If you want to make money long term then it is vital you find the best staking strategy for sports betting. Most importantly finding a strategy that you understand and suits your risk level.
In this article we are going to take a look at several different sports betting staking strategies. Identifying which is the best strategy to use based on your experience level and what you are trying to achieve from your sports betting.
Alright let’s get into it!
We are going to start off with the most simple staking strategy you can use for sports betting.
Level staking is a simple strategy were you bet the same amount of money for every selection. For example you may choose to bet a set amount of £100 per bet. You then stick to betting this amount for every bet whether the previous selection win or lose.
Level staking is a good strategy to use for beginners due to its simplicity. The problem with level staking however comes when you are backing at different odds.
If we are betting £100 on a selection that is odds of 2.0 (£100 to win £100). Then the market is saying that we have a 50% chance that our bet is going to win. The next bet we like however is odds of 4.0 (£100 to win £300.) which only implies a 25% chance.
Drawbacks of Level Staking
This is where the problem lies with level staking. Due to the lower win probability at higher odds, we risk long losing periods using level staking and increased variance.
Which can put our bankroll in danger.
Level staking is great if you are consistently betting at around the same odds for each selection. It is ideal for the Asian Handicap market where you might be backing close to evens each week.
The simplicity makes it ideal for beginners however the draw back is when you are betting at various different odds ranges.
Which brings us on to the next staking strategy.
Stake To Win
The next sports betting staking strategy is a personal favorite and ideal for those who are getting to grips with sports betting.
Stake to win is a strategy that involves staking to win the same set amount for every bet.
Let’s say we are looking to win £50 every time we place a bet. We can bet at various odds ranges and adjust our stake so that should the bet win, our profit will be £50 each time.
- 2.0 – Stake £50 to win £50
- 3.0 – Stake £25 to win £50
- 5.0 – Stake £12.50 to win £50
It is an ideal strategy when you are betting at variable odds or placing lay bets. The major benefit of this strategy is again its simplicity and sensible staking should avoid large volatility in your results.
In comparison to level staking where a run of losers at higher odds could ruin your bankroll. The stake to win a set amount strategy makes losing runs much easier to deal with.
The Martingale system is a popular staking strategy among many bettors.
In fact I was once at a friends wedding and got introduced to someone. The subject of betting came up and let’s call him “John” told me about this amazing system he had used to make thousands from roulette.
He explained to me how the Martingale system worked.
Now before you get excited John was either lying or had gotten very lucky as Martingale is a mathematically flawed strategy that will likely send you to the poor house.
Due to its popularity though it is something we should cover.
The martingale system is a staking strategy that involves doubling your stake after every loss. When a winning bet occurs you revert back to your original stake.
- Bet £10 at odds of 2.0 it loses, move on to the next bet.
- Stake £20 on the bet it loses again
- Next bet is £40, another loss
You can start to see why this strategy is so dangerous. Losing runs do occur even with a solid long term winning strategy you can go through some pretty bad losing periods.
Even when looking to win only £10 per bet, It only takes 7 loses in a row for the next bet to be £1280.
In order to win £10!!!
Martingale is not a strategy you should ever consider using seriously in betting. The risk vs reward of using this strategy is pretty terrible and even the best sports bettors in the world go through losing periods.
It is much smarter to accept that you will go through losing runs. However if your sports betting strategy does have an edge you will win long term!
Kelly Criterion Staking Method
On to Kelly staking which is a favorite of many professional sports bettors. It is however a strategy that is suited to the more experienced sports bettors. Who has a good understanding of what their edge in the betting market is.
The Kelly Criterion is a variable staking method that takes into account the probability of a bet and the implied edge. As the implied edge becomes bigger the suggested bet size also increases in relation to the odds.
Sounds complicated right?
Although it lacks the simplicity of stake to win or the level staking method. The Kelly Criterion isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Also there are a lot of Kelly staking calculators available online that do the hard work for you.
Using the calculator above or a similar, makes using the Kelly Criterion for sports betting accessible to anyone.
Kelly Criterion Formula
The Fibonacci staking system works by increasing your bet size after every losing bet. It is a negative progression system much like martingale.
Next up is the Fibonacci staking system which much like the Martingale system is used on bets around evens. The Fibonacci system was designed to help bettors recuperate their losses. Again however it is viewed as a mostly flawed system for sports betting due to its staking progression.
Whilst not as aggressive as the Martingale system, long losing periods using the Fibonacci system would suggest staking thousands to win £10.
In the Fibonacci sequence, every new number equals the sum of the previous two numbers. Let’s start at staking £10 to show how the sequence would work.
- Bet 1 = £10
- Bet 2 = £10 (to recuperate £10 lost)
- Bet 3 = £20 (£10 +£10)
- Bet 4 = £30 (£10 + £20)
- Bet 5 = £50 (£20 + £30)
- Bet 6 = £80 (£30 + £50)
Much like the martingale system, the Fibonacci system is not for the serious bettor. Whilst you will make lots of small profits, there will always be the one long losing streak which will wipe out your bankroll.
It is a popular system among casino bettors, however it is not advisable to use this strategy if you are serious about making money from sports betting.
Best Staking Strategy For Sports Betting – Conclusion
What is the best staking strategy for sports betting?
If you are a beginner beginners then staking to win a set amount is a great strategy to use. It is very simple, lowers the volatility that betting at variable odds can bring and is easy to implement.
If you are a successful sports bettor then it is also a staking strategy that is easy to scale up. Perhaps you start betting to win £50 initially.
Doubled your bankroll?
You can now start staking to win £60, When your bankroll increase so does the amount you aim to win. If your bankroll decreases you can always lower the amount you are staking to win.
For the advanced sports bettor. Who understands what their edge is and has proven to be profitable over a large sample size of bets. Look towards 1/4 or 1/2 Kelly staking.
Overall the best staking strategy is the going to be the one that suits you. Its the strategy you are comfortable with and confident in implementing!
Ryan is a former mixed martial arts and kickboxing competitor. After finishing university he played online poker and taught English for a living in Thailand for a few years.
Upon returning to England his focus has been on making a living from sports trading, betting and arbitrage. Over the course of 5 years he has managed to make a six figure profit using the strategies discussed on this site.
Ryan runs the sports betting and trading website www.smartsportstrader.com