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Common Tipster (Handicapper) Scams

For some reason, an astonishing number of sports bettors are willing to wager hundreds or thousands of pounds not only on their wagers, but also on the bet that they happen to be dealing with a trustworthy tipster / handicapper.  Instead of verifying the tipster's / handicapper's history and results for themselves, they just take it on faith they are working with a good company or individual. 


Doing this is a really poor idea, obviously, because there are unfortunately a lot of scammers out there who take advantage of lazy or naive punters.  There are a number of common scams and gimmicks out there that seedy tipsters / handicappers use to prey on unwary customers:

  • Locks.  Whenever you hear this word, someone is doing their best to convince you that their pick cannot lose under any circumstances.  This is just not possible, however.  No match is decided in advance, or nobody would ever play!  Even an “easy” pick can sometimes go the exact opposite way anyone expects.
  • Double dealing.  Sometimes tipsters / handicappers who do not report their picks to third-party verifiers will double deal.  In other words, they will give different picks to different customers, and work it in such a way that they are raising a deliberate profit while screwing over customers in a systematic way.
  • Your money back.  If a service guarantees your money back (or even more of a red flag, more than your money back) on losing bets, you can bet they are scamming their customers by double dealing.  Even returning the money from the lost bets, they still end up with a big net profit.  There are many variations on this scheme.  All of it is done to boost your confidence, but they will gradually run you out of money one way or another.
  • Posting fake results from past weeks.  While it is important to look for a history of past picks on the tipster's / handicapper's website, it is also important to evaluate that history with care.  One common scam is for these results not to actually reflect predictions at all, but to incorporate knowledge gained after the matches concluded.  Unless they are time-stamped and verified by a third party, there is no way you could ever know.  Be extra wary if you see an unrealistically high win percentage. 


Basically, there are a lot of situations where you are looking at a service which is simply too good to be true.  You want to see a high win percentage, but not too high.  You want to be treated fairly, but you should run the other way if a tipster / handicapper offers you a profit for being wrong.  If someone promises you a “cannot lose” lock, you should remind yourself that all bets can lose.  If anyone actually had the secret to winning with 100% certainty, do you think they would even need to sell picks?  Take your time evaluating handicappers, and be careful which services you buy.  Also consider simply finding the information they use and doing your own tipping / handicapping yourself.


Horse Racing Betting

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Bookmaker of the Month

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Gambling on the Internet

A few things to consider when gambling online:

  • Take advantage of first deposit bonuses
  • Have a budget and stick to it
  • Don't lose more than you can afford
  • When drunk, don't bet!
  • Don't chase losses
  • Bet on markets you know well
  • Don't abuse bonuses