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May 17, 2023

The Ultimate Guide To Managing Your Bankroll For Sports Betting

Ethan Moore
Written byEthan MooreWriter
Researched byMatteo BianchiResearcher
Localised byAria MitchellLocaliser

To achieve long-term financial success as a sports bettor, you need more than just a knack for picking winners; you also need a solid understanding of managing your money while betting on sports.

The Ultimate Guide To Managing Your Bankroll For Sports Betting

Suppose it's a Sunday evening, and you're watching the nightcap of the day's football action. Back the underdog that's down by six points with eight minutes left in the game. In the game's last minutes, as your side rushes down the field, you keep your fingers crossed and pray for a miraculous comeback.

And sure enough, a tremendous fourth-quarter comeback led to the day's largest victory for your club.

You just won a lot of money; now what? By employing money management tactics, you may increase your odds of continuing to win while decreasing your risks of losing it all. All successful gamblers should employ these potent strategies for managing their bankrolls.

Here, you'll find a comprehensive bankroll management strategy in sports betting, complete with straightforward advice, tried-and-true tactics, and useful reminders about things like win and loss limitations.

How Do You Manage Your Betting Bankroll?

Bankroll management is a topic that requires an understanding of the phrase "bankroll" before you can go on to other topics. A sports bettor's bankroll is the money they have available for wagering.

A common advice is never to put more money on the line than you can afford to lose.

When considering this assertion, many sports gamblers set aside a certain sum just for wagering. Once you've decided how much money you'll be betting on, you can begin managing your bankroll effectively. To do this, you must establish some guidelines for yourself on how and where to spend your money while betting on sports.

Both unit and bet tracking are essential components of effective bankroll management. You may attain the correct bankroll size and your objectives via the use of a variety of bankroll management tools. Optimize your betting bankroll to maximize your winnings and limit your losses. Both amateurs and seasoned pros can benefit from reading this.

Why Should You Manage Your Sports Betting Bankroll

Being a good sports bettor requires knowledge of the sports betting industry and a bankroll management system - you must understand how to manage your finances to have a prosperous future at the best sports betting sites. There is a direct correlation between how you manage your finances and your level of success.

Bankroll management has various advantages. It helps weather a losing trend, protects you from blowing your whole bankroll on a single game, and keeps you from aiming for the big score.

These are just a handful of the many ways that good bankroll management may help you make money betting on sports.

How Much To Start With Your Sports Betting Bankroll

Setting a betting bankroll limit is the first step in managing your money while placing bets. A bankroll, as was previously said, is a sum of money set out just for wagering.

If you want to gamble money sensibly, you need to keep that money separate from other funds. How much cash should you put into your sports betting bankroll now that you know you need to do so?

It all depends on how much money you need to make ends meet. You should only gamble with money you might risk losing.

How Much Money Should You Bet On Each Game?

If this were an ideal world, we could all have huge bankrolls and confidently risk around 1% of them on each bet. In any case, this bankroll management strategy isn't the best for novice gamblers.

If you have a $1,000 bankroll, which is not a small amount, you will only risk $10 on each bet at 1%. This is hardly the most appealing way to begin a new pastime.

While increasing your level of aggression with a less bankroll is OK, it isn't advisable to increase your stake to more than 5% of your overall bankroll. More than that is asking for trouble. 2.5% is a decent middle ground.

Whether you choose 1%, 5%, or a number in between, that percentage will serve as your "unit size" going forward.

What Are Betting Units?

Sports bettors may more easily evaluate their performance using units relative to other bettors. After all, comparing which gambler has earned more money gambling in the NFL would be unfair if one player had a $10,000 bankroll and another only had a $500 budget. A player with a higher bankroll may have a far poorer record than one with a smaller one yet still, end up ahead financially because of the larger amount of their wins.

Adjusting the unit size lets you see how much you're ahead of your average bet. One would be up to five units if their unit size was $100 and they were up $500. This method also lets you project future earnings as your unit size grows.

How To Find The Bankroll Management Strategy For Your Needs

You don't have to wager the same sum on each game. You may tailor your sports betting portfolio to suit your preferred method of betting by choosing from several different approaches.

Flat Betting Model

Despite its seeming simplicity, this is the most foolproof method of managing your money. All you have to do is decide on a unit size and stake that amount on each wager. It makes no difference how much you've been wagering recently, how confident you are, or what the odds are.

