Do Betting Tipsters Offer Value? Can They Be Trusted?

Betting Tipsters Horse Racing

Professional Tipsters earn a living by recommending selections to their clients (gamblers). Some punters are satisfied with the intel they receive, whilst others feel cheated. Without analysing the results I can’t speak for each and every case. But i do believe that solely relying on Tipsters’ selections can be naive, and risky.


What Makes Tipsters Worthwhile To Punters?

  • It’s a service, and punters enjoy it. Betting can be competitive and it often feels like a display of expertise. Having something a little extra hidden under the ‘bonnet’ is exactly what racing punters need – and Tipsters bring this to some.
  • The quality of tips. Some punters measure the profitability of Tipsters based on their ROI over a period of time. This gives reassurance that the recommendations have, at the very least, been profitable for some people in the past. With performance assured, it’s [perhaps] worth the investment.
  • It’s a valuable opinion. Tipsters are generally viewed as being a knowledge on racing, so their opinion represents something positive and meaningful. In betting it’s helpful to receive the advice from experienced gamblers, betting experts, or those that are generous with providing data analysis — particularly when their opinions are justified.
  • Tips confirm your own beliefs. Forming an unbiased prediction for a race, followed up by confirmation from a Tipster could serve to strengthen the selections you’ve highlighted. Going into the race with your own opinion as well as one received from a high-rated tipster gives an extra confidence boost, and could mke for smoother results in the long-term.
  • Many tips are free. Lastly, not all tips come at a cost. Fortunately a high price tag does not necessarily make for better selections. A number of sites provide free tips to their visitors — many of which are justified by past stats and market data.

Now for the negatives…


What Are The Dangers In Using Tipsters?

1. If Someone Has a Winning Formula They’re Unlikely to Give it Away.

It sounds a little cynical, but think about it. Professional gamblers and those with valuable knowledge on racing are likely to capitalise themselves without helping others. If a Tipster has some sort of inside information then it’s highly unlikely he would let anyone know about it so openly — if only to avoid a brush with the law. Equally, a Tipster with a winning betting system — which probably took a lot of work to create & refine — wouldn’t typically be in any rush to give away his selections and encourage competition for odds.

However, it’s not inconceivable that a Tipster may sell genuine knowledge at a safe, steady profit. After all, it’s unfair to presume that everyone with knowledge has a huge bankroll, a high risk tolerance and the desire to place large bets themselves. It’s therefore possible that Tipsters reduce their risk by offering knowledge as as service.

2. Tipsters Don’t Always Provide Evidence of Winning.

This is a big criticism of Tipsters, and i’ve seen entire web pages devoted to slating those that claim to produce a profit without providing the evidence to back it up. I’m inclined to agree that without evidence it’s hard to believe that recommendations are actually profitable in the long run. 

Making unfounded assertions of providing “sure” wins feels somewhat fraudulent; nobody can say with absolute certainty what horses will win as there’s always an element of doubt in racing. Steer clear of Tipsters that make big promises without any evidence; some prey on those unrealistic expectations.

NOTE: be careful that you don't base your opinion on a small number of bets. I recommend reading my article The Paramount Importance Of Sample Size In Betting Analysis.

3. Not All Clients are Given the Same Predictions.

If a Tipster only earns a fee when his clients win, then it unfortunately encourages the idea of giving multiple recommendations in the same race to different people. In doing so the Tipster is more likely to earn money on that race: the more horses covered, the more chance there is of customers winning and paying their fee. This is of course detrimental to the customer, and it undermines the quality and legitimacy of the tips provided. Unfortunately this is pretty common, and I’ve heard of some pretty popular Tipsters that it.

4. It Isn’t Enough to Be Given the Selection on Its Own.

Tipping is flawed if you aren’t conscientious about the value in your bet. Tipsters should quote the odds required, because there’s a risk of receiving a tip without any idea of how high or low the current odds are, and betting blindly. If you were tipped “heads” on a coin toss, would you bet even if the odds were at 1.5?

Let me explain. If you won that coin toss at 1.5, and the Tipster was right, just because you made a profit doesn’t mean you received a good payout for winning this particular event. That’s a naive way to bet, so I discourage viewing tips as “winners”.

You can find the best available odds using an odds comparison checker like OddsChecker. Typically the very best odds will be on the Betfair exchange — so don’t shy away from it just because it’s ‘different’.

I also recommend using a price movement checker which can help you to assess the current market value. For example if the odds have dropped substantially, say -30%, from where it was an hour ago, then this may signify a low and potentially poor value price. Knowing this information is advantageous — it can help you to conceive what “good” odds are for this horse, and to disregard some tips if necessary.

5. If Everyone Knows a Good Tip then the Odds Get Crushed.

A tip could be perfectly legitimate and provided with the best intentions. But if it has been given to a lot of punters, or the news has become widespread, then the odds will be cut by the Bookmakers following an insurge of volume on a particular selection. Therefore the speed of the information is imperative — the tipped punter may be too late to the party, where the value has long gone. With this in mind, Tipsters with fast, dynamic information sources gathered in real time throughout the raceday are likely to be more responsive and effective than those that pick selections at the start of the day.

Snapping up the odds you want, as quickly as possible, is made a whole lot easier using Geeks Toy or BetTrader — two of the fastest Betfair trading tools. For even more automation I recommend subscribing to a Betfair Bot.


Final Thoughts

The concept of earning instant profits through a Tipster trivialises just how difficult it is to find longterm profits from betting. Punters believing that their Tipster provides ‘insider knowledge’ unknown to the public or ‘dead certs’, are probably most vulnerable to losing large sums of cash. We all want an edge in our bets — but it doesn’t mean that we should throw money at a convenient tipping service just because it promises amazing results.

Do your homework and proceed cautiously. You may find a Tipster that’s very systematic and provides genuine value. But not all Tipsters are so honest — that’s the problem. Bare in mind the warnings I’ve listed in this post.

If you suspect that what you’re paying for is (a) unfounded, with no good reasoning behind the bet selections, or (b) has no account of any profitability, then you should seek better alternatives. There are several sites which “proof” Tipsters over a long period of time, where you can check their performance and ratings. It’s the first thing I would do before parting with any money. Aim to use services that make selections using past data and/or market analysis.


UPDATE: Since writing this article I’ve been searching for the best Tipping Service. My experience so far is documented in my post: My Experience With A Well-Known ‘Professional’ Sports Tipping Service


Further Reading:

The Paramount Importance Of Sample Size In Betting Analysis

What Causes Pre-race Market Movements?

The Impact of Weather On Horse Racing & Your Betting