Guide to Bankroll Management

This page will teach you how to manage your bankroll. Why? Because bankroll management is one of the most important aspects of sports betting, but is too often neglected. In simple terms, it means keeping track of how much money you're gambling. There are particular tried and tested methods which you can implement to remain a canny bettor and ensure that you get through any losing streaks with minimal upset to your accounts - simply read on to find out what they are!

On this page you will:

  • Find out what bankroll management is
  • Discover methods that will allow you to manage your bankroll
  • Learn the dos and don'ts to managing bankrolls

What is Bankroll Management?

Let's begin with the basics: what exactly do we mean by bankroll management? Simply put, we're referring to the ability to keep track of how much money you're gambling on sports, but of course there's a little more to it than that. The first thing to do is set aside a sum of money which is to be used exclusively for sports betting, but of course make sure that you're not using an amount which is more than you could afford.

Ideally, you'll have a separate bank account purely to store your bankroll, or you could keep it all in your sports betting account, as long as you keep track of deposits and withdrawals. The worst mistake that a novice gambler will make is to try and chase his/her losses, and this is what we want to avoid at all costs.

How to Manage Your Bankroll

One way to make sure you don't burn through your bankroll is to assign a fixed stake percentage to be used on each bet. This will vary according to the size of your bankroll and how much you wish to bet, but let's choose 5% in this case. That means that your first bet will by $1,000 x 5% which is $50. If you lose that bet, then you will have a remaining bankroll of $950, so your next bet would be 5% of this new total, which is $47.50.

By betting a percentage of your total bankroll, you'll never wipe out the whole amount, although of course a series of losses will make a big dent in the original amount. This is a great system to use for those starting out in sports betting.

More experienced sports bettors will often choose a variation of the above system. Again you will bet a percentage of the overall bankroll, but this will be affected by the bet you're making. Variable stake percentage bets change according to the odds of a particular bet. After all, you may wish to bet a smaller amount on an outsider at decimal odds of 10.0 than you would on a favorite at 2.5.

There's a simple equation to work out how much to bet. Let's continue to use 5% as our 'standard' betting unit. Here's the equation:

Stake = (Bankroll X 5%) / (Decimal Odds – 1)

So if we are betting on that 10.0 long shot our first stake looks like this:

Stake = ($1,000 X 5%) / (10-1)

Stake = $50 / 9

Stake = $5.55

The key to these methods is that you'll be staking lower amounts as your bankroll decreases, and you'll never try to chase losses by betting larger amounts on the bets which follow on from a loss. It's also a good idea to set yourself a monthly limit that you won't exceed. This is a feature which most sports betting websites will allow you to set for yourself, limiting either your monthly deposits, losses or bets made.

Are Tipsters Worth It?

You'll find any number of online sports tipsters out there, offering to deliver you winning sports tips on a regular basis, but for a price. The difficulty lies in knowing which tipster service you can trust, and which is just a load of hot air.

As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the promises, the more likely the tipster isn't for real. Any service which is claiming an 80% success rate is either exaggerating or being very particular about the bets it's making. While there are reputable tipsters out there, part of the fun of sports betting is using your own skill and judgement to make your bets!

Dos & Don'ts

There are a few other dos and don'ts which will make a big impact on your success as a sports bettor. For starters, the majority of online betting sites will offer a welcome bonus to new players. Be sure to take advantage of this, as it's a great way to build up a bankroll from a low base, plus it allows you to test out the quality of a sportsbook.

Even more importantly, be sure to avoid chasing your loss, which basically involves making ever increasing bets in order to try and recoup previous losses. Often chasing losses happens when bettors get too emotionally involved or angry due to losing bets. This is a time to step away and re-calibrate, as emotions are the worst enemy of the sports bettor. Any time when your judgement is impaired, whether due to drugs, alcohol, stress or tiredness, is no time to be placing bets. A great way to avoid chasing losses in general is to stick to one of the percentage staking plans listed above.

As a final thought, too many novice bettors place bets which are not proportional to their overall bankroll, or worse, don't set aside a bankroll at all and end up spending money that they cannot afford to lose. To avoid this, use our tips and tricks, and you should find that you're able to stay in the game for the long run.