Over the past few years, virtual sports have, despite it being a relatively new activity, benefitted from a vast and continued increase in popularity. The sports betting scene still remains a fairly unknown quantity to many punters, that is especially so amongst the more conservative groups. Most leading online sports betting sites such as Bet365, Betfair, William Hill, and Ladbrokes always remain on the lookout for new ways to provide their members with additional entertainment opportunities. Due to the continued increase in demand, they not only incorporate this exciting new betting opportunity into their sportsbook but respond with a huge increase in the range of betting markets and opportunities on offer.
Introduction to virtual sports
Virtual sports events come courtesy of dedicated software responsible for generating and controlling gameplay during each event. In addition, the software employs a specialised algorithm called a random number generator (RNG). This is akin to those used in slots and other forms of casino games that ultimately ensures gameplay delivers event outcomes in a completely fair, unbiased and random fashion. Punters then gamble on the randomly determined outcomes of these virtual events.
Much of its popularity stems from the inherent ability of the simulator to allow players to create their own fantasy sports teams. Moreover, due to its virtual nature, punters have the opportunity to place wagers based on their own predictions covering a nearly endless range and number of computer-generated leagues and matches any time of the day or night.
What is a Virtual Sports Game?
Virtual sports games incorporate the names and player statistics of actual sports stars, actual teams, and players appearing on the pitch in each team’s real team colours, with games played in photorealistic copies of their true-life namesake event stadiums. Essentially real-life sporting events provide the inspiration for the action delivered by their virtual counterparts!
In each type of sport, the action closely mimics that of its real-life counterpart. Moreover, virtual sports employ highly advanced audio and graphics rendering engines to deliver ultra-realistic 3D visuals which provide an almost real feel to the on-pitch action.
For example, football’s on-field gaming action maintains all aspects of its real-life counterpart, players remain in their designated player positions, mirroring the actions and functions of each position according to the sport’s strategies, rules, and regulations. This includes goalkeepers attempting to save incoming strikes from passing them into the goal box, referees blowing-up transgressions such as off-sides, flashing the occasional yellow card, and awarding a penalty when due, linesmen marking the spot where a ball went out-of-bounds etc. Players suffer injuries, the virtual crowds in attendance chant actual popular sports club themed songs with songs matched to the venue and teams in attendance.
Origins of Virtual Sports
John Burgeson wrote the first program for virtual sports, coding his creation for use on an IBM 1620 computer using just 20 KB RAM. The year was 1961, and the game was fantasy baseball. John’s first program, similar to modern versions of the simulator, also employed an RNG to determine a randomly fair outcome of a game played between two teams using entirely self-contained software.
Over the decades its distributed programming increased in complexity and sophistication to finally deliver the highly-refined product we see incorporated into the current sportsbooks offered by modern online bookmakers. In its current format, the virtual sports betting product transcends the quality and experience delivered by its originating forebears by several powers of magnitude.
What Types of Virtual Sports Does Bookmakers Offer Online?
- Virtual Football: Require punters to predict and place winning wagers according to their predicted outcome on a computer-generated virtual match. Similar to real sports, online bookmakers offer competitive odds on each game. Games incorporate player names, teams, sports complexes, leagues, FC clubs, events, contests, tournaments, competitions, and championships mirroring those of their real-life namesakes.
- Virtual Tennis: Offer punters an opportunity to wager on their favourite virtual tennis stars who each possess lifelike attributes and statistics closely matching those of their actual namesakes. Competitions and event tournaments occur in tennis stadiums virtually identical to those seen in dozens of contests televised daily.
- Virtual Horse Racing: In likeness to its actual counterpart it features a racing variety covering numerous races inspired by actual local and international events containing horses, riders, event and competitor statistics, markets, and betting options similar to those of its originating equine hosts.
