What Are Units in Betting? Betting Units Explained

Betting is a popular pastime for many people, whether it’s placing wagers on international sporting events or cybersport matches. However, the world of betting can be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding betting units. This is especially true for both occasional betters and those who are only considering getting started.

Join us as we explain what betting units are, how they work, and why they are essential to understand. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of betting units and be able to make informed decisions about their bets.

What Is a Unit in Gambling?

A unit is a non-monetary measurement of the size of a wager. This system allows for evaluating success or failure in betting without revealing the actual monetary amount won or lost. Using units promotes accuracy and fairness, especially when comparing one bettor to another.

Units are a more effective measurement than actual won or lost money because different bettors may have different bankrolls or betting budgets.

For instance, a bettor who is wagering $10 per bet on NFL games and has a profit of $200 for the season has performed better than a bettor who is wagering $500 per bet and has a profit of $1,000, even though the latter has won more money. By using units as a measure, it is clear that the first bettor has been a superior handicapper, with 20 units of profit, compared to the second bettor, who has only gained two units.

How Much Is a Unit?

A unit can be considered as an individual’s standard bet amount. Additionally, units can represent the level of confidence a bettor has in a particular wager, with some bettors wagering multiple units if they feel they have a strong advantage.

The main advantage of using units is that they provide a universal measuring system, whereas money can vary among bettors and depends on their bankroll size. A professional bettor may place thousands of dollars on each wager, while a casual bettor may only wager $10 or $20 in most cases.

Comparing success based on total money won or lost does not accurately compare handicapping abilities. On the other hand, units provide a fair comparison, allowing one to compare the success of a high-stakes bettor with that of casual bettors.

The unit value can vary in relation to your bankroll. For example, if you have a bankroll of $100 for the season, one unit could be $1 or $5. On the other hand, if you have a $1,000 bankroll, one unit could be $10, $20, $50 or $100.

How to Calculate My Units?

The unit size, both in terms of the percentage of a bankroll and monetary value, can vary among bettors.

Some may allocate 1% of their bankroll to a unit, while others may assign 2%, 3%, or even 5%. For instance, if you have a bankroll of $1,000, a unit could be worth $10, $20, or $30. And if you have a $2,000 bankroll, a unit could be $20, $40, or $100.

But how many unis should you wager? While there are various sports betting strategies, one common method is to bet between 1% and 5% of your bankroll on each wager.

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The number of units can also vary depending on the level of confidence and perceived edge in a play. For example, a low-confidence bet may only be 1 unit, while a maximum bet could be 3 or 5 units.

Regarding calculating payouts, the math remains the same for every bettor, regardless of the unit size.

Here are a few explanations to illustrate the example:

  • Betting 1 unit on a +100 play would yield a profit of 1 unit.
  • A successful 1-unit bet at +300 would result in a profit of 3 units.
  • A successful 2-unit bet at +300 would result in a profit of 6 units.
  • On a standard -110 bet, you would risk 1.1 units to win 1 unit.

These calculations hold true for any bettor, regardless of the assigned monetary value or percentage of bankroll to each unit.

Risking Multiple Units

Betting in units is a simple way of measuring the amount being wagered.

The common unit systems are 3-unit and 5-unit, where 1 unit is the standard, 2 or 3 units show slightly higher confidence, and 5 units are for the maximum confidence.

However, it’s not recommended to risk all or a large portion of your units on one bet. It’s safer to only bet 3% to 5% of your total units on any single wager.


As you now know, betting units are a non-monetary measurement of the size of a wager used to evaluate betting success or failure. They provide a universal measuring system and a fair comparison of handicapping abilities among bettors, regardless of bankroll size.

The value of a unit can vary based on the bettor’s bankroll and level of confidence in the wager. The common unit systems range from 1 to 5 units, with a recommended betting range of 3-5% of total units on any single bet.

By understanding betting units, bettors can make informed decisions when it comes to placing their bets and accurately compare their success in the world of betting to develop a successful betting strategy.

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