Sports Betting Survival Guide: How to Maintain a Healthy Bankroll

A $100-dollar bill is seen on top of Euro bills. (Photo by DANIEL MUNOZ / AFP)

As the sports betting offseason is almost behind us, avid bettors are placing their future bets on college football, the NFL, the EPL, and every major sports league gearing up for a new season.

Did you know that less than 5% of sports betting accounts are profitable, and if you’re reading this, I’m going to assume you aren’t a successful sports bettor? For this reason, and with anticipation of the newly instated sports seasons ahead, let’s dive deeper into how you can maintain and manage a healthy bankroll while improving your overall ROI% (Return on Investment). 

Do You Have a Bankroll? 

For bettors to maintain and grow a bankroll, you must first create one. Many sports betting enthusiasts neglect this first step and instantly set themselves up for failure. 

Begin with disposable income only – the money that isn’t going to take a detrimental effect on your livelihood. The amount you decide to deposit in a sportsbook account should be entered with an “I won’t ever see that money again” mentality, always make the wise decision and only bet with what you can afford to lose. 

The Bigger, The Better – Nope 

“That’s what she said” well, don’t listen to her because size isn’t everything, especially in the sports betting stratosphere. 

It would be best to risk 2-5% of your bankroll per single-game wager. Future bets and lower probability odds should be significantly lower. If you’re heading into the 2022/23 NFL season with a $1000 bankroll, your biggest wager shouldn’t exceed $50 if you’re following the 2-5% rule. 

The size of your bankroll should determine your betting stake, so if you’ve hit a losing streak, adjust your bet size accordingly. And whatever you do, don’t risk your entire bankroll on one wager because you believe it’s “a lock” you’re here to maintain and build, not throw it all away on one game. 

But What if My Friend Tom Said It’s a lock? 

Firstly, locks don’t exist. We’d all be rich, and the sportsbooks would be out of business if they did. Ask Tom if he’ll reimburse your losses if the sports bet losses, and you’ll have your answer to whether or not you should believe in “locks.” 

Flat Betting is Okay But Not Guaranteed  

The term “flat bet” describes bettors who bet the same amount for every game; others believe that slightly raising their stakes for games with a more substantial edge or information is the correct method. 

There is no guaranteed way to approach this; remember to stick with the 2-5% rule. Whether you’re flat betting 5% for every game, or if you decide to alternate between 2-5% depending on your position, you’ll find similar success by remaining disciplined. 

Create Multiple Sportsbook Accounts  

Shopping for the best odds is one of, if not the most important aspects of maintaining a positive bankroll. Why would you want to lay -6 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers if an alternative bookmaker provides -5?  

Additionally, if you’re placing wagers in a moneyline market, you’ll find significantly different prices throughout the available sportsbooks. If you neglect to bet the best available odds on a long-term basis, you’re basically throwing money away that could be stacked in your bankroll. 

You Know a Lot About Sports, So?   

Respect the oddsmakers, bookmakers, and other bettors who’re shaping the market each and every week. Just because you’ve been an avid football fan since childhood doesn’t mean this will translate at the sportsbook. 

Once you understand that your research is information that’s already factored into the available odds, you’ll realize that your “lock” is a position many others have noticed to be favorable. 


Hopefully, our brief guide will keep you out of trouble, but as we finalize our sports betting survival guide, there’s a straightforward word to remember: responsibility.

Don’t bet bad numbers where the odds have dramatically decreased in price, avoid parlays that exceed 2-legs or low probabilities, never chase losing bets, and stick to the plan. To begin with, the goal you set out is to keep an active bankroll. 

To bet on the game, you need to keep your bankroll in the game. Bet responsibly, and the entertainment factor will last a lifetime.