The Simple ESports Betting Guide: How To Bet and Win On eSports

The Simple ESports Betting Guide: How To Bet and Win On eSports

With an increasing popularity that attracts millions of fans each year, eSports have gone mainstream, followed by a number of sportsbooks that now offer betting on major tournaments of this sport. If you have ever wondered how to bet on eSports, read on to learn from our simple eSports betting guide.

What are eSports?

Short for electronic sports, eSports are more often than not, video games played between professional teams who compete against each other in multi-player tournaments for prize money (with some pools surpassing $20,000,000 in winnings) and the bragging rights of being the best.

While the term “eSports” includes many games and genres, commonly you’ll find First Person Shooter (FPS) and Multi-player Online Battle Arena (MOBA) strategy games with Dota 2, LoL (League of Legends) and CS:GO (Counter-Striker Global Offensive) as some of the most popular games in global audience size.

Here is a video on the evolution of eSports in case you want to delve deeper into its history

Before you get started

What’s the first step for betting on eSports? It has nothing to do with eSports itself, but rather with where you will place your bets.

In other words, you have to choose a sportsbook to create a betting account.

So while you may want to jump in and start betting on eSports right away, it’s important to know some of details related to finding and choosing a sportsbook before you start to learn specific betting strategies.

How to Pick a Betting Site?

Choosing the right sportsbook to place your bets with is part of what makes you a successful eSports bettor.

Why? Because if you win your bets, it won’t matter if you can’t withdraw your winnings or if the eSports odds at the sportsbook you choose aren’t good to begin with (more on this below).

In general, you should look at five factors when choosing a sportsbook:

  • Deposit methods

How can you fund your account? In other words, what payments methods can you use to deposit money into your account?

These days, sportsbooks should offer you at least three traditional payment methods and one alternative payment method such as Bitcoin.

You should also be mindful that your deposit fees may be covered for certain methods, so ask to find out.

  • Withdrawal methods

It shouldn’t take longer than 72 hours to process a withdrawal. Make sure to find out on what days you can request withdrawals as well.

  • Customer support

Can you speak with an actual person if you have questions? Some companies only answer questions via email, but it always helps to have someone to ask in person if needed.

  • Odds

Choosing a sportsbook also has to do with odds shopping, which means you should compare odds between competitors to maximize your profits.

  • Bonuses

If you’re just dipping your toes into eSports betting, it’s helpful to know that sportsbooks almost always give bonuses for deposits made. It gives you a little bit more bankroll when you’re starting out to test things out.

Bonuses usually come with conditions, so please pay attention if there are any conditions to receive bonuses.

How to create an account at an eSports sportsbook

Opening a betting account is super simple and it usually involves just filling out some form of personal identification and confirmation info.

After opening your account, you would then deposit to fund your account by choosing a deposit method.

Once the transaction is made, you will see the funds reflected in your account balance and you’re good to go.

ESports Betting Basics

Do you want to bet on eSports? This is the first question you want to ask yourself before even considering placing a bet.

There’s always a probability that you’ll lose your bet, and, in fact, it’s something you should expect, so if you’re not prepared to accept this then you might have to think about betting on eSports.

Also, I would strongly recommend that you put time and effort into understanding how eSports video games work and generally how bets and odds work.

What do you want to bet on?

There are many games you can bet on, but when you’re learning the ropes it might be better to focus on building your knowledge on just one game.

There’s probably too much information anyway to focus on all eSports and still stay up to date with developments. Choose one game and develop your expertise on it to increase your chances of being successful.

You can find more specific information on how to bet on the more popular eSports games from Gamopo.

What are the Odds in eSports?

Odds are the reflection of a probability of a certain outcome in an event.

If you seriously want to make money betting on eSports, then you must have an understanding of what betting odds are and what they represent.

In a nutshell, the odds show you how much you will win from the sportsbook if your prediction is correct which is easy enough to understand.

But, one problem you’ll find is the different ways of representing odds among many sportsbooks such as:

  • Fractional: Used traditionally in the UK and represented as fractions such as 5/2 where the number on the left shows you what you win by betting the number on the right.
  • Decimal: Odds such as 3.50 that show you the return based on betting one unit. Whereas if, for example, you bet $20 at odds of 1.60 you get a profit of $12 when the team you bet on wins; or y lose your $20 stake if the team you bet on loses.
  • American (moneyline): These are represented as plus signs for the underdog (+250) or minus (-350) for the favorite in front of numbers using 100 as a base level. So if a line is at -120 it means you need to stake $120 to win $100 and, if it’s the underdog, you stake $100 to win $250 on a +250 line. So if you choose, for example, Team A to win the League of Legends outright at a moneyline of +240 (staking $100), and that team wins, you get a profit of $240.

