One of the key aspects of any Virtual Sports betting game is that it offers some degree of realism for the player. However, in truth, the degree of realism in each Virtual Sport does differ greatly from one to the next. Some Virtual Sports are almost indistinguishable from real sports when viewed online, yet others are somewhat compromised to fit into the Virtual Sports structure.
So if we are looking for a Virtual Sport that most closely matches its real life counterpart, which of the variety of Virtual Sports games at Betway and 10Bet are those that really encapsulate their represented sport most accurately and realistically, and which of those are the ones that fall short of the mark?
In this article, we are going to go through six different Virtual Sports available at our top bookmaking sites and rate each of them on how realistic they are not compared to each other, but compared to the real-life sport that they represent.
Let’s begin by taking a look at Virtual Horseracing and how well that compares to real life racing meetings.
There are lots of positives when it comes to realism with Virtual Horseracing. The graphics and TV-style presentation of the sport, particularly the animals in the parade ring before the race and the actual race as it unfolds are both very high quality and could almost look like a live stream from the television apart from one or two small issues. The first of these is the lack of weather or lights on night time races and the second is a lack of crowds (although you can hear the crowd in the sound, they are not visible on screen).
In terms of the numbers of runners and riders in a race, these do reflect reality most of the time and the inclusion of jockey’s names and form (albeit both randomly generated) adds to the realism
However, there are some issues which indicate that this isn’t a real race namely that the betting odds don’t change at all in the run up to the race, which would make the betting a lot more dynamic and add a sense of realism to the slot. Also the random nature of jockeys and form makes this simply window-dressing, rather than a tangible piece of information you can use to inform your bet. In addition, the commentary needs to be a bit more varied than what is currently on offer.
Realism Rating – 7/10 – Graphically, apart from a couple of small issues, this looks as realistic as a TV race broadcast, but there’s a few issues with the betting and also the lack of real form and jockeys that impinge on how accurate a portrayal of horse racing this is.
Virtual Greyhound Racing
In truth, many of the positives and negatives outlined in the Virtual Horse Racing review above apply also to Virtual Greyhound racing. Particularly those comments about form being simply randomised, repetitive commentary and the fact that there are no crowds present at the stadium that you can see.
However, graphically, I think Greyhound racing is even more realistic than horseracing, the way the dogs are animated captures the movements of greyhounds very well and the fact that greyhound races are uniform adds to the realism.
Realism Rating – 8/10 – This is a very lifelike version of greyhound racing down to the traps opening, dogs jostling or bumping and the hare racing around the screen. A few small tweaks and this could be even better.
Virtual Football is without doubt the most difficult of all the sports available to bet on to replicate as a game. The fact that this is a game, rather than a race and as such, doesn’t have many parameters, immediately causes a problem for programmers who then have to give the game parameters to fit into the Virtual Sports framework.
That therefore means that games in Virtual Football can have no more than four goals, which is the first issue with realism. The lack of context for games is also unrealistic as when matches take place they are usually part of a competition or another. Also the inability of individual players to affect a result by being better or worse than expected also detracts from the reality.
Graphically, they have done a good job but there are still glitches and odd moments that are not realistic compared to real life football. Players positioning and ability to tackle is also highly questionable, but the animations are smooth and in terms of Virtual Football, do the job they need to do. Virtual Football is the hardest of all sports to replicate realistically and while they’ve done a decent job, and the commentary is excellent, they are still some way off reality as yet.
Realism Rating 5/10 – To be fair replicating Virtual Football is very difficult with so many parameters that cannot be included as the game stands. I think this Virtual Sports offering will improve in coming years to be more representative of the real game but for now it is still quite a way off.
Virtual Motor Racing
Whether Virtual Motor Racing is realistic depends on your point of view. For F1 fans, it is not realistic at all as the tracks are simply an oval, but for NASCAR or Indycar fans, this is more accurate. However, the cars are not the most graphically enhanced and can only really be told apart by their colour. The actual race mechanics is simple enough with each being over two laps but it doesn’t give players a chance to enjoy overtaking, pit stops etc and how they can effect the outcome of a race.
While I think Virtual Motor Racing works well in terms of NASCAR or Indy Car, it isn’t representative of F1 and that is more popular in the UK and as such, I still think Virtual Motor Racing still has some way to go to be anywhere near realistic.
Realism Rating 5/10 – Of all the race-themed Virtual Sports, this is by far the least realistic of all of them,
There is one Virtual Sport that led me to do a double-take when I first encountered it because the action on screen mirrored almost perfectly what you see in real life and that was Virtual Cycling. Based on the Keirin race, where a motor-cycle controls the first part of the race before coming off the track for the final few laps, Virtual Cycling is almost a perfect representation of the sport.
There are some differences, such as fewer laps racing, fewer racers and perhaps not as wide a range of ability of riders, but in terms of mirroring reality in terms of presentation, Virtual Cycling has it nailed on perfectly.
Realism Rating 9.5/10 – Add a few more betting market options and a broader range of riders in each race and greater variance in odds, and you have an almost perfect representation of the sport in my view.
Rather like Virtual Cycling, the fact that Speedway has a set number of competitors (four) and is run over just a couple of laps, added to the high quality graphical presentation, means that this is as close to a real representation of Speedway as you can get. The betting markets are also indicative of real life as there are always just four riders on a race.
The addition of a crowd and perhaps some weather effects, as in horseracing, would be a small improvement, but as with Virtual Cycling, Speedway is without doubt the most realistic of Virtual Sports.
Realism Rating 9.5/10 – Like Virtual Cycling, just a few minor tweaks to this and you would not be able to distinguish a Virtual Speedway race from a real life one.