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Picking Winners is Only Half the Battle

It could be argued that bankroll management is more important to a punter than having the best edge in the world. No matter how good you are at picking winners, everyone goes through a rough swing. Bankroll management allows you to establish a strategy where you can minimise the risk of capitulation whilst still capitalising on any upswings.

Bankroll management is something that the most advanced punters, modellers and mathematicians can make awfully complex. However, this three-step process can help you to become a smarter and (hopefully) more successful punter long term

  1. Decide how much you want to bet
  2. Choose a unit size – or percentage of that bankroll you are willing to bet
  3. Keep a record of your staking and results

Without managing bankroll, you are likely setting yourself up for failure. You will literally not know what you are doing with your betting. You won’t know what bets have the most potential to leave you with profit. You will only have the fuzziest of ideas whether your successes are intentional or fortuitous.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Okay, so what is bankroll? It is the amount of money that you have for betting. Bankroll comes in many forms, such as the total money sitting in your betting account, or an amount you are willing to bet on a day’s racing.

The first step in managing bankroll is easy: put aside an amount of money for the sole purpose of betting. It could be $50.00 for greyhound races on a Friday night or $5000.00 across an entire month. The important thing is you need to establish a limit of what you’re prepared to bet.

The only way you can apply any perceived edge you have on the market is by having the funds available for that strategy in the first place. Don’t have your betting funds overlap into other recreational areas of your budget – and vice versa.

Furthermore, you need to realistic about your goals based on the size of your bankroll. If your betting bank is $100.00, then you can’t expect to turn those funds into $1000.00 consistently. Discipline is key to being a smart punter. You can be motivated to bet for a number of reasons, but be realistic with what you’re trying to win and stake accordingly.

When to Raise the Stakes …

The size of your bets should be dictated by the odds on offer and the risk threshold you are most comfortable with. You should also consider the personal level of bet that you feel works best. If it worries you to bet above $50.00 on a single race, don’t do it. The long-term objective to becoming a smarter punter is to maximise returns and you cannot achieve this if your staking strategy becomes clouded. Again – discipline is key.

Ask yourself: are you comfortable with betting a percentage of your bank that is sustainable during both the event of a losing or winning streak? If not, you might find yourself betting at an unsafe level during a downswing whilst not capitalising on your winners, neither of which are a recipe for long-term success.

Knowing how much to bet in any given situation can be tricky. There is no way you can know precisely what your edge is unless you have complex maths, modelling or an automated system deployed. A good way to manage your bets is to use a level staking strategy. That means you will apply the same level of stake for every bet – no matter your range of personal confidence.

What that level is for you depends on numerous factors. Professionals have been known to stake 5% of their bankroll on each event. This would be fine if you know your strike rate is strong (30-40%) as you should spend less time on a betting downswing. But for punters who fancy a longshot, reducing their level stake is a far more sustainable and healthier strategy. Which brings us to the final step in bankroll management …

Go on the Record!

Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – Winston Churchill.

The only way to learn from history is to note it down and in betting, this is essential. Otherwise, your whole purpose for betting will be dismantled. You must a record of your results. Find out where you are making your mistakes. Are patterns emerging? Are your Sunday bets proving more successful and your Friday bets cleaning you out?

Making a list of all your bets will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses in every facet of betting. From there you can concentrate on events that play to your advantage and know when not to bet. By studying your bets closely, you can also get a better idea of the real value of betting, which is not restricted to picking winners.

There are many tools and resources available on the Betfair Hub to help you become a smarter punter and ensure your betting journey on the Exchange is sustainable in the long term.

Managing Bankroll: A Comprehensive Guide from Betfair


Welcome to Betfair, a leading platform committed to responsible gambling. As avid bettors, we understand the thrill of the game, but we also recognize the importance of managing your bankroll effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the key principles and strategies for bankroll management, all from a Betfair angle.

