Responsible Bankroll Management

10 min read
Author
Sol Fayerman-Hansen
Sol Fayerman-Hansen
Editor-in-Chief
Fact checked by:
Paruyr Shahbazyan
Founder
Last Updated: May 27, 2024, 5:21 PM

The Importance of Responsible Bankroll Management

Responsible bankroll management is a cornerstone of successful sports betting. It involves the strategic allocation and preservation of funds specifically set aside for betting, enabling bettors to withstand the inherent volatility and uncertainties of sports betting. Effective bankroll management helps in:

  1. Minimizing Risks: It prevents bettors from risking more money than they can afford to lose, thereby protecting them from significant financial harm.
  2. Enhancing Betting Longevity: By managing funds wisely, bettors can ensure they have enough capital to continue betting over a longer period, even during losing streaks.
  3. Improving Decision Making: A well-managed bankroll encourages more rational and less emotionally driven betting decisions.
  4. Maximizing Profits: Through disciplined betting and proper fund allocation, bettors can optimize their chances of profitability in the long term.

 

Bankroll management is the compass that guides one through the unpredictable seas of chance, where wisdom prevails over impulse. 

Sol Fayerman-Hansen, Editor-in-Chief

Understanding Bankroll Management

Bankroll management in sportsbetting refers to the process of allocating and managing funds specifically set aside for betting. It encompasses strategies and practices that help bettors determine how much money to stake on each bet relative to the size of their overall bankroll. The key principles of bankroll management include setting a budget, choosing bet sizes wisely, and adjusting betting practices based on wins, losses, and overall betting goals.

 

Why is Bankroll Management Important?

  • Financial Sustainability: Effective bankroll management ensures that bettors can continue to participate in betting activities without jeopardizing their financial stability.
  • Risk Mitigation: It helps in spreading risk over a larger number of bets, reducing the impact of any single loss.
  • Emotional Control: By removing the stress of potentially losing large sums of money, bettors can make more rational, clear-headed decisions.
  •  
  • Performance Tracking: It aids in monitoring betting performance over time, enabling bettors to make data-driven adjustments to their strategies.
  • Long-Term Profitability: Good bankroll management is often the difference between consistently profitable bettors and those who frequently deplete their funds.

How to Choose the Size of Your Bankroll?

The first step in bankroll management is establishing the size of your bankroll, which is the total amount of money you allocate for sports betting. This amount should be money you can afford to lose without affecting your day-to-day life. There are several methods to determine this:

  1. Set a Fixed Sum: Decide on a fixed sum that you are comfortable with, considering it as an entertainment expense.
  2. Percentage of Savings: Allocate a small percentage of your savings towards betting.

Factors Influencing Bankroll Size

  1. Income: Your disposable income plays a significant role in determining how much you can comfortably allocate to sports betting without financial strain.
  2. Betting Goals: Are you betting for fun? Recreational bettors might opt for a smaller bankroll, while professionals might allocate a larger sum.
  3. Risk Tolerance: This is a personal factor. If you are more risk-averse, you might prefer a smaller bankroll to limit potential losses. Risk-takers might allocate more, seeking higher returns.

Recreation vs Professional Bettors

There are differences in how recreational bettors should manage their bankroll when comparing to professional bettors. Here are some of the main ones:

  1. Objectives: Recreational bettors typically engage in betting for entertainment and thus may be more flexible with their bankroll. In contrast, professional bettors treat their bankroll as an investment and adhere to stricter management strategies to ensure long-term profitability.
  2. Bet Sizing: Professionals often use a more systematic approach to determine bet sizes, such as a fixed percentage of their total bankroll. Recreational bettors may be more arbitrary in their bet sizing, often influenced by confidence in a particular bet or the desire for higher excitement.
  3. Risk Tolerance: Professional bettors usually have a lower risk tolerance, as their livelihood may depend on their betting performance. Recreational bettors may be willing to take higher risks for the potential of larger rewards.
  4. Adjustment Strategies: Professional bettors are more likely to adjust their betting strategies based on performance analytics and changes in their bankroll size. Recreational bettors may not follow a strict strategy and are more inclined to adjust based on intuition or recent outcomes.
  5. Tools and Resources: Professionals might use advanced tools and software for bankroll management, including AI-driven analytics. Recreational bettors typically rely on simpler methods or personal judgment.

