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When to Adjust Bet Sizes for Sports Betting

Money management is a constant struggle for a lot of sports bettors. It can be very hard for bettors to have the discipline required to manage their money effectively. It can also be very tough to determine how much you should be betting on games – especially if you don’t use a particular criterion to shape your bet size. While choosing your bet size is ultimately a personal decision that you have to be comfortable with because no two money management approaches are exactly the same, there are some general situations in which an increase or decrease in bet size are probably a good idea. Here are four of each type of situation:

Situations where you might want to increase your bet size

When you are betting an insignificant amount of your bankroll – Most money management approaches recommend you bet a small portion of your bankroll on a given game – typically somewhere between one and four percent of your bankroll. If you haven’t adjusted your bet size in a long time and you have been winning regularly, though, then you could easily find that you are betting just a tiny fraction of your bankroll each time – perhaps well less than one percentage. The sports betting bankroll is designed to provide security and to allow you to weather tough patches, but if you are using bet sizes that are too small then you aren’t effectively leveraging your resources, and they are therefore growing much more slowly that they are capable of.

When you are betting so little you don’t care – If your bet size is so small that losing doesn’t bother you then it could be hard for you to focus on the handicapping you are doing enough to put the work in that is required to make consistently good decisions. If money is something that motivates you as a bettor then betting too little could actually make you a less effective bettor.

When you are successful, but not meeting your earning goals – A lot of successful sports bettors are very good goal setters. If you are winning at a solid rate but you aren’t meeting your income goals that you have set then one thing you are going to want to look at is your bet size. Winning bettors can often justify increasing their bet size as a percentage of their bankroll because their risk of catastrophe is lower than the average bettor.

When your win percentage is consistently higher than your prediction – When you sat down to assess your initial bet size you may have factor in things like bankroll, goals and, most significantly, how much you expected to win. By estimating your win percentage you can work backwards to figure out what a good bet size would be. Most people tend to overestimate their skill, but if you underestimated it to start and have shown you can winner at a higher rate over the long term then you would likely to be justified to bet more on each game.

Situations where you might want to decrease your bet size

When you are betting a very significant portion of your bankroll – If you have hit a particularly rough patch in your betting and your bankroll has shrunk significantly then you may want to decrease your bet size if you haven’t done so. If you are using a standard bet size instead of a percentage then it can be very easy for your bet size to grow to a much bigger portion of the overall bankroll than it once was or than it should be.

When your bets are making you too nervous or scared – Sports books and gamblers love scared money because it is never smart money. If your bet size is making you too uncomfortable to focus effectively or act rationally and make the decisions that you need to then you are betting too much. People will tell you that it is a good thing to have a bet size that is big enough that you don’ like to lose. While that can be true, having one that is so big that it really hurts far more than it should to lose is not a positive thing at all.

When your win percentage isn’t meeting expectations – If you set your bet size based on an expected win percentage but you aren’t meeting that win percentage consistently then you need to change your bet size before you go broke. this is one of those tough situations where a bettor has to be brutally honest with themselves when it comes to what they are doing, what they are capable of, and what that really means. If you lie to yourself here as a sports bettor you are only hurting your own wallet.

When you want to take money out of your bankroll – A lot of bettors bet on sports at least in part to make a little extra money – or perhaps a lot of extra money. That means that those bettors will at times take money out of their bankroll to use for other purposes. A crucial mistake some bettors make is to decrease the size of their bankroll significantly without adjusting the size of their bet down as well. A large bet size that easily made sense when the bankroll was large could leave you far too exposed to going broke once the bankroll is much smaller. Smart sports handicappers know this.

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