I. Understanding Bankroll Management

A. Definition of Bankroll and its Significance

Before we delve into the specifics of bankroll management, let’s clarify what a bankroll is. Your bankroll is the total amount of money you have set aside for betting. Whether you’re a seasoned punter or just starting, managing your bankroll is crucial to ensure a sustainable betting journey.

B. Key Principles of Bankroll Management

  1. Bankroll Size and Initial Deposit

One of the first steps in bankroll management is determining the right size for your bankroll. Consider your betting goals, risk tolerance, and financial situation when deciding on an amount. It’s essential to avoid using money designated for other purposes, such as rent or bills.

When making your initial deposit on Betfair, be mindful of setting a budget that you are comfortable with. Responsible gambling starts with responsible funding.

  1. Setting Stakes and Bet Sizes

Once you have your bankroll, it’s time to consider your stakes and bet sizes. Avoid the temptation of placing large wagers that could jeopardize your bankroll in a single bet. A good rule of thumb is to bet a small percentage of your total bankroll on each wager. This approach helps protect your funds during losing streaks and allows for steady growth over time.

II. Bankroll Management Strategies

A. The Fixed Percentage Method

The fixed percentage method is a popular approach to bankroll management. In this strategy, you bet a predetermined percentage of your bankroll on each wager. For example, if you decide on a 2% stake and have a $500 bankroll, your bet size would be $10.

This method ensures that your bets are proportional to your bankroll size, minimizing the risk of large losses while optimizing potential gains. Responsible gambling is at the core of this strategy, as it promotes consistent and sustainable betting.

B. The Unit System

Another effective bankroll management strategy is the unit system. A unit represents a specific monetary value, typically a small fraction of your bankroll. By using units, you can easily adjust your bet sizes based on confidence levels and the perceived value of each wager.

For instance, if your unit size is $20 and you have a $1,000 bankroll, you can bet 1 unit on a low-confidence bet and 3 units on a high-confidence bet. The unit system allows for better control and adaptability in your betting journey.

C. The Kelly Criterion

The Kelly Criterion is an advanced bankroll management strategy that takes into account the odds of a bet and your perceived edge. While it can be highly effective, it requires a deeper understanding of probabilities and mathematics. If you decide to use the Kelly Criterion, exercise caution and be aware of the complexities involved.

III. Tips for Managing Your Bankroll on Betfair

A. Record-Keeping and Analysis

Keeping track of your bets and analyzing your results is essential for effective bankroll management. Betfair provides various tools to track your betting history and performance. Analyzing your data allows you to identify strengths and weaknesses in your betting strategy, helping you make informed decisions moving forward.

B. Utilizing Stop-Loss and Stop-Win Limits

Setting stop-loss and stop-win limits helps you control your betting behavior and prevents extreme losses or chasing losses during a winning streak. Betfair’s platform allows you to set these limits, ensuring responsible gambling practices.

C. Diversifying Your Bets

In betting, diversification is key to managing risk. Avoid putting all your bankroll on a single bet or a specific type of bet. Betfair offers a wide range of betting markets and opportunities to diversify your bets effectively.

D. Avoiding Emotional Betting

Emotional betting can be detrimental to your bankroll. Avoid making impulsive decisions based on emotions, such as frustration after a loss or excessive excitement after a win. Betfair’s responsible gambling features can assist you in staying in control and making rational betting choices.

IV. Bankroll Recovery Strategies

A. Understanding Variance and Downswings

In betting, variance is the inherent unpredictability of outcomes. Even with the best strategies, you will encounter downswings. Understanding variance prepares you mentally for these inevitable fluctuations and helps you stay disciplined.

B. Taking Breaks and Self-Exclusion

If you find yourself struggling to manage your bankroll or emotions, don’t hesitate to take a break from betting. Betfair offers self-exclusion options to help you step back responsibly and regain control.


Managing your bankroll is a fundamental aspect of successful betting. By understanding the key principles and employing effective strategies, you can optimize your betting experience on Betfair. Remember, responsible gambling is paramount, and maintaining discipline and control over your bankroll will contribute to an enjoyable and sustainable betting journey.

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