Managing a sports betting bankroll is the biggest key to become a profitable sports bettor. Every long term sports bettor has their own strategy to manage bankroll, because no one is safe from downswings. Together with my own ideas I have gathered the most popular ideas from professional sports bettors and combined them into six most important keys.
1. Keep your sports betting bankroll always separated from personal bank account!
First of all to manage you bankroll right, you have to have one. Never mix your personal money with betting money. If you don’t have a betting bankroll at the moment, then figure out, how much are you willing to put in month. Now make the deposit right away in full amount. If your willing to deposit €50 then deposit €50, not €10 and after losing it, another €10. It makes your money management much easier and you won’t found out that suddenly you have tried luck with 10*€10, but not with €50.
Other element is that you should always know that how big is your bankroll. I will talk about it in the next point, but every bet should be measurable from your bankroll. If your mixing your personal account with betting account then you really maybe have like €2000 in your personal account, but you really shouldn’t risk it all. It would be disaster when facing a downswing.
So keep your betting bankroll separated from your personal and you already have power over your betting money!
2. Never ever risk more than 10% of your Bankroll!
This is the one fundamental rule, many professional sports bettors give you. Never-never ever risk more than 10% of your betting bankroll on a single bet. This is pure logic. If you bet more than 10%, then you will bust sooner rather than later.
My worst downswing this year has been 6 losses in a row. If I haven’t followed this rule I might have lost more than 60% of my bankroll on this swing. Luckily I followed it and I took harm only 15%.
But if you have to bet less than 10%, then exactly how much? There are many rules, but one of my favorites is this:
8-10% – Tipped special/large from professional tipster or two and you are super confident about the information
6-8% – Tipped large from professional tipster and you are confident about the information
4-6% – Tipped large from good tipster or medium/large from professional tipster and you agree with info or your own info large bet
2-4% – Tipped medium from good tipster or small/medium from professional tipster and you agree with info or your own or your own info medium/large bet
1-2% – Tipped small from tipster or your own info medium bet.
From my 377 bets this year 291 have been in category 2-4% so this is where you should have most of your bets. I only have had 4 bets in 8-10% category, so here should be only super extra confident bets.
If you stick to this logic, then you should be safe of all your downswing and your bankroll should be safe all the time.
3. Always record your bets to track winnings/losses!
When you have separated your bankroll and adjusted bet units now the next important thing is to track all the bets you make. Every single one of them. There are some good semi-automatic software products available like www.bettin.gs for example.
It is really important because from tracking your winnings and losses you get the idea, how to adjust your bets when needed or by doing regular monthly checkup. Also it gives you feedback of why this 10% rule is so important.
For me personally I thought, that I can bet Estonian football quite easily, I have followed it for many years and I know some players. But when I started to track my Estonian bets, I noticed almost immediately that most of my Estonian pre-game bets are losing and most of the in-play bets are winning. After a month I knew that I should lower or remove pre-game bets and I have opportunity to raise my in-play bets.
Also you can adjust your bets for different sports and tipsters, but the most important thing is to have your stats available.
4. Never chase losses!
This is a big one! Never chase you losses. When you’re on a downswing, everything seems so tempting, every semi-bet could help you back to winning track and if you double your bet, then all of your losses will be history. Well, don’t do that, ever! When you start to chase your losses, you’ll finish with nothing. Easy as that. You could be lucky once or twice, but when major downswing appears, you will go down.
Let’s see one example. I lose first bet 4%, second bet 6% and third bet 3%. Now if I lose my temper and try to win back all of the losses, I have to stake 13% and if I lose this one also, I’m down 26%, another chase and I’ve lost more than half of my bankroll. So to lose more than half of my bankroll it only takes two chases. It’s that bad.
With three loss chases you can lose everything you have! Never chase losses!
5. Review you bets every month!
After everything you’ve done with your bankroll last month, it’s important to look back at it. When tracking bets is important, then reviewing them afterwards is even more important. Because only by looking back at your bets, you can make adjustments and become better sports bettor while growing more money.
My reviews involves four steps:
- Analyze overall performance. How much money you won/lost, what was your ROI, what kind of bets made more money than others.
- Analyze tipsters performance. How many bets I took from tipsters, how much money I maid from each tipster and what kind of bets each tipster gave me.
- Personal bets performance. Where did I win, where did I lose. Secondly my favorite – I mark down every stupid bet I took, no matter if it won or lost. So in the next month I try to lower that number.
- Bankroll overview. I check my current bankroll situation, do I have to change my bet unit size. If I need to lower it or am I willing to raise the stakes.
- Next month goal. How much money I want to win next month or how much I want my ROI to be. Really important step to keep you disciplined and focused.
If you do this simple 1 hour overview, then you are more than sure to handle you bankroll easily.
6. Control you cash outs!
Final key is controlling your cash outs. Well it is the MAIN idea we are sports betting after all, but you need to control your cash outs, to keep you going. Main issue here is human nature, if we cash out 50% of our bankroll, then are we willing to drop our bet unit sizes 50%? Probably not. We hope that good run will continue and we can grow straight back to previous situation. But it won’t happen. Suffering 3-4 losses after big cash out can hurt you really bad.
This is why I have really simple rule for cashing out. Always keep more than 100 bet unit sizes in your bankroll.
So if my monthly starting bankroll is €2000 then my usual bet unit size should be €20. Now after month I have €2450 in my account. To keep my bet unit size at least €20, I can only cash out €450. This simple rule will never make you step back a lot and your bankroll is always safe.
Finally, if you separate your betting money, bet never more than 10%, track all of your bets, never chase losses and then analyze your bankroll while controlling you cash outs, then you should have really strong bankroll and zero at you betting account is history. If you have any questions or ideas about bankroll, then let me know in comments section.