While some will say, “any amount you can afford,” others might suggest it’s best to “spend just a little.”
In practice, however, what people do most of the time is to spend based on their instincts – that is, how much they feel like risking at that point in time.
But this is not a good way of doing things at all!
Betting is a game of strategy, and as such, everything you’re doing should be guided by a definite strategy. From bookie selection to finding value bets, bankroll management to amount of stakes, and everything else in between, all your betting decisions should be based on clearly-defined strategies.
In this guide, we’ll teach you a strategy that will help you decide on the amount of money you should risk per bet.
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Only bet what you’re willing to lose
If you’re a recreational bettor – someone who’s only betting for fun – the best rule for you to live by is:
This is because you’re most likely betting without doing any permutations, predictive models, and homework. As such, you should only bet an amount you know you’re ok with losing.
The same approach holds if you’re gambling on things like lotto and roulette, too. Remember, in those games, players have little to no competitive advantage against the bookies/house.
Spend based on the betting stage you’re in
If sports betting to you is more about winning money than fun, then you cannot afford to work with the rule above. Otherwise, you’ll put yourself in a position where you can’t take enough value and profits from the market.
As a serious-minded sports bettor, the first question you need to ask yourself every time you want to place a bet is where you are in your sports betting journey.
It’s nothing to be ashamed of if you’re a newbie in the game. Some of you are going to be fairly new and in the process of testing out your strategies for picking.
If this is the stage you’re in, you need to be betting the minimum amounts you can.
Why? You’re in the stage where you can make huge mistakes, and you need to just get some experience under your belt in the process of making bets.
A mistake for a few bucks is WAY better than one for larger sums of money.
This is a lesson you do not want to learn the hard way.
Although betting small amounts may impact the potential profit you can take from the market, I believe you’ll agree it’s better to win little than to lose all your money.
If, however, you’re at a stage where you know a few tested-and-proven betting strategies already, feel free to risk as much of your bankroll as you like, provided you’re betting for value.
By tested and proven strategies, we mean those strategies you’ve seen working for people or that have worked for you a couple of times in the past.
This could be strategies like value betting, arbitrage betting, or dutching.
How much to spend if you’re value betting
Value betting is when you’re looking for games where the payouts are bigger than what they ought to be. How would you know this? You may wonder!
These kinds of opportunities mostly appear in games with underdogs!
For example, let’s say there is a football match coming up and team A is the favorite to win.
The payout odds are 2.00 for team A, and 8.00 for team B. What the bookies are saying is that team A is supposed to crush team B. But let’s say that you think the match is going to be way closer than that. You think that team B is probably still going to lose but not as badly or as often as they sportsbook is saying.
This would be a wise bet for you to make even though you’re going to lose more often than you are going to win.
The times you win, you are going to make much more money that makes up for the times you lost.
This is called finding value. When you’re betting on these sorts of games, you should be betting small amounts so that you can stay in the game for long. Otherwise, you’ll be out of the game after your first few losses.
Is there an exact number?
Generally speaking, most experts will say anything in the region of 1-5% of your total bankroll amount is a wise amount.
Yes, this is a good number!
But be sure to use the number with the advice we’ve mentioned above.