market in question. There are various tiers of bookmaker that have more money than others, so you often find big brands offer the highest payouts. If a huge high street bookie had a cap of £2million on Band A football, a smaller online only bookie might set the cap at £500,000.
Usually, the most popular sports will carry the highest payouts, so football, horse racing, tennis etc. This is because these markets see more action and are worth more to the bookmaker. Maximums will then drop dramatically as you look at the lower level sports as well as specials and virtuals. It can go as low as £10k at some bookies on smaller markets.
The other thing to know is that there are often bandings within the more popular sports. Football, racing and tennis will usually have different max payout levels depending on which game you bet on and which bet type you use. A single on a Premiere League game will probably be set at the highest level, say £1million, whereas betting on a game in Iran might be Band C, maybe £100,000k.
Have a look in the terms and conditions for ‘maximum payouts’ or ‘maximum winnings’ and you will see that bookies’ caps laid out in a table of some sort.
Accumulators are called into question most often when it comes to maximum payouts, because of the ability to win huge sums of money for a relatively small stake. It’s these bets that punters often get carried away with as it’s so easy to keep adding selections and watch your potential returns climb to the tens, if not hundreds of thousands for a relatively small stake.
You also need to be wary when mixing your sports and bet types. As we mentioned earlier in the article, the payout limit is specific to both sport and bet type, meaning that there could be a general limit for paying out on football matches, but then if you wager on the Asian Handicap line you might have to adhere to lower limit.
How one bookie addresses limits for accumulator bets will be different to another. Some have policies in place which state that all accumulator bets will adhere to a set payout limit, whereas others will take the market/sport/bet you have chosen with the lowest payout limit in and then hold you to these.
We can’t stress highly enough that if you are betting on accumulator bets, check with your bookmaker prior to betting to find out the true limit.