- Virtual Basketball: Provide enthusiasts of the sport with an opportunity to engage in wagering on the outcome of a nearly endless range of virtual games, all containing namesakes and likenesses of their actual towering real athletes. Betting markets and options offer punters enthusiastic about the great game to wager 24/7/365 on the virtual performances of their favourite sports stars and teams.
- Virtual Greyhounds: Deliver a highly comparable racing experience to that offered by the slinky, high-speed mutts in an actual flats race. With virtual dogs bearing the same names as punters would find at the track on a daily basis. The available betting options, despite remaining fairly restrictive, still offer the same excitement in races that retain the same dynamic nature as those offered by the real thing.
- Moto and Car Racing: Features names, teams, and team colours identical to the ones found on tracks and racecourses around the world. It covers F1, WRC, and sprint races, with cars driven by the namesakes of those heroes that regularly provide the excitement racing fans from across the world, have come to expect.
- Badminton: Places punters courtside while additionally offering an opportunity to place a wager on the individual performance any of the internationally fancied stars any time they desire. This negates the prerequisite of having to wait for an actual match to take place. This naturally allows punters to engage in wagering on a far more frequent basis.
- Table Tennis: Give punters an opportunity to place an increased number of wagers on the outcome of many of the virtually generated games populated by likenesses of real players and their career statistics, including near identical virtualised imagery of places such as Wimbledon with its strawberries and scones crowds.
- Velodrome: Aimed at attracting punters who are cyclists at heart, the virtual high-speed cycling action offers true to form computer generated imagery of the Olympians in action. The visual and auditory trackside surroundings that regularly practice one of the world’s toughest sports formats. Virtual races deliver a comprehensive cross-section of the markets and betting options punters would expect to find at any real-life cycling event.
- Archery: Focuses on a sport featuring one of the oldest competitive sports still widely in practice today. It rewards fans who are admirers of masterful bowmen with an attractive outlet for their betting requirements. The virtualised competitions allow punters to spectate and place bets on a wide range of betting options and markets with true to life likenesses of the actual artists actively in pitched battle. Punters are enticed as they compete to display their superiority and range skills during each event around the virtual world.
- Trotting: Begs discerning punters to spectate and place a wager on one of the equestrian competitive world’s most stylish events. This is filled with the equestrian and rider names regularly seen at circuits from around the real world. With points similarly awarded for style and horse & rider combined attitude as well as horsemanship. Virtual competition now offers punters an opportunity to wager on as many of their equine stars in as many competitions occurring anywhere in the world 24/7/365 as they dare.
Virtual Sports features
Virtual football remains one of the online punters’ mainstay activities. The action remains non-stop, and punters can freely wager on as many fixtures as they wish. Normal football generally offers up to 100 individual leagues and competitions from around the world whereas virtual football betting only offers coverage of two types, domestic and international. However, certain features like the available number of betting markets and leagues still remain an important factor but with scaled-down categories due to a considerable reduction in the length of each fixture.
Mostly on offer from just a couple of the UK’s major online bookmakers, but also available in a much-reduced format from a smattering of other smaller sportsbooks, virtual horse and dog racing provide punters with an opportunity to wager on races even after the closure of a day’s race coverage.
Due to its incorporeal nature, most virtual sports come with the added boom of providing real-time coverage of each event as it unfolds. This means punters receive a much-enhanced betting experience covering the events they placed wagers on.
The event duration in virtual sports varies according to each sporting type and event. Generally, they will see entire football games concluded anywhere between 15 and 90 real-time minutes. Foremost sportsbook brands offer new matches or events approximately every three minutes. Punters are given multiple betting options allowing them to quickly learn the sport and how to win at betting on virtual sports.
As relayed previously in our writings above, virtual sportsbooks welcome players to a world filled non-stop by the virtualised namesakes of major local and international fixtures. This includes tournaments, competitions, championships, leagues, races, games, and sports events all populated by the biggest real-world sports stars, live legends, heroes, and celebrities. Team colours and equipment identically duplicate those found in actual sports fixtures around the world.
