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What is the difference between fixed and variable stakes?

Fixed stakes

If you're new to sports betting, it's easy to reduce your risks by staking the same amount of money on each bet that you make.

Think of it as a way of protecting yourself from any "errors of judgement" due to the euphoria that overcomes you after a series of correctly predicted wins. You'll also be significantly reducing the risk of losing everything.

You'll reduce this risk even further if your stake only represents a small fraction of the budget that you have for betting. Our advice is to choose a fixed sum which represents between 1% and 5% of the total amount that you've allocated to sports betting. A higher amount could expose you to significant amount of risks. 

Budgets are important and you should always stick to them. Using up too high a percentage of it early on isn’t going to help you if that bet happens to be unsuccessful.

Fixed stake systems are very simple, however they do not allow you the flexibility to act on your instincts. If you are spending some time placing bets, there will be a number of bets placed (don’t overdo it though). It is inevitable you will fancy some more than others to be a winning bet. This also means some may be considered to not have such a good chance of winning but may well do so. If you are placing the same amount on each bet, this isn’t the best course of action.

Nor does this method take account of changes in the size of your sports betting portfolio. You may be making a profit and have more to wager, then again you might not be doing so well and have less than you began with.

Proportional stakes

Opting for a proportional stake (%) of the total amount of your budget allows you to overcome both of the disadvantages of the fixed stake system. Betting a certain percentage of your sports betting portfolio allows you to:

Change the amount of money that you stake in proportion to the size of the budget you have set

Modify your stakes within a particular range to take account of your "hunches". 

We recommend that for each bet, you should stake between 1% and 5% of the total amount of money in your betting portfolio. For example, the next football game may be one between Arsenal and Newcastle United. The Gunners are in good form and at home, their opponents in not such good form and don’t do too well on their travels. Kicking off at the same time is a game between Everton and Southampton at Goodison Park. Everton have a good home record but haven’t been winning too many games of late. You still fancy them to win the match but not as strongly as Arsenal to beat Newcastle. It is important therefore that you don’t use the fixed method. Put more on the Arsenal win than an Everton victory. If you are lucky, both will win. 

If your hunch is correct and Arsenal win but Everton don’t, it’s not too bad a result. Placing more on Arsenal than Everton should still see you get a profit. Using the fixed method, the loss incurred on the Everton game might have wiped out the profit from the other match or even left you in a losing position.

In conclusion

The main advantage to both of these basic systems is that they are easy to use. Their main drawback is that they don't take account of the risks inherent to each bet. As you know, you don't have the same chances of winning your bet at odds of 1.2 and 10.0. The probability of the predicted event actually happening should be considered when you're choosing the size of your stake.

In conclusion

The main advantage to both of these basic systems is that they are easy to use. Their main drawback is that they don't take account of the risks inherent to each bet. As you know, you don't have the same chances of winning your bet at odds of 1.2 and 10. The probability of the predicted event actually happening should be considered when you're choosing the size of your stake.

The Kelly Criterion is a better system to use if you want to adapt the size of your stake to the quality of your forecasts and the odds at which you're betting.