Chapter 3 – Betting basics

Part 1 – Money Management for Sports Betting Success

What is the single most important factor that separates long-term winners from losers? If you gave one of the common answers, like luck or game knowledge, you are incorrect. The answer is money management. Sure, luck helps and knowledge of the game you are playing is a must. However, unless you learn to manage your money properly, you are destined to fail. Money management does not simply mean that you are playing within your limits. It goes way beyond that.

The problem most gamblers have is they fail to look at sports betting as an investment when in fact it is just that. Remember that old saying “it is not a sprint, it’s a marathon”. This applies perfectly to sports betting. Sports betting is a grind, do not expect to make a killing overnight. Your results should not be measured daily or monthly. Instead, take your time, stay focused and practice self-control. Sports wagering can be one of the most lucrative investments available if you read this article and follow the simple rules.

What is money management

In layman’s terms, money management simply is about keeping track of and managing your betting finances. It is similar to making a personal budget and considering whether you can afford something or not.

Implementing a sensible money management approach will help your psychology withstand losing streaks. As you should always adjust your bet stake size in relation to the size of your bankroll, which will help removing any emotional effect on the outcome of the bet.

Money management will also protect your bankroll. We always wished we had put more money on a winning bet and that we had not put any money on a losing bet. Bankroll protection can be described as the middle ground as your stakes are fixed within a percentage range of your bankroll.

What is a bankroll

A bankroll normally refers to the amount of money someone has set aside to use for online gambling.

This can mean several things – in a casino, it can for example mean how much money the player has brought with them that night, or for more professional online players, all of the money they have in total to play with.

Bankroll Size

First and foremost, you need to establish your gambling bankroll. Your gambling bankroll should consist of the money you have set aside to risk on your sports betting. Your bankroll should not include money used to pay your mortgage and bills. Actually, it would be best if you have a separate online account, like a Neteller account, so you can keep your gambling and living finances separate to avoid any confusion or mishaps.

The first thing you need to do is establish a starting bankroll for your sports betting, and then decide how much you will be betting on each particular game. Your bankroll should always determine your betting size, and the size of your bets should correlate with the size of your current bankroll.

The simplest approach is to decide on an amount you are willing to lose and then make a staking plan afterwards. If needed you could then add to your bankroll on a monthly basis with an amount of money that is within your comfort zone. 

Another approach is to decide how much how much you would like stake per bet and then create a bankroll to match the stake. For long term success it is recommended to stake 2% of your bankroll per bet.

What this means is that if you start with a bankroll of €1000 your first bet would be for €20, or 2% of your bankroll.  Why 2% you may ask?  By betting 2% you will have nearly no chance of losing your entire bankroll during a losing streak, because as your bankroll decreases, a 2% bet will also get smaller as well.  When things turn around and you go on a hot streak, and your bankroll grows to more than your initial €1000, you get to increase your bet size, simply by being disciplined and sticking with the 2% flat rate of bankroll system.  Below you can see what 2% of different bankrolls looks like.

% of bankroll   Initial Bankroll (€) Bet size (€)
2 100 2
2 500 10
2 750 15
2 1000 20
2 5000 100
2 10000 200

Now you can see that if you are the type of person who feels comfortable betting €20 a game, you should start with a bankroll of €1000.  You need to stick with the staking plan to minimise your losses during cold streak and maximize your profits during a hot streak.

Staking plan for betting profit

As mentioned above your staking plan should match you bankroll as you could otherwise lose your entire bankroll during a losing streak.

Once you have decided on your bankroll size, you can decide what you want your betting size to be. You should almost never wager more than 5% of your bankroll on any one game. Simply because in sports wagering there is no “sure thing”. There are too many variables in any game to be able to control which way the ball will bounce and if the game will end in your favour. Just think how often the underdog end up as the winner.

Your daily bets should be in the 1-5% range of your current bankroll. We say “current bankroll” because every bettor will have some winning streaks and some losing streaks throughout the course of the year. So the “current bankroll” may have increased or decreased according to results of your bets throughout the year. It doesn’t matter who you are, you will have some losing streaks throughout the year. By keeping your daily bets in the 2-4% range of your current bankroll you will eliminate the chance to lose your entire bankroll on one losing streak.

It is recommended to have three betting sizes.

  • Maximum bet, which can be 5% of your bankroll. Naturally you must be very certain about this bet. To place a €50 bet you need a bankroll of €1000
  • Medium bet, which can be 2,5% of your bankroll
  • Small bet, which can be 1% of your bankroll

This staking plan not only protects your bankroll, it also stops you from over-staking as you will always be able to work out what your stake should be in relation to your available betting balance.

However, the most important thing is to not stake beyond your comfort level. Hence, even if you have a bankroll is €1000, does not mean you have to bet €50 if you do not feel comfortable with that amount.

Keep an eye on the ROI

But if my bankroll is €100 I will maximum bet €5 on a game! Yes, a realistic staking plan can be frustrating if you like placing larger bets but can’t put aside a bankroll to support the desired staking size.

Focus on the Return of Investment (ROI) rather than the monetary value of your profit. If you can’t sustain a positive ROI when staking small then you can’t be profitable when you stake larger amounts either. By focusing on the ROI you learn betting discipline, which is crucial to for long-term betting profit.

