How to Turn $100 Into $1000

by Daniel Parsons
on March 10, 2018

If you’re a new sports bettor, read our sports betting guide first, and once you win your first $100, come back and read this page to learn how to turn $100 into $1,000 betting on sports.

You can just start here if you have $100 to invest for your bankroll, but I like the idea of winning $100 first so you can play with house money. In order to win your first $100, you had to start with at least a small bankroll, but I suggest taking out the amount you started with and just using your $100 in winnings.

The nice thing about using this method is that if things go bad, you can go back and start with winning $100 again and then try to turn it into $1,000. Though it isn’t required, you might even decide to put back $100 in winnings as you build your bankroll so you can start again if you need to.

Once you learn how to be a winning sports bettor and build a bankroll, the confidence in your abilities will grow. Knowing that you did it once is important if you have to do it again.

Small Bankroll

Starting with $100, your goal is to turn it into $1,000. In order to reach your goal, you need to double your starting stake more than three times. But the safest way to get from $100 to $1,000 is by making several small wagers and growing at a slow rate.

When you think along the lines of doubling your stake, it makes it sound like you’re going to risk everything for the chance to double your bankroll. This is dangerous and will end in a total loss most of the time.

Winning sports bettors are able to win more than 50% of their bets, but it’s usually still only 54% to 55% of their bets. This means that it’s rare to win four games in a row.

Even if you can win 60% of the games you pick, you only have a 12.96% chance to win four games in a row. The odds are too steep to be worth the risk, and it’s rare for anyone to be able to win at such a high rate.

Being able to win 55% of your games puts you at the top of the profession and is a good goal. But even when you can pick 55% winners, you only have a 9.15% chance of winning four in a row. This makes trying to increase your bankroll by doubling your stake illogical.

The other problem with the doubling scenario is that you have to risk more than you can win because of the vig (the money the bookmaker keeps as profit). The bottom line is that you shouldn’t try to double your way to your goal.

So if you aren’t going to try to double your way to your goal, what are you supposed to do?

Professional sports bettors place bets using a small percentage of their bankroll. This protects their bankroll because they know that they face winning and losing streaks. A losing streak can quickly deplete your bankroll if you bet too much.

Once you build your bankroll to a large enough amount, you should bet less than 5% of it on any single game. Betting 1% to 2% of your bankroll per game should be your ultimate goal.

The problem with this when you’re trying to get from $100 to $1,000 is that you could only bet $1 to $2 per game. If you’re a winning bettor, you can reach your goal this way, but it’s going to take forever.

If you used the information on winning your first $100 and are making bets with money you won, you know you can do it again if you need to. So when you get started trying to go from $100 to $1,000, I suggest making bets larger than 5% of your bankroll.

Doing this increases your chances to hit a losing streak and getting wiped out, but if you don’t make progress of more than a few dollars a week toward your goal, you might be tempted to give up. Once you reach your goal of $1,000, I strongly suggest reducing your bets as a percentage of your total bankroll to a safer level.

With a $100 bankroll, I suggest making bets between $11 to win $10 and $22 to win $20. This is 11% to 22% of your starting bankroll. This is high, but it gives you a chance to win enough to build your bankroll quickly enough to see the progress.

If you can easily replace your $100 bankroll, lean toward the upper limit, but if you’re dedicated to doing everything with money you’ve already won, stick to the lower limits.

With a $100 bankroll, when you bet $11 to win $10, you can make up to nine wagers. Your goal is to win five out of every nine bets you make. This is a winning percentage of 55.56%.

Let’s look at the numbers. If you place nine bets at $11 to win $10, your total cost is $99. If you win five out of nine games, you lose your $11 on the four games you lose and get back your $11 and a win of $10 on the five games you win. This means you get back $105 on the nine games, for a profit of $6. Now your bankroll is at $106.

The Grind

Even if you can find enough games a week to bet on, it’s going to take a long time at $6 a week in profit to get from $100 to $1,000. But this is the way you’re forced to do it if you want to have a realistic chance to reach your goal without risking the chance of losing all of your money.

The good news is that this is the way professional sports bettors work. They grind out profit over a long period of time. Your goal should be to figure out how to turn a long-term profit. Once you figure out how to do this, the only variable is the size of your bankroll.

