We will give you the essentials of esports betting, from choosing the matches down to placing your stake.
Now you can combine your favorite pastime with accruing possible profits from punting intelligently at available certified punters.
Research the Bookie Market
eSports betting is still in its infancy. However, many online and offline bookies have developed an industry quickly approaching the billion-dollar mark in value.
Naturally, punters’ increasing value and interest in esports will generate considerable competition among bookmaker operators. Each company will attempt to provide better odds than the other. Going beyond customer appeal, each operator has different procedures for calculating predictions.
These differences will manifest in their provided odds and certainties. The best way forward is to get yourself acquainted with all the viable options on the current market.
Get Familiar with Margins, Payouts & Odds
In sports punting, odds are the implied probabilities provided by bookmakers for your bets. However, esports events have calculable actual probabilities.
What we refer to by margins are the discrepancies between the two. These are essential, as you can use these differences to select and wager your funds more lucratively.
On the other hand, payouts denote the amount of funds you get as a return for your punted money. Payouts will depend on the bookie odds. However, since the real probabilities differ from those shared by sportsbook operators, payouts always have an implied house edge, i.e., a statistical advantage for bookies.
However, if you play your proverbial hand right, you can quickly turn the payout and odd advantages against the bookmakers. Enter betting strategies.
Strategies for Better Betting on esports
Esports betting systems are methods of placing wagers on events that produce a slight but sure profit.
Professional bettors will often spend considerable time studying the events they are punting on. Through a combination of participants’ outcome histories and statistical models, they can theoretically create predictive systems.
Naturally, considerable time, expertise, and energy go into devising such models. This case is especially so since there is significant proof that both pro bettors and bookmakers use machine learning systems to gain an edge and as well as combat predictive models.
However, bookies cannot as quickly combat some beginner-friendly betting strategies.
Arbitrage Esports Betting
Betting arbitrage is an umbrella term for the practice of placing several bets on a single event to generate a guaranteed profit margin.
Essentially, arb betting implies that you wager equivalent amounts on opposing outcomes. Regardless of the actual result of the game in question, the margin present in bookie odds results in profits. However, esports betting arbitrage diverts the earnings to you instead of the operators.
The simplest form of an arbitrage strategy is called matched betting. In this case, you take an event with two possible outcomes and match your punts per both outcomes.
However, you cannot complete the strategy with only one bookmaker since their odds are formulated such that the operator accrues the profit. Instead, you have to find two sportsbooks that exhibit a discrepancy between the outcome odds. The difference dictates your profit. Thus, the more significant the difference, the larger your gains.
Here is an Example with esports
Take a game of Valorant played, say, between Gambit Esports and Team Liquid. We consider that we found two bookmakers that cover this fictional match.
The odds we find there are 1.5 (equivalent to 66.7%) for Gambit, 2.7 (37%) for Team Liquid at sportsbook A, and 1.3 (76.9%) and 3.9 (25.6%) at sportsbook B. You may now see that implicit probabilities sum up to 103.7% at sportsbook A and 102.5% at B. Both have house edges of 3.7% and 2.5%, respectively.
You now select where to bet for Gambit and where you do for Liquid. Say we place a $25 wager on Gambit at operator A. Then, you must place a matching bet at bookie B on Liquid.
If Gambit wins, you get a return of $37.5 from bookie A. The bet you place at sportsbook B must approximately match the resulting amount, given Liquid’s odds. If you put $9.62 at bookie B, Liquid’s win will result in a $37.518 payout, so this amount will suffice.
Staked Amount & Outcomes
You have wagered a total of $34.62 on both bets. However, regardless of the result, you will get a net return of $37.5 (or $37.518).
This fact means that you have generated at least $2.88 in profits from matched esports betting. Given that we worked with a fictional example, you should also note that knowledge of team performances or histories is irrelevant. The process always works, as long as you find the discrepancies at two bookies.
Maintain a Sports Betting Calendar
All that is left now is finding the sportsbooks and the esports events where the strategy is applicable.
Seasoned bettors will tell you about the importance of browsing a complete calendar of sporting events. Also, calendars become essential for esports punters since arb betting requires a larger volume of equivalent stakes to produce a considerable profit.
Additionally, you should keep a tab on those events where odds differences between bookmakers are significant enough to suffice to place matched bets. Here, esports enthusiasts are lucky since odds vary significantly due to the lack of extensive data to calculate correct probabilities.
The market is also smaller than physical sports, so the discrepancy may incentivize operators to add a higher edge to their odds, which is good news for arb bettors.
One Last Essential: Bankroll Management
Strategies like arbitrage betting turn gambling into a calculated and long-term profitable activity. The management of your funds should reflect just that.
You have seen how many calculations go into placing a correct match bet. More so, you should note that you only got $2.88 out of $34.62, or a net profit of 8.32%. In matters of arb betting, this is ideal, with most real cases only drawing in up to 5% profits.
Hence, you must allocate funds correctly and over a long time for relatively small profits. Strategies like arbitrage esports betting thus start sounding more like a job rather than gambling. You will need to keep tabs on placed wagers and the exact returns each series of bets will generate.
Further Steps: Other eSports Betting Methods
eSports betting arbitrage is the most straightforward sure-win strategy there is. Consequently, it does not require an understanding of the game and does not generate high profits.
However, once you get used to the esports betting scene, you can further research and develop more applied strategies.
Handicap betting could be a way to go. The term denotes a situation when a bookmaker changes the (highly contrasting) odds into somewhat even ones by giving a virtual advantage to one side.
Naturally, handicap esports betting can generate profits for those who know the competitive scene well enough. For instance, instead of winning, you will stake your wager on the fact that Team Liquid wins with a 2-0 advantage. If the match settles for a win for Team Liquid, but with a worse score, you still lose your bet.
Better strategies will come with time. However, as of now, you have esports betting arbitrage to learn and win from the newly emerging gambling market.