During my value betting activity, I have used many types of sports betting bankroll management strategies.
A proper staking plan or bankroll management strategy is one of the most important parts of sports betting.
No matter how you choose your outcomes or odds, placing bets with the right stake based on a prover money management strategy is crucial. The right technique can mean the difference between a profitable bettor and one who is always losing
What is bankroll management in sports betting?
Choosing the right stakes in sports betting is as important as picking odds or teams that will most likely win.
Money or bankroll management strategies in sports betting are supposed to help you maximize your winnings and also decrease the effect and length of losing streaks.
While betting, your most important resource is the balance you have at the bookmakers. The role of bankroll management in sports betting is to utilize your capital in the most effective way.
Placing bets with stakes that correspond to your current bankroll situation and your betting strategy is called bankroll management.
The main roles of sports betting bankroll management is to:
- guarantee the edge against bookmakers
- increase profits when you win
- decrease losses when you lose
- decrease the effect of long losing streaks
- maximize the win when you have a long winning streak
Sports betting bankroll management strategy simulation
Bankroll management and staking plans in sports betting strategies have a crucial role. They can make your not-so-good betting strategy a viable source of income or they can ruin even an excellent betting strategy.
Picking the right bankroll management strategy is not as tricky as it might sound. But still, many bettors avoid giving enough attention to this part of sports betting.
1. Flat staking simulation for sports betting
In this staking simulation, I used a flat stake of 50 units for each bet with an assumed long-term ROI of 3%. My starting bankroll was 1000 units, so basically I would use a fixed flat stake of 5% of my starting balance.
This money management strategy would mean that no matter if I win or lose, my next stake will be 50 units again.
I ran bankroll management simulations with only 500 bets, so you can see how a beginner balance can move up and down in a single month.
You can see, that on average the ending balance will be around 1900 units. With this bankroll management in sports betting your chance of losing the whole betting balance is only 18.95%.
I would suggest using a flat stake of only 4% – 5% of your starting balance to reduce your chance of losing the whole betting balance.
With this sports betting money management strategy at the end of the month, your balance could be between 290 – 3845 units.
2. Flat staking simulation with 5% ROI
Many betting strategies can generate a high ROI in the long run. 5% is fairly low in many cases. For example, it was not uncommon for me to make an ROI of above 10% with in-play value betting.
With this money management simulation, your average ending bankroll can increase to 2440 units with the same number of bets and flat stakes of 50 units (which is obvious due to more winning bets).
Your chance of losing the whole bankroll is decreasing from 19% to 9.6% and you have a high, 95% chance of finishing the month with a balance between 665 – 4370 units.
Conclusion: with this strict flat staking bankroll management -> your risks of losing your whole balance is dropping drastically even with a slight increase in your profitability.
3. Variable staking simulation 3% ROI
The variable staking strategy in sports betting is also called as percentage model.
During this simulation, I used stakes of 5% of my actual betting balance. The first thing you can notice is that the average ending bankroll is higher than with the flat staking method.
But the likelihood of losing in the long run with this money management strategy has doubled. The reason is the more you win with this betting bankroll management strategy, the more you have to risk as your next stake.
With the higher risk comes the opportunity of making significantly more profits. Your maximum balance with this staking strategy could be even 7800 units at the end of the month.
4. Variable staking simulation with 5% ROI
The bigger value bets you place with % based staking strategy the higher the returns are. With this bankroll management technique, your winnings easily exceed the ones at flat staking.
You can notice the chance of losing 70% of your bankroll is decreasing if you place bets with odds with bigger value. The average ending bankroll can get to 3900 units and your maximum balance can get up to 13000 units at the end of the month.
You have to notice that this staking strategy can make this strategy very profitable. But we have to face that the chance of variance is highly increasing.
5. My money management strategy
I like to combine bankroll management strategies for the maximum profit from sports betting by taking the least risk.
I use the flat staking money management strategy combines with the variable one. I’m starting every account with flat stakes of 5% – 6% of my balance and as the balance grows I’m increasing the stakes.
For example: if I have a balance of 1000 units, I start with stakes of 50 units. When the bankroll grows to 1500, I start using stakes of 70 units.
With this staking strategy I’m scaling up my winnings but without the risk of losing too much.
It is advised to use a smaller percentage of your bankroll in sports betting if the odds are higher. For odds above 2.50, I would advise using less than 5% of your actual bankroll. On odds below 2.0, I often use even 10%-15% of my bankroll if I’m able to spot wrong, overpriced odds.
