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Virtual sports are a bit like slots online, Controlled by a random number generator (RNG). This is a mechanism that generates new results every time. This means that virtual sports are computer-generated sports where numbers are randomly drawn and these numbers are then converted to goals, points or whatever depends on the type of sport you are playing. The fun of virtual sport is that the matches are going on just like a regular football matches on television. So forth with the chips bag and a cold beer, sit back on the couch and enjoy sports all day long!
What Are Virtual Sports and How to Profit from Them
If you’re stuck on the couch and feeling down because there are no footy fixtures to bet on, you’re not the only one. For many punters, it can be hard to break the habit of betting on markets they know something about. In these situations, you have two options.
The first one involves scouring the depths of the Czech 3rd division for a couple of over/under bets. While perpetually exciting, this approach to sports betting is bound to leave a dent in your bankroll. As for the second option, it’s something a bit different than what you’re used to.
Virtual sports, a relative novelty in sports betting as a whole, is a great way to increase your earnings from punts on slow days. Even though the whole concept may sound strange and complex, it’s far from it! That’s why we created this guide to virtual sports betting - to give you a crash course of an often-misunderstood niche.
In the following section, we’ll explain how virtual sports work, the history, the idea, and everything else closely related to this exciting way to bet on sports. You’ll also find some useful tips and strategies that will help you hit the ground running. Good luck!
What is Virtual Sports?
By definition, virtual sports are electronic games sans player input. Even though it may seem complex, it is based on a pretty simple concept. Computer software is used to analyze a certain set of variables and randomly generate an outcome within the boundaries of the program that was written. Still perplexed? Let’s put it this way:
Virtual sports is nothing more than a computer program that’s created to mimic the exact virtual sport that you’re betting on. It uses random number generation (RNG) software to come up with a solution to all the factors in play.
For example, virtual football includes everything that normally affects a football game. You have fake teams, fake histories, and fake stats along with the actual event. This data was, too, created by sports betting software, and inputted into a computer. Based on this statistical data, odds are generated.
Using the virtual odds you have available, you can post bets on whichever market you deem fit. Everything else is the same as in regular sports betting. Your winnings are multiplied by the odds you took a punt on, you’re not guaranteed to win, and excitement is abundant.
Who Created Virtual Sports and How Did They Become Popular?
Really, how did we get here? While no single person can be credited with the invention of virtual sports, it’s a known fact that the concept emerged from paper-and-pen fantasy sports. Long before computers were a thing, people would use newspapers, papers, and pens to write down the stats of their favorite players and teams. It was a fun, but still excruciating process.
At one point, someone thought about increasing the overall boundaries of the game by creating fake players. They thought up their stats and even added fake measurements, just to take care of all of the variables needed for that sport to be played. In 1961, by the virtue of one John W. Burgeson, virtual sports made their way to computers.
A physicist and computer programmer at IBM, Burgeson loved baseball more than anything. In his free time, he wrote the program to include a roster of 50 players, from both the player and the computer could pick fake players. The outcome was generated using early RNG software. There was even a play-by-play description that could be printed afterwards! Mind you, this was 60 years ago.
This program was actually the only game included on the IBM 1620, one of the most stellar examples of early computers. People were immediately intrigued by the opportunity to play a game without actually playing it. While video games as a whole were still in their nascent phase, the thought of watching a simulation without a predictable outcome was even more enticing.
In the 1980s and 90s, computing capabilities were vastly greater, leading to an overall improvement in what virtual sports offered. It can be said that the whole concept was perfected in the early 2010s, but innovations pop up on an almost daily basis. Throughout the past decade, as more and more punters became accustomed to online betting, virtual sports emerged as a viable alternative to their favorite sports, leagues, and markets.
What Features Does Virtual Sports Offer?
Today, virtual sports betting is offered by a plethora of bookmakers. Due to the widespread presence of this niche, there is a lot of diversity on the market. This is because each virtual sports bookie uses software made by a different company. It’s an electronic game, after all. Just like FIFA and PES are two different versions of the same game, game designers can create different virtual versions of the same sport.
This parity resulted in punters having a lot of options at their disposal, especially in terms of different features. There are too many to list right off the bat, as many niches being born as a result of supreme graphic design software in the 2010s. However, that doesn’t mean that parallels can’t be drawn between the best available offers. After several weeks of research and comparisons, we’ve determined that the following features are the building blocks of virtual sports:
- Real-time statistics. Some of the best virtual sports models we’ve seen all take a ‘scientific’ approach to the game. Instead of just displaying the action, they offer statistical data that can be seen at any point during the game. Even though everything is a product of RNG-based software, it’s much more natural to have a clear overview of what you’re betting on. Depending on which bookmaker you’ve chosen, you’ll see different methods of displaying data. Remember to always read expert reviews on virtual sports betting sites so that you know what to expect. Look for screenshots and videos, too.
