New sports bettors, rejoice! If you’ve stumbled upon this article, we assume you’re new to the sports betting world. And we want to help out! Today, we’re learning bankroll management 101.
Professional sports bettors have a considerable advantage over other players as they always know how to locate the best bets and what to spend their money on.
However, if you’ve never bet at a gambling site before, let us guide you into how to develop your own betting strategy and accumulate huge revenue!
What is Bankroll Management?
Bankroll management is all about how you spend the money you deposit at an online bookie. You can later wager this money on whichever sports betting game you want. If you happen to lose your entire bankroll, you can add more money at any time. However, to prevent this from frequently happening, one must learn how to handle their betting money properly.
The Importance of Bankroll Management in Sports Betting
Managing your money isn’t just about deciding which games to place your bets on. It’s also about protecting yourself and your money in the middle of a gambling frenzy. Implementing a well-rounded betting strategy can also prevent your love for sports betting from developing into a gambling problem!
Characteristics of a Proper Sports Betting Bankroll
Adopting betting tactics that can help you increase your budget is good bankroll management. Take it from any successful sports bettor: you won’t become good at sports wagering unless you establish some money management guidelines. With that in mind, this is what your betting budget should look like:
It Must Be Separate
You must separate your funds accordingly. That means, any money you need for bills or whatever else, set it aside! Don’t mix your wagering money with your day-to-day budget. That way, if you experience a losing streak, it won’t hurt as much, as that money had been exclusively assigned for sports betting. This will help you learn how to manage your money better and not splurge it all at once.
It Must Be Untouchable
If you want to have a successful sports betting career, you must put money aside for betting. This is something like putting money aside for ‘rainy days’ except, in this case, you stockpile money for sports bets. You can create a separate betting account from your main one where you’ll stash cash to be gambled later. It goes without saying that you are not to use this money for anything else.
It Must Be Tracked
Your bankroll dwindles when you don’t pay attention to how you spend it. A professional sports bettor always keeps track of their available bankroll, how much they spend, how much they earn, and so on. You can track your bankroll, too! Just find a tracking table online or create one yourself, and start tracking every wager you place. After a while, you’ll notice your bankroll steadily increasing!
Sports Betting Reset Explained
And if you want to increase your sports betting money, we recommend you implement the tactics below. That includes setting an upper limit and manually growing your bankroll.
How to Set Up an Upper Limit
Once you stop losing money and start growing your bankroll, you’ll gradually want to increase it. This is done by recalculating your risk window, which we’ll talk about later. But it’s pretty simple: if your starting bankroll of CA$300 has grown to CA$1,500, you’ll want to set a new upper limit on your bets. So, if your previous wager size was CA$6, now it’ll be CA$30 (for those that wager 2% of their total bankroll).
How to Grow Your Bankroll
To grow your bankroll, you have to wager and win more! The more hot streaks you have, the bigger your bankroll will be. Still, the only way to build a new bankroll is by creating a clever betting plan and adopting a wagering model.
How to Manually Add to Your Bankroll
You can go slow and steady by starting with less money and betting on from there. So, if you start with a CA$100 bankroll, you can gradually add to it as you get more confident by winning more bets. Once you feel comfortable wagering above your standard bet size, it’s time to increase your budget.
Steps to Proper Bankroll Management
Bankroll management is no piece of cake. However, you can take some of the weight off your back by following our bankroll management guide, step by step:
1. Determine the Size of Your Bankroll
You’ll first have to set a starting bankroll that you’ll build upon over time. And depending on the desired end goal, each bettor develops a different bankroll strategy.
Starting Versus Ideal Bankroll Size
Your initial budget will most likely fall short of your expectations. But that will sort itself out over time. Start small and progressively increase your unit size. That’s what you’ll want to do until you’ve reached your target bankroll.
Professional Versus Hobbyist
Professional bettors can wager bigger and better! That means they know exactly how much to bet on which game, how big the risk is, and what they could potentially be giving up. If you want to wager professionally, you must start as a hobbyist. That is until you develop a betting model and learn how to properly manage your betting money.
Beginner Versus Proven Winner
It can be quite challenging for beginner bettors to determine the winning odds of a game. While you may think betting on a top dog is a guaranteed win, you could be wrong depending on the underdog’s success the past season. You can try to predict the odds, but wager small in case you happen to be wrong.
2. Choose a Betting Unit Size
All bettors boast different betting amounts. You can determine the ideal betting unit size for you by setting your total bankroll. After that, if you are a beginner, you can start by betting 0%-2% per wager. For example, if you have CA$300 to invest, your maximum wager per game would be CA$3.
3. Re-evaluate Your Bankroll
Make sure to keep track of your budget by sitting down to reevaluate it from time to time. Take note of any successful and unsuccessful bets to see where you stand. This will help you decide whether you need to increase your budget or keep it as it is.
Using Risk Windows in Bankroll Management
No, we’re not talking about literal windows here. A risk window determines your bet sizes. There are three types of risk windows: low-risk, neutral risk, and high risk. We’ll go over each one in detail below.
What are Low Risk, Neutral Risk & High-Risk Windows?
When you’re in the low-risk window, you’re a beginner with a starting unit of 0%-2%. Don’t get confused by the 0%. We added it as an option to point out that you don’t invest in high-risk bets here. Sometimes it’s better to not wager at all rather than risk it. Let’s see an example of a low-risk betting budget:
If your starting bankroll is CA$250, then your maximum bet is CA$5. However, you can wager anywhere from 0%-2%.
When you’re in the neutral risk window, you bet anywhere from 0%-4%. When you get to this stage, that means you’re finally correctly managing your bankroll and can afford to make bigger bets.
