The Coulomb model for stress change estimation is considered one of the most powerful physics-based forecasting tools, even though its calculations are affected by uncertainties due to the large number of a priori assumptions needed. The aim of this paper is to suggest a straightforward and reliable strategy to apply the Coulomb model for real-time forecasting. This is done by avoiding all dispensable assumptions, thus reducing the corresponding uncertainties. We demonstrate that the depth at which calculations are made is a parameter of utmost importance and apply the Coulomb model to three sequences in different tectonic regimes: Umbria-Marche (normal), Landers (strike-slip), and Chi–Chi (thrust). In each case the results confirm that when applying the Coulomb model: (i) the depth of calculation plays a fundamental role; (ii) depth uncertainties are not negligible; (iii) the best forecast at a given location is obtained by selecting the maximum stress change over the whole seismogenic depth range.