Bet Unit Size and Allocation

A betting unit is a set percentage of your total bankroll, representing the standard amount you wager on any given bet. It’s a critical concept in bankroll management, providing a structured approach to betting. Here's how to determine it:

  1. Fixed Percentage Method: Most commonly, a betting unit is 1-5% of your total bankroll. For example, if your bankroll is $1,000 and you choose a 2% betting unit, each bet would be $20.
  2. Variable Percentage Method: Some bettors adjust the percentage based on their confidence or risk tolerance level. Higher confidence might lead to a slightly higher percentage, while lower confidence leads to a smaller bet.
  3. Conservative Approach: If you're new to betting or risk-averse, start at the lower end of the percentage range to protect your bankroll.

Tips for Separating Betting Funds from Personal Finances

  • Dedicated Betting Account: Open a separate bank account or e-wallet specifically for betting funds. This helps in avoiding the mixing of betting money with personal finances.
  • Budgeting: Treat your bankroll as part of your monthly budget, just like any other entertainment expense.
  • Financial Discipline: Never dip into personal savings or emergency funds for betting. If your bankroll depletes, refrain from betting until you can afford to replenish it responsibly.
  • Tracking Expenses: Keep a record of all deposits and withdrawals related to betting. This practice provides clarity on how much you are spending and earning through sports betting.
  • Use of Betting Tools: Employ betting apps or software that allows you to track your bankroll and betting history. Some platforms even offer features to set limits on your betting activity.
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Meet Our Authors

Paruyr Shahbazyan began his business career in 2000 as a private entrepreneur. Over thirteen years, he developed a deep understanding for business and leadership, laying a solid foundation for his professional journey.

In 2013, Paruyr stepped into the sports and betting industry as the founder and president of Bookmaker Rating. This online mass media platform, which he led until 2020, focused on providing in-depth analysis and insights in sports betting, earning a reputation for its quality content. 

Continuing his innovative approach in 2022, Paruyr co-founded Azuro, a decentralized betting protocol. This venture showcases his dedication to integrating advanced technology in the evolving landscape of sports betting. Through these diverse experiences, Paruyr has continuously influenced and shaped the betting industry, driving new trends and setting high standards.

 ExperienceYear
Engaged in private entrepreneurship2000-2013
Founder and President at Bookmaker Rating, an online platform focused on sports and betting2013-2020
Co-founder at Azuro, a decentralized betting protocol2022

"Innovation in sportsbetting comes from a deep understanding of both technology and the human element of sports." 

- Paruyr Shahbazyan, Founder, RG

 

Principles and Ethics

Paruyr Shahbazyan's core beliefs lie in the power of informed decision-making and integrity in the betting industry. He understands that the foundation of successful betting is not just about odds and predictions, but also about the trust and reliability of the information provided. Paruyr advocates for a betting environment where transparency and knowledge are paramount, ensuring that bettors are well-equipped with accurate data and insights.

Strategic Vision

Paruyr's vision is to revolutionize the sports betting industry through the integration of technology. He sees the future of betting as a blend of traditional sports knowledge with innovative tech solutions, like decentralized protocols, to enhance user experience and fairness. His aim is to create platforms that are not only user-friendly but also uphold the highest standards of ethical betting, contributing to a more responsible and enjoyable betting culture.

Future Perspectives

Looking towards the future, Paruyr envisions a betting landscape that is more inclusive, technologically advanced, and globally connected. He anticipates a significant shift towards more decentralized and transparent betting systems, driven by blockchain technology. Paruyr is committed to being at the forefront of this change, continuously exploring new possibilities and innovations that can redefine what it means to engage in sports betting in a digital world. His focus is on building systems that prioritize user empowerment, fairness, and the global growth of the sports betting community.