Major producers of virtual sports products offer a complete range of individual competitor statistics alongside team statistics and individual team member statistics for group sporting types. Similar to other computer generated gambling varieties such as slots or online roulette, virtual sports determine event outcomes via a RNG. This ensures complete fairness of event results through complete randomness.
Virtual Sports advantages and disadvantages
As with any type of gambling comparison between similar gambling activities such as online blackjack versus Live Dealer blackjack, virtual sports feature a number of significant similarities as well as some major differences. Each comes with a specific set of advantages along with some disadvantages as listed below.
- Virtual sports represent one of the newest entertainment formats made available by latter-day advancements in available technologies. That in itself provides punters with a certain novelty aspect they find very attractive.
- A major increase in number of betting opportunities, with some generating new events every 3 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Virtual sports events do not constrict punters to betting on events taking place at a specific time and date. They instead allow punters to wager at any time of the day or night.
- Ultra photorealistic graphics ensure punters enjoy a near real-life atmosphere during live streamed events.
- Virtual sports offer new punters the perfect opportunity to increase their rate at which they gain experience in the sports betting scene.
- Virtual sports occur in a far better regulated space leaving much less room for potential scam artists to carry out their nefarious goals.
- Virtual sports offer a speedy resolution of bets, in contrast to real-life fixtures such as Cricket test matches that may require up to five days before settlement of bets.
- Virtual sports offer a definite profitability factor to both punters and operators.
- Betting knowledge and experience gained in real sports gambling may very likely not apply to strategies involving virtual sports events.
- Virtual sports offer a limited number of markets, mostly limited to just two, compared to those featured on real sports which may deliver up to 100 markets
- Very small judgment and skill element involved in predicting event outcomes.
- Virtual sports failed to offer a number of readily available betting options regularly available in real sports betting markets.
- Real sports generate tons of publicity which in turn generate a vast injection of funds.
- Obtaining the knowledge to develop an effective virtual sports betting strategy requires time
In contrast to the extensive variety of betting options available to punters when engaging in betting on real sports, virtual sports betting options currently remain more limited. At present virtual football fails to offer a betting option such as the firm First or Last Goal Scorer football favourite, followed by a similar shortage of a Set Betting option in tennis.
Real Sports vs. Virtual Sports
As one would anticipate, there are a variety of differences between real sports and virtual sports. One of the main differences, from an entertainment perspective, is their constant availability, and that relates to the virtual side. Virtual sports are creations, or recreations of sporting events in a real atmosphere and, as a new type of entertainment, have surged in popularity.
It is important to understand that in Real sports events, that they are regulated by the leagues they are part of and by officials or referees to ensure rules of the game are followed, both by players and coaches. In virtual sports, regulation is carried out by licensing authorities that govern the rules of how the games are operated, the validity of the software and most importantly, the random number generating software that produces results.
Another key difference between real sports and virtual sports is real sports have more markets, betting options and the ability to place bets based on real statistics. Punters also can rely on tips and past performance knowledge to help decide how best to bet. However, in virtual sports, this is not really viable as statistics are created and therefore, it is similar to playing other electronic games of chance, and that aspect leads to another difference, that being the social aspect of sports.
Virtual sports are not able to provide punters with social interaction with other punters or truly recreate the atmosphere of watching or attending a live sports event. Most engaging in virtual sports understand that when doing so, they are playing in an environment that is not life-like, and accept this. However, those new to virtual sports should understand that within those differences, there is a cost associated in playing virtual sports, and from an entertainment perspective, if governed responsibly, is equal to the cost of purchasing tickets to a live sports event.
