How Big a Bankroll Do You Need as a Sports Bettor?

Silhouette of a Man Thinking With a Sportsbook and Cash Background

Sports betting is one of the finest forms of gambling you will find. I’ve been a sports fan since I was old enough to crawl into my dad’s lap and watch games. I continued my love affair with sports through little league, high school, and college as a player. I still play competitive sports, though it has gotten tougher with a young family at home.

Sports betting is excellent because it gives you a chance to beat the house edge and walk away as a winner.

Getting Your Profit Isn’t a Cakewalk

Before you can ever make a profit, you must learn how to gain an edge. Once you have figured out how to have an advantage over the house, you need a bankroll. And if you’re looking to win a lot of money at sports betting, you better have a substantial bankroll.

I will show you why you must have a large bankroll if you want to make the most of your sports betting venture.

You probably don’t have $50-100k lying around to spend on gambling. However, there’s a simple method for building a gambling bankroll. Better yet, I’ll give you the tools to build a bankroll as you develop your sports betting skills.

You don’t have to have a six-figure bankroll to be a successful sports bettor. You certainly won’t need one to enjoy the incredible discipline.

Why Having a Bigger Bankroll Is Better

You want to have as big of a bankroll as possible in sports betting because you’re dealing with small margins. For you to simply break even against the sportsbook, you must win 52.38% of your bets. The most successful sports bettors win 53-55% of their games.

At a 57% win rate, you are essentially printing your own money. Billy Walters amassed a fortune and built an empire from sports betting. He reported a winning percentage of 57%.

Novice sports bettors don’t grasp the difficulty involved to win on a consistent and sustainable basis. I’ve witnessed gamblers make runs with the impression they could win 60% or better. We already know that 60% is unrealistic.

Real-World Application

Even 55% is incredibly tricky. Only the real sharp sports bettors enjoy this rarified air.

But it’s in the realm of possibility.

I’ll use this 55% win percentage to illustrate why you need a large bankroll to be successful.

Imagine you are betting on 100 games a month. At 55%, this means you win 55 events and lose 45 events.

Here’s a look at how you are doing based on the average amount bet:

If you wager $11 to make $10 on every game, the total money in play is $1100. You won’t receive anything for your losses. You will get $21 for every one of the wins (your original $11 plus a gain of $10). Now, multiply those 55 wins by the $21, and you get $1155. Not too bad, but remember, this is at 55%. Finally, subtract your initial investment of $1100.

Congratulations, you made $55 this month.

College Football Player Diving Into the Endzone

What if you are a “high roller” in your circle and put $5500 into action at $55 per game. Hey, now you’re retrieving $105 for those 55 wins. That nets you a profit of $275. Still not going to pay your electric bill, but Netflix and cell phones are covered.

When you jump up to $110 for every contest, you are now placing $11,000 on the line every month. Your profit for a 55% winning percentage is only $550. That may cover your car payment. Of course, you could buy a decent car for $11,000.

Sharp bettors can make a decent living on sports betting because they are betting much larger bets per game. They have put in the work to grow a bankroll that facilitates huge stakes and can weather any losing streaks that come along.

Making a Living as a Sports Bettor

Making good money as a sports bettor can be a challenge. You either have to find a lot of value bets or bet enough per event to make it worth your time. Most bookmakers are going to set the lines in a manner that will make it tough to find enough value bets.

Of course, what you consider a decent living depends on your expenses and how much money you could make working for a living. I have met many gamblers that think $2,500 a decent monthly income. At the same time, some gamblers can easily make well over $10,000 per month in another profession.

The amount you need to make as a sports bettor is inconsequential. What you need to know is that you’re going to need to risk a substantial chunk of cash to ever turn a significant profit.

The primary concern is to have a large enough bankroll to survive the ebbs and flow of losing streaks. Even the best sharp bettors have losing streaks.

The standard base bankroll for all winning sports bettors is 1 month’s bets. For 1 month of betting, assuming you’re skilled enough to win $5k on 100 bets, that’s $100,000.

Eventually, you are going to run into the problem of getting enough money down to cover all your bets. Fortunately, online sportsbooks can undoubtedly make this less taxing for you. You may find it best to live in an area where you can simply walk in and place live bets.

A Basic System for Building a Bankroll That Works

I spoke earlier about building your bankroll. I prefer to take a simplistic approach to this task. By adding the same dollar amount to the bankroll every week or month, your bankroll will continue to grow, regardless of whether you’re winning yet.

If you are only betting on 10 games a week to start, you’ll quickly learn the ropes. You will also need a relatively small bankroll. Depending on your financial situation, you should aim to start with the $11 bets to win $10.

Let’s assume you’ll win 50% of your bets as you are gaining insight and experience as a sports bettor. So, you’ll need $110 to get going. You take $105 at the end of the first week and add another $110.

Las Vegas Golden Knights During a Time Out

Now you have a $215 bankroll but are only putting $110 into action. You continue this weekly, and by the end of your first year, you’ve grown your measly $110 bankroll to over $5k.

That’s not too bad.

By the end of your first year, you should really be getting the hang of how to spot the best values. You may also have begun to increase your wagers. You may be closer to $5,500 or more.

Continue increasing your bet size incrementally as you watch your bankroll grow. In a few years, you will have amassed quite the nice little bankroll. You must be disciplined in your approach and commit to regular contributions as you improve.

So How Much Money Does a Sports Bettor Need?

There’s no right or wrong answer.

It entirely depends on the individual and what they hope to accomplish.

I’ve shown you how to start with as little as $110 and grow that into a serviceable bankroll if you are a casual sports bettor that only wants to enjoy the thrill of gambling on a budget.

On the other hand, if you are planning to make this a long-term investment opportunity or become a professional sports bettor. You are going to need to come up with somewhere between $50-100k.

Having $100,000 in your bankroll is going to allow you to have enough to lay the bets that will net you a livable profit while also ensuring you can survive any losing streaks.

I’ll make it clear and definitive. A sports bettor needs between $110 and $100,000 in their bankroll. You can decide for yourself what type of sports bettor you’re going to be.


The outline I’ve provided for you may not be the most exciting way to get your bankroll started. I can promise you that it will work, though.

If you stick to the script and remain patient, you’ll see your bankroll continue to gain momentum, regardless of whether or not you are winning.

By adopting an aggressive betting strategy, you can even grow that $110 bankroll to over $100,000 in as few as 5 years.

Get out there and start building that bankroll.