How does it work?Like most casino games, virtual sports are played out according to chance in the form of a random number generator (RNG). This dictates whether the ball hits the back of the net or which horse wins by a neck.
The RNG is programmed to mirror reality. So for example if a football game simulates a Premier League giant such as Manchester City playing a non-league club like Billericay Town, City will win in the vast majority of cases. It’s not so different to the way slot games work. Billericay winning 4-0 would be like hitting the jackpot – it’s extremely improbable, but not impossible, and it will happen occasionally.
Virtual sports events follow a strict schedule, just like real ones. Depending on the specific game, they might follow a virtual league such as the Premier League or an event like the World Cup. Every player follows the same schedule and sees the same results. The big difference between virtual sport and the real thing is that the games are far more condensed. Typically, a new game or race will commence every three to four minutes – no waiting around for weeks on end here!
What sports are available?Football and horseracing are, unsurprisingly, the most popular virtual sports. The former is already a familiar sight thanks to the worldwide popularity of FIFA, and in essence, betting on a virtual football match is like placing a wager on a FIFA game when the AI is controlling both teams.
Virtual horseracing has been around for some time, too. It was made famous when the 2020 Grand National was replaced by a virtual race that was televised “live” and attracted 4.8 million UK viewers. In fact, the virtual grand national was nothing new, and had been a fun side-show for the past few years. This was the first time it took centre stage, though!
While football and horse racing are the most popular virtual sports, the principle can apply to almost anything. For example, Betsafe Casino also offers virtual baseball, tennis, basketball, greyhound racing and even golf in its virtual sport portfolio.
How to get involvedOnce you’ve chosen your game, it’s not so different to betting on real sport. You’ll see a list of available bets. Taking football as an example, these might include the moneyline, correct score, Asian handicap, over/under 2.5 goals and so on. You’ll also see useful information to inform your decision making, such as each team’s form, league standings and other relevant statistics.
Then it’s just a case of placing your bet and waiting for the action to commence. Like real games, virtual events have a scheduled start time. When it begins, no more bets are allowed. The game will then show you highlights of the match, or in the case of horse racing, you’ll see the virtual race in full. Then it’s a case of either collecting your winnings or prepare to try again. After all, the next event is never more than a few minutes away.
Strategy tipsVirtual sports look real, but remember everything is actually dictated by that RNG we were talking about earlier. It’s easy to fool yourself into thinking a team is “on a high” after a big win, but of course human emotion is not a factor in the outcome. Don’t go looking for patterns where none exist.
It’s also extra important to carefully manage your bankroll. When you bet on the Premier League in real life, you’re essentially doing so once a week. If you’re into golf, the Ryder Cup is held every two years. Virtual sports games go on day and night, one after another, so it is easy to get carried away. Set yourself limits and remember the golden rule of betting – never chase a loss!
One of the best ways to keep a lid on your spending is to place smaller wagers. It’s another big difference between real and virtual sports betting. If you’re a big Ajax fan, you might not think twice about putting €10 on them every Saturday. It’s all part of the fun and makes the game more exciting, as you’ll have an extra reason to celebrate a win. If they lose, well it’s only cost you the price of a couple of drinks. Take that attitude into virtual sports betting, though, and you are heading for disaster. Think of the games like spins of the slot reels and keep the bet amounts low.
Finally, keep a look out for virtual sport betting bonus offers. Virtual sports are becoming an increasingly important part of an online casino’s offerings. As more casinos introduce them, there’s the inevitable competition over customers, so special offers and promos like free bets and matched deposit bonuses do come up from time to time. They have the net effect of shifting the odds in your favour, so make good use of them. After all, betting with your own money is fun and exciting – but betting with the casino’s money is even better.
Is it worth trying?Virtual sport games are here to stay, and they have a growing number of fans. You can be sure that yet more sports will be added over the coming year or so. They are fun, entertaining and make an interesting change from conventional casino games.
Just remember that beneath the surface, they are not really any different to slot games, dictated by a RNG and with a house edge factored into the odds. So take them for what they are, keep the above strategy tips in mind and never confuse them with the real thing. Good luck!
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