Pinnacle Sports Review
There are plenty of other bookmaker reviews that I could have done before Pinnacle Sports. In fact currently, if you are in the UK, you won’t be able to access Pinnacle, although plenty of you will from other countries.
So part of the reason for doing this review, is to ask a question; why, with all the decades of experience that UK bookmakers have, can’t at least one follow the same model and accept decent sized bets, long term winners, and even arbitrage players? We have a dynamic betting industry in the UK and yet the landscape for serious bettors is pretty pathetic. Even the exchanges don’t always welcome winners.
Who are Pinnacle Sports?
Pinnacle Sports are a ‘no frills’ low margin / cost bookmaker, which allows them to offer great value sports betting odds to their customers. Prices can even beat the betting exchanges when you take commission into account.
In terms of managing their prices, they are probably the best bookmaker / sportsbook out there. It’s that simple. Do we like sign up offers? Yes. Do we like bonuses? Yes. Will you get these at Pinnacle? No, and that’s a good thing, because any lack of offers or bonuses will be more than offset by extremely competitive prices. More importantly, you won’t have your account closed or restricted for having won a few decent sized bets.
Why Pinnacle Sports?
|✅ Established 1998||❌ No Offers or Bonuses*|
|✅ Arbitrage Friendly||❌ No Live Streaming*|
|✅ Winners Welcome||❌ No Telephone Customer Services*|
|✅ Large Stake Limits|
|✅ Accept Professional Bettors|
|✅ Consistently Excellent Odds|
Joining Pinnacle Sports
I won’t waste your time. Pinnacle don’t operate in certain countries. The quickest way to find out if you can open an account, is to go to the pinnacle.com website and click join. If you get a blocked location message or similar, then I’m afraid you’re out of luck:
If you’re one of the lucky ones and allowed to proceed, then get that account opened!
For a full list of blocked countries / jurisdictions click here.
How Do They Do It?
A lot of the real ‘numbers’ to do with Pinnacle are kept under wraps, it’s a private company after all, but one ‘in the know’ celebrity suggested that in terms of ‘dollars bet’ – it would be no surprise for that number to be in the billions. Now with their exit from the US market, things may have changed, but Pinnacle still operates in a hundred or so countries worldwide.
Having big volume definitely helps Pinnacle and in turn their customers.
Early Posting of Odds
Pinnacle offer ‘overnight odds’ with smaller limits to get a feel for the market. This often attracts smart bettors and professionals. Pinnacle are then able to adjust their betting lines according to that action, without exposing themselves too much. This gives Pinnacle the confidence to take very decent sized bets.
Accuracy of Pricing
While almost all bookmakers limit the account of big stakes players who move prices, Pinnacle uses them as a ‘marker’ to help create an efficient market. Instead of attracting and then punishing customers by closing their accounts, Pinnacle rewards them, offering the best prices, the very highest limits. Effectively Pinnacle is ‘making a statement’, that if you’re a smart punter, winning big due to your own analysis and skill, you won’t have your account restricted or shut down. It’s Pinnacle Sports’ accuracy of odds making that enables this.
Pinnacle Sports offer competitive pricing, which means they are generally happy to allow customers to employ arbitrage techniques. When bettors practice arbitrage, one of the bookmakers has to take the hit. Pinnacle know that, on the whole, it’s the other bookmakers that will be making the loss.
The chart below shows the accumulated profit from 16,860 arbitrage opportunities (football matches) over approximately seven years. The average profit per arbitrage bet was around 0.8% . A hypothetical betting fund would stand at £13,490 (GBP) if you had bet £100 (GBP) per arbitrage bet.
There are four key factors: the overall betting fund or bankroll growth, Pinnacle’s odds / returns, two other best-in-market odds / returns – in a three way football match bet.
You can see from the chart, that Pinnacle is invariably offering the ‘negative expectation price’, whilst the other bookmakers are responsible for the overall arbitrage gains.
The chart data, which was accumulated over 50,000 European football matches, also shows that Pinnacle are consistently better at pricing up football matches than other leading bookmakers.
This doesn’t mean, however, that the other bookmakers are bad at producing accurate odds. They might simply be promoting a football product or match and offering inflated prices to attract customers. Ironically though, those same bookmakers will be restricting and closing accounts, if those customers continue to jump on those value prices and bet big stakes.
Pinnacle Sports Unique Business Model
Pinnacle have a unique business model that separates them from other bookmakers:
- Offer the best odds
- Offer the highest limits
- Don’t restrict winners
- Accept arbitrage players
Now isn’t that simple? With a model like that the punters would find you. They certainly found Pinnacle.
When asked why no one has successfully managed to copy the Pinnacle model, a Pinnacle Trading Director once responded “…they’re gonna bleed a lot…making expensive mistakes… trying to gain traction and volume.” Many other bookmakers’ have tried and failed in their efforts to copy Pinnacle.
