Simulated sports betting is the latest innovation in the world of online sports betting. Necessity is the mother of invention, and at a time when global sports were shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the response from bookmakers was to get creative in order to fill the void.
They could only lean so much on existing esports or virtual games, so simulated sports betting was born. But what is it and how do we bet on it?
Betting Sites with Simulation Betting
What is Simulated Sports Betting?
Simulated sports betting takes place on video games played out by two sets of AI, with no human involvement. These sports simulation games are not the same as esports, or even virtual sports. Let’s take a look at the key differences between the games.
Simulated Sports Betting vs Esports
There are similarities between esports and simulated sports, most notably the games involved. When we think about esports betting, we likely imagine a contest taking place between two individual gamers. They are probably doing battle over something like CS:GO, or an EA Sports title such as the popular football simulator, FIFA.
The main difference between esports games and simulated sports though, is the human element. Simulated sports do not involve human players, since the computer determines the result.
So with simulated sports betting, we bet on a game between two AI controlled teams playing out a contest between themselves. Our wagering is entirely at the mercy of the machines.
Simulated Sports Betting vs Virtual Sports
Virtual sports betting is an entirely different thing altogether. No matter what sport we are talking about, virtual games are much more like a roulette wheel than a sports sim game.
They work on a random number generator, which determines the outcome first, before selecting graphics to display to the players, which are based on that predetermined outcome.
The most popular virtual sports providers offer everything from team sports to horse racing simulation software. Examples include:
- Motor Racing
- Greyhound Racing
- Horse Racing
Virtual sports give the impression of a sporting contest unfolding, but the result was calculated at the very beginning. This is not the same when betting on simulated sports, since the results are genuinely not known until the contests are finished.
Simulated Sports Betting vs Fantasy Sports
Another potential source of confusion is that of fantasy sports, where players choose a dream roster and score points based on the outcomes of real sporting events.
These days, fantasy games exist for most sports, including basketball, soccer and even fantasy esports. Among dedicated esports fans and punters, the LoL fantasy league is especially popular for those who like to follow professional League competitions with their own fantasy team.
This is entirely different to simulated sports, which relies on a sports game simulator in the form of a video game. Real word happenings have no impact upon a simulated sports fixture, since it’s played out exclusively between the game’s AI.
How Does Simulated Sports Betting Work?
Now that we know exactly what the term simulated sports means, we can look into how simulated sports betting works. Bookmakers offer players the chance to bet on these simulated sports events, which take place between two AI-controlled teams or characters.
The markets on offer are for real money and as such they need a license. The specific details of tournaments will vary depending on the organiser, but there are some common themes, which we will discuss later on.
Is Simulated Sports Betting Legal and Regulated?
As of April 2021, simulated sports are not available for UK esports betting. The concept of sim sports betting is still new, born out of the COVID-19 pandemic when the global sport world was placed on hold. So the picture could change very quickly.
Despite the UK situation, many international bookmakers already offer these products and it is legal in those jurisdictions. Any bookmaker offering such markets must be fully licensed by a reputable gaming authority. Included among the world’s most prestigious licensing bodies are the following:
- Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
- UK Gambling Commission (UKGC)
- Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC)
- Curaçao eGaming
- Gibraltar Gambling Commission
Is Simulated Sports Betting Fair and Random?
Yes, simulated sports betting is absolutely fair. One would have to question the wisdom of any bookmaker who tries to fix simulated sports games. The mathematics of bookmaking is already stacked in their favour in the long term.
Imagine what would happen if a betting company tried to rig a FIFA simulation or a Madden NFL game simulation. Word would quickly spread. They'd lose customers, trust, their license and they'd go out of business quickly.
As for whether or not simulated sports betting is truly random, that is a more difficult question to answer. Virtual sports, for example, utilise random number generators certified by independent testing labs such as eCOGRA or GLI. The video games used by simulated sports betting companies do not use this type of RNG.
