Diary of a Punter: Bankroll management and staking plan

Jim Knight reviews the importance of a sensible approach to managing your money and how staying disciplined can lead to long-term profits, as the new domestic season approaches
One of the most popular phrases in the betting industry is bankroll management. Now this may sound a little intimidating to the casual punter but in reality, it's no different to what we do every day in our lives.

Managing your money is as much of a life skill as anything else and that extends to the world of sports betting, too, where the same principles apply.

Over the next nine months or so, Simon Pilkington and I will be attempting to turn a profit in the various football markets available and sharing our experiences with Goal.com's readers. One of the most important elements in becoming a profitable punter is the ability to effectively manage the money you have put aside to bet with, your bankroll.

Different people have different approaches to this and there is no hard and fast rule about how you should do this. I'm simply going to share my experience and my plan for the upcoming season.

One key factor to take into account when betting on sport is variance, there will be wins (hopefully) and there will be losses. No one can make money on every bet they make, that's unrealistic so coming to terms with that fact is obstacle one.

Secondly, it's important not to expose your bankroll to a loss which would damage your long term profitability. For example, say I win two bets of £20 at even money (2.0) and 1/2 (1.50), I'd then be £30 up and feeling pretty pleased with my day's work. But then there is an evening game and because I'm on a roll, I put my profits plus another £20 on the last wager of the day and unfortunately, it loses.

In this scenario I'd be down for the day by £20 but in the case of chasing losses. A more sensible stake would have ensured even if the bet had lost, I'd have something left to show for the previous good judgements I'd made.

For the upcoming season I'll be limiting the losses on any one bet to five per cent of the starting bank, this idea means that it would take 20 maximum stake losses to erode the starting bankroll, which should ensure that even the worst of runs doesn't use up the punting funds.

This is a common approach and although not for everyone, acts as something of a safeguard towards risking too much in any one bet, even when on a winning run.

Not every wager placed will be the full 5% though, some may be smaller investments of 1% or 2% depending upon my confidence in the bet winning.

Some choose to rank their bets in a points system e.g. one point - five points in order to indicate their confidence in any particular wager but without attaching a monetary value to it.

This system works equally well and allows anyone choosing to follow the bet a guide of how much the tipster is staking but without disclosing the amount.

Throughout the season Goal.com readers will be able to keep up with our progress and hopefully we'll be providing winners and prompting discussion about our selections.

Ante-post selections will be published in the next week or so ahead of the domestic season kick-off. The best of luck to anyone embarking on a similar adventure.