As your bankroll grows, you can place larger bets and increase your profits.

Continuing with the example above where you place nine bets a week and win five of them, if you do this for five weeks, your bankroll will be at $130. At this point, you can start placing bets of $14 to win $12.72. Each week, you wager $126 on the nine games, and if you win five of them, your profit will be $7.60.

If you do this for five more weeks, your bankroll will be at $168. Then you raise your bet per game to $18 to win $16.36. Your profit per week winning five out of nine games will be $9.80. With five weeks at this betting level, your bankroll will be at $217.

Then increase your bet level to $22 to win $20. Though it might seem like it takes a long time, the truth is that you will more than double your starting stake in 15 weeks. This is a grind, but you need to realize that few investment opportunities allow you to double your money in 15 weeks. All you have to do is be able to pick winners 55.56% of the time.

If you can continue this rate of return, you’re going to have over $400 after 30 weeks and over $800 after 45 weeks. This means that you can get from $100 to $1,000 in less than a year.

This sounds good, but there are two important reasons that most sports bettors don’t get these results. The first thing is that it’s hard to pick winners at a 55.56% rate. The second is that it’s hard to find enough games that offer value to bet on every week.

You can find plenty of games to bet on, but to keep your winning percentage high, you should only bet on the games that offer the most value.

Value

The key to going from $100 to $1,000 is placing bets that offer value. You have to be able to evaluate games in a way that allows you to find lines that don’t agree with what’s going to happen in a game. The easiest way to state this in a way most people can understand is that you need to find and capitalize on mistakes made by the bookmakers.

Winning sports bettors only bet on games where they see value. You can’t make bets just for the sake of gambling. Anyone can flip a coin to pick games. This is what most sports bettors do, even though they don’t view it as coin flipping.

You can throw darts at a list of betting lines or let a monkey pick games and over the long term win 50% of the time. Most sports bettors have close to the same luck picking games. They win around half the time.

If they didn’t have to pay vig, they would break even when winning half the time. But the vig slowly eats away their bankroll and they have to quit betting or add more money to keep making bets.

Example

An average sports bettor places 10 bets at $110 to win $100 and wins five games. His total cost for placing 10 bets is $1,100, and he only gets back $1,050 on the five games he wins. This means he loses $50 by winning five out of 10 games. This is a loss of over 4.5% on his average wager.

If you want to compare the numbers for an average bettor and a winning bettor like I included in the last section, consider the following.

The average bettor betting nine games per week will win five out of nine one week and four out of nine on average the next week. They have winning and losing weeks, but overall, they win half their games.

A winning bettor consistently wins five out of nine for a consistent profit. They also have winning and losing weeks, but they win more often than they lose.

The average bettor and the winning bettor win the same amount when they win five out of nine games. Betting $110 to win $100 creates a profit for the week of $60.

But the next week, when the average bettor only wins four out of five games, he has a loss for the week of $150, while the winning bettor has another profit of $60.

The difference between picking 10 winners out of 18 and 9 out of 18 in this example is $210. A profit of $120 against a loss of $90 is the end result.

It might not seem like a single loss would create such a big difference over 18 games, but this is where winners and losers are separated. And the way you become a winner is by identifying games that offer value.

Here’s a quick example of value and how it works.

Example

The line on an NFL football game has the home team favored by 2 ½ points. You evaluate the game and conclude that the home team should win by an average of five points if the game were played numerous times.

If your evaluation is correct, a bet on the home team offers a long-term value. Betting on the home team giving 2 ½ points when they win by an average of five points creates a long-term profit.

On the other hand, if you evaluate the game and determine the visiting team is good enough to win the match-up half the time, the value is on taking the underdog and the points.

Betting on sports is an inexact science because the games are played by humans and it’s impossible to predict what’s going to happen in any single game. The bookmakers do a good job of making predictions when they set their lines, and if they balance the amount of money on each side of a game, they guarantee a profit.

You need to develop a system for evaluating games where you can predict outcomes that show a long-term profit, just like the bookmakers do. This is all about finding games and lines that offer value.

