Managing your bankroll sensibly is vital if you want to enjoy long-term success as a sports bettor. What exactly is your bankroll, and how do you go about managing it?
What is a Bankroll?
A bankroll is a sum of money that you can afford to lose in a worst-case scenario. It is the amount of money that you will use to bet on sports for a particular period of time, such as a season or a calendar year.
This should not be money that you need for rent, bills, food, and other necessities. Do not use borrowed money either.
How to Practice Sensible Bankroll Management
Lots of professional bettors assign a portion of their bankroll as their base unit for wagering. It can vary from 1% to 5% or more.
For example, let’s say you have a $1,000 bankroll for an NFL season. You might decide to go for 1% of your bankroll as your base unit. That means you start out by placing $10 bets in Week 1.
If you are feeling more aggressive, you can make it 5% of your bankroll. In that case, you bet $50 per game in Week 1. You might alternatively go down the middle and opt for 3%.
You can keep your base unit at the starting amount, or allow it to increase and decrease depending upon how well your bets perform. For example, let’s say you have a $1,000 bankroll and start out by making $10 bets in Week 1 of the NFL season. If you win $100, you will be on $1,100, and you could then make $11 bets in Week 2.
This also means you end up placing smaller bets if your bankroll shrinks, which helps you maintain a bankroll while waiting for your luck to change.
There are also advanced bankroll management strategies that you can follow, such as the Martingale, Reverse Martingale, D’Alembert, Labouchere, Paroli, and so on.