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What is a unit in sports betting?

In Sports betting you will often hear handicappers or tipsters refer to a number of units to allow for when it comes to placing a bet. Example this is a 1 unit bet. A unit is an amount that is calculated based on your total stake amount. Your total stake amount should be an amount of money you have saved, and can afford to speculate with. If you’re betting paycheck to paycheck it may also serve as a means of setting a limit amount so you can better manage your financial position. 

In our experience using a unit system is the best way to build a disciplined approach to sports betting. Using unit limits is a further step in this approach which will also allow you to shut a system down when a unit limit is reached or to up a unit amount when an attractive opportunity arises.

Here are the FAQs we get when discussing units in sports betting-

Q1 – How do you calculate a unit?

The best approach we have found is to allow for 250 units in a calendar year, or approx 5 units per week, or approximately 20 units per month. If you have an initial stake amount or total bank amount of $5000 then 1 unit would equal $20.

See our unit table below –




























Q2 – How many units should you allow to bet within a month?

We believe in allowing up to 30% of your total stake in one month is acceptable, importantly this assumes that you are winning first and foremost and you’re making the most of increasing your unit amounts on excellent outcomes. This means that we believe that allowing up to 75 units is acceptable in the month (NB – the 20 limit rule must apply first, if you lose the 20 then we believe you should stop and wait until next month to start again), however if you are winning, and or outcomes with odds in your favor arrive then we believe you should look to maximise your returns.

Q3 – Should you ever go past a 1 unit limit?

As explained above, allowing units in a month and speculating a unit in an outcome are different. Units allowed in a month are directly related to your bank, or your stake. Unit limits in a specific outcome is directly related to the single bet (or parlay bet) that you are wagering on. We’ve all come across a good thing, or a market set by a bookmaker that was in a sense “A LOCK”. While no bet is really a lock in some cases some bets are better than others, and some outcomes are better evaluated than others. 

When the evaluation and the market offering line up then we believe in increasing the unit amount per speculation. This is a very complex method, takes a lot of work, it also adds more risk, which means you stand to lose more per outcome. This means you best be doing the work, but be fair warned no matter how much work you do, when you up the unit amount they will also lose (you would hope if you are good, only some of the time). 

The way we like to look at this is by placing the outcome into 4 categories. 

1 – GOOD – A good chance to be right – 1-2 units of speculation 

2 – VERY GOOD – Likely to be right – 3-4 units of speculation 

3 – HIGHLY LIKELY – Highly likely to be right – 5-6 units of speculation

4 – EXTREMELY LIKELY – Extremely likely to be right – 6-10 units of speculation

PLEASE NOTE  – We only recommend increasing units if you are highly experienced in evaluating outcomes, and most importantly you have a very high PROVEN success rate (in excess of 85%) when increasing unit amounts in outcomes. 

NB – We do not recommend going past 10 units in a single bet either, as this is the equivalent of about 2 full weeks of units in just one outcome, and believe us when we say they can lose. You want to be the one who wins these bets if you are having them.

Q4 – How do you determine how many units a particular outcome is worth?

The better you are at staking, handicapping the better you will become at evaluating how many units a specific outcome is valued at.

NB It is best to create a tracking system, so that you can keep tabs of how you are going with these, which outcomes fall into which category and what your overall success rate is before you start placing your hard earned money down on any increased unit amount.

Q5 – What is the highest number of units you have ever bet with?

We recently landed a 55 unit bet. We were already in a winning position and we were betting with the house’s money, which is the ideal position to be in. When rare opportunities arise, if you are well in front for the year, this is the time you can take advantage of rare mistakes from the bookmakers, and trust us they do make mistakes. We do not recommend upping the total unit amount past 10 units in a single outcome. Our financial position does allow us to take on certain additional risks, but we know this isn’t everyone’s position. 

Q6 – Is 2% of your overall stake in one week an acceptable amount? 

Setting limits or reserves in sports punting is the first step in creating a disciplined approach to how you set out in an attempt to win money by speculating on sports markets set by bookmakers. 2% of your overall stake allows you to potentially have 50 individual outcomes. Which if you’re a successful punter you can really make work for you. We add an extra level to this and reduce a single unit down to just 0.4% of your total stake. This gives you a little more room to work a weekly strategy across multiple events. We subscribe to a monthly plan and strategy, weekly is just too short term focused, but the results are all in the long term so plan accordingly and make your year a profitable one.

Q7 – What do you do when you reach your limit?

You must have the discipline to stop. Reflect and review your choices. Go back to the drawing board and work harder. To be successful in this game chasing loses with outcomes that you didn’t really like, look at or review in the first place is almost a sure fire guaranteed way of losing more of your stake. You need to guard your stake at all times and if you reach a limit in the week or the month then stop and start again when your stake and unit system allows for it. You simply have to know when to stop.

We wish you every success in your sports betting journey but if you need assistance or or want to talk to someone about a problem with gambling please contact gambling help online click >>> here or call 1-800-858-858. Know your limit.’