We have all seen the little ads near the back of mags, offering us the chance to win a fortune on the horses or the pools. Tony Dillon was a little hard up for cash, so he decided to investigate a couple.
VOITHIA SOFTWARE £14.99
Accuracy test: Seven out of ten results predicted correctly including the only three draws.
Y ou could think, with all the computing power available to home users these days, there would be more of these things about. The Soccer Expert, from Powys-based Voithia software, is one of the simplest pools prediction programs available, along with being one of the cheapest. Before you fall into the trap of assuming that, "you get what you pay for", let me tell you this is also one of the most accurate programs around.
Using a complicated system of weights and measures, it takes the current performances of all the teams in all the leagues, and runs the series of comparisons to predict the likely outcome of a match. All the teams and leagues are supplied up to date, although it is up to you to keep the league updated as the weeks roll by. A class product.
ESP SOFTWARE £75
Accuracy test: Correctly picked eight placed horses in ten races.
O ne sport that can definitely claim to be more predictable than soccer is horse racing, which explains the plethora of horse racing predictors around. Oracle is, without a doubt, the most impressive one I have ever come across. Where most packages of this type require you to enter every last scrap of information you can lay your hands on, Oracle has a surprisingly large database of courses, riders and trainers, leaving you to only tell it about the horses that are running, and then let the program do the rest.
Oracle is stunningly accurate, to the point where the author, David Somerskill, no longer needs to work, living quite happily off his gambling earnings. Of course, information like this does not come cheap, and £75 for the initial program plus £30 for monthly updates might be a little out of some people's league, but if you are really serious about your gee gees, there is no better package to lay your hands on.
SIDMOUTH SOFTWARE £34.95
Accuracy test: Correctly named six placed horses in ten races.
T he Tipster from Sidmouth Software comes direct from the land of the experienced betting expert – the person who has all the systems worked out for themselves and consequently goes through all sorts of horrendous maths first thing on a Saturday morning. The package contains all the actual calculations, but none of the information, so you do need to spend half an hour or so scouring through the back pages of The Sun or The Racing Post to find all the information there is.
The Tipster comes in two different incarnations - Tipster International for the amateur and the more advanced and more accurate Tipster Professional. Both supply you with a grid, into which you enter all the information you need before keying it in on screen. Then the computer will give you the most likely horse to win, plus the best horse to lay an each way bet on. Some knowledge of horse racing is required, but it is an excellent package, well worth the money.
A WORD TO THE WISE
Before you even consider spending your cash on these, or similar products, there are a couple of things you must consider. Firstly, none of the prediction programs on the market are guaranteed to make you money and the ones we reviewed do not claim any more than 50% accuracy, even though in our tests they scored much higher. A working knowledge of the sport concerned is a must, as these are merely aids to your own predictions – don't put £100 on League Of Superheroes to win just because a product told you to – check it out for yourself and see if your conclusions match up!
CU Amiga, March 1994, p.79