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Sports Betting Bankroll and Staking - It's not 'one shoe fits all'

The tipster world is an odd one, there are so many variations out there of what 'works' and which methods are the best way to make a profit from sports betting. Everyone thinks they have the winning formula, or that the way they do things is the way everyone should do things. Like most industries, it's not as simple as that, and never will be. There will always be different ideologies about how to be the most profitable sports bettor, whether it be focussing rolling accumulators (hint: it's absolutely not this), in-play only, Asian Handicap, backing underdogs, short priced doubles, the list is endless. One thing that will always remain true though, you should do what works for you, and what gives you the confidence that you'll make a profit over the long term. This article looks at a few of the things people neglect when it comes to bankroll, staking and how they directly relate to betting strategy.

What's My Bankroll?

So many people talk about the importance of a bankroll. It's key to arguably the most important aspects of sports betting - discipline. Having a structure to your betting funds is crucial if you want to take it seriously, or to the level where it provides a relatively consistent secondary (or primary) income. However, even this is a cause of much controversy for a lot of people, and it's still debatable as to whether people really understand the concept - many certainly don't.

  1. Setting your bankroll - this is a very personal thing, and will vary from one person to the next. You should consider what you are comfortable with (the old adage "only bet what you can afford to lose" has always been an important betting rule to stick to). You don't need to have it all available this second either, just to know that your comfortable with the bank you've decided is all you need - this point will be expanded below (see point 5)
  2. Distributing your bankroll - this is probably the most overlooked aspect of bankroll management. If you decide your bankroll will be £1,000, don't drop it in one bookmaker account, as you'll be p**sing a lot of it away purely on the fact that you'll struggle to get the best odds on all your bets, which over time is a sure way to wipe out any profits you could've made. Keep it stored centrally; in your bank account, a separate betting bank account or an eWallet like Skrill or Neteller. £1,000 in a William Hill account won't last as long as £1,000 in a Skrill account where you can instantly deposit to the bookmaker with the best odds for each bet. Remaining flexible will make you 3-10% better off over your time as a sports bettor, pretty much guaranteed.
  3. Storing your betting bank - just because you've set a £1,000 bankroll doesn't mean you need it all to be in different betting accounts right from the get go. It's probably a bad idea to do so to be honest. Having £1,000 in betting accounts will lead many punters to placing ad-hoc, unplanned bets whilst watching Monday Night Football, or Super Sunday - just because it's burning a hole in their betting pocket (remember when we mentioned discipline). 
  4. Units/bankroll percentages - Had a few people bring this up, but it's a moot point and too many people get too hung up on this. Whether you bet 0.5%, 1%, 2% of your bank, or whatever as your standard stake doesn't matter, what's more important is knowing what your maximum bet will be. For so many people, this is a lot easier to decide upon - it's tangible, it's more 'real'. If you're not comfortable betting £50 on a bet, then it's too much as your maximum stake. When following a tipster or betting strategy, set your maximum bet, and relate this to how the tipster behaves. If they say "flat 1%" stakes, then interpret that how you wish, it needn't be 1% of your 'bank'. Similarly, if their maximum bet is 10 units (like the tipsters on our site), then your £50 max stake becomes 10 units, bet £10 on a 2 unit bet, £20 on a 4 unit (you get the point) - it's relative to you, and easy to follow
  5. Bank availability - the biggest point that goes ignored with a betting bank, is that a punter following profitable tipsters, or themselves making a profit from sports betting will invariably never use the lower 50-75% of their starting bank. Following maybe 20-30 bets per week, over the course of the seven days will mean the liability will rarely be above 10%. So if you're winning, your 100% becomes 105%, 110% etc pretty quickly. This means that those who felt they needed all 100% of the bank available right away have locked up £500+ (in a £1,000 betting bank) and won't ever need to use it. Some people may say they prefer it this way, but realistically, any investor in sports betting or any other field will know it's not good practice to tie up funds unnecessarily. 

The final point to make about this is that you need to have a betting bank that suits how you're betting. The higher the frequency of your bets (from tipsters, or personal), the more liquidity you'll need, so you betting bank will need to be larger in comparison with your maximum bet. If you're placing 500 bets a week, the variance should be lower than if you're betting 30, so you'd expect to see fewer drastic swings in profitability over the long term. In saying this, however, betting 500 bets at 1% of your bankroll could see you lose your bankroll very quickly (-5% ROI and you're bank has vanished in four weeks). This is exactly why this 1% = 1u is not suited to everyone. It's based on affordability, your 'comfy' maximum stake, the number of bets you place, betting styles and techniques you/your tipsters adopt and many other points. 

Sports betting isn't a 'one shoe fits all' kind of thing - do what's right for you, but don't ignore the importance of discipline, accurate recording of progress (accountability) and managing a bankroll

Tuesday, August 9, 2016