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How To Bet On Esports: Esports Betting Guide For Beginners

05.05.2023, 11:52

When trying to get into esports betting, there are some factors that are always a concern. Complexity of the industry making learning how to bet on esports a real challenge; accessibility and legality being a hot topic; understanding the games themselves as they grow more and more skill intensive. That’s why our TIPS.GG team has created a series of esports betting guides about all of these things! In this esports betting guide for beginners, we’ll be tackling how to bet on esports with all its aspects. Let’s get it!

Intro To Esports Betting

How To Bet On Esports Guide TIPS.GGThere are a million differences between traditional and esports betting, but the main one is how ever-changing esports betting is. While traditional sports are pretty much always popular and we’re still betting on soccer and horse racing, esports genres and titles change, evolve, fade and appear all the time.

Esports famously began with StarCraft, but, in just a decade, have moved away from the RTS genre’s dominance, embracing other forms of online competitions as the dominant force in the industry.

StarCraft: Brood War is a real-time strategy game released in 1998 by Blizzard Entertainment. The game's intense gameplay, three unique factions, and competitive multiplayer mode paved the way for professional gaming as we know it today.

Thankfully, the core principles of how esports betting works stay the same. Esports betting isn’t even that much different from traditional sports betting, so, if you have some experience with the latter, it’s a great help!

Intro To Esports Betting: Match Betting

One of the best ways to understand what esports betting is is to see it in practice. One of the best ways to get practice is to start off with simple bets, and match betting is that kind of bet! Match betting is pretty much the same whether you’re wagering on Dota 2, football, or Rocket League - so it’s easily understandable for everyone.

When we try to place a bet on a League of Legends event outcome on a trusted esports bookie, this is what we see:

An inexperienced bettor will only understand the team names. However, there’s more to it than just that, obviously.

Odds Format

Favorite/Runner Up

Type Of Bet

There are many different odds formats. This particular bookie (Bitsler) is using Decimal odds, which are the most common way to represent odds on events. They are very easy to read - we’ll explain how to in a sec. There are many different odds formats. This particular bookie (Bitsler) is using Decimal odds, which are the most common way to represent odds on events. They are very easy to read - we’ll explain how to in a sec. This is a “Match Bet” - a simple wager on the outcome of the match (duh). There are more ways to bet on esports events, but let’s keep it simple for now.

”Esports

With this bookie using Decimal odds, it means that if we bet $100 on FaZe, we’ll win $145 if the bet is correct. At the same time, betting on Monte with the same amount would win us $260 - however, since the team is less likely to win the match, it’s way riskier.

Now, let us explain the factors that went into this bet in a bit more detail!

Intro To Esports Betting Odds

The key to knowing how to bet on any esport is understanding the esports betting odds. It’s not just the potential winnings that are described, but also representations of the likelihood of an event occurring. Thankfully, all the different formats that exist are quite simple - and they all represent the same thing. Here are the examples of three most common betting odds formats:

Format Example
American odds Team A -200, Team B +150
Decimal odds Team A 2.50, Team B 1.80
Fractional odds Team A 1/2, Team B 9/5

In American odds, the minus sign (-) is used to indicate the favorite and the plus sign (+) is used to indicate the underdog.

In Decimal odds, the odds represent the total payout for a winning bet, including the original stake.

In Fractional odds, the odds represent the potential winnings as a fraction of the amount wagered.

Bookmaker Margins Visualized Tips GG

Image credit: bettingsites.co

Besides just knowing how to read the odds, it’s important to know what they actually represent. Most importantly, the odds represent implied probability, or the bookmaker’s confidence in a certain event outcome. Let’s look back at our example match - odds of 2.6 mean that bookmaker believes there’s a 38.4% (rounded) chance that team Monte will win the match. Conversely, with FaZe’s odds of 1.45, they have a 69% chance to win!

 

 

Bookmaker Margins

Attentive readers might have noticed that the sum of both of these probabilities does not equal 100%. This is not a mistake, but bookmaker’s margin, or overround. Since the bookies are a business, the odds they offer are always slightly lower than the true probability of an event outcome. This is how bookies make profit.

