Online Betting » Betting Guide » Bankroll Management in Gambling: A Comprehensive Guide

Bankroll Management in Gambling: A Comprehensive Guide

Dave Kuzio
Fact checked by: Mike McKean
Publish Date: 31.01.2024

Managing your bankroll effectively is key to sports betting success. With that in mind, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to tell you everything you need to know about bankroll management.

You might be a seasoned bettor, but still not have mastered the art of managing your funds. This isn’t something that you immediately think of when you’re planning your betting strategy, as you’re often more focused on choosing winners! But to stay within your limits and to gamble responsibly, it’s essential that you apply some key strategies, as introduced below.

What is Bankroll Management in Betting?

Understanding what bankroll management is will be key to your long term success in wagering. Your bankroll refers to the amount of money you have in your online betting account at one time. This is the amount that you have available to bet with and to potentially increase your bankroll; you can either deposit more money (this can get expensive quickly!), claim promotions and offers, or win money by betting.

The aim of bankroll management is quite simple – it’s to try to make your money last as long as possible, without having to deposit more. Sticking to a betting budget is absolutely essential when you’re aiming to enjoy gambling in a responsible and sustainable way, and we introduce some tips to help you below.

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Quick Bankroll Strategies & Tips

All professional bettors apply bankroll strategy, and as a keen betting fan, you should aim to do the same. Here are some top tips to stay in control of your money while placing wagers at online betting sites:

💰 Decide How Much Money to DepositThe first step is really to decide how much of a bankroll you want to begin with, and then plan your strategy on how you want to use it. Your original bankroll will totally depend on your budget and the level you can afford to play at. For example, you might decide that £50 is enough of a bankroll for you, while bettors with a higher available budget might opt for as much as £1,000.
💸 Plan Every Bet CarefullyWhen you’re practicing bankroll management in betting, you need to plan each and every one of your bets in line with the budget that you have available for sports betting. Whether you have £1, £10, or £100 to bet on sports, make sure you allocate a reasonable amount to each wager to manage your bankroll accordingly.
🧑‍🎓 Research the Markets You Bet OnBefore placing a bet, make sure you do your research and check the value of the odds offered. You can compare the odds offered by different sportsbooks to ensure you get the best price for your selection.
🤑 Use Promotions and BonusesWherever possible, use promotions and bonuses offered by sportsbooks to boost your bankroll. Things like deposit matches, cash back offers, and odds boosts are great promos to maximise your betting balance by extending their value.
💳 Use No-Fee Payment OptionsIt also makes sense to deposit and withdraw via a payment method that has no fees. Use e-wallets and debit cards to be on the safe side and always check the payment terms if you’re using a new method at an online sportsbook.

How Much Should I Bet for Effective Bankroll Management?

When you’re deciding how much you want to bet, there are a number of specific betting bankroll management strategies that you can apply, and we’ll go into more detail on each of them below.

Keep in mind though that the recommended bet amounts per strategy can vary a little depending on the odds.

Flat Betting

The first management strategy is called flat betting, which means that you bet a flat amount on any type of bet, and you don’t change this up according to the odds. For example, you might choose to place $1 wagers each time. This is a really simple strategy, and it’s great for beginners because it lowers the risk of losing a large amount of your bankroll at once, assuming your flat bet amount is low and reasonable compared to your overall bankroll.

Percentage Betting

Flat betting is a simple start, but if you prefer, you might want to opt for percentage betting, which means that you bet a certain percentage of your bankroll each time. For example, if you start with $100 and place a 1% bet of $1, but have a win, you might end up with $110 next time, so your next bet would be $1.10. This takes a little bit more calculation and effort, but overall, it also means that you’re always betting at a level where one individual bet won’t have a massive impact on your bankroll.

Confidence Betting

The confidence betting model is based on placing bigger bets on markets that you think have a higher chance of winning. This can be based on odds or on knowledge, but it definitely requires the most skill and research of any of the models and is generally more suited to seasoned bettors than to newbies.

As a rule of thumb, if you’re betting on something with really long odds, you should probably never bet more than about 1% or 2% of your total bankroll. If you’re betting on something with 50/50 odds, the risk is a lot lower, and you might want to go up to about 5% of your bankroll, but only if you are very confident about your bet, as even this can be seen as a more aggressive tactic that could negatively affect your bankroll.

Compare the Odds

The first thing to do is to make peace with the fact that all online gambling sites have a house edge, which are represented by the odds that they offer. Without an edge, a sportsbook wouldn’t be able to maintain their operations in a sustainable way, as it’s their main source of profit. Thus, when you’re planning your betting bankroll management, it’s important to understand how odds are calculated, and how they can impact your bankroll.

The odds for any market will vary a little bit depending on the specific betting site you’re using. They might be relatively similar, but if you have accounts at multiple betting sites, it’s always a good idea to shop around a little so that you can get the best odds. When you get a winner with higher odds, it means that you’ll have a bigger win and that money will go straight into your available bankroll for future bets.