But if the simulated sports game is configured in such a way that the teams are rated the same (such as 85 mode in FIFA, or if the difficulty is set to Hall of Fame in NBA 2K), then both teams have equally rated players and therefore an equal chance to win the game.
The key here is that, while we can argue about the definition of the word random, the games are fair. Each team has the same chance of winning and simulated sports betting is not fixed in any way.
Fake Sports Betting
Fake bet software is increasingly common. There is, for instance, a well-known football simulator online that has famously predicted real world events. This NFL game simulator predictor tool and its like are not what we are referring to when we talk about simulated sports betting. This is an important distinction to make.
There are also people out there who have developed a fake sports betting site. This is essentially a sports betting system simulator, that allows us to place a simulated bet with play money (not real money), and test out our betting theories. Again, this is not what we mean by simulated sports betting.
Simulated sports betting is purely about betting on video games contested by AI-controlled teams and players. It does not refer to any kind of fake bet generator or sports betting simulator app.
All wagers placed are genuine, which make simulated sports a legitimate and exciting new form of real money esports betting.
Esports Simulation Betting at 1xBet
1xBet is a pioneering, innovative betting site. In addition to their unique betting platform and generous bonus offers, the site also offers competitive odds when it comes to simulated sports betting.
If you want to learn more, you should definitely check out our 1xBet bookmaker review for full details. In the meantime, here is a selection of the most popular sim sport games currently offered by 1xBet.
Injustice 2 Betting
Injustice 2 is a popular fighting game featuring characters from the DC Comics universe. Esports bookmakers accepting bets on this game are still relatively few, but new betting opportunities are being added all the time.
1xBet is a great place to start your Injustice 2 betting experience, since you are able to bet on several different markets in addition to the fight winner. These include betting on the number of rounds, which special moves will be used and the length of the fight.
Mortal Kombat Betting
Another extremely popular fighting game for esports punters, though not as widespread as betting on Street Fighter, the Mortal Kombat series needs no introduction. Popular Mortal Kombat betting markets include fight winner, which player will land the largest combo, over/under max combo damage and over/under number of crushing blows.
UFC3 Simulation Betting
UFC is always popular with fans of traditional sports betting, but now we can bet on simulated versions too, courtesy of the UFC3 video game.
Common UFC3 simulation betting markets include fight winner, over/under hits in the entire match, method of knockout, total strikes attempted and remaining health points.
Teamfight Tactics is a spin-off from the League of Legends series, which makes it quite similar to LoL betting as such.
Since betting on Teamfight Tactics is still quite a new phenomenon, there are not many markets available in addition to who will win and lose. But the game features several random events, such as the items players might receive during the game, and bettors can wager on these random events.
Betting on Simulated Sports Games
Video game enthusiasts and punters alike can now enjoy betting on AI matches in popular video games modelled after real-life sports leagues. The most popular of these include EA FIFA Soccer, Madden NFL Football and NBA 2K Basketball.
Just like in traditional sports betting, simulated sports betting presents players with many different markets and betting opportunities. Let's take a look at the most commonly offered games and markets for betting on simulated sports video games in 2022.
EA FIFA Soccer
EA's FIFA series are undoubtedly the best soccer simulation games on the market today. No virtual football simulator game comes close. Which is why the series is so popular in the world of esports and simulated sports betting.
When it comes to FIFA betting, the length of a match is not the traditional 90 minutes. Each tournament will specify different rules regarding match length, as well as the different game modes. .
It's likely to see a tournament taking place in 85 mode. This means that all player ratings are adjusted to be 85 out of 100, making for a more evenly matched contest and less predictable results.
Many of the betting markets found in football game simulations, such as FIFA, mirror those that you would expect to see in a real-world fixture.
