Counter Strike Global Offensive has long since become an absolute cultural staple. With millions of fans worldwide, the game has seeped into the attention of even the non-gamers due to its popularity and cultural relevance. Since it is now rivaling traditional sports in popularity, there's another rather familiar aspect: CSGO match betting. Many countries all around the globe are starting to treat esports betting the same way as sports betting - and CS:GO betting is no exception.
Even the stubborn US has begun the process of legalizing esports bookmaker activity on its territory. Nowadays, even in the US CSGO betting is legal in most states - contrary to how it was just a decade ago!
Our match betting journey starts with finding a reliable and trustworthy bookmaker. The overall landscape of the esports betting scene has changed a lot over the last couple of decades. With hundreds of different options, it may be tough to land on the best esports betting title that truly suits your needs. However, our team at TIPS.GG has reviewed dozens of the industry's leading sites: from the prominent and respected sportsbooks to the newer projects occupying a more specific niche, and we've got them all. We included only licensed CSGO betting sites that have withstood the test of time - and tests done by us.
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There are many different esports titles, but only a few are as popular and widespread as CS:GO in the esports betting department. This is no mere luck: there's a formula behind Counter-Strike's incredible popularity and cultural impact. This title even rivals some traditional sports in popularity in a few countries!
The matches are easy and intuitive
Compared to other popular esports titles like League of Legends, Dota 2, and StarCraft II and Warcraft III, which require rather high game knowledge to understand fully, Counter-Strike is rather simple and intuitive. As such, even non-gamer viewers can easily hop on a live stream and enjoy the show. CSGO is an excellent example of the "easy to learn, hard to master" philosophy, which lends to its immense popularity and cultural significance.
A large variety of betting markets
CSGO offers a wide range of betting markets for a gambler to choose from. In the case of CS:GO match betting, there are bets like a match winner where the players need to predict which team will gain victory in the match. In knife round betting, players' choice of weapon is limited to knives, and the bettor's task is to determine who will be the first to kill their competitor. These are just a few examples of the betting markets: there's way more depth and breadth to it. Many esports betting sites specializing in CSGO betting have hundreds of betting markets.
Live stream quality
CS:GO's live streams are always a joy to watch. Since prominent tournament organizers are behind every significant Counter-Strike event, the production quality is truly unmatched. Because of that, bettors can watch the big esports events in real-time, follow the changes during a match, and place in-game bets. Thanks to CSGO live betting, it's possible to bet on CS:GO matches while watching live streams of the biggest tournaments, such as BLAST Premier, ESL Pro League, Major Championships, etc., featured by sportsbooks.
We've mentioned the massive variety of betting lines featured by most CSGO team betting sites. Gone are the days when the most exotic bet one could make was a simple match outcome. Nowadays, there are dozens of dozens of different esport betting markets in CSGO. Let's take a look at the most popular examples.
|Match Winner||The most basic and popular type of bet can be found on virtually any bookmaker. The rules are simple: pick a team you think will win the match and place the bet. To place a successful bet, it is highly advisable to get accustomed to the teams that participate in a match, do the homework on the matchup, and know how to read the bookie's odds.|
|Map Winner||CS:GO matches are usually played over multiple maps, most commonly a series of three maps. It's possible to place wagers on individual maps. Many teams will have a signature map pick (or multiple) - take advantage of that by placing Map Winner bets!|
|Handicap Betting||Handicap is nearly identical to the classic Match Winner bet. The difference is, as its name implies, a virtual handicap placed on the favorite of the match. This is done to eliminate the possible effects of gross skill imbalance between the teams. For instance, in a best-of-5 series, the weaker team will need to win only two maps (instead of the usual three) to be declared the winners of the Handicap Bet.|
Although Counter-Strike is pretty easy to get into, it still takes some knowledge and practice to place accurate bets on the matches from the get-go. Knowing the game's rules isn't enough: you also need to pay attention to teams' and player's performance trends, changes to the meta with Valve's new patches, and so on. Fully mastering it is nearly impossible, but, with this quick cheat sheet, you can quickly get to the acceptable knowledge level before starting to place bets. Check out our CSGO betting guide in which we outline some of the most important things to consider when playing a bet on CSGO matches.
Understanding The Odds
Odds are everything when it comes to betting. Odds determine the number of winnings and give hints about the implied probability of a team's victory. There are many different odd formats (decimal odds, fractional odds, American odds), but they all represent the same thing. Read more about different types of odds in our CSGO betting odds guide.
Implied probability is the essential part of learning what betting odds represent.
While there are dozens of different maps in Counter-Strike Global Offensive, only a select few are deemed competitive enough by Valve to be esports-ready. No more than seven maps are played in competitive. For 2023, the list is as follows:
- Dust II;
This list is sometimes a subject to change (usually when another map is reworked). In the past, such maps as Train, Cobblestone, and Cache were played in competitive. They can make a return - but they'll be taking the place of some other map.