Claiming Bonuses to Boost Your Bankroll

One really significant way to add to your bankroll without depositing any more money is by claiming online betting bonuses. These are some of the main types of bonuses that you can expect to find at betting sites:

Type of PromoAvailable at Sports Betting Sites?Example
Deposit matchReceive a 100% deposit match up to £100
Free betsWager £10 to receive £30 in free bets as a new customer
CashbackReceive 5% cashback when you deposit on a specific day of the week
Loyalty programsUnlock exclusive offers and ongoing cashback rewards as you climb up the loyalty ladder at a sportsbook

As you can see, there are many ways that sportsbooks try to help you keep your bankroll active and healthy without forcing you to endlessly deposit your own money. They understand that betting is not as easy as it sounds, and it requires practice, and therefore betting funds.

Best Deposit Methods for Bankroll Management

One key consideration does come in when you’re trying to claim bonuses with an initial sportsbook deposit, as some sports betting sites exclude certain methods like Skrill and Neteller.

We always recommend doing your research on the payment method first, as you want to ensure that you’re using a safe and secure one, and ideally, it shouldn’t charge any fees. We always recommend that you use a bank debit card, as this is one of the most convenient deposit and withdrawal methods, and it almost always qualifies for promotions and bonuses. This is not always the case for credit cards on the other hand, which may be excluded based on regional regulations (e.g. United Kingdom).

If you have existing funds in a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Litecoin, you might also want to add money to your bankroll this way, but one key thing to remember is that these currencies may fluctuate, so they don’t line up exactly with your own currency like Dollars, Euros, or Pounds. This may cause some confusion with your bankroll. Although we’re not saying that you shouldn’t use crypto, you do need to keep the currency and exchange fluctuations in mind.

How to Bet Responsibly: 4 Tools Available to You

Responsible gambling practices are very closely tied to bankroll management. You can be sure that if you’re betting at a licensed gambling website that takes its business seriously, there will be a number of different responsible gambling tools available to help you stay in control at all times.

You can always check out the responsible gaming section on the sports betting site for the full details, and this is usually accessible via the footer of the website or through your account section. Responsible gambling tools include:

  • Deposit Limits: Set limits on how much you deposit to the sportsbook every day or week to stay in control.
  • Time Limits: Restrict the amount of time that you spend at a betting site and receive a notification when your time is up.
  • Self-Exclusion: If you’re struggling to stay in control of your online gambling, you can self-exclude yourself from the sportsbook in question to give yourself some time away.
  • Responsible Gambling Calculators: Some betting sites (such as also offer responsible gambling calculators, which you can use to work out how much of your disposable income you can afford to spend on gambling each month.

As a final point, it’s worth remembering that no matter how good your strategies and bankroll management are, you should only ever bet what you can actually afford to lose, and you need to take responsibility for how much you make available for online gambling.

Our Verdict: Betting Bankroll Management is Key to Responsible Gambling

There are a number of different ways to manage your bankroll, and each method will suit different types of players, depending on your level of skill and budget. The most important thing to do is to ensure that you only bet at a level you can afford and that you practice good bankroll management so that you can keep betting in a sustainable long-term fashion.

We hope that after reading our full bankroll management guide, you’re now confident enough to set your bankroll at a level you’re comfortable with, and bet in a fun and entertaining way. Betting involves both winning and losing, so depositing an amount that you’re willing to lose is much healthier and wiser than betting only with hopes of what you will win. If you need help, use the available responsible gambling tools and reach out to a problem gambling resource for advice.

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Bankroll Management FAQ

💰 What is good bankroll management in betting?

Good bankroll management in betting is the way that you apply strategies to manage the money you make available for online gambling in a sustainable way. This helps you to stay in control and gamble responsibly as you bet online.

How can I manage my bankroll responsibly?

To manage your bankroll responsibly, you need to determine a bet limit based on your available budget and style. You should always do sufficient research before placing your bets and make wagers that are in line with your available funds.

💵 How much should I have in my bankroll?

The amount of money available to you for betting depends on your personal and financial circumstances. This could be £5 for some bettors and £500 for others. This is why it’s so important to create and stick to your own budget; as a rule of thumb, you should deposit only how much you are willing to lose in the first place.

💲 How much of my bankroll should I spend?

A good guideline is that you should aim to spend about 1% or 2% of your bankroll on each bet, to make your money go as far as possible. However, the exact amount you spend will depend on the bankroll strategy that you’re using, as well as how confident you are on a given bet with certain odds.

😀 Should I withdraw my betting bankroll?

This is entirely up to you. Some online bettors set a target and withdraw their funds when they reach a certain amount, while others leave the money in their account to fund future bets. You should decide for yourself when to withdraw any winnings from your sportsbook bankroll.