We’ve spent a lot of time looking at Virtual Sports, how to bet on it, the different types of sports available in the Virtual world, the different betting markets available, how the games are devised and worked out.
However, one thing that we have not really considered is the type of bettor that Virtual Sports are most likely to appeal to. By that, we don’t mean in terms of slots gamers, casino game fans or sports betting enthusiasts, but more the general types of bettor based on how much money they spend. The lower roller, medium roller and higher roller.
What do these terms mean?
If you don’t use those terms or are unfamiliar with them then the simplest definitions are as follows:
- Low Roller – A player who bets only small amounts of cash from a few pence up to a few pounds per bet.
- Medium Roller – A player who tends to bet slightly larger amounts of money anywhere from 5, 10 or 20 pounds up to a couple of hundred pounds on some bets.
- Higher Roller – A player who tends to make large bets, often of several hundred and occasionally of thousands of pounds.
There is another category of punter called a ‘whale’ who is someone who bets even greater sums than a higher roller, often in tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of pounds (or whatever the local currency is).
Now we know what the broad terms mean, let’s now see how best each one fits into the standard forms of Virtual Sports betting.
Higher Rollers and Virtual Sports betting
Is Virtual Sports betting suited to Higher Rollers? That’s a good question and of course, there is absolutely nothing stopping higher roller punters enjoying what Virtual Sports have to offer. However, there is a small caveat with that which I feel we need to acknowledge.
That is the fact that most Higher Rollers tend to bet big only when they have:
- Done a lot of research about the bet that they are going to make and are confident that they are going to stand a very good chance of that bet coming in, or
- Want to place a bet that has as close to a 50/50 chance of success as possible (which explains why certain games or bets tend to attract higher rollers – these are the games in a casino that have a much lower house edge such as Baccarat, Blackjack and some outside bets in Roulette).
Therein lies the issue with many higher rollers when it comes to Virtual Sports. In this type of betting, there is no research that a higher roller player can undertake to improve their chances of success as every Virtual Sports event is played out to certain rules using a random number generator to make the key decisions. As such, it is impossible for the larger stakes gambler to effectively research the market.
There are options however for betting on markets that offer only a few potential winning options, however in these cases in Virtual Sports (such as betting on the result of a Virtual Football game) the options are usually at best below even money shots (which isn’t as good a return as they would expect on casino games such as Roulette or Blackjack), which again makes them a less attractive option.
Where there are above even money options, there are usually three or more options in Virtual Sports markets (Virtual Sports Football for example in the Result market has three options, Home Win, Draw or Away Win) and this then changes the likelihood of a successful bet from 50% to 33.3%, which is a massive drop when betting larger amounts of money.
As such, I think Virtual Sports and Higher Rollers are generally not the most compatible and it would be a high risk, low potential reward bet for higher rollers to undertake.
Medium Rollers and Virtual Sports
Now that we understand the way Virtual Sports works and their constraints and strengths and we’ve ascertained that it may not be the best option for high roller betting, is this also the case for those that tend to wager a bit less on each bet in general? Namely, the middle stakes punters?
It’s not right to generalise when it comes to punters in each bracket as there may be medium rollers that undertake huge amounts of research for a bet, or who only back even money or less shots, but generally, my experience is that people who tend to bet tens or perhaps hundreds of pounds will tend to bet over a greater spread of potential bets in terms of the odds offered.
They may not want to take a chance on a 10/1 outside bet, but they may happily place a £50 bet on a horse to win a race at 6/1, or a £500 bet on a football team to draw a match against their opponents.
Now, the question here is whether Virtual Sports offers Medium Rollers the same opportunities as their real-life counterparts and the answer here is that it does, but again there is one small caveat here and that is that the random nature of Virtual Sports is going to make them more volatile and unpredictable than real world sports.
As such, I’d say that Medium Rollers operating at the higher end of the spectrum here are less likely to be interested in Virtual Sports markets than those who bet smaller amounts but still class themselves as middle rollers. Indeed, it may well be these punters that can profit the most from Virtual Sports, as if they can land a few winners, their larger unit stake will offer them significantly greater returns than lower rolllers.
Lower Rollers and Virtual Sports
So if the trend is to continue, then it should be that Virtual Sports are best suited to lower rollers and indeed I feel that is the case for several reasons and I will outline these in bullet point form:
- Lower Stakes punters can cover any of the bets they like in Virtual Sports as they are not risking much per bet, so even a loss will not hit their bankroll too hard. That means they have the full range of betting markets and options within those markets, available to them.
- The speed at which Virtual Sports takes place (with most being conducted from start to finish within three or five minutes, depending on your choice of Virtual Sports betting provider) means that these sports are conducive to players that like to place many bets in a short space of time but have them resolved quickly. That is ideal for punters placing lots of small-stakes on a number of different markets.
- The range of odds available (from odds on bets, to bets of over 40/1) is attractive to smaller stakes punters, as are other options such as the Forecast or Tricast betting available in some of the Virtual Racing Games. These are great examples of low risk/high reward bets that smaller stakes punters really like.
It is this combination of factors which in my view makes Virtual Sports most likely to appeal to smaller stakes punters, but that is not to say that medium or higher rollers will not participate, it is just that they will need to accept the risks associated with this form of betting compared to the usual types of bets that they place.