- Crowd simulation. In the earliest days of virtual sports, you could only see a focus on the pitch. Even though the players themselves weren’t represented by particularly well-rendered models, the computing power of yesteryear still wasn’t enough to simulate thousands of people in the crowds. Just like video games are able to use 3D models in various ways, so can virtual sports feature crowd movements and sound effects. Some software versions go beyond the usual cheering and booing audio features, and instead introduce fake chants and club anthems. It’s all about making the experience as realistic as possible.
- Replays and highlights. If you’re going to start betting on virtual sports, you’ve chosen the perfect moment for it. With the 2020s bound to have some surprises for us, virtual sports are set to become more akin to real sports with each passing day. This is particularly evident in the existence of player and team highlights, as well as multi-angle or slow-motion replays of highlight moves and various other athletic feats. Some virtual sports experts believe we are set to follow the footsteps of Football Manager and create virtual leagues that will be continuously simulated and regulated.
- An ‘unbiased’ outcome. Because there are odds involved, many punters are quick to doubt the lack of bias when it comes to virtual sports. You’re probably wondering - how is it possible that the odds are fair if one team is predicted to be stronger? That is, by all means, a good question. However, the answer is quite simple. Everything is fair because odds are based on fake histories, results, and statistics. In most cases, you can see everything about each team, just to be certain that the odds aren’t skewed. In virtual sports, the lowest odds don’t always win. Upsets happen at a rate that is almost identical to situations in actual sports. However, this does mean that, mathematically, low odds are more likely to win over a certain time period.
Even though these are the most common features in virtual sports, there are always designers and bookmakers who are willing to push the boundaries when it comes to this niche. Some versions include horse races with a first-person perspective from the stands. Multiple camera angles will soon become a must for all bookies. As our collective computing power grows larger, virtual sports will see improvements even in minute details.
Perhaps the most thrilling prediction is the concept of complete immersion. With AR and VR becoming more and more advanced, we may soon see ourselves as participants in virtual sports. Some experts have pointed out that this will potentially mean that virtual sports could start being considered a game of skills, as players could be able to influence the outcome once interaction with the AR environment is possible.
What Are the Advantages of Virtual Sports Betting?
In reality, virtual sports are still considered to be a laughing stock by a large chunk of the sports betting community. However, it is believed that this is the case because punters are emotionally connected to some clubs, as well as the players being actual human beings. With that being said, few can believe their ears when they hear that virtual sports betting is the 3rd most profitable branch of sports betting, behind only football and horse races.
This profitability directly reflects the quality of virtual sports software, resulting in a self-sustaining cycle of feasibility. The wagers wouldn’t be as big if it weren’t fun, right? You can also say the same thing about profitability - if it weren’t profitable, not many people would be betting on virtual sports.
Of course, the same goes as for regular punts - nothing is guaranteed and upsets are known to happen. Don’t think that the virtual nature of this niche is going to make a difference if you’re not taking things seriously. The following advantages might be enough to persuade you to do give virtual sports a chance:
- Availability. You can always bet on something. Because everything is virtual, there isn’t a time where you can’t find a virtual event. Bookmakers offer virtual sports betting on a 24/7 basis, with the usual time between events/races being 90 seconds. Not only are you able to take punts at 5 am if you’re in such a mood, but also have enough time to devise a strategy and not rush into things.
Because virtual sports markets are always available, you won’t have to wait for Champions League matches in the evening. Payouts can be used immediately if you manage to win.
- Virtual sports is a perfect beginner’s guide. Believe it or not, most professional bettors, experts, and analysts use virtual sports as a training ground for their ideas, strategies, and future endeavors. Why? It’s because virtual sports are created to be perfect and unbiased. That’s why rookie punters should definitely use virtual sports as their entry ticket to higher echelons of sports betting as a whole.
You can learn all the necessary markets and tricks using virtual football before applying them to real fixtures. For any bettor, it’s important to be in a state of constant improvement. Virtual sports allow just that, as you can practice new strategies and simulate longer periods of time with more frequent wagers. This can help you get an insight into the inner workings of your bankroll.
- It’s easy. Virtual sports software often comes with many explanations and video tutorials, as bookmakers know the importance of educational content, especially for beginners. Even if you were never interested in watching sports on betting on events, you can master virtual sports and learn a lot in a short period of time.
The best part, according to most seasoned pros, is that you can focus on the betting part of sports betting, as you aren’t required to memorize historical data for every team and league you bet on. Virtual sports betting is beloved by many sports betting purists, as it is considered an inclusive niche that can attract anyone with a love of statistics, maths, and sports.
- You can learn at whichever rate you deem fit. When you’re starting with, let’s say, football, the learning curve can be quite steep. This isn’t just because there is so much history to go through, but because you only get a limited chance each week, especially if you’re focusing on one or two popular leagues.
With virtual sports, you can practice footy bets all day, every day, with just 90 seconds between matches. That’s why you can set your own rate, especially if you like to ‘cover the ground’ in a faster manner.
