By Dave Schwab
Running and managing your own sportsbook can be a very lucrative business opportunity and with some hard work and dedication you can build a very successful operation that can provide year-round profits on a long-term basis. One of the most important ways to build a successful private bookie business is to always take the proper measures to stay way out in front of the daily betting action coming in.
Maintaining a high level of control over every aspect of your bookie business can go a long way towards generating a solid return on investment starting with taking the proper steps to guard against any unwanted exposure that can have a negative impact on both weekly cash flow and bottom-line profits.
One of the things that you constantly need to monitor is known as a ‘steam move’ on a posted betting line. This betting term refers to when a recently posted betting line makes a big move one way or the other because of a substantial amount of money was bet in a short amount of time. Sharp players, which are also referred to as ‘wise guys’ have a tendency to quickly jump all over a perceived bad line with a very large bet. Most times, these types of major line adjustments are followed a large number of regular players ‘betting steam’ behind the move.
As a private bookie, you need a system in place to stay ahead of the curve by spotting these steam moves early in the process. This way, you will have ample time to adjust your betting lines accordingly to minimize your overall exposure on that particular matchup. As part of the online bookie software you use to run your sportsbook, you need a built-in feature that can quickly alert you when a steam move has taken place. Time is money in the online sports betting industry and you will only have yourself to blame if something does slip through the tracks and you end up getting burned on the final game result.
An initial jump of any significance to an opening betting line is highly likely to trigger a flood of other bettors going in that direction to the point where even moving that line will not slow down the wave of money going in one direction over the other. In this worst-case scenario where there is nothing you can do to turn things the other way, you simply have to weather the storm and hope that things still fall in your favor.
Steam moves can adjust a spread as much as one or two points and one of the best ways to stay abreast of what is going on is to have fast and easy access to live odds ticker on your desktop or laptop computer as well as a mobile hand held device that is in your possession at all times. The quicker you can react to a steam move by adjusting your betting lines, the quicker you can minimize any negative impact it may have on the betting action coming in.
Another way that you can protect your bookie business from the potential impact of steam moves is to have certain betting limits in place through the use of individual betting account profiles. You should have a pretty good feel for every one of your player’s betting habits so if you continually see large money bets from the same betting customers every time there is a significant change in any betting odds, you might want to start taking the proper steps to limit your exposure.