Bankroll Management and Betting Tactics

Mateo Brekalo
Mateo Brekalo
Published: 26. listopada 2023.

Merely possessing knowledge about sports and excelling at predicting team outcomes does not guarantee success in sports betting. Several factors come into play to determine your success or failure at the end of the evaluation period. While having expertise in a specific sport or market and the ability to select winning teams and predict probabilities are valuable, they alone do not define a proficient bettor. One of the crucial aspects of being successful in betting is discipline. By discipline, I mean maintaining control over your wagers—knowing precisely how much to stake per bet and being aware of the size of your current bankroll.

Bankroll explained

The bankroll for your personal bank account or savings is distinct from your sports betting bankroll. If your life savings amount to $10,000, your betting account ideally should not come close to that figure. Determining the appropriate risk is a personal choice, but it's generally advisable to keep your sports betting bankroll within the range of 1-3% of your personal bank account. Staying within this percentage ensures that you are reasonably safe from substantial losses. For instance, if your personal bank account holds $10,000 and you decide to deposit $300 into your betting account, this constitutes a 3% betting bankroll, which is a reasonable and prudent amount.

Disciplined bankroll

In real life, if you spend more than you earn, you will inevitably reach zero at some point. The same principle applies to your sports betting bankroll. That's why it's crucial to understand how to manage it, keeping it secure for as long as possible, and ideally, even growing it over time, which is the ultimate objective of maintaining a betting bankroll. If you are serious about betting, you must determine the portion of your bankroll allocated to each bet. Just as the betting bankroll should ideally be 1-3% of your real-life funds, the stakes should comfortably remain within the same percentage range of your betting bankroll.

Wager amount

Let's assume you deposit $1,000 for the sake of simplicity, and you decide that your wagers will fall between 1% and 5% of your bankroll. While this serves as a guiding principle, it's not an absolute rule. You select a percentage within that range, say 2%. This means your stake per bet would be $20. Establishing a consistent standard is crucial in this regard, as deviating from your chosen range can disrupt your system. Straying from your set percentages may lead to emotional decision-making, causing you to place higher bets to recover from a losing streak. This often results in a lose-lose situation. It's important to remember that losing streaks are inevitable, underscoring the necessity of effective bankroll and wager management.

Units explained

If you've ever followed tipsters or tipster pages where various individuals share their betting predictions, you'll observe that the wager is consistently presented as a unit. For one player, 1 unit might represent $200, while for another, it could be $20, depending on their respective bankrolls. For instance, if your bankroll is $1,000 and your predetermined wager percentage is 2%, your 1 unit would equal $20. However, for a player with a $10,000 bankroll and a 5% wagering strategy, the unit value would differ significantly.

Tracking ROI

The best indicator of your success is calculating the return on investment (ROI). ROI is determined by the formula:

ROI = (Profit/amount wagered) x 100

If you have a positive ROI, you are performing well. While you might hope for a return of 20% or more, achieving this consistently over a long period is unlikely unless you've been exceptionally fortunate. Falling within the range of 3-6% ROI is commendable, especially given the narrow profit margins available from today's bookmakers.

Methods of betting

Flat betting

The simplest and safest bankroll management strategy involves setting a consistent unit size and betting one unit for each wager, regardless of recent form, confidence, or odds. You can choose between the "to win" or "risk" method, factoring in the juice for the former. In the "risk" method, you don't wager additional units to cover the vig. This approach works for both standard bets and moneyline underdogs.

Let’s take an example of a risk method where you found a price of 2.0 and you are placing 1 Unit (20$), in order to win another 20$. If you find a huge favorite you do not change your strategy and even if the price is 1.1, you are still placing a 20$ bet in order to win 2$.

But you can mix it up with the “to win” method and in the case of the favorite being 1.1 in decimal odds, you would place a 200$ bet in order to win 1 Unit (20$). This one is a very exaggerated example and it may lead to big losses which are hard to recover.

Percentage method

Corrected version: If your initial bankroll is $1,000, and you decide to wager 3% of your bankroll, your stake will always be 3% of your current bankroll, making your first bet $30. In the event of a win, with your bankroll increasing to $1,050, your next bet would be $31.50. Conversely, after a loss, your stake decreases, making it more challenging to recover to your initial bankroll after a losing streak.

Many methods have been developed by various individuals, but due to their abundance, we will stick to the most basic ones. Sometimes, when examining certain methods, one might find some of them to be rather simplistic or even seemingly silly.

Track your play

It is crucial for you to track your numbers rather than trying to know all the possible methods that exist. Over time, you will develop a sense for wager amounts and bankroll, as is the case with everything in life—it becomes easier with experience. Begin by tracking your ROI, but don't overlook the importance of delving deeper into your bets. Analyze which odds range you most commonly win, which markets yield better results, whether spreads are more profitable than money lines, and if totals are generating profits. Statistics will tell you where to hit harder and where to pull the break.


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