August 23, 2021

Five Clues to Tell a Good Tipster From a Bad One

The internet has been great for betting. We now have so many tools at our disposal as bettors – sites like Oddschecker that let us compare the bookies’ odds at the touch of a button, vast information resources like Timeform and the Racing Post, betting exchanges that allow us to set the odds and bet against each other and sophisticated pieces of software that can autobet for you and execute all kinds of strategies.

It has also given us access to a huge number of tipsters.

Whereas back in the pre-internet days there were only a handful of recognised tipsters, who would provide their services via newspapers or phone lines you would have to call each day to get the tips, now there are countless tipsters across all corners of the internet, with new ones popping up every day.

It can be bewildering to try and decide which of these tipsters you should follow. With thousands of tipsters out there and so many sites now providing the opportunity for anyone who fancies themselves as a tipster to have a crack, it can be difficult to know where to start.

At Honest Betting Reviews we do most of the hard work for you in searching far and wide for the top tipping talent and having tested out hundreds of tipsters on our site under live trials.

In six years of operating the site and running so many trials, there is quite a lot we have learned about how to tell a good tipster from a bad one. There are some clear signs in terms of what to look out for and how to judge one tipster against another.

We will take a look at five of the key factors to be aware of when considering a tipster.

Look for a Verified Track Record

First and foremost, when looking at any tipster you want to see that they have a verified track record. It is far too easy for a tipster to claim they have made a fortune betting and produced thousands of pounds profit without any proof of it. Anyone can create a fake set of results or make outrageous claims of success.

Before believing any such claims, it is vital to ask if those results have been independently verified elsewhere. There are numerous proofing sites and review sites now like ours that verify tipsters’ records, so if the tipster has not had their record verified, you should be very wary ask them why not.

Any tipster worth their salt should have no qualms about having their results proofed – if they are genuine then in fact, they should relish it as it provides an opportunity to show they are genuinely a good tipster and are trustworthy. It can also introduce them to a wider audience.

So, in the first instance, look for a verified track record when you come across a tipster. If you don’t see one, then tread carefully.

Beware of Dodgy Sales Pages

Over many years of looking at tipsters and betting systems, we have become accustomed to seeing all kinds of flashy sales pages for the “next big thing.” You may well have seen these yourself.

Typically they involve some kind of story of how the tipster or system creator in question used to struggle with their betting and lose lots of money from it. They tried every system out there and nothing worked.

Then they had a eureka moment and discovered some kind of “secret” that enabled to them become a professional bettor and make huge sums of money gambling, give up the day job and enjoy a luxury lifestyle.

These pages are built upon standard marketing principles: establish a connection with the potential customer based on some shared experience – in this case having lost money gambling, which is going to be commonplace amongst those looking for a new betting system or tipster to follow.

Then present something enticing, an idea that sounds like a way to a better life or greater success. Then tie that in with a “secret” or “trick” they have discovered that others don’t know about – which stimulates curiosity from the customer to find out what that is.

The sad fact is that these marketing tools can prove very effective, as they prey on people’s natural behaviours and instincts. We would be very suspicious of any sales page using these tactics though. In all our years of testing betting systems, we are yet to see a betting strategy from a page like this that actually works. Those that do work don’t need these marketing gimmicks because they can talk about their verified results and established track record.

Some of these sales pages will include a screenshot from Betfair or a bookmaker account showing big winnings or a huge balance. Beware though that these can be faked, or even if they are real can just be from a snapshot of a week, or a month, which is not reflective of their actual long-term results. They may claim these screenshots are “proof” of their success – but in reality they are very often not.

It’s the Long-term that Counts

As we say, it’s a penchant of tipsters to provide a snapshot of their success over a short period of time, or even just to list some of their recent winners, as proof that they are worth following.

The plain fact is though that anyone can have success in the short run. That can happen just through pot luck or statistical variance. It doesn’t make them a good tipster.

The only way to really judge a tipster is over the long term. That tends to mean at least a few months and ultimately if you are talking about the really top tipsters, then it means proving themselves over a number of years. Doing so proves they can overcome temporary effects like disruption of the season due to bad weather – or more recently covid – and the normal ups and downs that any bettor experiences.

If they can turn a good profit year-in, year-out, then it shows they genuinely do have an edge over the market and are a quality tipster. We would consider any tipster who has made over 100 points profit per year over a number of years to be in the elite band of tipsters.

One such example is Loves Racing, who has done so since going live in 2018 and made excellent profits for members – ourselves included!

What is the Strategy/Rationale behind the service?

Another factor to consider when looking at a tipster or betting system is what is the strategy or rationale behind the selections being given out?

Whilst most tipsters wouldn’t necessarily want to give away all the secrets of their success, they should be able to at least describe what it is that gives them an edge over the bookies.

It might be that they focus on a very niche aspect of horse racing, like two year-olds running at a certain grade and by having a laser focus on those they have learned to pick up on small nuances that other punters miss. Or perhaps they focus on maiden races, or trainer-jockey combinations. Others may look at where money is coming into the market for certain stables. Whatever the particular focus of the tipster, there should be an angle or edge they have that enables them to make a profit.

If they can’t articulate any kind of strategy or edge, then you have to wonder why it would be worth following them. Do you really want to be putting your hard-earned cash behind someone who can’t explain why they are likely to make you money? We certainly wouldn’t!

Check out the Key Stats & Metrics

There are standard metrics used for judging tipsters against each other which you may well be familiar with, like return on investment (ROI), strike rate (aka win rate), return on capital (aka bank growth) and net profit/loss.

All of these are important and should be taken into account when comparing tipsters. We are often asked which is the most important. Well, they all count to an extent and certainly return on investment is a nice, simple way of telling you how much “bang for your buck” you get.

However, in our view the most important is ultimately return on capital (bank growth). You want to know if you started out with a £1,000 and followed a tipster for a year, how much you would end up with.

For example, one tipster could have a 20% ROI and the other a 10% ROI, but if the latter has a higher turnover of bets and higher strike rate they could end up making you a lot more money than the former over the course of a year. 

Summary – Finding Your Way Through the Minefield

The world of tipsters and betting systems can be a bit of minefield. There are so many scams and dodgy tipsters out there wanting to part you with your cash. And even amongst the genuine ones, there are countless services to choose from.

With the right approach though there is a way to sort through it all and find your way to some good tipsters. We hope we have provided some useful information in this article to help guide you and to avoid the pitfalls of finding the top tipsters.

Good luck with your betting and please remember to always gamble responsibly.


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