You probably hear this term used regularly on social media and from tipsters such as ourselves, but why? This term is used so frequently because it is so vitally important to those who take betting seriously and look to make long term profits. Bankroll management, along with the ability to find value is one of the most crucial aspects of being a sports bettor.
Finding value in some ways is the easier of the two factors. Many people have the ability to find value (LINK TO FINDING VALUE BLOG) using their knowledge, opinions or statistical models, but that is only half the job. As all punters know, you can’t win every bet, no matter how confident you are – the beauty of sports betting is that there is no such thing as a dead cert. If you don’t manage your bankroll effectively, you could see it disappear without proper management.
Discipline is Key
Proper bankroll management should first of all start with making sure you keep an accurate record of your sports bets. Recording your bets, stakes, wins, losses and cumulative profit is a great way to stay on top of your betting patterns. It could help you notice trends – teams you can read well and have success with; and others that are costing you money. Once you see your betting patterns, trends and the stakes you have been using regularly, the chances of you straying from these ‘norms’ decreases. After losing 3 or 4 in a row can be tough to take, but being able to look at your records can help prevent you from ‘lumping’ on your next bet to try and recover your losses.
Bankroll management is used a lot in the sports betting industry, but not as much as discipline. Betting discipline is arguably the greatest principle of sports betting. Everyone struggles with it from time to time, but remaining disciplined during winning or losing streaks is aided hugely by good bankroll management.
Flat Stake Betting (Level-Staking)
There are many ways you can decide to bet, two of which requires more discipline, but are the ones that we prefer. The first, and the method we use is flat stake betting. This entails betting the same amount on every bet you place, regardless of odds or confidence. Presuming you are betting on singles around evens (for the majority or your bets, as we do on this site), this method works quite well. First of all you need to establish how much you want to invest in your betting balance. Once you have decided your betting balance, you then have to decide on your stake. We suggest that this stake is no greater than 5% of your starting bankroll. This way, you can absorb losing runs more easily without worrying about needing to deposit/re-invest. As an example, say you start with a betting balance of £400.00. Your stake will be set at £20.00 (5% of initial bank). If you are able to stay disciplined, this would mean you would need to lose 20 consecutive bets to lose your entire investment.
As well as it providing excellent protection for your betting balance, using level staking is easy to record and quantify. Let’s say your bets are all at odds of 1.95 (19/20). Over 100 bets you need to win just 55 of your picks to earn a solid 7.3% Return on Investment. Syndicates and trading houses are happy with anything above 3-5%, so this just goes to show the attainability of a profitable betting strategy. Winning 55% of your bets at those odds isn’t easy, but if you find value, then over time you should make a decent return. Using this example, betting level stakes of £20 on odds of 1.95 and winning 55 of 100 bets; your betting balance will have grown from £400.00 to £545.00. That is a solid return considering you have lost 45 bets! Add a few hot streaks and this could be much greater.
It is unlikely your odds will ALWAYS be prices at 1.95 though, but using this simplistic example helps to explain the simplicity of this method of bankroll management.
· Easy to keep records
· Easy to maintain and work out stakes (always the same!)
· True reward for odds taken
Percentage Staking Plan
Any sports bettor will tell you that there go through winning and losing streaks, and anyone who tells you different is a liar! A percentage staking plan can often be used as a great way to ensure those losing streaks impact your betting balance as little as possible. Similarly to the aforementioned level staking plan, a percentage staking plan requires you to decide on a starting balance (i.e. £400), and then decide on a percentage of the bankroll to use. 5% is commonly used, so again this will be used in the example. You start with £400, so your first bet of 5% is £20. If this wins at a price of evens, your balance will be £420. Your next bet will stake 5% of your new balance of £420 (£21). This is how this plan differs from the level-stakes version.
If you go on a losing streak, your stake becomes progressively smaller. Similarly, a winning streak would result in your betting stake continually increasing. There are two ways to look at this strategy. First of all, you can say that it is great that when losing, your stakes become lower, which would make your balance last longer. However, If you were to lose 6 bets in a row, it would take longer to recover to your starting point because the stakes would be less than the 5% of your starting bank.
· Flexible - as your bankroll grows/shrinks, so do you bets.
· Winning streaks can grow your bank almost exponentially.
· Losing streaks are reduced as stakes decrease after each losing bet
Hopefully this article will help you decide upon which method you might wish to use if you are thinking of taking sports betting more seriously. If you already take it seriously, maybe you will consider one of these methods to help improve your discipline and strategy. Fundamentally, the aim of these strategies is to instil a disciplined approach to betting; reducing the risks and increasing the chance of becoming part of the 2-3% of sports bettors that profit on a regular basis. Obviously, this will only be of any use if you have the skill to predict more winners than losers.
You can look at my article on a staking plan using varied stakes HERE (LINK TO VARIED STAKES BLOG)