Should you trust tipsters?

Today we will dwell in more detail on the principles of tipsters work and tell you whether you should still trust most of them. To begin with, let’s give one simple example that testifies to a lot. So, a certain tipster regularly laid out his predictions for tennis matches for five years, while the quotes for the victory of one or another player in each of them were approximately equal (that is, the odds were about 2.0). Everything was quite fair and transparent – bets were issued a few hours before the start of matches in real time, which could be tracked by the corresponding coupons.

At the same time, the profit of this tipster for the specified period amounted to 100 thousand dollars – an excellent result, isn’t it? The followers of this man probably imagined him as an excellent expert in the game, a kind of tennis guru.

However, in fact, it may well turn out that all these forecasts were of no greater value than, for example, the forecasts of the notorious Paul’s octopus – in other words, they were based solely on luck, but not on experience and analytical data. Let’s imagine that in a certain competition with the same conditions, not one, but one hundred tipsters participate with equal chances to win or lose 20 thousand dollars during the year; the losers at the end of the year are eliminated.

So, after the first year of the competition, of the tipsters who stupidly click on one of the two buttons (the chances of winning one of the tennis players, we recall, are approximately equal), there remain 50, who earned 20 thousand dollars on average only due to luck, the rest 50 drop out. It is not difficult to calculate that by the end of the fifth year, there will be three tipsters, each of whom was able to earn 100 thousand dollars, while relying only on luck.

How to distinguish a lucky person from a professional?

The above phenomenon is called the “survival trend”. It is used to assess the work of tipsters: as we have already found out, even people who occupy the first places in the rating of such specialists can in fact turn out to be just darlings of fortune, who know little about sports analytics.

If you seriously decide to follow the tipster’s advice without trusting your own opinion too much, when choosing such a specialist, you should choose the right size of the initial sample of matches for which correct predictions were given. Very often it may be that on some relatively short period, thanks to luck, a number of tipsters who are in no way professionals are able to give more or less accurate predictions, but over a longer distance their chances of success are reduced to zero or become negative.

However, this factor cannot be considered as decisive, which we have shown on our conditional example. Just flipping a coin and waiting for heads or tails (and the situation we simulated for tennis matches was the same), we completely ignore the bookmaker’s margin, which is always present in sports betting. Thus, the tipster should issue his predictions taking into account the odds of those bookmakers where the margin is the lowest (after all, the lower the margin, the easier it is to achieve success in the long run), and Pinnacle is exactly that.

Well, it is worth recalling that in any case, first of all, you should check the decency of the tipster – does he post his coupons for matches in real time, and not just manipulate them to match the desired result. Pay also attention to the size of the bets – it is unlikely that a professional will advise you to use more than 3% of your bankroll for one single bet.

Survival trend example

Several years ago, on one of the English-language channels on a program called “System”, the famous illusionist Derren Brown demonstrated to the entire audience how the survival trend can be confusing. Among the participants in the show, which was supposed to develop a supposedly win-win system of betting on the winner of the races, was a girl named Khadisha. She won five times in a row, but when she made the $ 4,000 bet for the sixth time, she lost.

Initially, almost 8 thousand people participated in the program. The illusionist divided them all into six groups; each group was asked by lot to place a bet on the winner of the next race, while participants in two different groups could not place bets on the same horse.

Since there were only six horses in each race, according to its results, five groups were eliminated, and the participants of the remaining one were again divided into six groups. Khadisha, you guessed it, was always among the winners. However, when she was left alone, she lost after the others.

The main conclusion from all of the above is that luck can smile on everyone, but for a professional it is of secondary importance. Even in the event of a series of losses, he is able to remain cool, knowing that his system will allow him to return everything with interest in the future.

Formula for assessing the professionalism of a tipster

In conclusion, we present a simple formula by which you can independently assess the level of professionalism of a tipster:

√ X + 0.5X = Y

Here X is the total number of predictions given by the tipster, Y is the number of possible wins. So, if a tipster gave 100 predictions, then the number of theoretical wins according to our formula will be 60. Such an indicator can be achieved only by luck in only one case out of 40, and therefore, if the seller of predictions “checked” by you has similar statistics, most likely he can trust.

However, it is obvious that a hundred predictions is too small a sample to assess the true capabilities of a tipster. Therefore, the more predictions available for viewing, the higher the likelihood of a correct tipster estimate. More often than not, it is better to trust a tipster who has, say, 55% statistics for 1000 predictions than one who gives 75% accuracy for 50 matches.

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