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7 Tips for Choosing Esports Betting Sites

Esports have become increasingly popular in recent years. This popularity boost has also led to a thriving esports betting industry. You can now find dozens of sites that offer esports wagering. Much like sports betting, you can win a great deal of money by making successful wagers.

But first things first: you need to find a quality betting site that you trust. Doing this is easier said than done when considering the large number of options available today. If you’re a new esports gambler, you may be overwhelmed by the amount of choices. But you can find good options by focusing on the important aspects that definite quality betting sites.

Keep reading as I discuss 7 tips for picking high-caliber esports gambling sites.

1 – Find a Trustworthy Site with Quality Licensing

Most online betting sites obtain licensing from an established jurisdiction. Securing licensing helps an esports site in two ways:

  • They can legally base their offices in the jurisdiction.
  • They can operate in the countries and territories defined by the licensing authority.

The key thing to remember, though, is that not all jurisdictions are equal. Some have stringent requirements for obtaining a license and provide more player protections. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is generally regarded as the world’s top regulated licensing authority.

They place strict requirements on applicants and aren’t hesitant to fine any operator that violates their rules. For example, they once issued a £7.8m fine to 888 for failing to monitor problem gamblers.

Certain licensing authorities, in contrast, aren’t so diligent in monitoring their licensees. Weaker jurisdictions have lower licensing fees, light standards, and minimal protections for esports bettors. Curacao eGaming is a perfect example, because they basically approve any applicant. They also don’t provide any help when disputes arise between gamblers and operators.

This isn’t to say that a Curacao-licensed esports betting site is automatically untrustworthy. But you should put more research into these operations before depositing your money with them. Ideally, you’ll have access to esports betting hubs that are licensed by respectable jurisdictions.

2 – Look for Good Betting Variety

It can be fun to bet on esports in any capacity. But the experience is definitely enhanced when you have more wagering options. Sites generally categorize betting options by the competition format, specific games, and bet types. More choices ensure that you won’t be confined to certain games/wagers.

Matches and tournaments/outright bets are the two main bets in terms of competition format. A match refers to wagering on the winner of a game between two teams. An outright bet involves wagering on the team/player who will win a specific tournament. Outrights have longer odds than matches, because your chosen team/player must win the entire event for a successful bet.

Common games covered by esports betting sites include Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CGSO), League of Legends (LoL), and Overwatch.

Dota 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game developed by Valve. This game is involved in the esports industry’s largest international tournaments.

CGSO is a multiplayer first-person shooter created by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment. This is another game that offers huge tourneys throughout the year.

LoL is a MOBA that’s published by Riot Games. Riot holds a World Championship every year for the top LoL players.

Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter created by Blizzard Entertainment. Blizzard features teams/franchises for Overwatch, much like what’s seen in the NBA, NFL, and MLB. As for betting types, these consist of include point spreads, moneylines, totals, accumulators, and prop bets.

You may be thoroughly aware of these wagers if you’re into sports betting. If not, here’s a brief description of each:

  • Point spread – Each esports team is assigned a handicap based on their perceived odds of winning. The stronger team is handicapped in a way that requires them to win by more points for a successful wager.
  • Moneyline – A simple bet on which team will win the match. Each squad carries different odds, with the superior team offering fewer profits for a winning bet.
  • Totals (over/under) – A bet on if two teams will combine for more or less points than the given line.
  • Accumulator (parlay) – A wager that requires betting on two or more teams in different matches. Every pick must be correct to produce a winning accumulator.
  • Prop bets – Proposition (“prop”) wagers ae based on an outcome that isn’t related to the match winner. A popular CSGO prop bet, for example, is based on who ends the match with the most kills.

3 – Check out the Esports Bonus

Many internet gaming sites offer bonuses to new esports customers. These deals are typically either a signup bonus or free bet.

Signup bonuses (a.k.a. welcome bonuses) are expressed as a match percentage of the deposit amount. Here’s an example:

  • An esports site offers a 100% match bonus up to $50.
  • You deposit $25.
  • You’re now eligible for a $25 bonus.

