Stop Yourself From Tweaking!

It is a curse of bettors that they have a desire to permanently tweak. There must be something in the genetic make-up of us that wants us to try and make something that is already working, work better and, I have learned over the years that…

…you shouldn’t!

I put this down to the human emotion which tries to make us believe we can do better than we already are. This is an emotion that is very hard to overcome, but you must.

It doesn’t matter if the selections you are using are from your own systems and strategies, or they are the selections of a tipster. There is always a desire to think that we may be able to make them produce a bigger profit. And, of course, this feeling is strongest when we are in the middle of a losing streak.

If you have never experienced this feeling, then I must wholeheartedly congratulate you. I have certainly experienced it. In fact, I experience it at some point with every new strategy I implement. It is only experience that has taught me to ignore the feeling.

So, why must we ignore it?

Because 95% of the time it will result in you turning the profits you have made into a loss, and then deciding the method doesn’t work and binning it.

The following steps are a very common process for a lot of bettors…

1) Get selections

2) Making profits

3) Hit a losing streak

4) Panic

5) Think that selections should be performing better

6) Start changing the selections to get a better performance

7) Lose even more

8) Decide selections are bad and move on

This just DOESN’T work! You have turned profitable selections into losing ones by tweaking them, and then decided that the selections are no good. I have seen this happen time and time again.

It is even more common for punters using tipsters, because there is not 100% faith in the selections. Almost daily I receive emails asking me if I think they should change the selections they are getting from a tipster, or use different staking.

The answer is always a resounding no! At this point you have made the decision to try a tipster, and you must follow your decision through by giving them at least 3 months following exactly what they say. If you are not going to do this, then there is no point in joining the service to start with.

In fact, what we should be doing is taking a leaf out of almost every other industry that requires testing. Gambling is one of only the few industries where we need to test, but we do it with no real plan of action. We use emotions to guide us instead of our brain.

If you truly want to test your selections, here is what you should do…

1) Get profitable selections

2) Analyse how you may want to change them for an increased profit

3) Change just one thing in the selection process

4) Follow the new selections AND the original selections for three months (or 100 winners whichever comes first)

5) Analyse the results for the test period of time

6) If their is an increased profit in the new selection process consider using it, otherwise revert to original.

7) Go back to Step 2 and repeat

By doing this you are actually only testing 1 variable at a time and monitoring it against the performance of the original selections. In science they would call the original selections the Control group. A group that we always monitor and measure everything else against. This is the only way to seriously test new methods.

And the reason that most punters don’t do this is…

…it takes time!

If you aren’t prepared to spend the time, then some part of you is still chasing the golden goose. Spend the time, have patience and you will be rewarded.

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. All good stuff, but if you are in a downward spiral and your tipster is losing you £50 – £100 a day and you are running a substantial loss, do you keep hoping fortunes will change or hang fire and maybe miss the turn around if it comes? (These tips are big prices!)

    1. Whenever you start using a tipster you should put aside the amount of money you can afford to lose. You then split this into the units. Now follow the tipster for three months whatever happens. Once you are getting selections you should never be making judgements because of concern over a few weeks of results. This money management is crucial to any betting success, whether on your own selections or from a tipster.

      1. Yes, i fully understand where you are coming from, money you can afford to lose and money you can see going down the pan and don’t want to lose are slightly different entities, because when you analyse (good or) poor results; form, history and going are significant factors that in the cold light of day can make you doubt the tips coming in. Now when you pay for a service, rightly or not, you do hope that it will show profits and promise soon enough, especially when you look at past results, it does however seem to be a common theme that tipster services often leave a lot to be desired and results are often less than those “historically” proofed as many of us find out to our cost!

        1. Exactly. There are certainly a lot of bad tipsters out there, however there are also a lot of good ones and the problem a lot of punters face is they don’t have realistic expectations for the tipster.

          When you join a tipster you must be aware that you could be joining at the beginning of a losing trend (in fact this is very common because most services advertise heavily when they are doing well and by definition a winning run is followed by a losing run). Even when the historical results are accurate, they are still historical and the biggest downswing could be worse. This is why it is always best to do your own analysis on their past results and determine what bankroll size you are comfortable with, regardless of what they suggest. You shouldn’t expect insane profits of 50%, 60% or more ROI. In fact if you get 10%-20% ROI average over a year that is pretty good. And, most importantly you have to give them the time to actually prove they can produce results. Typically a month is just not long enough. They could have a losing period of longer than that.

          I may look at writing a blog post about this because I am starting to think of lots of common assumptions that are made that will prevent people making a profit from a tipster, whether they are profitable or not.

  2. The blog post may be a good idea actually, i for one do not expect insane results, but anywhere between 10-30% would be ideal, i do not expect the majority of my tip services to be showing a loss during a 1 – 3 month time frame, i do think i am being realistic there, there is a lot of frustration in the process – the only + is when i analyse the results, i am learning why the tip was the wrong pick and building lots of valuable info from the process, enough to now analyse the tips coming in and to decide whether they are “worthy” when in have time!

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