If you bet on sports regularly and are not keeping records of the wagers you place, you're making a mistake. Keeping betting records is very important if you want to maximize your profits, which is why it's something that pretty much every serious bettor does. It's still a good idea even if you just bet mostly for fun, but in our experience many recreational bettors fail to do it.
If this sounds like you, please read on. Keeping records is not at all difficult to do; you just need to make some brief notes every time you place a wager. This is well worth doing, as spending this little bit of extra time comes with a number of benefits. We discuss the biggest of these benefits below, and also provide some advice for keeping accurate and helpful records.
It's probably fair to say that a lot of bettors don't really know how much they are winning or losing with any degree of accuracy. This is especially true for those who just bet for recreational purposes. You might not think it matters too much, but there are reasons why you should know this information.
First, you might be losing more than you think. It's not uncommon for bettors to remember the times they win, and forget the times they lose. Losing money is not necessarily a problem if you're gambling with money you can afford to lose, and getting some entertainment in return, but you should still keep track of the numbers involved. It's possible you are actually spending more than you really want to, in which case it could be time to reduce your stakes or the number of wagers you place.
Of course, it's also perfectly possible that you are winning money. You might even be winning more money than you think. In this case, it may be time to start taking your betting more seriously. If you are already turning a consistent profit, imagine what you could achieve if you really put the effort in. By dedicating a bit more time to your betting, you may be able to make a very good income.
If you're winning money, then there might be tax implications too. This depends on the rules relating to taxing gambling winnings where you live, but if you're potentially liable for tax then it's vital that you have accurate records.
Many recreational bettors bet on a range of different sports, and a range of different events. They also tend to place several different types of wagers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this approach, but if you're not keeping records of your betting then you probably have no idea where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
It's quite possible that you do very well on one or two particular sports, for example, but not so well on the others. It might be that you have success when placing point spread bets, but tend to lose when betting on totals. It really helps if you know this information, as identifying your strengths and weaknesses enables you to do two things that may improve your overall results.
First, you can start to focus primarily on the areas where you are strong. If you concentrate your efforts on betting on the sports you have some success with, and stop betting on the sports you don't, you should see an increase in profits. At the very least, you should hopefully reduce your losses.
Alternatively, you can put some effort into analyzing where you're going wrong in the areas you are weak. If you're not doing well with your tennis wagers, for example, you can look through your results for those wagers and try and see what mistakes you're making. This is not necessarily easy to do, but if you spend some time on it you might be able to highlight what's going wrong. You have a better chance of doing this if you include a lot of information in your records, which is something we discuss later in this article.
Even if you view sports betting as a form of entertainment rather than as a way to make money, you would surely still prefer to get the best results possible. You might not mind losing money, but you would probably get even more enjoyment if you won instead. As such, you should always be looking to improve your results in any way you can.
One way to do this is to test out new strategies and systems. For this to be effective, though, you have to keep records of how they do. This is the only way you will know if a strategy or system is working for you. If you get good results from a new strategy, then obviously you want to continue with it. If you don't, then you need to either give up on the strategy or look for possible adjustments to it. Again, this is easier to do if you include plenty of information in your records.
As we've already mentioned, keeping betting records is not difficult. You need to make sure your records are accurate though, and you want to make them as useful as possible. As an absolute minimum, you should record the following information for each and every wager you place.
The easiest way to do this is to use software such as Microsoft Excel to create a spreadsheet where you can add all this information. If you set up columns for each of the above items, you then just need to add the relevant details whenever you place a wager. This will be enough to ensure that you keep basic and accurate records of your betting activity.
Ideally you want to go a little bit further though. You could also add the following columns to your spreadsheet.
This way you can sort your wagers by category, which makes it much easier to see where you're getting the best results. For example, you'll be able to quickly look at all of your wagers on a particular sport, or of a particular type. This is very helpful for analyzing where you win or lose the most.
By recording your reasons for betting, you can really get into some detailed analysis. This is perhaps something you don't want to do as a recreational bettor, as it can be time consuming. However, you will find it a great help if you're serious about wanting to be successful. By analyzing your results based on your reasons for betting, you will get a much clearer idea of what you're doing right and where you're going wrong. This in turn will enable you to develop and adjust betting strategies which work for you.