My foray into the world of sports betting was as a punter, primarily following the ups and downs (well, mostly downs…) of my local team as they battled against the ever-present threat of relegation. Over time, I began to become more and more interested in the ins and outs of various strategies and became adept at spotting a good operator.
My day job was, at the time, writing and editing for a local newspaper, so turning my professional skills to my interest in sports betting followed naturally. I started writing about sports betting as a hobby initially with my own blog, analysing odds and providing betting tips where I thought I could find value. Eventually, I was headhunted to write the same content for a betting firm, which resulted in me leaving my local paper job behind and turning my professional interests solely to sports betting writing by 2017. Since then, I have been proud of the body of work I have been able to produce.
Using my interest in all aspects of the sports and gambling world to guide me, I now write for Betting.net, compiling operator reviews, bonus reviews, and sharing the tips and tricks across our various sports betting guides. When I’m not at my keyboard, I am an avid rock climber, with an ultimate goal of eventually ascending the Seven Peaks — if I can fit it in between penning the latest bookmaker review, that is!
Knowing your sports, betting markets and odds is one thing, but the key to being a successful gambler is betting bankroll management. You’re in luck – you’ve reached your ideal destination for learning everything you need to know!
If you want to manage your money, keep your bankroll ticking over and have more successful bets overall, read on. Sports betting money management might not seem like the most exciting topic, but it’s the most important when it comes to gambling safely and efficiently. In our latest betting guide, we’ll tell you how to manage bankroll betting and keep yourself in check.
Sports betting bankroll management – key points
Every bettor needs to manage their bankroll
It’s just as important for casual bettors as it is for high rollers
The margins between winning and losing are fine
Financial situation and comfort level must be considered
In essence your betting bankroll consists of your initial budget that you plan to invest in a sportsbook when you sign up. Generally speaking, it’s advisable to create your initial betting budget based on not only your personal financial situation, but also the amount you’re comfortable with.
It’s important to remember that sports betting is not the same as investing or trading – and there’s far from any guarantee that you will even break even. Your budget should therefore always consist of the maximum amount that you can afford to lose and are comfortable with losing.
Beating the bookies – playing the long game
Once your budget has been set, you need to work on managing and maintaining your bankroll, so that you ultimately don’t lose it all. The best way to do this is to look at sports betting as a long-term game. The margins are really fine when it comes to sports betting, and even a single poor wager can put a massive dent in your bankroll if you’re not careful.
That’s why you need to place small wagers that don’t use up too much of your bankroll too quickly. Additionally, you need to pick and choose your betting lines wisely, in order to find a balance between value and implied probability.
If you’re successful in managing your bankroll, you should at worst roughly break even and maintain your initial investment. At best, you should see your bankroll increase slowly but steadily. Sudden jumps and falls in your bankroll are tell-tale signs that you’re betting too aggressively.
So how can I best manage my bankroll?
Above, we’ve explained sports betting bankroll management in a nutshell. We should also take this time to stress that everyone needs to engage in it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a very casual bettor with a $10 budget who plans on placing two wagers a month, or a high roller investing thousands each week. Bankroll management is essential for everyone.
So how can you implement the above and successfully manage your bankroll? In our latest sportsbook guide below, we’ve provided you with some expert tips and tricks.
Bankroll management is an important step when it comes to betting for beginners. However you will find that many experienced bettors have skipped this step in their betting journey – and usually to their detriment.
By following our top tips and simple steps below, you can effectively help to manage your own bankroll. Ultimately, this will help you be a more efficient gambler, with a higher chance of making a profit in the long term. In the worst case, implementing the steps below will keep you financially stable and vastly reduce your chances of becoming a problem gambler.
Set your budget
The first step to managing your bankroll is naturally setting your initial budget. No prizes for guessing that your budget should be based on your personal financial situation. However, you should also go one step further than this and think about a figure that you’re comfortable with as well.
Our top piece of advice here is never set a budget that’s no higher than the amount you’re realistically prepared to lose. Of course, if you successfully manage your bankroll, the chances of you losing the entire amount will be very slim. However, sports betting is still a game of chance at the end of the day, and you do need to account for the worst case scenario.
Additionally, you also need to think about how frequently you are going to be betting and balance this with your comfort level and financial situation. For example, you could be well off financially and prepared to risk a relatively high amount. However if you’re only going to be betting three or four times a year on a select few sports events, then there’s no point in giving yourself an unnecessarily high bankroll initially.
Choose your per-bet budget
Sports betting money management isn’t about picking an initial bankroll size then betting freely and hoping you don’t lose it. While some people do choose to set themselves weekly, or monthly budgets, the smart way to do things is to try and ensure that you don’t lose your initial bankroll. In fact, the idea is actually to steadily increase that initial bankroll investment over time.
The best and most efficient way to do this is to give yourself a set budget on a per-bet basis, which could be referred to as a “unit size’. If you’re a beginner bettor then, depending on the size of your initial bankroll, we recommend wagering no more than between 1-5% on each individual bet. Consistency is also key, so you should pick a percentage figure and then stick to it. In other words, don’t wager 1% on one bet and then 5% on the next.
