Sports Betting Bankroll

Live sports betting is an exciting feature that sportsbooks are increasingly offering. If you’re betting using standard betting slips that are set in stone once the game begins, then chances are you have some sort of plan that guides your wagering. It probably includes methods of handicapping, various tools you can access and a blueprint for money management.

BankrollIn a way, if you’re also involved in live wagering that is probably already included in your plan.

It has to be since you’re most likely using the same bank for regular and live betting.

But live sports betting, because of its nature, is quite different from normal wagering. And that means you need some additional guidelines to take you through the betting process.

Here are the elements that you must address in your battle plan:

How Much You Need

CalculatorHow big of a sports betting bankroll you hold will determine how much you should wager and your potential to make cash. You can’t expect to make $100 in one day of betting with $100. You can’t expect to do that holding $200, $300, or even $400, for that matter.

If you want to make money on sports wagering, then you’ll need a stake of at least $500… preferably $750 to $1,000. Why that much? It costs $11 to place a basic point spread bet. That $11 represents about 3% of your bank. It’s advisable to wager no more than between 2% and 6% of your roll on anyone bet.

With $500, you’ll be able to do that, allowing you to make some mistakes and make adjustments in order to win. You’ll have 45 bets at $11 each. That’s a decent number of wagers. Also, you’re trying to win 60% to 65% of your bets. Why that percentage? On average that’s the winning percentage over time of successful professional sports bettors.

If 45 point spread bets are placed and the bettor manages to win 65%, here’s the way it works: they will win 29 bets and lose 16. After all is said and done, they’ll have $609 in the bank. Also, they will have $5.00 left in the bank that they have not risked, giving them $614.

You may be thinking that’s not very good. You may have thought by making 45 bets, you could have turned that $500 into $2,000! Consider this, you started with $500 and have increased that original amount by almost 23%. What other investment pays like that? Additionally, even if you ran off a string of 45 wins, the most you’d make on a basic point spread wager of $11 would be $10, giving you a total of $945.

So first, you have to decide what your bankroll will be for a given event. If you think of the event as one big bet, then you may certainly apply the 5% rule and use 5% of your existing cash. You may want to be ultraconservative and use less than 5% or you may want to go high-risk and use 10% or more. It’s up to you. But one thing that you should consider is the damage that might be done to your business if you risk more than 5% of your bank.

Whatever limit you choose, do not raise it to make up for losses. The primary thing you need to remember is you have to be comfortable with whatever limit you’ve chosen.

How Much to Bet?

There are various theories regarding how to manage your bankroll. The best of these is to oversee your grubstake by being conservative. Wager between 2% and 6% of your cash. Stay away from parlays and other exotics as these really favor the sportsbook and not the sports bettor. Don’t get greedy. Make your first 45 to 50 wagers single wagers.

Once you’ve increased you stake by 25%, start taking some calculated risks. But don’t go crazy. Again, you want to intelligently manage your money and that means keeping emotion, outlandish hunches and desperation betting out of the picture.

Number of Bets You Expect to Place

First, you have to divide your betting bankroll into units. A unit represents your minimum wager. If you have a $300 bank for the game, you would divide that into 10 units. That means that you would have a total of 30 one-unit bets to make with each unit being worth $10.

If you decide to divide your money differently, into units worth $5, $15 or $20, it will affect how many one-unit bets you have to make. Here are some examples:

Bank Unit Worth Single Unit Bets
$300 $5 60
$300 $10 30
$300 $15 20
$300 $20 15

There are sportsbooks that will take $5.00 bets. If you want to be conservative and double the number of single unit bets you make, which can keep you in the game longer, then go with units worth $5.00.

Types of Bets and Number of Units

Prior to the game, you should also know what types of bets you’re going to make and how many units you’re going to risk on each type of wager. Additionally, you need to have a plan for expanding your betting if you’re showing a profit partway through the game.

As an example, you may decide that your foundation bet, the one you make consistently, will be one that carries even odds, or you may decide that foundation wager will range from even to 2-1 odds.

Perhaps you’ve decided to make numerous bets at a time. You’ll need to think about the range of risk you’re willing to take and how many units you’re willing to put towards each type of wager every time you bet.

As an example, with $5 units you may want to make the following: 1 one-unit even odds bet, 1 two-unit bet that has odds ranging from +250-+400, and 1 one-unit bet on a wager carrying odds over +600. Each time you wager, you’ll use 4 units.

The Long Run

MoneyProfessional sports betting is not about a quick-hit win on a 500-1 shot. That’s for amateurs. It is about what every other business is about—knowledge, knowledge and more knowledge honed through experience and transformed into skills that will make you successful. Money management is one of the most important aspects of this endeavor.

In the movie Jerry Maguire, the pro football free agent demands of Maguire, the player’s agent, “Show me the money!” That phrase from that film became famous. For the player it was all about that agent pulling off the big deal.

The same can be said about in-running wagering. When all is said and done, it really is about you’re being able to show that money—to hold it and have it. If you can’t, if you’ve lost rather than won, then you’ve had a bad day at the office.

One of the major problems for any sports bettor and especially those wagering on live events, is bankroll management. Yet, this is the essence of being a successful sports bettor.

A Few More Tips

TipsIn order to create your live betting battle plan, you’ll have to know the ins and outs on whatever sport you’re wagering. You’ll also have to know what types of bets are available to you at a specific betting site and what bets are offered for the specific sport on which you’re wagering.

Sports gambling, like other types of gambling, is all about money management. Always remember that successful sports bettors, which means those who are in the game for the long run, are experts at three things—sports rules and strategies, understanding odds, and money management.

Keeping Track

Make sure that you write down every bet that you make, the type of bet and how much you wagered. Record all wins and loses and keep a ledger tally on how much you’ve lost or made. It’s about being smart in every aspect of the game—who you wager on, the types of bets you make and the way in which you oversee your cash.

Know Your Limit and Stick to It

You know you’re a poor money manager when you’re always going over budget. Money management takes discipline and many sports bettors are bad at it because they lack discipline.

It may help if you think of this as an investment. Ask yourself, would you keep pouring cash into a bad investment? Chances are you would set a limit on how much you’re willing to invest in a stock or some other venture. In the same way, set a limit for the game you’re betting and spend no more if you lose it.

Be Conservative

If you wager conservatively, that would be one unit per wager, you’ll stretch your bets out and this will give you a much better chance of winning than if you put your entire roll on one or two bets. You’ll be enticed to make up for loses quickly by putting a lot on the line. Don’t do it.

One Wager at a Time

Make one wager at a time. You may want to try to hedge your bets by making various wagers on one play, period, quarter or one at bat.

Streaks End

If you’re on a streak, whether it’s a winning or losing, remember that all streaks end. Also remember that a winning streak is partly due to your hard work and analysis but it is also due to circumstances that you could not imagine and chance happenstances that no one has control over. In other words, don’t start to feel invincible. Everyone loses and you need to be ready for it.

All or Nothing

You may get greedy or desperate and decide to go for all or nothing by wagering everything on a bet that pays 18-1. You may luck out and hit that wager. But chances are you’ll lose it. Throwing everything you have at one bet runs contrary to the term “money management.”

If you find yourself going all in when live betting, your best choice as far as money management goes is to step away and stop betting.