Record Keeping and Money Management
One of the fundamental aims of betting is to maximise profits and this is more achievable with a professional approach and an important element of this strategy is maintaining records in writing and measuring results. In order to master betting and to see continual improvement in the process evaluation of performance must be adopted.
In order to get the best from a strategy that can be a success, and continually enjoy improved results, key elements of any approach must be examined on an ongoing basis. Some parts of the plan will work well and others not and keeping records facilitates the analysis of trends.
One of the best ways to evaluate results and analyse trends is to maintain written bet records. One of the key requirements for improvements in betting is an analysis of historical data. This seems a fairly fundamental part of betting but not always achieved. Maintaining records shifts the odds slightly in the bettor’s favour.
Record Keeping Disincentives
Most sports bettors do not devote enough time to evaluating and analysing results by sports and markets. However, in order to enjoy consistent and sustainable winnings some time must be spent on recording bets. This should be looked upon as an investment as effective records improve performance and increase profits or reduce losses.
Some people bet solely for entertainment so they are not inclined to spend time on record keeping. However, for those that bet for some profit laziness is not an excuse and in the long run they may come to realise a plan must be adopted to keep accurate bet details.
There are a number of potential reasons for ignoring this element of betting which some might see as a chore and not part of betting for business. It may be due to ignorance or not understanding the benefits from this approach. Alternatively it could be lack of knowledge of the best way to record results either electronically or by pen and paper.
There can be overkill in terms of bet details to be recorded and good intentions can be lost when the system becomes unwieldy or the data cannot be accessed effectively. Sustaining an inefficient system can become challenging and could be tempting to abandon when the benefits are not perceived to justify the costs in terms of time and mental demands.
Some people bet because they enjoy researching markets and sports. There is a vast array of betting opportunities and finding a niche and specialising is part of the appeal. There may be a feeling that proper evaluation is too time consuming and eats into the more fun elements of gambling. That means evaluation should not be excessively onerous and spreadsheets help in streamlining record keeping.
Bet records are an investment in time and the returns are more information, better performance and greater profits or smaller losses. Monitoring bets can lead to patterns emerging and these can be analysed to improve results and more increase enjoyment from placing bets.
Bet Records in Writing
There is little point in evaluating performance if the data cannot be used in a positive way. Many bettors think they can perform this function by memory but this will often be inaccurate. We all recall substantial wins or significant losers but most bets will be somewhere between these extremes.
All bettors adopt behaviour and written results reflect the good and bad elements and subsequently what is working and areas for improvement. Numbers take the emotion out of performance and the figures will not distort the truth. When people bet mental bias comes into play and reactions are often subjective. There is nowhere to hide on a spreadsheet which will reveal clearly the sports and markets that are not doing well.
Monetary results do not tell the full story and the key measurements can be categorised as outcome, performance and process. The most basic way of measuring the performance is the outcome in terms of whether the bet won or lost but other measures can be of more use.
An important part of a betting strategy is working with a betting bank which will fluctuate depending on results. This is one of the indicators of results, either when betting is going well or conversely during a losing run which will be reflected in the size of the bank.
Performance is best measured by recording these numbers:
- Bets placed
- Number of winners
- Number of losers
- Percentage winner rate
- Percentage loser rate
- Average win figure
- Average loss figure
- Comparison of average win and average loss
In order to get a better picture each statistic can be further recorded by sports and markets. Therefore, say soccer and racing betting can be compared and markets within each sport can be analysed. The best way to indicate performance is keeping these records and not compromising.
The process of betting also involves effective record keeping and includes these elements:
- Preparing to bet
- Having a plan
- Selecting bets
- Evaluating decisions
- Taking emotion out of betting
Process of Recording Bets
The objectives of keeping bet records are most likely to be achieved with reference to several important factors. Winning money betting requires the monitoring of results and the process is of paramount importance. Personal choices have to be made in order to create and maintain the best possible system.
The electronic spreadsheet has made the bet recording process far easier but some people still prefer to use paper. However, the method is irrelevant as long as the bettor is not deterred and data is:
- Easily analysed
- Quickly accessed
- Compiled through the effective use of time
- Available in the framework of a good investment in time
Numbers are what tell the story accurately and have no emotion. They are objective and for analysis are very clear and straightforward. Even so the subjective element of betting must still be considered and some performance indicators are better served and revealed by writing reports.
In terms of bet recording the process must be comprehensive as every bet can present some trend. There is a temptation to be selective in recording bets but this is a pointless exercise as the analysis will be biased and not accurate. It would be easy to ignore losers and one-off bets that have not been thought through but this approach amounts to denying the true picture. The net result is a negative impact on performance and an unhealthy cycle.
At the very least basic bet information must be recorded but there must be a balance between maintaining the key facts and wasting time. Its no good having a time consuming onerous process as this can be counterproductive. The good and the bad of a bet should be considered over and above these fundamentals:
Betting can be a problem for some people who may not have the inclination or discipline to bet within their means. The majority of gamblers bet with money they can afford to lose which can be controlled by having a betting bank. This should be separate from money that is needed for bills. Once the size of the betting bank has been set the stake unit can be determined as a percentage of the bank.
Social responsibility has now become important for bookmakers. This is something they need to cover as their competitors will be focusing on this area. The Press are quick to highlight anecdotal evidence of problem gambling so advertising has to be careful not be seen to causing social problems. The fun stops when betting puts a strain on finances and relationships.
The size of the betting bank is derived from what an individual can afford to lose assuming the worst case scenario. The level of investment should be determined in the context of resources and interaction with friends and family members. Parts of the bank can then be split by sports and markets within each sport.
Depending on results and past performance some sports may be have a bigger share of the whole bank but this can change when there are fluctuations in performance. Regular reviews are necessary to analyse the winning and losing sports and markets. Within the context of the share of the bank for each sport a level stake strategy can be applied to each bet. The stake unit is constant regardless of the size of the bank.
An insurance against a poor run and a way of maximising the profits from a good run is to bet the same percentage of the bank from bet to bet (see Kelly staking plan). Betting 1% of a £1000 betting bank equates to a stake of £10 while the stake will double if the bank increase to £2000. From a bank of £500 the stake is £5 which is again 1% of the total.
The amount bet corresponds to a points system say for example whereby one point equates to a £10 bet, 2 points means a stake of £20 and so on up to a 10 point bet of £100. The weakest bet would be expressed as one point and a minimum stake of £10 and the strongest bet would equate to ten points and a maximum bet of £100. This points system requires accurate recording of bets so the stake can be adjusted from day to day.
Therefore, there are two approaches to money management based on level stakes or fluctuating stakes. The distinction is that the stake is not adjusted or modified to be a fixed percentage of the betting bank. The latter is the soundest approach as it brings greater profits during a good run and reduces losses during a bad run. On balance this strategy is more in keeping with effective betting money management.