- There’s a real-life connection, too. In recent years, virtual sports have started including existing teams. Some bookmakers offer simulated Champions League matches between popular European teams. In some cases, things can get even more interesting due to the match being inherently tied to real-world events. If, let’s say, Lionel Messi, is injured in the real world, he will be absent from a virtual duel against Borussia Dortmund, too.
However, this mostly a feature limited to a select few virtual sports betting sites. Even if choose such a version of virtual football, you will feel the lack of pressure, as the game is a complete simulation (more on that later).
While it’s obvious that virtual sports patched up a lot of holes in the world of sports betting, it’s an ambivalent market. Before you decide on a particular bookmaker, you should always do research and read user reviews from all the popular review sites. Public opinion might be faulty at times, but a large enough sample will tell you all about any virtual sports betting site that interests you.
What Are Some of the Downsides of Virtual Sports Betting?
Despite the shining features and useful advantages, virtual sports betting has two main downsides to it:
- Because virtual sports events occur every 90 seconds or so, punters are faced with a temptation to place bets more frequently. Experts have noted that this kind of ‘opportunity’ can greatly exacerbate an existing case of problem gambling. This is a hot topic in the entire sports betting industry, which has led to some countries outlawing the practice altogether. The difference compared to casino games is apparent, but the problem still stands.
- In most cases, you will see people mentioning the ‘virtual’ part of the niche as a disadvantage. This happens because many punters approach sports betting from a subjective standpoint. You already know that people bet on teams they support or bet against teams they can’t stand. Even though this is a legitimate argument for sports betting to be considered a cultural phenomenon, it’s still an unwise way to approach this activity, as your main objective should be to earn money. Still, we can’t deny the fact that betting on a World Cup final is possibly the most exhilarating thing known to man.
With these two ‘issues’ indeed being significant elephants in the room, solutions do exist. Virtual sports betting should always be done in moderation, no matter how big of a winning streak you’re on. If you feel that your virtual sports betting habits are jeopardizing your work, school, or relationships, seek help.
In case you’re not fond of betting just for the sake of betting, maybe simulated encounters between real teams might end up being your cup of tea.
How to Start Betting on Virtual Sports?
There are multiple ways in which you can approach virtual sports betting. However, most experts advise punters to start with the basic markets. This will give you a better understanding of how things work, as well as the opportunity to see if the outcomes are really random. Before you choose a bookmaker, check to see if they were audited by any gaming fairness organization. It’s also important to pick a bookie with a license from a reputable regulatory body.
As for the practice rate, it’s up to you to pick the number of bets you place over a certain time period. Don’t do it more frequently than you would do in the case of real sports. Don’t take too many risks, but keep your ambitions facing upwards.
What Is the Best Virtual Sports Betting Strategy?
Believe it or not, it’s impossible to come out and say a certain approach to virtual sports is significantly better than all the others. Many mathematicians and statistics experts tried to devise data-fueled strategies that would ensure winnings bets on a regular basis. To this date, they have failed to come up with anything, which is a testament to the feasibility of RNG-based software.
Even though there isn’t a multi-step approach that can rejuvenate your bankroll on its own, there is a number of verified tips that can help you turn virtual sports betting into a profitable side gig.
1. Pick the Right Sport
On most betting sites, you will find 5-8 virtual sports to bet on. Even though there are plans for other sports to be included, the crux of the market are football, tennis, horse races, and greyhound races. Football and tennis are considered to be ideal choices for beginners, as you can focus on the markets themselves because there the number of participants is fixed.
Horse races, for instance, can have up to 15 runners, with motor racing also being a high-volume virtual sport at 12 runners. Statistically, it’s much easier and much more fruitful to focus on football and tennis, mainly because there are fewer variables involved.
2. Don’t Chase Losses
The most common way punters lose money on virtual sports is by chasing losses. While many bettors believe that one big win will erase all the losses, they completely disregard the notion that one big loss can deal a fatal blow to their bankroll. If you start losing too much money, take a break. Once you’ve cooled off, you can return to a sport that’s less down to random chance, preferably a sport that you regularly follow and know lots of things about.
3. Betting on the Favorites Really Works
Even though randomness is guaranteed when you’re betting on virtual sports, you can quite easily look at the odds as a sporadic guaranteed win. In races, this is a great strategy, mostly because they often come in second or third and generate a partial return. If you’re a fan of racing sports, then this is one of the keys to achieving bankroll stability. Even though you’re not banking on one big win, you’re still getting a constant influx of revenue.
4. Leave Riskier Bets and Bigger Vagers for Real Sports
In reality, athletes are real people whose performance can be impacted by a plethora of factors. Even though predicting an outcome will be a Herculean task, it’s still much easier than dealing with the unpredictability of virtual sports. If you’re wagering, make sure it’s an amount that’s comparatively smaller than your real sports betting budget. Since it’s impossible to base your predictions on any real-life event, always keep the wagers small and the odds realistic.