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Two per head bookie agents shaking hands over layoff account concept

How to Use Your Pay Per Head Layoff Account

Protect your profits with the Pay Per Head layoff account options.

One of the most important tools in the Pay Per Head arsenal is the layoff account; without it, you could easily see your sportsbook go under after one major upset.

The top reason bookies become Pay Per Head agents is for access to tools. Per head software tools allow bookies to increase profit and manage their sportsbook businesses the way Vegas books do.

While tools like the APS (Agent Payment Solutions), Instant Action Ticker, customizable limits, and SMS or email notifications are imperative, the layoff account, while absolutely necessary to ensure you remain in the black, also makes being a bookie fun. 

Why? Because the layoff account accomplishes something only CFO’s who can buy put options on their stock can achieve. It allows bookies to protect profit. Before getting into how bookies can use the layoff account to help them discover Jason’s Golden Fleece, it’s time for a quick refresher.

Sports Betting Basics: A refresher on why a layoff account might come in handy

Against the Spread Wagers

Not everyone knows what against the spread wagers are. ATS wagers are those that most every sports bettor in the United States wagers. That’s why wagering action picks up during football and basketball seasons. The NFL, college football, the NBA and college hoops, make up the bulk of U.S. wagering.

ATS wagers are so popular that in its first season, the XFL has garnered intense betting action. Sure, there are plenty of reasons that this version of Jim McMahon’s Xtreme Football League has already succeeded while his first version failed. It’s an openness to sports betting that is one of those reasons.

Football will always be the most popular sport in the U.S. because football bettors talk with their money clips. MacMahon figured that out.  

Over / Under Total Wagers

Over/under total wagers are the nation’s second most popular types of bets.  Oddsmakers set a score total, and players log in to their sportsbook accounts to wager over or under the total. The bookie gets that sweet-tasting juice and the player watches the game to determine if they won their bet.

Moneyline Wagers

The least popular of the “Big 3” wager types are Moneyline wagers. Moneyline wagers always skew in the bookie’s favor. It’s difficult to hit a Moneyline wager on an underdog and odds always cause sports betting players to take double-takes before placing a Moneyline bet.

We also call these straight-up wagers, as in, “I’m taking no points on the Pats! Even without Tommy, those Pats are winning straight up!”

The underdog in a Moneyline wager often offers half the odds of the favorite. If the top tennis player in the world offers -500, her opponent offers +250. That discourages big wagers on underdogs.

Parlay Wagers

The fourth wager is called the parlay. Did you ever wonder what “parlay” means? Per Merriam-Webster, parlay means to “increase or otherwise transform into something of much greater value”.

That’s the first definition. The second definition is this: “a series of two or more bets so set up in advance that the original stake plus its winnings are risked on the successive wagers”.

The definitions mean almost the exact same thing. For the player, a parlay allows them to increase their wager. So, a 3-team parlay might pay 6 to 1. For you, the bookmaker, it’s a blessing. It’s difficult to hit a single game against the spread. Hitting 3 doesn’t often happen.   

It keeps you from getting killed on any given game.

What the Layoff Account Allows You to Do

Now that we’ve finished our refresher on the 4 main wager types, we can get down to business on what your layoff account does. In the introduction, we mentioned that the layoff account allows you to protect profit. It does that by providing agents the means to lower risk.

Companies are always looking to lower risk. They must lower risk so that they can protect profit. You do the same thing with your sportsbook. You use your layoff account to lower risk and that protects profit.

In hindsight: your layoff account & the 2020 Super Bowl

The Super Bowl remains the most important single betting event on the planet. It always will because Vegas sportsbooks rely on the NFL and the NFL relies on Vegas sportsbooks.

The 2020 Super Bowl pitted the San Francisco 49ers against the Kansas City Chiefs. But it wasn’t a run of the mill Vince Lombardi Trophy throwdown. It wasn’t just a team from the NFC against a team from the AFC.

In one corner, you had the Niners: a breathtaking group of gridiron warriors who had bested some of the top signal-callers in the land. The 49ers took pickaxes to other team’s offenses striking them down and then burying them next to their reserves of gold.

In the other corner were the Chiefs and the top gunslinger in the league, Patrick Mahomes. The 2019 NFL MVP had dispatched of his foes as if every pass had come from a diamond-encrusted holster.

The buildup to the 2020 Super Bowl was huge. For once, the game didn’t disappoint. Mahomes rallied the Chiefs to an improbable 31-20 victory. Improbable because the Chiefs looked like they were dead to rites with about 8 minutes left. They scored 3 touchdowns in those 8 minutes.

That was the game. For bookies, the awesomeness happened well before the game. Betting started a couple of minutes after Vegas set the line. KC offered odds of -1. ATS odds went to Chiefs -1 ½. The line ballooned to KC -2 ½. It went the opposite to Chiefs +1 after some players dumped on the SF Moneyline.

Then, it went back around to KC -1 ½ before kickoff.

To illustrate the layoff account’s power, we want to concentrate on the line changes.

Let’s take it step-by-step.

Step 1: Super Bowl 2020 Odds Set

Odds are set. The Chiefs are -1. It takes 2 hours for oddsmakers to make the Chiefs -1 ½.

Step 2: Oddsmakers Change ATS Line on Chiefs-Niners

The oddsmakers bump the Chiefs to -2 ½. A huge Moneyline bet comes in on SF. In reality, a couple of massive Moneyline bets came in. The Moneyline wagers force the oddsmakers to make the Niners favorites.