The keyword here is “eligible,” because you need to meet terms and conditions before the money is yours. Terms often include stipulations on rollover, minimum odds, bet types, and timeframes.

Rollover is an important term, because this refers to how much you must wager in order to unlock your bonus funds. You can see an example on how rollover works below:

  • You’re eligible for a $25 bonus.
  • Rollover is 20x the bonus.
  • 25 x 20 = $500 must be wagered

Free bets give you a free chance at winning a single wager. A $25 free bet, for example, allows you to risk $25 on the house. These offers carry rollover requirements just like welcome deals. But rollover on free bets is typically smaller, such as 5x the win amount.

Here’s a quick explanation on common esports bonus terms associated with both welcome offers and free bets:

  • Minimum odds – A free moneyline bet often requires that you take certain odds or higher.
  • Bet types – Some free wagers are limited to a specific type, such as a moneyline or accumulator bet.
  • Claim timeframe –You must claim a bonus in your account within a certain amount of days (e.g. 3 days).
  • Rollover timeframe –You only have so long to meet rollover on welcome bonuses and free bets.
  • Country restrictions – Certain countries are restricted from these deals due to a pattern of bonus abuse.

4 – Find Sites with Banking Options You Can Use

The esports betting industryoffers multiple deposit methods, including ewallets, credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, prepaid cards, and cryptocurrencies. The variety amongst these different categories varies from one site to another. One place may accept dozens of payment options, while another only takes major credit cards and Bitcoin.

You won’t have a problem in this department if you can already use major credit cards and ewallets. But some countries can’t use these options for gambling purposes, which leads to the need for alternative payment methods.
Regardless of your situation, one of the first things you should do is check out an esports site’s banking options. Doing so ensures that you can actually move money onto the site before reviewing other aspects.

Here are some of the many banking methods that you’ll find offered across the sports betting industry:

  • Visa
  • Visa Electron
  • MasterCard
  • Maestro
  • American Express
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • PayPal
  • Bank Wire
  • Western Union
  • Cheque
  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Litecoin
  • Entropay
  • ClickandBuy
  • GiroPay
  • Trustly
  • Quickpay
  • WebMoney

You should also look further into how quickly sites process payments and what their other banking policies are.
The last thing you want to do is sign up with an operator that takes longer than the industry average to process cashouts. You also don’t want to deal with any place that makes it difficult or expensive to withdraw your money.

Most use sports sites require verification in the form of an ID and utility bill. They do this to ensure that it’s indeed you withdrawing the money and not somebody else. But some sites are too strict on verification, which makes it take longer to cash out your funds.

Withdrawal fees are another thing to watch out for. The majority of the industry has reasonable fees so that they don’t turn off customers. But you’ll still find some exceptions that require high fees on minimum cashouts. Avoid these sites, because their fees will cut into your winnings.

5 – Find Sites with Competitive Odds and Juice

Sports gambling sites don’t offer lines out of the goodness of their hearts. Instead, they take a small amount of juice (a.k.a. vig) from losing wagers.

This juice is a necessary evil, because sportsbooks need profits to continue operating. But it’s always nice when these sites take less vig and give you a stronger chance of winning longterm.

Here’s an example of how juice looks in an esports point spread:

  • Ninjas in Pyjamas +2.5 (-110)
  • MIBR -2.5 (-110)

The -110 in parentheses indicates that you must risk $110 to win $100. You’re betting $10 more than you stand to win, meaning the house is collecting 10% juice from the losing side. Some sites offer reduced vig to attract more esports bettors. For example, -107 and -105 juice reduces the vig by 3% and 5%, respectively.

Reduced juice may not sound like a huge deal, considering that you’re only getting a 3-5% reduction. But it can definitely pay dividends in the long run.