Available betting options and markets
The available betting markets in virtual sports are increasing as its popularity continues growth. Traditionally, most bookmakers offer a limited number of markets including football, basketball, horses and dogs. However, the inclusion of tennis and the future inclusion of cricket and baseball has seen new betting options become available. Below, we look at each of those and highlight the different betting options each provides:
- Football: Football is one of the most popular in virtual sports, not only for that fact that its fan base is substantial but also for the ease in placing easy to understand bets. These include fulltime, halftime, handicap and total goals. Fulltime bets are based on the end result, whereas halftime bets are based on the score at the halftime point. Handicap bets are on the participating teams/players perceived differences and total goals is rather self-explanatory and based on the total goals scored.
- Basketball: Basketball is a little more extensive in its available betting markets. It often includes options for the winner, total points, winning margin, handicap, Race to X and team total. However, its difference extends beyond this as within each. There are different betting options such as match winner, 1st half winner, highest scoring quarter and over/under.
- Horses: Horse racing is another that ranks high in popularity and has a global appeal versus some sports that may be more local. In virtual horse racing, the betting options are similar to that one would have available in a real horse race such as win, place, forecast and tricast.
- Dogs: Virtual dog races are almost identical to horse racing, in so far as it’s betting options and therefore makes betting less complicated than others like basketball. Those offered include win, place, forecast and tricast.
- Tennis: In tennis, the betting options are limited to game, set, match and favourites. These again are easy to understand with bets on favourites being placed on individual players, game bets on individual games within a set, match bet on who will win the match, and set bets on which player will win any given set.
Live betting on Virtual Sports – is it available?
Live betting, in the traditional form as one would experience with in-play betting. Virtual games are constantly running, and depending on the virtual sport of interest, games/matches/events can take place in minutes. Therefore placing live bets is, for the most part, possible due to the length of most virtual sporting events. However, several do feature virtual in-play sports, although this is limited.
Virtual sports bonuses – are there any promo codes?
This is solely dependent on the individual sportsbook. However, due to the increasing demand, multiple sportsbooks have begun to release virtual sports bonuses to satisfy the expectations of punters interesting in this realm of betting. The majority will not require a specific bonus code often instead to require opting in to qualify for any bonus being offered. Those interested in claiming should understand that most, if not all, will be limited to an amount equal to standard new player registration bonuses. However, some will include, as an incentive, a virtual sport free bet.
Virtual Sports betting providers
Multiple sports betting providers cater to virtual sports games, and that number is growing. However, there are four that stand out, and that is based on the platforms they have engineered and the type of virtual sports that are offered by each.
SBTech has been providing solutions to the sports betting industry for over ten years. They operate eight offices internationally, employ over 1000 people and operate within fifteen regulated markets. The company has deep roots within the iGaming market and focuses on technical excellence and knowledge that is in place to help clients businesses grow rapidly. In addition to this, they are adept at adjusting its product range to deliver a unique solution that is both entertaining and engaging. It allows the company to enhance its diversity and shift towards market trends. Available virtual sports offered by SBTech include soccer, basketball, horse racing and virtual vinthundar. Within each, is a variety of matches or games so as to ensure a constant stream of ready to bet events.
BtoBet provider’s cutting-edge tools geared towards the sportsbook market. While they include multiple solutions within the realm of sports betting, its solution for virtual betting is focused on betting markets, graphical quality, multiple events, leagues and gameplay. All virtual sports games are presented in 3D and provide detailed statistical that not only help to make the user experience realistic but one that is entertainment driven. Virtual sports include football, tennis, basketball, horse racing and virtual dogs. Its virtual football is formatted with sixteen virtual teams, live scores, a statistical centre, live tables and over 2400 daily fixtures. Virtual Tennis features sixteen player tournament new matches every 3.5 minutes and statistics for each match as well as each player. The company employs many of the same qualities to its virtual basketball with eight new games every 3.5 minutes and includes detailed analysis through its statistics centre.
