Online bookmakers are forever looking for ways to improve the betting experience of their customers and for new features they can offer to them. One such feature which a number of the top bookmakers have now started to offer their customers is a virtual sports betting service.
This page is designed to be a comprehensive guide to virtual sports betting, in order to provide any punters who might be thinking about using a virtual sports betting service everything they could possibly want to know. That will include detailing which betting sites host a virtual sports service, what virtual sports features to look out for and which virtual sports are available.
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What is Virtual Sports Betting?
Without resorting to simply rephrasing the name, virtual sports betting is a service by which punters can place bets on events which aren’t actually occurring in real life. Bookmakers provide virtual sports betting services which cover a variety of sports, and run virtual races, matches or other events which punters can bet on in almost the same way as a real example of the event.
The virtual sporting events are live and available to bet on through the bookmaker’s site for a certain amount of time, before they are then run as an animation which punters can watch to see if their bets have been successful or not. Through a virtual sports betting service, therefore, punters can back a virtual horse to win a race or a virtual football team to win a match and then watch an animated stream of the race or the match. Their bet will then be settled based upon the result of the event, as shown through the animation.
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What Can You Bet On Virtually & How?
If the idea of virtual sports betting is new to you, you’ll likely be surprised at just how many different virtual sports are available. To get you up to speed, let’s take a look at all the different virtual sports and how betting on them actually works.
Probably the most widely available of virtual sports, horse racing is also arguably one of the simplest. Ahead of a virtual race, punters are presented with a recognisable race card detailing the runners and riders.
Through most virtual horse racing betting services, they are able to place a race winner bet which may or may not be able to be placed each way. Some sites, too, allow punters to place forecast and even tricast bets on the virtual races. At a pre-determined start time, the virtual race is then run and punters can watch an animation of the action in the same way as they’d watch a real race.
In the same way that real greyhound race betting is very similar to real horse race betting, the two virtual versions are also pretty comparable. The dogs taking part and the traps that they will race from are displayed on a race card and punters can bet on the race winner and sometimes on forecasts and tricasts. Each race begins at a specified time and punters can then watch an animation of the race unfold as live.
One of the virtual sports where the range of betting markets available differs most from one bookmaker to another, those markets which are available for each match are generally displayed for around 30 minutes before ‘kick off’. Those markets nearly always include a match result market and a correct score market, and can also feature total goals, both teams to score and other similar markets.
Whilst relatively short horse and greyhound races can be replicated in full by virtual animations, however, not many punters are likely to watch a full 90 minute animation of a football match. For that reason virtual sports services instead provide a Match of the Day style highlights package for each virtual match.
Generally matches last around the 2 minute mark with half time included where additional wagers can be placed.
Working in a very similar way to virtual horse and greyhound racing, sites offering virtual speedway will run their speedway races every few minutes. Ahead of each race, punters can see which riders are taking part and which gate they will start from and are able to place their bets.
Those bets are sometimes limited to only the race winner market (with or without and each way option) but can also extend to forecast or tricast markets. Due to the relatively brief nature of speedway races, animations tend to cover each race in its entirety.
Generally presented separately to speedway, where virtual motor racing is offered by a bookmaker it typically works in exactly the same way. Races are also run every few minutes and the names of drivers taking part are provided to punters for them to bet on. Available betting markets are generally also limited to the race winner market and sometimes forecast and tricast markets, and races of a limited number of laps are shown in their entirety.
Offered by some but by no means all virtual sports betting sites, virtual tennis betting is quite different to betting on real tennis. That’s because virtual tennis betting tends to be based upon just one game of tennis, rather than a whole match.
Betting markets available for each virtual tennis event, therefore, tend to be limited to game winner, correct game score and total number of points markets. As they are limited to length of just one game, animations of each tennis ‘match’ are generally shown in full.
One of the rarer virtual sports options, where virtual cycling is offered it is based on the track rather than the road variety of the sport. Races take part in virtual velodromes and are generally run every few minutes. Ahead of each race, punters can bet on their favoured rider to win the race and through some virtual betting sites can also place forecast and tricast wagers. Animations of the short, sharp track races are then generally shown in their entirety.