Staking plans and bankroll management
Now this is a subject that I’ve been asked to write about numerous times and I’ve finally had the time to sit down and do it.
First things first. Your staking plan and bankroll management are pretty much the most important things necessary in order to make gambling profit in the long term, so please read this piece carefully and take it all in. Discipline is the other important factor to make it pay, but that covers numerous different fields and is an article for another day.
Creating a staking plan
Okay. There are numerous staking plans out there, but I can only write about the ones I’ve tried and tested.
The percentage plan
The percentage plan is what I currently use but it’s probably not wise to use until you have an idea of how to grade your bets. There are three stakes in this plan.
- Small – 1-1.5% of available bankroll
- Medium – 2.5-3% of available bankroll
- Large – 4-5% of bankroll
So. The smallest bet you will place is 1% and the biggest 5% of your available bankroll. A very high confidence bet with great information and huge value and edge would warrant a large stake. At the other end of the scale, a tentative stake would be a small bet.
The percentages bet will always stay the same. However your stakes would increase (or decrease) according to the size and success of your bankroll.
Flat stakes is a very simple plan and it’s one I used to good effect while learning the trade. Every bet is the same size, and like the percentage plan your stakes will go up or down according to the size of your bankroll.
It’s best to use no more than 5% of your bankroll on one bet. This protects you from losing big chunks of your bankroll on one bet.
Your starting bankroll
Now this is something that I’m asked about all the time. You NEED to have a designated betting bankroll. It’s time to give up just depositing from your bank account every time you want a bet. It’s disorganised. It is a bad habit and it leaves you confused with your figures and highly unlikely to ever make money, or indeed know how much you have lost over a period of time.
If you don’t currently have the cash available to separate from all other money as a designated betting bankroll then now is the time to stop betting. Chill out, I don’t mean for good!
“If you can’t be disciplined with small stakes then you’ll never be disciplined with bigger ones.”
Save a bankroll. Firstly you have to take in to account what your normal stake is. If your normal bet is £10 per single then I’d advise you to save at least £200 as a designated bankroll. Likewise, if you normally stake £50 on a bet then I’d advise a bankroll of at least £1000.
It’s a simple sum. Your maximum bet should be no more than 5% of your bankroll therefore if you normally bet £10 you’d need £200 for your stake to be 5%.
If you can’t be disciplined with this then you need to stop betting and learn more about the fundamental pitfalls of gambling. Overstaking is just as bad as chasing and should be refrained from. If you can’t be disciplined with small stakes then you’ll never be disciplined with bigger ones. That is a very very important lesson to learn.
Where to keep your bankroll
The worst habit possible is to keep depositing and withdrawing from your debit card. Again, this is disorganised, causes confusion and is also frowned upon by your bank and can negatively affect things like mortgage applications.
What you need to do is set up online wallets. The two I use are PayPal and Skrill. Your bank account is completely unneeded. Transfers are simple and quick and no fees are charged at the vast majority of bookmakers.
It is also wise to keep some funds in each of your active bookmaker accounts. The reason behind this is to be able to take advantage of value odds at a moments notice. The last thing you need is to be messing about trying to deposit when there is a bet to be had.
I’ll write another article another time about the true value of having multiple betting accounts.
A bit about my bankroll
I’ve been profitable for 5 years. The previous 20 were educational (as well as losing). Five years ago I started with a £1000 bankroll. I was flat staking at £50 a bet. I didn’t waiver. Before I knew it I was flat staking at £150 per bet such was the size of my bankroll.
“I’m fortunate enough not to get emotionally attached to any of my bets these days. If a bet loses, it loses.”
As my bankroll began increasing and increasing over a period of time (I did have losing months of course) I decided to use my current percentage plan. This is because I had a lot more knowledge at this stage and had begun to rate my bets in terms of confidence, the info I had, and my perceived value.
This approach teaches great discipline. It separates you from your emotional side. I’m fortunate enough not to get emotionally attached to any of my bets these days. If a bet loses, it loses. If it wins, it wins. I come to expect both…. With the knowledge that I am profitable so that there will always be more winners than losers in the longterm.
- Choose a staking plan (percentage or flat stakes)
- Save a betting bankroll (or separate one if you have funds available)
- Do not waiver. Stick to the plan
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