With live football sims you can bet on the number of goals in the game and even the exact scores. Here are the most popular markets when betting on football simulation games:
|Soccer Match Simulator Betting Market||Description|
|3-Way (1X2) Match Winner||Bet on the home team, away team or the draw.|
|Over/Under (Total Goals)||Choose whether there will be more or fewer goals in the game than the stated line.|
|Double Chance||Back two different outcomes at the same time to increase the chances of winning..|
|Both Teams to Score||Will both teams score at least one goal?|
|Correct Score||Predict the exact score at Full Time (for example 2-0 or 1-3).|
|3-Way (1X2) Half Time||Who will be leading the game at the end of the first half?|
Madden NFL Football
The exact rules of a Madden NFL tournament will depend on the organisers – in this case, bookmakers. It is not unusual to see games set to Rookie mode, with all in-game sliders set to default. 15 minute quarters are also common, with a 20 second accelerated clock.
The betting opportunities available on Madden NFL game simulations are broadly similar to those found in real NFL betting. Here is a list of the most popular betting markets played by fans of NFL sim games:
|NFL Game Simulator Betting Markets||Description|
|2-Way Match Winner (Moneyline)||Choose which of the two teams will win the game.|
|Handicap (Spread)||Bet on the team you think will win once the handicap is taken into account.|
|Over/Under (Total Points)||Will the game feature more points than the suggested line, or fewer?|
|First Team To Score||Which team will put the first points on the scoreboard?|
|First Touchdown Scorer||Who will score the first touchdown of the game?|
|Will The Game Go To Overtime?||Will the game end tied in regulation time?|
The ever popular Madden NFL Football series is the perfect simulated sports betting medium. Source: https://www.godisageek.com/
NBA 2K Basketball
In terms of NBA 2K rules, much like other popular sims sports games, the settings vary depending on which bookie has organised the tournament.
A commonly observed setup for betting on NBA 2K is to have the games played out in Hall of Fame mode. This leads to a more nuanced contest than if the games were played out in easier game modes. It brings big men more into play, as well as AI coaching adjustments. 6 minute quarters are also common.
Much like with a FIFA football game simulator or NFL game simulation, simulated sports basketball also draws heavily from real world sports betting. Here are the most common betting opportunities seen in basketball esports simulator games:
|NBA Basketball Game Simulator Betting Markets||Description|
|2-Way Match Winner (Moneyline)||Bet on the home team or the road team to win.|
|Over/Under (Total Points)||Predict whether or not the match will see more or fewer points than the suggested line.|
|Handicap (Spread)||Predict which team will win the game once the handicap score is factored in.|
|Over/Under (Team Points)||Predict over or under for a specific team’s points total.|
|Most three points||Which of the two sides will successfully complete the most three pointers.|
|3-Way (1X2) Match Winner||The match winner market in regular time, including the possibility to bet on a tie.|
Simulated Sports Betting Strategy Tips
If you are just getting started in the world of sports sims, you'll undoubtedly be keen to hear some simulated sports betting strategy advice. While there are many similarities with traditional sports betting, there are some key differences to note as well. Let's jump right in and take a look.
How to Make Sim Sports Predictions
Calling the outcome of a computer game is nothing like predicting what will happen in a real sporting contest.
With a football simulation like Madden NFL for instance, you do not need to account for real-world factors, such as injuries to key players, the health of the quarterback or the varying tactics used by the coaches. No human factors need to be taken into consideration.
Even with esports predictions, you would still need to think about the human element. What mood are these people in? Are they feeling confident? Have they had recent injuries? None of this is relevant with a sports game simulator. So what should we be looking at instead?
The most important thing to consider for simulation sports betting is the game mode. Taking FIFA as an example, are the teams all set to 85 mode? If so, then the game will be evenly matched.
If not, then you need to consider the individual team's ratings for attack and defence and study individual player matchups. A player's pace is a key consideration, for instance.
What difficulty setting is the game using? In NBA 2K for example, Hall of Fame mode leads the AI to make more tactical tweaks and brings the big men more into the game.
