It's that time again - the beginning of the football season in Europe. Surely many punters around the world are wondering how to choose the right tipster without being scammed and build a profitable betting portfolio. I have decided to write a short guide that I sincerely hope will help many people to make better choices.

Firstly let me quickly introduce myself. My name is Martin Grozev and I am co-founder of Bettingmetrics. I have over 4 years of experience betting on sports and have utilised various betting strategies such as: arbitrage, matched and value betting, following tipsters, building own betting models and pretty much anything else you can think of in terms of sports betting. I have proved that it is possible to make money by following tipsters but it is nowhere close to easy. It requires a lot of patience, discipline and it does take time. Below I will share 5 fundamental methods I follow when choosing and following a tipster.

1. Do not trust social media tipsters

First and foremost never ever trust people that are claiming to make crazy money from betting or that they know some fixed matches. Those guys or at least 99% of them are scammers and they take advantage of the newbies in the betting world. Alternatively they have affiliate deals with the bookmakers and their major goal is to refer you to a certain bookmaker and make you lose money so they can earn some cash. Avoid Facebook, Twitter and any other social media tipster at pretty much all cost.

2. Verified Tipster

When choosing a tipster make sure it is reliable and verified by a third independent party. Internet is a great force and there is plenty of websites that offer verifications services that you can take advantage of. Nevertheless stay focused and always critically analyse the numbers they provide. If you see tipsters that have had few loosing months or they have always been on profit this is a huge red light – be cautious.

3. Choose a tipster that fits your betting behaviour

Every person who bets has his own betting and sport preferences. If you like some sports more than others, if you are risk averse and prefer to bet only a few times per week - look for the tipster that will match these criteria. For instance, if you like to place few bets during the weekend certainly go for a football tipster rather than a horse one. If you enjoy your night’s sleep, don't even bother to follow Australian ones. Furthermore, ensure you feel comfortable with the recommended bank and stake plan such as the Kelly Criterion. This is particular important during losing runs and like it or not they will happen.

4. Have Realistic Expectation

Once you chose a tipster have the right mind set. With other words have realistic expectations. For example, if you are planning to make 30 points profit over the season, do not expect to make them in the first month. Do not expect to become millionaire from 1 tipster or overnight, remember they are human beings and they will be losing on a regular basis. What does matter is whether you have made money at the end of the season.

5. Be ready to lose

Accept the idea that you will be losing. Do not think that the tipster you are following will achieve a hit rate of 80%. This rarely happens. Even if happens it will be for a very short term and you should not get emotionally affected by long winning or losing runs. Something I advise you is to read more about the correlation between hit rate and odds, that will help you to quickly identify which tipsters are scammers and which ones are worth following