When we were listing the top mistakes sports bettors make, one of the things mentioned was not having a betting bankroll management strategy. The truth is, a good bankroll strategy helps bettors not only manage their losses but also to make sure they will have enough funds to bet much longer. After all, placing too high bets and trusting your “gut” can easily lead to an empty sports betting account. Therefore, in this article, we will focus on the importance of employing a sports betting bankroll management strategy. Additionally, we will mention the most popular such strategies, so you can choose the one that suits your betting style the most. Remember that in the end, the bettors should take advantage of mistakes that bookmakers make and not vice versa. Managing your Betting Bankroll will help you with that.
Well, before you can determine your personal bankroll, you should understand the meaning behind the term first. A bankroll represents the amount of money you are willing to invest as well as risk losing on sports betting. High rollers usually have huge bankrolls, while low and medium rollers stick to small starting amounts. Often, newbies start with a bankroll of around £1,000 and then build on it over time. Don’t forget, sports betting and money management are crafts for those that have patience only. So, when you create your starting bankroll go for something you can afford to lose. However, you should also make sure that the amount will give you the chance to keep betting. Even after a few consecutive losses.
Now that you know what a bankroll is, let’s see how you can manage it. Generally speaking, a bankroll management strategy is a strategy that helps you control your stakes. By doing that, you are certain that you can both win and lose, without losing all the funds at once. There are many management strategies out there, but we’ll mention the basic ones that every punter must be familiar with.
Fixed staking strategy refers to betting the same percentage of your bankroll every single time. For example, if you have a starting bankroll of £1,000 and decide to employ this strategy, you will first have to set the percentage. Let’s say you decide on 5%. So, your first bet is going to be £50, while the second bet is going to be 5% of the updated bankroll (depending on whether you lost or won).
Basically, by staking such a small percentage you make sure you’ll be able to lose many times and still have some cash left for future sports betting. The downside of this strategy, however, is related to the possibility of scooping high prizes. Namely, the strategy doesn’t care about odds, probabilities and possible earnings; it’s only focused on the bankroll amount. Thus, in certain scenarios, it may prevent you from winning more, just like it can limit your losses.
Variable staking strategy is quite similar to the first one. Yet it takes into consideration the likely return, past outcomes as well as your level of confidence. Therefore, you still basically use the previously set up percentage of the bankroll, but also take the odds into consideration. Hence, for example, when betting on outsiders you usually divide the betting amount by the odds in order to get a reasonable final stake. To better illustrate, let’s say the first 5% bet of a £1,000 bankroll is £50. You decide to bet on an outsider at odds of 10.00 and therefore divide the £50 by the 10.00 in order to get a much lower stake of £5. However, the variable sports betting staking strategy won’t work nearly as good when betting on favourites. Therefore, it may be best to use it only when you place risky bets on outsiders.
The last betting bankroll management strategy we have to mention is the Kelly Criterion, which was created back in the mid-1950s. This strategy focuses on both the value of the odds as well as the probability of the player/team. Consequently, it basically requires bettors to bet depending on the value of a bet. Nevertheless, due to the many calculations involved in this strategy, it is usually employed by serious punters, rather than newbies. It should be noted that over the years there have been many variants of the Kelly Criterion including Full Kelly, Fractional Kelly and Constant Kelly.
All in all, having a betting bankroll management strategy is very important for bettors. A good strategy helps you control losses, bet longer and bet smarter. The selection of such strategies is quite rich, plus you can always come up with something that works for your betting style. Nonetheless, our advice to rookie punters would be to stick to the basic fixed staking strategy at first. That way, you will be able to experience how a money management strategy affects your bankroll. And learn how to properly employ it.
Afterwards, you can move on to a more complex management strategy that takes into consideration odds, probability etc. Moreover, we would also advise rookie bettors, at least in the begging, to stick to placing low rather than a high percentage of their bankroll. Thus, for example, anything between 3% and 5% would do the trick until you become more confident in your sports betting skills.