Creating a Personalized Betting Strategy Based on Risk Tolerance

Sports betting and even gambling in general is all about risk. What's your risk tolerance? We've put together a guide to help you place bets that align with your risk appetite.
Creating a Personalized Betting Strategy Based on Risk Tolerance

As a sports bettor, understanding and managing risk tolerance is crucial for safeguarding your bankroll and enhancing your betting experience. 

This is the crossroads where finance meets sports betting, and we’ll be digging into how to craft a strategy that resonates with your personal risk profile.

Understanding Risk Tolerance in Sports Betting

Risk tolerance in sports betting is a measure of how much risk you are willing to take in pursuit of potential rewards. Sports betting boils down to how much you’re ready to put on the line.

It’s a personal attribute that varies significantly from one bettor to another. There’s no right or wrong way to go about this.

Some thrive on high-risk, high-reward bets, while others prefer a more cautious approach, seeking smaller but more consistent wins.

Factors Influencing Risk Tolerance

While everyone is different when it comes to their appetite for risk, there are some factors that affect how risk-tolerant or risk-averse we are.

  • Financial stability. Your overall financial health can significantly impact how much risk you’re comfortable taking.
  • Experience. Veteran bettors might be more open to taking risks compared to novices. This is not a hard and fast rule. We’ve seen plenty of novice bettors get in over their heads.
  • Personality. Some individuals are naturally more inclined to take risks.
  • Betting goals. Whether you’re betting for fun or as a serious investment can influence your risk tolerance.

Of course, other things may influence the level of risk you’re willing to take on, but that’s the bulk of them.

Crafting Your Betting Strategy

So, what does all of this come down to? What is the “so what” or risk tolerance?

It’s all about developing a sports betting strategy that will work with you.

To create a betting strategy that aligns with your risk tolerance, consider the following steps—

  • Assess your financial position. Start by evaluating your financial health. How much can you afford to lose without it impacting your daily life? This is your betting bankroll and easily the most important step of them all.
  • Define your betting goals. Are you betting for entertainment or as a form of investment? Your goals will dictate how aggressively you pursue wins. You have to be more specific than just “get rich.”
  • Educate yourself. Knowledge is power. Understanding betting odds, sports markets, and betting types can help you make informed decisions.
  • Diversify your bets. Just like in investing, diversification can help manage risk. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  • Use a staking plan. Decide on how much you will wager on each bet relative to your bankroll. A common approach is to risk a small percentage of your bankroll on each bet. We always recommend to new bettors to keep it between 3-5% of your bankroll.
  • Monitor and adjust. Regularly review your betting strategy. Are you comfortable with your wins and losses? If not, it might be time to change your approach.

The heart of this strategy is the staking plan. If you’re a little more risk averse, you might keep your percentage closer to 3%, but someone who is more risk tolerant might be a bit higher or closer to 10%.

Real-World Examples

What does this all look like in the real world? We’ve put together two personas that signify two different ends of the spectrum when it comes to risk.

  • The Cautious Bettor. Alex, a cautious bettor with a small bankroll, prefers betting on low odds, which might offer smaller payouts but come with a higher chance of winning. He has a starting bankroll of $500 and intends to stake his bets at 3% and focus more on moneylines and spreads. That means any single bet he places will be no more than $15. Even if he loses repeatedly, he can continue to bet and keep himself in the game.
  • The Cowboy. Jordan, a more experienced bettor with a larger bankroll, allocates a portion of his bankroll to high-risk bets for the chance of significant payouts, balancing it with safer bets. He has a bankroll of $10,000 and set his bets at no more than 10%. A little riskier, but they pay out more. He’s also exploring other bets, such as live betting and parlays.

Those are two of the more extreme bettors we see. You might fall somewhere in between.

Actionable Tips to Manage Your Risk

We always recommend new sports bettors develop a strategy before they jump into gambling. Treat it as a profession, not a one-off hobby, and you stand a better chance of making money in the long run.

So, with that, we’ve put together a few expert tips to help you develop your strategy and hopefully keep you in the game.

  • Set stop-loss limits. Determine a point where you’ll stop betting if you’re on a losing streak. It helps prevent emotional betting.
  • Avoid chasing losses. It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to win back what you’ve lost, often leading to riskier bets. That’s why we have a staking plan in place.
  • Stay informed. Keep up with the latest sports news, team forms, and player injuries. Information is key in sports betting.
  • Practice discipline. Stick to your strategy; don’t let emotions guide your betting decisions. If you are staking 5%, then stick to it.
  • Explore different markets. Sometimes, lesser-known markets can offer better value for your bets.

Remember, a plan is only as good as long as you adhere to it. All bets are off once you break away and start doing something different.

Create a Strategy That Works For You

Creating a personalized betting strategy based on your risk tolerance is an art that balances financial wisdom with sports acumen. 

It’s about knowing yourself, understanding the sports betting landscape, and making informed, disciplined decisions. 

Create your strategy, stick to it, and you’ll be more successful in sports betting over the long run.


Matt Brown

Head of Sports Betting and DFS

Matt’s love for sports betting and daily fantasy sports, coupled with a deep understanding of football, hockey, and baseball, shapes his innovative thoughts on Hello Rookie. He has a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and a M.S. in Project Management.