Succeeding as a sports bettor is about finding the value of the money you wager consistently. But most importantly, you need to know how to manage your bankroll properly.
Bankroll management is critical because it helps you make better betting decisions and become more profitable. And that is why you have heard about people who lost all their earnings through poor betting practices.
Without a proper bankroll management strategy, you could be a victim of those who have lost all they had in earnings and savings.
This post will walk you through everything you need to know about bankroll management and what strategies you should implement to be the profitable punter you have always admired.
What Is Bankroll Management?
Bankroll is the money you set aside for your betting activities. Please note that bankroll doesn’t include the money you have in your traditional bank account meant to take care of your bills and mortgages. In other words, bankroll is the money you solely want to use on sportsbook platforms for your gambling needs. But how about bankroll management, what does it mean?
Bankroll management is the practice of ensuring that you remain profitable as a gambler and that you don’t lose too much money betting. In other words, bankroll management is carefully determining how much you’ll spend for gambling without going bankrupt. But why should you incorporate bankroll management in your betting activities?
Why You Should Go All in With Bankroll Management (and what not to do)
Whether you are just getting started with your betting career or you are the most experienced punter, bankroll management is an important topic you should overlook. Bankroll management helps you become a responsible gambler who knows how much you should spend betting on your favorite matches. Below, we break down some of the reasons why you should consider bankroll management now more than ever.
1. It Prevents You From Going After Losses
It’s always tempting to chase after losses when you are going through a bad day. Good bankroll management ensures that you don’t go after lost bets as you have set your overall budget for betting.
Betting more doesn’t increase your chances of winning bets. Instead, you need to make the best choices and gamble responsibly. This is what bankroll management is all about - to help you remain a profitable punter.
With bankroll management, you’ll have a set of guidelines you can follow, preventing you from wagering more money than you planned. It implies being financially disciplined while killing the bookies.
2. It Limits You From Chasing After Big Scores
It’s a good feeling winning a streak of bets on the same day. And we know what usually goes on in most bettors’ minds - to chase the big score and hit a home run. Thinking that going for a big score will instantly make you rich is one of the worst ideas you shouldn’t ever settle on.
Strictly following a bankroll management plan ensures that you don’t go very confident to the extent of chasing for the big scores to win more through the bet size discipline. Going for big scores after winning a streak of bets could make you lose all your money.
The bankroll management strategy will help you get bigger with your bets over time. If you use the percentage model (more on this later) as one of your bankroll management strategies, your betting size will get bigger with time.
3. Can Help You Survive Many Losses
Losing streaks can result in you losing thousands of dollars within a short time, and this could get worse over time. You’ve probably heard of those who drained their bank accounts by betting irresponsibly. Don’t be a victim and be on the headlines - instead, properly manage your finances by implementing the bankroll management strategies into your betting activities.
Bankroll management ensures that you only use up only the funds set aside for specific stakes. This prevents you from losing so much money when the losing streak continues for a long time. Most punters wager their money, not as a career but to add more excitement into the game. Due to this, a well-thought bankroll management strategy will help you stay in the game longer.
Understanding Units and How to Track Your Bets
A unit refers to a specific amount you’ll be using to stake on a bet-to-bet basis. It is the best way to track your bet earnings, but that’s not all: units can allow you to compare your earnings with fellow punters. Usually, it is recommended that a unit be one or two percent of your bank account’s total amount. Anything more than that can do you real damage.
You can use so many hacks to track your bets, but starting with the most basic one - tracking your bets with a spreadsheet is one of the most brilliant ideas. On your spreadsheet, you can record the date, who you are betting against or for, units lost and units won, and units still in play on your spreadsheet. These are just a few of what you might include - feel free to add more details.
Tracking your bets is important because you want to have a complete understanding of where you are losing and where you are getting the most wins. Additionally, this could help point out a specific team that you don’t do well, and you might want to change your strategy. In other words, tracking helps you figure out your strengths and weaknesses and how to improve.
