How To Find A Profitable Tipster

It’s a fact that the majority of people don’t have time to find their own selections. Not only do you need to learn the skill of being able to do it and make a regular profit, but you also need to have the time each day to go through the race cards.

So what do you do if you want to place a bet that’s going to make a profit, without any of the work to get there?

You use tipsters!

But it’s not that simple. Many tipsters are actually no better than the average punter, making a small loss or break-even. And some are significantly worse!

Once you find a tipster that is making a profit many people think that’s all they need to do.

But, once again, it’s not that simple. At least not if you want to make long-term profits.


Because your individual discipline, risk level, tolerance to losing streaks and starting bankroll is going to make a big difference!

It’s perfectly possible to get selections from a profitable tipster and still make a loss even while the tipsters selections are making a profit.

You’re probably wondering how, so let me expand a bit.

At the Race Advisor we regularly receive an email asking us to check our proofing for a specific tipster because we are showing they made a profit for a month whilst the person getting in touch has made a loss.

Of course, we always check and we keep every single email for exactly that reason. But almost always everything is correct.

So I reply saying we have checked and everything is fine. And then I ask…

“How much are you staking and what’s your bankroll?”

Some of the replies I have received have amazed me. For example:

“I have £100 and am using £10 stakes” or “I started with £500 and am betting between £30 and £70”

If you’re doing that, then to be honest I’m not surprised you’ve lost everything! The only thing that’s surprised me is how long it’s taken to happen.

A tipster is not a holy grail. Can some of them make long-term profits… Yes. Can they win every, or even most, bets… No.

Every tipster will have a losing streak. I can guarantee that 100%. It may not be today or tomorrow, or even for a few months. But… it will happen.

And when it does you need to be prepared.

Which is why today I wanted to write an article about how you should choose a tipster that is going to work for you.

The Race Advisor is now one of the leading tipster proofing services online. You can see all our proofing here.

I’m going to give you a check list of everything that you should be looking for before you decide whether to join a tipping service. Don’t forget, when you do decide to join you must stay for a minimum of three months and ideally six. Anything less isn’t giving enough time for the variance of selections to even out.

Okay so let’s get on to the check list!

  • Find the All Time results for the service you are interested in. This must span a minimum of 3 months but ideally a year or more. You want to look at the Strike Rate

You need to consider what level of strike rate is going to be suitable for your personality and tolerance. For back bets anything above 20% can be considered decent, however the most profitable services are likely to be 15% or even lower.

Remember that even with a 30% strike rate you will be losing 7 out of every 10 bets. But this does not mean the selections won’t make a profit!

This is probably one of the hardest betting concepts to understand. Just remember that you can find more losers than winners and still make a profit.

The lower the strike rate the longer the losing runs are going to be. If you don’t have a high tolerance for losing runs then don’t choose a service with an All Time strike rate of less than 25%, it may suit you to choose an each-way or place betting service which, while possibly having a lower profit, will have a far less volatile performance.

  • Go through the last 3 to 12 months, individually, and write down the profit

Next we need to determine the average monthly profit and how many losing months they have on average. Let’s say, for example, that a tipster has had 7 out of 12 profitable months. The average monthly profit was 15 units and the smallest profit was 1.50 units. The largest losing month was 8 units and the average losing month was 3 units.

Now we’re starting to get some useful information!

We’ve found a tipster whose All Time strike rate suits our betting personality and has made a profit. Now we’re seeing that we are likely to make a loss in five months of every that averages at 3 units.

Our average profit in the remaining seven months is 15 units but we need to be prepared to only make a profit of 1.50 units. We must also remember that we could have two or three of our five losing months in back to back succession.

What we’re doing is building up a picture of how using this tipster is likely to be so we are prepared for it.

  • Work out stake sizes required to make a profit and pay for tipster

If you’re happy with everything you’ve found so far, then it’s time to start working out the stake sizes that you’re going to need in order to be able to make a profit and pay for the service.