Use Traditional Betting Knowledge
When betting on simulated sports, you can bring a lot of traditional sports betting strategy to the table. The concept of value still applies, so we should be looking to spot pricing errors. If the probability of something happening does not correlate to the odds, we can make a profit in the long term.
Sports simulation games can also be handicapped, just like real sports teams, as long as the tournament is using actual player ratings rather than making all players equal.
You can study the offensive and defensive matchups, particularly with a game like Madden NFL (which boasts an accuracy rate of 72%) and spot any mismatches.
And whether you bet on esports, simulated sports or traditional sports, there are always certain principles that you should look to apply.
Try to keep costs as low as possible when moving money around, by using payment methods that are free. Bankroll management is always extremely important. Betting with stakes that are too high in relation to your bankroll is a sure-fire way to go broke.
Bonuses and Promotions
Any fan of traditional sports betting will already be aware of the many different sports and esports betting bonuses available. In such a competitive landscape, bookmakers need to offer ever more attractive offers to both new and returning players.
This provides us with an excellent way to boost our bankrolls. We can acquire risk free bets and take advantage of loyalty programs, cashback offers and reload bonuses.
Just because you prefer to bet on a soccer match simulator to a real soccer game, you should still be on the hunt for the most attractive bonuses.
The Future of Simulated Sports Betting
Although we can run an NFL League simulator to predict what might happen in that particular sport, we cannot simulate the future of sports betting. But even without a crystal ball, we can be sure that simulated sports betting will continue to carve out a niche among the sports betting community.
What better way for soccer fans to kill time during the off-season than with a soccer simulation game like FIFA?
And while betting on soccer sim games may be a popular option today, as this exciting new way to bet on sports continues to grow, expect to see bookmakers adding new products in future. In time, we are likely to see everything from betting on an MLB game simulator, to simulated sports horse racing.
No matter whether we are dealing with an NFL game simulator like Madden or an NBA game simulator such as NBA 2K, simulated sports betting is all about AI controlled teams or characters in a video game. There is no human element of control, which brings a refreshing twist that traditional sports betting cannot offer.
Born out of necessity, in a time where real sport was off the agenda, this interesting new betting discipline is rapidly gathering a large following.
While some elements of betting strategy remain the same, others factors are also at play here. If you wish to become profitable at simulated sports betting in the long term, you must dedicate significant time and effort.
Start your own sim sports betting journey at one of our recommended bookmakers and claim your welcome bonus today!
Simulated Sports Betting FAQs
Is simulated sports betting rigged?
No! Any bookmaker offering simulated sports betting must be fully licensed. If they were to be found rigging fixtures, they would lose their operating license. Not to mention the fines and possible jail time that go along with that.
Is it safe to bet on simulated sports?
Absolutely. Simulated sports betting is just like traditional sports betting. Bookmakers are properly licensed, their websites are secured with encryption and payment methods are safe and secure. Simulated sports betting is no less less safe than any other form of online gambling.
What simulated sports games can I bet on?
There are many popular titles available to bet on and the list is constantly growing. In terms of team sports, the most common are EA's FIFA Soccer, NBA 2K Basketball and Madden NFL Football series. But the likes of Mortal Kombat and UFC3 are also popular games.
How is simulated sports betting different from esports?
Esports has a human element. With simulated sports betting, we watch two computer controlled players or teams. But esports involves humans controlling the games or players.
What is the best simulated sports betting site to play at?
There are many high quality bookmakers offering simulated sports betting and everyone will have their own personal preferences. But a good place to start out is GG.Bet, due to the wide selection of games on offer; check out our GG.Bet esports review to learn more.
Can I win real money betting on simulated sports?
Of course! Simulated sports betting is much like esports or traditional sports betting. The more time and effort you devote to studying the craft, the better your chances of winning money become.
Is there a CS:GO betting simulator to bet on matches with fake money?
Such sites do exist, but this is not what we mean by simulated sports betting. Betting with play money can be fun, but simulated sports betting concerns real money wagers.