As a betting blogger I come across many different subscription services claiming (and sometimes ‘guaranteeing’) to guide their members to a profit. Most of them I ignore entirely — but occasionally one catches my eye.
This was the case for Smart Betting Club (formerly known as ‘Secret Betting Club’), a popular tipster proofing service that I’ve heard a lot about over the years, but never had the chance to review.
So what is Smart Betting Club? How does it work? And most importantly, will becoming a member make you money?
Here’s my honest review of the Smart Betting Club.
What Is Smart Betting Club?
This is a good question. There are so many different items on the ‘SBC‘ site to click on that, to be truthful, I didn’t fully know the answer until I was kindly granted free access to review it.
The best way to describe Smart Betting Club is the opening line of their very own ‘About Us’ description, situated a little way down the front page of their site:
Put simply, it’s an independent tipster review site. It’s primarily aimed at punters seeking legitimate proofing/information on tipsters. Importantly, it’s not a tipster service in itself.
How To Use Smart Betting Club
Once you become a member of Smart Betting Club you’re ready to access all of their resources.
Using my free account, I logged in as if I was a new member. As any member would, I had one question on my mind: where can I find the tipsters that’ll make me money?
One of the downsides to Smart Betting Club is that it’s not immediately obvious where to find that information, as lot of data/analyses is scattered around various articles and publications.
I envisaged that I could access one huge dynamic table with a bunch of filters in place, to get the information I wanted within a few clicks — but it requires a little more effort than that. Truthfully, I find the site a bit old fashioned.
However, despite the additional scrolling and reading required, there are several sections within the Smart Betting Club members area that offer superb value to tipster followers. These are as follows:
Tipster Ratings Index
Here’s where SBC keeps track of all the current tipster services they monitor and report upon. The ‘Hall of Fame’ (current best) tipsters are listed here along with their unique SBC Rating, and information on which ones currently have a discount.
This features PDF ‘magazines’ every other month, where you can read the latest tipster service reviews, specialist strategies, betting guides and interviews.
Members can access SBC ‘magazines’ and download them in PDF format.
From this section you can also access the ‘Back Catalog’ where you’ll find download links to tipster-related content dating all the way back to 2006.
Tipster Profit Reports
Every other month SBC produces their latest Tipster Profit Report in PDF format. This is the best place to check in on each of the tipsters they monitor on an ongoing basis.
Here’s a representative example of the type of content the Tipster Reports include. I must emphasise how incredibly detailed they are; this particular tipster review is 11 pages long!
The overall PnL graph for a tipster service.
Chart of the drawdowns (measured in points)
This table shows the results of a sample of real bets made using the service, indicating that the value in the odds quickly diminishes after the odds are advised. This is vitally important to know.
SBC offers a Free Tipsters section of the site whereby members can follow several quality tipsters free of charge, with tips sent to their inbox.
This is where you’ll find exclusive deals, trials and discounts on many different tipsters. Having spoken to previous SBC members, they pointed out that this alone makes the service worthwhile.
At the time of writing this review, I recognised one particular tipster on the SBC Tipster Savings list that’s popular on the Tipstrr platform. I know that this service usually offers a 7 day free trial, followed by a £39 per month fee. At Smart Betting Club the same tipster will give you a months free access with your first subscription; a far superior deal.
But Is There Enough On SBC?
If you take full advantage of each of the above listed sections — by reading all of the resources and building a portfolio of the recommended tipsters — then Smart Betting Club is well worth the subscription fee.
But what if you don’t have the time, patience or appetite to do that? Isn’t it simpler, and cheaper, to signup to a free tipster proofing site and find a service from there?
I’ve raised these questions with SBC. Their stance is that most free tipster sites do not provide context or details as to the quality of the tipsters they recommend — which poses a risk to subscribers. Indeed verifying accurate and realistic results from services is the very thing which separates SBC from the pack.
Nonetheless, this deserves further discussion. A key question remains here:
Will Smart Betting Club serve you any better than other (free) proofing sites offering an array of tipsters to subscribe to?
Smart Betting Club vs Other Proofing Sites
To fully appreciate the value in SBC, you need to understand what it does differently to the vast majority of other tipster proofing sites.
Tipsters & Subscriptions
Tipster proofing sites, SBC included, are limited to an array of tipsters that have (a) actively signed up for proofing, or (b) have been asked to be proofed.
The idea behind proofing is perfectly fine — but the set up can create issues with impartiality. For instance, if a tipster proofing site only earns from subscriptions to tipsters featured on their site, then they are not motivated to criticise them. In other words, to survive as a business, proofing services need punters to follow their recommendations, rather than looking elsewhere.
This is where SBC differs. They are not paid by referring bettors to tipsters featured on their site. They do not use affiliate links in any of their reviews. SBC’s sole aim is to seek out the best tipsters available anywhere. Thus SBC are as independent as it gets.
So how does SBC earn?
They only earn from subscriptions to their members area.
The tipster referral revenue SBC misses out on by taking this approach is passed onto their members in the form of savings on major tipsters.
And for me it’s reassuring to know that the SBC service couldn’t have survived since 2006 unless it provided valuable tipster recommendations.
For reasons already stated, most standard tipster proofing services are not motivated to highlight when their own tipsters have under-performed or worse — lost their edge entirely. So there’s generally very little advice out there in terms of chopping & changing tipsters in order to maintain an edge (as doing so would interrupt subscriptions, of course).
But SBC doesn’t shy away from that fact. If a tipster service poses a risk to anyone’s bankroll, the staff grade it accordingly, and even strike off those who are no longer profitable. SBC is one of the only places I’ve seen that doesn’t try to pretend that a service will somehow turn it all around and go back to former glory days.
