Best Money Management Strategies For Sports Betting
One of the tricks to beat the bookies is to choose a suitable money management strategy and stick to it even during the toughest losing streaks. No matter how good you are when it comes to predicting the outcome of sporting events – it can be horse racing, American football, or the World Cup, Premier League or Champions League action from the beautiful game, – if you aren’t following a wise staking plan you will definitely end up losing in the long run due to variance: the unpredictability of the length of a winning streak or losing streaks. Winning bets is not enough without a proper bankroll management.
Forget Martingale, Fibonacci and all the other progressive betting systems that will always drive you to bankruptcy sooner or later. In fact, there’s only one progressive sports betting strategy that might help you win money, especially if you’re on a tight budget. On top of that, we’ll present the money management betting strategies that are being used by most pro punters these days:
- Easy Money
- Kelly Criterion
- Best Money Management On Even Bets: Flat Betting
- The Points System: 1 to 10 Unit Staking Plan
- Fixed Profit
If you happen to be a fan of placing easy bets to win money, you could try a snowball money management strategy like Easy Money. This happens to be suitable for punters who have a limited budget and a lot of patience. Skip this sports betting money management strategy if you’re looking for systems that allow you to apply the value bet concept.
Easy Money explained: Firstly, what you want to do is to establish an objective: how much do you expect to win, where to shop, what maximum odds to reach. The next step would be to divide your bankroll into 6-10 equal amounts to make sure you have some room for error (It also depends on the time frame, the amounts of bets you place, how often do you plan to reload your betting account, what odds you plan to reach etc.).
Now you’ll start with let’s say £10 and aim to reach total odds of 10-20-50, wagering the stake plus winnings after each winning bet. Thereupon you’ll essentially wager on betting tips that have very short odds: usually, less than 1.10. When you winning streak comes to an end before reaching the desired objective you’ll have to start a new hand.
Hints: In order to profit you will require a long winning streak, so your best option is to go with the safest possible bets you can find on the market (and not value bets, as you can’t afford to lose when applying Easy Money). Football betting, NFL betting or horse racing, it doesn’t really matter, just make sure you use Asian Handicaps, lay betting on betting exchanges and anything you can think of to make your bets as safe as possible.
Even though this money management betting strategy will constantly require you to increase stakes, the risk of ruin is not big, due to the fact that the bet amount includes the prior winnings and not other chunks of your initial bankroll. On top of that, wagering on such low betting odds will considerably increase your win percentage and therefore, even if you are unsuccessful you’ll at least buy more time and save some money.
We advise you that this betting strategy is not recommended for the faint-hearted: Your mind will play tricks on you and you’ll really feel the pressure piling up when your bet size will become 20 times bigger than your initial stake. But then again, without composure you won’t become a successful sports bettor!
Kelly Criterion will tell you exactly what percentage of your bankroll you should bet each time. However, this strategy can be risky if you haven’t got a proven ability to recognise value. Kelly is all about accurately judging the probability of a given outcome. The whole idea behind this bankroll management strategy it is to maximise the profits when you can spot odds that are better than they should be.
Kelly Criterion explained: The first step is to evaluate the probabilities of the outcomes from a betting market. Pros develop their own models for that and you should start working on it yourself. The result of that should ideally be a combination of stats and team news, but some think that the latter isn’t required.
After you’ve estimated the chances of winning it’s time to confront the values with the betting odds offered by the bookies. If the odds offered by online sportsbooks or betting exchanges are better than expected, indicating that you have an edge on them, it’s time to apply The Kelly Staking Formula to determine the stake for the respective bet:
Make sure to convert all data to decimal format before calculating! The result will be a decimal indicator which represents the percentage of your current bankroll you should be staking on the respective bet.
Kelly Criterion Example: You’ve estimated that Manchester United has 60% chances of winning (0.6 being its decimal equivalent) a Premier League match and the odds offered by an online sportsbook for their win are standing at 2.00.
The calculation would be: [(0.6 x 2.00) – 1] / (2.00 – 1) = (1.2 – 1) / 1 = 0.2 / 1 = 0.2
Now, by multiplying the outcome by 100 we will reveal it’s percentage value, therefore we’d come to the conclusion that the Kelly Criterion is indicating that our bet size in this football betting scenario should be 20% of our bankroll.
Hints: The whole idea with Kelly Criterion is that the more value you find in a bet, the more you will wager and that will generate profit in the long run. Because sometimes the differences between estimated odds and bookies odds can be quite dramatic, most pro punters prefer to use “Fractional Kelly”, which is a much safer alternative. All you have to do to use the prudent version of the money management betting strategy is to multiply the result of the formula with 0.25 each time (or divide it by four), to bet only a fraction of the originally indicated stake.
