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Sports Betting Money Management – Top Bankroll Management Tips for Sports Betting


We all like to place sports bets but not all of us know how to use our budgets efficiently: Usually, “all or nothing” is the only sports betting management system we use.

However, using a proper money management system for sports betting is of crucial importance.

Note that this is not about your budget: Even if you are a millionaire, you still need to use a sports betting bankroll management system for efficient gambling.

Doing so will allow you to control your losses, keep track of your betting history, and even create new sports betting strategies that will increase your winning frequency.

To learn more about sports betting money management, keep reading: We will tell you everything you need to know.

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What Is The Meaning Of Sports Betting Bankroll Management?

If you are serious about making money from sports betting, you must think of it as a business. And as you already know, no business can stay alive without managing its funds properly.

The same thing applies to you too: You are investing money when you place a bet and you have a certain budget – let’s call this “capital” from now on.

No matter how big is that capital, you must use it according to a plan. If you spend it without a worry in mind and on random things, your business will go bankrupt. But if you use it efficiently, you can control your losses and know what to invest in.

This is what online sports betting bankroll management is. By using a plan and a system, you can gamble more efficiently and always stay in control.

Once again, you may have 100 EUR or 1.000.000 EUR to spend – the amount of your capital is not important.

No matter how rich you are, you must use a sports betting money management system when placing bets.

What Is The Importance Of Bankroll Management In Sports Betting?

By using proper bankroll management sports betting systems, you can:

  • Know what to bet on and how much to bet
  • Control your win and losses
  • Gamble responsibly
  • Get the best out of your gambling budget
  • Keep track of your betting history and analyze your wins/losses
  • Create new strategies and analyze new possibilities

In short, controlling your betting budget is of crucial importance for every gambler out there: Sports betting bankroll management systems will let you play smart.

Best Sports Betting Money Management Systems

Ok, enough with the introductions: Let’s start talking about best money management system sports betting by giving out practical examples. Before we start, we must explain a term: Below, you will see that we are using “units” as a term more than once. This is a reference to your bankroll. All of the sports betting money management systems are based on units.

Here is a simple example: If you have a 100 EUR budget, you can divide it into 10 units. Each unit will represent 10 EUR and will count as the minimum bet amount you will place.

So when we say “1 unit”, for example, we will be referring to a certain percentage of your bankroll (budget).

Simple, right? Let’s continue with the most popular gamble money management systems.

Flat Betting

This is probably the easiest sports betting money management system. It is also called “fixed staking” and “level staking” too, all of these mean the same thing. In this system, you determine the unit you will use and keep using the same units for all of your bets, until the season ends or you win/lose a certain amount.

Here is a practical example:

  • You have a betting budget of 1.000 EUR for the entire season
  • You decide to use 1 unit (10 EUR) for each and every one of your bets
  • You will keep doing so until the season ends
  • Until you make a 100 EUR net profit or lose all of your budget.

Basically, choose a specific amount and stick with it, until one of the two possibilities happen. As we said, it is as simple as it gets. But does it work? We will answer this question below.

Snowball Betting

This sports betting bankroll management system is based on the Martingale strategy but uses a “controlled” version of it. The idea is finding bets with low odds (i.e. 1.10), keep betting the same unit until you score a winning, and doubling the unit amount after that.

Does it sound complex? Here is an example:

  • You have a betting budget of 1.000 EUR
  • You start by placing 1 unit (10 EUR) bets. You will continue to do so until you win one of your bets.
  • After winning a bet, you will double the amount and start placing 2 units per bet. Again, you will use this new value until you score a winning.
  • After winning another bet, you will increase the unit value to 4 and… You get the idea.

The Martingale strategy requires doubling the wager after every loss, but Snowball sports betting money management system asks you to wait until you win, that’s the main difference.

Kelly Criterion Betting

Invented by J.L. Kelly in 1956, who was a researcher at Bell Labs, Kelly criterion is seen as one of the most effective sports betting bankroll management systems. Unlike other systems, it has a specific mathematical formula, which looks like this:

[(Winning Probability x (decimal odds-1)) — Losing Probability]: (odds-1)

Looks complex, right? Basically, this formula shows how much units should you allocate for a specific sports bet. The result will be a number, and if it is 20, for example, you must use 20% of your bankroll for that event.

The mathematical formula is too complex to explain simply, but it looks like this: (a – b) / c = d. In this formula:

• A shows the potential payout,
• B shows the probability of winning,
• C shows the probability of losing,
• D shows how much we should invest.

