The Cheltenham Festival has long been one of the biggest and most prestigious events in UK National Hunt horse racing, generating more than £4 million in prize money over its four days
Sports Betting Money Management
For some people sports betting is just a bit of fun, but for others it is a deadly serious pursuit. Depending on which category you fall into will determine how serious you are going to need to take your money management when it comes to placing a wager.
If you are the type of punter who simply likes to bet once a week or their favourite football team, then scrutinizing your finances is less relevant. Similarly, there are those bettors who tend to place a massive bet on premier sporting occasions such as the Grand National or the FA Cup final. These occasional players don't need to keep such a keen eye on their wallet.
Check Your Finances
However, if you are the type of sports bettor who is in it to win it, who is determined to make sports betting into a money-making venture, then some greater consideration is needed. The single most important piece of advice and the starting point for managing your sports betting cash is incredibly simple - If you can't afford to lose it, then don't bet. Only once you have set aside an amount of spare money (i.e. not your household budget!) that you would like to bet with, often known as the bankroll, then you can start to consider how best to use it.
Flat Betting System
In general, there are two schools of thought when it comes to utilizing your bankroll effectively. The first is often known as a flat bet system, whereby you simply divide your bankroll into fixed sums or percentages and use each one in turn on your chosen bets. It is simple and straightforward and easy to keep track of.
Novice bettors sometimes make the mistake of dividing their bankroll into large sums. Although it is a tempting tactic, as you might land yourself a big win, you will almost inevitably find yourself quickly losing your entire bankroll. At any rate, the money that you have set aside is unlikely to last for long.
A much better method is to divide your bankroll into small sums. If you start to win, then you will slowly accumulate a nice amount. Whatever happens though, the fun of betting will certainly last longer. If you are employing a flat bet system, then it is also important to remember that if you are on a losing streak that you should not decrease your bets.
Although it may seem like you are making your money last for longer, what you are actually doing is making it even harder for yourself to break even. Suddenly you will need to win even more wagers in order to retain your bankroll and soon enough you will find yourself chasing the impossible. Having said that, it is healthy to constantly re-assess your bankroll and your betting percentages. However, just remember not to decrease the size of your bet.
Progressive Betting System
The other broad money management strategy is a progressive betting system. The best known of these systems is the Kelly Criterion. Essentially, a progressive system is based on the bet value being offered. Kelly's system is a mathematical formula based on the odds of the chosen event multiplied by the probability of winning. This is often regarded as a more sophisticated method of sports betting. Whether it really is more 'professional' or not is open to debate, but systems such as the Kelly Criterion most certainly require a little more thought and more precise calculation than the flat betting alternative. Whichever system you choose though, the most important money management tip in sports betting is quite simply never to bet beyond your means.