Proofing & Analysis of Horse Racing Tipsters
A good tipster will never be afraid to show his betting record. When a tipster proofs his history of bets made, he provides a quality assurance to a prospective customer that his tips are reliable and verifiable. Racing Proofing proofs a number of online sports advisory services. The tipsters league page summarises the outright records together in the form of a league table, whilst analysis of specific betting records and information about each tipster can be accessed by following the tipster links.. The remaining material on this page provides further information on what statistics Racing Proofing uses to analyse each betting record.
There are a number of indicators which can be used to assess the success of a particular betting record. Traditionally, the size of the betting bank has been viewed as the main factor which indicates the worth of a betting system. The value of the betting bank alone, however, provides little information on how many bets have to be placed and how much money has to be staked in order to achieve the profits shown, and how long such profit growth will take.
In Racing Proofing's opinion, the two key pieces of information that a punter should have when considering following a particular tipster are the profit over turnover (or yield) and the seasonal bet number. Profit over turnover or yield is simply the ratio of profit made to total stakes wagered. Of course a successful betting system allows one to recycle money already won into further bets so that little new money is actually risked. Nevertheless, the betting yield is considered to be a more reliable indicator of success, since any value of the percentage increase in betting bank will be dependent upon the initial bank, and the risk level of the betting system and the size of stakes placed as a percentage of betting bank.
That said, the punter always wants to know how much money he will make in a certain time, usually a season. A punter will normally aim to double his bank in a season. Knowledge of the number of bets a tipster will advise in season, coupled with information about the expected yield, will allow the punter to manage his money flow and minimise his risk or exposure to total bank loss. If a particular tipster has a 20% yield and places 200 bets in a season, it is then possible to attempt to double a starting bank by choosing average stakes of 2.5% of the starting bank. If the bet number was instead 100 or the yield was only 10%, 5% stakes would then be required to achieve a season-end bank doubling, thereby increasing the risk of failure. Of course, systems with variable stakes will require a little more analysis but the risk management principles are the same.
In tipsters league table, betting yield and bet number have been multiplied together to provide an illustration of the overall profitabililty "Rating" for each tipster. This value is NOT the same as profit or actual bank, since staking strategies are different and people's bankrolls are variable, but provides a relative assessment of one record against another. Records showing profits and positive yields will have a Rating of greater than zero; those showing losses and negative yields, a Rating less than zero. Obviously the longer the record, the better the Rating, and the more "robust" the betting history will be.
Whilst the Rating figures are relative, they might be used to estimate the actual growth of a betting bankroll. A Rating figure of 50, for example, would mean that using an average betting stake size of 1 point for each bet in the record, from a starting bankroll of 100, would have returned a bank growth of 50%, whilst for level stakes of 3 points, a bank growth of 150%.
How can a punter be sure that a tipster's betting record has not arisen through luck? Well, he can never be completely confident that chance plays no part, but there are statistical techniques available to test a tipster's skill at beating the bookie's overround, and better still, generating a profit. The simplest way to determine the "robustness" of a betting record is by using chi-square goodness of fit significance test, to show the probability (as a percentage) that the record is the result of the tipster's skill, or conversely is not the result of randomness, luck or chance. 95% is traditionally considered to be the target figure for confidence in a particular record, meaning there is only a 5% chance of it having arisen by luck. Often statisticians will only have confidence in a result if the probability of it occurring by chance is less than 1%.
The "robustnesss" of a betting record is a consequence of both yield (or rather strike rate) and bet number. A record may have a good yield, but if it is based on only a few bets, a punter cannot be confident that it really reflects the tipster's skill. On the other hand, a record of 250 bets and only a 5% yield can be considered to be more robust because the tipster's ability has been tested over and over again. Of course, it goes without saying that if a tipster fails to generate a profit, or worse still fails to beat the overround, there will be little or no robustness in the record, no matter how many bets have been placed. One consequence of this method of statistical testing is that the "robustness" value is also dependent upon the average odds of selected tips. With other things being equal (i.e. yield and bet number), a betting record with lower average odds for tips will be more robust. A fuller discussion of statistical variance is required to explain why this is the case, but is beyond the scope of this website.