The most useful part of learning about odds is when you understand how to find the best value (translated into probabilities) among different shops.

Finding the best odds, and knowing how to calculate the “implied probability” of a team winning, is the bread and butter of a successful bettor.

I’ll write about calculating probabilities in a separate article but using a moneyline of -120 as an example, the way to figure out its probability is by adding 100 to the odds and then dividing the original number into your new number. Finally, multiply the result by 100 to find the probability.

Example: What is the probability of a -120 line? 120 + 100= 220 then 220/100 * 100= 54.54%.

If it’s a positive line, then add 100 to the line, but divide 100 by the result: +120 then 120 + 100=220 then 100/220 *100= 45.45%.

As you can see, by “shopping” around for the best odds you will find it much easier to find a better line based on the different probabilities offered by sportsbooks.

What types of bets are there in eSports?

eSports betting is still young, but you’ll probably find at least some forms of traditional bets such as the prediction of a match winner, a total score, a handicap, or the overall outcome of a tournament.

  • Moneyline betting: Most moneylines on eSports betting are for picking which side will win a particular match.
  • Handicap: As in traditional sports, in handicapping a bookie will try to balance each side by giving an advantage to the lower ranked side and a disadvantage to higher ranked side.
  • To win a bet on an underdog, the team will have to win the match, draw of lose by less than the handicap number, whereas a bet on the favorite will only win if the team wins by more than the handicap given.
  • Totals: Bets placed on the number of specified events being over or under a number set by the bookie. For example, in Dota 2 and LoL you can bet on the total kills and in CS:GO you can bet on total rounds.

The ABCs of an eSports Betting Strategy

While there’s no perfect betting strategy, there are some ways to minimize the risks involves which also increase the potential to make a profit on eSports betting.

Here are some general tips:

Find a staking system

How much will you stake in your bets? While it may not be obvious right now, there are several ways to choose from when you’re staking money: you can go all in always, regularly bet a fixed amount, use a system that’s progressive, or make your own custom plan.

There are obviously very advanced and complicated betting systems in use, but it’s probably better if you stick to something simple such as betting a fixed amount and then trying something else when you’re ready.

Understand your point of focus

Will you bet on single or multiple matches? Do you prefer betting on special markets such as over/under or map winners? Maybe you want to only bet on the outright outcome of a team; whatever the case this decides what your focus of betting is.

Zero in on the best odds

The devil is in the details; which means that if you invest the time to hunt for odds, you’ll find the best opportunities to make money.

In other words, because betting odds reflect a probability of a given outcome, when you find odds which you believe don’t reflect an outcome happening (such as a particular Team winning), then you may have found a good value bet.

Should you have more than one account?

While sometimes it’s easier to manage just one account, it’s probably a good idea to manage several betting accounts not only to find good opportunities such as the ones mentioned above but also to diversify your bets should you want to bet on other games or tournaments.

Keep a close eye on your bankroll

If you don’t control yourself and your budget, you’ll burn through mountains of money before you realize it.

This point cannot be understated: Set aside an amount of money you’re comfortable to bet (and possibly lose) and bet only with that amount. That is your bankroll.

Stick to your guns and don’t be swayed by your emotions, perceived lucky runs or otherwise wishful thinking.

Be ready to walk away if things are not going your way and cut your losses short quickly rather than spending time on chasing a losing streak.

Track your bets relentlessly

In the words of Peter Drucker, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

The truth in this is immediately apparent because if you can’t measure and track something, and know the results, it’s practically impossible to get better at it.

If you don’t track the games you bet on, the odds you bet on, your budget and profits, then you can’t possibly manage or improve it.

Evaluate and improve!

This follows from the above tip; once you have enough data, you can evaluate how you’ve done to improve your results or change of focus if needed.

In summary, if you’re considering betting on eSports here is what you need to remember

  • Bet on eSports only if you find it’s right for you
  • Learn the basics of betting before burning away your money
  • Use the many resources available to understand how eSports work
  • Watch your bankroll like a hawk
  • Be a dedicated odds shopper to find the best eSports odds
  • Don’t be a sucker for your emotions
  • Be disciplined with your approach to betting
 
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