11 ways to spot a questionable tipping service

  1. The tips are free You really have to ask yourself, why would any truly successful punter provide quality tips free of charge - what’s in it for them? Sure, they may be starting out and attempting to grow a base, but for most, why would they be doing it year after year? Do you really want to trust someone just starting out? With any good or service, the market generally pays what it’s worth. If it’s free, that usually means it isn’t worth anything. Winning on the punt requires hard work. Punters who’ve put in that hard work value the time they’ve spent on it – many have dedicated their professional careers to it. Economic reality states that they can’t do it and then just give the tips away, free of charge, and allow others to eat into their dividends. If somebody isn’t charging for their tips, they generally either haven’t done the hard work, in which case the tips won’t win over the long-term, or they’re getting paid via other means. Such as…
  2. Their results aren’t posted on their website regularly - or at all Some sites post their results on their website… but only every now and again, certainly not with any consistent regularity. Without consistent review, it does not give their paying subscribers an opportunity to critically assess whether the results are accurate or not. There are many ways services can ‘fudge’ their results, or ‘cook their books’. They could include winning bets that were never sent, delete losing bets, change the unit staking advised, record at odds that were never available in the first place, or use a methodology that essentially records at the best available price, making the results completely unachievable. Some websites don’t even post their results at all. Some that we have seen ask you to contact them, and they will e-mail you their results sheet. If the results sheet is available, why not make it publicly available at any time on your website, rather than only sending it out when requested? It is glaringly obvious that any site not wanting to put their results on public display has something to hide. Quite possibly, when you request a results spreadsheet it will be completely fabricated, and probably different to the real results sheet sent to actual subscribers if they ever requested it. Lastly, some websites have results on their website - but not in Excel form. Often the results sheet is missing critical information such as the date, horse number etc. Sometimes the sheet is protected with columns or rows missing information. Without an unprotected excel sheet it doesn’t give anyone the opportunity to thoroughly review and analyse. If you see any of the above, we suggest you run for the hills!
  3. They only quote short term results based on the day / week / month Betting should be treated as an investment, with a long-term perspective. Most questionable tipping services shout from the rooftops whenever they have a winning day, week, or month. Anyone can record big wins over a short period. Even a monkey or octopus randomly pointing at horses will strike it lucky over a short-term period. The real test is whether profits are made over a statistically significant period, which frankly is a minimum of 1 year. Any service that only promotes results over any period less than this is in the game solely to attract losers and suckers. 
  4. Their testimonials are all from short term members talking about a great day / week / start With most tipping websites, you will see testimonials from subscribers talking about having a good day, or week, or ‘start’ since the subscriber joined the service. Generally, this is simply because they don’t have long term members to provide testimonials about any long-term success. These websites simply aim to attract new suckers to their service each week to replace the ones who have left.
  5. There is no clear Odds Recording Policy stated publicly All services like to talk about their results, but results are meaningless if the basis upon which they are calculated is not made clear upfront, before the results are recorded or claimed. An Odds Recording Policy ensures clarity for members and non-members alike to critically assess and compare each service’s performance. Importantly, if an Odds Recording Policy is not stated upfront, it allows the dodgy services to state “if you had done this” or “if you had bet this way” you would have achieved a certain result, when this information wasn’t provided before the tips were sent and hence no-one who followed the tips would have actually achieved the results. This is a trick that dodgy operators use to ‘backfit’ results, by saying if you had backed every horse at fixed odds, or at Best Tote/SP etc, then you would have achieved said results. The fact remains that no-one would have actually achieved those results, because there was no information given. Back-fitting usually results in the ‘system’ being exposed in the long run as non-profitable, leading the suckers who followed in a financial hole.
  6. There is no explanation of the betting bank required for the service ‘Unitised’ betting has become commonplace in the tipping industry. Many services now offer information on how many units to bet on the horse they are tipping. Many neglect to include the betting bank that’s required for the selections. This defies the whole point of unitised betting, which is designed to make clear how much you are investing to protect your betting bank and capital -  a point missed by services who advise huge unit investments on their selections. In our experience, genuine services advise a 100-unit betting bank, and their average bet is usually somewhere between 0.5 to 2.0 units. However, we’ve seen some services advise members to bet 20, 30 or even 50 units on their selections! This is a trick which they use in their marketing to then attempt to drown out all other tipping services, by shouting from the rooftops whenever they have a winning day, stating the enormous unit amounts won. When it comes to tipsters advising these huge units, we’ve never actually seen them make clear the total betting bank required. In our experience, the higher the average units advised to bet on a horse, the more dishonest the tipping service appears to be.
  7. Results are unachievable Many services record their odds at unachievable prices, including the following tricks: 

• Odds only offered by one bookie in early betting markets 

• Odds only offered by a bookie which most punters are banned from

• Odds recorded at the highest possible price achieved in the market with no advice given on how to back the selections (Hi Tom!)

  1. They have no social media profile, or no website Plenty of tipsters these days have no social media profile whatsoever, and either no website, or a very, plain, simple website that provides no educational information, insight, or updated daily results. This raises red flags quickly.
  2. The recorded results are not from when the service started publicly A good move is to check the histories of a tipster by looking for any inconsistencies online. You might be surprised what you find! If a service boasts it’s been around for a certain length of time, then the published results should reflect that entire period. If not, why? It’s far too easy for tipsters to just delete prior losing periods from their results to make them look better overall.
  3. The tipsters have no public profile, or you’ve never heard of them If somebody is selling tips publicly, then it stands to reason they’ll have some level of public profile. The racing and punting community is very active online, and news of a solid tipster who is winning money for his clients travels quickly. If there’s no information at all to be found, then they might not have many (or any) clients. Why?
  4. The tips are based predominantly on ‘inside information’ “Inside info” is a funny thing. Yes, in isolation, a small piece of information about a horse that they like can be valuable for any punter. But those who claim they win long-term based on their access to “inside information” are generally being less than honest. The key question is, of course, where the “inside information” is coming from. Most people have been tipped into a horse by a trainer or other connection at some point, and sometimes it might come off! But logically, it can never be a long term winning solution. The structure of the horse racing industry means that no one person has “inside information” about every horse. To find winners, and find them at value, you need to be across the form of all the horses in a race. Simple tips like “horse x is going really, really well in trackwork” might be useful for that horse, but there might be up to 20 others in the race – how are they going? To win on the punt you need to have a very well formulated opinion on each horse’s chances of winning and hence how it should be priced. There’s only one basis for that: proper, educated form analysis.