Some say that John Larry Kelly Junior’s formula is the best sports betting strategy in the long run, as long as the punter develops a predictive model that enables him to correctly evaluate the chances of winning. The problem with that is that the whole success relies on the quality of the betting tips, hence why inexperienced sports bettors shouldn’t go down this route before developing a proven betting model.
Best Money Management On Even Bets: Flat Betting / Fixed Staking / Level Stake
This betting bankroll management strategy is very good all-around. It might not excel in many areas, but it did stand the test of time so that’s what made it as popular as it is amongst those who make a living betting; Yes, we’re talking about professional sports bettors.
Flat Betting explained: The best money management on even bets is doubted to be the simplest: you choose a percentage of your bankroll between 0.5% and 5% and stick with that stake until the end of the season or till you deposit/withdraw a considerable amount.
In fact, most people who make a living sports betting are using this sports betting money management! Unlike the Kelly staking plan, where you will fail big time if your ability to estimate value isn’t accurate, and this fixed percentage of bankroll staking method allows quite a bit of room for error.
Hints: If you are not looking for the quick score and have the patience to see the return on your investment in the long run then you’ll most likely be fine using it. The Fixed Staking System won’t boost you short-term performance, you won’t see your bankroll increase as fast as if you were using a progressive betting system, but it will ease the pain felt during those ugly losing runs.
Just think for a second: If you choose let’s say a level stake equal to 1% of your initial bankroll, you will be able to cope with a series of 99 consecutive losses, which should more than enough to keep you safe.
Unlike other strategies in sports betting, this conservative approach will also help you set aside bad luck and good luck in the long run. The only hard part is to always stick to the plan: grinding is the way to go!
The Points System: 1 to 10 Unit Staking Plan
The Unit Staking Plan or the Points System, as it is known, is one of the most commonly used money management strategies in sports betting. You will often find it used by professional handicappers, bet advisors, online betting sites, tipster websites and you’ll even see it featured in various betting articles. Although it is a variable staking method just like the Kelly Criterion, The Points Method is easier to put into practice.
The Points System explained: The value of your individual stakes will be assigned on a 1 to 10 scale. The bet size depends on the probabilities of the selected betting prediction. You will, of course have to decide how much each point is worth or in other words, what is your minimum bet and your maximum bet. The percentage of your bankroll equivalent to a point can vary from 100 to 250, but usually the pros prefer the latter. So if you were to divide your entire bankroll by 250 you would have the value of one unit.
Hints: The less aggressive you are when deciding the value of one unit, the less you will be affected by losing streaks, meaning you can afford to lose more bets in a row without ending up bankrupt. That might make you feel comfortable, but at the same time you might not be fully satisfied with the return. The whole idea is for you to find the balance between profit and responsible gaming.
Only use the amount of money you can afford to lose as your betting bankroll. Although this bankroll management strategy will partly protect you from chasing losses, that doesn’t mean you can bet carelessly – any betting guide will tell you that.
This unique money management routine is focused on achieving the desired profits and can be used for both single bets and accumulator bets. The bet amount is dictated by the objective and the odds offered by the online bookmakers and not the size of the bankroll.
Fixed Profit explained: With this sports betting money management you’ll first have to set your expectations, namely how much you want to profit from each bet. After that, you’ll use this formula to determine the particular stake of each wager:
The Fixed Profit System is one of the most flexible money management strategies in sports, allowing the punter to wager on any kind of betting market, on both short and long odds. Your targeted return should be based on the amount of money you are willing to invest, so make sure you leave a bit of room to be able to overcome those annoying losing runs.
Hints: You can apply progression to the Fixed Profit bankroll strategy if you want to. All you have to do is to add up the previous loss to the ‘Desired Fixed Profit’ when calculating the fixed profit. We typically recommend that you only go as far as 3 or 4 consecutive losses before accepting the cost and moving on to a new wager. Just make sure you do the math before you start applying it!
Choosing the best money management routine
Choose the money management strategy that better suits your style and budget. Feel free to test the methods described above and see for yourself what works best for you. Remember, you won’t be able to draw any conclusions unless you have thousands or at least several hundreds of samples to work with. Be patient, take it step by step and firstly focus on reducing your losses. Only when you have reached a decent balance after a few months should you bother to try and improve your decision making process in order to optimize winnings and go for profit and growth!
Make use of the recommended betting money management systems, but be careful when wagering real money. BettingInstitute.co.uk and the other top sites from the online betting industry that are focused on successful sports betting advice will always advocate for reducing the risk of ruin as much as possible. Never wager your entire bankroll. Follow a prudent money management strategy. Please bet responsibly!