 

Sol Fayerman-Hansen
Sol Fayerman-Hansen
Editor-in-Chief

Sol's interest in sports was sparked at a young age, inspired by athletes such as Barry Sanders, Michael Jordan, and Wayne Gretzky. This early fascination evolved into a deep-seated passion, guiding him toward a career in sports journalism in 2007. Over the years, Sol has contributed thousands of articles and reviews to dozens of online platforms, sharing his research, knowledge, and perspectives.

“In the world of sports betting, truth is more valuable than any bonus offer.”

ExperienceYear
Content Manager, OnlineCasinoReports2012-2021
Sports Journalist, Dottraffic2009-2011
Content Writer, HouseTech2007-2009
Cristina Varela Galan
Cristina Varela Galan
Problem Gambling Expert

Cristina used to work as a Psychology Assistant in the Bizkaia Pathological and Risky Gamblers Association. She was also part of a research team in Deusto University, specializing in pathological gambling area. While working there, she managed to develop her own project 

 “Exploring the association between emotional regulation, alexithymia, stressful life events and gambling in adolescent and young adult women”.

Nick Ashbourne
Nick Ashbourne
Senior Writer

Nick has been fascinated with sports since he was first taken to a Toronto Maple Leafs game back in 1998, and he's written about them professionally since 2014.

Nick has covered baseball and hockey for outlets like The Athletic, Sportsnet, and Yahoo Sports, and his sports betting expertise has grown since its legalization in Ontario in 2022. 

Between 2022 and 2023 he worked for a betting startup called NorthStar Bets, and in 2024 he contributed to Oddspedia before joining the Responsible Gambling team.

Anna Kravtcova
Anna Kravtcova
Problem Gambling Expert

Ph.D. in organizational psychology, an internationally certified psychologist (EuroPsy 2022, Cognitive behavioural therapy of mindfulness 2020, International Society for Emotional Intelligence 2017, Russian Psychological society 2014, American Psychological Association(Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologist) 2011), speaker of many international conferences (USA, Brazil, Portugal, Czech Republic, Russia, etc.). TEDx speaker.

Mike made the decision to dive headfirst into the booming world of sports betting fresh out of college. Back in the day, when 1-800 pick lines and sports pagers were all the rage, he couldn't resist the allure, having grown up idolizing sports legends like Sweetness, MJ, and Slammin Sammy. Mike dedicated his early years to the industry, tirelessly analyzing games, writing articles with free picks, and selling his expertise on reputable handicapping sites. Unlike many others, Mike was known for his integrity and only released one Game of the Year per sport, per season. His hard work and unwavering commitment paid off, earning him a devoted following and propelling his career to new heights. Then came the explosion of Daily Fantasy Sports. Believe it or not, companies like DraftKings and FanDuel used to pay Mike's company to increase their brand exposure. Now, those same industry giants don't even bother responding to his emails. While Mike appreciates the convenience of being able to place legal bets in his own backyard, he can't help but feel disheartened by what has become of the industry. People are being led astray, falsely believing that a mere $5 wager on a 20-team same-game-parlay will be their ticket to financial security. If there’s one thing Mike learned from making book back in the day, it’s that parlays are a bookie’s best friend. A bankroll is the only leg you have to stand on in the battle with the books, and Mike’s here to offer up advice on how to protect it.

Mark Medina
Mark Medina
NBA Reporter

Mark Medina is a longtime NBA reporter that includes stints as a Lakers blogger with The Los Angeles Times (2010-12), Lakers beat writer with the Los Angeles Daily News (2012-17), Warriors beat writer with Bay Area News Group (2017-19) as well as an NBA reporter/columnist for USA Today (2019-21) and NBA.com (2021-23). Medina is also an NBA insider with Fox Sports Radio and frequent contributor to CBSLA's SportsCentralLA with Jim Hill and with Spectrum Sportsnet.

Daria Tuboltseva
Daria Tuboltseva
Hockey Journalist

Daria went to St. Petersburg State University and earned a bachelor of international journalism. Working as a sports journalist from 2014, from 2016 as a hockey journalist. Covered 5 World Championships, 2022 Winter Olympics, 2020 World Juniors, 6 Gagarin Cup Finals. 

Owner of a telegram channel Coolest Game on Earth.

Integrative nutritionist specializing on sports nutritionology.