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guide to sports betting bankroll management


Guide to Sports Betting Bankroll Management

Guide to Sports Betting Bankroll Management

One of the toughest aspects of sports betting, particularly when you are winning, is restraining from getting greedy. The failure to adhere to a strict bankroll management plan is the downfall of the sports bettor in most cases, so to make life easier, we have a quick guide to ‘Bankroll Management’ below.

What is Bankroll Management?

Anyone, regardless of their knowledge of sports, is capable of getting on a hot streak and multiplying their money quickly. However, if you want sustained success over a long period of time, you have to view sports betting the same way trader would play the stock exchange. Bankroll Management is therefore key, and sticking to your plan could be the difference between success and failure.

Bankroll Management is essentially a betting plan or betting system that you strictly adhere to regardless of the outcomes of your bets. There are many popular theories on which plan or strategy is the best, however, the consensus rule is to never bet more than 2-3% of your bankroll on any single bet.

Unit System

Taking the consensus rule of never betting more than 2-3% of your bankroll into account, a great system to use for managing your bankroll is the unit system. This is also a commons system that a lot of professional sports pickers/traders use when delivering their picks.

The idea of the unit system is simple. Bettors will allocate a certain dollar amount to a single unit. They will then allocate a certain amount of units, usually 1-3 on a bet depending on how confident they are in that pick with 1 being low and 3 being high.

Growth Over Time

The great thing about the unit system is that it has the ablilty to grow over time.

For example: Let’s say you want to start betting on the NFL week to week and start the season with a bankroll of $1000. 1% or 1 unit would therefore equal $10, 2% or 2 unites would equal $20 and so on.

Bankroll = $1,000
1 Unit = $10     2 Units = $20    3 Units = $30

Let’s say you picked some winners in Week 1 of the NFL season, and you finished the week with a total profit of $150. This would mean that your total bankroll heading into Week 2 is $1,150.

If you continue to abide by the 1-3%, your units have now increased with your bigger bankroll. 1% or 1 unit now equals $11.50, 2% or 2 units now equals $23 and so on.

Bankroll = $1,150
1 Unit = $11.50     2 Units = $23    3 Units = $34.50

Sticking to Your Plan

One of the hardest things about successfully managing your bankroll is restraining yourself from chasing losses and sticking to your bankroll management plan.

Following your winning performance in Week 1 of the NFL, let’s say you have a downswing in Week 2 and lose $250. Your bankroll heading into Week 3 now sits at $900. It’s important to adjust your unit allocation accordingly. 1% is now $9.

Bankroll = $900
1 Unit = $9     2 Units = $18   3 Units = $27



There are many different forms of bankroll management, but the unit system tends to be the favourite amongst sports bettors. If you do your research and stick to your plan, then you’ll have a better chance at building your bankroll.

If you can’t follow a bankroll management plan, then sports betting should just be for recreation or fun. Only gamble what you can afford to lose.

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