When it comes to sports betting, proper bankroll management and money
management is really simple to explain, but still quite difficult to actually adhere
to. There are all kinds of different systems out there for varying one’s bet size,
but all these systems do is give you false expectations, which can actually harm
your chances of being successful. Not only do these false systems affect your
cash flow negatively rather than positively, but they also tend to raise the break
even percentage that is required of you in order to succeed when betting.
Any time you vary the size of your bet, even by the slightest amount, you are
increasing your break even percentage. If you re-figure that percentage after
every single bet, your break even percentage will continue to change. Some
people say that increasing your bet during a winning streak is the wise way to
go, or that you should decrease your bet when you are on a losing streak.
The key concept here is that these streaks come and go. You may have been on
a winning streak yesterday but that does not mean that your streak will continue
If winning and losing streaks were guaranteed, you would know exactly how to
bet today simply based on yesterday’s performance – But that’s not how sports
betting works, not in the least!
The biggest problem that relates to bet size is not even the streaks, but rather it
is that break even percentage that you have to work with. If you have a 56
percent average for each bet, for example, over the period of 200 games or so
you will probably win less than 50 percent about 17 percent of the time, and you
will win more than 60 percent about 17 percent of the time. Winning 100 games
and losing 100 games with a 5 percent unit will have you losing half of your
bankroll. You will lower your bet, and you will never be able to break even.
Instead, it is recommended that you never play more than 2 percent of your
bankroll. Anything that is over that 2 percent is simply risky on an unacceptable
level, even for people who bet occasionally.
The reality here is that each person may be trying to accomplish a different
goal. If your goal is simply to be able to afford entertainment without going
broke in the process, then your goal is going to be completely different from
someone who is looking to make a living. If you are betting $100 in every game
of Monday night football simply to get enjoyment out of the game, then it may
only cost you about $5 dollars a week, and you can possibly go 50 – 50. There is
absolutely nothing wrong with this type of bet, or this type of game, as it is
cheaper than seeing a movie once a week, and can be considered an
If you want to take sports betting seriously, you are going to have to treat it like
you would treat any other business opportunity or practice. In sports betting,
your cash is your inventory. If you run out of inventory, or cash, you are put out
of business. Have you ever been told that you should never bet with your rent
money? This is a noteworthy consideration to remember.
If you are betting for a living, you also should not be using your gambling
bankroll in order to pay your rent.
This is what is amazing about sports betting: There are some pretty incredible
returns on investment (ROI) that you can earn, and there really is no magic
involved in the process. The return on investment that you can earn in sports
betting is a function of the winning percentage that you earn when coupled with
the amount that you are investing. The amount that you invest is essentially a
function of how many games or investments are made, and how much money is
being bet on each individual game. It is the same as with any business that you
could be running: How many products did you sell, and how much money did
you gross for each product that you sold?
So let us say that you play between 1,000 and 1,200 games per year, but let us
focus on 1,000 for now. Now say that you only bet 1% of your bankroll on every
bet that you make. What this means is that you will be betting 1 percent of your
money 1,000 times over – Or 1,000 percent of your bankroll. In other words,
you will be betting the same money ten times over in a year, which is what
makes such outstanding returns on your investment possible.
Now for example if you should happen to win 56 percent of all of your plays, you
will get a ROI or Return on Investment of nearly 100% of your bets. You can win
560 bets, and lose 440 bets, and pay a broker fee to the sports book at around
44 bets, meaning that you have won a total of 76 units. 76 units multiplied by
the 1 percent of your bankroll that you have been betting, and you have 76%.
This means that you will win $7.60 dollars for every $100 dollars that you bet.
There are a lot of people out there who think they can make a living in sports
It may be a completely attainable goal, but only if you have the kind of bankroll
that can support such a habit without your betting getting out of hand. If you
bet $100 per game, and play twenty games every week, you will only make
about $152 at $7.60 a game. If you bet $200 a game, you can only expect
about $308 dollars a week.
This is a difficult wage to live on. The minimum that you could possibly live
comfortably on is a bet of $500, but even this is only $760 dollars a week,
leaving absolutely no room for the possibility of a bad streak. If you bet $500 at
1 percent of your bankroll, you need to have $50,000 in your bankroll. Just like
any business, you should continue to invest some of your profits as a means of
“growing the business”.
As soon as you are able to draw from the business, you should put yourself on a
salary basis. This way, you can figure out exactly what to expect in terms of an
income and you will not have to worry about short term misfires.
You just need to know the number of bets that you will place, the amount of
money that you will place in every bet, and the winning percentage. With these
figures you will be able to effectively estimate how much income you will
generate in a single year of consistent betting.
The more you play, the more easily you will be able to determine how many
plays you will make every year, and what your average bet size is based on your
bankroll. After 1,000 plays in a single year, you will also be able to determine
the standard deviation for a win percentage. Say your standard deviation is 2 –
You will know at this point that you can win between 55 percent and 57 percent
of the time. While it may not be exciting when you know exactly how and when
you’ll win, boring business has its merits. For example, now your bankroll
management is practically automated, your betting structure is well run, and
you know exactly what to expect with very little room for unhappy little
As a final note worth mentioning regarding the size of the bets that you place, it
may be worthwhile to consider a plateau system to guide how much money
leaves your bankroll for betting purposes every day or week. If you bet 1
percent of your bankroll and then continue to flat bet until your bankroll grows
by a significant amount (such as 25 percent for example), then you can
recalculate your 1 percent bet.
Example: If you start with $10,000 dollars, and you bet 1 percent or $100 a
game until your $10,000 becomes $12,500, then you can recalculate your 1
percent because your bankroll has grown by 25 percent. At this point 1 percent
of your bankroll is $125 dollars rather than $100 dollars. Now you would
continue to bet $125 dollars until your bankroll reached an additional 25
percent, which is $15,625. What this does is keeps your risk / reward ratio from
climbing too high.
Something else to remember is that you should not lower your bet. If you vary
your bet, you change your break even percentage. When you are only dealing
with 1 percent units, you can ride through most losing streaks without having to
lower your bet any. If you lose ten games at $200 dollars, and you lower your
bet to $180 dollars to make up for the loss, you have to win more than 12
games in order to get back to even, rather than 10. Why go to this extra effort?
As your bankroll goes up, you can earn back the lost money without having to
play more games than usual, or having to negatively impact the amount of your
Bankroll management is much easier in theory than in practice – But it is
important that you implement positive and well thought out bankroll
management strategies regardless of whether you are partaking in sports
betting as a hobby or as a career. Treat sports betting like a business rather
than a hobby, and you will be more successful than if you bet without thinking.
When it comes to sports betting, proper bankroll management and money