While there are many factors to consider as you bid to gain an edge over the bookies, a productive staking plan is undoubtedly one of the greatest weapons in any bettor’s arsenal. If you want to perfect your betting strategies for maximised success, understanding this crucial aspect of bankroll management is key.
It’s a simple idea to understand, but can be very difficult to master. With the help of the information below, you’ll soon be onto a winner.
What Is A Staking Plan?
The staking plan is a central feature of bankroll management that essentially dictates how much money you are willing to bet on each selection.
Rather than betting random amounts on each pick and relying on luck to achieve maximised returns on investment, a staking strategy give you clear guidance on how much money should be risked on any given selection. It goes further than simply relying on gut instincts, and uses statistical data and insights to help promote better betting habits.
As with all types of bankroll management, it primarily serves as a defensive tool to protect your capital for the long haul. By following a rigid plan, there is a method behind your betting activities and bid to make betting pay.
What Can/Can’t A Good Staking Plan Do For You?
Before establishing a positive staking plan, it’s important to know how it can help you while also respecting the limitations.
When implemented in the right fashion, a good staking plan can make you a better bettor in several ways. Here are some of the greatest benefits – keep them in mind when eventually deciding on your strategy and you won’t go far wrong!
Prevent the threat of staking too much on a specific selection. Whether it’s chasing losses or trying to ride a positive wave to quick profits, overstaking can put you at greta risk. A staking plan provides the discipline to stop this becoming an issue.
It can encourage you to take greater care with every single selection. In turn, this reduces the likelihood of boredom betting and other bad habits.
Provide clarity regarding the growth of your bankroll. This includes understanding the win ratios needed to expect a profit from your ongoing betting activities.
Help manage and protect your bankroll in a more efficient manner by working around your level of capital. Whether the stakes are calculated as a financial figure or as a percentage of the overall funds, you should become more responsible in your approach.
All gambling comes with a degree of risk, though, and even a good staking plan won’t change that. While the right strategy will support you along the betting journey, it cannot guarantee profits. Here are just some of the things that good staking plans won’t achieve.
Staking plans won’t help you discover value bets or increase the chances of individual selections winning. Conducting the necessary research into whether the odds represent value is still essential. Ultimately, if you regularly make bad bets, the bankroll will fall.
Staking plans won’t transform your bankroll overnight. Profiting from sports betting is a long-term slog. The right betting strategy simply reduce the risks and helps maximise your future ROIs.
Individual staking plans won’t always offer years of success. As with all aspects of betting, adaptation can be crucial as your bankroll and gambling goals evolve.
Staking plans won’t bring any rewards unless they are supported by a consistent philosophy. Switching between single bets and accumulating sequences, for example, can compromise the effects of a staking strategy.
Finally, individual staking plans aren’t universal. What works for someone else might to suit your situation. Therefore, finding the right solution for you must be top of the agenda.
What Are The Most Popular Staking Plans On The Market?
Now that you have an understanding of the basics, along with the reasons for choosing a plan, it’s time to think about specific strategies. No two punters are the same, and there are many different ways to manage your bankroll. Nonetheless, some staking plan methods are far more common than others.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones now.
The simplest form of staking plan is known as level staking. This means following a set pattern where every bet is for a set percentage of your bankroll. Most people will set this at 5% or 10%. Those stakes are set to the current bankroll rather than the starting capital.
So, if you have a £500 bankroll on a 5% level stake, your first bet will be for £25. If it loses, your bankroll will now be at £475, meaning bet two will be for £23.75. However, if bet one wins at odds of Evens, your new bankroll value is £525 – as such, bet two would increase to a stake of £26.25.
This can carry on indefinitely, with stakes increasing after a win and decreasing following a loss.
- Virtually impossible to lose your entire bankroll
- Stakes continually adapt to reflect your performance
- A discipline strategy built for long-term sustainability
- Once behind, it can take a long time to recover losses.
- Sometimes difficult to calculate how much should be bet, especially when multiple bets are simultaneously in play.
- When starting with a small bankroll, it’s very difficult to see any real ROI.
Level stakes are probably best utilised by disciplined punters with a decent sized bankroll and the patience to build profit over an extended period rather than chasing quick returns. It’s a particularly popular option for those that stick to low risk favourites rather than outside selections.
It’s also worth noting that some people trade the percentage stakes for level monetary stakes. So, for example, every bet could be for £10 regardless of the market or odds on offer.
The Martingale Method
The Martingale system is one that almost everyone has tried at one stage or another, even if they don’t realise it. It’s very common in the casino, but is a regular feature in sports betting too, and essentially builds upon the idea of doubling your bets after a loss until you get a winner.
If starting with a £1 stake on bet one, your run could look like this.
Bet 1 (lost): Stake £1. Lost £1. Overall loss £1.
Bet 2 (lost): Stake £2. Lost £2. Overall loss £3.
Bet 3 (lost): Stake £4. Lost £4. Overall loss £7.
Bet 4 (lost): Stake £8. Lost £8. Overall loss £15.
Bet 5 (lost): Stake £16. Lost £16. Overall loss £31.
Bet 6 (won). Stake £32. Won £32*. Overall profit £1.
*Winning bet calculated at odds of Evens.
Theoretically, the system can’t lose. In reality, bankroll limits and betting limits make it impossible to remove the risk. After all, by bet 10, you could be about to bet £512 to take your overall exposure from the sequence to £1,024. Even if you win, you’ll only be £1 up overall.