Bankroll Management Strategies
1. Fixed Unit Model
The fixed unit model is one of the most consistent models punters are finding success with. It doesn’t require you to be a math guru and there are no many variables that would keep you thinking all day. With this bankroll management strategy, you will only stake 1 unit for every bet regardless of the odds offered by the bookies, your loss, or win streak or perceived confidence. If you have $1,000 as your monthly bankroll, the amount you should stake is $10 (i.e., $1,000x$0.01).
- You can easily track your wins and losses
- Straightforward and doesn’t require you to be a math guru
- You’re profitable if you win at a more break-even percentage.
- You are likely to become overconfident when you start having a good winning streak
- It doesn’t consider how much you have won or lost, which means your upcoming stakes may be more or less than the unit set.
2. Percentage Model
This model is almost similar to the fixed model, except that the percentage model uses percentages as the unit instead of the dollar. Instead of your bankroll dollar being fixed, the percentage is fixed. For example, if you wagered $10 (out of your monthly bankroll of $1000) and earned $25, your next bet will be the amount won multiplied by $0.01.
- You’re always betting one or two percent of your bankroll regardless of what you’ve won or lost
- It takes advantage of a winning streak as you wager more.
- It’ll take longer to recover from a losing streak as you’ll be wagering less
- The timing of your wins has a more significant effect on your overall profitability
- The extra variables put more luck into how profitable you’ll be.
3. Potential Return Model
The previous bankroll management strategies only consider your stakes, but the potential return model considers the odds. So with this strategy, you are trying to make wagers to win one unit and not risk one unit.
- It takes risk into consideration
- This model will be more profitable if you love choosing favorites.
- Your stake amount will always vary from one game to another
- You are more likely to leave out a lot of money if you love choosing underdogs.
4. Confidence Model
This is one of the strategies that bring a new wrinkle into play. Depending on how confident you are with a specific stake, you are free to risk multiple units.
For example, based on your risk antipathy, you can decide to use between 1-3 or 1-5 unit scales. However, it is recommended that you do it with the 1-3 unit scale unless your confidence has always been accurate.
If you were using the confidence model, it would help to track your confidence level even if you are not interested in multiple units. This will help unveil your confidence levels before choosing to go with this strategy.
- You’ll be more profitable if your confidence levels are precise.
- Your pockets will run dry if your levels of confidence are inaccurate.
5. Kelly Criterion Model
The last bankroll management strategy to leverage is the Kelly Criterion model. This strategy takes care of everything and then adds a little more. Using the Kelly criterion model, you are required to decide on an exact percentage of the time you think your stake could win. This is one of the riskiest and best suited for the most experienced punters.
- You can risk more if you can be conservative with your percentage wins and be more profitable.
- It’s complex and best suited for experienced bettors
- There are a couple of variables involved
- You need to be accurate to be profitable.
Bankroll Management FAQ
What Percentage of Your Bankroll Should You Bet?We recommend that you go with 1-2 percent of your bankroll per every bet you make. This is a lot safer and saves you huge losses if you have a continuous losing streak.
How Much Money Is a Bankroll?You’ll need at least $10,000 for proper bankrolling. This will enable you to play at the level you have always wanted. Some gamblers have also set aside $20,000, but this is all about your decision.
How Do You Build Your Bankroll in Poker?The best way to build your bankroll is to bet very low stakes or use the potential return model. The potential return model will help you wager to win and not to risk. Very low stakes will help you not lose a lot of money all at once.
What Is a Good Starting Poker Bankroll?The most experienced gamblers suggest 30 buy-ins for every game you want to play. If you are playing NL2, you can set a minimum bankroll of about $60.
What Percentage of Gamblers Win?Research has proven that only 13.5 percent of punters win. This is why you need to be very careful with your betting strategy. Using the bankroll strategy to control your betting activities is one step ahead of other gamblers.
As you can see, there are various options for managing your bankroll. We recommend that you start implementing the most basic ones and try out the most complex ones once you are more experienced. In our opinion, a fixed-unit or percentage model is the best to start with as a beginner. If you are a beginner, the confidence model might suit you.