What makes a good TIPSTER?

Can you tell me what makes a good tipster?

As someone who runs a Tipping Service – Insidetraxs – I’ve been asked by prospective members how good I am? Am I a good tipster? Show me your results?

These are all questions I would ask before giving a Tipster my hard earned cash but it got me thinking “What does makes a good tipster?”

So I set about thinking what criteria I would put forward to objectively judge what makes a good tipster:

He/she should make me money.

This sounds like an easy thing to answer however do you want your tipster to make the most money, to be top of the tipster leader board or do you want your tipster to deliver consistent but not so volatile results.

Below is the Racing Post NAP Table

RP Tipster Leader Board

All  of the 56 Tipsters would say they are good tipsters and do in fact tip horses for all or part of their living either in Newspapers or for websites etc. So if they are good tipsters why is it that only 16, that’s 28.6%, make a profit? Are the other, nearly 3/4 bad tipsters?

Well yes and no.

The reasons why some of the 40 not making a profit in the above table are:

  1. At bookmakers odds the overround means that breaking even is making the overround as profit – it just goes to the bookies! That means that the next 16 in the list who made £13 loss or less would probably make a profit if they used an exchange like Betfair.
  2. Quite a few tipsters tip what they would like to call “value” selections eg longshots. They just haven’t tipped one for a while but when they do they shoot up the table.
  3. Many of these tipsters are giving their tips for “free”. This is not entirely true because often the free tip is to draw you to their website and then get you to sign up via a bookmaker. They make money from the advertising they attract from the traffic and from “affiliate” fees when someone signs up to a bookmaker (up to 30% of your losses). So if the tips are free don’t think it is something for nothing and so the performance of the tips doesn’t matter – it should! All too often there is no demand for records of performance as almost always happens with a paid for service so not surprisingly these tipster like to tip big priced horses so that when they get it right they can splash it all over their site or Newspaper.

He/she should have records of their performance readily available

We have already established that nearly 3/4 of all tipsters don’t make money (from the RP NAPs Table above). Many because they give their tips free and therefore don’t really worry about performance, apart from shouting about a long priced or high profile winners they have just given, because they are not scrutinised or asked for their long term performance. Because you are not signing up for a paid for service but just go to their site or open their paper to get the tips then you don’t ask. I can imagine Newsboy from the Daily Mirror or Templegate from the Sun reacting badly to being asked for the last year’s worth of tips and how they have performed! You wouldn’t get a reply.

He/she should have a high strike rate

Why is it important to have a high strike rate to be a good tipster? Surely just proving that you can make money is the most important thing?

The reason you want a tipster with a high strike rate is because, with the best will in the world when following a tipster, you are going to miss some of their tips. So imagine that two tipsters give 20 tips. One gets 10 of those tips as winners and the other just one but they both deliver the same profit. Which tipster would you follow?

Clearly if you miss the one winner from the second tipster that’s you in deep losses whereas missing one, two or even three winning tips from the first tipster might still deliver a profit.

Any tipster with a strike rate of less than 10% is relying on 10/1 or higher winners with 9 losers to follow. They should be avoided and only those with 25%+ strike rates being considered.

To get a high strike rate the tipster is going to have to be very lucky or tip relatively low priced selections. So when you hear “Tipping the favourite how difficult is that?” – well actually quite difficult if you need a strike rate over 50% to make a profit. Tipping favourites and second favourites is all about finding value and a question I ask myself regularly is:

“If this horse is 2.1 or even money (by the way I always back and lay on Betfair) if the race was run more than once would I expect him to win more than half the races”

Many favourites are what are called “false favourites”. They are favourites for reasons which have nothing to do with their ability. This is the opposite to horses who are value for the price they are (I have done a video on How to identify False Favourites here).

So a good tipster doesn’t deliver the occasional longshot but a decent strike rate at relatively low odds.


In answer to the question what makes a good tipster we have established that he/she needs to:

  • Make money short/medium and long term
  • Be able to show performance records
  • Deliver a high strike rate

Any paid service should be able to tick all three boxes. If they can’t don’t touch them.

Free tipsters rely on getting your eyeballs for advertising and “sign ups to bookmakers” for affiliate fees. They like to trumpet big priced winners to draw you in, with little interest in high strike rates at lower prices.

Insidetraxs Members Newsletters deliver on all three criteria above and the long term results can be viewed here.

You can sign up and try the service for FREE for 14 days here.

After the FREE period it’s just £9.99/month (less than 25p per Newsletter).

You can cancel any time (there’s no contract).

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