Kelly criterion actually works but only if there is actual hard data to use. Basically, if you can add the payout and probabilities of winning/losing to this formula, it will show you how much you should bet and it will be a very accurate number. Thing is, the probabilities winning and losing are not hard data – they are based on personal expectations.

In order for this formula to work, you must calculate the probability of winning and losing yourself, which is not an easy thing to do and won’t give accurate results. Two players can try the same thing and come up with different results.

In any case, if you think that you are capable of making such a calculation (for example, team A has 60% winning and 40% losing chance), Kelly criterion will give you very accurate results on how much to bet. But if you are that good to have this ability, we recommend applying to the nearest mathematics faculty.

Kelly criterion is used especially for exotic wagers (such as arbitrage bets) and the parameters are usually taken from odds picks consensus scores. However, based on the figures you use; it can give quite volatile results. This is a useful formula and it can really help you, but do not use the results of the Kelly formula for a “boom or bust” strategy.

If the results seem too volatile, the formula may be misleading you or they may be something wrong with your parameters. Remember that J. Kelly developed this formula for economic investments, which already have enough data for accurate results.

Sports betting is a different kind of beast: Even if you are amazing at calculating win/loss percentages, the results still will be just a prediction.

Point Betting

Lastly, let’s take a look at the point betting system. This one requires you to create different units with your bankroll, and use them according to how likely it is for a specific outcome to happen. Ok, this sounds confusing, so let’s give a practical example:

  • You have a betting budget of 1.000 EUR
  • You divide it into 10 units, 15 units, 25 units, and 50 units
  • You will try to predict the outcome of a sports event
  • If you think that outcome is likely to happen, you will bet 50 units
  • If you think that outcome may happen, you will bet 15 or 25 units
  • If you think that outcome may happen but it is still a long shot, you will bet 10 units

Basically, you will create a priority system and allocate your bankroll accordingly. Now, since we have listed the most popular sports betting money management systems, let’s answer the obvious question:

Which one is the best?

Which Bankroll Management Sports Betting System Is The Best?

First of all, there is no single brilliant bankroll system – all of these sports betting bankroll management systems have their advantages and disadvantages.

Let’s start with the last two because they depend on the same thing: Your ability to make an accurate prediction.

When J.L. Kelly invented his system, he used it on a heads or tails game and used the results to show that the strategy works. And it really works, as long as you can correctly predict two values: winning probability and losing probability.

We asked you to remember these two above and there was a reason. The formula does not contain these values: You need to find these figures by yourself. And since it is impossible to find the exact values, the best you can do is making a “good-enough” estimation. If that estimation is close to the real values, yes, Kelly Criterion system will be useful.

The same thing can be said for the point betting system: As long as you are able to calculate the real winning odds, it will allow you to efficiently manage your budget too.

The question is, are you sure you can do this?

The Snowball Betting system has its problems too. It is still the Martingale strategy at its heart, and Martingale bets on the assumption of “you will win sooner or later”. It is not a real system, it just says “if you bet on the same probability for a long time, you will win it sooner or later”. This is true, but nobody can say when you are going to win. So if you don’t have a budget to back you up until you score a winning, you can easily go bankrupt.

In other words, this sports betting money management system may work at high stakes betting sites, but if you are a low-roller, you should stay away from them.

The only one left is the flat betting system. Well, believe it or not, this is the sports betting bankroll management system choice of the professional players.

Why? Because it simply works. With the flat betting system:

  • You can limit your losses and use your bankroll more efficiently, and,
  • If you use 1 unit for all of your bets, you can still continue to play even after losing 99 bets.

It really gives you the best bang for your buck. Flat betting won’t make you a millionaire but it also won’t allow you to go bankrupt. It is a long-term sports betting money management strategy and if you are looking for “quick and dirty” winnings, flat betting won’t give you that.

However, quick and dirty wins usually come with bankruptcy too – never forget that.

Sports Betting Bankroll Tips And Tricks

Ok, we explained the importance of money management for sports betting, so let’s start giving actual examples. There is no single best money management for sports betting system, there are multiple systems you need to use together. Such as:

  • Start With A Fixed Betting System. This one is also known as “flat betting”. The idea is simple: You will use a certain percentage of your bankroll each and every time, no matter what the wager is actually about. It is a very simple sports betting bankroll management system and gives you a clear idea about the state of your budget.

Here is an example:

• Let’s say your bet bankroll is 1.000 EUR per month.
• You decide to use 2% of this bankroll for every bet.
• This means you will place 20 EUR for each and every bet you make.

