Following Tipsters

It has been pointed out to me on many occasions by friends and girlfriends (OK – EX-girlfriends) that not everybody shares my love of statistical analysis. If you are one of those strange people who don’t find numerical scrutiny endlessly fascinating then I promise that I will try to limit the amount of times when I pepper these articles with pounds, points and percentages. That said, here is some statistical analysis of Betting Tools Tipsters. You’re welcome.

There are those who will tell you that following tipsters is never a good idea, but merely looking at the results of the top seven in the Betting Tools all-time horse racing list shows that by blindly backing every tip they had come up with between them in 2015 (assuming you could get the price advised which is, I accept, extremely difficult) you would have been up by £8860 to the end of September, at an average of £984 per month, based on £10 level stakes. March alone would have seen you make over £2500 profit and your worst month would have still garnered in excess of £200.

This is a fabulous performance over a sustained period and if you had seen these results for the first time on 1 October you could be forgiven for thinking that you wanted a piece of that. However, if you had bet on every tip given by the same tipsters since then things would not have been so rosy.

By 18 October there had been 41 Betting Tools tipsters in action during the month and the six out of the top seven who had been active were lying 41st, 39th, 34th, 9th, 29th and 37th respectively in the monthly league table. Five of the six were showing losses and backing all tips submitted in the first 18 days of the month would have lost you £915. Now for this to happen to virtually all the top tipsters at the same time is quite extraordinary and you may think that it would be unlikely to continue in the long run. You may well be right, but (and this is where following tipsters differs markedly from following systems) in the short-term you need to be aware of the ‘Human Factor’. It is perfectly possible that one or more of them will suffer a mild degree of panic at their bad run and this could change the way they choose their selections. They might start looking at shorter-priced horses than those with which they have been making their profits, or maybe start to back each-way when win bets have been their previous route to success. This potential change to selection criteria needs to be taken into account when deciding whether to persist with following any given individual.

Take the case of regular Betting Tools tipster Tracy2014 as an example of how hard it can be to make a judgement on such matters. Backing all her selections for 2015 to the end of July would have shown an impressive profit of £1232. However, starting to follow her at this point would have seen you lose nearly £500 over the next two months. Okay you might think, I will give her a few days of October to turn this around or I will drop her. One week into October, and a further £254 worth of losses later, you may well have decided she had been losing for too long and it was time to stop. You would have then missed out on the £656 worth of profits she achieved in the following ten days which saw her leap to the top of the October league table. This would probably have infuriated you and you might well have reasoned that you needed to start following her again as she had finally hit form. £191 worth of further losses over the next eight days and you may now be reaching for the Valium.

A mere cursory glance at Tracy’s page however will show you that her total profit of £577 has come entirely from tips at odds of over 16. She has made £1570 profit in that higher odds area and losses of almost £1000 spread fairly evenly everywhere else. Clearly she specialises in long shots. Even her own one line self-description states that she likes to “…come up with a few big priced winners.” If you chose to follow Tracy’s higher odds selections only from day one then you would be nicely ahead but clearly this strategy will have long and painful losing runs and missing a couple of winners in close succession will hurt.

Whether you choose to follow Tracy, or any of the other tipsters who are particularly successful at longer odds, will be down to your own attitude to risk and the length of losing run you can sustain with your betting bank. I admit that my own preference is for lower risk and potentially lower rewards. I would rather see a regular ROI of 5-10% on a large number of bets with shorter losing streaks than a 15% yield on long shots with potentially nerve-shredding losing sequences.

There are some great tipsters on this site – the long term profitability of many of them is there for all to see. Indeed it is reassuring to note that the top seven mentioned earlier have managed to reduce their losses from £915 to £641 over the last week. I would certainly never put anyone off following tipsters with proven success over reasonable periods, but I would recommend taking time to discover who you are following, what their areas of expertise are and adapting your bets accordingly. Check carefully the areas in which they tend to specialise before steaming in to back their tips blindly. Just as Tracy seems great at tipping long shots and ropey at fancied runners so Templegate appears to be the exact opposite. Every tipster on Betting Tools has their results broken down by odds ranges and these alone could save you money. Remember this – making profits from betting is as much about avoiding losing strategies as finding winning ones.


Paul Dixon is a lifelong sports fan and author of the book Fun and Games in Fife and Gretna– a humorous look at an Englishman’s journey into Scottish football. He has been making regular profits from betting since 2012.