The above two steps are essentially the only two things that you need to be aware of in terms of managing your bankroll when betting. However things evolve and change, both in terms of betting and your personal circumstances. It’s therefore worth reevaluating your bankroll and unit betting management as and when you see fit.
There are some signs that can tell you that it’s time to reassess your bankroll and betting budget. We’ve highlighted and explained some of the most important ones below.
Knowing when to reassess your sports betting bankroll management strategy
You might think that your strategy may only need reassing when things start to go wrong. However, it’s just as vital to take a step back when things are going well to ensure that you don’t get carried away. The key phrase to remember here – maintenance is just as important as improvement.
Betting bankroll management – handling a losing streak
The main signs that it might be time to reevaluate your per-wager budget is if you’re winning or losing in a big way. Sometimes, this may be counter-intuitive. For example, if you’re on a losing streak, the temptation may be to suddenly bet more in order to claw back your losses.
This is, of course, a dangerous and ill-advised route to go down. Instead, you should take a break, then assess and evaluate the situation from a distance. The best thing to do if you see your bankroll reducing is to reduce your wagering budget accordingly, this will see it deplete slowler in the worst case and hopefully help your bankroll to gradually rebuild.
Winning streaks – don’t get carried away
Just as intuition may cause some people to bet more in a vain attempt to claw back losses, it can be easy to get drunk with success and get carried away when you’re winning. Again, always take a step back to evaluate the situation and do things carefully.
If your situation is looking stable and you’ve increased your bankroll, there’s nothing wrong with increasing your budget – just don’t do it rashly or too quickly. If you are going to increase your per-wager budget, do so in small steps, for example, from 1% up to 1.5 or 2%. For bettors of all experience levels, we always recommend never betting more than 5% of your total bankroll on a single wager – no matter how tempting the bet may seem.
Sports betting money management – what type of bettor are you?
Up and until this point, we’ve largely spoken about sports betting money management based on your financial situation, comfort zone and level of experience. However, it’s also important to think about what type of gambler you are and why you’re betting when devising your bankroll strategy.
Betting for entertainment purposes
If you’re betting infrequently or just using sports bets as a means of making otherwise dull fixtures more interesting, then you fall into the category of a casual bettor. This generally means that you’re just betting for entertainment purposes, with any winnings or profit being made coming as a bonus. Most gamblers for beginner to intermediate experience levels should be betting for entertainment purposes only.
If you are betting mainly for entertainment purposes, then a sound strategy is to reduce your bankroll and per-wager budget even if you’re on a winning streak. Once again, this may sound a little bit counter-intuitive, however there is a logic to it.
Decreasing your bankroll as your winnings increase will ultimately allow you to stay in the game longer. If you are engaging in sports bets for the purposes of entertainment, then such a strategy will help to protect the longevity of your hobby while reducing the risk of it turning into a problem.
Professional gambling or betting to win
First of all, if you’re not in any way an experienced sports bettor, then don’t even think about deploying a bankroll strategy that’s more suited to professionals. Especially not with a budget that’s anything other than extremely modest when compared to your means.
As a general rule, even the best professional gamblers expect a 60:40 win-lose ratio on their bets. That means that losing is an accepted part of the game. If you do gain more experience and feel that you want to start increasing your bankroll, then do so with caution as we explained above – and never go higher than that 5%.
Keep track of your win ratio, and if it’s not above the 52% mark, then don’t even think about increasing your bankroll at all.
What other guides are available with Betting.net?
Now that you’ve had a strong introduction to betting bankroll management, the next logical step is to learn and understand how bookies make money. Additionally, you can also check out our other guides that will help you with different bet types and strategies. Ever wondered what does draw no bet mean? You can find out right here at Betting.net!
Conclusion – sports betting money management
So there you have the essential information with regards to bankroll management in betting. Before you set out to use our top tips to begin your journey, just remember a few key points. As well as deploying the actual tips themselves, you need to approach your bankroll strategy with the key characteristics of care, logic and patience. If you ever find emotion coming into play, take a step back to reevaluate. If you’re worried about the maths side of things, then you should be able to find a sports betting bankroll calculator online.
Sports betting bankroll management FAQ
How much of your bankroll you should bet depends on a number of factors. Mainly these are your financial situation, comfort levels and experience. However, regardless of experience level there is a minimum and maximum bankroll percentage that we recommended. Find out more here at Betting.net.
🎰 How do I manage a gambling bankroll?
While the amounts may differ depending on budget and experience, the essentials of bankroll management in gambling remain the same for everyone. You can find a full guide to gambling bankroll management right here, made by experts for you.
🏇 How do you manage money in sports betting?
Managing money in sports betting is a little bit different to managing money in real life. For starters, gambling’s a game of chance at the end of the day – not an investment. Discover more about how sports betting works here.