Best Tips for Sports Betting Bankroll Management

Professional bettors employ a variety of strategies when it comes to managing their sports betting bankroll. Ultimately, this is what separates the pros from the amateurs when it comes to betting on sports. In this article, you will find out more about these and get some help deciding how much to bet every time.

What is the betting bankroll?

First things first, let’s get this concept clear. Your betting bankroll is the starting amount you have decided to use for betting. Is the total amount you are ready to risk and invest in sports betting activity? Having a bankroll is very important, as it will help you to bet in a more consistent way, and you will also be able to analyse your betting strategy successes and also learn from your mistakes.

On a more psychological level, it will make you see sports betting more as a long-term investment than a short-term one. After all, all professionals in sports betting know that they can take a loss, but he also knows that if in the long run there will be more wins than losses, his betting strategy would have been correct.

Why is betting bankroll management a key to success?

If you are looking to become a professional bettor then money management is a key factor. It is similar to investing in stocks in a way, as if you manage your betting budget wisely, you will ensure that you are not betting everything on a single event and that you manage the risk appropriately so that you can use the remaining bankroll to make up for losses over time. It is good money management that sets betting professionals apart from casual bettors.

Who are the casual bettors?

The casual bettors are these punters, who are usually making single bets without having a strategy or a precise goal. They just act on the basis of seeing a match they’d like to bet on; they make a deposit and place their bets without recording the activity or setting rules for how much they want to bet. Usually, if they win, they withdraw immediately or use the funds to bet again, following the same patterns until they lose.

Who are the professional bettors?

Professional bettors treat sports betting as an investment, with a bankroll and a strategy to achieve certain goals. When they have a string of wins, they may withdraw their profits but leave enough money in the bankroll to continue investing. They are the ones that have the best chance of beating the bookies.

How much money should I bet on every bet?

These are the two main strategies when it comes to determining how much of your bankroll you should risk on each bet. The majority of professional bettors use a percentage or units. Let’s see the pros of each of these two strategies.

Using percentages to determine how much to bet

Some professional bettors will bet a certain percentage of their betting budget. The percentage usually ranges between 1 and 3 percent of the total bankroll available. The main advantage of this method is that if you manage to increase your bankroll, your bets will also increase in size, while if you lose, the amount risked every time will be lower until you get on a winning streak. This is a good way to reduce the risk of going broke.

Using units to determine how much to bet

Other professionals bet in units. This means that for every bet you will have more or less the same amount, as you divide your bankroll into, say, 50 or 100 units. So, if you have a bankroll of £1,000, your units will be £10 or £20 per bet. Placing small bets will require some time before you can potentially make a decent return, but if your focus is on the long term rather than having a little fun now and then, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Flexibility is not too good in sports betting

Surely a bit of flexibility is possible in both of the two strategies, but being too flexible is not advisable. You can certainly bet double or triple units on some events or use a higher percentage, but we do not suggest going over three times your normal unit or percentage for any bet. Remember, it is by using a systematic approach that you will give yourself the best chance of success over the long term, so only change your methods after a very careful review and do not be emotion-led.

5 betting strategies to help you think like a pro!

Now that you have some basic understanding of how professionals manage their bankrolls, let’s take a look at the top 5 tips that will help you stick with your strategy when betting.

1. Keep a betting journal.

Keeping track of your bets is the best way to know how you are doing overtime and if you are moving in the right direction. This is even more important if you are using more than one bookie. It is best to have an excel file for an overview rather than a written document.

2. Write your rationale down.

When betting on sports, we always look for the edge. We need to find the odds that the bookies have gotten wrong. When you are doing this analysis, instead of having everything in your mind, write things down, as it will help you think clearly, and you can also come back and check your thought process later on to evaluate your successes and learn from your mistakes.

3. Analyse your betting performance.

Every month or even every two weeks, you should analyse your performance. Are you winning or losing? Are you analysing the sports events correctly? Are you betting the right units, or do you need to adjust the bet levels?

4. Do not gamble while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

This might sound obvious, but for someone it is not. You should be completely sober, well rested, and healthy when you place your bets. Betting when you are drunk is the fastest way to go broke very soon.

5. Don’t make emotional bets or chase your losses.

Betting is great when you win, but losing is hard to take. These emotions are what could drive your strategy off course and harm your entire project. Always follow your bankroll management strategy and ensure all the bets are made after carefully analysing the odds and each opportunity.

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John Pentin
Born and raised in London, John has always been in love with sport. He started successfully his own blog back in 2006, while writing for football in several newspaper. John has also worked with several betting operators as sports trader and has joined since the start in 2013. John is now head of the content team at