The Importance of Bankroll Management in Sports Betting

If you want to be a professional sports bettor, then you have to take your bankroll management seriously. Here are a few strategies and tips to help you elevate your bankroll.
The Importance of Bankroll Management in Sports Betting

In the dynamic and unpredictable sports betting industry, mastering the art of bankroll management is as crucial as understanding the sports themselves. 

Sure, most new sports bettors focus solely on making the correct picks. But the pros? They manage their bankroll as closely as they watch the games.

While it may seem like a daunting challenge, it’s pretty simple. We’ve slapped together a few of our best tips for prioritizing your bankroll to keep your betting funds going further.

The Cornerstone of Sports Betting: Understanding Bankroll Management

As we mentioned, the pros do it, but do you? Bankroll management should be the foundation of your sports betting strategy.

What is Bankroll Management?

Bankroll management is the systematic process of allocating and managing your betting funds. 

It’s about making informed decisions on how much to wager on each bet relative to your total available funds, ensuring that you remain in the game longer and minimizing the risk of losing your entire bankroll.

This is not only an excellent way to win more, but it’s also a smart way to gamble responsibly and not go broke.

Why is Bankroll Management Important?

For the most part, there are a few reasons bankroll management is essential to your strategy—

  • Risk mitigation. It helps in reducing the risk of significant losses.
  • Longevity in betting. Ensures you have enough funds to continue betting over a more extended period.
  • Emotional control. Prevents the rollercoaster of emotions that can lead to impulsive and poor betting decisions.
  • Strategic betting. Encourages a more analytical and less emotional approach to placing bets

These are some of the reasons our experts manage their bankrolls the way they do. Our sports betting writers have been placing bets on teams and players for years and have their bankroll down to a science.

Effective Bankroll Management Strategies

Convinced yet? If you’re ready to supercharge your bankroll, here are some of the best strategies you can employ—

  • Set a Budget. Always start with a clear budget. This is the amount of money you are comfortable losing without it affecting your daily life.
  • Unit size calculation. Your bets should be a small percentage of your total bankroll, typically between 1-5%. This strategy helps in minimizing the impact of a losing streak.
  • Flat betting approach. Bet the same amount (or unit) on every wager, regardless of your confidence level. This disciplined approach ensures consistency and risk control.
  • The Kelly Criterion. A more advanced method where the bet size is adjusted based on the perceived edge and odds. It’s a formula that calculates the optimal bet size to maximize bankroll growth.
  • Record keeping. Track all your bets, wins, and losses. This helps manage your bankroll, identify betting patterns, and make informed adjustments.

Using one or more of these strategies will get you on track. 

Tips for Successful Bankroll Management

When we asked our experts what their best tips were, these are what they came up with—

  • Avoid chasing losses. It’s crucial to avoid the temptation to increase your bet size to recoup previous losses quickly. Stick to your strategy.
  • Adjust with success. If your bankroll grows, adjust your unit size accordingly, but do so gradually. Don’t make a massive jump from 4% per bet slip to 20% of your bet slip overnight.
  • Stay disciplined. Discipline is key in bankroll management. Don’t let emotions dictate your betting size. This is the #1 pitfall of sports bettors that fail out.
  • Understand the odds. Having a solid understanding of how odds work will help you make better betting decisions. This might seem obvious, but what seems like a bad bet to some will be a solid bet to those who know the odds.
  • Diversify bets. Don’t put all your money on one type of bet. Diversifying helps in balancing the risks. It’s a lot like the stock market in this sense.
  • Leverage the bonus. Many sportsbooks give welcome bonuses. Use this bonus wisely to boost your bankroll and give you some additional padding.

We only want you to be the best sports bettor you can be. It’s all of us vs. the house. So take these tips, internalize them, and use them to maximize your bankroll.

A Rule of Thumb in Bankroll Management

When it comes to sports betting, one piece of advice that’s like a North Star guiding your wagering journey is the 5% rule. 

What’s that, you ask? Well, it’s pretty simple but essential.

The 5% Rule: Never bet more than 5% of your bankroll on a single bet.

Now, sometimes you might hear a bracket of 3% to 5%, and that’s perfectly acceptible. It all depends on your risk tolerance. The idea behind this rule is to protect your bankroll from taking a devastating hit in case your luck takes a turn for the worse.

Let’s put this into perspective with a real-world example. 

Say you’ve got $1,000 in your sports betting bankroll. According to the 5% rule, the maximum you should wager on any single bet is $50 (5% of $1,000).

Here’s why it’s golden — This limit ensures that you’ll always have enough opportunities to bounce back from losses. You won’t blow your entire bankroll even if you hit a rough patch and lose a few bets. 

And when the tide turns in your favor, and you start winning, you’ll be in a better position to capitalize on those winning streaks.

Manage Your Bankroll Like a Pro Sports Bettor

Effective bankroll management is the foundation of successful sports betting. 

By implementing these strategies and maintaining discipline, bettors can enhance their betting experience, minimize risks, and increase their chances of long-term success. 

After all, that’s what it’s all about. You might have a good day here or there, but there will be bad days. You want to keep your bankroll afloat so you can get back on track after a bad day of betting.


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.