BetSys is another sports betting software company that operates within regulated markets providing clients with 15 years of proven experience and solutions that are tailored towards each client’s unique requirements. This has propelled the company toward becoming one of the largest sports betting solution providers in Eastern and Central Europe. They include a complete range of products with one of those being virtual sports. While the expansion of their virtual sports would be beneficial, currently they only offer virtual horse racing. New races are released every ten minutes with those based over 1,300 real horse races within Europe that average 3-4 minutes in length. Available in multiple languages, the software features adjustable graphics, combi and solo bets.
Betradar offers multiple betting services with virtual betting being but one. Its products are found in more than 180 online bookmakers and as a company, focuses its virtually sports offerings towards graphical display, gameplay, events, tournaments and leagues, all of which is based on thousands of game analysis to provide an unmatched experience to punters and is as realistic as possible. As an added value, all virtual sports include statistics equal to those punters see when betting on real sporting events. They currently provide virtual Football, basketball, virtual horse racing, virtual dog racing and are one of the few to provide virtual in-play sports.
What is the house edge in virtual sports?
Virtual sports operate in the same manner as other games of chance. The main difference is they are focused on sports versus traditional casino games. The results for any virtual sports game/race/match is generated through the use of a random number generating software program and as such, will always, over time, favour the house. While each event/race/game will show statistics, calculation your odds is dependent on the how many are participating overall, however, with the inclusion of a handicapping system used to make the experience realistic, it gives punters and the casino a balanced outcome. At times this will favour the casino, while at others, it will favour the punter just as it will with other games of chance.
Mobile betting platform of Virtual Sports
The availability of virtual sports for mobile users is common, with many of the largest sportsbooks offering mobile virtual betting. This is due to many sportsbooks using mobile browser-based access that is equal to its desktop experience. That ensures all betting markets is features can be accessed by those that wish to, or prefer to play directly through their mobile device. That advantage to this is it ensures all virtual gaming categories punters are accustomed to are identical, and that also relates to the quality and performance.
Is it legal to bet on Virtual Sports?
The legality of virtual betting, from an individual standpoint, relates to the country of residence. While some will allow sports betting, others may exclude virtual betting and other games of chance. In this case, determining the legality is dependent on the laws that govern the country and jurisdiction you reside. Online bookmakers go to great lengths to ensure compliance with laws that govern each country they operate within and as such, receive special licenses that permit virtual sports betting. When coupled with today’s geographical identification software it is safe to suggest that is virtual sports betting is allowed under your account, then it is most likely legal for you to participate. However, it is always recommended that you verify its legality before making a real money wager.
Who guarantees the fairness in Virtual Sports Betting?
This falls under the responsibilities of the special auditors and licensing commissions that issue licenses. They are responsible for checking and verifying the true randomness of the random number generators employed by the sportsbook to ensure fairness for punters participating in virtual sports betting activities.
Tips for betting on Virtual sports
1. Be selective with the virtual sports you choose
Depending on where you are playing, the number of virtual sports will vary. Some will offer less than others and therefore being selective which virtual sports you place bets on will make a difference and could potentially impact your winnings. What is important to consider is the number of teams/players as each sport will have different minimums and maximums. An example of this is horse racing as some events can see up to fifteen horses, whereas betting on greyhounds will decrease that to six. Therefore your odds of winning improve in those virtual sports that limit the number of entries/participants.
2. Manage your bets responsibly
Virtual sports would be, to some, defined as a volatile betting market due to it relying on a random number generator to produce results. Unlike real money sports betting, you are not betting on the outcome of a real sports team r player, but a virtual one that is designed to give the house a small edge. Therefore placing smaller bets is a fundamental choice that will help punters avoid substantial losses. Ultimately, virtual sports betting is meant as a form of entertainment, so therefore bet sizes should reflect that.
3. Do not chase losses
Chases losses is a common mistake many punters make. The belief that a large win is around the corner per se is being irresponsible. That is due to the fact it is a game of chance and results are computer generated and chases losses almost never produces an outcome that is positive and generally results in additional losses.
