Understanding Bankroll Management

Learning about bankroll management is a crucial first step in sports betting. Read along to see how to get started!

Understanding Bankroll Management

Bankroll Management is arguably the most needed skill to be a successful sports bettor. At the base level of it, a bankroll is the amount of money one has set aside for sports betting. It is important to set aside a bankroll and stick to it, to avoid spending money outside what you are comfortable losing/have tied up in gambling.

To take it a step further, this skill has a few intertwining levels. There are two parts in a bankroll that go hand in hand with understanding “What is my Bankroll?”.

  • First, setting up a bankroll is strategically putting aside money for your sports betting. Sports betting is a risk and with risk, you need risk management. It is vital to not only set aside money dedicated to betting but to make sure it is money you are willing to lose. Whether is a few dollars, a few hundred dollars, or a few thousand dollars, this money set aside should be money you are willing and able to financially survive if you lose it.
  • The second is figuring out how much you should be putting down on a single wager. In the sports betting world, the money placed on each wager is often called a unit. A unit is the percentage of your bankroll you have decided to place on a singular wager. Bettors often allocate 1-3% of their bankroll as a unit. For example, if you have a $10,000 bankroll and make your unit size 1% of that, you would place a $100 one-unit wager.

These two things are crucial in managing a bankroll. The best bettors see these two parts as an ongoing process that builds off each other. If you grow your bankroll, do you withdraw the profits? Do you increase your unit size? Do you make more wagers in a given day? These are all questions you need to answer using the set of rules laid out in stage two in relation to stage one of “what is your bankroll?”.

While bankroll management is not the most lucrative topic in the sports betting world, it is one that absolutely needs to be talked about more. Our mission at Pikkit was to create a sports bet tracking app that allows all bettors, novice and pro alike, easily manage their respective bankrolls and have more success.

One of the top reasons bettors crash and burn, or end up losing money betting on sports is due to a lack of bankroll management. Successful betting is a long-term game. There are no shortcuts. Those who try to shortcuts, or think short-term usually end up getting burned. Establishing a bankroll and following strict bankroll management is the way to prevent this.  As mentioned earlier, a standard bet size for a more experienced bettor allocated 1-3% of their bankroll per wager.

If a bettor wagers 1% of their bankroll per bet, that would mean they would have to lose a hundred straight bets before running out of funds. If one assumes 3-5 bets daily, it would not be easy to squander all the funds. Bettors run into trouble when they lack bankroll discipline and start to “chase” losses.

Chasing losses is when a bettor is having a bad day and losing bets, but rather than moving on, they start hastily betting more to “get back to even” for the day. Often times these chase bets are larger than your average wager. If your standard betting unit is one hundred dollars and you placed three wagers, which all lose, the responsible gambler moves on to the next day. Said gamblers can afford a 3% loss in their bankroll, with a long-term mindset. However, inexperienced or irresponsible gamblers can find themselves placing a three hundred wager on a game to make the loss back.

Besides chasing bets already being a bad practice, it is often even worse because it becomes about betting to bet, not because you have an edge. In the earlier example, despite losing those three bets, there was a good chance they were bet for a reason. Once they are lost and someone starts looking to chase, they are likely betting one game/props they would not bet in a neutral mindset. Not only are these hastily bet wagers not holding the same value as your other bets, but they are also usually larger than the ones a bettor saw value in. That 3% loss on the day can quickly turn into losing 6-10% of your bankroll. It is almost always better to accept the manageable losses and regroup for the next day.

Another thing that goes directly in line with bankroll management, is bet tracking. Those that practice proper bankroll management understand the long-term view of betting. Tracking your bets allows you to see your overall win percentage, and monitor return on investment (ROI), and profit. Optimizing the way, a bettor tracks these things goes a long way in determining the percentage of bankroll per bet, if certain bet types deserve larger bankroll allotment, and how much of one’s bankroll to bet in a given night.

Make the bet tracking part of bankroll management simple, by downloading the Pikkit app. Pikkit is a bet-tracking app that automatically syncs to your sportsbooks and tracks your ROI, profit, and record for you. The app also allows a bettor to see the collective bankroll at your disposal amongst every book. Download the app today!