What is the Unit System and how is it used in betting?

The unit system is widely used in the betting world. Nowadays nearly all betting sites that provide betting tips use the unit system to value these tips. But units are not just used in this way, you can even use them in order to become a more successful player. If you’re new to betting it would definitely be to your advantage to learn how to use the unit system to improve your betting.


What is a unit?

Units are a measurement of how much you should wager on a bet, or to put it simply, the size of the bet itself. As every punter has a different bankroll or betting budget, the worth of a unit differs from person to person.

The unit system itself can also vary from person to person. Therefore it’s important to take into account another person’s bankroll if you’re going to use someone else’s betting strategy as an example for your own.

The unit system can be divided in different ways, but the most popular scale to use is 1 to 5. In this case, 5 would be the biggest amount someone would choose to wager on a bet, depending on how good they think that potential bet would be to play.

In theory, one unit could therefore relate to 1% of your overall betting budget, but take into account that a serious punter shouldn’t wager more than 5% of their overall bankroll on any one bet.

The 1-5 scale is easy to use, but it’s even possible to use a scale of 1-10. In this case 1 unit would be equivalent to 0.5% of your bankroll, whereas 10 units would represent 5% of your bankroll. It’s important to find a scale that works best for you.

An example of the unit system in action
Let’s say you have a bankroll of £500 and then you decide that 1 unit represents 1% of your budget.

1 unit = 1% of £500 = £5

Your bankroll affects the unit size

The sum of each unit gets bigger as your bankroll increases in size because every unit is a real percentage of your total budget. It works the same way in the opposite direction. If your bankroll decreases then so will the sum of every unit. 

Let’s say that your bankroll grows from £1000 to £1400, meaning an increase of 40%. If this is the case then each unit which was once worth £10 is now worth £14.

An example of how you use units
Let’s say you have a bankroll of £1000 and decide to use a unit system comprising of 1-10 units.

1 unit = 0.5% of your budget = £5

2 units = 1% of your budget = £10

3 units = 1.5% of your budget = £15

4 units = 2% of your budget = £20

5 units = 2.5% of your budget = £25

6 units = 3% of your budget = £30

7 units = 3.5% of your budget = £35

8 units = 4% of your budget = £40

9 units = 4.5% of your budget = £45

10 units = 5% of your budget = £50

This means that the bigger your bet is, the more units you’ll use on each bet. For example, if you find odds that give you 4.15 times your money when you think the odds should be around 2.15, it might be a good time to bet 5 units. If, on the other hand, you find odds of 2.20 on something you value at 2.10 you should play with lower units since the value in the bet is smaller.

The unit system is a great way of making sense of how you’re betting. At the same time it can help bring some stability to your budget

Why should I use the unit system?

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the unit system is a great way to understand how much value you see in a bet and therefore to determine how much you should place on any one bet. Instead of writing down that you’ve wagered £100 on a bet, instead you would write 4 units.

If one unit is equivalent to £25 then £100 can be worth a lot more to anyone player. For one person £100 can be a very serious sum, but for a bigger player £100 can be worth a lot less.

The unit system is a great way of making sense of how you’re betting. At the same time it can help bring some stability to your budget. If you want to learn more then read our guide to bankroll management.

Flat Betting

Placing a bet is when you play for the same sum every time, regardless of how much worth you attach to a bet. It’s a fairly common strategy that can be a profitable method if you know you usually beat betting companies.

An example of a flat bet can be that you have a bankroll of £1000 and have a flat bet sum of £10. Regardless of if your bankroll grows to £1400 or sinks down to £600, you’ll continue to place a flat bet at £10.

Flat betting can be a smart alternative if you find it difficult to rate how good a potential bet might be, which is always a difficult part of betting. Flat betting can be made even simpler if you use it in conjunction with the unit system where you need to work out the percentage of your bankroll before every bet.