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Setting Up Your Betting Bank

Racing Profits - Setting Up Your Betting Strategy

Written By Rich Mawer

Rich has been in horse racing since a small boy growing up in Yorkshire and heading to the Malton open days. At University Rich shared a house with a bookmakers son for 3 years, in that time he learned how to read form, course stats, use speed ratings and price up a card. In 1996 Rich went full-time with his betting, then with the advent of Betfair in 2002 Rich switched to the exchanges, learning to trade and lay horses.

When I set up Racing Profits back in 2009 one of the first videos I shared with people was on how to set up their betting bank correctly. The biggest mistake I see punters making is that they do not have a structured bank in place and stake accordingly. So in this post I am going to revisit this vital step.

Why this is fundamental to your success with modern betting

In this video I cover how to set up you betting bank correctly and why it is so important to start with this basic set up step.

As you can see, there are two key skills you need to master, if you hope to make money from betting on horses racing.

  • Discipline – You bet in a controlled structured manner.
  • Money Management – you can control your betting stakes and know that over the long term you will make profit.

Your betting bank is the lifeblood of your business, in a traditional business you have “working capital” and this is how you must look on your betting bank, you must protect it, as if you lose it, you are out of business.

“You must keep your betting bank totally separate from your day to day money. This is for practical reasons but also important in the psychology of betting profitably.”

Why is it vital to have a betting bank?

I feel there are three key reasons for having a betting bank.

  1. Tracking your success – Simply put you need to know a starting point, record your results and track your success or failure in your betting strategy. Your bank growing or declining is one of the best key performance indicators (KPI’s) you can track.
  2. Determine your stakes and strategy – You can accurately work out your staking levels from your initial betting bank i.e if you have £1000 initial betting bank and you work to a 200 point bank, you know you will be staking £5 per point.
  3. Treat your betting like a business – By having a good betting bank in place, you will be able to stick to your betting strategy over a long period of time. You will find that individual results become less important and you start thinking about month by month results, not day by day. I find that when people have a betting bank in place and they adopt this mentality, they do not get tempted to chase losses or worry about a losing run.

I have developed a betting strategy which revolves around backing 2 – 3 horses per day, laying 2 – 3 weak favourites per day using my two lay systems and then spending the rest of my time trading on Betfair and finding opportunities to build profits in the pre-race markets.

How much should you have in your betting bank?

The answer to this is that is totally depends on your unique circumstances and what you can afford to invest. What may be affordable to me, may not be affordable to you, everyone is different, with different personal situations to consider. So be realistic and do not stretch yourself.

Why? Because if you stretch yourself with the amount you put into your betting bank then you will have an “emotional attachment” to that money and this will directly effect how much you stake and the importance you will place on every result. You need to make calculated betting decisions not be swayed by financial pressures in your personal life. I cover this in my Mindset of a Betting Pro post.

Keep in mind that you bank has also got to be large enough to absorb losing runs, we are in the business of betting on horses and you will always get fluctuations in results, no matter how good you are. These are animals not machines.

Breaking your bank down into points

I have always broken my bank down into points, as this is psychologically different to betting with money, and lends itself more to an investment mentality. I currently run a £10000 betting bank broken down into 200 points and so my staking levels are at £50 per point.

My average back bet is 2pts to win or 1pt each way, in certain cases. But when I started out in 1996, I started with a betting bank of only £200 and split that into 100 pts or £2 per point.

Whatever you decide, just make sure your betting bank is large enough to remove the “every bet matters” mentality.

The power of compounding

Remember that wherever you start from, your betting bank will grow and your stakes will increase over time, we call this compounding.

A realistic goal may be to grow your bank by 5% per day, so an example would be a £200 bank, would be looking to grow by £10 per day, with a mix of back bets, lay bets and trading, this is more than possible – check out my Planning A Profitable Betting Strategy post to see how to do this. This is what you would achieve by compounding.

As you can see, by Day 16 you should have doubled your initial bank, so if you are working Monday – Friday as I do, you are looking at 3 weeks to get to that point, and you now have a decision to make do you remove your initial investment and start again or do you double your betting bank to 200 points from 100 points, to give yourself more safety.

I would always recommend to withdraw your initial investment as soon as possible. Then you are in the nirvana of using your winnings to build your bank.

I hope you enjoyed that, if you have any questions you would like me to answer then feel free to get in touch via the contact form or email me on

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