How To Determine Your Unit Size in Sports Betting

When it comes to sports betting, there are a few things as critical as managing the amount you wager. A common term you will hear bettors use is a “unit,” or simply the amount of money you bet each time you place a wager.

Let’s take a closer look at a few factors to consider when determining what that amount should be.

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Bankroll Management

It is typically a good rule of thumb to have a set amount you are willing to gamble with each month, week, or day, otherwise known as your “bankroll.” Another good rule of thumb is that your “unit” should be 1-2% of that total bankroll within your bankroll.

For example, if your bankroll is at $1,000 a month, your unit size should be in the $10-$20 range to make it sustainable for the ups and downs of regularly betting every day and week.

Kelly Criterion

Using the idea of 1-2% of your total bankroll as unit size, the Kelly criterion moves away from the idea that all bets should be the same size (one unit). Instead, the Kelly criterion says that your confidence in that specific wager should determine the bet size.

Said another way, the more confident you are a bet will hit, the more you should increase your unit size accordingly.

Being Responsible

When the very best in the world at doing something do so correctly around 55% of the time, it’s likely a very, very difficult thing to do. It’s important to remember unless you’re a part of that sub-1% of people who has the time, resources, intuitiveness, and dedication, you should approach the endeavor for what it is: Entertainment.

That being said, it’s wise only to bet so that if you lose it all, your lifestyle and day-to-day financial decisions will not change.

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Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including How to Bet on Sports — or head to more advanced strategy — like 10 Tips to Become a Sharper Sports Bettor — to learn more.

Johnny is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Johnny, check out his archive and follow him @JohnnyCovers.

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