The concept of virtual sports dates back to 1961 when an IBM engineer, John Burgeson, made a baseball simulation game based on player statistics and a random number generator. It has taken half a century to perfect sports simulations to the point where many modern online sportsbooks offer virtual sports betting.

The concept is simple — you pit two participants against each other in a virtual environment. Then, complex algorithms play out a simulated contest between them. Each participant has strengths and weaknesses that the algorithm analyzes to produce a realistic final result. Just like with real sports, there’s an element of randomness and unpredictability with each game, which makes virtual sports perfect for betting.

The main allure of this form of betting is that it can be done at any time and it can center around any sport or competition. The service is the perfect alternative during the long off-season months when most major sports take a break.

Imagine this — the Super Bowl has just ended, and you must wait until September for the new season to kick off. Not with virtual sports! Simply join one of the online sportsbooks offering this format, and you can place a bet on the 49ers, Chiefs, Lions, and Ravens all year round.

How Does Betting on Virtual Sports Work?

Virtual sports betting is a lot like real sports betting. After all, it’s all about being as similar as possible to the real thing, which is getting easier with all the technological advances.

Most of the same options are available, including the moneyline and 1X2, spreads and handicaps, totals, and a few props here and there. The plays are based on the real-life qualifications of the two competing sides. 

For example, the play in the Monaco vs. PSG virtual soccer match would be very similar as if the two were facing off for real. PSG would be the favorite to win, which would be evident in the sportsbook, but the simulation could result in Monaco winning.

The computer could generate the score right away, but that wouldn’t be much fun. The contests may be shorter than their real-life counterparts, but they’re still long enough to provide excitement that keeps you on the edge of your seat. This also creates room for live virtual betting, allowing you to make predictions while the virtual simulation is in progress.

Most sports betting sites also have live streams of their virtual contests, which is another immersive element that helps bring virtual sports betting a step closer to the real thing.

You don’t need to look for specific virtual sports betting sites to enjoy this form of entertainment. It is now common at many well-known online sportsbooks, and the number of available virtual sports is on the rise.

To test how betting on virtual sports works before putting down any funds, you should try it at social and sweepstakes sportsbooks first. Sportzino and other sweepstakes options offer contests like Soccer AI, V-Horses, and V-Dogs, simulating these popular sports and allowing you to make free predictions.

Popular Virtual Sports to Bet On

There is a variety of sports available in virtual versions, with some of the most popular being:

  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Horse racing
  • Greyhound racing
  • Motorsports
  • Darts

You can find a virtual contest across various competitions, whether it’s a clash between two NFL powerhouse teams, a simulated Grand Slam final between tennis superstars, or a nail-biting horse or greyhound race.

Unfortunately, not all sports and competitions are available — at least not yet. The development of these simulations takes resources, time, and effort, and virtual sports betting is simply not popular enough to include niche sports like handball, rugby, or water polo. In addition, not every site offers virtual sports betting.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Sports Betting

Virtual sports betting is great for many reasons, but it also has a few notable downsides. Here’s more about the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide whether this genre of sports betting is for you.

Advantages

  • Availability: Virtual sports contests can be generated at any moment. You can bet on simulations of sports and leagues that are currently taking a break.
  • Faster outcomes: Virtual sports competitions are designed to last much shorter than their real-life counterparts, so your bet will settle more quickly. For example, a virtual soccer match typically lasts 15 minutes instead of the usual 90.
  • Realistic visuals: Virtual sports software developers have taken it up a notch when it comes to graphics. As a result, these contests are beginning to look more realistic by the day.
  • There is no learning curve. You don’t have to be an expert in the sport to place a bet correctly; just study the pricing and hope for the best.

Disadvantages

  • Fewer markets: There aren’t as many betting options available compared to real sports contests.
  • Not available at all sportsbooks: Although virtual sports betting is on the rise, it still needs to reach the levels of real sports betting. Many sites only feature a handful of virtual sports, while some don’t have any at all.
  • Untrustworthiness: Not all virtual sports software is tested for fairness, which makes a lot of players skeptical about the outcome of virtual games.
  • Not skill-based: There aren’t many virtual sports betting tips we can throw your way because the outcome of these simulated contests doesn’t incorporate tangible factors like form and team chemistry.

FAQ

Are virtual sports rigged?

You don’t have to worry about virtual sports being rigged if you play at legit online sportsbooks. These operators test virtual games for fairness and use random number generators to provide realistic outcomes based on probability.

Is virtual sports betting available at every betting site?

While virtual sports are more widespread than ever, they are not available on every major betting site just yet. Nevertheless, you can still find them in top sportsbooks like bet365 or on social and sweepstakes platforms like Sportzino.

What types of virtual sports exist?

You can choose from many different types of virtual sports, including football, soccer, basketball, tennis, horse racing, and more.

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