Choice Tips Review – Betfan

Choice Tips is a new horse racing tipster service which is being offered through the Betfan stable of tipsters. Selections come courtesy of tipster James Calvert.

Introduction to Choice Tips

I’ll admit that when Betfan launch a new product, it is hard not to pay at least some attention to it. After all, they are almost definitely the largest tipster stable in the UK, if not the world (at least that I am aware of). They have also enjoyed some hugely successful services in this time, although I am quite sure that they have had more that have ended up failing in the long term, but that’s another argument for another day. For reasons that will be revealed over the course of this review, this brings me very nicely to Choice Tips.

This newest offering from James Calvert has results that are, at best, polarising. More realistically, they may also point to quite a rapid decline for a service that has apparently got off to a fantastic start. There is a lot to unpack here, so let’s get stuck into Choice Tips and have a look at what you are actually getting.  

What Does Choice Tips Offer?

I don’t really know where to start with Choice Tips. On the surface, it is a pretty straight forward tipster service, albeit one that conforms to a lot of the typical Betfan standards. The vast majority of bets that James Calvert advises are straight wins, however you should be ready for the occasional each way bet on some of the horses with longer odds.

Talking of which, Choice Tips has a very significant range of odds with July alone identifying bets at evens, going all the way up to 33/1. The volume of bets is all pretty manageable with most days producing 5 selections or less (however James Calvert may sometimes advise a little more than this).

A little earlier, I talked about the “typical Betfan standards” and that applies very much to the logistics of the service. Choice Tips is a well put together operation and Betfan manage James Calvert’s selections very well.

You can expect to receive bets directly via email, as well as them being uploaded to a special member’s area on the website, and even their app as well. James Calvert also aims to get tips uploaded before 8am which gives Choice Tips subscribers plenty of time to get bets placed. This is a very strong positive for the service as I know some people struggle with betting after the traditional working day begins.  

Now, Choice Tips is quite an eclectic service. I don’t feel that this is necessarily a bad thing and arguably, it could be a sign of James Calvert’s selection process working. What I mean by this is that there is, as I have discussed, a range of odds that are quite significant. As are the average odds which although not calculated, are rather middling with lower odds actually being the rarity with Choice Tips.

What all of this does do is make it difficult to know what to expect in terms of how often you are actually going to win. None the less, Betfan’s proofing claims that James Calvert has maintained a strike rate of 14.38% since launching in April 2019. Honestly, I find this to be disappointing.

Picking up that thread from earlier (again) I want to return to “typical Betfan standards”. Usually, this a very good thing, however, one of the elements where I do find it to be much less appealing is when to comes to staking.

There has been a large move away from 5 point stakes in recent time, however Choice Tips returns to this in the proofing. Realistically, James Calvert is advising you to back his selections to level stakes, and if you happen to back them to 5 points, then the income Betfan claim becomes attainable. Honestly though, all of this is rather problematic for Choice Tips for a lot of different reasons that I want to cover a little later on.

 How Does Choice Tips Work?

Betfan say in the sales material for Choice Tips that James Calvert is very driven by analysis. There is also a strong leaning towards his experience. I want to start with this latter point. Supposedly, James Calvert has had over 45 years of experience from horse racing having enjoyed “every aspect over the years” with the experience that he has gained allowing him to “fine tune his personal systems and strict rules”. This is all reasonable enough sounding.

From here, we told that James Calvert spends between 2 and 3 hours every evening, as well as an additional 1-2 hours every morning to find selections for Choice Tips. This is supposedly based around strong analysis, more likely than not factoring in a large number of different elements.

Honestly, I find it rather disappointing that Betfan and James Calvert couldn’t go into a little more detail about Choice Tips. The fact of the matter is that this appears to be a rather risky service and as such, knowing exactly what you are getting into would be nice. Yes, the fact that you receive full proofing does count as mitigation against the lack of information, but I do also believe that you should be bale to come into a service and know what you are getting yourself into.  

What is the Initial Investment?

There are four different options which are available if you want to sign up to Choice Tips and to be fair to Betfan and James Calvert, they aren’t necessarily to badly priced. The first option is a weekly subscription which is priced at £10.

Next, there is a monthly subscription which is priced at £30, however it should be noted that this is billed every 28 days and as such, you will pay this 13 times in a year. Next there is a quarterly subscription which is slightly improved value at a cost of £84.50. Finally, there is a 6 monthly subscription which is priced at £143.

It is worth noting that as is the case with all products from Betfan, there is no real money back guarantee in place for Choice Tips.

What is the Rate of Return?

Choice Tips was quite clearly (in my opinion at least) released off the back of a particularly strong April. This saw a profit of 137.63 points which is a very strong number. May floundered somewhat at 21.63 points. June wouldn’t have even covered your monthly subs with a profit of 1.45 points. At the time of writing, the overall profit for Choice Tips stands at just 89.2 points representing a 71.51 point loss for July.

When you factor in those 5 point stakes though, the number is much smaller. In fact, if you were backing Choice Tips to 1 point stakes, you would have made just 17.84 points in the time period. The most telling number for me is the ROI which sits at just 4.55%.

Conclusion on Choice Tips

It is a shame to say that Choice Tips almost fits the bill of the older Betfan setup to a T. This includes things like inflated profit and loss using 5 point stakes, Normally, this ends up with massive profits but unfortunately, this just doesn’t seem to be the case here, 137 points in a month is a very impressive result, even to 5 point stakes.

But it is the resultant months that I find to be particularly concerning in the case of Choice Tips. Whilst there have been some wins before July’s drop off, they have been quite miniscule and whilst Betfan definitely have much more expensive tipster services, they are still asking quite a lot of money for James Calvert’s selections.

One of the biggest problems that I have if I’m completely honest lies in the fact that there isn’t really any logical way in which I can see the current deficit being overcome outside of a particularly strong winning streak.

What I mean by this is that Choice Tips isn’t a tipster service whereby you have massive 100 point plus winners. I suppose that potential is there looking at the odds, but being realistic, if James Calvert’s selections have struggled for the last 3 months, I am not convinced that they will suddenly find performance now.

With that having been said, and in the name of fairness, I will highlight that that first month could well happen again. If a tipster can do it once, there is always potential that they can do it again, but that can be a pretty big if. After all, let’s remind ourselves that this is a tipster service with a strike rate of less than 15% historically and that tells you a lot about what you can expect.

Factor in that the lack of information on the selection process from James Calvert, and you create a position whereby you are effectively chasing a winning bet (or more realistically, a steady stream of them) somewhat blindly.  

I don’t even feel like there is an element of value for money here that might warrant what Betfan are asking, So, as it stands, I don’t think that I would really recommend Choice Tips.

There are a lot of reasons for this, but ultimately, it comes down to the fact that when you start to scale down the results to get a fairer comparison with other tipster services, I just don’t think that they are good enough. In many respects, this is a shame because I believe that James Calvert is genuine and his system may well have worked in the past and over a long term. But all that we can realistically consider right now is what is before us, and that just isn’t that great.


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From: Simon Roberts