What is bankroll management?
There are two things that professional players must take into consideration in order to be successful at betting. The first thing a successful punter must do is to find good value odds in the market. The second is to use the amount of money you’ve set aside to bet with, also known as your bankroll, in the right way. Ultimately what we’re talking about is to consider the risk vs. the reward.
It doesn’t matter how good you are at finding the value in the odds
It doesn’t matter how good you are at finding the value in the odds, or even spotting when the betting company has set their odds wrongly if you don’t take into consideration how much you wager on each bet. There are a lot of punters out there who should rightly be considered experts at finding value on the market, but then lose out when it comes to handling their bankroll, or failing to minimise unnecessary risks.
An example of bankroll management:
A good example of bankroll management in practice would be to never wager more than 2% of your total bankroll. Regardless of what the actual value of your bankroll is you should never wager more than 2% of it. No exceptions. Even if the size of your bankroll increases after successes and thus your bets may increase in actual value in relation to the percentage of your bankroll, you should not wager more than 2% to what is relative to your total funds.
Why is bankroll management important?
How big should your bets be in relation to your total bankroll? What are the value of the odds that you’re placing a bet for? How big is the risk you’re willing to take to win that bet?
These questions are the key to being successful at bankroll management. It’s all about taking the necessary precautions in order to protect your bankroll. To clarify more clearly how to manage your bankroll we’ve come up with four solid steps to help you along your way to mastering bankroll management.
4 simple steps to successful bankroll management:
- Firstly, bankroll management ensures that you don’t stand to place bets that are out of your means. Don’t start chasing any losses you might have made by placing bets that are out of your betting budget for example. Don’t bet anything that you can’t afford to lose is a good point to remember.
- Bankroll management ensures that you don’t become greedy when the going is good, and that you start to increase the value of your wagers beyond what your betting budget allows.
- It allows you to account for losses over a longer period without running through your entire betting budget.
- Bankroll management encourages you to think through your bets carefully and the potential outcome of the bets you place.
How to win at betting in the long term
Getting ahead of the odds and the curve of the market is an important part of being successful at bankroll management, but also in betting in general. Even though you may always find value in the odds and even if you feel like you’re handling your bankroll correctly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re guaranteed to make a profit every week or every month. If you really want to beat the bookies and make a profit from betting, you need to think in the long term.
You may be able to consistently find good value in the odds, but at the end of the day it’s the outcome of the match that dictates whether you win or lose.
If you’re winning your bets, finding value in the odds and your bankroll management is being handled in the correct way then you’re going to be a successful player in the long run.
An example of getting ahead of the odds:
Say you’re betting on a match between the home team Arsenal and Stoke. After you’ve had a look through the value of the match odds you reckon that Arsenal’s chance of winning is around 60%. In terms of odds that would equate to around 4/6 (1.66). You then go on to find odds of 1/1 (2.00) at much better value. You decide to back these odds with a large wager.
As kick off comes closer the odds start to sink, going as low as 1/2 (1.50), meaning you have a distinctive increase in the value of the odds and have in effect ‘beaten’ the odds. Even though Arsenal go on to lose the match you may still feel like had a victory because you effectively beat the odds before they dipped.
This is just one example of how tough it can be to get ahead of the market. But in the long term if you’re placing these types of bets and getting ahead of the market curve in odds, you’re much more likely to be a winner in the long run. Finding good value in the odds is an important cornerstone of being successful at betting in the long term, and getting ahead of the curve before they slump, can make a big difference. But don’t make finding value the only factor to consider.
Handling a losing streak
Every punter will experience a period of losses in betting sooner or letter. It’s just the nature of the game. It can happen whether you bet as a hobby or whether you’re a professional. Losing streaks can last for anything from several days to months.
The difference between people who bet as a hobby and professionals is how they handle those dips in form. Just remember it’s not uncommon to feel like everything you do goes wrong. Handling a losing streak is difficult but not impossible.
Stick to your strategy and to stick to your bankroll management
The most common and biggest mistake to make in the middle of a losing streak is to bet with increasingly higher amounts. People tend to forget their betting strategy in an attempt to win back their losses for larger stakes. This can be dangerous, meaning you could start to stake for amounts you simply cannot afford to lose.
For professionals a losing streak can signal just how important it is to keep the very discipline that serves you so well in the first place. To stick to your strategy and to stick to your bankroll management is key during difficult times. For professionals it might also be a point to begin to analyse and reconsider their betting strategy for weaknesses and to use it to improve.