Bettors who follow a profitable strategy such as value betting often times can use their whole bankroll many times a day. While in-play betting, you can place even 30-50 bets a day which can mean a total stake of 2.5 times of your bankroll if you are using a flat staking money management strategy.
Using the right sports betting strategy such as value betting (betting on overpriced odds) and a bulletproof money management system such as percentage of flat staking are the best ways to raise your bankroll.
Good unit size in sports betting is the stake that won’t have a too big negative effect on your balance if you lose the bet. I advise using a unit size that is between 3%-6% of you actual bankroll. It will take some time to build up a healthy capital, but a good unit size in sports betting can mean the difference between winning or losing in the long run.
Good bankroll management in sports betting is important because it can increase your profits in winning streaks, but it will also cover and reduce your overall losses in losing streaks.
Want to learn about value betting? Check my in-depth value betting guide. It’s 100% free.
Bankroll management strategies for sports betting
Arbitrage bettors don’t need strict staking plans like the ones who are not covering the other outcomes.
However, having some kind of plan is a wise decision. In my experience increasing the stakes while arbing is a viable option only to a certain level. No matter how big your balance is, bookmakers won’t support too high stakes.
1. Flat staking in sports betting
Placing bets every time with the same amount of money is the most basic strategy.
Based on my experience betting like this is not optimal. Your profits will be decent, but you can’t maximize them.
The biggest advantage of this bankroll management is that you can’t make big mistakes, your results will be constant.
If you don’t have too much experience in sports betting, choosing this bankroll management system is a safe way to start.
With arbitrage betting, I usually use at least 8% – 10% of my capital.
This way I’m not betting for pennies, but I’m also reducing the risk of winning too much at one side.
2. Staking after profit percentage
I use this staking model with arbitrage betting and value betting too. The amount of my stakes is based on the possible profit of the arbitrage opportunity.
I like to place a decent 6% — 10% of my capital as flat stakes on arbs that are between 1% — 3%.
I play this aggressive staking strategy only in live betting because there I have less chance to get caught by the bookies.
Money management in arbitrage and value betting
When you start betting you can’t avoid mistakes, which have a cost, sometimes even a very big cost. During my journey in betting, I paid the price of not being experienced.
In the beginning, this meant 100-200 euros per month at least (with a small bankroll), later on the journey, a mistake could cost me even 2000 euros or more.
While arbing you will make a lot of simple human errors that will cost you a lot.
Covering bets on wrong markets, wrong odds or lines can boost your income significantly if you win both legs.
But sadly I wasn’t so lucky in the long run to make profits from these mistakes.
Arbitrage and value betting for beginners
In the beginning, I suggest you put away a part of your income only for this purpose and do not risk the part you need for living expenses.
With matched betting and arbitrage betting you can get to 2500-3000 euros of profit quite easily.
I suggest, not to use every bookmaker available for you, because some of them are way more valuable for value betting than burning them for arbitrage betting.
Sports bettors with bigger capital
When you have this capital and you are familiar with the world of betting you can start learning about value betting.
There are a lot of strategies out there about value betting, which in the long run can generate you way more money than matched and arbitrage betting.
Value betting is not requiring more money for a single bet, but you need more continued betting even in a long streak of losing.
This technique is based on mathematics, which will guarantee you a decent payback in the long run, but in a shorter period like 100-200 bets, you can experience bigger losses too.
For more info, you can read the article about how to find arbitrage bets.
How much should you bet on arbitrage bets?
The amount you can and should bet on each pick is different by the stage you are in.
No matter what kind of strategy you are following, in the beginning, it is advised to start with very low stakes.
Placing bets with 1% – 2% of your balance will help you delay being limited by the bookmakers.
At the very start, even a normal punter can be red-flagged by the bookmaker if the starting stakes are too high, like 30% – 40% of your starting balance.
In my experience staying under the radar for a new customer is crucial.
The more bets you already had, the more you can place on a single bet.
Arbitrage bets can generate decent money only if the stakes are relatively high.
For example, if you have 1500 euros at a bookie, your stakes can be even 150-250 euros at a good opportunity.
On the other hand money management with value betting is more complicated. Generally speaking, with value betting strategies by using smaller stakes you still can make more profits than with sure betting.
You can read more in my in-depth value betting guide.