Sports Betting Bankroll Management: A Comprehensive Guide for 2024

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· 15 Nov 2022

When it comes to sports betting, how you manage your bankroll is key. If you don’t handle your money properly, with betting you risk losing it all. In this article, we will point out the importance of proper bankroll management and discuss various sports betting bankroll management strategies.

So, if you intend to wager on your favorite sporting events, keep reading to find out which tactics you can deploy so that your bankroll doesn’t dwindle in the process!

What Is Betting Bankroll Management?

Bankroll management is a process where a sports bettor allocates a certain amount of money to be used exclusively for the purpose of placing bets.

This money is known as the bankroll and should be kept separate from other funds so as to avoid potential financial difficulties.

There are many approaches to sports betting money management, but the most important thing is to ensure that the amount of money being staked is within your comfort levels.

One common mistake made by novice sports bettors is to wager too much money on a single bet, which can leave them without funds to play further if the bet loses.

However, you can make a profit and keep your funds healthy by betting responsibly and

always having a good overview of the remaining funds. If you plan to have a sports betting career, you’ll need a reliable betting strategy and dedication.

How To Manage Your Bankroll

When you’re starting out, you should think about how much of your bankroll you’re willing to risk on each bet. If you have a fund for betting, you should divide it into betting units. And if you’re not sure how much money to set aside for betting purposes, we’ll show you how to figure it out.

Betting Units

In order to manage your bankroll effectively, you should divide the bankroll into units. A unit is just a percentage of the entire amount of your betting bankroll. It’s up to you to decide what one unit will be, but it’s typically 1%-5% of your bankroll, depending on the risk factor you feel comfortable with.

Using units for your sports betting bankroll also helps you check how you’re doing compared to other bettors. It makes for a far more objective comparison because you’ll be able to tell how often you make winning sports bets.

If you were comparing only the sheer amount of money, it might not be as telling, since some bettors’ bankroll might far exceed the money you’re using to gamble.

For instance, one player might bet $200 per month with 3% units, making each unit worth $6. Another player might have a more significant bankroll, let’s say $2,000 per month, with 3% units as well, but the value of one unit, in this case, is $60.

If both bettors made a profit of $120 in a month, the first player has increased their bankroll by 20 units, while the second player has made only two units of profit.

How Much Should Your Starting Bankroll Be

If you don’t have a designated sum for betting, a good starting point is to be able to cover 100 bets. This will make your sports betting bankroll management a whole lot easier.

In other gambling games, such as in poker, the bankroll varies based on the size of the stakes. You can calculate the average bet size by using a simple formula:

(Bet Size x 100 ) / Unit Percentage = Starting Bankroll

If you’re betting 20 mBTC on average and your unit is 2%, then your starting bankroll should be: 20 mBTC x 100 / 2 = 1000 mBTC or 1 BTC.

As there is no difference between managing a betting bankroll in fiat or cryptocurrency, you can use the exact same formula to set it up. However, there could be various pros and cons for fiat vs. crypto betting, so we advise checking those out first before you delve any further.

Risk Windows

How much you set your units to be is up to you, but as a general rule, 2% or less is considered low risk, while 3% and 4% are a moderate or neutral risk. Bettors whose units make 5% or more of their overall bankroll are taking higher risks than average.

This is one thing to consider before you opt for a betting bankroll management strategy, as the size of the units will be an ongoing factor regardless of the strategy you use.

Track Your Results

If you want to ensure that your strategy is working, you must record your betting results over an extended period. Specifically, you can use an app that will make it easy for you to track your results, or you could use a spreadsheet.

When you start tracking your sports bets, you’ll be able to spot which wagers are bringing in more wins than others. Are you better at spread bets or moneyline bets? You can see areas where you’re more consistent and decide to invest more in those kinds of bets.

Also, it will tell what kind of bets to avoid or to cut down on the amounts you’re wagering. Owing to that kind of approach, you’ll ultimately avoid poor bankroll management.

Betting Management Strategy

If you want to stay in the game for a while, you have to form a long-term betting strategy you can rely on.

You can pick one of several betting tactics, ranging from the most basic to the most complicated, depending on your skill level.

Flat Betting Strategy

If you’re wondering how to build a sports betting model that is simple to use, then flat betting would be a great place to start. It relies on a basic strategy where you use the same amount of your bankroll for every bet.

Namely, you wager 1% to 5% on each game, depending on how much your unit is worth. The idea is to use the same amount for a prolonged period of time, a month or a year, so you can track your bankroll easily and avoid unnecessary risks.

The sportsbook takes its percentage for placing the bet. It’s what is called a juice or a vig, and it’s 10% of the amount you’re betting.

There are two ways you can approach betting odds. If you want to win 1.0 unit, you would need to wager 1.1 unit. Another way to look at it is to wager 1.0 unit for a chance to win a 0.91 unit amount.

This sports betting model protects you from getting carried away and losing all your money. It is designed to help the bettor avoid unnecessary risks, and therefore it requires that you skip trickier bets such as parlays.

On the other hand, you might be winning more games than you first expected. In that case, you would feel you’re missing out on the opportunities to earn money if you’re using the flat betting model.

Percentage Betting Strategy

Percentage betting has a lot of similarities with flat betting, the main difference being that it closely follows your winning rate and accommodates your bets depending on the state of your bankroll. It helps you make the most of your winning streaks but also cuts down on your losses when you start to lose more.