Just like the players and teams in MOBA games have signature picks of champions and heroes, CS:GO teams have the map picks they're at their strongest on. Paying attention to them is paramount when placing a CSGO team bet, especially in best-of-1 matches.
For instance, the Ukrainian team Natus Vincere had an astonishing 86+% winrate on Nuke at 38 maps played in 2021. An extremely safe bet, if you ask us!
Thankfully, Counter Strike Global Offensive is a rather conservative game in this regard. The overall gameplay stays more or less the same, and we've been playing with the same weapons and armor for over two decades (except pistols and some new SMGs). However, it still pays off to pay attention to the game's - although scarce - gameplay-changing patch notes, as well as any new emerging strategies concerning map changes and other stuff of that sort. A balance patch may throw off the meta and make or break a team!
In our opinion, the best example of a game-changing patch was the huge nerf of AWP in 2015. Before that, the legendary French AWPer Kenny "kennyS" Schrub completely dominated the esports scene with his aggressive plays on the EnVyUs squad. After the nerf, they weren't possible anymore - so not knowing what the nerf was probably cost some unsuspecting bettors their money!
Nowadays, match betting extends way beyond the regular "Match Outcome" type bet. An experienced bettor knows when to utilize all the additional betting lines. For instance, it's possible to bet on a weaker team and still get ahead if using the Handicap bet instead, and so on. Knowing how to utilize different betting markets and their rules is a surefire way to increase your accuracy when using match betting sites.
All CSGO betting sites with codes that give bonuses and perks to their users are a huge boon when placing bets. Different welcome bonuses like first deposit bonuses make it easier for beginners to bet on Counter-Strike with too much risk. Some bookies even offer incredibly valuable bonuses like CSGO no deposit bonus!
It's also important to pay attention to the different payment operators used by bookies. For instance, CSGO betting sites with PayPal options are generally safer than those that accept just credit and debit cards.
Since Counter-Strike has been around for more than two decades now, nearly every country has a professional league in this title. This is great - but there are a few problems with this when it comes to CSGO match betting. However, with a few pointers, it's possible to avoid all the common pitfalls when betting on various events and be left with just benefits.
For starters, the face of CS:GO esports are the massive S-tier events. Usually held offline (or, as the cool kids say, LAN), these events are the pinnacle of sportsmanship, skill, and viewership. Some of them are even directly sponsored by the game's developer, Valve - those are called Majors.
On the other hand, CS:GO enjoys a vast network of smaller regional and even amateur tiny leagues - and these are also available for betting. As a rule of thumb, these events lean heavier towards being online (although there are exceptions). Betting on both types has pros and cons: let's review them!
|S-Tier LAN Tournaments||Peak competitive integrity. The games here have virtually no room for any unsportsmanlike conduct. Cheating, sandbagging, losing games on purpose, etc., almost never occur (there are always exceptions). There are regulatory bodies to ensure the fairness of matches.
Peak skill. S-tier teams are the best of the best, internationally known, and highly skilled. Some of the best players in the world are regarded as superhuman when it comes to CS:GO aim and reflexes. Needless to say, this makes every game exciting!
Peak competitive environment. On LAN, there is no lag, packet loss, disconnects, etc. This ensures a competitive environment as close to perfect as it gets.
|B-tier and below, Online Series||While organizers strive to ensure adequate levels of competitive integrity, it's not always possible when playing online. This poses additional risks of unsportsmanlike conduct, which, in turn, makes CSGO betting less about skill.
High skill. The players in these events are individually highly skilled, but not on the level of S-tier teams.
The online environment is not as perfect as LAN. There are delays, connection issues, and other possible troubles.
Our team recommends betting solely on S-tier events if you're new to the CS:GO match betting scene. When betting real money on CSGO games, the additional safety provided by the organizers of the top-tier events goes a long way.
Notable Events To Consider Betting On
BLAST Premier has quickly risen to be one of the favorite organizers of CSGO events. The stellar production value and a large number of events per year make the BLAST Premier series a perfect pick for CSGO betting. Most CSGO betting sites will heavily feature every match of this event.
Intel Extreme Masters
This tournament series boasts the richest history out of them all. Established back in 2007, this is the longest-held concurrent esports competition holding massive online and offline events in CS:GO and beyond. In our opinion, it's the best CSGO professional event to date - and many different bookmakers would agree.
Major denotes the series' direct affiliation with Valve, the game's developer and publisher. These events are an amazing opportunity for betting since they guarantee the utmost attention from most bookmakers and top-notch sportsmanship from the teams.