Record Keeping – Best practices to keep track of your bets (part 2)
In our previous article – Record keeping – Best practices to keep track of your bets (part 1) – we talked about the importance of keeping records to get valuable information about your betting activity. Every successful bettor should keep track of his bets. We had also started designing an excel spreadsheet to do this task, and decided to record the following information:
- Bet types
- Transaction type
Let’s complete our sure bet tracker design.
Bet types represent the type of each bet. We should use a bet type attribute if we want to classify our bets. We could, for instance, define types like “single bet”, “parlay bet”, “surebet”, “value bet”, etc. The Bet type entity should have a code, a name and an optional description.
Transaction types represent the type of each transaction. We should use transactions to record money transactions (besides bets) and transaction types will allow to classify and analyse transactions. These types represent investments, withdrawals, transfers, bonuses, fees and anything you’d like to consider. As bet types, you should keep a code, a name and an optional description.
The Currencies entity will hold all the currencies we use (on wallets, bank accounts or bookmakers). Besides the currency code, name and description, we will need the current exchange rate. Each time we enter a bet or transaction, the exchange rate should be taken from here. In order to calculate global indicators, we should decide which currency will be our main currency. This one should have an exchange rate equal to 1, and all other currencies should include the exchange rate according to the main currency.
Bookmakers are one of our main entities. Bookmakers’ information could include:
- Web address
- Password (it’s not a good idea to write down passwords, but maybe a password hint)
- Currency (the code that links to the currency entity)
Please note we do not include a “current balance” attribute because we will have it automatically calculated from bets and transactions.
We could also use this entity to keep other accounts (ewallets, bank accounts). This will make it easier to enter transactions and calculate our overall balance. If we keep ewallets here, the Bookmakers entity could have an attribute to tell the type of account – such as B for Books and W for Wallets and bank accounts.
Sports are useful to analyse our profit with more detail. As most of the entities we are defining, you should have a sport code, a name and an optional description. We should have the sports we use most (football, baseball, hockey, tennis, american football and other). We could also have a record called “other sports” to use when we place a bet in a sport we don’t need to track.
As Sports, markets are also useful to analyse our profit with more detail. We should have the markets we use most (1X2, HA, AH, OU, etc.). We could also have a record called “other markets” to use when we place a real rare bet in a market we don’t need to track.
We could use this entity to identify the country where the event took place. For the sake of simplicity, we could also keep continents or even “World” in this entity, to enable continental or international competitions. For example, a bet in a World Cup match should include the “World” country, and a bet on the Champions League should include “Europe” country.
All the previous entities (bet types, transaction types, currencies, bookmakers, sports, markets and countries) are not transactional records. We call them master records. Once we have recorded this information, it does not change a lot. Of course, as we keep betting we will need to add countries, sports, bookmakers. We can also change information (any field except codes), for instance, we would like to update exchange rates, or add notes to bookmakers. We can even decide to add new bet types or transaction types.
We will use transactions to increase or decrease balance or to move money between accounts. Transactions need to include:
- Transaction number
- Transaction type (the code that links to the transaction types entity)
- From (the code that represents an account – bookmaker or wallet)
- To (the code that represents an account – bookmaker or wallet)
Transfers need two accounts. That’s why we included from and to. Other transactions only need one account. We should use “from” (because money leaves from the account) if money decreases (i.e. a fee, a withdrawal) and use “to” (because money arrives to the account) if money increases (i.e. a bonus, an investment). Experience shows that most transactions will be transfers between wallets and bookmakers (when you deposit into a bookmaker from your ewallet or when you withdraw from your bookmaker to your ewallet, these are in fact transfers).
We did not include the currency because currencies are part of the account. If you deposit on your Pinnacle account, the currency will be the one indicated in the Pinnacle record (bookmakers entity). In case you are transferring money, the amount is expressed in the “from” account currency. However, we could also add more columns to make this clearer. We could have two amounts (from and two) that would be expressed in each account’s currency, and we could also have two more columns to express these amounts in the main currency.
Bets can include lots of information. We could start with these fields:
- Bet number
- Bet type (the code that links to the bet types entity)
- Date (and time)
- Event date (and time)
- Book (the code that links to the bookmakers entity)
- Stake (expressed on the bookmaker currency)
- Return (expressed on the bookmaker currency)
- Sport (the code that links to the sports entity)
- Country (the code that links to the countries entity)
- Market (the code that links to the markets entity)
- Outcome (a description of what you bet, i.e. over, under, home, away, etc.)
- Spread (to use in handicap or totals markets, to represent the handicap or total value)
This is our main entity and this is just basic information. If we want to keep surebets, we need to add more data, such as a surebet field where we will enter a number; all bets with the same surebet number should form part of the same surebet. If we want to keep details about parlays, this structure is not the best; parlays have many bet lines, with different sports, markets and odds, but only one stake. We think it is not necessary to make this design too much complex to have this information, but that depends on how important are parlays on your betting activity. If you want to keep details of your parlays, you need to represent bets as two entities (bets and betlines; the date, bookmaker, stake and return are part of the bet and the odds, sport, market, etc. are part of the betlines).
As with transactions, amounts are expressed on the bookmaker’s currency. We might want to include the amounts expressed on the main currency, so we would need to add another stake and result columns.
Depending on you specific needs, you may want to include other relevant information, as periods (e.g. 1st half, 2nd set, full time) or moment of bet (prematch, in-play). You could also use a list of predefined outcomes (instead of free text). All this requires more fields on each bet, and more entities (periods, outcomes and moments). It can turn your excel too complex and here is when you might start thinking of an application.
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