So, you are new to the world of Virtual Sports betting and it may sound all rather complicated, if a little exciting. What is it about Virtual Sports betting you need to know? Do you actually understand what Virtual Sports are and how you can bet on them? Have you been told that Virtual Sports betting is a great way to win lots of money, or a complete con that simply harvests cash for the bookmakers?
If you want to get the truth about Virtual Sports betting, without the rumours and hearsay, then this is the article for you and what better place to start than by taking a look at what Virtual Sports betting actually is and perhaps also, what it is not.
What Virtual Sports Betting Actually Is
This may sound a silly question but when I first mentioned to my dad about Virtual Sports betting, he vehemently argued that it would never catch on. That was until he realised that Virtual Sports was not about wearing a Virtual Reality headset to watch a sporting event and place bets! Although prefixed with ‘Virtual” Virtual Sports has no requirement for you to wear any headset at all.
Instead, all you need to do is join a betting site that offers Virtual Sports (almost every reputable site now will do) and then head to that section. You will find listed a number of different Virtual Sports betting games.
In essence, all Virtual Sports are a replica of a real life sporting event, using fictitiously created teams, runners, riders or whoever is competing. The event usually takes just a minute or so to be completed and you are allowed to bet on a number of different markets on that event. The markets are dependent, of course, on the Virtual Sport you are playing. So for Virtual Football for example, you would bet on the Full Time Result, whereas in Virtual Horseracing, you can bet on the winner of the race.
Virtual Sports are designed to be much quicker to produce a result than real life sports with most Virtual Sports taking between 3 and 5 minutes to complete, that includes betting on the event before it starts, the event being simulated and then a brief summary of the winning bets on the event.
The difference between Esports and Virtual Sports
Thankfully confusing esports and Virtual Sports is becoming less common. Many people thought the two terms were interchangeable at first but the truth is that these are two very different forms of betting, though both based on modern technology.
We have already learned what Virtual Sports is above. Esports betting is simply placing bets on the outcome of esports contests and tournaments that are competed in by individuals or teams of players against other individuals or teams. The types of bets available on each vary from esport to esport in much the same way different sports offer different types of sports bets.
Although both use some form of computer program as a medium to produce the results, in esports it is players controlling the action, whereas in Virtual Sports, all the matches are simulated entirely by the software with no human involvement at all.
What Virtual Sports are available to bet on?
The types of Virtual Sports you can bet on available depend on which betting site you are a member of. However, there are a number of Virtual Sports that are the most common to bet on across the vast majority of sites and these are:
- Virtual Horse Racing
- Virtual Greyhound Racing
- Virtual Football
- Virtual Speedway
- Virtual Cycling
- Virtual Motor Racing
Alongside these Virtual Sports, some other sites may offer a range of others depending on how extensive their Virtual Sports service is. Other sports you can find, depending on the site you are a member of and where you are located in the world includes:
- Virtual Darts
- Virtual Cricket
- Virtual Trotting
- Virtual Tennis
- Virtual American Football
This list is not exhaustive as Virtual Sports companies are producing new games frequently.
Are Virtual Sports as much fun as standard sports betting?
This is a good question and given that Virtual Sports is now the third most important method that sports betting sites raise revenue, with only football betting and horse racing betting seeing betting sites earn more cash, then it is clear that there is a real thirst for Virtual Sports betting within the betting community.
They may not be as dramatic or as exciting as real sports events, especially when you are invested in one of the competitors in the event, but they are a great way to enjoy some casual betting and have the results of events generated in a very short space of time, which is always one of the biggest issues with many forms of sports betting.
As such, the thrill of winning a bet in Virtual Sports is the same as if you win on a real sport as the end result is the same, you will win some cash from the bookmaker!
How Easy or Difficult is it to win at Virtual Sports?
Now this is the big question and the truth of it is that Virtual Sports, because they all contain a high degree of randomness within their programming structure, it does mean that Virtual Sports can be somewhat difficult to predict compared to real life sports.
This does make betting on Virtual Sports somewhat more difficult for the punter as they cannot research their bets. However, you can keep the odds in your favour by betting on Virtual Sports with fewer competitors (Virtual Speedway has just four, Greyhounds just six) and although events are random, favourites do still tend to win more often than outside bets.
The answer to this is that Virtual Sports can be tougher to win on more regularly if you are a punter that likes to meticulously research their bets. If you are a ‘stick a pin in it’ punter, then you will find Virtual Sports almost identical to how you bet in real life.
Is the software in Virtual Sports fair for the punter?
One of the biggest fears punters have with Virtual Sports is that they are weighted too heavily against the punter and that in effect, Virtual Sports is just a way for Casinos to make money back from punters.
While Virtual Sports can be tougher to win on due to the high degree of randomness built into the software, they are still a fair game. All Virtual Sports at all top ranked sports betting sites will be checked by inspection bodies to ensure that they offer customers a fair and safe way to bet. If they fail these tests, then they will not be licensed, and companies will not be allowed to offer them to customers.
So yes, while it can be tough to hit winners as often in Virtual Sports, that is just down to the degree of variation in the software not a cynical exploit that is designed to leave players out of pocket.
What Sports Betting Sites offer Virtual Sports?
In truth, Virtual Sports have grown so popular in recent times, almost all the top sports betting sites will now offer at least a small selection of Virtual Sports.
However, for an excellent selection of games try Betway and bet365 Sport in the first instance as both of these sites offer an extensive range of Virtual Sports to their customers, including some of the most recent releases.
Are any new Virtual Sports in the pipeline?
One of the most exciting aspects of Virtual Sports is that there is literally no barriers to the types of sports that could be designed to be a Virtual Sport. While most sites start with Horse Racing, Greyhounds and Football, a number of other sports, as we have mentioned above have been added since.
Earlier this year, Virtual Darts and Virtual Cricket were first made available on a number of betting sites and we know the creator of those games, Inspired, is also working on a Virtual Basketball game which is due to be released at some point this year.
Other companies are working on next generation games to replace some of the older technology too, so not only will you see new Virtual Sports to bet on, but also newer versions of current Virtual Sports, which may well offer additional exciting features and more betting markets to bet on.
Virtual Sports is growing in popularity
The online sports betting industry is a huge one and there are two particular markets experiencing rapid growth at the time of writing, one is esports betting (which we have mentioned above) and the other is Virtual Sports betting. Of the two, Virtual Sports betting is by far the larger.
After Soccer betting and horse racing betting, Virtual Sports betting is the third most important stream of revenue for bookmaking sites, and as a result it is gaining a much higher profile on many sites. Some now even have their own Virtuals section next to their Poker room and Casino site.
Even though it is popular, there is still plenty of scope for Virtual Sports betting to grow further still and that is an exciting thought for Virtuals fans.
The full potential of Virtual Sports has not yet been realised
Linking in to this is our final point and that is as exciting and fun as Virtual Sports is now, the reality is that we are only just starting to see how technology can be utilised in this way. There are already companies involved in developing the next generation of Virtual Sports games, some of which may include real footage taken from real sporting events.
The truth is that as technology improves, so will how realistic Virtual Sports is to bet on. It will never be the same as betting on the real thing, but the future does look to be full of promise for this popular form of betting.