Anyone who is even the least bit serious about their sports betting should have a dedicated bankroll for sports betting only. This bankroll shouldn’t just be separated from your everyday budget; it should be separated from any other type of gambling as well. It will be very difficult for you to see how your sports betting is going and improve your tactics if your bankroll is bleeding money at the roulette table or is going through huge swings because you keep a joint bankroll for sports betting and poker, etcetera.
Start building a bankroll
If you want to be a serious sports bettor, a good way to start is to have a certain percentage or fixed amount of your pay check transferred into a separate sports betting bankroll each payday. This is now your bankroll for sports betting and the money is no longer a part of your everyday budget. You shouldn’t refill the bankroll with extra cash from your normal budget and you shouldn’t withdraw money from your bankroll to fund anything that isn’t sports betting.
An essential part of successful money management for punters is to be very selective when it comes to betting. People who are simply looking for a fun day at the race track or wish to add some extra excitement to a game of football will bet willy nilly. A serious punter on the other hand will only bet when there is sufficient value. You must be patient and have the ability to wait until you find the right opportunity for you. Also, you must be willing to actively go looking for these opportunities rather than simply bet on whatever event that is considered “hot” right now.
Many times, the difference between a punter that makes a long-term profit and a punter that makes a long-term loss is not what they bet on but what they don’t bet on.
Withdrawals should be decided in advance
Of course, the ultimate goal for most sports bettors is to be so successful that profits from sports betting can be used to attain a higher standard of living, but this stage should come later, when you have reached a level where you are consistently making a long-term profit from sports betting. If you withdraw money from your sports betting bankroll each time you make a nice win, there won’t be enough in there to sustain you through rough patches when your losses are greater than your wins.
Another risk associated with withdrawing money from your betting bankroll is psychological. If you withdraw money from your bankroll to pay for living expenses in May, you might be more prone to gamble with money reserved for living expenses in June. The lines between your betting money and your personal expenses will be blurred, and this can be a slippery slope to problematic gambling where you bet money that you can’t afford to lose. With a dedicated sports betting bankroll that’s not mixed with the rest of your economy, you won’t face any serious consequences even if you lose the entire bankroll.
When you start funding your betting bankroll, you should set up strict rules for yourself about when it’s time to allow a withdrawal from the bankroll. How large must the bankroll have become before you make a withdrawal, and how large is that withdrawal allowed to be?
Do not treat your betting bankroll as an emergency fund to pay for unforeseen private expenses. You need a separate emergency account for this. If you have so little disposable income that you can’t create a separate emergency fund for yourself, than you should halt your betting. Build up an emergency fund first, and then start building your betting bankroll. As explained above, blending your betting bankroll with your personal economy is not recommended.
Having a dedicated bankroll can improve your decision making
A dedicated betting bankroll will make it easier for you to make rational betting decisions. You will be less governed by fear and other emotions, since the money is just a tool that you have dedicated to betting. You are not betting money that could be used for something else. Once the money is deposited into you bankroll, it is betting money. You are spending money on a hobby. Yes, it is a hobby that might become profitable for you in the long run, but it is still a hobby and not something that must yield a profit today to put food on your table.
One of the great things about consistently building up a bankroll is that it will be possible for you to make increasingly large and/or risky wagers without risking your personal finances. You can develop your skill set and gradually branch out into new areas, since you have the means to do so.
Another advantage with a dedicated betting bankroll is that you become much less likely to fall into the trap of “chasing losses”. You see this dangerous behavior in a lot of punters. Just lock at the wagers being made at the last horse race of the day at the racing track. A lot of people will be betting on it just because they lost money earlier in the day and are so eager to remedy that becore the day is over. You will see them making poor decisions, and bet in situations where they would normally refrain from betting, e.g. on races where they know very little about the horses involved and resign to luck-based betting rather than skill-based betting. With a dedicated bankroll, there is no need to chase losses. Some days you lose, some days you win. What’s important is the long-term development of your bankroll. You bet in situations where you have determined that there is value in it for you. If you fail to find any value bet, you simply refrain from betting. You have all the time in the world to wait for a suitable opportunity to come along.