Sports Betting 101: How To Manage Your Bankroll

The bankroll: it’s what funds the operation. For some of us, it’s a small amount of recreational money. For others, its’ a serious stack of chips. But just like in other facets of life, size does not matter. What truly matters is how you use it. And how you manage it. So how do you manage your bankroll?

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Don’t Spend It All In One Game
As your grandparents always told you after giving you some loot, you don’t want to spend it all in one shot. Yes, of course, we’ve all see the movies where someone lays their entire life savings on No. 13 in roulette and ends up hitting it big. In reality, you’re very likely to go broke. The same goes with betting on sports.

Remember, this is a marathon, and not a sprint. That means you can’t be swinging for the fences and putting yourself into serious deficits. Just like in financial investing, you don’t put your entire nest egg into a penny stock. The same goes for sports betting: you have to diversify.

Diversify Your Bets
Speaking of financial investing, one of the basics in that realm is to diversify. That way if all goes to hell in one realm, you’re overall finances take a hit but the ship doesn’t get sunk. The same goes for sports betting. The idea here is that you want to be able to have the skills to bet on multiple sports. If you’re only good at one sport – say, baseball – then you’re linked to it for better or for worse. However, if you’re able to handicap football, baseball and tennis, then now you have some outlets should you get cold in one realm.

You can even stick with one sport and break it down to sides and totals. If you’re slumping in one area, then you focus on the other. However you look at it, you want to have some versatility in your game to protect your bankroll.

Managing Your Money
Everyone manages their money differently but the one key that you have to have a plan. It can’t be guesswork. Let’s say your bankroll is $1000. You can’t arbitrarily say you’re going to bet $700 on one game and $50 on the next. Going on ‘gut instincts’ and ‘feelings’ is how people go break. There has to be a system in place where you manage your finances.

The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out your unit amount. If you have a bankroll of $1000, is one unit going to be 10% of your money? 20%? Or if you’re a more conservative person, something smaller like 1-5%? So if you’re dealing with a $1000 bankroll and 1% as your unit, that means a one-unit play would be $10. The next thing to determine is how many units your plays will scale. One unit could be your smallest play but how high are you going? Is it five or 10 units? Again, this is something that will specific to the comfort levels of each bettor. Ideally, you’d be on the conservative side of things because you want to be able to withstand cold streaks.

Stick To The System
The last key to managing your bankroll is…drum roll…to in fact stick to the plan. As obvious as that sounds, a lot of bettors can’t stick to their own plans because emotions and ego come into play. If you lose all of your 1 p.m. ET bets for a given NFL Sunday, it can be tempting to double up at 4 o’clock in an effort to get your money back. But that’s what the sportsbooks are counting on. The players that are educated, organized and disciplined are the ones that will win the most in the long run.