How not to handle a losing streak: ❌
Let’s say you have a bankroll of £1000, and on any normal day you wager a bet at £10. You go on to lose 10 games in a row and your bankroll shrinks to £900. You become frustrated and want to get your bankroll back up to £1000 so you decide to increase the stake of your next bet to £100 in order to recoup your losses. You go on to lose that bet and your bankroll decreases even further, shrinking to £800.
Now you want to win back the £200 you’ve lost. You throw in your entire bankroll of £800 on Barcelona to win a ‘sure bet’ thinking that at odds of 1/4 (1.25) you’ll bump it back up to £1000. Barcelona go on to play a 0-0 draw meaning you’ve lost your entire bankroll.
How you should handle a losing streak: ✅
Let’s say it’s exactly the same situation. You have a bankroll of £1000 and normally place bets at £10. You lose 10 in a row and your bankroll decreases to £900. Instead of increasing the stakes of your bets and diverging away from your original betting strategy you take a break from betting for a week. Instead of placing bets, you use that week to analyse your betting for strengths and weaknesses by casting your eyes back over your betting history and statistics.
After a week’s break and analysing the situation you’ve reached the conclusion that you’re going to stop betting on the Premier League because it’s been the main cause of your losses. You’ve even decided to lower your stakes to £9 a bet because your bankroll has diminished. Safely and surely you start winning again and 30 bets later your bankroll is up to £1500. You weathered through the difficult times and you’ve actually started on a winning streak.
Handling a winning streak
Hopefully every punter can experience the joy of a winning streak. This is the period that everyone strives for and it can be utilised to its full potential if you know how to handle your bankroll with discipline.
It’s all about maintaining control and following a long term strategy
It’s not uncommon that punters start to increase their bets too readily when the going is good. It’s often down to an inflated sense of self assurance, but the cause can just as much be down to greed. The shift to placing higher and higher amounts of individual bets can happen quickly when you’re on a winning streak. But it doesn’t have to happen like that if you just stick to your plan and your bankroll management.
An important point to note is that it’s natural to want to raise the amount you decide to wager on a bet if your bankroll increases in turn. But it’s all about maintaining control and following a long term strategy without any exceptions even when the going is good.
How not to handle a winning streak: ❌
You have a bankroll of £1000 and you usually stake £10 a bet. After winning 10 in a row your bankroll increases to £1100. Your confidence is running high, but you feel like your bankroll is growing too slowly. On bet number 11 you raise the amount you bet to £100 because you’re sure it will come in. But you lose the bet and with it you’ve lost everything you gained over the previous 10 bets in one fell swoop.
How you should handle a winning streak: ✅
Let’s roll with the same situation. You have a bankroll of £1000 and you usually stake £10 a bet. After winning 10 in a row your bankroll increases to £1100. You’re satisfied, but not certain you should raise the stakes of your bets. This is because you don’t think your bankroll has increased enough for you to justify it and to diverge from your strategy. You go on to lose bet number 11 and continue to work with the same strategy and accordingly your bankroll increases slowly but surely.
There are so many different betting strategies and theories that claim to be the winning strategy when it comes to bankroll management. Many of these come directly from finance and casino markets which are differ vastly in terms of profitability. This is where the different systems differ in principle.
The Martingale System, The Fibonacci System, The Kelly Criterion, and The Unit System are just some of the more well known gambling strategies. It’s important that you use a strategy that fits best for you and your needs. Different strategies suit different people depending on what sport you like to bet on and the risks involved in your betting.
You don’t necessarily have to follow any of these strategies if you don’t feel that they suit you and your betting.
Keeping track of your bankroll management
An important part of bankroll management consists of bookkeeping. This determines just how you keep records or accounts of your bankroll management in the long run. It gives you the opportunity to see exactly which types of bets you’re winning and which have given you more trouble or better value. Maybe an over/under goal market is what works for you? Maybe match odds are the way to go? It always good to keep track of each bet in order to analyse and develop your betting.
Ways you can improve your bankroll management:
Pick a day, either weekly or monthly depending on how much you bet to go over your bets. All serious punters analyse their bets over a longer period as well. Do this to make sure your betting is profitable and that you can keep track of whether you’re in the red or the black over any given period, whether it’s the short or long term.