Sports betting bankroll management is often overlooked in the world of gambling, but it’s something that is an essential tool for a majority of successful bettors. That’s why mytopsportsbooks has assembled this betting guide and answered FAQs to help you familiarize yourself with the concept.

Every bettor needs a plan. We’ll delve deep into the concept of bankroll management, betting systems, betting strategy, and how to make good use of various bankroll management tools.

Starting Bankroll for Sports Betting

Let’s start with the basic question of “What does bankroll mean?” Well, a bankroll is simply the money that you have at your disposal. If all goes according to plan, your disposable income will increase as you accumulate victories on your sportsbook. Keep in mind, however, that to defeat the bookmakers by using standard odds of -110, you will need to hit 52.4% of your bets just to break even.

Experienced bettors usually cultivate their own systems of bankroll management through trial and error—however, it is always smart to experiment with different approaches until you find what fits you the best. Sports betting money management can range from strict routines to working with a very basic strategy. Whichever it may be, it’s important to have a strategy built on the foundations of a sports betting money management system.

The fundamentals revolve around having standardized betting practices. Be aware of what you’re spending, because everyone can get carried away from time to time.

Hit your wins and take time to think, there’s no rush. Don’t feel pressured into placing another bet on tonight’s game, one you had decided that you were going to pass on, just because you got a win earlier in the day and have cash burning a hole in your pocket.

Money management is ongoing, not something you revisit every once in a while. Regular bankroll checks allow bettors to moderate betting and avoid overspending. If you are employing various betting strategies, such as matched betting or hedge betting, or staking a varying amount of funds, then you will want to be especially conscious when wagering.

Starting Bankroll for Sports Betting

Evaluate Your bankroll

If someone ever told you not to bet what you can’t afford to lose, then you should keep that person around because they know what they’re talking about—and if you haven’t heard that saying, well, now you have.

Bettors must manage their own funds and be honest with themselves in the process. What can you afford to lose? This is the question that bettors must build their strategy around.

Regular checks of your funds will help ensure that you are staying within your budget and not recklessly throwing away money. At the same time, if a bettor continues to notice a ton of money in their gambling account, but that amount is not changing, then they could be playing too conservatively. You will be able to track your wins, losses, and transaction history with your betting sites or betting app to help paint a clearer picture of where your money is going.

Finding the right balance to bankroll management in sports betting is just as important as finding an event or outcome to bet on. Set a consistent plan and stick to it.

So the next time you are wondering how much should you bet, just remember that the answer is individualized and relies upon your strategy. Don’t shortchange yourself by playing recklessly.

Tracking Your Sports Betting Bankroll

Whatever system you decide to go with when betting, ensure you’re keeping track of your bets and movements in your bankroll. Try to keep a decent record of the basics of your betting numbers to ensure you’re informed about what has happened with your funds, as it will help you project the future. Here are the basic details to watch for:

  • Amount won/lost: what was the overall return of your wager?
  • Bet type: did you bet on the moneyline, spread, total, a prop, etc.? Did you bet on a parlay, teaser, or multiple bet?
  • Amount wagered: how much money did you put on the line, regardless of the result?
  • Outcome of bet: did you win or lose? How did that affect your overall success rate?
  • Date of bet: have you improved or gotten worse as a bettor? Do the numbers coincide with a change in strategy?
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Assessing Risk

Betting risk will help determine a player’s approach to their gambling habits. For example, if you are a casual player who looks to have a little bit of fun over the weekend by splashing on a few 10-leg parlays, you are going to want to limit the amount of money that you invest. Continually putting large sums of money behind high-risk bets is rarely going to work out.

In contrast, bets with a lower risk can serve as a sort of guiding light for players. A few low-risk betting tips are to look for negative odds (meaning that they are almost always considered more likely to happen than not), but not dipping too low in value. Most bettors using American odds will not venture below -200 unless they are extremely confident in their pick, or are including it in a parlay.

Knowing the risk level that you are comfortable with relates back to your approach to gambling, as you can establish a budget that fits your risk. If you like betting on even odds, then you will have to be prepared to sacrifice heftier sums than someone who is waiting on a 50,000-to-1 parlay to cash.

Two Approaches to Bankroll Management


Two Approaches to Bankroll Management

Line shopping

Another way to help budget your money is through line shopping. This is one of the most common sports betting terms, yet it is unknown by many new players.

Line shopping is essentially looking at multiple sports betting sites to see which of the providers is offering the best odds. Whether you are a fan of mobile betting or using your desktop to access gambling sites, the same rule applies.

Here’s an example of how line shopping can be beneficial: if you are a fan of live betting major sports, such as the NBA, you may not want to bet on the favorite in a particular matchup because of the lack of value. However, as the games are in-play, you may find that the underdog has pulled ahead, and the team that entered as the favorite now has positive odds. If you shop around different online betting sites, you will likely find that they have different live betting odds, thus making one sportsbook more profitable than another.

The best part about live betting is that you don’t have to stare into a thousand television screens to know what is going on—all that you have to do is monitor online sports, keep track of the line changes, and place bets accordingly.

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“Safe Betting” and “Long shot” Betting

Folks who are misinformed about the betting industry often assume the biggest winners are the high-rollers, players betting big, but, this isn’t really the case. This translates back to bankroll betting tips, as the most successful bettors are almost always the ones who stick to their plans.

Employing a safe betting strategy is an excellent option for slowly building funds. An example of a safe betting strategy could be playing with a bankroll percentage of 1% per bet.

Long shot betting is a very risky strategy, but can certainly be used once in a while. For example, if a bettor decides to take the 6th-favorite in the Kentucky Derby, and the odds are strong, then they will have picked a long shot. “Outsiders” is another common term used to describe long shot bets.

Another example would be picking an NFL team with +5000 odds to win the Super Bowl. Even though that would be amazing for the headlines, it would also likely be a waste of money.

Players should avoid making regular long shot bets and only follow them when they are extremely confident, though the long shots are a great play every once in a while.

Working with Bonuses

Bookies often put out promotions for sports gamblers, whether they be new or returning customers. These special deals can include but are not limited to odds boosts, parlay boosts and free bets, all of which add an extra dimension to gambling.

New bettors can almost always expect to find some sort of sign-up bonus with each of the best sportsbooks, usually in the form of one of the three mentioned promos. However, returning bettors will also get different opportunities to add to their bet slip, especially during major sporting events.

So, do promotions affect how you should approach your bet slip? Absolutely not. Stay within your budget, and if you play your cards right, you will earn a bigger-than-average payout without compromising your financial integrity. The good part about most promotions is that there is rarely a drawback, so you will not be hit hard by any potential losses—no harder than you would have been anyway, that is.

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Conclusion: Is Bankroll Management Worth it?

It’s important to remember that every bettor should be using a bankroll management strategy of some form. For players that are looking to employ a more tactical approach to their betting, this is the first place to start.

From beginners to sharps, any bettor is capable of becoming a high roller with the right amount of patience and balance. Financial management is also essential, and all bettors should see this as the first stepping stone to bringing a sense of order to their betting management.

Frank Lorenzo
Frank Lorenzo
MTS Co-Founder
Geoff Johnson
Geoff Johnson
MTS Co-Founder