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Common Money Management Mistakes in Sports Betting

I have talked in many articles about how you can choose a smart approach to managing your money, and with it, adopt a healthy attitude toward risk.  But what about simply learning to recognise the sports betting money management mistakes you are making now?  Sometimes just recognising your errors and unlearning bad habits is enough to turn things around.  Just by not making these common mistakes, you should start doing better right away.


  • Increasing your unit size irresponsibly.  Imagine you have won a few bets at a modest level, and now you are feeling more confident.  Since you just won four out of five bets, why not increase your wager size?  You are doing great, so why not make more money?  And then what happens?  You lose your next wager, and with it, half the profits you just made, or maybe even more.  Remember, simply feeling confident is no reason to increase your unit size, and neither is achieving great results, since you should be aiming for nothing less anyway.  Success is built gradually over time with modest bet sizes and a strong strategy.
  • Not using a consistent unit size at all.  A lot of bettors, especially newbies, wager random amounts of money, again based on how they “feel” about a given wager.  This is no way to manage your money.  You need a consistent unit size that you stick with wager after wager, or you are just introducing random chaos and into your betting.
  • Choosing a unit size which is unrealistically large.  No, 10% of your account is not a “modest” investment.  Two to three percent is a much more realistic unit size.  You would be amazed how quickly you can blow an account wagering 10%!  10 losses in a row is not impossible or even terribly unlikely, especially if you are a newbie.  Even professional sports bettors usually do not win more than 55-57% of their wagers.  They have big losing streaks too now and again!
  • Not establishing a bankroll in the first place.  You cannot have consistent unit sizes if you do not have an established bankroll.  Even if you always bet the same percent, you are still betting widely varying percents of your overall finances if you add and subtract from your bankroll at random.  You need to separate your betting bankroll from the rest of your finances.  Only wager money you can afford to lose.
  • Chasing after losses.  There are two main ways that punters chase after their lost bets.  The first is to take a lot more wagers than they normally would.  This is never a good idea, since it means tossing aside everything you have put together with your system.  The second way is to take huge bets, hoping one big win will make up for all the losses.  This is poor money management, and will usually just result in one really big loss that doubles your despair.
  • Bad recordkeeping or no recordkeeping.  If you want to succeed at sports betting, you have to take excellent notes.  This means keeping a spreadsheet at the very least, but preferably a journal as well.  You should record all your wagers, whether you won or lost them, how and why, and how large or small your bets were.  Keeping track will not only help you with budgeting and accounting, but will also help you figure out the best unit size for your account.


If you can just avoid these common mistakes in money management, you will probably be off to a great start replacing your poor budgeting system with a solid, reliable, responsible one.  Choose a specific bankroll to bet with, use a small and consistent unit size, and do not chase your losses or increase your risk exposure at random.  Keep good records, and you will be on the path to success.


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Gambling on the Internet

A few things to consider when gambling online:

  • Take advantage of first deposit bonuses
  • Have a budget and stick to it
  • Don't lose more than you can afford
  • When drunk, don't bet!
  • Don't chase losses
  • Bet on markets you know well
  • Don't abuse bonuses