And, of course, the concept of “implied probability” is not infallible. Esports bookmakers employ various methods to calculate them, like employing esports analysts who analyze historical teams performance, form, team news, etc. as well as their users’ betting patterns. There’s a lot of money at stake here and this analysis is often sound - but not perfect. No bookmaker can predict event outcomes with perfect accuracy, and this is the key to scoring huge wins on esports upsets.

Because of this, the best practice is to always research multiple bookmakers to find the best esports betting odds when real money esports betting is on the cards.

Common Esports Betting Markets

Additionally, there’s way more than one way you can bet on esports matches. Beginners often get stuck choosing between the myriad of esports betting market options presented by esports bookies. In reality, however, this variety actually makes placing your first esports bet simpler, not harder. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular esports betting market, and talk about which of them are more suitable for beginners.

Match Winner

Also called Moneyline (most often by US-based bookies), Match Winner is the most basic type of bet. It’s a universal type of bet that is the same in sports and esports, and it simply involves betting on which team is going to win the match. Its simplicity makes it perfect for beginners. Match Winner/Moneyline is a recommended type of bet for newbies, as it offers medium risk/medium reward.

Tournament Winner

Tournament Winner, or Outright, is a wager on an outcome of an entire tournament instead of just one isolated match. Although its a type of a fundamental bet present in all forms of wagering, be it online esports or traditional sports, it requires quite some more brainwork and knowledge compared to a Moneyline bet. Outrights is a high risk/high reward bet.

Map Winner

Esports titles take a different approach to splitting matches into halves/rounds. In some titles, like Multiplayer Online Battle Arena genre, map refers to a single game in a series being played. In other games, like Counter-Strike or Valorant, maps are actually changing battlefields that affect gameplay and strategies (think of different courts in tennis). Regardless, it’s a more volatile type of bet, so it requires some knowledge to get right consistently. Medium risk/high reward.

First Blood/Objective

The key difference between traditional sports and esports is the fact that in one of them, you’re allowed to eliminate your opposition (in-game, at least). Esports bookies make use of this factor by offering additional betting markets based on eliminations. First Blood can be a chaotic betting market, so it’s high risk/high reward.

First Blood/Objective

The key difference between traditional sports and esports is the fact that in one of them, you’re allowed to eliminate your opposition (in-game, at least). Esports bookies make use of this factor by offering additional betting markets based on eliminations. First Blood can be a chaotic betting market, so it’s high risk/high reward.

Totals

Total kills, score, points. This market comes in many forms, and requires paying attention to many factors such as teams’ historical performance, analyzing the strategy, etc. Totals betting can be applied to various sports and esports, from football and basketball to Counter-Strike and League of Legends. The only thing that changes are the factors punters wager on - where in football its goals, in Counter-Strike it’s rounds won or eliminations scored. Medium risk/medium reward.

DraftKings Fantasy Esports TIPS.GG

DraftKings is the most popular platform for fantasy esports betting in the US.

What is Fantasy Esports?

Fantasy esports isn’t technically a betting market - instead, it’s an unorthodox way to bet on esports titles. https://files.tips.gg/static/image/betting/draftkingsad.jpgWith the concept of fantasy betting coming from traditional sports, fantasy esports isn’t much different in its core principles. Fans assemble their virtual lineups from the pool of available talent, and bet on its “performance” which is determined by how well the real players show up in real esports matches.

With this in mind, since this is a beginners’ esports betting guide, newcomers should stick to Moneyline or Outrights as their betting markets of choice. As your knowledge of the game and its pro scene expands, make sure to try out other markets then!

Live Esports Betting: Gimmick or the Future?

We are all used to betting options shutting down when a series begins. With live betting being a popular option nowadays, it’s possible to forego this limitation and, as its name implies, place wagers in-play!

Live Betting

Live esports betting is possible thanks to the real-time data and statistics provided by the esports event organizers or betting platforms. This allows the odds to be adjusted quickly based on the current performance of the teams or players, making it possible for bettors to take advantage of opportunities as they arise during the game. Live betting goes hand-in-hand with esports mobile apps to create action on the go, anywhere.

Certain games work better with live betting than others. For example, the round-based nature of the two most popular tactical team-based shooters out there - Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Valorant - is a perfect fit for the live betting format.

CSGO/Valorant Round Betting

Both games are similar in structure: a map consists of 30 rounds in CS:GO, and 24 in Valorant (excluding overtime). The games’ economy makes betting on singular rounds an exciting and surprisingly strategic experience if you can spot the patterns of the teams’ playstyles. Live Betting allows gamblers to wager on individual rounds, unlike conventional betting.

