There are numerous useful tools available to help you with your sports betting, such as this website. All the tools in the world, however, will not do you any good if you do not know how to manage the money that you put into your sports betting.
You do not want to end up losing more than you can afford to. Luckily, with some understanding of the key principles for bankroll management, you will be able to focus on raking in profits via smart bets instead of worrying about your funds.
First Understand What Bankroll Management Is
Before getting into the essential principles for bankroll management, you need to understand the concept of bankroll management. This comes down to working to maximize your opportunities for wins while you also minimize the risk of losing your hard-won funds. Think of bankroll management as the process of setting your budget for sports betting and then dividing it up to give you the best chance of winning.
With that in mind, it is time to move onto the most important principles for bankroll management in sports betting.
1. Know Your Budget and Stick to It
The absolute most important part of your bankroll management strategy is to create a budget and then stick with it. It can be incredibly tempting to bet more and more money. After all, you may feel that betting more increases your chances of success. Or if you lose a bet, you may want to bet again to boost your confidence. The thing to remember, however, is that your budget is there for a reason.
You should never bet more than you can afford to lose. This will take some willpower but if you are able to stick to that rule, you never need to feel bad about sports betting, whether you win or lose. Of course, wins will always be better than losses. But, if you happen to lose a bet, it will still be worth it because you enjoyed the process and can consider it money spent on an experience. If you find yourself betting more than you can afford to lose, the fun of betting will be gone.
2. Separate Your Sports Betting Bankroll
So, you know you should set your budget for your sports betting bankroll and stick to it, but how do you convince yourself to do that? Unless you have exceptional willpower, you will not be able to just keep your allocated amount in your checking account and spend on betting like you would anything else. It becomes way too easy to tell yourself you will “borrow” an extra $100 from your personal money, ruining your budget.
The best way to avoid this type of problem is to keep your betting budget fully separate from your other funds. Ideally, you should set up a separate bank account dedicated to your sports betting. This will let you keep the funds separate so there is no temptation to borrow from yourself. It will also make it much easier to track your spending, wins, and losses.
3. Leave the Bankroll Alone
Just like you should not put money into your sports betting bankroll from your personal account, the reverse is true, at least in most cases. If you leave your betting bankroll alone, then any profits you make will go towards your future bets. This will let you increase your bet quantities or the number of bets you make. With greater capital in your bankroll, your opportunities for major wins increases as well.
While this strategy is ideal for many, there are some exceptions. Remember that if you bet more, you will have more to lose. If you are not comfortable with losing all the money you make from your sports betting, then go ahead and transfer it to your personal account.
Or maybe you plan on using your wins to buy something fun or go on a vacation. In that case, you may want to skip this rule. Just remember that even if you do transfer money from your betting bankroll to your personal account, you should not transfer it back later. Doing so will violate the previous piece of advice, which should never be broken.
4. Choose a Unit Amount
One of the most important steps to managing your bankroll is to select your unit amount. This is the standard amount that you will bet in any given scenario. Without a unit amount, you will end up just selecting how much to bet based on your feeling that day. This can lead to crazy fluctuations and put you at risk of higher losses.
Choose any unit amount that makes sense for you. If your bankroll is small, it can just be $1 or $10. If you have more set to the side for sports betting, it can be $5,000 or more. Those with experience suggest that your unit amount be about $30 to $50 if your bankroll starts at $1,000. Adjust this based on your comfort level with losing money. Remember that if there is a match you really want to bet more on, you can keep your unit amount the same and just increase the unit size.
5. Know Your Maximum Bet
In addition to choosing a unit amount, you should figure out the maximum that you will let yourself bet on any one match. This will be the maximum amount that you are comfortable losing on any single bet. Ideally, the figure will be about 10% of your total bankroll, although you may want to vary this slightly.
Many sports betters opt for an 8-unit system. In this system, you would never bet more than eight units in a single match. The important thing to remember is that you should not be always betting your maximum. Betters with successful bankroll management will vary their bets between one and eight units and only have a handful of 8-unit plays every year.
6. Or Use the Percentage Approach
While many people find the unit approach to sports betting bankroll management useful, others do best with the percentage approach. This is just what it sounds like; the amount you bet will be a percentage of your current bankroll. The exact percentage you bet depends on your feelings of confidence, just like the number of units you bet would in the unit approach.
Generally, less confident bets would have about 1% of your bankroll while more confident bets would use about 3% of the bankroll. The maximum bet would typically be about 5%, although you could go higher on rare occasions. This strategy is great for long-term bettors and it also helps prevent you from blowing your full bankroll in a short period of time. It will also automatically adjust the amount you bet based on your bankroll balance, without a need to change your unit. There is no need to worry about when or how much to increase your unit size. Those changes occur naturally with the percentage method.
7. Create Overall Limits as Well
Having a unit and a maximum bet in place is a very strong start to limiting your losses and maximizing your fun, but you should also set overall limits for yourself. This will be the maximum amount that you are willing to risk or lose over a given period of time. You can set up as many limits as you want for different time periods. At the very least, you should choose a limit for a day or a week, if not a month as well.
Limits may seem like a waste of time, but they are a great way to ensure that you do not let your emotions get the best of you while betting. If you enter a losing streak, your emotions may start affecting your success rate and focus so setting a limit will force yourself to wait instead of emptying your bankroll.
8. Keep Records
As with anything else that you spend money on, keeping detailed records is crucial for your sports betting. The whole point of bankroll management is being aware of the state of your bankroll so you know what you can spend and allocate it properly. This is impossible, however, if you do not have records.
It is surprisingly easy and fast to keep track of your bets and bankroll management. In addition to helping you remember how much you have left in your budget, it can help you calculate your winnings over the years. It can even provide you with an overview of your past bets so you can see if there are patterns of which types of sports bets you tend to do better with. With the right type of analysis, keeping records can actually help you improve your betting records significantly.
Combine your new bankroll management skills to take your sports betting to the next level. You should be able to put your strategies to good use so you can win bets while having fun and enjoying the experience.