Getting Started with Sports Betting Money Management

The first step for any sports bettor is to look at wagering as an investment, not a gamble. To the pros, wagering on sports is no different than the stock market. It’s the process of investing money based on research and hard work. Thus, you must make a decision of how much money you are willing to invest. This should be the amount of money that you are willing to lose and money that you can afford to lose. Sports betting can be very volatile, so you absolutely cannot be betting money that is used to pay your daily, weekly, and monthly bills. Never make a wager with money that you absolutely need financially.

What percentage of bankroll should you bet on a game?

The next step is finding the right amount of the betting bankroll that you have set aside to wager on one particular game. Experts have been debating this question for years but in my experience, most pros bet between 1 and 5 percent of their betting bankrolls and I firmly believe in this strategy as well. You should never bet more than 5% of bankroll on one particular game. Now that we have set our parameters for bankroll management, we have to find the correct percentage for you as a sports bettor to wager on the outcome of one game. This is where it gets tricky.

I personally am a quality over quantity gambler, meaning I only like to bet a very small amount of games. I generally bet one game a day. Sometimes I will bet two and other days, I will pass. For me, it makes sense to wager 5% of my bankroll on each play I am betting on since I am only betting the absolute strongest plays on the board each day. If you are going to be what’s known as a volume bettor, betting anywhere from 5 to 10 games a day, you should bet less. Pros that are betting volume generally bet 1 or 2 percent of their bankrolls on each selection they make. Now if you fall in the middle, betting between 2 and 5 games a day, I recommend betting 3% of your bankroll.

What does it mean to be a Flat Bettor?

All of the above guidelines are based on the premise of being a flat bettor, meaning you bet the same amount on each game. I am a firm believer in flat betting but many professional handicappers rate their plays from weakest to strongest. If you decide to do this, you should still stick to betting between 1 and 5% of your bankroll on any given game. However, with this style you must deviate how much to bet on a game based on its rating or strength. Therefore, your strongest games should be 5% and your weakest selections should be 1%. Most handicappers use the star system: 1*, 2*, 3*, etc. For each star that a handicapper places on a game, is a percentage you should wager. If you use a handicapper who has a larger range then 5*, then your parameters have to be set up a little differently. But always stick between 1 and 5%. This style of betting will give you the best chance at long term financial success and make it possible to weather the storms of inevitable losing streaks.

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