Betting Bankroll Management

Betting bankroll management techniques can vary based on the type of bets and volume of bets you are making.

This article assumes bets at odds on e.g. the point spread of -110, 1.91, or 10/11 – or any bets at around ‘even’ money.

The average sports or football betting fanatic doesn’t realise thatĀ  sports betting is really just like any investment and even if you are the best ‘picker’ in the universe, you will still go bust if you don’t employ good money management techniques.

betting bankroll management


So here are some simple rules:

1. Do not bet more than you can afford to lose or too big a percentage of the money you have set aside for betting on sports. You wouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket if you were in the stock market and similar strategies should apply to sports betting bankroll management.

2. Forget about ‘point’ or ‘star’ or ‘dime’ betting. You should be flat betting the spreads to the same monetary value until you hit your next ‘target level’. Personally I do not go bigger than 1% of my bank. I bet a fixed amount based on my starting bank. When I move to the next level I then recalculate the 1% again and bet at that new dollar amount to the next level. I tend to recalculate the 1% whenever my fund increases or decreases by 50% or so.

3. Varying your stake size invariably leads to trouble and increases the temptation to ‘chase’ your bets when on a losing run. Try to stick to your correct stakes and ride out the bad spells. Logically, if you increase your bet size simply because you have had a good run of winners – then you could just as easily hit a bad run – only now you are betting bigger stakes and you will lose more. The opposite is also true. You cannot predict when any streak will come to an end, that is why it is important to keep your bet stakes the same until you hit your next threshold.

4. It’s important not to give in to fear. Know this, that more than 94% of the time it is likely that you bank or fund will be less than it was when it first started out. You hit new highs intermittently and the wait can be soul destroying. Yet knowing these points and reading more about matters such as standard deviation will help you to remain in control psychologically.

5. Just remember that going e.g. 3-10 is just a common as going 10-3 on win to loss ratio. You just need to bet long enough to see the profits come in. Also bear in mind that if you expect to win around 57 percent of your bets – it is of course likely that over say 200 bets you will have won 114. Likely but not definite. You could still be in a losing position over a sample of 200 bets or, indeed, in the position of having a far better win rate than 57%.


Standard Deviation:

This is an important factor. It is important to accept that you will haveĀ  losing plays. The critical factor is not to give up! It takes a lot of bet samples to know if you are a profitable bettor or not. Quite often a bettor can have a bad losing streak to start off with. You may go 3-7, then 6-9, then 3-11, in your first three weeks of betting, but this might not necessarily mean that you are bad at picking winners. You are just hitting a bad streak. This is standard deviation at work and your losses are most likely well within the laws of probability.

This is partly why good betting bankroll management is so important. You will have streaks of losses and you need to be able to ride them out.

Most good bettors still lose about 4.3 bets out of 10 on average but they could easily lose 8, 9 or 10 out of 10 for a period of time. You need many hundreds of bet samples to know if you are profitable or not and you can hit the losers first quite easily.

If you are badly down after 500 – 1000 bets or so, then you may need to re-evaluate your methods.

Be careful out there.

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