The best way to find value is to learn more about the teams and players than the book-makers know. Bookmakers set lines for thousands of contests a year, so you could think of them as generalists. They have a set amount of resources and have to spread them over all of the games to set lines.

You don’t have to be an expert on every game. You can choose to specialize on any subset of games that you want. By specializing, you concentrate your resources and have a chance to learn how to evaluate games better than the books.

Another trick that some professional sports bettors use is to shop for betting lines and find opportunities to bet both sides of a game. This is dangerous and requires a large bankroll in many cases because the vig hurts you when a game doesn’t go as planned.

Example

At one book-maker, the home team is favored by 2 ½, and at another, the same team is favored by 3 ½. At first it looks like placing a bet on the home team giving 2 ½ and a bet on the visiting team getting 3 ½ creates a sure thing. When the home team wins by three, you win both sides of the bet, and when they don’t, you win one side and lose the other.

The problem with this is the vig when the home team doesn’t win by exactly three. Here are the two possible outcomes:

If you place both bets at $110 to win $100 and the home team wins by exactly three points, your profit is $200. But when you win one side and lose the other, you lose $10.

This means that you need the home team to win by exactly three points once out of every 20 times you place this bet to make a profit. If the home team wins more than once out of every 20 times, your profit goes up considerably.

In the long run, bets like this are usually profitable, but waiting for your profit to come through over 15 to 20 games is not the way most sports bettors like to operate. It’s also important to realize that your ability to evaluate games is still important.

If you don’t think the home team should win by three points on average, it might not be a good bet. I’m not telling you to avoid these situations overall, but with a small bankroll like the one you’re starting with, trying to reach $1,000 using these opportunities might not be the best use of your resources.

So far, we’ve used examples with a standard vig of $110 to win $100. If you can find books that offer lower vig or find way to make some bets without vig, you don’t need to win as often to turn a profit.

Some bookmakers run specials where they only charge $105 to win $100. Let’s look at the numbers using this instead of the common $110 to win $100.

Using the same example we used above, let’s look at what happens when you bet on nine games every week. If you win five out of nine each week, your profit is $80 per week. This is an extra profit of $20 a week because of the lower vig.

But the sports bettor that wins five out of nine one week and four out of nine the next week still shows a loss. It just isn’t as big. This bettor has a profit of $80 when he wins five out of nine and a loss of $125 on the weeks he wins four out of nine. This is an overall loss of $45 over the two weeks. This is half the loss of $90 at $110 to win $100.

I mentioned that you can try to place bets with no vig. The only way to do this is by making private bets with other sports bettors. If you know other sports bettors, you can try to build a small network of people you can place bets with, but this creates challenges that placing bets with bookmakers doesn’t have.

You have a greater risk of not getting paid, and even with a fair-sized network, you often have trouble finding bettors who want to take the other side of games you want to bet on.

Some days and weeks, you might only find a few games that offer value, and others you can find more. You need to avoid the temptation to find value where it doesn’t exist. When you feel like you have to bet on more games, you start creating possible value that isn’t there.

I’ve used the example of betting nine games per week throughout this page, but sometimes this is difficult. If you bet on MLB and the NBA, it’s easier because the schedule has so many games. But if you want to bet on football, you may have to evaluate both the NFL and NCAA.

Often there’s a fine line between specializing enough to find value and finding enough games to bet on every week. But you’re always better off in the long run to bet on fewer games that offer true value than trying to bet on a set number of games.

You long-term goal should be to build your bankroll large enough so you can only bet on games with true value and be able to bet enough on them to turn a good profit.

Would you rather bet $110 to win $100 on 1,000 games a year and win 54% of them, or bet $1,100 to win $1,000 on 100 games a year and win 56% of them?

Let’s look at the numbers to see which is better.

You bet $110,000 both ways. Your profit betting 1,000 games at a 54% win rate is $3,400. Your profit betting 100 games at a 56% win rate is $7,600.

It’s easier to find 100 games a year with value than 1,000. In order to bet on 1,000 games, you have to evaluate more games and make bets that don’t offer as much value.

Conclusion

The best way to reach your goal is to protect your bankroll with appropriate-sized bets, find games that offer value, and grind out wins over time. Now that you know how to turn $100 into $1,000 betting on sports, start using what you just learned and see how long it takes.

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