As someone that’s run hundreds of strategies that worked for a solid spell before mysteriously losing their edge, SBC’s outlook stands out as a hugely positive point for the service.
The main purpose of any tipster proofing site is to recommend an array of reputable services. In this respect SBC is no different.
However, SBC gives a lot more guidance in terms of building and managing a tipster portfolio.
As I’ve mentioned, the detailed Tipster Reports show a full breakdown of the potential profits from subscribing to their ‘Hall of fame’ tipster services — where only a select list tipsters made the grade.
Members are encouraged to implement a safe staking plan, to maintain discipline, to be fully aware of the potential drawdowns in profit, as well as manage other inevitable bumps along the road (e.g. account restrictions).
It’s all very good advice for beginners and compensates for SBC’s lack of dynamic data charts and tables (which some competitors do offer).
Getting On The Odds
One of the biggest flaws in following a profitable tipster is that the advised odds are short lived. This goes for any good bet for that matter — whether it’s an arb, value bet, or even matched bet.
While SBC cannot stop odds from changing, they do go to the effort of detailing how their recommended tipster services work in a practical sense. They show how the odds differed, and performed, when taking the pick at different time periods after a tip was advised. For example, 15 minutes after the tip.
Tipster proofing sites vary in terms of the user interface. Some are highly modern, featuring auto-updates, dynamic charts and configurable filters. Others are a bit ‘old school’, to say the least.
Unfortunately SBC just about falls into the latter category, which I assume is because the site has been running since 2006. The PDF formats, images of tables (rather than database-driven results), and a vast array of pages makes it confusing to navigate. But I know how difficult it is to update a site with a legacy of old content, so I can appreciate why it may not have transitioned into a more modern format yet.
There’s no doubt that I prefer being able to check in on specific tipsters at any moment in time, to verify how their ROI has held up in recent months, and to compare those results to their all-time record. I also like to know how frequently a service is tipping right now. Or how their advised staking plan performs against an equal stake strategy. With all data tables and charts to hand, I can form my own analysis — if only for my own reassurance. But SBC doesn’t offer that ability.
Needless to say I think some technical improvements could really take SBC to the next level. But for now it’s all about digesting the information that’s provided to members in text format.
I highly recommend that you listen to the Trademate podcast featuring Pete Ling from Smart Betting Club. He runs through many of the elements I’ve discussed in this review, and gives an open account of the tipster industry.
In addition to discussions about tipster scams, I found it interesting to hear Pete talk about how Smart Betting Club uses some technical analyses — such as Monte Carlo simulations, P-value and monitoring those who beat the closing line — to separate the lucky tipsters from those with a genuine edge. SBC does appear to have members’ interests at heart.
Will Smart Betting Club Make You Money?
Having trialled the service, listened to Pete’s interview and read in between the lines, and spoken with previous members, I’m going to put myself on the line by saying that I believe that active SBC subscribers are likely make a profit by following the tipsters from the members area.
The results I’ve seen — assuming they’re legitimate — could only feasibly be achieved if the tipsters were recommending value bets.
However, I also believe that there’ll be a huge disparity from theoretical profits and what you’re actually going to achieve. Realistically, I think most members will simply struggle to meet the demands of placing so many bets — limited by time, bankroll or even lack of organisation.
Then, during the process of following reputable tipsters, members will no doubt face competition from their peers (other SBC members, for example), and eventually find themselves restricted by the bookmakers.
Could using the betting exchanges be the answer?
There are indeed Betfair tipsters featured on SBC — meaning followers will never run into stake restrictions. But if you’ve read other articles on my site you’ll know that I’m sceptical about one’s chances of long-term success in using the betting exchanges. The competition is high.
Call me cynical, but it seems unlikely that anyone would share a profitable betting exchange strategy, when there’s no limitations in place to push you out of the game (and into tipping).
Bottom line: you’ll probably make your SBC + tipster subscription fees back generate money on top. But you’ll have to put in the work, and adapt to road blocks, in order to earn a large profit.
Subscription Cost of Smart Betting Club
Below is the pricing chart for Smart Betting Club.
To obtain the maximum value from SBC I recommend the £79.99 + VAT annual subscription. This will enable you to receive updates on your services, and to modify your portfolio if need be.
As mentioned already, the tipster savings are often significant enough to cover this subscription.
SBC offers a 90-day quibble-free money back guarantee if you’re dissatisfied with your purchase.
Smart Betting Club Review Recap
- Fully independent, meaning that the information provided is not influenced by partnerships with tipsters. Members, such as yourself, are the only ones that need to be kept happy for SBC to succeed!
- Offers a highly selective ‘Hall of Fame’ list of tipsters — a model that maximises your chance of finding a good tipster.
- Tipster Reports are far more comprehensive and detailed than any others I’ve seen. This offers huge value to subscribers.
- Tipster subscription savings enable dedicated SBC members to save money in the long run.
- Earning a practical profit is emphasised, which is vitally important when following tipsters that have the impact of moving the sports betting lines.
- SBC recognises that tipsters often lose an edge over time, and protects members against this with their advice.
- Provides excellent resources, ideal for beginners looking to make a safe & successful entry to the world of sports betting.
- No automated process verifies the tips, meaning statistics are not dynamic, or constantly updated.
- There’s no ability to view or filter a tipster’s records by your own criteria. This makes it difficult it to quickly obtain the statistics you may want to know.
- Tipster Profit records are only available in static reports. Profiles have some basic metrics assigned — but the site isn’t rich enough to auto-generate graphical representations and tables.
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