To do this we use the average monthly profit over their All Time proofing. Let’s say our tipster makes an average monthly profit of 7.5 units, and the service costs £35 per month to join. We divide the average monthly profit by the cost of the service to find the minimum stake we need to place in order to pay for the service. In this case its…

35 divided by 7.5 = 4.67

That means we need to be staking a minimum of £4.67 to cover the cost of this service. But we don’t want to just cover the cost of the service, we want to make a profit as well. So, next we need to decide how much profit we want to make each month (on average).

This must be a realistic figure!

You aren’t going to make £500 a month by betting £4.67 and you need to have a bankroll to withstand losing runs. Always ask your tipster what bankroll you should use, however you can also work this out yourself from the proofing.

There are many complicated ways to determine the optimum bankroll, but for now we want something that is going to keep your investment safe and is quick to determine. To do this you:

  1. Download the entire history of your tipsters proofing
  2. Calculate the largest downswing they had
  3. Double it

That’s your bankroll.

NOTE – If your tipster recommends a bankroll less than the biggest downswing they had then I would strongly suggest you don’t use them.

Let’s say we need a bankroll of 50 units and decide to start with we will be happy with a profit of £100 per month after our subscription cost has been covered.

We divide this £100 by the average monthly profits of 7.5 which gives us a stake of £13.33. To this we need to add the stake to cover the cost of the service, which is £4.67, and we have a required stake of £18.

With a 50 unit bankroll that means we need to have a £900 bankroll. We will be increasing our bankroll by 11% EVERY MONTH!

That’s pretty damn impressive, and with compound staking we can make it grow even faster. But that’s for another article.

We now know exactly how much we need to have available to bet and what size our stakes should be.

  • Work out how to manage our bankroll

The final stage of deciding whether we want to use a tipster is to calculate how we are going to manage our bankroll. We can’t simply take out our £100 every month because this is just an average. Some months there will be a loss and some months there will be a bigger profit. And, we want to cover the costs of the service from our bets.

We have two goals with our profit:

  1. Pay for the service
  2. Make a profit

We want to make sure we have number one covered first. To do this we want to have between 3 months worth of subscription payments covered before we start taking our profit out. This means that we are covering our subscription from our betting profits even during the losing months that we know will happen.

So our first month we take out everything above our £900 bankroll and we put it aside for our subscription to the service. We keep doing this until we have a minimum of three months worth of subscriptions. In our case this is 3 x £37 = £111.

Based on our average profit per month we should be able to achieve this in one to two months. Now every month we continue to take out anything over our £900. From the money we take out we put aside a months subscription and then we take everything else as our profit and transfer it to our bank.

You are now working ahead and have already got the cost of the subscription three months in advance of needing it, for when we hit those losing months, and there is never any stress involved as you know you can cover the cost of your years subscription from the betting profits and still come away with a nice extra income for yourself.

Not only that but you are aware of length of downswings and losing streaks that the tipster is likely to have because you have done thorough research on them.

You can see over 100 tipsters being proofed in the Race Advisor Tipster Proofing and download CSV files of all their selections.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.


  1. Hi Michael,

    Yet another first class article, full of sound advise, which we both know will probably be ignored by the vast majority as usual…..

    I have always maintained that the nature of the beast is such that if you gave 100 people a 100% guaranteed winning system, 97 of them would lose money with it! I am pleased to see that is borne out by this article. Human nature is a funny thing, and has, and always will for the vast majority, prevent the achievement of success in this game.

    Failing to plan is planning to fail as they say, as with a lot of things in life, it is fairly easy to understand what to do and how to do it, BUT, actually putting it into practice and more importantly having the faith and courage to stick with it when things are going wrong, which they will, is a completely different matter.
    For example, when I play golf, my handicap is scratch for my practice swing, but when that ball gets in the way……..

    For me it is all about keeping in your own personal comfort zone, when I read about people hiding behind the sofa when their selections are running, it is obvious they are doing something very wrong indeed, if you are betting at a level that causes negative emotions, failure is guaranteed.

