Virtual Sports Guide
Reading Time: 8 minutes
As if there weren’t enough things to bet on already, bookies came up with Virtual Sports.
Virtual sports are a computer-generated version of real sports.
One of the most popular types of virtual sport is virtual football.
Before a virtual football game begins, the bookie will offer various betting markets on the game.
A random number generator will then decide the outcome of the game, and your bets will either win or lose.
These games often run every few minutes, 24/7, and aren’t just on football, but also often horse racing, greyhounds, and motor racing.
These games should never be played for fun, but we can often take advantage of some nicely profitable virtual sports offers.
Big House Edge
Like with casino games, the bookmaker will always have a house edge on virtual sports.
This ensures they make a profit from these games over time.
The bookies often have a 10% to 25% edge in these games.
This means that you have a very strong chance of losing money if you play virtual sports without offers, and there is ultimately no skill to betting on virtual sports.
Not all bookmakers publish the RTP of their virtual sports games, but you can see breakdowns of the RTP of virtuals sports on Sky and Betfred below:
Given the big house edge the bookies have, you would need to be quite the mug to be betting on virtual sports without offers!
So why are we even talking about them?
Fairly regularly bookies run promotions on virtual sports.
Virtual sports bets can’t be laid at a betting exchange, so these offers can’t be made risk free.
However, they can be treated like low-risk casino offers, where we can calculate the EV, and if the EV is positive, we know that the offer would be profitable on average to complete.
This makes them quite similar in mindset and approach to casino offers, which is why we cover them on Team Casino.
Currently, Skybet offer the most regular, consistent virtual sports promotions. At the time of writing, they offer the following offers on a weekly basis, which are only available at specific times:
|Tuesday||21:30-23:30||Bet £10||£5 Virtuals Free Bet|
|Wednesday||21:30-23:30||Bet £10||£5 Virtuals Free Bet|
|Friday||18:00-23:30||Bet £50||£10 Virtuals Free Bet|
At the above times, the promotion should show on your Skybet homepage banner and promotions page, and look like the below. Clicking on the promotion should bring up a page with the terms, and an opt in button, to claim the offer.
The first thing to consider when deciding if these offers are worth doing is to get an idea of our average expected return from placing bets on virtual sports. Skybet displays the RTP of all of its virtual sports on its website, which can be found through this search. Looking at the ‘virtual sports: football rules’ page, we can find the following RTPs:
We recommend the over/under market, which has the joint highest RTP, of 92.59%, and has really good low odds selections for us to utilise.
Calculating Expected Value
For the Skybet offer: Bet £10 get £5 free bet, we can calculate the expected value as follows:
- Qualifying Loss (when using over/under 2.5 goals market with 92.59% RTP) = £10 * (0.9259-1) = -£0.74
- 70% retention of £5 free bet: £3.50
- Expected Value = £3.50 – £0.74 = £2.76
The 70% retention of our free bet is an estimate based upon putting our free bet on a horse in a virtual horse race with odds of over 5.
The RTP of Sky horse races decreases as the number of horses increases, so we should look for the races with only 8-9 runners as these will maximise our expected return.
Most of the time we won’t pick the winner, but when we do, we stand to make a nice profit.
These offers usually require you to opt in first. This can be done by going to the promotions page, finding the offer, and then clicking the opt in button.
Breaking Up The Wagering
Sky allow the wagering to be broken up into as many bets as you wish. This allows us to reduce our variance from these offers significantly.
For example, on Sky’s friday evening offer, we certainly do not want to risk doing one £50 bet, but instead could consider doing 10x £5 bets, reducing our chance of making a large loss significantly.
Whilst some sites like Sky allow the wagering to be broken up into smaller bets, some require you to place the full bet in one go, so you should always check which applies to apply you are completing.
What odds should the bets be?
When placing bets with real money, not free bets, we suggest keeping to lower odds selections in order to reduce variance.
With Skybet the minimum odds are 1.5, so we recommend keeping to odds of between 1.5 and 2. When using free bets, our expected value is higher when we bet on higher odds selections, so we recommend placing free bets on selections with odds of at least 5.
Most of the time we won’t win with our free bet, but if we do these offers regularly, we should hit winners regularly enough to make these offers profitable overall.
What could I expect to make?
Between the three regular Skybet virtuals offers our EV is around £8.80 per week, or £35 per month. Whilst this is not massive, they don’t take long to complete, so can be an easy addition to our routine to bump up our expected value.
Sky aren’t the only company to offer virtual sports offers, so its worth keeping an eye out for any other virtual sport offers and considering whether they look to have positive expected value. Team Casino will share any +EV virtuals offers in our Reload Offers Section here. For example, some regular offers are:
- Betfred – Running a virtuals offer most weeks currently
- Genting – Bet £20 On Virtual Sports Get £5 Free Bet – weekly
- Jenningsbet – 5 x £5 Virtual Bets Get A £5 Free Bet – weekly
- Netbet – Bet £10 On Virtual Sports Get £5 Free Bet – weekly