Sports betting bankroll management: Are you on a bankroll or a budget?

I asked my friend, who love sports betting, what kind of sports betting bankroll money management he has.

He said:” Every weekend I take $200-$300 and this is my bankroll. I bet $50 per game and that’s it. And then the next weekend the same.”

Well, this is not a bankroll. He basically takes money from his monthly income stream and bet what he has. If he loses that money, he takes more. In many cases, such behavior is very dangerous.

Lock your bankroll for sports betting

Bankroll is something, that you can lock for some time. Bankroll is something, that you don’t need for a living. Bankroll is something that you risk and hope that it will raise. The richest people in the world generated at least 5 different incomes and relying on only one “speculative investment”, which sports betting for sure is, is very very dangerous.

Bet only what you can afford to lose

The first rule is that you never bet money that you can not afford to lose. You should not rely on sports betting money to pay monthly bills and you should not expect that you will win every month. If you understand this, if you bet with the money that you don’t need for a living and if you stick with bet size, that is around 1% of your bankroll, then you are already better than most bettors in the world.

Sports Gamblers with strong bankroll management win

Because you know…I like to say, that bettor who has strong money management but losing picks, will always survive. Maybe he will have bad season, maybe he will decide later that betting is not for him, but because he has separate money for betting and because he has some kind of money management, he will survive for sure.

Sports betting picks without a strategy are worthless

On the other side bettors with winning picks, but without any strategy will not survive. Usually, they lost everything in just 2-3 weeks, after they had for example 6-7 good months. And then troubles start. Some people start taking more and more from their monthly income streams and this is where things become very dangerous.

We all like to talk about bankroll, but the reality is, that only a few have the bankroll, and only a few work on it.

The difference between bankroll and budget

There is a difference between BANKROLL and a budget. If you take money from your income stream for gambling activities all the time, you are on a BUDGET. If you lose money all the time and if you don’t have bankroll especially for risk investments, then you are on a BUDGET.

There are three types of gamblers that are on a budget:

  • First group of gamblers will fund their gambling activities from their monthly income stream and they will spend more than they can afford. They will rather gamble than pay monthly bills, even food.
  • The second group are gamblers who will still take money every month from their income stream, but they are smart enough to understand how much they can take. They will bet only the money they can lose. This is the money they would spend for some “unnecessary” things anyway. They will bet without any strategy and they do this for fun, which is totally ok.
  • And there is a third group of very few that work on building a bankroll. Your betting fund only becomes a bankroll when you stop taking money from your income stream and you take out all of the money you took previously when you were on a budget.

When this happens we can start talking about BANKROLL. It will take some time and nothing comes overnight.


One of the first things is for sure mindset. When you know that you risk money that you can lose without any serious consequences, you can be more relaxed, you will not find yourself in a “must-win” position and you can even survive a negative season which will not be a disaster. Some smart professional investors have a couple of bankrolls and they have money on the side if something bad happens.

Smart investors from other fields (not sports betting related) would say, that the best money invested is that money, where you almost forgot on it.

There were a couple of cases I know from the crypto world, where they forgot on their early bitcoin investments and later they saw, that they have millions of dollars.

Of course, you will not forget your money in sports betting, because we bet every day, we must analyze games every day, but money for betting should be definitely money, that you decide to forget from day one. With this in mind, you can focus on finding the real value bets and not putting yourself in a must-win position every day.