Online sports betting, is becoming a bigger and bigger gambling industry by the year in North America as more states legalize sports betting.
In New Jersey alone, sports bettors placed $6 billion on bets in 2020. With all of that money being put down, you might question how many people are actually making a profit.
Well, unfortunately, more people end up losing money on sports betting than winning. Some lose so much that they put themselves in a financial hole and are considered to have a gambling problem.
Sports betting is supposed to be fun and exciting. It may make a game interesting and give you an investment in it that you otherwise would not have.
Like everything else in life, it is important to set a budget to keep things from getting out of control.
So, how do you do that? These are some tips.
The first thing that you need to do is separate your betting money from your overall savings. This will reinforce the idea that you have money specifically dedicated to gambling and you can pretend that the other money does not exist when it comes to sports betting.
Online sportsbooks tend to have a virtual wallet or a balance in which you can place money. If you place enough in there without putting a significant portion of your savings, then you are unlikely to have to worry about having the temptation to take more money out of your bank account.
Say for example that you have $50,000 in your life savings. You may decide that you are willing to risk $10,000 on sports betting.
Having that $10,000 separate from the rest of your money allows you to put a hard limit on what you are comfortable losing. So, if you lose that money in the long run, then you still have 80% of your savings in this scenario for other aspects of your life.
Unless you really know what you are doing, it is best to only dedicate a small percentage of your savings to gambling. Your comfort level may vary, as it really depends on the person and their income situation.
After you dedicate a bankroll for sports betting, the next thing you have to decide is how much money you are comfortable placing on one bet.
In general, most professional bettors recommend that you stick to a unit system. A unit is a percentage of your overall bankroll.
So, going off of the example above, if you have $10,000 in your gambling bankroll, then you need to figure out what percentage of that you are willing to gamble per bet.
Most bettors value one unit as 1% of their bankroll. So, in this case, one unit for you would be a $100 bet.
The main benefit of this system is that it provides you with a lot of leeway in case you get on a cold streak. Let’s face it, in gambling, there could be a few days or even a few weeks where you can’t seem to buy a win.
Betting in units protects you from stretches like that, and allows you to focus on the long term of sports betting. In theory, it would take about 100 consecutive losses under this system for you to completely run out of money.
Even the worst sports bettors can typically find a few wins in 100 bets. So, it is important not to panic and try to get it all back at once if you are on a cold streak. At the same time, do not try to go big on one particular bet no matter how confident you are.
Doing this separates the sharps from the squares in sports betting. Places like Doc Sports go into more detail on the unit system.
This plays into the unit’s advice above but goes a little further. Here, it is important to know when to walk away.
Setting limits can make or break your success in sports betting. This is because while all bettors go through a cold streak, some do not know when it comes and cannot stop themselves.
One way to minimize this is to set daily limits for how much you are willing to lose. This prevents you from betting “on tilt”, which means you are betting with angry emotions and are a little more desperate to get your money back.
This leads to bets not placed on logic, but rather on emotion, and that is a recipe for disaster in the gambling world. So, to minimize this, it is best to have a strict amount that you are willing to lose in one day.
So, keeping with the $10,000 bankroll scenario above, you typically bet $100 per game. In this situation, you may not be able to buy a win one day. Well, you might want to have it in your head that you won’t bet more than say $1,000 at once.
This would limit your loss in one day to 10% of your bankroll. That would still be a big hit, but stopping there could still leave you with 90% of your bankroll remaining and living to fight another day instead of doing something dangerous like betting large amounts of your bankroll on tilt.
Discipline is important when it comes to betting. Setting limits within your already dedicated budget will help you save your money and actually hang onto it.
Online sports betting is meant to be fun, and there is no doubt most get a good adrenaline rush from it. Just remember, this is still a business to online sportsbooks, so treat your budget as such to keep the money in your pocket.
To learn more about sports betting, check out more of our Sports articles.