UFC Betting Tips: Manage Your Bet Size

By Paul Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Managing your bet size is one of the most important aspects of successful sports betting in any arena.

To keep things simple I want to compare three ways of determining your bet size. The starting bankroll will be $400 and all bets will be on favorites with odds between -115 and -190 for a total of just 20 bets. The range of odds selected provide that all bets won will have a 53-86% return. The bettor is getting 65% of these picks correct and each example follows the same win/lose pattern. Here are the three simple Methods:

Consistent Bet Amounts - Simple as is sounds, select a bet size and stick with it. In the graph above I selected $100. The amount is dependant on the size of your starting bankroll and comfort level. Many bettors only risk 2-3% of their bankroll. Others take a higher proportion especially if their starting amount is small ($100-500). Never go over 25% you won't hold up to losing streaks.

The Key here is being consistent. If your ability to pick fights is 65% and you bet the same amount on every fight with probabilities averaging less than 65% (-155) you will make money over time. (How UFC Odds Work)

Bet to win set amount- This means your bet amount is based on the odds offered. Each winning bet will return some amount you set, say $100. So if the odds for the favorite are -145, you will bet $145 to win $100.

Even though this will lead to profits over time your bankroll will grow slower than in the previous method and you will risk more money on every bet. Meaning you will have less money free for other bets.

The 50% Method - With this type of system you bet 50% of your bankroll whether you win or lose. If it sound like a bad idea to you you're right. If you look at the graph you can see that you bankroll will wither like Charles McCarthy after a spinning back kick. These types of methods represent the betting patterns of desperation seen so often. Don't do it!

The take home message from these simplified examples is pick a bet size you are comfortable with (no more than 25%) and stick with it. The other important message is know how well you pick and bet on fights within a given range of odds. Just because you're 90% sure Cro Cop will win doesn't mean you should play his odds even if they're at -500 (80%)...Stick with good returns on your bets.

As food for thought, if you increase your odds on every bet by just 5 points (from -155 to -150) your winnings would increase by nearly 5%...Not bad....But, if you boost your win rate for the example shown above from 65% to 70% (that's just getting one more fight right) your bankroll would increase about $150 (depending on odds). So pay close attention to the fights you bet on and be consistent.

As always your comments, thoughts and own experiences are invited.

You wanna make a bet....
Desert Dog

I have followed the UFC for over 10 years, written as a handicapper, and spent my spare time as an online poker grinder. Unfortunately, I ran out of legal wagering options...Thank god for Daily Fantasy Sports and the much needed addition of MMA drafts. I offer my insight into MMA fight handicapping and fight analysis for the purpose of making some dough at DFS!

4 comments to ''UFC Betting Tips: Manage Your Bet Size"

  1. Very important topic. My bets are 0.5 - 2% of my bankroll, with the majority being at 1%. Only in rare cases I bet my maximum of 2% and that's when I find something very special with high expected value.

  2. Anything over 5% of the bankroll I have a hard time considering serious. It's not rare with beginners betting 10-20% of the bankroll per bet and it might turn out positive in the short run, but when the losses start to come, and they will, it will get ugly very quickly.

  3. I agree with you Lars, although my maximum is 5%. The message that people should first get in their head is consistency. Next...Don't over bet.

    It's tough for most beginners to limit their bet size, they want quick returns. On the other hand, with a $100 account it might be a good lesson to see what happens when you over bet.

    Another option for learning is to go somewhere like MMAPlayground.com and make your picks and bets with a fantasy league. (Join the UFCManiac's team). You can figure out your win rate and test your ability to find good value bets.

    Also if you have money in a sportsbook...DON'T USE IT IN THEIR CASINO GAMES!. Poker OK, Casino NEVER.

  4. Please stop telling people to use BetUS.com I signed up for BetUS because of your site recommending it for UFC betting, and now I'm having tons of trouble getting my money back. Actually, everyone is having trouble getting their money back from these thieves. Check out http://forum.sbrforum.com/players-talk-2/betus-withdrawal-update-28171-p2.html The betting industry ranks betus as a C- site, and I think they're being nice. First thing BetUS does when you want your money is they tell you they need you to fax them your drivers license, and both sides of the credit card that you used. Then they try really hard not to give you your payout (and if you do get a payout there's a $50 withdrawal charge!!!). They also ask you for your password if you call them up. All this is absolutely ridiculous compared to the many sites out there that are legit. Sportsbook is another one with problems that you are recommending that people use. Check out 165 pages of forum posts complaining about Sportsbook at http://forum.sbrforum.com/players-talk/26467-sportsbook-com-withdrawal-delay.html