Can I Make Money Betting On Video Games?

If you thought sports were the only thing to bet on, you're mistaken — there's a thriving eSports & gaming industry, and people love to put their money where their mouth is and bet on the outcome. But can you make money betting on video games? We investigate.

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Humans have always bet on games. Whether it’s cards, roulette, sports or horse racing, games and events have attracted bettors for hundreds of years. The combination of skill and luck in betting is what makes it such an enjoyable pastime – and betting on video games is no different.

You might not be aware but there is a large community of video games betting fanatics who thrive off backing their favorite players in action. Now, we’re not talking about betting a few dollars with your friends on who will win a game of Madden. Video games and eSports betting is serious business and punters can earn thousands of dollars if they know how to bet.

So let us take you through what betting on video games is all about, and why it has transformed the landscape of online betting.

History of Betting on Video Games

Googling ‘world’s oldest video games’ will take you back 50 years to images such as pong, draughts and Pac Man. We’ve come a long way since one-handed joystick Atari games such as Space Invaders, yet the thrill of playing them has never disappeared.

What’s more, practically as soon as video games emerged did betting on them begin. Informal bets among friends on who would win Mario Kart races were as common as players spending a quarter to play arcade games in stores and bowling alleys. Over the years these arcade games made their way into casinos, where their mix of skill and luck made them perfect for young adults who had grown up playing computer games.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas during the 1980s video poker, video baccarat, video slots and video blackjack games were appearing in casino halls. Now you didn’t have to sit at a table to play poker – you could focus on the screen and have the game to yourself!

The creation of the internet spawned online gambling in the mid-2000s but betting on video games as we know it today didn’t come about until eSports became a global phenomenon.

From the 2010s onwards, gamers in Europe and Asia could bet on video games being played by other people, sometimes in different continents, during global eSports tournaments. This has since spread to North America and betting on video games had entered a whole new existence.

Which Video Games Can I Bet On?

There are scores of video games you can bet on, from basic games that you play yourself — such as video poker and video roulette — through to genuine eSports betting on games like eNASCAR, League of Legends on Dota 2.

Here are just some of the video games you can currently bet on online:

  • Rainbow 6
  • Call of Duty
  • CS:GO
  • Dota 2
  • Heroes of the Storm
  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch
  • Rocket League
  • Starcraft 2
  • Street Fighter V
  • eNASCAR
  • eF1
  • eSports FIFA
esports tournament players playing fifa esports

Visitors play FIFA at the Gamescom fair in Cologne, Germany. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)

Can Playing CS:GO Professionally Be Profitable?

As you’ll notice on the list above, one of the video games you can bet on is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. But can playing CS:GO professionally be profitable?

Of course, if you’re one of the elite CS:GO players in the world then you can earn a living simply by playing the game. Some of the best eSports players earn millions of dollars from competing in CS:GO tournaments across the world. But for most of us gamers playing video games like CS:GO will never be anything more that a passion or hobby. Yet that doesn’t mean you can’t make profit on the game itself.

Millions of players bet on CS:GO throughout the year and follow the Majors that take place all over the world. With prize pools of up to $1,000,000 for the champions, the Majors attract the very best CS:GO on the planet – and so eSports betting has never been so competitive.

Some people have won over $10,000 by CS:GO betting! That’s a big reward for letting someone else do the work for you. Of course, betting on games such as CS:GO requires in-depth knowledge of the players, teams and tournaments across the world of eSports – and research is the best thing you can do before placing your bets.

Top Video Games Betting Tips

As we mentioned above, research is paramount when you bet on video games. Make sure you know the game, the players and the teams inside out. If you love to bet on eSports such as FIFA, for example, ensure you’re up to date with the latest in-form teams, and check out the latest stats and league standings.

The great thing about eSports betting is most bookmakers and casino sites will feature statistics that you can use to help make smarter betting decisions. Stats are as vital to an eSports bet as they are to all sports betting – after all, you wouldn’t bet on the NFL before at least checking which teams were doing well that season, or which players have the best stats.

Other top video game betting tips include:

  • Live streaming: If you can live stream video games and bet at the same time then you’ll both enjoy the experience more and have time to make smarter bets. Many betting sites offer video game streaming and in-play betting odds alongside all the action. This is ideal for players who love to watch video games and want to time their bets to perfection.
  • Treat it like sports betting: The beauty of video game betting is it’s exactly the same concept as sports betting. So, if you’ve bet on NFL or NBA in the past, take that knowledge into the video game world. Betting on markets such as ‘game winner’, ‘correct score’ and ‘next kill’ play out just the same as real sports bets like ‘game winner’, ‘total points’ and ‘next TD scorer’!
  • Shop around: There are hundreds of video games betting markets available online, covering scores of games. So make sure to take your time and find the right game for you. For example, you might love playing Overwatch but realize that Street Fighter V is actually a better game to bet on! Shopping around before dedicating yourself to a specific game is smart betting practice.
  • Bet low and often: This may sound like a strange betting tactic but there is reason behind it. When you start betting on video games you’ll likely be less knowledgeable of the markets available. What’s more, your budget may be small. So, to develop your knowledge and understanding of the betting markets, placing small bets on numerous outcomes is a smart way to cover a lot of bases. What’s more, you could also win big if you strike lucky!

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