You may remember a short while ago we brought you news that Inspired, the company behind many of the top Virtual Sports offerings at a number of top bookmaking sites online, had been busy working on preparing a brand-new Virtual Sports offering for this year.
Virtual Basketball had seen the action shot at a special venue in Las Vegas several months ago and with that footage now secured, the Inspired team have been busy finalising their product and the good news for Virtual Sports betting fans is that Virtual Basketball is now good to go.
Now, there is no telling when exactly this will be on offer at your choice of bookmakers. Bet365 have added Virtual Cricket and Virtual Darts earlier this year and they have also recently added Bullet Horse Racing and Bullet Greyhounds to their Virtual Sports line up (we will bring you more on both of these in next week’s article). However, Virtual Basketball is not yet available on the site.
However, Inspired have stated that the game is available now and in their advertising for their latest Virtual Sport offering they claim Virtual Basketball has:
- Ultra realistic graphics and animations
- Available on Land-based and interactive channels
- Events can be scheduled every four minutes
- Customisable for the client
- Teams can be based from the United States, Europe or Greece.
How Virtual Basketball works
One of the key elements of Virtual Basketball is deciding how to condense what is essentially a game that takes around an hour to complete, down into a highlights package lasting no more than a couple of minutes. Given Basketball is a game where points are scored on a very regular basis, the game could not follow the lead of, say Virtual Football, which shows all the goals scored and perhaps some misses and saves.
What Virtual Basketball does is offer you a snapshot of the game in each quarter. In the first, second and third quarter, the highlights package will show you two clips. This can be of one team attacking in both clips, or both teams attacking in a clip each. It can also result in a shot being scored for two or three points, or in a miss.
For the final quarter when the result is decided, the number of clips available increases to 6. This means that it is unlikely for one of the two competing teams to be out of contention in the match until the final quarter which will likely mean all betting options are still in with a chance of success, something that is important for the punters that are going to be betting on the game.
Each clip of the game will last between 7 and 10 seconds which means with 12 clips in total, the maximum highlights time will be 120 seconds. With the display of results and the graphic for introducing each of the four quarters, this means that a typical game would last between 120 and 150 seconds, meaning that for a typical four-minute run time, players would have around 150 seconds to place their bets on the game.
What markets are available to bet on in Virtual Basketball?
It is fair to say that Inspired have opted to go with the betting markets more commonly found on American and European basketball and this may not be as familiar to some European customers as betting markets on football for example. However, each of the markets offered is relatively simple and there are a total of 14 different markets you can bet on for each Virtual Basketball game. The most popular of which are
- Spread – This is a bet where one of the teams competing is given a handicap at the start (known as the spread). This can be a positive number (if the team is perceived as being weaker than their opponents) or a negative number (if they are perceived as being stronger). At the end of the game, the handicap of the team backed is applied to their total and the result calculated based on the handicap being applied. So for example, if you back a team with a handicap of +3 but they lose the game 103 – 101, then with the handicap applied their score would be 104 and your bet would not lose, but would instead be a winner.
- Total Under/Over – This is simply a bet on how many points will be scored in the game, either above or under a stated amount. The amount selected is done so to try and give each option in this bet around a 50/50 chance of winning.
- Money Line – This is simply a bet on who will win the match outright with no handicaps applied, similar to a Match Result bet on football.
- Winning Margin – This is a bet with two factors and a lot of options. It is a bet firstly on which of the two teams will win and then secondly, by how many points that team will win. There are a total of seven options available ranging from wins of 1-2 points, up to wins of 21+ points.
- Alternative Spread – A similar bet to the Spread bet but which offers different less competitive lines.
- Alternative Total – Another bet similar to the Total bet but which also offers less competitive lines.
- Half Time Result – A simple bet on who will be leading at half time, or whether the match will be tied at that point.
- Half Time/Full Time – A bet with six options where you pick what the outcome of the match will be at half time and pair it with the outcome of the match at full time. There are six potential betting options here Home/Home, Home/Away, Tie/Home, Tie/Away, Away/Home, Away/Away.
Other bets available include Total Points Groups, Winning Margin and Total Points, Spread and Total, Home Team Points (Under/Over), Away Team Points (Under/Over) and Odd/Even bet on how many points will be scored in the game.
Graphics and Animation
It is fair to say that the graphics and animations on the new Virtual Basketball game are outstanding. They can be easily personalised thanks to clever technical effects which allow the players to play for a number of teams based in different geographic zones around the world. The use of real footage to provide the games works superbly and the way the game is presented is slick and easy to follow.
You can view a video of a game demo on Youtube by following the link.
What you could be looking at here is essentially the first of the next generation of Virtual Sports, which feature not just a wider range of games, but more lifelike graphics, results and more betting markets than ever before. There are still improvements that can be made, adding context to the games such as in a league tournament, would add a further level of excitement but Inspired are already lining up a number of additions they can make to the format to offer different gaming experiences in future releases.
The future of Virtual Sports may well have just started today with Virtual Basketball.