    It never ceases to amaze me, that, after doing all the paper trading etc, you go live with real money, and instantly you have a train crash on your hands?? Is it the betting God’s simply testing our resolve, or as is more likely the case, we have paper traded right up to the crest of the wave, and then got involved just as the wave comes crashing down……I guess logically, if you really believe in what you are doing, the time to get involved is after a losing run, but how many people could force themselves to do that….?
    Instead, we will get involved just in time for the down turn, then either ditch the idea very quickly because it clearly doesn’t work, or, we go back to paper trading, wait for the next upturn, and then get in again just in time for………

    I have spent many, many years working on the mental side of what I am doing, it is incredibly difficult, and I have fallen off the rails many times along the way, but I am getting ever closer hopefully.

    This article has given me the inspiration to try even harder, despite hopefully being in my comfort zone staking wise currently, I have certainly taken a lot from this article in terms of bank size and staking etc. I would be amazed if there is anyone who reads this that can’t learn something from it.

    For example, the big mistake I have always made is that although I have a completely separate betting bank, I stretch it too thinly by using the one bank for too many different things, I MUST get used to allocating a separate betting bank for each and every different system or service I am following, and I know that there have been many times when I am following soooo many different things I quite simply can’t see the wood for the trees!

    Thanks again Michael, this will go in the archives, and I will revisit and read it regularly.


  2. Hi
    A most interesting postulation and a reply that echoes my experiences.

    I am not a tipster but I do have some of my selections posted on Race Advisor. I have only been posting since the 23rd August and although not showing a profit I am at a loss as to why I am not, I had a 39.26 BSP (20/1 SP) winner on the 1st October.

    If I hadn’t been lecturing my grandson on the demerits of accumulator bets on the 13th of this month I would have posted a 27.50 BSP winner (20/1 SP) Iffranesia. I did manage to get the bet on myself. However, I must revert to the subject in hand.

    The tips(?) I send to the Race Advisor are based on a system I refer to as High Priced winners. I have been developing horse racing systems for over 20 years and have developed many winning strategies concerned with backing, laying and greening up.

    The most successful system was one which relied on data from Adrian Masseys site. Adrian unfortunately gave up and I was left to go to pastures new.

    After twenty years I found myself just treading water , neither winning nor losing. When in management I always said that when I had a problem I should turn the telescope round and take a different view.

    This I did. The object of the exercise is to win and win big. The only way to win big was to win with high priced horses – hence the system name I use.

    I have developed a system that selects high priced horses amongst others. Forgetting what is posted on Race Advisor currently, since the 17th July when I started to monitor my bets on the system I have made a profit of 86 points net on Betfair with the same type of selections I send to Race Advisor. This consisted of 130 bets and 17 wins (Strike rate: 13%). This validates all that the message above is trying to convey. When I select a race for high priced horses I select up to 4 horses a race.

    At Kempton one of the selections shows a profit of 7 points from 18 winners and 106 bets. (Strike rate 17%). Obviously not all high priced winners. The other two selections show a loss, but overall taking all 4 selections into account I am still in profit by 53 points.

    In fact I am so determined to select high prices that if the price is below 5/1 I will not bet on it.

    I bet on anything from 6 races to up to 20 a day. (Five races at Fontwell yesterday gave me 14 bets and a profit of 36.49 points BSP). Since the 17th July I have bet on 1771 races and on the same type of selections I post for AWKempton I have made a profit of 227 points net from 177 wins and 1582 bets. (Strike Rate: 11%)

    A W Kempton

  3. Another really useful article. I haven’t seen anything similar elsewhere!
    Do have any suggestions on a reasonable % ROI? I feel 5%-10%.
    From an initial browse, Cleeve Racing seem a reasonable starting point.
    I like to fact they use Betfair SP, which everyone can get.
    Are there any tipsters you would recommend for the beginner punter?

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