4. Be selective in the type of bets you are placing
As mentioned above, being selective in which sports you bet on is the better way to go. By doing research and determining which sports provide you increase odds of winning are the right ones to bet on. As a rule, do not bet on races/events/games/tournaments that have more than eight participating as doing so will reduce your chances of a positive outcome.
5. Place bets on the favourites
While virtual sports betting results are RNG generated, betting on favourites is ideal. You may not win as much, but you will, for the most part, win more often, and ultimately, winning is the goal. As with other sports betting, activities hedging your bets is also a solid strategy to employ but limit those bets to ensure you manage your bankroll responsibly.
On what virtual sports betting options is it best to bet?
The best virtual sport to bet on is undoubtedly football. This is in part due to the level of quality that is generated and the selection. Its popularity rests on the fact that it is easy to place bets on and does not require extensive knowledge to be successful. Its wide range of betting options is another factor that makes it one of the best bets on with match winner, correct score, double chance, total goals scored, both teams score and multiple others all available as viable bets.
Are Virtual Sports rigged?
This is a common question that is posed by those considering virtual sports betting. It is also one that is often incorrectly answered as many fail to understand how results are generated with virtual sports. As all results are randomly generated through the use of highly proven and reliable random number generating software, the ability to “rig” the games is simply not possible. This is due to licensed sportsbooks undertaking exhaustive and regular testing of all RNG systems to ensure true random results.
Are there virtual sports betting strategies?
Yes, betting strategies are employed in virtual betting. Many punters will make use of stats provided for upcoming events/games/ matches and will also place bets on the “First Half Win”. This allows them to make easier decisions on particular competing teams. While strategies can be used, it is imperative to remember that the outcome is computer generated. Therefore exact, or proven strategies are difficult to confirm whether successful long-term.
Which is the best way to earn money from virtual sports?
That will depend on your betting strategy and how you manage your bankroll. Virtual betting is exactly that, virtual and therefore is not equal to traditional sports betting. The only way over the long-term to make money from virtual betting is to be responsible. When experiencing a large win knowing when to stop due to the randomness associated with virtual sports betting will help in that goal.
Can we bet on virtuals from mobile apps and mobile websites?
Yes. Most bookmakers offering virtual betting include it within their mobile apps or mobile websites. This is most common with mobile websites as they are essential, in most cases, identical to their desktop counterparts.
What type of odds are available for Virtual Sports?
Betting odds in virtual betting is based on probability and the odds of any particular event happening. The type of odds you will see commonly include over/under, double chance, and multiple others based on odds that are commonly seen in sports betting.
How to choose the best bookmaker for Virtual Sports betting?
Choosing which bookmaker is best is determined by experience and knowledge. What is important to remember is the software in use is often operated by the same software provider, or at a minimum, a limited number of providers. Therefore understand the valuing in each bookmaker and how they operate or advantageous they provide ultimately will be the deciding factor. By visiting websites such as ours, you are given the privilege to access our extensive knowledge on each bookmaker. You also can read detailed reviews that highlight their strengths, bonuses, banking options and more that collectively can help you in that determination.
Are virtual sports limited to specific times of the day?
No. That is the attractiveness of virtual sports betting as access and placing a bet is available 24 hours a day. The only potential limitation to that would be specific sports, but that would be uncommon due to the nature of it being virtual.
Is virtual sports betting regulated?
Yes. In fact, it is regulated to the same standards, if not more, than those online casinos must adhere to. This is in place to protect the legitimacy of the software in use, protect you as a player, the casino and to ensure that its results are truly random.
Virtual sports betting, for many, is still a relative unknown. However, as it becomes more widely available with sportsbooks and bookmakers, it is gaining in popularity, and the added peace of mind that it is regulated by licensing authorities has helped fuel interest. This comes not only as a result of punters but by bookmakers as well as it gives them an extension towards the markets they provide to punters. Its continued success will rely heavily on growth, not only in traffic but in the range of sports that become available. When one considers the global sports betting market and overall interest, this will be key in the long-term.