I’ll begin by looking at an example with standard 10% vig:

  • You win point spread bets at a 52% rate.
  • You risk $1,000 on wagers with -110 lines.
  • 1,000 x 0.52 = $520 winnings
  • 1,000 x 0.48 = $480 base losses
  • 480 x 0.1 = $48 vig paid
  • 480 + 48 = $528 total losses
  • 528 – 520 = $8 net loss

Using the same variables, here’s what would happen if you found an esports site with reduced juice:

  • You risk $1,000 on bets with -107 lines.
  • $520 winnings
  • $480 base losses
  • 480 x 0.07 = $33.60 vig paid
  • 480 + 33.60 = $513.60 total losses
  • 520 – 513.60 = $6.40 net loss

You’ve turned an $8 loss into a $6.40 profit by choosing a site with -107 vig. It’s also worth comparing esports sites in terms of their odds on moneylines, accumulators, and prop bets. You can sometimes find more value with these wagers at certain sportsbooks.

Signing up at multiple sites is a good idea so that you can quickly move from one to the other, depending upon which has the best esports odds.

6 – Look at Comments on Third Party Sites

Some online gaming affiliates allow visitors to create accounts and leave comments regarding esports sites. These comments offer insight into what other customers think about the betting hubs.

If you see numerous complaints about a site’s customer service, withdrawal process, or any other matter, then you know to steer clear. Of course, you also have to keep an open mind about the subject. Certain players complain no matter if they’re in the right or wrong.

Here’s an example:

  • A sports gambler deposits and qualifies for a free bet.
  • They don’t read terms and conditions before depositing.
  • They win the bet but don’t meet all terms.
  • The bettorproceeds to blame the site for not receiving their winnings.

By and large, though, you can rely on the collective positive or negative comments regarding a specific site. What happens if you can’t find much player feedback on a certain sports betting hub? In these cases, you can see what gamblers think about a site’s sportsbook or casino.

Many online operations offer multiple forms of gambling under the same brand. 888, Bovada, and William Hill are all examples of sites that feature esports, casino games, poker, and traditional sports betting. What players think about the casino or poker room reflects on the operation as a whole. Therefore, a site that treats its customers well in one area will likely treat their sports bettors the same.

Reviews can be another helpful tool for deciding whether or not you should choose a specific operator. Esports reviews rate sites on a number of categories, such as their bonuses, customer service, website navigation, banking options, and reputability. The only thing to watch out for with reviews, though, is that some of them are too positive. The people writing these reviews are generally doing so for affiliates, which make commissions when people sign up and bet at a specific esports site.

It’s generally in their best interest to sugarcoat most details of an operation. Nevertheless, you’ll still find plenty of affiliates that care about their reputations and offer unbiased reviews.

7 – Make Sure the Esports Site Has Good Customer Support

Every sportsbook offers customer service, which helps you with various questions and issues. But not all esports customer support departments feature the same quality. Some are superior to others in terms of being knowledgeable and friendly. This combination makes you feel comfortable when contacting support and also confident that your question/issue will be solved.

You can check out reviews and comments on third-party sites to gain more insight into the sports customer service departments. This is another area where you’ll find a few disgruntled customers with every site. Therefore, you want to consider the composite information before deciding the quality of support. You can also test out a site’s customer service yourself by contacting them through live chat or email.

All you need to do is ask them a simple question about a bonus, the restricted countries, or anything else you can think of. This interaction can give you a strong indication on how well the customer support deals with players.

Choosing esports sites can be as quick or time-consuming as you’d like.  You don’t have to spend hours on research to find a quality operation. This is especially true when considering how many resources are available in the form of website comments and reviews. But I certainly suggest that you use some or all of the tips covered here to choose your esports site.

The first key is finding a trustworthy operation that treats its customers well and quickly processes cashouts. Trusting the site you’re dealing with goes a long way towards a great esports betting experience. You also have to ensure that there’s an available banking option you can use. Researching all of the other factors I’ve discussed is pointless if you can’t deposit.

Betting variety is another crucial aspect to consider. Having more types of esports to choose from keeps the excitement involved. Factors like bonuses and favorable odds can boost your chances of winning. These elements are especially critical if you’re serious about making esports betting profits.

In summary, keep the seven tips that I’ve covered here in mind next time you’re looking for a good site. Spending a small amount of time upfront is definitely worth it when you do find a great spot to wager on esports.

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