If you search online for advice about betting, one of the big ones that you will see time and time again is bankroll management. That’s true whether you are looking at the top UK online bookmakers which is one of the biggest markets in the sector, or in the US.
The advice is sound. Basically, watch what you do with your money so that you don’t find yourself in financial strife because of betting. But what are the ways that you can manage your bankroll for online sports betting?
The Growth of Online Betting
Slowly but surely, online betting in the USA has become more accessible to punters. It’s still not available in every state in the country, with notable exceptions like Florida and Georgia. The Supreme Court eased the way for online betting back in 2018. It told individual states to do what they want regarding sports betting in-person and online sports betting.
Some states like Arizona made both forms legal, others blocked both forms while some like Montana opted for legal in-sports betting but kept online sports betting illegal. It’s a little bit of a minefield really, so it’s always worth checking the status of your state in terms of legality.
How Much Can You Afford to Lose?
One way to start managing a betting bankroll is to assess what free cash you have to bet with. That’s where it starts and the simple way to look at this is to ask yourself how much you can afford to lose.
That’s putting yourself in the worst-case scenario. You may have $100 spare a month in your budget to do something with. But that doesn’t mean that you can afford to lose that $100 as if you did, you would be walking a very fine line.
So figure out what is a reasonable sum that you can ante up within a set period. A sum that you can afford to lose.
Playing the Percentages
After you have set your sum of money to bet with for the month, you probably aren’t going to want to spend it all in one go. Let’s assume a $100 bankroll for the month. If you throw that down on a horse racing stake on the first day of the month and it loses, you’re left with nothing.
That’s when the dangers of overextending your finances come into play. You may be tempted to reach out to other sources to borrow money for the rest of the month. So what you want to do is set aside a percentage of your bankroll for each wager.
The common practice is to play between 2-5% of your bankroll for a wager. Realistically up to 3% could be the limit for the average punter. That leaves a little wiggle room to just get a little more aggressive when the situation calls for it, by pushing up towards the 5% limit.
Why Split Into Units?
Breaking your bankroll into units allows you to stay disciplined. That way you know you aren’t making outrageous huge plays, and that there will be money there in the kitty for the next wager.
If you plan it out fully, say splitting the $100 into four weeks of the month, then deciding maybe to only bet on the weekends, you can refine the terms of your bankroll management even further. It helps you be consistent with your stakes.
Look at your numbers and set the ceiling for the percentage. Don’t be afraid to go down to 1%. A lot of professional bettors play there, although that arguably equates to a bigger sum of money than what the casual bettor will be playing.
Consider Flat Betting
If you don’t want to worry about when to risk more of your bankroll percentage, consider the flat betting model. It’s a straightforward financial betting plan that splits the bankroll into even units. So every bet that you place, regardless of the odds and risk tolerance, is going to be played with the same stake.
Set And Forget? No.
Even when you have worked out the bankroll budget, don’t just leave that indefinitely. Always set aside some time to go back and look at your bankroll to reassess exactly where you are at. Being a successful bettor may not necessarily mean that you are a profitable player.
Your winnings may be all at short odds, not covering the loss of stakes that are going out of your set bankroll for the month. Be prepared to make adjustments and check that you are still only playing with what you can afford to lose.
You Win Some, You Lose Some
This leads us to the realistic view of sports betting. Even the top professional bettors are going to be looking at a 60% win rate. You are going to lose bets. It is part and parcel of the world of sports betting. Be prepared for that in your bankroll plans, but at least have a bankroll plan.