Variable Versus Fixed Stakes for Sports Bettors

Should bettors use fixed stakes or should they vary the amount that they place on wagers? It’s a common question for sports bettors of any level. All bettors can agree that prudent bankroll management is a key to success. Figuring out how much to wager on an individual bet is part of that money management.

Key Points

– Using fixed or variable stakes is a common question among sports bettors.

– The best staking plan is the one that fits a bettor best.

What Is Fixed Stakes in Betting

The simplest way to decide how much to wager on your picks is with a fixed staking plan. Simply put, every time you place a bet, you stake one unit. The value of a unit itself is the only real choice you have to make.

The size of your bankroll, which should be a set amount, should be the best basis for determining how much a unit size should be. Your unit size should fall somewhere within the widely accepted range of 1% to 5% of your bankroll. This is a general rule of thumb in the sports betting industry. There is no right or wrong amount to choose in this situation. It all comes down to how you feel about taking risks.

The best course of action is to value a unit at 1% of your bankroll if you are risk averse and want to be as safe as possible. If you don’t mind taking more of a risk, you might set your unit size as high as 5%. That means if you had a bankroll of $100, you would wager $5 on every bet. Typically, bettors that will take a riskier approach will wager 2 to 3 percent of their bankroll. 

Another factor to take into account is how you adjust your unit size in relation to your bankroll. If you have a pretty good winning run going, the $100 bankroll might become a $150 or $200 bankroll. 

With a larger bankroll, you still keep the same unit percentages, but your betting unit size is going to change. 

A good strategy is to adjust your unit size approximately every two months, or sooner if your bankroll significantly changes. There are no strict guidelines, so you are free to do it more frequently or less frequently as you see fit.


Variable Staking 

A variable staking plan involves a few extra steps. It entails altering the size of your stakes for each bet, as the name would imply. You can use a variety of criteria to specify the precise range of your stakes. You could, for instance, base them on your level of confidence, the probability, or the expected value.

The fixed profit model is one of many creative betting strategies and is the most typical way to use a variable staking plan. This means that you must adjust your stake so that each winning wager pays out the same amount of money. How much you want to win from each wager is the main choice you must make in this situation. This would typically also be measured in units, so once more you would have to determine your unit size.

Example of Variable Staking

Let’s assume that you have a $500 bankroll. Your unit size is $10 and you choose to set your target profit per bet at 2 units. That means you will shoot for a $20 profit on each bet. Depending upon the odds on each wager, the stake will vary.

A bet with -500 odds, for example, would require a wager of $100 in order to win $20. At the other end, a bet with +400 odds would mean a bettor has to wager $5 in order to make a $20 profit.

As you can see, if you were using this strategy and betting on selections with extremely low odds, you might have to stake amounts that were quite high compared to your bankroll. The idea here is that you would only do so when the wager has a very good chance of winning. 

On the other extreme, betting on options with high odds would require very small stakes. Given the increased risk and likelihood of loss associated with wagers of this nature, it makes sense to stake a smaller portion of your bankroll.

Be aware that, just like with a fixed staking plan, you should periodically adjust the size of a unit to your bankroll. You should raise the size of your target profit if your bankroll increases over time. Due to your larger bankroll, you will be able to stake higher amounts as a result.

Are Fixed Stakes Better?

Staking strategies are a crucial component of sports betting. Your overall returns may be affected by your choice of strategy almost as much as your betting choices. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there has been much discussion regarding the best staking plan to use.

As we’ve discussed, both of the plans have benefits and drawbacks. It’s possible to argue that either of them is the best one to use. It’s like chasing steam moves. One bettor likes it; another doesn’t. 

Whatever you choose to do, it’s critical to understand that a staking plan’s main purpose is to assist you in good money management. It can help you increase your chances of winning or reduce your chances of losing, but it won’t make you rich no matter how adept you are at selecting winners.

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