Step 2: Oddsmakers Do the Old Rinse and Repeat

By rinse and repeat, we mean Vegas sportsbooks changed the odds on the 2020 Super Bowl to attract money on the other side of the spread.

That’s the key to being a Vegas sportsbook. The way to protect profit for Vegas is to get money on both sides of the spread. For Pay Per Head bookies, that light bulb went off a long time ago.

You know this. Vegas gives two nothings about who wins a game and covers the spread. What they want to ensure is that there’s the same amount of money on one side of a spread that’s on another.

Those odds fluctuations during the 2020 Super Bowl were nothing more than sportsbooks changing the spread to attract wagering on both sides. When wagering is even Steven, sportsbooks keep all their bookie’s fees. That sweet, succulent juice remains in the profit carafe.

Per Head Bookies do the same thing

Although your not a major Vegas sportsbook, you do the same thing the big boys and girls do. You protect your bookie fees as well. But, you don’t protect them by encouraging wagering on both sides of a spread.

Most bookmakers like you don’t have enough clients to do that. To ensure you keep every dollar in bookie fees as the profit you must find another way to get Steven to even out the wagering for you. How? The layoff account!

Per head agents use the layoff account to even out wagering on the spread bet and over/under total wagers.

How the Layoff Account Works

Let’s say your whale (your most active player) is a man named Bob. Mr. Bob, as you like to call him, decides he wants to dump on the new Las Vegas football team to put a beating onto their superstar quarterback’s former team.

That game is this week and Bob is so excited he wants you to increase his max bet allowable from $500 to $1,000. “Also,” Bob says, “I want the best line. I’m not going to place a bet with you unless you give me a competitive line.”

Bob explains to you for the fiftieth time that he can sign-up with anybody he wants to make bets. So, you had better give him the line he wants because if not, he’s gonzo like that ugly chicken thing with the Muppets.

As a Pay Per Head agent, you have access to something that can satisfy Bob’s craving. It’s called the line mover. Although this article isn’t about the line mover, because agents use the line mover and layoff account together, we should mention it.

You use the line mover to ensure Bob gets the line he wants. It turns out Bob wanted a full point less than the Vegas line. Vegas set up a -6 ½ line. Bob wanted -5 ½.

Here’s what you told Bob, “No worries! 5 ½ it is!”

Bob goes online and makes his $1,000 wager. At this point, you’d scramble and hope for the best.

But with the layoff account, you don’t have to scramble! All you must do is open your layoff account, put $900 on Bob’s team, sit, back, relax, and have another Mai Thai. It doesn’t matter what happens in the game. You’re covered. Check it out!

Say Bob’s team wins. You now owe Bob $1900. You owe him back his $1,000 investment. You owe him $900 because he did an excellent job picking a winner.

No worries. You pay back the $1,000 investment because all it did was sit in his account. You use the $900 you won in your layoff account and pay Bob with that. Bob’s happy and so are you.

Let’s say Bob’s team loses. Bob is not happy. But you are. You take the $900 from Bob’s $1,000. You pay off your layoff account with Bob’s $900.

You keep $100, your juice in profit. That’s what your sportsbook made. With the layoff account, it’s cha-ching no matter what!  

When to Use the Layoff Account & When Not To

Wow. Sounds easy, right? Also sounds like you can make bets with your layoff account, which you can. But your Pay Per Head layoff account is a tool. You can misuse it, which is why you had better pay attention to the next section.  

Don’t Use Your Layoff Account If You…

…Must Makeup Profit Because You Failed to Use the Layoff Account on A Different Game

If you’re a veteran per head agent, a veteran bookie, you’ve heard the term “chase”. Chasing happens when sports bettors try to make up for losing bets by following up losing bets with more bets.

Some bettors are so awful at this, they chase so much, they end up owing way more to bookies like you than they wanted to. You can make wagers in your layoff account. That means it’s possible that you can end up chasing.

If you missed the boat on using your layoff account on a game, don’t chase what your player won from you by using the layoff account on a different game.

Leaving Money on the Table

The final word on this has to do with leaving money on the table. Nobody wants to leave money on the table. Easier said than done. We leave money on the table all the time. Do you take advantage of Rakuten every time you buy something online?

Leaving money on the table with your layoff account means that you overuse it. How is that possible? It’s easy. Let’s say all the action you got on a specific game is $200.

Your bookie fee is $20. You could use your layoff account and make sure to protect your $20. Or, you could let the bet ride and see if you can make the entire $200. Or, and this is for online bookie agents that used to be sports bettors, you could decide to make a much larger wager in your layoff account.

What’s wrong with handicapping the game yourself? Then, you could either make a $300 wager riding your client’s position or a $300 bet against your client’s position. Sounds risky, right? It is!

But it can also lead to more profit than your $20 bookie fee. It’s also the type of thing that CFOs do all the time with what we call derivative financial instruments.

Protect Profit With Your Layoff Account

Experiment and figure out how you like to use your layoff account. It’s one of the most important software bookie tools available to Pay Per Head agents. Get creative and discover your risk level. Who knows? The layoff account might not just ensure you keep your bookie fees, but might also lead to a more profitable sportsbook. If you need help with anything, call a Pay Per Head rep at 800-605-4767.

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