Promotions and Offers
Since Pinnacle Sports are ‘no frills’ sportsbook, they keep their costs down. They are all about offering value prices to customers. Rarely, if ever, will you see promotional offers or sign up bonuses at the sportsbook (usually in the casino only) but if you bet reasonably consistently, you will soon benefit to a much greater degree over the long term.
Would you rather have £50 in your pocket immediately for signing up (with conditions attached) or potentially be hundreds, if not thousands of pounds better off over the long term, from the very competitive odds that you will receive?
For a simplified example: If your general stakes are £100 and you find a Pinnacle Sports market for 2.20, compared to other bookmakers’ markets at 2.10, then every time you win you will receive an extra £10 profit by betting with Pinnacle. (Pinnacle £100 x 2.20 = £120 profit. Other Bookmaker £100 x 2.10 = £110 profit). After just five winning bets, you would be £50 better off. After a hundred winning bets, £1000 better off.
Also, not using bonuses and promotions in marketing drives to lure customers is a benefit, as there is less chance of being criticised by anti-gambling bodies. Customers find Pinnacle because they offer value.
Sports and Markets
Pinnacle uses a simple style interface and has all the usual sports markets that you would expect, including a huge range of football markets. They also cover more obscure sports like Futsal and Curling.
You can see in the image above, that the odds lines are offered to three decimal places for accuracy. In big markets, at peak periods, Pinnacle resembles a ‘sports stock market’ with prices changing constantly, to balance the bets that they are taking from customers.
Betting Stakes and Limits
Pinnacle Sports get a lot of action from big punters and professional bettors. As result, even if you are betting four or five figure sums (market dependent) you won’t find your account getting restricted as a winner. Pinnacle manage their book very professionally and also welcome arbitrage players.
When Pinnacle first post odds / prices, they will often take some big bets from customers. Rather than refuse bets, they will sometimes use these as a ‘marker’ for that particular market. Prices will then often get adjusted. Some shrewd players might then bet the ‘other side’, creating a ‘no risk’ bet or generating immediate profit. Alternatively, they may wait longer, until the general public come in with their bets, whereupon the odds might get adjusted again.
When I used to bet at Pinnacle years ago, when they were still in UK market, stake limits for a lot of my regular football (soccer) bets were at £25,000-£30,000. I think with bigger markets like Superbowl and other big finals, the limits can be much much higher.
The largest win that I know of at Pinnacle Sports, was an NFL bet on the NFC Championship game between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. Pinnacle paid out $2,049,000. There may have been bigger wins since then, I don’t know. In really high volume markets, Pinnacle certainly used to take bets of up to $1m or equivalent currency. Yet, it may largely depend on which betting jurisdictions / countries they are allowing to access their site at any particular time.
Pinnacle are big on eSports. It really started as an experiment and snowballed from there. The markets doubled in size in the first four years after they launched. Pinnacle stated that eSports very quickly exceeded the volume of their regular sports like hockey, golf and rugby.
Four years after launch in December 2014, they hit the ‘one million bets taken’ milestone. This had grown to five million by February 2017. In 2018, the eSports market had grown even more and has become the fourth most popular betting sport and continues to grow. Check out their eSports Matchups.
Casinos and Virtual Sports
Pinnacle have two casinos, a standard casino and a live casino. If you want virtual sports, it’s accessible from the home page or casino menu bar.
There are literally hundreds of games on offer.
Pinnacle Sports Mobile
Pinnacle have a good mobile site. Simply access it on your phone. At the time of writing Pinnacle are not offering their app. This may change in the future.
Pinnacle offer a great choice of deposit / withdrawal options, including Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as well as the standard card and web wallet options that you would expect. You can choose from approximately 17 currencies too. See below:
Banking options are subject to change, but Pinnacle like to ensure that customers have as many options available to them as possible.
Contact is via email and live chat. Live Chat is quick and efficient.
Emails are generally answered within 24 hours.
In 2016, Pinnacle were the first to offer odds on Drone racing, in a World Championship drone racing event in Hawaii.
Pinnacle Sports in Popular Culture
Pinnacle got a mention in an episode of the TV hit show ‘The Sopranos’ – regarding a $50,000 bet on a boxing bout at 7/2 (4.5). This came as a pleasant surprise to Pinnacle who only found out when the episode aired.
I don’t know if the bet landed, you’ll have to tune in.
Pinnacle are literally at the pinnacle of pure bookmaking. They have some of the best traders in the business. It’s just a shame that I can’t bet with them any longer, as I am blocked from my location.
Come on bookmakers of the UK. Offer us long-suffering punters some decent stake limits. Bet 365? More like Bet £3.65. Ladbrokes? the ‘lads’ (ref. old advertising campaign) can’t even have a ‘laddish’ bet. Let’s do it.
Remember to check if bookmakers like Pinnacle still manage their book in a positive way. The betting landscape is always changing, managers come and go, culture in companies changes – so if you want to be a big player with Pinnacle, just make sure you drop them an email first with all of your questions.
Pinnacle aren’t for everyone, but for me, ‘price is everything’. They are a unique bookmaker.
I rate Pinnacle 5.0/5.0