  • To decide between the "to win" and "risk" approaches, your only consideration should be whatever best suits your needs. Using the "to win" strategy requires consideration of the juice to win one unit. This implies you'll need to put down 1.1 units to earn 1.0 when betting on a regular wager with odds of -110.
  • When using the risk strategy, you don't bet enough units to cover the vigil. That means you'd have to put up 1.0 units on a -110 bet to win 0.91 units if you won.

Betting on underdogs with money lines is risky for the same reason. 

  • If you want to bet a flat 1.0 units, you may or can bet exactly enough to win 1.0 units. If you want to wager on an underdog with +250 odds, you have two options: risk 1.0 units for the chance to win 2.5 units or risk 4.0 units for the chance of winning 1.0 units.
  • When placing a bet, most punters prefer the "to win" approach on spreads and the "risk" approach on moneyline underdogs, but you should use whichever strategy helps you feel most at ease.

The primary benefit of this strategy is that it protects your bankroll while still guaranteeing a return if your win rate is higher than the break-even mark.

Bear in mind that this strategy requires regular bankroll evaluations. If you have gained or lost a significant number of units, consider adjusting the size of your units accordingly.

Confidence Model:

When you feel sure about a match, the confidence model lets you up your wager. While a 1.0-unit gamble is still recommended, increasing your stake to 2.0 or 3.0 units is occasionally acceptable. We do not advocate increasing your unit size above that unless you have shown a consistent capacity to make your most confident bets.

Before making a final decision, it's wise to put this model through its paces. That is, fortunately, not too difficult to achieve. 

  • You should keep track of your wagers on a spreadsheet, whatever your betting system, and you should also start noting your level of confidence in each bet on a confidence scale of 1–3. 
  • You may look at your track record for each bet amount, even if you are always wagering the same number of units. It makes a lot of sense to increase your bet amount if your most confident bets have a far better track record than your less confident ones.
  • Additionally, the confidence model permits the occasional half-unit wager. This is most effective when betting on underdogs or parlays with a big potential payout.

Percentage Model

Comparable to the flat betting system is the percentage model. The only significant change is that your unit size will depend on your bankroll rather than being predetermined. Initial numerical comparisons should be close, but your unit size will change much quicker than the flat model.

Let's take a look at a theoretical $1,000 bankroll as an example.

  •  Whether flat or percentage-based, your initial bet will be $25 if your desired standard unit is 2.5%. From then on, things will begin to alter. 
  • The initial $1,025 in your bankroll will grow to $1,025 if you win your first wager. 
  • The next bet will cost you $25.63, or 2.5% of that amount.

The primary merit of this tactic is that it capitalizes on hot streaks, a common occurrence in sports betting. After each winning bet, you increase your stake by an appropriate amount, which boosts your potential return during winning streaks.

The drawback is that escaping an unpleasant situation may be more challenging. Your bet size will reduce if your money falls under your initial starting amount. As a result, the timing of your winning streak becomes more crucial than it was under the fixed-unit paradigm. Due to the larger standard deviation, this is a riskier strategy.

Kelly Criterion Model

The Kelly Criteria Model is like a supercharged version of the confidence model. Your goal is to calculate your precise winning percentage for each stake rather than simply giving a confidence level to each selection. You would then use this figure in the following calculation to calculate the precise amount of your bankroll that should be in play at any one time:

The Ultimate Guide To Managing Your Bankroll For Sports Betting

The formula may appear complicated at first glance, but it is rather simple. Let's examine a made-up scenario.

The calculation might look somewhat like this if you thought you had a 55% probability of winning a regular -110 wager:

The Ultimate Guide To Managing Your Bankroll For Sports Betting

Using the Kelly criterion, that translates to a 5.5% risk of your whole bankroll.

The program will advise a larger wager if and only if your confidence level or the moneyline odds of your wager improve. It's not uncommon for these figures to be somewhat bold.

Let's pretend you think a +200 underdog has a 50% shot of winning. This is how the resultant formula might look:

The Ultimate Guide To Managing Your Bankroll For Sports Betting

Kelly's Criteria Model recommends a staggeringly high bet size of 25% of your bankroll under certain circumstances.

That's why pinpoint accuracy in estimating your chances of success is crucial. You will lose a significant portion of your money if you make a mistake.

You shouldn't try this technique unless you've done plenty of homework on how well you can estimate your chances of winning, and even then, you could be better off utilizing a tweaked version of the algorithm.

The Kelly Criteria is commonly used by professional sports bettors, with many opting to bet only a fraction of the recommended amount. Still, that will protect you from losing as much as the standard flat betting or percentage betting models.

Sports Betting Bankroll Management Tips

Here are a few tips to help keep your sports betting bankroll. 

