Become a Bookie: Knowing Customer Types

As you begin to gain new customers and become a bookie, you will start to see that not all are the same. There will be some fundamental differences that will need some paying attention to.  It’s critical to get a grasp on the types that you will encounter.  I will describe below some of the more common types and their traits.

Garden Variety Player

Your typical player.  He’s going to play pretty steadily in football and some basketball.  He will taper off in baseball.  He will never beat you for too much nor lose more than he can afford.  This guy will often stay with you for years.  A good type to have plenty of.  Treat these guys right because they have other friends like themselves.

The Well Intended Degenerate

This guy often starts out as the Garden Variety.  Over time he may drift into a little more dangerous area for himself.  He is likely to be active all year.  He is a good guy and means well but gets himself into trouble by “chasing” to get out of the hole.  The result is that he will often lose more than he can afford to pay in one week.  He is usually good for it and worth keeping in action and allowing to carry a balance.  It could reach a point where he is perpetually in the hole and plays against his balance.  Making payments every so often to not get too far behind.  This is a good player to have when you become a bookie.  It could be argued that he is the best type, especially if he stays in action and makes those steady payments.  These guys can also stay with you for years.

The Nit

These guys are annoying but unavoidable.  They never lose much, they make few bets and never have any other guys to offer.  The good part is that they’ll pay their stain when they lose.  The balance is typically just a phone call away.  If that’s not the case then you’d have to consider if they’re worth keeping.  They can be a drain on your pay per head budget so be sure they are steady long-term losers and pay when prompted.

The Player/Agent

These types are the key to business expansion in becoming a bookie.  This customer is usually a guy that plays like the Garden Variety type.  What makes him special is that he has several friends that also play like him.

become a bookie and agent
Bud was a good agent.

He will often introduce these players over time.  After a while, he may have 6 or 7 of his friends playing with you.  He will often be the point man when settling up with his friends.  It’s possible that you may never meet the other players and settle through the Player/Agent.  This guy is going to save you a lot of time while also generating revenue. He will never be a drain on your pay per head service fee.  Under these conditions, a side agreement between you two for this work is in the best interest of all.  I will go into different types of deals for the Player/Agent in a later article.

The Whale

You may come across a player that bets higher than any of your other customers.  The term “whale” is relative but this player’s bet amount will give you a big decision on any game he plays.  His plays will often dwarf all others and dictate how your week will go.

The Whale
The Whale

If you find his plays are causing you too much stress, I would suggest finding another spot to lay off to. Do not get rid of the whale!  Keep him happy.  Who knows, he may become a Player/Agent down the road.

The Deadbeat

It’s been my experience that this guy will make you feel uneasy right from the start.  He bets a little higher than the Garden Variety guy, will often have a lot of questions about your rules, betting limits, credit amounts etc.  He’s trying to see what he can get away with.  He will always seem confident and carefree even when stuck a significant number.  He’s trying to relax you and make you feel that he’s ok with what he is down.  In reality, he is just trying to bet his way out of the hole.  If he doesn’t get out, get ready for the following.  Delays in paying, missed deadlines, lies, complaints about the Pay Per Head service etc.  This guy is bad news.  Often it’ll be best to take the loss and move on as quickly as possible.  When you ask around about him, this guy will be known by other guys in the business.  He likely will owe them money too.  Another key element in identifying a guy like this is that he will most often find you.  He looks for new places to play and pull these maneuvers.  Anyone that finds you deserves special scrutiny.

The Wiseguy

On the surface, this player will come across like the Deadbeat.  He will have a lot of questions about your pay per head site, bets, limits etc.  He will play higher than the Garden Variety but lower than the Whale.  He will probably find you.  He will also be comfortable when stuck a solid number.

wiseguy gambler
The Wiseguy…be careful with this one.

There are 2 fundamental differences between him and the Deadbeat.  The Wiseguy will pay you, and often will try to pay early.  He wants to instill confidence in you.  He wants you to know that he pays.  Often, the Wiseguy considers you his customer. Believing that, he will do his best to take care of you.  The joker in the deck is that he will never play a bad number with you and may often be ahead of a line move.  If you’re just starting out and have not built up a solid customer base, I would suggest passing on this guy. Even with a big sheet, this guy still is a tough decision to take on.  Tread lightly for sure.

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