- One winning bet at odds of above Evens will recover the losses from a bad run
- As soon as you’ve won one selection, you can reset back to the low starting stake
- Versatility to be used across all sports and markets
- An extended run of losses will ruin your bankroll
- Pointless for anyone backing odds-on selections
- Can encourage very bad habits
If you can regularly find value bets at odds of Evens and above without encountering extended losing streaks, the Martingale can serve you well. However, you will need to have a sizeable bankroll.
On a separate note, it’s worth noting that not all markets have two outcomes. Draws, for example, may come back to haunt you.
The Fibonacci Staking Plan Method
The Fibonacci sequence is something many people will remember from school mathematics. The sequence, starts with 0 and 1 and then gains the next number by adding the previous two together. Therefore, the sequence reads.
0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144,233,377 and so on.
It was designed by Italian Leonardo Pisano in the 13th century and can be transported to the world of sports betting. Using a starting stake of £1, you move to the next stage after a losing selection and take two steps back following a win. As an example, your run of bets could read like this.
Bet 1 (lost): Stake £1. Lost £1. Overall loss £1.
Bet 2 (lost): Stake £2. Lost £2. Overall loss £3.
Bet 3 (lost): Stake £3. Lost £3. Overall loss £6
Bet 4 (lost): Stake £5. Lost £5. Overall loss £11.
Bet 5 (won): Stake £8. Won £8*. Overall loss £3.
Bet 6 (won) Stake £3. Won £3*. Broke even.
*Both winning bets calculated at odds of Evens.
So, with just two wins at Evens in a run of six bets, you could break even. However, the losses can soon grow at a rapid rate.
- When winning more often than you lose, the method should present positive returns
- One win can often cover several recent losses, recovering those funds in a very quick fashion
- The sequence numbers mean that you’ll need to enter a very bad run to start betting big numbers
- Bad runs can quickly obliterate your bankroll and lead to huge stakes on single selections
- As you enter a winning streak,stakes decrease. This compromises the confidence gained from your hot run
- A very confusing strategy for those that are new to betting or the mathematical sequence
Anyone that bets on selections at odds of Evens or above can potentially benefit from this method. However, you need to have the bankroll to cover those potential losses. Otherwise, your entire bankroll could be wiped out in one bad sequence.
As such, you need to be a risk taker.
The Kelly Criterion
The Kelly Criterion method can be broken into several sub-strategies. Ultimately, though, it is designed to create a winning formula based upon your bankroll, the probability of an event, and the odds on offer. Given that they are the most important ingredients, the strategy has been popular since its inception in the 1950s.
This is a method built for consistency and uses a calculation to determine how much should be placed on a bet. The formula used is:[(Decimal odds -1) x (chance of winning)] – [(1- chance of winning / (odds -1)] x 100
That looks confusing, but is simple in practice. Take a bet at Even (2.0) with a 75% (0.75) chance of winning.[(2.0-1) x 0.75] -[(1-0.75) / (2.00-1)] x 100
or[1 x 0.75] – 0.25 / 1 x 100
0.75 – 0.25 / 1 x 100
0.5/1 x 100
Bet stake = 50% of balance
This is an extreme example, but odds of Evens with a 75% chance of success would signal incredible value. This is reflected by the suggestion of betting 50%.
- Stakes are influence by the value and chances of winning, which should generally improve your ROIs
- Can be used for accumulators as long as you set a realistic expected chance of winning
- Brings very quick profits during hot streaks
- Calculating the chance of winning is subjective, even when backed up with stats. Get this wrong, and you can lose big
- Losing on a confident bet could wipe out your bankroll very quickly
- Makes it difficult to place multiple bets at once, as the cumulative exposure could surpass 100%
Anyone that backs their ability to spot value, and wants a mathematically backed system can use this method. It is especially useful when you tend to back one bet at a time.
Punters may also protect their bankroll by using the Fractional Kelly. This essentially uses the same system but then divides all bet stakes by a common figure. For example, you could look to set a .2 multiplier. So, if your calculations suggest betting 50% of your bankroll, you’d actually bet 10% instead.
Other Staking Plan Issues To Consider
A good staking plan shouldn’t only work in theory. For the strategy to be truly successful, it must work in reality too. Bookmakers know that punters with effective staking plans have a better shot at long-term profits, which is why they can erect obstacles to disrupt the scheme. Likewise, there are other issues that could potentially hinder your progress.
Before confirming your staking plan, make sure that you’re aware of these features:
Bookmaker limits. Many bookies have maximum stake restrictions in place, especially on specialist markets, which can stop you from sticking to your strict staking plans. This carries a huge threat to those using Fibonacci and similar strategies, but may hit level stakes too.
Duration of time between bet placement and settlement. If betting on the outcome of a league or tournament, it’s important to remember that those stakes will be tied up for an extended period. Fail to factor this in and your bankroll will soon evaporated, even if it’s only until those winners are eventually settled.
Compromised odds. This is usually most relevant to those that use exchanges like Betfair, but must not be overlooked. If your staking plan is built around the odds/risks, the threat of only getting a partial match at your desired odds must be factored into your overall plan.
Calculation times. When using a complex staking plan, you’ll regularly consult your spreadsheet and records to work out the next bet. While this is better than wasting money through bad habits, you don’t want this time to constantly stop you from making good selections. Simplicity is king.
Bet frequency. If you are likely to place several bets simultaneously, such as when the Saturday afternoon football is in play, you must ensure that your staking plan can handle this habit. Otherwise, your potential exposure at peak betting times could be sky high.
The Final Word
A positive staking strategy can be one of the greatest assets at your disposal, and will improve your bankroll management while encouraging better betting habits. Use it to your advantage in conjunction with the other key factors, and your ROIs should look better than ever.