This betting management system starts out the same way as the flat betting strategy. For example, if your bankroll is 1 BTC, and you designate your unit to be 3% of your bankroll, you would start out by wagering 30mBTC per bet.

As you start to win more bets, your bankroll will increase. Let’s say you are able to add 200 mBTC to your bankroll, which would bring your bankroll up to 1.2 BTC. Your betting unit will still be 3% of your bankroll, but the amount you’re actually wagering would be 36 mBTC.

Therefore, the strategy is that you stick to your betting unit, even though the actual amount wagered increases or decreases depending on your betting success. As you get better at picking out the winners, you’ll be winning extra money with each bet. If your winning streak starts to slow down, the amounts you bet become smaller, and you’ll be cutting your losses easily.

Confidence Betting Strategy

As you gain more experience and insight into your betting scores, you will be able to change some of your bets based on your results in certain games.

At this point, it is essential that you make a spreadsheet or use an app for sports betting bankroll management that can tell you with certainty in which type of bets you’re making progress and where you are underachieving.

You should still base your bets around the single unit wager. That should be your standard bet, but if you feel more confident with certain games, you can add a couple more units, or even a half unit. Also, where the numbers show that there is more risk involved, you should gamble less.

Kelly Criterion Betting Strategy

The Kelly criterion is a formula that is famous in both the sports betting world and investing. There are some differences in the formula used for each of these spheres, so we’ll just try to explain how it works for your bankroll management in sports betting.

The Kelly criterion is used to determine which percentage of your bankroll you should place on a certain bet. This betting system isn’t recommended for new sports bettors, as it relies heavily on the player’s ability to determine the right odds for winning the bet.

If these numbers are off, then the end results can put the sports bettor in a tough spot and require them to wager an irrational amount of their bankroll on a single bet.

The formula goes as follows: f = p – q/b , where “f” is the end result that we are looking for.

Similar to the betting unit, it represents the part of your bankroll that you are wagering, only the Kelly bet is used here to calculate the percentage you are wagering on a specific bet, whilst you would use the betting unit as your standard for each and every bet.

Keep in mind that “p” is the probability of a win, while “q” is the probability of a loss. The bet proportion is marked by “b”, so if the bet is 1-to-1, the value for “b” would be 1.00, if it’s a 2-to-1, then “b” = 2.00

Let’s say that the probability of you winning the bet is 40%, so p=40. That means that the probability of losing has to be 60%, q=60. And let’s say that it’s a 2-to-1 bet where b=2.00.

The calculation goes as follows: f = 40 – 60/2 , therefore f=10, meaning that the Kelly betting bankroll formula is suggesting you should bet 10% of your bankroll on that single bet. That may seem like a lot, but remember, the confidence betting strategy often requires that you bet 2, 3 or more betting units which can easily go over 10% of your bankroll. With the Kelly bet, you have a much more reliable model to work with.

Although it might look complicated, or even a bit intimidating compared to other strategies, the Kelly bet can be a useful tool once you get accustomed to it.

Professional sports bettors use the half Kelly bet and the quarter Kelly bet, where they would regularly wager only half or a quarter of the value that the formula shows. We suggest you give it a try, always keeping in line with responsible gambling practices.

Winning and Losing Streaks

Even if you have made a solid foundation for your betting with good betting bankroll management, you can still get in trouble if you’re not careful, and your bankroll dwindles as a result.

Betting strategies can prevent such scenarios, but you should know from where danger lurks in any case.

Losing streaks are ruinous for gamblers, even for those with much experience. They can cloud your judgment and make you abandon proper money management practices for certain matches, risking a bigger chunk of your bankroll than you can afford.

Winning streaks could make the players feel invincible and they could start wagering more than their strategy allows. One of our final sports betting bankroll tips is not to get carried away, whether you’re winning or losing at the moment, it’s best to stick to your betting plan, no matter what.

Final Thoughts

Sports betting can be a fun and easy way to make extra money, but it can also be a risky proposition if not managed correctly. To be a successful sports bettor, you must have a strong understanding of statistics, probability, and risk management. You must also be disciplined in your approach, sticking to your chosen strategy and never chasing your losses.

Don’t just bet on every game – choose your bets carefully and research the teams and players involved. And if you place your bets wisely and follow a prudent bankroll management system, sports betting can become a fun and profitable hobby.


What is a bankroll in gambling?

Your bankroll is the amount of money you set aside for gambling purposes only. Whether you like playing casino games or you’re more interested in sports and esports betting, you should always keep track of your bankroll and manage it properly if you want to stay in the game.

Is a unit 1% of your bankroll?

You can definitely use 1% of your bankroll as a unit. This would be considered a more conservative way to bet. Usually, a unit makes 1% to 5% of your entire betting bankroll, depending on how high a risk you want to take with your wagers.

How much of your bankroll should you play with sports betting?

It’s safe to wager between 1% and 3% of your bankroll on a bet. However, some bettors like to play more aggressively, wagering up to 5% per bet.

How do you increase bankroll in sports betting?

The ability to pick winners is essential, but it doesn’t guarantee success on its own. Most experienced players would agree that for sports betting, bankroll management is key if you want it to be a lucrative endeavor in the long-haul.