If you bet £100 a goal on the football, 50p a run would be a similar size bet on the cricket. For most markets, calculating the volatility is relatively straightforward. A rugby or American football team is unlikely to win by more than 40 points and usually less than that. A team in a one-day cricket match is unlikely to score much above 320 or be out for much less than 100.
For any spread bettor and particularly the inexperienced, one of the first thoughts has to be ‘what are my liabilities on this bet? How much can I lose if everything goes against me?’ Calculating your stakes on how much you might lose may seem very negative, but it is essential. If you have a betting bank of £5,000, you don’t want to blow it in one hit. The best policy is to decide how much you are willing to risk on a single bet.
This largely depends on how much risk you are willing to take, but risking a maximum of 5 per cent of your bank on a strong fancy seems a reasonable stake. The discussions later on showing Cantor Sport’s maximum stakes in different markets for Advantage Account clients provides my estimated maximum volatility for a wide range of markets— although it should be noted that on freak occasions it is possible for that estimate to be exceeded.