Bankroll Management in Sports Betting

Updated May 23, 2024By Chris Boline

Although Bankroll Management is a relatively new word in sports betting, people have been doing it for a long time. There are a number of practices that we can put under Bankroll Management, but basically, it is just how to bet smart. 

Bankroll Management in Sports Betting

Let’s go over the concept, how to get started with Bankroll Management, and some of the best strategies and routines available.  

Why Start Bankroll for Sports Betting

While every sharp will have developed their own strategies for managing their betting money, it is never too early to get started. The earlier you develop a concrete strategy, the more you can monitor and fine-tune it. 

About nine out of every 10 players have no Bankroll Management strategy. Give yourself a leg-up on the competition by developing one. 

It is not a good idea to hope that you will win a big bet one day to finally put you in black. This may happen, but it is much better to rely on strategies and routines, rather than the metaphorical roll of the die. 

When you start managing your bankroll, you can also be sure that you will stay within budget. Developing these routines means knowing the maximum amount you will be spending. 

With so many good reasons to develop a Bankroll Management strategy, it’s no wonder sports bettors are getting in on this trend. The only question is how to get started. 

How Start Bankroll for Sports Betting

Getting started with Bankroll Management in sports betting is easier than it may seem at first. It’s a matter of reviewing your budget, a few options for strategy and routine, and making a decision.

Do not stress too much about this initial decision! Once you get started, the next step is to re-evaluate. In other words, this is not a permanent decision. Think of it as a test-run. 

So the first step is to decide what your budget for sports betting is. This is the base of what you can do. It is the bankroll you will manage. 

From there, ask yourself if you work best with routines or strategies. 

Bankroll Management Routines for Sports Betting

Routines are great for a number of reasons. You are guaranteed to stay within budget. You will learn to bet with a cool head, and not let your heart rate get the best of you. 

Plus, they are the easiest to evaluate. Because the rules are so strict, it is easy to see changes you make. 

bankroll management illustration
Bankroll Management

There are two main routines to choose from: Unit-based, or percentage-based

Unit-Based Bankroll Management

This is the easiest Bankroll Management technique for beginners. It’s straightforward, and will let you keep a clear eye on what happens with your money.  The idea is that the potential reward is always the same. 

  • The idea here is for you to pick your own unit. This can be any amount you want! $1, $10, $25, $100, etc. 
  • A common misunderstanding is that you would risk this same amount on each wager. Actually, the unit approach is the reward. 
  • In other words, if the odds are higher, you would risk less than your unit. If the odds are more in your favor, you’d wager more.

Bankroll Porcentage Approach

Another approach to Bankroll Management in sports betting is the percentage approach. This requires a little more planning.

That’s because how much you bet is a percentage of the funds left in your account. So you should decide how much to put into your account with this in mind. 


If these strict rules don’t give you the breathing room you seek, then we recommend a Bankroll Management strategy. Having a strategy, rather than a routine, means finding your own way with a little more freedom.

The downfall is that it makes the evaluation stage a little more difficult. 

Safe Betting Bankroll Management

In this bankroll strategy, you focus on making safe, conservative bets. This conservative strategy is the favorite of lots of the most famous bettors, such as Stu Ungar.

Safe bets are great for newcomers, but there is no reason to abandon this strategy necessarily with more experience. Many have made whole betting careers on this strategy. If you’re a newcomer, we recommend signing up at smooth and trusted sites like Bovada.

We recommend making bets that have a little bit of risk. If the bets are too safe, the profit margins will be too small to make a profit.

You can combine safe bets with a conservative percentage or unit approach as well  

Longshot Bankroll Management

Longshots are when you bet on the underdog, or outside in any given contest. You can bet on the slow horse, or the slower soccer team. 

Longshot bets should not be a base in your Bankroll Management. However, once you start to understand the base of your sports betting Bankroll Management more, you can start to add these types of bets.

We recommend making safer bets the bedrock of your strategy. Once you get that under control, you can add in regular longshot bets. The more regular you make these types of bets, the easier you will be able to evaluate its effect.

When you start to add these in, don’t change other things at the same time. This way you can see how it affects your bottom line and adjust your Bankroll Management accordingly.

Evaluating Your Bankroll

How exactly do you monitor and evaluate your Bankroll Management strategy

The first step is surprisingly easy: Just sign in, and look at your numbers.

Conclusion: Bankroll Management Your Sports Betting

Whatever your strategy or your method of evaluation, the most important is starting bankroll for sports betting. 

The earlier you get started, the sooner you will gain laser control over your bankroll and your sports betting.

Your strategy and routine will evolve. And only you can decide what’s best for you. What we know is that Bankroll Management is key to being the best online sports bettor possible. 

Our Takeaways

Bankroll Management in Sports Betting

Boxing betting experts

Our team of experts knows how to bet on boxing. We know what matters when it comes to online boxing betting. We have leveraged that expertise to bring you the best boxing sites on the internet.

Clear scoring

By taking a systematic approach, we can objectively compare the boxing sites side-by-side. We measure welcome bonus, analyze site design, and contact customer support. That way we are sure to only recommend the best boxing betting sites.

Knock-out sites

We are confident in our picks. After comparing rollover bonuses, special promotions, and market size, among other aspects of the boxing betting sites, we are certain about our favorite boxing betting sites.

About the Author

Chris Boline
Chris Boline

As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football and basketball across the country. Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones. CURRENTLY Business Development and freelance sports writing RESIDES IN Reno, NV EDUCATION University of Nevada BS and MBA EXPERTISE -Sports writing proficiency in: NFL, NBA, UFC, boxing, golf, and some motor sports -Topical news -Promotional and marketing ideas/updates -Business development Summary Chris Boline serves in a business development sales capacity as his day job. He has previously held sales/marketing positions with The Applied Companies (TAC), KTVN 2 News and the NBA G League’s Reno Bighorns, affiliate of the Sacramento Kings. He is a Reno native and is a member of various community boards including the Nevada Sagebrush Alumni Chapter, NCET and the College of Business Alumni Association (COBAA). Chris graduated from the University of Nevada in 2015 with a bachelors in management and economics and also earned his MBA from Nevada in 2023. More about Chris: Past president of the College of Business Alumni Association (COBAA) 2022-23 Two-time honoree for University of Nevada Alumni Chapter of the Year (Nevada Sagebrush Alumni Chapter, 2017 & COBAA, 2021) 2021 NCET award for Professional Services Organization of the Year with TAC Northern Nevada Human Resources Association 2020 Best Places to Work-Northern Nevada, Second Place with TAC 2016-17 Reno Bighorns MVP from the Sacramento Kings The Nevada Sagebrush editor-in-chief 2013-15 Associated Collegiate Press 2015 Four-year Non-daily Newspaper Pacemaker honoree University of Nevada, Reno College of Business Dean's List honoree (5x) from 2011-2015 Nevada Press Association award for Best Sports Column – Community in 2015 Education

Read Chris's Profile

Ask Chris about this guide:

Email Twitter