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The issue of ‘problem gambling‘ frequently arises throughout the tipster industry. Many followers of such services make the mistake of thinking the principles of responsible gambling do not apply when following a professional providing bets that give the punter an edge. In reality though they are as important as ever.

No matter how good a tipster service in terms of attainment – Return on Investment (ROI), Units Profit, Strike rate etc. – they will have downswings. It’s inevitable due to variance. For example backing a market that presents value at 2/1 (3.00) does not mean it will always win. In fact losses will be frequent even with profitable tipster services. Most succesful services have a strike rate below 50% so it’s crucial that customers are able to deal with losses and effectively manage their bankroll.

Casual Bettors contrasted against Tipster Subscribers

The average bookmaker customer uses the service responsibly as a bit of fun but many look to make the transition from a casual gambler to someone who takes it seriously and makes a profit or even full time income through sports betting. Does the quote below sound familiar?

I’m going to place a £10 acca on the football this weekend. It will return thousands if it wins

It’s easy to criticize punters like this as bookmakers have a significant edge with accumulator bets. Especially those with five, ten or even fifteen selections. That’s why accumulator bonuses and insurance promotions are frequently found on bookmaker websites. They want customers to use that feature and amplify their edge.

But these type of customers are unlikely to become problem gamblers if they simply place one or two bets a week and understand the odds of long. Sort of like buying a lottery ticket but with significantly superior odds. The key is that the stake is likely to be relatively small and most customers won’t chase losses. It’s a bit of fun at the weekend that makes the football scores a little more interesting.

The issue frequently arises when those customers try and make sports betting a source of income rather than just occasional fun. Most tipster followers will stake far more than the average bookmaker customer for example. Crucially their expectation goes from ‘my bet will probably lose most weeks’ to ‘this bet should give me profit’.

This attitude is not unrealistic if following a reputable tipster service with a proven track record but it’s a common misconception that tipster services will deliver reliable, sustained profit. Almost all of them will have losing days, months, weeks or even years. Are you the type of person to sign up to a service then cancel after a few days if the results don’t go your way? If so avoid sports betting and tipsters altogether unless it’s just fun with low stakes.

Why? Because if an individual is serious about following a tipster then they should be willing to commit long term. The results in the first few days should have no influence on your opinion of the service. Whether they land multiple high odds winners and your up a significant amount of money or all their selections lose. Judging a service over the short term will almost certainly lead to problems. It’s the wrong mindset to have.

Useful Resources related to Sports Betting & Responsible Gambling:

GambleAware – It can be difficult to admit you have an issue with gambling. There are loads of helpful resources and signs to look out for. Try and get control before it has a significant impact on your life. The damage is more than financial in most cases. It can lead to crime, relationships ending and additional problems.

Setting account limits in terms of deposits is a good idea and try and avoid bookmakers that allow withdrawals to be cancelled/reversed. That just encourages problems for vulnerable players. Assume any money wagered will be lost EVEN when following a tipster service that has a profitable track record and rave reviews. If you are relying on returns from bets to fund bills, rent, mortgages, food and so on stop and chat to a gambling related charity.

Top Hints / Pointers for Following Tipsters:

1.) Start Small and Scale with Total Bankroll

Research tipster services in detail before signing up. The BettingGods.com services are reputable based on extensive reviews and research from the Tennis Tips UK team. Set aside a small bankroll and select an amount to bet per unit. This should scale with your bankroll for example 1% per unit. That means if you are succesful and make money you will automatically stake more but crucially if the service goes through a bad period you’ll limit losses.

2.) Think Long Term or Don’t Bother

It may sound very black and white but in our view it really is. If you sign up to a service and get a few winners and think – this service is great and equally unsubscribe and complain after a couple of losses – take a step back and admit that sports betting for any reason other than fun is not for you. Researched advisory that gives the punter an edge will not always win. There are so any external factors beyond control in most sports known as ‘variance’ and these will impact some results. Also whether an individual selection wins or loses may not be the best way to judge whether it was a good bet or not. If you back a football team at evens (2.00) and they are dominated for the entire match but then score a little winner – was that a good bet? On paper yes as it returned profit but consider if those selections will deliver a positive yield long term. It’s possible the opponent team priced at much larger odds were in fact the value bet despite the fact that selection would have returned nothing in this example.

This is difficult. It’s very easy to fall in to the trap of working day to day and judging performance short term. Try and simply place the advised bets with a responsible stake and only look at results after a week or even month. It doesn’t benefit anyone to subscribe to a service and then cancel after a week.

3.) Statistics: Return on Investment, Total Profit or Strike Rate?

What’s important to you when following a service… the frequency of winners or the total profit. Maybe the Return on Investment (ROI), bankroll growth or yield? In an ideal world bets would win often and downswings would not occur but that isn’t the reality. Consider how much tipsters risk. The total profit can seem impressive but think about the potential losses if a few results had gone the other way. The main advice from industry experts is to focus on Return on Investment as this factors in the amount staked/risked and the returns achieved.

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