Simple, right? It is also effective – losing a couple of bets won’t bankrupt you and you can always stick to your staking plans.

In this example, you will stop playing if you lose 1.000 EUR in a month. The “trick” here is resisting the urge to keep betting: If you lose all of your budget, you will stop betting until the next month. That way, you can limit your losses too. Fixed betting is a brilliant bankroll system but you must also know about these if you plan on using it:

• The percentage per bet should never exceed 3%. No matter what your budget is, each wager must cost between 1% – 3%. If it goes any higher, there is a risk of losing all of your budget in a short period.
• This system is good for simple wagers, not complex (exotic) ones. So, it will be less efficient for arbitrage betting, for example. Use it if you play standard and classic sports bets only.
• The system has a self-limitation. Even if you are sure about a particular outcome, you cannot place more than the determined percentage. This is actually a good thing as it stops you from taking unnecessary risks, but most players will find it too limiting.

  • Have A Separate Bankroll And Don’t Take Money From It. Yes, we know how exciting it is to withdraw your money, but using your payouts to increase your gambling budget will be a much wiser decision. First of all, make sure that you have a separate sports betting money. Determining the amount is your job but always pick a number that you can afford to lose. Think this bankroll as the starting capital of your business: Separate it from your other expenses and do not touch your winnings if you want a steady increase. This is exactly what happens in real life: Successful small businesses do not spend their earnings; they use them to grow bigger. Do the same – each and every payout should be used to increase your bankroll.
  • Keep Records And Check Them Often. Start taking notes about your sports betting history. Record all of your wins and losses, and how much money you spent on both. Betting money management is all about knowing what works and what doesn’t work: With these records, you can easily see if you are really good about a particular bet type and focus on it. Or, you can see which types of bets you lose money the most and stop wagering money on them. You will also create a personal scores standings stats database, which will help you to do research about sports teams. Lastly, keeping records will let you know how much money is left in your bankroll and plan accordingly.
  • Stick To The Plan And Create Stop Loss Limits. The urge to continuing to play is hard to resist but it is a technique you must master. No matter what the outcome is, you must create stop-loss limits and stick with them. We gave one example above: If your monthly bankroll is 1.000 EUR; stop playing after losing all of it. But you should also create a stop-loss limit for your winnings too. In other words, you should also stop playing after winning 1.000 EUR, for example. All bettors think that they will simply keep winning because they are on a “roll” but such a thing does not exist. If you do not have a win limit, you can continue to play and lose all the profit in a single bet. In short, create limits for wins and losses, and stick with them no matter what.
  • Use A Sports Betting Bonus. When used right, sports betting bonuses can be helpful and give you an extra bankroll with no charge. For example, a bet now deposit bonus will match your deposit amount with a certain percentage, and that bonus bankroll can be used for placing additional bets. Of course, you need to do this carefully: A “completely free” bet now deposit promotion does not exist and there is always a wagering requirement to complete. But if you pick the ones with low wagering rates and use the right online bookmaker, using bonuses can be a very efficient money management strategy for sports betting. Check this guide and website to see some examples: We already have some suggestions in this regard, new independent bookmakers being among them.
  • Stay Patient. You will spend a lot of time doing research, checking picks consensus scores and analyzing game logs betting trends. The success won’t come fast and it won’t be easy too. You must be patient and learn from your mistakes. Do not take unnecessary risks just because you scored a winning. However, do not lose hope just because you lost. There are things to learn from both of these – stay patient and keep trying. And yes, this is an advanced money management for sports betting tip because you will be surprised to hear how many bettors forget this fact. Because of the Hollywood movies, we think that sports betting will just be an adventure with minimum effort: Sure, we will lose a couple of times but we will score a big prize at the end. Thing is, the real world does not work like that. Unless you are particularly lucky, you won’t become a millionaire by playing sports betting. But if you work hard, show maximum effort to grow your business, stay patient and stick to a money management strategy for sports betting, the success will come.

Use A Proper Bankroll Management For Sports Betting To Gamble Efficiently

Well, you have learned about all the sports betting money management systems and find out which one is the best. Moreover, you have read our tips and tricks on sports betting bankroll management too.

Now, you are ready to play like a pro: Pick one of these sports betting money management strategies according to your budget and start placing those bets. By managing your bankroll efficiently, you can get the best out of sports bets.

And if you need a recommendation on which online bookmakers are the best to use a sport betting money management system, you can always pick one of our suggested bookies. Do not forget that we update our recommendations and guides on a frequent basis, so visit us often. Good luck out there!