Flat Versus Scaled Betting

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There are two different methods when it comes to sports betting money management that are hotly debated around the gambling community. These two methods are flat betting versus scaled betting. If you at least know what the definition of these two methods are, then you are ahead of the game.

Many novice sports bettors lose because they don’t know how to manage their money. They don’t follow a strict formula, and they are careless with their bets. If you at least use one of these two methods, then you are on the right track to becoming a professional bettor or a sharp bettor. Let’s take a look at the differences between them.

Flat Betting

The definition of flat betting is to wager the exact same amount on every play. The sports betting industry standard is to bet 2% of your total bankroll on each play. So, if your bankroll is $1,000, then you would bet $20 per game, on every game, no matter what the circumstance is.

Now, as your bankroll increases, you’re going to want to increase the size of your bets accordingly. Let’s say that you grew your $1,000 starting bankroll by 25% to $1,250. You’ll still want to bet 2% of your bankroll, which would be $25. If your bankroll drops back down to $1,000 because you hit a losing streak, then drop your wagers back down to $20.

Flat betting is efficient and the most mathematically viable of the two options. If you factor in 10 percent juice, which means betting $110 to win $100, then you have to hit 52.38 percent of your bets to break even. The top professional handicappers hit anywhere from 55 percent to 58 percent.

Many bettors don’t realize that 55 to 58 percent is a tremendous accomplishment, and your return on investment over the long term at these percentages is going to be massive. Consistently betting the same amount will help you weather the losing streaks that all gamblers go through from time to time.

Unfortunately, this idea of flat betting is often preached but rarely practiced. Most recreational bettors don’t have the discipline to stick to this method. That means they don’t look at sports betting as an investment like they should. They are just in it for a form of entertainment and don’t worry about losing a couple hundred bucks over the course of the season.

Scaled Betting

With the scaled betting method, the size of the bet will increase or decrease depending on how strong the play is. Most sports handicappers have a rating system to their plays. Some will have 1 to 5 units, others will have 6 to 10 units, and some even have 100 units to 1000 units.

Well, a handicapper who released a 5 unit play as their strongest play can be just a strong as a handicapper that releases a 1000 unit play. That’s why you have to be wary of handicappers who have huge rating systems. Don’t by into that a 1000 play for one handicapper is stronger than a 5 unit play from another handicapper.

To give you an example, let’s just use my rating system. It includes 15* plays, 20* plays and 25* plays. If I win a 25* play, I essentially win 25 units. If I win a 20* play, I win 20 units. If I win a 15* play, I win 15 units. So, if I go 5-1 on 25* plays, I’ll win 97.5 units. If I go 5-1 on 20* plays, I’ll win 78 units. If I go 5-1 on 15* plays, I’ll win 58.5 units.

I typically recommend betting 5% of your bankroll on 25* plays, 4% on 20* plays and 3% on 15* plays. If you have a $1,000 bankroll, then you would be betting $50 on 25* plays, $40 on 20* plays and $30 on 15* plays. Now, this is an aggressive approach because I have confidence in my ability. Some would only recommend betting 2.5% on the 25* plays, 2% on the 20* plays and 1.5% on the 15* plays for a more conservative approach, which would be $25, $20 and $15, respectively.

In a scaled method like this one, the return on investment can multiply more quickly. It can also dwindle your bankroll faster if the strongest plays are losing more often than the weakest plays. However, I believe the scaled method is the best. Obviously, I feel more strongly about certain plays than I do others, therefore I want to bet more money on the stronger plays.

Conclusion

If you are at least using one of these two methods, you are on the right track. It means you are looking at sports betting as an investment instead of the sake of just having action. It is really a matter of personal choice and comfort as to which method you choose.

If you are looking at sports betting as a disciplined, long-term investment, then a flat betting approach is probably the way to go. If you are starting with a small bankroll, or you’re just looking for an aggressive high-risk, high-reward approach, then scaled betting is most likely to make you more money in a shorter period of time.

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