Created by Ken Barnes
One of the most important things you can do to improve your betting strategy (and overall results), is keep a record of your bets. Be it poker, roulette, horse racing or sports betting, being able to look back and see just how much you’ve won – or lost! – and what type of bet was most profitable for you, is a must. I used to keep records in good old Microsoft Excel and to be fair, that did the job well enough when I’d worked out a couple of useful formulas, but I wanted something better.
So, I created BetAssistant. BetAssistant is a tool that was initially created solely for my own use, but was then converted into an application that anyone with a Windows-based PC (sorry, Mac owners and Linux users) can use to keep track of their day-to-day betting habits. I’ve decided to release the software as a completely FREE application, and will add features that I consider to be useful as and when I can. I thought it might be useful to provide a kind of “beginner’s guide” to getting the most out of what is a very simple, but very useful piece of software.
To install BetAssistant, download the software from the link at the bottom of this page, and double-click on the downloaded file. BetAssistant will talk you through installation.
Once you’ve loaded your newly-installed BetAssistant (via the desktop icon or Start Menu shortcut), you’ll be asked for a profile name. Profiles can be used in a number of ways, and were designed so users could keep more than one file on themselves. You may wish to keep one profile for your golf bets, and another for fixed-odds soccer betting, for example. Alternatively, you may wish to keep track of more than one person’s bets with one database – you can do that too.
BetAssistant allows you to keep track of as many bookmaker accounts as you’d like. When you first attempt to add a bet, you’ll be prompted to add a bookmaker account to record it against. Your “opening balance” should be the total that you have available to bet, PLUS the value of any outstanding bets with that bookmaker. Once your account is created in BetAssistant, you should record the details of all outstanding bets, so the software has a complete record of your betting position as of installation. This also means that your balances and profits will be recorded correctly.
Recording A Bet
Recording a new bet with BetAssistant is easy. Click on “Add New Bet” from the blue bar towards the top of the screen, and you’re presented with a form to fill in. I’ll run through the options…
Bet Range: In BetAssistant, your bets are either “outstanding” or “settled” and you’re presented with a list of “outstanding” bets when you attempt to input the results of your day’s plays. In order to stop your long term bets (such as an ante-post bet or the bet on next year’s Wimbledon winner) from appearing on this list every day, you can mark them as “long term” in the first box. This is all that this does.
Event Date: This is the date on which the event will be completed. If you’re a golf bettor for example, it would be best to put the date of the final day of the tournament on which you’re betting in here. If you do this, the tournament won’t be highlighted for settlement in your daily list when you won’t know the result for another four days!
Event: This can be used in several ways. If you’re using one profile for all of your bets, then you could enter the market as “Horse Racing”, or you could narrow it down a little and type “Royal Ascot 2009.” You can report on these markets individually, so narrow it down as far you want to when filling this part out. If you wanted to be able to find out if you make more profit on all-weather racing than on turf racing for example, you’d create a market called “UK All-Weather Racing” and also one called “UK Turf Racing.”
Market: This is the specific market that you’re betting in. “Arsenal vs. Tottenham: First Goalscorer” or “4:10 at Leicester” for example. This is for reference, and cannot be reported on.
Selections: Easy enough, this is where you type the details of what you’re backing.
Bet Type: The type of bet. This is another item that you can report on, so you can see if you make more profit from betting singles, or from your occasional dabbles in the Tote Placepot.
Each Way: If your bet is “each way” (win and place), tick this box and your stakes will be doubled accordingly.
Odds: BetAssistant works in decimal odds, but you can type UK fractionals in and they’ll be converted. “Evens” should be entered as 1/1 in the fractional box, or 2.00 in the decimal box. You can type directly into the decimals box if you aren’t using fractionals.
Bet Amount: Your stake. If you’re betting each way, then you should type in half of the total stake. This is simply because in UK betting parlance, “£10 Each Way” is taken to mean a £20 bet, split evenly between a win bet and a place bet.
Bookmaker: The bookmaker that you have placed the bet with.
Note: This is a completely optional feature, and has been included for reference only. You could put each way terms in here, or record Rule 4 deductions for future reference. Ideally, you’d put reasoning for your bet in this box, so you can come back to it later.
Once you’ve selected a bet to settle, you’re presented with the same form as you used for recording the bet to begin with. Two new boxes come into play though, with one being for the full amount that was returned to your betting account by your bookmaker (including your stake), and the other being a drop-down menu containing potential outcomes.
The ability to completely delete a bet at the click of a button has been removed from BetAssistant. The reason for this is that there shouldn’t be any reason to delete your betting history. If you’ve made a bad bet, you should record it so that you can look back and see the consequences of your actions!
Transfers, deposits, withdrawls and other incomes (such as bookmaker bonuses) can be recorded in here.
This is by far the most useful part of BetAssistant. With this screen, you can process hundreds of bets in seconds, and find out how you’ve performed over a period of time. You can filter by date, market, bookmaker account and bet type – or a combination of all of these. So, if you really wanted to, you could find out how your reverse forecast greyhound selections do at William Hill over the course of exactly 87 days. Why you’d want to, I don’t know – but the options are there!