5 Sports Betting Bankroll Tips

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Bankroll management is not the sexiest topic, but an important one when spending real money. Here’s 5 tips.


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Just like any other sort of gambling, bankroll management and strategy is a less sexy, but important and necessary aspect of your gambling experience. It may be exciting for some to make a big wager on a single game’s outcome, but you’re effectively putting all your eggs in one basket.

Just as a Blackjack player may buy in for a certain number of hands so they can ride some of the ups and downs, and slot players will put in a machine enough for a certain number of spins to have a better chance of reaching the bonus, experts tend to advise that Sports Bettors do the same so they can have more attempts to have some winning outcomes.

1. Establish a Bankroll

First off, it’s important to establish a bankroll. How much money are you willing to invest in sports betting for the various bets you wish to place? Whether it be $100 or $10,000, you should set a number you are comfortable with.

That number should be from your entertainment budget – it’s never advisable in any form of gambling to bet money you need to rely upon to sustain yourself, whether it be food, rent, or something else that’s equally critical. Only play what you can afford to lose, and take a break if you find yourself not having fun.

2. Take Advantage of Offers

Sports betting, like other forms of wagering, can sometimes deliver offers. Most prominent is the new player offers that sportsbooks will offer for those who have not played before. 

With competition pretty fierce, and new states regularly establishing sports betting, these bonuses, especially for new players and at this moment in time, can be significant, and players should always maximize the benefit they can derive from these offers, just like any other betting offer.

If you’re not sure how sports betting offers work, we’ve got a page in this guide that will cover many players’ questions on the topic.

3. Don’t Spend More than 5% of Your Bankroll on a Single Bet

Most sports bettors aren’t planning on making just one bet, and you want to spread your bets across multiple options, as some bets will win and some will lose. Just like it’s not a great idea to “put it all on black in roulette” and have one shot to win or lose, a similar strategy is not advisable with sports betting.

Instead, most experts recommend that a sports bet not be more than 1-5% of your established bankroll. So, if you’re going to put $100 to sports bets, going with a $1-5 bet is your best strategy.

Now, for some, that might not be particularly exciting, and they might want to bet more for a bigger payout. But the flipside is if that bet loses, that’s a good chunk of the money you have set aside for sports betting that you’ve now lost, making it even harder to break through rough periods where your bets aren’t panning out.

4. Avoid Too Many Long-Shot Bets, Like Parlays

Parlays and other long shot bets can be attractive for their larger payouts against a smaller bet, but the reason those larger payouts exist is the odds of being paid them are lower.

In the case of bets like Parlays, you can also get worse odds than if you simply bet each leg separately. The casino advantage stacks up on those legs being put on top of each other, so they’ll make more off of you if all three legs are successful vs. if you made three individual bets. And of course if you get a leg wrong, the parlay is completely gone whereas your individual bets may have some winners in the stack.

5. Be Willing to Shop Around

Shopping around can be helpful to your long-term bankroll in a couple of ways. One can simply have better offers for playing on one site vs. another, which can be helpful for getting ahead when those offers can be successfully leveraged. 

But sometimes odds will differ between sportsbooks, and if you have access to multiple options via mobile apps, you could simply get better odds for the same wager on one sports book vs. another. 

Yes, it’s more work, but similar to checking the rules of Blackjack for the ones that are more player friendly, or a better video poker paytable, being a smarter gambler can have important long term benefits for you as a player.


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