Stake in betting: What it is, how to calculate it and examples

The stake in betting is the degree of confidence we have that a given bet will be successful. It is therefore a subjective value, by which the bettor assigns the risk that each of his bets will fail.

To number the confidence we place on our bets, we use a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 means that we are barely confident that the bet will be successful and 10 means that we are absolutely convinced that the bet will be successful.

How to calculate the stake of a bet?

Each number on the 1 to 10 scale will be assigned a percentage of the total money we have available to place all of our bets. Although assigning the confidence we have for each bet is subjective and very personal, we can give some tips to recognise which bets have more or less risk. 

  • Stake 1-2: Bets that are very unlikely to be successful, but with such a high odds that the risk can be assumed.
  • Stake 3-4: Bets that are difficult to place due to lack of information or because we are looking for a surprise.
  • Stake 5-6: Bets of feasible success, in which we have enough information that we are facing balanced opponents.
  • Stake 7-8: Bets with a high probability of success where we have a lot of information or where the odds are unusually high.
  • Stake 9-10: Bets that are practically certain to be successful because they are against very unequal opponents.

Bankroll management

Once we have a clear idea of our stake allocation scale, we must establish the maximum amount of money we have available to place bets, i.e. the bankroll. This is not to be confused with the amount you are going to bet, but all the money you have available to bet.

We must also know the concept of full stake, which will be the maximum percentage of our total money (bankroll) that we can invest for each bet, always understanding that we will use the maximum for bets of stake 9 and 10, which are the safest.

The stake is a fundamental concept to be responsible with our bets and to have a strategy in the management of our assets. Since we take into account the total amount of money we have available, the approximate risk that each bet would have and the maximum percentage that we can risk.

Depending on the type of bettor we are, we usually establish a full stake (maximum percentage of bankroll to invest in a bet) of 5 to 10%, depending on whether we opt for a more conservative or more daring strategy.

In the case that we set our full stake at 5%, a linear way of attributing value to each stake according to percentage would be:

  • Stake 1 – 0.5% of our total money.
  • Stake 2 – 1% of our total money.
  • Stake 3 – 1.5% of our total money.
  • Stake 4 – 2% of the total of our money.
  • Stake 5 – 2.5% of our total money.
  • Stake 6 – 3% of our total money.
  • Stake 7 – 3.5% of our total money.
  • Stake 8 – 4% of our total money.
  • Stake 9 – 4.5% of our total money.
  • Stake 10 – 5% of our total money.

Example: We have a total of 200 $s to bet, i.e. our bankroll is 200 $s. We establish a conservative strategy whereby our maximum individual stake will be 5% of the total, i.e. our full stake is 5%. We locate an interesting sporting event, in which success is very unlikely, but the odds are exaggeratedly high, we classify it as stake 2. Stake 2 would be 1% of our money, so a bet of 1% would correspond to $200, i.e. $2.

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