Meet every tipster with maximum scepticism and you might just be able to find a good one.
We’ve all been tempted to join that football tipster with ‘insider knowledge’ and a 50% ROI – quit your job, live on a yacht, and just watch your bankroll explode.
And, we’ve all thought better of it. (Hopefully)
There is no secret, insider knowledge is usually illegal, and no one is turning $100 to $1000 every week in some ‘bankroll builder challenge’.
So how should we vet prospective tipsters? Below is an exhaustive checklist, you don’t need to be a pest, but you need to be extremely diligent. Just as a miniscule number of punters are profitable, I’d suggest a similar percentage of self-proclaimed ‘expert tipsters’ are profitable in the long term.
So here we go, a guide to sourcing the best tipsters…
Checking Their Results
Firstly, let’s lock down the basics – all of these things should be readily available, they make up the core of how any tipster qualifies themselves as successful.
If they don’t track their bets with precision, they suck. You probably know more than them. Avoid, advise others to avoid. Bet tracking should be easy to find on whatever platform you find them, or after a simple request.
No ifs, ands, or buts. No ‘I’m just writing all my bets down now’ or ‘sorry, I lost the tracking for this month’ – if they aren’t tracking every bet, I’m almost certain they are losing. Profitable betting is as much bankroll management and organisation, as it is market and sports analysis
The safest way to avoid falsified records is to go with a tipster that uses a trusted third-party verification platform, such as Blogabet or Pyckio.
Any service with just a few months of betting history is a huge risk.
As a rule, I would never follow a tipster with under 500 bets or less than 6 months under their belt. 1000 bets ideally.
If they have 80 bets and a 30% Yield over their first month, you can be confidently assured that you are seeing variance in action.
For an in-depth illustration of how drastically results can change with different bet volume, average odds, yield and bet sizes, read:
P-Value And Expected Maximum Drawdown Calculator
The first, most basic metric to even qualify as a profitable bettor; a positive yield. No tipster is going to advertise their negative yield, so, seemingly counterintuitively, we are going to be on the lookout for unrealistically high yields rather than the unimpressive low ones.
If a tipster is advertising 10%+ yield, tread carefully. If they’re advertising 20%+, run. Anything more than that, they’re an absolute joker.
10% is not unattainable, but it is certainly unlikely with any considerable bet volume over the long term. It should definitely make you extra diligent.
If they don’t advertise yield at all, whether they advertise ‘units won’ without taking into account average bet size and drawdown, or ‘5x turned over bankroll’, huge red flags and I’d advise stopping there.
A simple metric to ask for that tells a lot. Hopefully, it is readily available, if not you can just ask. It’s a good way to compare different tipsters.
If you don’t get an upfront answer and they haven’t helped you to understand what the drawdown risks are, you’re more likely to be discouraged when the predictable drawdowns do come.
Even a very profitable method may endure large drawdowns after a large number of bets. The objective is to obtain the maximum profit with respect to the drawdown. There is no magic number, just make sure you have an understanding of the drawdown risks.
ROI (Return On Investment)
Not to be confused with Yield, ROI shows the growth of your bankroll over a specific time period, whereas yield is the profit percentage per bet. ROI is the final statistical metric, the metric that tells you whether it is worth your time.
ROI should also be readily available, a monthly ROI is useful, a yearly ROI is even more useful. What ROI helps illustrate is the bet volume – something that should also be easy to find.
Even with a superb yield of 5%, if you are only receiving 1-2 bets a week you may only be earning a fraction of what you would with a lower yield and higher bet volume. Crucial. ROI is your bridge between bet volume and yield.
Making Sure They Are Legitimate (With Scepticism)
Whether it is a straight-up scam or just a delusional aspiring tipster. There’s more bad, than there is good. Here are some simple ways to differentiate between the dodgy and the profitable.
Have a google, make sure the social proof is there. Hopefully, there will be reviews of your tipster or service.
If there is nothing, it’s not completely hopeless – the truth is most reviews cover too small of a period to really determine a tipsters long term profitability. We are mostly looking for some kind of standing in the betting community, a sign to say they aren’t just a dodgy tipster from out of nowhere, rocking a fake Facebook account and looking for a quick cash grab. Yes, that happens often.
This goes hand in hand with the reviews; which other betting websites, bookmakers, or tipsters are they affiliated with?
Is there an ulterior motive? Do they have 20 fake, generic, glowing reviews under all of their posts?
An obvious point, but an important one.
Most tipsters will have some kind of money-back guarantee, though not all.
This is a situation where you can identify unusual guarantees that would not be in line with a profitable bettors approach.