Part 2 – When the fun stops, STOP

Gambling addiction

It can happen to anyone. Gambling addiction knows no borders and can happen to anyone regardless of social background, income and age. Gambling addiction is when your gambling changes from being a fun and harmless distraction or hobby to an unhealthy obsession. If not addressed in time, the consequences of a gambling addiction can be devastating both to the person with the addiction but also to surrounding friends and family. Ultimately it can destroy relationships, interfere with work and lead to serious financial problems.  

Gambling addiction or compulsive gambling is an impulse control disorder. If you are a compulsive gambler, you can’t control the impulse to gamble, even when it has negative consequences for you or people you love or care about. You’ll gamble regardless of the consequences—even when you know that the odds are against you or you can’t afford to lose.

It is important to know that you can have a gambling problem without having suffered large loses or destroyed relationships. Problem gambling is any gambling behaviour that disrupts your life. If you are preoccupied with gambling, spend more and more time and money on it, chase losses, or gamble despite serious consequences, you most likely have a gambling problem.

But even if may feel out of control and unable to stop gambling, there ARE ways to overcome the problem and repair damages and regain control.

Below you will find tips to stay in control and avoid the gambling trap.

Always  seek help before it is too late. There is website where you can seek help with a free phone number 0800 – 1 37 27 00 you can call.

Gambling addiction signs and symptoms

Gambling addiction is sometimes referred to as a “hidden illness” because there are no obvious physical signs or symptoms like there are in drug or alcohol addiction. Problem gamblers also typically deny or minimise the problem—even to themselves.

You may have a gambling problem if you:

Feel the need to be secretive about your gambling. You might gamble in secret or lie about how much you gamble, feeling others won’t understand or that you will surprise them with a big win.

Have trouble controlling your gambling. Once you start gambling, can you walk away? Or are you compelled to gamble until you’ve spent your last Euro, upping your bets in a bid to win lost money back?

Gamble even when you don’t have the money. You may gamble until you’ve spent your last cent, and then move on to money you don’t have—money to pay bills, credit cards, or things for your children. You may feel pushed to borrow, sell, or even steal things for gambling money.

Have family and friends worried about you. Denial keeps problem gambling going. If friends and family are worried, listen to them carefully. It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. Many older gamblers are reluctant to reach out to their adult children if they’ve gambled away their inheritance, but it’s never too late to make changes for the better.


Don’t lose track of the value of money

If you are fortunate enough to go on a winning streak, it is very easy to get caught up or lose track of the value of money. Online bookmakers and casinos are designed to make people gamble. You may start thinking to yourself “I’ll just have a few more spins on the roulette” or “this is a safe bet”. Let’s make one thing clear – there is no such thing as a safe bet or any guarantee that your next roulette spin will win just because you lost the last one.

Part 3 – Gambler’s fallacy

A common mistake amongst gamblers is the gambler’s fallacy. Gambler’s fallacy is the mistaken belief that, if something happens more frequently than normal during a period of time, it will happen less frequently in the future. Or that, if something happens less frequently than normal during some period, it will happen more frequently in the future (presumably as a means of balancing nature). The gambler’s fallacy is best shown by an example of a coin toss. The probability of getting heads in a single toss is exactly ½ (one in two) or 50%. Now suppose that we have just tossed four heads in a row. If the next coin toss were also to come up heads, it would complete a run of five successive heads. The probability of a run of five successive heads is only 1/32 (one in thirty-two) or 3%. A person subject to the gambler’s fallacy might believe that this next flip was less likely to be heads than to be tails. However, this is not correct. This is a manifestation of the gambler’s fallacy; the event of 5 heads in a row and the event of “first 4 heads, then a tail” are equally likely, each having probability 1/32. Given that the first four tosses turn up heads, the probability that the next toss is a head is in fact, ½ (one in two) or 50%.

Part 4 – How to stay in control of your gambling

  • Set your limits at the start
  • Only bet what you can afford
  • Never chase losses
  • Don’t bet if you’re (getting) angry
  • Never bet when you are tipsy or drunk
  • Never put betting before friends or family

Here are a few tips to avoid falling into the gambling trap.

  • Take a break- leave your betting business for a few days.
  • Focus on your next goal – for example saving up to a family holiday
  • Remember how bad you feel when you lose. Especially if it means the family cannot go on holiday or you can’t spend the money on whatever you were saving up for
  • Withdraw your money from the Bookmaker account or at least the majority of it. You are less likely to gamble if you have to deposit more money first
  • Stop doing offers that are likely to be tempted to gamble e.g. casino offers
  • Avoid gambling due to boredom – find a replacement activity you like
  • Speak to your better half or a family member about it. Placing some bets  is a positive hobby to have. It shows you are cautious, smart and that you are earning money from your sofa – something many people are jealous of. Gambling however is dangerous and you will receive help the moment you mention it to people closest to you.
  • Do not ever think that because you have just lost money, at the next bet you will win it back. It is unlikely to happen and you risk losing even more.
  • Seek help before it is too late

Seek help before it is too late

If you have tried all of the above and still find that you cannot control your gambling urges please stop betting and seek help. There is website where you can seek help with a free phone number 0800 – 1 37 27 00 you can call.

Chapter 4