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A tipster is someone who regularly provides information (tips) on the likely outcomes of sporting events on internet sites or special betting places.
In the past tips were bartered for and traded but nowadays, thanks largely to the Internet and premium rate telephone lines, they are usually exchanged for money, and many tipsters operate websites. Some of them are free and some require subscription.
A tip in gambling is a bet suggested by a third party who is perceived to be more knowledgeable about that subject than the bookmaker who sets the initial odds. (A bookmaker will vary his odds according to the amount of money wagered, but has to start with a blank book and himself set an initial price to encourage betting.) Thus a tip is not even regarded by the tipster as a certainty but that the bookmaker has set a price too low (or too high) from what the true risk is: it is a form of financial derivative, since the tipster himself risks none of his own money but sells his expert knowledge to others to try to “beat the bookie”.
The Tipster must overcome the profit margin integrated into sports betting odds by bookmakers trading teams and then also obtain an additional edge to deliver profit over the long term.
Tipsters are sometimes insiders of a particular sport able to provide bettors with information not publicly available. There are other tipsters who provide equally respectable results through analysis of commonly accessible information.
Some tipsters use statistical based estimations about the outcome of a game, and compare this estimation with the bookmaker’s odds. If there is a gap between the estimate odds and the bookmakers odds, the tipster is said to identify “value”, and a person who bets on such odds when they perceive not a certainty but a “gap in the book” is said to be a “value bettor”. When value is found, the tipster is recommending the bettor to place a bet.
A tip that is considered to be a racing certainty, that is, almost completely certain to be true, is also called a nap and tipsters in newspapers will tend to indicate the “nap”.
In the past tipping was mostly associated with horse racing but can apply to any sport that has odds offered on it. The relaxed cultural attitude towards gambling in the UK is increasingly resulting in a gambling element being promoted alongside sport coverage in the media.