Smart bankroll management in sports betting is crucial. You obviously have no control over the outcome of any sporting events. What you do have control over is the bets you place, and the amount you wager. Smartly managing both significantly improves your potential for long-term profits.
Want to learn bankroll management in sports betting to become a successful sports bettor? Read on to discover how to determine your budget, split it into individual betting units, manage your risk, and be a responsible gambler.
Understanding Sports Betting Bankroll Management
Placing sports bets at random is the quickest way to blow up your sportsbook account. Maybe you’ll get lucky, and hit a few big wins. Without any money management system in place, however, it’s more likely you’ll simply lose your bankroll, especially over the long-term.
If you’re sensibly aiming for sustainable, long-term profits as part of your sports betting strategy, you need to practice good bankroll management. If you do this right, it can literally ensure (depending on the system) that your account stays alive for a minimum predetermined amount of time.
Either way, it gives structure to your betting, and – crucially – forces you to balance risk and reward.
Here are some of the most common mistakes bettors make, which sports betting money management will help you avoid:
- Failing to adjust your stakes to the odds
- Placing a random number of wagers
- Using random stakes on your bets
- Running out of money too quickly
- Chasing after losses
Setting Up Your Bankroll
Before you can settle on a bet size for any sports bets, you need to determine your total bankroll. This must be based directly on your income.
Use the 50/30/20 method to split your earnings into essentials, savings, and other. Your betting money should come out of the 20%, along with the likes of trips out, content subscriptions, and so on. If you earn $3,000 per month, for example, $600 of that can be set aside for fun stuff, and you might decide to specifically allocate $400* for betting.
Now you have your overall budget for bankroll betting, and can start splitting that up into individual units for wagers.
*We cannot stress enough the importance of practicing safe gambling. Only ever bet what you can afford to lose.
Segmenting Your Sportsbook Bankroll
Again, one of our key aims of sports betting bankroll management is to balance risk and reward. To that end, after deciding on your budget and unit size, it can be an excellent idea to segment your bankroll.
This will help to organize your betting, and ensure you diversify nicely. Here are the three main ways to segment your gambling bankroll. Again, there’s no ‘rule’ about the actual sizes of these segments, and you can easily adjust them as you go along. Generally speaking, just make sure most of your money is going towards the ‘safer’ end of the betting spectrum.
Strategies to Help You Manage Risk
The bankroll management rules we’ve laid out so far should already have given you some guidance in your betting. If you want even more structure, however, you can use an actual betting system instead.
Betting systems are defined strategies which tell you how much to wager on your bets. They usually kick in after you either win or lose a bet, depending on whether they’re focused on generating profits or recouping losses, and automatically adjust your next stake for you. Do be aware, however, that these have usually been designed for casino games (such as roulette money management ). They can still work here, but only if you stick to even-odds (+100) wagers.
If you’re interested in a defined strategy for bankroll management sports betting, here are three good options.
This is the most straightforward system of all. At its most basic level, it can simply involve using the same stake for every wager you place. If you decide your unit size is $5, for example, you’ll get $5 every time. If you’ve calculated your unit size carefully (as discussed earlier), your units will be small enough to get a good number of wagers out of your bankroll.
A more nuanced approach to flat betting, however, is to make your stakes a percentage of your bankroll. This means they will scale up and down depending on whether you’ve made or lost money, and keep your risk in proportion. If you decide on 5% stakes, however, then you’ll be betting $5 at a starting $100 bankroll, but $10 when you get up to $200, and so on.
The Martingale System is arguably the most famous betting system. It is a textbook example of negative progression betting, where the aim is to recoup any losses you’ve sustained.
In this case, you start by betting one unit. If that bet wins, you bet one unit again. If and when you lose, however, you double your next stake. Lose again, and you double again, and so on. Eventually you’ll win, and – when you do – you’ll get all your money back in one go.
The Martingale will work in theory, and is nice and simple. It can lead to your stakes ramping up very quickly, however, with the Fibonacci System being a more conservative alternative.
The 1-3-2-6 betting system is an example of positive progression betting. This is the profits-focused opposite of negative progression, in which your stakes are raised after a winning wager, rather than a losing one.
With the 1-3-2-6, if you lose a bet, you just bet one unit again. If you win, however, the sequence kicks in. You’ll then wager 3 units, 2 units, and 6 units respectively, if you keep winning. After that, however, the sequence is done, and you’ll start over.
The 1-3-2-6 is a nice balance between risk and reward. It has the potential for sizable profits, but – crucially – is realistic, in that you only need four wins to complete the system.
A Few Things to Consider for Sports Bettors
By now, you should have an excellent idea of how to begin and maintain bankroll management for sports bets. Here are a few more key points to bear in mind as you go along.
It’s one thing making all the aforementioned calculations to start with. One of your biggest challenges, however, may be sticking to them. It’s imperative that you do so, however, come what may.
Chasing after losses, basing your future decisions on prior outcomes (also known as Gambler’s Fallacy), and simply ‘going with your gut’ and betting more than you can afford to lose are all bad ideas. You must stay within your budget, abide by the same segmentation, and maintain the same risk/reward balance, whatever happens.
If you find yourself struggling with this, take a break for a few days, or a week. If it’s still a problem, seek help online or in-person.
Special offers certainly aren’t the be-all, end-all, and don’t always represent great value. The better deals out there, however, like bonus bets, really can have a significant impact on your long-term profits.
Using bonus bets and insurance (or ‘cash rebate’) offers at online betting sites can both help to save you money. Applying odds boosts or triggering winnings boosts can swell your balance. Just be sure to check the T&Cs in detail before getting involved, and check for yourself that the bonus really does represent good value.
The huge number of online resources out there mean that money management strategies have never been easier. There’s not only endless advice out there to guide your specific betting picks. There are also apps and tools designed to aid your bankroll management, by tracking your spending, calculating your stake sizes, and so on, many of which are completely free. Bet Analytix – available on both iOS and Android – is just one excellent example.
Excel with a Bankroll Management System
Bankroll management in sports betting might not sound exciting. There’s definitely nothing dull, however, about making more money from your gambling.
Obviously, managing your bankroll won’t have an impact on the outcomes of your actual wagers. What it will do, however, is help you to better balance your risk and reward, keep your spending in proportion to your bank balance, and – in general – practice responsible gambling.
After reading this guide, you know everything you need to in order to start managing your bankroll. To recap, begin by setting your overall budget, then identify your unit size and segment your bankroll. When you do begin betting, maintain a healthy mix of riskier and safer picks, and adjust your strategy frequently.