How Bookie Software Is Developed pt. 1

Mateo Brekalo
Mateo Brekalo
Published: 11.2.2024.

The never-ending struggle between bookies and bettors is increasingly tilting in favor of bookies, thanks to the growing volume of data and information generated with each placed bet. The bookies are prevailing in this battle as their software becomes more sophisticated and intelligent, learning the behaviors of each customer.

However, this is not the end for bettors, as many continue to earn significant profits through betting. By employing various strategies, bettors can gain an advantage and achieve long-term success. While it may be challenging with a single account, most savvy bettors who capitalize on value will maintain multiple accounts with various bookmakers. Or simply by becoming a value bettor with some sharp bookmakers who do accept winners and don’t limit their accounts just because they are making profit.

Red flags

In the early days of online sports betting, it was relatively easy for savvy customers to gain an advantage and identify value in pricing. However, merely identifying value in a price was not the sole task. To stay under the radar, one needed to play smart and avoid becoming greedy too quickly or altogether. Since bookmakers didn't have the assistance of today's sophisticated software solutions, a significant part of their job, aside from compiling odds, involved identifying and flagging potentially risky players.

Some of the red flags bookies were looking for:

Higher stakes than usual for a customer
Repeating same betslip
More customers placing same bets
Customers which made profit after multiple bets or just had winning tickets
Placing bets shortly before an in play event point happens

The indicators mentioned above served as benchmarks for the bookmaker to assess the accuracy of the odds in comparison to their preferred reference bookmaker. However, honestly, by the time these events had transpired, it was too late for the bookie to intervene. The only recourse left was to either limit the customer's betting activities or impose a complete ban.


Certainly, manual work was highly inefficient, prompting major companies to invest in developers capable of building software that could predict events based on the knowledge bookies employed in their battle against bettors. The foremost concern for bookies was to have updated and accurate odds. The software needed to import and scrape the odds from the reference bookmakers to effectively compare them with the odds offered by the bookie being "copied”. Most of the companies still didn’t have development teams to do so, but they were using odds providers and monitoring tools where you could compare your odds to the market average or chosen bookmakers.

Rating customers

In the early stages of automation, merely comparing odds proved to be a significant aid for bookmakers in segmenting customers based on their level of knowledge. In the database, bookmakers or traders had to establish fundamental rules for each player level, including limits, betslip combination rules, or even imposing bans based on their prior betting activities, but the most important was to adjust the odds.

Customers are rated based on their choices of odds. For instance, if your odds are 2.00 while the odds from your reference bookmaker are 1.8, and you trust the reference bookmaker, you would consider the customer to be "smart" in seizing the value from the odds, and accordingly, you would assign a rating to the customer. Depending on the rating, the player's limits may be decreased.

Leveling customers by actions

Now, understanding the strategies employed by bookmakers, developers had to incorporate these actions into the system, marking a significant advance in the battle against value bettors. The initial fully automated step involved adjusting the odds as promptly and accurately as possible, aligning them with the desired reference bookmaker. If the customer remained quicker and exploited the advantage, the system's task was then to categorize the customer into the appropriate level. Levels mean having some preset rules, and if let’s say the level 10 customer is the most dangerous customer, he will then have the smallest limits possible or even be completely banned.

In play tools

For live fixtures, we encounter the same challenges, but with changes occurring in real-time and at a rapid pace. In addition to the issue of odds accuracy, there are risks for the bookie related to data delays. This is why, when placing an in-play bet, there is typically a countdown of a few seconds before the bet can be confirmed.

These kinds of bets allow the bookie to collect data that can indicate a potentially risky player, especially if the player repeatedly places bets just moments before a significant event occurs. For instance, if a player bets on "next goal home team" and the home team scores just seconds after the bet placement, it could be a red flag for the bookie. It will be considered similarly to a prematch bet placed on odds which were not adjusted.

More significant automated processes

In the next part, we will delve into the details of the latest and most modern methods that developers use to build software and the array of tools employed by these new software systems. These advancements aim to replace the extensive manual work that bookmakers or traders have historically undertaken for an extended period.


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