Rowdie: Mathematical football predictions and betting tips
Rowdie Logo - Powered by Science
Football Predictions by Country

How much should I bet? Stake strategy explained

How much should I bet? Do I have to increase the bet with each lost one? These questions are quite common in sports betting. Facts about sports betting stake strategy

24/09/2019

The most common stake amount questions in sports betting are:

  • How much should I bet?
  • Do I have to increase the bet with each lost bet?
  • Do I have to bet more, when the odds are lower?

We are not going to tell you if you should bet £1, £10, £100 or £1000. The stake amount is obviously completely up to your financial situation.

The real question is. After you create a sports betting model, what are you supposed to do next? What stake strategy should you use? Below you will find a concrete example of my stake strategy. Now please take a few moments to read the introductions.

The first, most important step is to identify value bet in the football match. Value bet is a bet where the probability given by the bookmaker is bigger than it is in reality. The difference is to be seen in the column called "Value". It is the difference between the Odds of a Bookmaker and the Odds you calculated.

My stake strategy

Betting to get the same outcome

A table is always a good tool to have a perfect overview over your betting results. As you gain experience, you will probably quit using it. That is ok, since your account balance will tell you enough. Good news is that the following strategy doesn't require any sleepless nights.

Stake strategy in sports betting

  • Type of Bet presents what markets we decided to bet on. You also see the final result of the ticket. Marked Red are lost bets, marked Green are the winning ones. The count of winning ones is copying the blue marked number 29.9% - which is the average chance of success for the picks..
  • Bookies odds are the odds offered by a bookmaker
  • Our calculated odds are the ones that came out of our mathematically calculated football predictions or eventually our football odds calculator.
  • Value - we defined the value as a difference between the odds offered by the bookmaker and our calculated odds. The number has to be positive to be a value bet. (There are also different ways to define a value, but this is not important for now.)
  • Calculated Chance of an event is displaying how likely it is that the result will end up the way we predicted.

My stake strategy is taking into account the probabilities. In the column "Bet Amount - Case 2" I tried to make the number in column "Gain - Case 2" as close to 10 as possible. I simply divided 10 by the odds of the bookie and that was our bet amount. There are only 3 winning odds, but our profit was 5.6% in comparison to our stakes.

Higher odds lead to lower stakes and the ones with lower odds lead to higher stakes. This method is a self regulating one, keeping the risk at the same level.
Advise: Consider not going for odds below 1.5.

Should I increase bets as I lose?

I am aware that some football betting strategies might include increasing the bet amount, the point is however that you don’t have to. I strongly advise you not to increase the bet. There is not any mathematical reason to do that.

The summary is following: Your goal is to identify the percentage of the value bet and once you do, you can keep betting flat (the same amount). I will write it more clearly:

You should not increase the size of your bet if your actual bet was lost

What if you always bet the same amounts

In this example I am about to show you what happens if I bet £10 on each fixture. The example is taking the same fixtures as my stake strategy. With the sum of bets (£100) subtracted from the winning amount (£111) we ended up earning £11 (numbers displayed blue). This gave us a profit of 11% compared to the stake amount. The result was however just a matter of coincidence and is not proof of a better strategy.

Case study stake in sports betting

The "same stake strategy" is not taking into account the fact that the events have different chances of outcome. I will give you an extreme example scenario. Imagine you found value in events having a chance of 1%. Betting £10 on each match would most likely lead to frustration.

From this point of view we see a valid argument to consider the chance to be taken into account. While for the events with chance above 20% is the same stake perfectly valid, I would not have a good night sleep using it with the less likely events.

Do you need an extra example?

Let’s have a look at a case where you calculated the probability of an event as 50% (odds 2.00), but the bookmaker is giving 2.15 (as if the probability was 46,5%). The value we calculated in this case is 7.5%.

The mentioned 7.5% is your potential long term gain on all matches with the probability such as the one from our case. This is the value. This is indeed not a fixed entity. Value bet is a subject to "calculated opinion".

It is clear that the end result of every match will be binary: You win or lose on that specific bet. But if there are 100 matches played with the long term gain of 7.5%, by the end of the 100 match cycle you should (should is the correct word to use, since probability is a bitch) gain 7.5% of your bet amount.