Stick to Your Financial Limits

Knowing when to stop betting is crucial knowledge for the casual sports bettor. If you bet, only risk what you can afford to lose. That way, no matter what happens, you can relax and have a good time without worrying too much about a run of bad luck. It's important to remember that having a good time is the main objective. It's never entertaining to gamble money you cannot risk losing.

Create a Separate Fund for Betting

This is a crucial piece of advice that many bettors hear but never follow. Put aside a fixed amount of funds weekly or monthly, and avoid spending more than that on betting.

It's simple to lose track of your winnings or losses when you have to take money out of your pocket every time you place a wager. Without careful monitoring, betting may quickly become a serious drain on your resources.

Never Take Funds From Your Set Bankroll

The most successful gamblers in sports do so because they know that a growing bankroll is essential to long-term success. One major way they achieve this is by maintaining a constant bankroll and not spending their winnings.

If you're betting on sports only for fun, then a significant part of that enjoyment should come from spending any winnings on something else entertaining. This means you may take more money out of your bankroll than usual if you're merely an infrequent gambler.

However, if you want to improve as a sports bettor and eventually make large wins, you must save as much of your profits as practicable in your bankroll. In the gambling world, cash is analogous to ammunition; the more you have, the more harm you can do with your wagers.

Document Everything Meticulously

If you don't keep track of your winnings and losses, your bankroll management efforts will be futile.  Although it may seem obvious, this is a seriously underutilized strategy in the world of sports betting.

A simple and fast approach to maintaining tabs on your betting past is to keep a record of your money and wagers. Your prior bets may be analyzed this way, shedding light on the causes of your wins and losses. You may use Excel for this or a tried-and-true notepad.

Examine the sources of your financial success. To what extent are you profiting from betting on specific sports, teams, and wagers? The other question is: where do you expect to incur the greatest amount of loss? It takes effort, but you can make a significant difference to your bottom line if you play to your strengths and avoid your weaknesses.

What Does Stop Loss Mean?

When it comes to sports betting, the hardest part is understanding when to stop. We recommend you gamble with responsibility and read carefully the following tips: 

  • Stop-loss limits are the maximum amount of money an investor is prepared to lose in a certain time frame. When your losses exceed that amount, you will no longer gamble. 
  • For example, if you allow yourself $100 to gamble and lose it all in one day, you will not bet again. Having the discipline to create a stop-loss limit plan helps you avoid losing all your money too soon.
  • Not everybody gets a loss limit when betting on sports to prevent themselves from losing money quickly. It's easy to enter credit card information and waste money gambling online, so it's crucial to discover realistic methods to be frugal.

Following our prior guidance and maintaining a separate betting bankroll will put you in a much stronger position. If you're feeling overwhelmed, these suggestions can help.

  1. If you want to wager with cash, keeping that cash separated from your other funds and in a sealed envelope is best. 
  2. If you wish to use a bank card for betting, it's recommended that you set up a separate account for that purpose.

Establishing a stop-loss limit is one technique to protect your betting capital, regardless of the strategy you choose to employ. There are two types of stop-loss limits. 

Session Stop Loss

You can control how much money you spend on gambling if you divide your time into discrete periods. A typical sports bettor will set aside $200 for the day and spread that money across twenty different wagers on games or lines.

Remember that if you intend to wager on sports all day long, you may want to play in many sessions to have sufficient funds to continue playing even if you have a bad start.

As soon as your session's money is gone, stop gambling until you've recovered financially.

Stop Win Limit

As contradictory as it may sound, knowing when to call it quits when you're ahead is just as crucial as knowing when to walk away when you're down.

Even the luckiest person will run out of luck at some point, so it's typically best to cash out while you're up. Setting stop-win limits is a fantastic method to train your self-control, which will serve you well in any type of sports betting.

If you decide on a large target figure and you happen to reach it, you may quit betting and spend the rest of the day tallying your wins.

Final Thoughts

Reading and digesting this article will provide a solid foundation of the fundamentals of a bankroll management strategy in sports betting.

We cannot stress this point enough: good money management in gambling will yield enormous rewards. Not only will it increase your chances of winning money, but it will also make sports betting much less stressful overall.

The ability to track progress objectively is another benefit of good financial management. You may be far more realistic about your outcomes if you know exactly how much you won and lost in a particular month.

About the author
Matteo Bianchi
Matteo Bianchi

Matteo "Teo" Bianchi, hailed as BettingRanker's "Data Dynamo", is the quintessential combination of a sports enthusiast and a numbers whiz. His meticulous research ensures bettors are always a step ahead, making him a cornerstone of the platform.

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