Five of the Most Common Misconceptions Punters Have About Virtual Sports

Written By Ian John on March 7, 2018
virtual horse racing

One of my mother’s favourite sayings when referring to people gossiping in general was that “rumours grow legs”, which was her way of saying that once a rumour is passed on, it tends to gain traction within a community of people.

Now of course, the thing with rumours is that they can be positive as in “did you know that progressive jackpot slot game hasn’t paid out for 6 months and is primed to be won any day now…” or they can be negative such as “the fruit machine in the pub has been tampered with so it never pays out any money…”

Of course, rumours can have varying degrees of truth to them, but unfortunately that does not impinge upon how quickly they can spread. Indeed, it is often the falsest rumours that are spread, often as truth, most vigorously and over the greatest number of people.

Perhaps no other form of gambling has endured such rumourmongering in recent times as Virtual Sports. Over the years, I have come across many different punters, many of whom are experienced gamblers, all claiming that they know some kind of dreadful, unstated secret about Virtual Sports.

In this article, we are going to examine five of these misconceptions and rumours about Virtual Sports and tell you the truth about each.

Let’s begin with one of the biggest misunderstandings in sports betting in general, not just Virtual Sports.

  1. The favourite/number 5 hasn’t won for a while, so it’ll win one of the next couple of races…

One of the most frustrating things I do to many novice punters, is to explain the concept of chance and what it means in terms of their betting. Many punters genuinely believe that there are some arcane forces at work that will ensure that a favourite will win a race, if other favourites in previous races have not achieved success.

Their reasoning tends to be that because the favourites in other races have not won, then there it is near certain the favourite will win the next race.

Now let us be clear, in a horse race or greyhound race, either in Virtual Sports or the real world, the favourite, due to a number of factors, is reckoned by the bookies to have more chance of winning than the other horses. That is a fact. It may not be right (in most races, it isn’t), but it is what the bookies believe when pricing up a market.

However, there is no mysterious force at work that will ensure a favourite wins a race because there has been a dearth of favourite winners before it. In Virtual Sports, race winners are down to the handicap system plus a large degree of random number generation. That means in every race, there is zero guarantee that the favourite will win.

It may feel like a favourite should win a race as no winner has been a favourite for a long time, but that in no way means that a favourite will romp home in any of the next few races. Each race is an individual event and it is not affected by the results of any races run prior to it.

  1. England are playing Finland in Virtual Football, that should be an easy win for England then…

Another common mistake is the belief that real life performances are replicated in the Virtual Sports world. This manifests itself in games which have a degree of realism in them and the most obvious one of these is Virtual Soccer.

In Virtual Soccer International Teams use their real names, while club teams tend to use a nickname based on their real name, but it is clear which team is meant by the name. London Gunners for example would be Arsenal, while the Manchester Devils, would be Manchester United.

So when a team like this plays a lesser team, many punters assume that because we have a bigger team facing a lesser team, then the bigger team is automatically going to be handicapped more strongly and have a much better chance of winning.

That’s a mistake as the handicap for each of the competitors in a game is decided prior to the match with the result and while it may be the case that the stronger team is handicapped more favourably, it may not always be the case.

As such, it is always advisable to bet on these games without assuming that the team that is stronger in real life, is going to be the stronger team in the Virtual game too.

  1. No matter what greyhound or horse I select, the software will ensure a different winner…

This rumour is always based on the “expertise” of a Virtual Sports punter who has endured a losing streak when playing the game. Their rationale being that the software somehow identifies the selection that they have bet on and will then select another winner for that bet, ensuring that the player loses.

The problem with this is that often people believe that because they are a relatively successful punter in a real life sport such as soccer or horse racing, that this should translate into Virtual Sports betting success. It doesn’t because the two items, though one is a representation of the other, are fundamentally different in how the results are worked out.

In real sports, a race is run or teams battle against each other. In Virtual Sports, results are as a result of a series of random number selections and different weighted handicaps.

What is certainly true is that if any company tried to produce software that identified when punters made a bet and then produced a result that saw punters lose out to the benefit of the bookmaker every time, then that would be illegal and would be picked up in the testing and certification of the game and as such, would not be legally allowed to be offered by that casino.

A bad run of results, isn’t the software going against you, it is simply a bad run of results.

  1. It’s a mugs game Virtual Sports, you can lose a fortune in a short space of time…

If you lose a lot of money on Virtual Sports in a short space of time then that isn’t the error of Virtual Sports, that is your error for not betting in a sensible manner.

For example, if I had £100 in my account and wanted to play Virtual Sports and placed 4 x £25 bets and lost them all in the space of 3 minutes, then yes that is costly. But that is my fault for making such high wagers on such a volatile market.

However, if I placed 100 x £1 bets on Virtual Sports, or even 1,000 x 10p bets on Virtual Sports, yes any winnings will be smaller but I manage my bankroll more sensibly and avoid huge losses, plus those losses will hopefully be partially offset (or if I’m very lucky, fully offset) by any winnings I make.

You can lose a lot of money on Virtual Sports if you bet foolishly and too much too often. That isn’t the fault of Virtual Sports, but the punter themselves.

  1. Hooray! I’ve just won on Virtual Sports, I’m bound to lose my next few bets now…

This belief ties in with the idea that if you win big, then somehow the casino will know and will stack the odds against you when you continue betting in order to recoup some of the money that they’ve paid out to you.

The big thing to remember here is that casinos don’t need to stack the odds against you. No matter whether you bet on Virtual Sports, play casino games, spin the slots, hit the poker tables, usually the odds are against you winning from the off. It’s called the house edge and it is how casinos can afford to operate.

So yes, you may win on Virtual Sports and you may experience some defeats afterwards, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t or cannot win again. It is simply that in most circumstances, the house stands a better chance than you do of winning. That isn’t a fault, that is the basis for how all online betting companies operate.

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Ian John

Ian John is an expert across many realms of online gambling, both in US and international markets. Based in the UK, Ian covers sports betting, poker, and the regulated online casino and esports betting markets for a wide number of industry-focused publications.

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