Sports Betting: The Keys To Preserving Your Bankroll



No matter how good of a sports bettor you are, whether it's being able to rely on your intuitions or taking advantage of your prediction model to win bets, at the end of the day, all of these things don't matter much if you're unable to manage your bankroll. After all, what's the point if you run out of money to bet with? To establish long-term success in sports betting, arguably the most important aspect is being able to soundly manage your bankroll. Similar to running a business, it doesn't matter how good of a business idea you have or how smart you and the rest of your team are, if you aren't able to manage the business operations side of things, your business will surely fail. In this article, we'll take a look at three easy steps to preserving your bankroll.

Establish A Bankroll

The first step to successfully managing your bankroll is to actually establish an amount that you'd like to have as your bankroll. What this means is that you should specify a dollar amount to be used exclusively for sports betting. This acts as a hard cap on how much you're willing to bankroll for the purpose of sports betting. If you're constantly pumping in and taking out money from your bankroll, it makes things much more difficult to track along with building a betting structure around your bankroll. All in all, you should know how much money you're willing to bet with and stick to this for at least a quarter (three months), but ideally an entire year.

Create A Unit Size

As it relates to bankroll management, a unit size is defined as the amount that you're willing to wager for each bet. A unit size can be a range or a set figure and can be expressed in dollars or percentages. We recommend establishing a unit size as a percentage of your bankroll since percentages are relative as opposed to a hard dollar amount. For starters, a sensible unit size can range from 1% to 3% of your bankroll - we don't recommend going any higher than 3% although you can choose to go below 1% (e.g. 0.5%). If you're the kind of person who wants to keep things relatively simple, you may choose a unit size that's 2% of your bankroll. If you're comfortable with wagering a bit more money on bets that you feel like you have a better chance of winning, you may choose a unit size that ranges from 1% to 2.5% of your bankroll. Furthermore, expressing a unit size in percentage terms can take two forms. The first form is that the percentage, when converted to a dollar value, remains fixed based on your starting bankroll. If you'd like to wager 1% of your bankroll, and your bankroll is $10,000, each bet will remain fixed at $100 or 1%. On the other hand, the percentage, when converted to a dollar value, may fluctuate based on your current bankroll, since your bankroll will inevitably change as you win or lose bets. You may start off with $100 bets (1% of $10,000) but the next day, if your bankroll increases to $11,000 from winning a few bets, your new bet amount will still remain at 1%, but this time, 1% of $11,000 rather than $10,000, for a dollar amount of $110.

Straight Bet - Stick To Your Unit Size

At times, you may come across a game where you have a very strong feeling that the side you take will definitely result in a win. However, nothing in sports is guaranteed and as a result, you must maintain discipline and stick with your unit size. Sure, you may choose to go to the upper bound of your unit size (if you have a range), but you should never exceed it. Doing so will surely lead to regrets about doing so in the future.