Esports Betting Bonuses

Esports betting bonuses are another important aspect of esports betting. Many bettors overlook their importance and treat bonuses like a hardly-relevant, one-time thing. In fact, knowing what to do with esports betting bonuses can be a huge boost to your betting budget. It can also make betting less risky and more profitable!

Welcome Bonus

No Deposit Bonus

Cashback

Well, welcome bonuses are really a one-time thing. However, it can provide a good boost to your betting capacity - or help test out whether the bookie you’re trying to get into is really worth it. Welcome bonuses can take many forms, but usually they are simple deposit bonuses. No deposit bonuses are much more rare, but also with less strings attached. As their name implies, they give bettors awesome bonuses such as free bets or funds without requiring an account top-up first! No deposit bonuses usually come with certain terms and conditions on how to bet on esports events, but hey, free is free, right? A cashback bonus is one of the most underappreciated betting bonuses. It doesn’t offer massive free bets and doesn’t triple your deposits. Its strength lies in its consistency since the basic premise of a cashback bonus is that the betting site will give the customer a percentage of customers' losses back in the form of cash or bonus funds.

A deposit bonus is a type of bonus which provides bettors with additional funds or free bets when they make a deposit into their betting account.

Since cashback is the most consistent form of betting bonuses, it can bolster a betting budget a lot more than any other.

Esports Betting In Different Regions

It depends a lot on your region whether you can bet on esports or not. While in the majority of the developed countries esports betting has the same legal status as traditional sports bookmaking, there are some outliers to this rule.

Let’s outline some of the distinct challenges and factors that come into play in different regions in this online esports betting guide.

Always make sure to consult your local laws before placing a bet.

Esports Betting in USA

Despite the United States being a nation of games, game developers, and pros, online betting on esports is ridiculously stifled in the region. For US esports fans, the question of “can I bet on esports” is always a hot topic as esports betting in USA is largely prohibited. However, a few select states have legalized the practice, with others playing catch up on the legal level.

Esports Betting in Australia

Australian esports betting industry is thriving, with many licensed operators offering a wide range of betting options to Australian customers. No wonder: Australia is known as the land of gamblers, beating out any other country in the hobby’s popularity. And it’s not even close!

Esports Betting in Canada

UK Gambling Commission HQ

The UK Gambling commission grants the most powerful license in the bookmaker world.

Although online betting is largely prohibited in Canada, it’s much less restrictive than in its southern counterpart. Just like with US betting, Canada online esports betting scene varies from province to province. In recent years, there has been a push to legalize single-event sports betting across Canada, which could potentially open up the online betting market in the country.

Esports Betting in the United Kingdom

UK-based esports bookies are known for their spotless reputation. The UK esport betting market is highly competitive, with many licensed operators offering a wide range of betting options to customers, including sports betting, casino games, and esports betting. The UK is widely regarded as one of the most mature and well-regulated online betting regions in the world.

Best Payment Methods For Esports Betting

Payment methods aren’t just for convenience. They also dictate your safety when betting online, as well transaction speed, fees, and other factors. This is why you should be careful when choosing a payment operator!

Visa/MasterCard

Mastercard esports betting is a popular option due to its convenience and speed. Visa esports betting is also an option that operates largely the same.

E-wallets

Neteller esports betting sites used to be the backbone of online betting. Although this digital wallet isn’t as popular as it used to be for esports betting, similar alternatives like Skrill esports betting is another option.

PayPal

Esports PayPal betting is fairly rare since the platform only partners up with the best of the best. Although, this just makes it all the more worth it to use this digital wallet.

Cryptocurrencies

Most people think of crypto as some niche thing. However, crypto esports betting has entered the mainstream, with over 30% of total online betting transactions being done in cryptos.

Final Thoughts: TL;DR Version

Learning how to bet on esports can be a challenge due to the complexity of the industry - but with the right approach, it can be much easier than it seems. For beginners, it’s best to start off with simple betting markets such as head-to-head. Keep in mind different regional policies regarding esports betting, as well as various factors like different payment methods. Last but not least, make sure to use the esports betting bonuses - they can really boost your bankroll without much effort!

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