Managing your Bankroll

It’s a well-known fact that the majority of sports bettors lose money in the long run. Sure, some have short spells where they win a few bets, but ultimately there is truth in the fact that 95%+ don’t profit over a sustained period of time. There are so many potential contributing factors to this that it’s often difficult to see where someone is going wrong. Sometimes it can be bad luck (though the chances of this reduce over time), or maybe letting their emotions get the better of them by betting on impulse. Whatever the reason, people are continually looking for ways to turn a losing run in to a run that sees their bank balance grow instead of diminish. The easiest way to control your betting, is by adopting a consistent strategy, and managing your bankroll.

What is my Bankroll?

Sounds like a simple question that everyone should know the answer to, but so many get it wrong, or simply have no idea what their own bankroll is. Here is a definition that I think makes it simple enough to understand, and will help with long term discipline:

“Your Bankroll is the money you’re consciously investing in to your sports betting strategy. Everything that matters; from stake to return on investment should directly relate to your Bankroll”

Many people don’t have a betting strategy, so don’t have a bankroll. These people typically lose money, because there is no accountability. You lose a £20 punt on the weekend, you write it off as a bit of fun. Maybe you repeat this for 12 weeks, and one week you win £160 once and feel like you’re a winning punter, when realistically you’ve bet £240 to win that £160, so you’ve not won at all. If you had a bankroll, you’d be able to understand this much more easily, and grasp what’s happening.

Implementing a Bankroll

First things first, you need to establish a sustainable bankroll. Typically, a bet should probably be in the region of 1-5% of your bankroll. This depends on multiple factors, such as bet frequency – the more bets you expect to place, the lower your percentage should be – and what you’re personally comfortable with. Let’s say you decide on a 2% flat stake, and you believe you’re comfortable betting £50 on each bet. To work out your bankroll, divide your stake, by the percentage of your bankroll you wish this to represent. In this instance – £50 divided by 0.02 (2%) = £2,500. £2,500 is now your starting point, and your records should work around this number (even if you maybe only have £1,000 in a betting account)

Things to avoid

Like any strategy, there are faux pas that need to be avoided at all costs:

  • Betting Frequency – exposing too much of your bankroll at any given time is risky business. Always think about the worst case scenario, if all of your active bets lost, what would the end picture look like
  • Betting Stakes – Staking plans are important, and being disciplined in how you bet is vital. If you have a £1,000 betting bank, you don’t want to suddenly be placing a bet of £200 on a single bet, no matter how confident you think you are.
  • Accountability – Mentioned once already, each bet should be accounted for. Only if you follow this rule can setting your bankroll be a worthwhile exercise. Don’t cheat yourself by ‘forgetting’ to record a losing bet to make yourself feel better. If it loses, it loses, focus on what’s to come, and ensure your betting bank accurately reflects your betting history.

By @Stufferonald.

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