What is budgeting all about? What is bankroll management? It's making sure you know how the hell to take care of your hard-earned money! A lot of beginner esports bettors make some common, easy-to-avoid mistakes. There's no better use of your time than to read through this and make sure you have some basic strategies in place to maximize your chances of being a profitable bettor.

What is a bankroll?

A bankroll is the money that you set aside from your IRL money to use exclusively for betting. Your bankroll should never be more than you can afford to lose. If you find yourself setting aside a bankroll that's more than you can afford to lose, you should absolutely check out our responsible gambling page. You should be betting to have fun and increase your enjoyment of esports. If you're budgeting and/or losing more than you can afford to lose...please stop. Seriously.

If you are just starting out, it may be best for you to set aside a weekly or monthly bankroll. Use this money for wagering only! This is truly the number one rule!

If you think your monthly bankroll/budget for betting is $500 but you'll need to withdraw $100 to pay your phone bill, then your bankroll is NOT $500. The most it should be is $400. As soon as some of your bankroll is required for other items in your life, you are no longer playing with money that you can afford to lose. This will make betting a whole hell of a lot less fun and even, defeating our entire mission here at Rivalry.

Betting on esports matches is a form of entertainment just like going to the movies or a concert. Keep this in mind when you’re setting a budget. Instead of snagging that steak dinner and a premium bottle of wine, go for the salad and a draft beer! Boom, you now have a spare $20 to toss on a match. Think you wanted your boys at NiP to win before? You're going to quickly become their #1 fan (or #1 hater, if they lose) when you have $20 riding.

What games should I play? How much should I bet?

Now that you’ve set aside your bankroll it’s time to establish some rules that you will use when deciding which games to play and how much to stake on a bet. These guidelines will be different for everyone but here are some things to consider when creating your own:

If I lose my full bankroll, will I be able to reload in the near future or will I not be able to play for a long time?
If you're able to reload soon, then you can afford to be a little more aggressive with your game selection/stake size. If losing your bankroll will leave you out of the game for a while, be conservative so you can enjoy wagering on matches for a longer period of time!

What are my goals betting on esports?

Grinding - If you want to steadily work your way towards trying to become a profitable bettor with small wins and grind it out, a smaller bankroll or slightly larger bet sizes relative to your bankroll will be alright, since you will be winning bets more frequently betting on 50/50 (or close) matches.

Big Wins - If you don’t mind losing somewhat often but want to give yourself a chance at a big score by hitting a parlay, this will require a much larger bankroll or much smaller bet sizes since you will lose so much more often. Consider what you are trying to achieve and pick your bet sizes relative to your bankroll based on that.

Betting Amount Guidelines

Here are some general guidelines that can be used as a starting point:

  • Bet 3-5% of your bankroll on matches that will be close to 50/50
  • Bet 1-2% of your bankroll on reasonable sized underdogs (4:1 or higher)
  • Bet 0.5% (or less) of your bankroll on long shots and parlays

Disciplined Betting

Once you’ve established your set of rules and how much of your bankroll you’re willing to allocate to each bet, it’s time for the hardest part...having the discipline to stick with your rules!

There will always be an urge to play higher stakes after you’ve won a couple bets in a row and are feeling confident. Or if you’ve lost a few in a row, you may feel the urge to break your rules to try to get your money back. Don't do it bruh! Resist these temptations and stick with your game plan. Remember, bankroll management in itself will not make you a profitable bettor but it will certainly let your money go a lot further and keep you in the game longer, maximizing your level of fun and enjoyment!