What Is a Bankroll in Sports Betting?

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Texas A&M wide receiver Ainias Smith (0) breaks free from Abilene Christian defenders for a first down run after a catch during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in College Station, Texas.
(AP Photo/Sam Craft)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Dec 06, 2023, 9:20 AM

In online sports betting, a bankroll is the amount of money held in an online sportsbook account that a bettor consistently draws upon to make new bets.

While any account balance could technically be considered a bankroll, the general implication of the term is that it’s a large or preset amount of money that’s used in combination with a bankroll management system.

Bankroll management is a critical skill to learn for successful sports bettors. 

How Does a Bankroll Work in Betting?

After registering with a sportsbook, bettors are able to deposit money into their account and place wagers. The amount a bettor chooses to deposit becomes his bankroll.

Novice bettors sometimes elect to place bets for arbitrary amounts of money based on their gut feeling. However, many successful bettors recommend betting about 1% of overall bankroll on any given bet to maintain good bankroll discipline. This insulates bettors against wild swings in their account balance. 

Bettors can scale up or down their unit percentage based on circumstances. For instance, a bettor might risk 0.3% of overall bankroll on prop bets or 2.5% on a bet they feel very strongly about.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.