If they offer a 7-day money-back guarantee, I’d be sceptical, more so than if they offered none. 7 days is just not enough time to control for the variance. A profitable bettor could have a negative yield, and a dodgy bettor could have doubled their bankroll and it would be hard to attribute it to reliability or variance after just 7 days.
A 30-day money-back guarantee may still be too short, but you will get a more accurate idea. 30 days is usually the magic number. This rule is not completely rigid.
Things To Ask The Tipster (With Scepticism)
Ideally, you will be able to contact the tipster. You are a potential paying customer after all. As with any customer service, you would hope for a quick and informative reply. Any defensive or obscure answers should be met with scepticism.
Do you track every bet?
As pointed out above, if they don’t track everything, they probably lose.
Why do you share your tips?
Tipsters probably get frustrated with this question, and you don’t necessarily need to ask it, but you should certainly consider it.
I can support their reasoning quite easily: they may be banned from most bookmakers, could be looking for a steady income, or tipping could be supplementary to their own betting income. All completely valid.
But it is quite a lot of work being a tipster(especially with me asking all these annoying questions..), and if, for example, they tip mostly on the Betfair exchange, sharing their tips is only limiting their own betting income potential.
Do you always calculate your MPO? Do you share the MPO with followers?
Minimum Profitable Odds – the crux of any truly successful Value Betting System.
To know if a bet is profitable, you must first calculate the probability of the event occurring and subsequently what odds you would need to find to reach profit. Your Minimum Profitable Odds.
If your tipster doesn’t know what odds they required to make it a profitable bet or didn’t even calculate their own probability, your scepticism should be maxing out.
Do they share that figure when they tip? They don’t have to, but it would certainly instil confidence.
Which staking method do you use?
There is personal preference involved in this, some prefer percentage staking for its higher growth potential, others stick with level staking to reduce the maximum drawdown.
Either is fine, but they have to know why they use that method, what’s the logic? I so often see people arbitrarily throwing 10 stakes here, and 20 stakes there, in some haphazard manner, muddying the fact that they actually have no clue what they are doing.
Here is a detailed analysis of the comparable staking methods – Percentage Staking Risk/Reward
What To Find Out Before You Start Following
So, you trust the tipster? Terrific!
But steady on, there is still a chance they are completely incompatible with you. Different country perhaps, maybe they use bookies you’re banned from. Here are a few things that you’d want to know before starting up.
Recommended Bankroll Size
The bankroll size is important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, you need to make sure your bankroll isn’t too large for the limits available on the markets in questions.
Secondly, you need to have a big enough bankroll, so that your projected profit outweighs the cost of the service and time commitment.
I would only recommend the subscription to my picks to those whose stakes are >100€, that is, to around 1/3 of the poll. pic.twitter.com/96QMEDPPRn
— Nishikori, the Tipster (@nishikoripicks) September 4, 2020
Usual Time Bets Are Posted
If they are international they may post tips while you are asleep, if you have a ‘no phones’ on the job kind of workplace and they post during the workday, you could miss out on the quoted odds.
Get the lay of the land, which bookmakers are most used and which bookmakers should you have access to. Every country has different bookmakers, you may also be banned from the most used bookmakers.
Some tipsters odds may be available for an hour after posting, some 5 minutes, and some less than a minute.
If the tipster has a sizeable following or is offering forecasts simply by comparing odds movements between bookmakers, the market can move extremely quickly, you are virtually racing all the other followers to steal the odds. For this reason, many of the best tipsters have capped their followers.
Final Red Flags
The same amount of bets every week – If they promise you exactly 7 bets per week, be a bit worried. If there isn’t value in the market there shouldn’t be a tip, if there is lots of value then 3x the usual tips should be on the table. Very rarely will the number of value bets per week be exactly the same. We have to play to the market.
Facebook group advertisements – This isn’t a hard and fast rule, but, boy do scammers flock to tipster Facebook groups. It’s the easiest pickings, be extra diligent.
Lack of bankroll management – Every profitable service I know bangs in the idea of bankroll management, this is because it makes it easier to track for themselves as well as for followers, they have exact parameters of how bets should be followed and exact proof/stats when someone complains about results due to their own mismanagement. Yes, even value bets can be ruined by poor bankroll management.
I know this is all doom and gloom. Sorry.
It’s not all hopeless. You can beat the bookies, many do.
So what’s the answer? I’ll leave you with one piece of advice. Pay for a month of the service before you start placing bets.
I know that’s a bit frustrating. But, let’s say the tipster subscription costs $50 per month, at an absolute minimum you would want a bankroll of $500 to make it worth your time. Trying out a new tipster in that situation isn’t a $50 investment, it’s a $550 investment.
Stay diligent and you should have no problem sourcing a long-term profitable tipster.
Happy (Value) Betting