The high-risk window is mainly for entertainment purposes and shouldn’t be the standard. If you’ve had a good winning streak, you can try and bet sporadically by adopting a 0%-5% unit.
Recalculating Your Risk Windows
When you want to change your bet size, you recalculate your risk window. For example, if you are in the low-risk category but want to wager higher, you need to increase your total bankroll as well as your unit size. That will move you into the neutral risk window.
Bankroll Management Strategies
When determining one’s desired bet size, it is recommended that the bettor chooses a betting model to wager by.
Fixed Unit Model
The fixed unit model is a leading betting strategy used by many. The reason this betting method is so popular is due to its simplicity in practice. We’ll give you an example of how one accurately implements this model:
Say you’ve decided to have a bankroll of CA$500. So, you deposit this money, and now it’s time to start betting. By the logic of the fixed unit model, you shouldn’t spend more than 1%-3% on a single bet. If we go with 1% of CA$500, that means you’d be paying CA$5 per bet. This amount is decent enough to win you some good cash but also won’t make you go bankrupt if you lose your bet.
The point is to wager CA$5 on every game, regardless of the odds or your knowledge of the team’s successes in the past.
Percentage models look similar to the fixed unit one at first glance. However, instead of your bets being a fixed unit, here, you increase your bets as you increase your overall bankroll.
However, in this case, while the percentage will remain the same, the value of one bet will increase as your bankroll size goes up. For example, if your set bankroll is CA$500 and you want to bet a fixed 1.5% per bet, your first wager will be CA$7.5. Let’s say your bankroll has now increased to CA$1,500. Going from the idea that you’re wagering 1.5% per bet, your bet amount will now be CA$22.5.
Potential Return Model
The potential return model is based on how much you could possibly win from a wager rather than on betting units. Winnings odds play a huge role here. You agree to wager on the top dog rather than the underdog when putting this model into practice. Since betting on top dogs (especially if the other team is fragile) is almost always a guaranteed win, you’d be jumping into a safety net. Let’s look at an example of a bet made according to the potential return model:
So, we agreed to wager CA$5 for every bet. We’re going to bet on the Iowa Women vs the Michigan Women. In this case, the Michigan Women are the underdog. If we were to wager CA$5 for them to win, and they did win, we’d receive CA$11.25 for the bet and CA$16.50 in total.
The confidence model is pretty self-explanatory. It’s all about how confident you feel about winning a certain bet. In this case, you start with one unit (1%) of your bankroll and only increase that amount if you’re optimistic you’d win.
As this method is riskier, we highly advise you to keep track of your confident bets and how much profit you gain from them. If it appears that you do pretty well with predicting winning streaks, then you can proceed to make more bets of this sort.
Kelly Criterion Model
We wouldn’t recommend this method to bettors just placing their first bet. However, if you consistently bet, you might want to give this one a try, just for fun.
The Kelly Criterion model is about risking it all. Instead of upping your bet by one unit, you try to determine the exact winning percentage of a bet. This is what that looks like:
(Your bet in decimal odds * win probability – loss probability) / your bet in decimal odds = the final bet percentage
Let’s take a look at an example.
Say you are 65% confident that you’ll win a -105 bet. Your final formula should look like this:
By this logic, your suggested bet should be 47% of your bankroll. Mind you, this calculation is hypothetical and serves purely as an example. You should never be too confident in winning a bet. That is unless you are a pro in sports betting, which we’re guessing you’re not if you’re reading this article.
Sports Betting Bankroll Management Mistakes
To become a profitable sports bettor, one must learn how to avoid making grave betting mistakes that could kill one’s bankroll.
- Not starting off with a smaller budget. Even though you may be confident in your favourite team’s ability to win, that doesn’t mean you’ll walk away with your pockets full. If you go all out from the start, you risk losing your entire budget due to ignorance. Always start off small, no matter who you decide to place your bet on. If you win, you’ll make a small but decent revenue. And if you lose, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg!
- You don’t have your strategies outlined. You haven’t chosen a bankroll management system by which you guide yourself and place bets. Things like individual bet amounts and maximum bet size need good bankroll management. To avoid losing streaks, choose one of the above models and stick to it as much as you can.
- You bet on underdogs because they can earn you more money. A lot of rookies fall under the impression that the bigger the bet, the better the outcome. And while betting on underdogs can be worthwhile, most of the time, it will result in poor bankroll management. Sometimes it’s better to stay on the safe side and win small than bet big and lose a larger sum of money.
FAQs About Bankroll Management
Do I need to maintain my bankroll even though I’m just a beginner in sports betting?
Yes, anyone should maintain their bankroll regardless of their sports betting competence. This especially goes for beginners, as it’ll help you learn how to place bets more strategically.
How much money should I set as starting bankroll?
That depends on how serious you are about becoming a sports bettor. Usually, beginner sports bettors start off small, with a CA$50-CA$100 bankroll.
How do I track my sports betting bankroll?
You can track your sports betting bankroll by creating an Excel table where you’ll organize all your current and future bets. You can divide them by bet type and list the final outcome of each bet. You can also find a sample table online.
How do I choose the best unit size?
You should choose the ideal unit size for you based on how much you can afford to bet. This number can differ from one sports bettor to another.
How can I adjust the unit size?
You can adjust the unit size by changing the value of your bet at your favourite online bookie.
Do I have to always bet a fixed amount on every bet?
No, you do not have to always bet a fixed amount. However, it is recommended that beginners opt for this type of betting model to keep better track of their spendings.
What are cold and hot streaks in sports betting?
Hot betting streaks happen when a bettor experiences multiple successful bets, one after another. On the other hand, cold betting streaks suggest that a bettor has lost multiple consecutive betting rounds. In other words, the former is a winning streak, and the latter is a losing streak.