Betting on sports and winning consistently. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, for an increasing number of sports bettors who are taking their betting more seriously than ever before, long-term profits are now a realistic prospect – although, of course, constantly winning is still not.
That’s because professional – and even some recreational – bettors are changing the way they utilise their betting bankroll, refining their strategies and betting portfolios to maximise every pound they invest.
Most losing sports bettors don’t realise that the key to making long-term profits on their investments in the sports markets is not to always make money, it’s to limit their losses when their betting selections don’t come in. Even the most successful professional punters will have losing bets, it’s inevitable and part of the statistical variance. However, the trick is to adopt the right levels of staking to manage your betting bankroll in the most efficient way possible.
As with any other type of gambling, sports betting is centred around probability and the percentage chances of an outcome happening. Many pro punters have adopted strategies used for many years by slots players that give them the best chance of winning. Just as when you play slots, players seek to determine the average payout on each slot machine, intelligent sports bettors will use the plethora of data available to them today to calculate the true probability of a team winning, losing or scoring x number of goals in a game. Only then can they identify value in the sports markets and adjust the amount of money they risk on each individual investment.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular staking plans for sports bettors to maximise their bankroll and avoid the threat of going bust.
- Fixed liability wagering
Many professional punters will operate to a strict regime of betting to a fixed liability of their bankroll. For instance, punters with a £10,000 betting bank may decide to split their bank into 100 points (£100 each) and risk only one point per bet at any time. The benefits of such a wagering system are that you will significantly reduce your chances of losing your bankroll – given that you’ll need to experience 100 successive losses for this to happen – but the negatives are that you are also capping your potential winnings regardless of your edge in a specific market. Fixed liability betting is, however, a legitimate betting strategy for those looking for slow and steady, long-term growth with their bankroll.
- Proportional betting
Another betting strategy that’s growing in popularity among sports bettors is the concept of proportional betting in relation to your edge in a specific market. The Kelly Criterion formula is used to calculate how much your stake should be on an individual bet in relation to your perceived edge. It takes into consideration the probability of success and failure for your bet in relation to the odds available from the online bookmakers. In essence, it allows bettors to utilise their bankroll for lucrative opportunities where the odds are juicier than the statistical probability of any particular outcome. It does require you to undertake intricate calculations before each event and there will be instances where you lose a high percentage of your bank when the perceived edge fails to materialise, but it’s a solid strategy to maximise winning situations.
- The Martingale system
This is a long-standing betting strategy that has spanned various games, from classic casino table games to the sports markets. The Martingale strategy is fairly rudimentary and high-risk. After any losing bet, a bettor is required to double their stake in a bid to cover their previous losses with the winnings from the next event. While this staking plan will lead to faster profits than those if you’d bet to a fixed liability, it can also place your entire betting bankroll at risk if you encounter a string of losing bets. You could find yourself having to stake the remainder of your bank on a single bet in a bid to try and recover your successive losses. This is a sure-fire way to the poor house!
It’s exciting that sports bettors are increasingly taking their bets more seriously. It keeps bookmakers and their traders firmly on their toes as punters’ confidence in their staking plans and methods increase in their role as value-hunters.