Sports wagering is one of the most popular betforward activities in casinos today, accounting for one of every five dollars bet. At the end of the day (or season) most of that money is deposited in the casino’s coffers, leaving the punters (sports bettors) with broken dreams and empty wallets.
Whether a serious sports gambler or one who only bets a game on occasion, we all like to win or at least protect our bankroll by minimizing our losses. Sports wagering is unlike many other casino games in that it is a game of skill rather than a game of chance. There are several facets to becoming a successful sports gambler including bet sizing, bankroll management, basic knowledge of the sport and researching each game on which you are betting
Your bankroll is your lifeblood and must be protected. Without it you are out of the action. Setting a maximum percentage of your bankroll that you are willing to bet on a game is the best way to minimize risk. Five percent is a reasonable amount that will offer sufficient protection, yet still offer an opportunity for sizable wins. For example, if you bankroll is $1,500, your maximum bet should not exceed $75.
One point that must be stressed is to always figure your 5% maximum bet off of your original bankroll total. Should you win a few wagers and your bankroll increases to $1,800, don’t increase your maximum bet to $90 (5% of $1,800), but keep it at the original $75 max. This will minimize your variance, which will in turn protect your bankroll. In addition, should your bankroll fall below the original $1,500, continue to figure the 5% off of your original $1,500. This will maximize your opportunity to build your roll back to its original amount and beyond.
If you decide to use a professional sports handicapping service, you will learn that these services recommend bet sizing in terms of units. For example, a sports handicapper may recommend placing a 2 unit bet on the New York Yankees. It will be up to you to decide how much each unit is worth. A good recommendation for the $1,500 bankroll mentioned previously, is $10 per unit. Thus a 2 unit wager would translate to $20.
There are several types of wagering systems that have been used in casinos over the years. One of the most successful is also one of the most simple, with only three betting levels to consider.. It provides bankroll protection while offering an excellent chance of a profitable season regardless of the sport.
Your initial bet will always be 2 units ($20 with a $1,500 roll). Should you lose the bet, increase your next bet to 3 units. If this bet is also a loser, your next wager will be 4 units. This is the maximum bet you are allowed to place. Win or lose at the four unit level, your next bet reverts back to 2 units. Of course, should you win your bet at the 2 or 3 unit level, your next bet will drop back down to the original 2 unit level. This will give you three chances to pick a winner and come out ahead if your wager pays back more than you bet.
Should you suffer through a losing streak that drops your starting bankroll by 10% or more, you simply double your wagers to 4, 6, and 8 units. As soon as you build your roll above 90% of your starting balance, your bet sizing will drop back to the original 2, 3, 4 level. This system both limits your variance and allows you to recover your losses in a steady manner.