By extension, a snake oil salesman is someone who knowingly sells fraudulent goods or who is themselves a fraud, quack, or charlatan.
Today I was browsing through one of the tipster platforms I am visiting regularly – Tipstertube – and decided to go through the profiles of the guys with highest yields on the website to see what they are up to. I was not surprised to find out that many of them have absolutely no idea about the stuff they are tipping about, but use a few cheap tricks to pump up their yield and present themselves as betting experts. Not long after polishing their stats they go the paid route and start charging some poor folks for their useless services. I think it’s a shame and I want to show everyone who comes across my blog how to recognize those snake oil salesmen.
What to look for
If you want to take away just one advice from this article: Beware of high stakes at high odds. High stakes at high odds is the main tool tipsters use to trick you into believing they have betting expertise. It is important to understand that as a tipster, whether your profit is zero or minus one million is all the same. Having a plus one million on the other hand is a whole different story. It brings you fame and a crowd of followers which, if you are smart enough, you can monetize. For a tipster there is just upside and no downside. Therefore tipsters, unlike bettors, are strongly inclined to take huge risks in their tips and they often do so to skew their results.
It goes like this: You open a new profile. You start placing bets on extremely high odds with the highest possible stake. A favorite one for those guys seems to be the correct score market. Here is what one of the guys on top of the table who is (at least for now) naming himself Devilbet had suggested to his followers at the start of his (surely not first) tipster profile:
Mr. Devilbet advises us to place a 10/10 stake at outrageous selections of the type Austria to beat Hungary 3:2. After odds drifted a bit he even backed this thing for a second time. So now he is invested with a 20 stake at something that has approximately 2% chance to happen. To nobody’s surprise, it didn’t happen. Mr. Devilbet will not give up though. He will continue to back selections of the same type until one of two things happen. Either, more likely, he will at some point be so deep in the red that he will need to continue this same absurd strategy with a new profile named, say, Angelbet which will magically erase all his previous losses, or, less likely, he will finally hit it big with a few of these Correct Score selections which will give him the needed yield and profit to present himself as the Master Tipster. Next tip:
Boooom booom booom! My thirty-seventh profile finally managed to strike one of those most unlikely correct scores! I was getting tired already…
What follows next are more of the same weird bets, this time at slightly lower odds:
Soon after that another correct score at a bit lower odds is being hit and our hero goes back to normal selections with a moderate stakes and odds in the range of 1.5-2. Those new low-odds selections are not very successful, in fact their return is slightly negative, but it does not matter. The profit from the two correct score bets is already there, so now Mr Devilbet only needs to increase the total number of his bets to create the illusion of consistency for his followers.
With the stakes and odds he is currently using it will take many months to erase the profits his profile has made, even though his edge on the proposed selections is not better than the one of the average mug punter wasting his salary in the local betting shop. His latest five game losing streak is a good example for that. But that’s ok, he already has the shining stats, so he can soon start a paid tipping service for those of his followers who were lazy enough not to have a careful look at his past selections. Until the last of them realizes that what they are paying for is essentially useless Mr Devilbet will have already banked more than enough money to be worth the effort of playing this little game. Boooom boooom boooom! Next profile incoming!
Now, it is a bit unfair to put Mr. Devilbet under the spotlight when he is certainly not the only one employing this strategy. He is also not the most sophisticated one. Like, look at this profile right here called Fangio. Fangio has bet on virtually every market on offer on this summer’s Euro Cup including, of course, some correct scores. Stake is always 10/10 – Fangio does not fool around. Much like our previous tipster he was even lucky enough to hit it big a few times:
Now our tipster has acquired the much sought after profit and yield, but instead of just increasing his total number of bets he decided to reposition himself on the tipster market. He picked a niche and decided to become an F1 guru! How did this correct score expert decide to go into F1 remains a mystery, but 5 bets and a profile pic with a retro F1 car later he is already on the way to his goal. I am skeptical as to whether Fangio’s high yield will persist in the F1 market, but it remains to be seen.
The common denominator
You will find many other guys like that. It’s always the same thing – high stake, high odds bets. Mostly correct scores, but not necessarily, any high odds selection will do the work. Remember that these guys do not present themselves with their real names but with an online profile created in less than a minute, which can be switched for a new clean one quick and easy as soon as those low probability picks go the wrong way. Any tipster going for the high risk selections is probably doing just that. My advice is to stay away.
This is not everything that the tipster market has to offer. There are genuine guys out there who work hard to find some edge in the market and share it with their followers. But you need to be smart and do your research because the tipster market is a shady place. Look for tipsters with expertise in certain sport and league and a steady P&L line without big up- and downswings. Hard work pays off. And let me know if you find someone 😉