The most successful sports bettors in history reached the top of their gaming by practicing
sensible bankroll management. Read on to learn what bankroll management is, why it is
important, and how you can effectively manage your personal bankroll.
What is a Bankroll?
Your bankroll is the money that you set aside for betting during a specific period of time. It
should typically last you for an entire calendar year or a full season.
It must be money that you can afford to lose in a worst-case scenario. Your bankroll cannot
contain money that you need for rent, bills, food or important goods. You should also never bet
with borrowed money.
What is Bankroll Management?
Bankroll management is designed to ensure that your pot of money lasts you throughout the
When you have figured out your total bankroll amount, the next step is to decide what
percentage of your unit you will spend on each bet. That is known as your base unit.
Many successful gamblers start out by assigning 1% of their bankroll to each bet. For example,
if you set aside $1,000 as your bankroll, you would start out by placing $10 bets.
Other bettors are more aggressive, and they start out by assigning 5% of their bankroll to each
You might decide to take a middle-of-the-road approach and spend 3% of your bankroll on
each bet you place. For example, if you have €2,000 set aside, you could start out by placing
How Do You Practice Sensible Bankroll Management?
Sensible bankroll management helps you grind out profits over a prolonged period. It gives
you control over your wagers, and it prevents you from making rash decisions.
One advantage of sticking to a set percentage of your bankroll per wager is that you increase
your risk amount when you are on a roll and decrease it when you are losing.
For example, let’s say you start out with £1,000 and decide to wager 3% of your bankroll on
each bet. That would mean you are placing £30 bets. In Week 1 of the season, you generate
£100 in profit, leaving you with £1,100. In Week 2, your bets would be £33.
If you continue winning, the size of your bets will grow progressively larger.
Alternatively, let’s say you have a really bad week, and your bankroll goes down to £800. That
means you would be placing £24 bets the following week.
Preservation is the aim of the game. You would hate to come up with a bunch of winning picks
one week, but lack the capital to bet on those games. Practicing sensible bankroll management
ensures that this should not become an issue.
Advanced Bankroll Management Strategies
There are certain advanced strategies that tell you how much you should wager on each pick
you make. They are generally applied to online casino games, such as roulette, blackjack and
baccarat, but they can be used for sports betting too.
You still need to start with a bankroll and then decide upon a base unit. You can then follow a
negative progression strategy or a positive progression strategy.
If you opt for a negative progression approach, you increase the size of your stake after each
loss. Examples include the Fibonacci System, the D’Alembert System, the Labouchere System
and the Martingale System.
If you opt for a positive progression strategy, you increase the size of your stake after each win.
Examples include the Paroli System, the Reverse Martingale, and the 1-3-2-6 System.
As an example, let’s say you decide to use the Martingale System. This requires you to double
the size of your stake after each loss. If you initially bet $20 and it loses, your next bet will be
for $40. If that loses, you bet $80. The idea is that eventually you will win, and wipe out all of
your previous losses in one fell swoop.