Esports Betting Markets Explained – Guide For Beginners

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Betting on esports is much more than a regular match-winner bet. With that being said, operators put in place various esports betting markets that offer bettors a chance to look at things from a different perspective and find winning bets that way. In this guide, you’ll find all you need to know about the best betting markets used for esports.

What Are Esports Betting Markets?

Esports betting markets are specific types of bets tied to a certain match. Basically, they give you a chance to bet on much more rather than just on a match-winner.

If you do the research for a match you’re interested in betting on, a variety of ideas will come to your mind. Sometimes, you’ll be positive that a team won’t drop a map in the best of three series or you have a gut feeling that Team Secret will slay the first Roshan. Esports betting markets will offer you exactly what you’re looking for, a chance to wager on your research and ideas.

Use Markets / Special Bets to Your Advantage

Above, we’ve already reasoned why esports betting markets are a good thing for you. However, with over 50 markets to choose from, you need to be careful about what you want to place your money on.

Don’t bet on something just because the odds seem interesting to you. Make sure that your bets are researched. If you stick to this simple advice, you’ll always find a way to use esports special bets to your advantage.

Betting Sites That Offer the Widest Range of Esports Betting Markets

There are a lot of esports betting sites and most of them offer a decent range of betting markets dedicated to esports. But, we want to turn your focus towards the three operators that will give you your money’s worth with their selection of special bets. Find the list below.

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Best Betting Markets Sorted By Games

Just like we promised in the introduction, we’ll base this guide on esports special bets on the most popular. Below, you can find which markets you should use for each esports title, so let’s get straight into it.

*bear in mind that we’re not including the match-winner option here, only the special bets!

esports betting markets explained

CS:GO Betting Markets

ROUND HANDICAP – In order to explain how round handicap works, you need to know what handicap betting is. With this method, betting sites are making things even between the big favorite and the underdog. Plus(+) means that the team is starting with the advantage while minus(-) stands with the team that is starting the match in deficit.

*round handicap example: Team Liquid(-4,5). Minus stands for a deficit in rounds. Given the fact that CS:GO is played until one team wins 16 rounds, this handicap means that Team Liquid needs to win with 5 rounds difference.

A similar method works for plus(+) handicap betting. Let’s say we have Team Liquid again. This time around, they’re the underdogs with the handicap of(+4,5). This means that they’re starting things off with the advantage. The match is played until one team wins 16 rounds. Before the match even started, Team Liquid is up 4 rounds(because of the + handicap) which means they need 12 more rounds for you to win your bet. It’s also important for you to know that they can also lose, they just need to put 12 rounds on the board to cover the handicap.

TOTAL MAPS PLAYED(OVER/UNDER) – This one is going to be your bread and butter if you do the analysis properly. This bet is simple to understand. You’re betting on the number of maps that are going to be played. CS:GO is usually played in the best-of-three series with 2 maps played minimum. It is up to you to analyze things and find out whether all three maps are going to be played. You should also know that this bet is often a coin flip, odds-wise.

CORRECT SCORE – Use this CS:GO betting market with care. Often, the odds on this bet are through the roof, but there is a reason for it. You can also use this bet for live betting, especially if you’re backing the losing side.

PISTOL ROUND WINNER – Yet again, we’re back on the research. HLTV will give you great insight into pistol round statistics for every team you want to bet on. Trust us, there is a pattern here and certain teams put a lot of effort to win these rounds, and we agree with them. Pistol rounds are very important and they dictate the tempo. For coin flip odds(1.90 – 1.90), you can find a lot of value in this special bet.

LoL Betting Markets

MAP WINNER – Initial draft is one of the most important aspects of LoL esports. With that being said, you can often predict a map winner based on the draft itself. However, to use this bet, you need to have knowledge of the game.

FIRST BLOOD – Another solid bet that’s based on the game knowledge. Strong early gankers such as Lee Sin paired with a decent amount of CC almost guarantee the first blood, right?

CHAMPION TO BE PICKED – League of Legends pick rates are mostly based on updates(buffs and nerfs), and trends. This is why we see constant rotations in the champion picks. Right now, Jinx and Gwen are seen in 80% of professional matches, so don’t be afraid to wager on this esports betting market.

TOTAL NUMBER OF KILLS(OVER/UNDER) – For this bet, pay attention to two things. Firstly, analyze the teams and find out whether they like to play it safe or they go for aggressive picks. Secondly, champions that can deter ganks with heals and other sorts of protection often end up saving their carries.

Dota 2 Betting Markets

MAP WINNER – The same thing we said about League of Legends, also goes for Dota 2. The initial draft is very important and based on it, you can have an early hint on which team is going to win the map.

TEAM TO SLAY THE FIRST ROSHAN – There are heroes that deal a lot of damage to neutral monsters such as Roshan. For instance, Ursa can slay Roshan very early and it doesn’t take him long to do it.

FIRST BLOOD – Once again, we’re back talking about the draft. This time around, we’ll include lane pairings. For instance, Venomancer deals a lot of damage. Add any type of CC to hold heroes in place and you have an easy first-blood bet. Other heroes that deal a lot of damage in early levels are Viper, Clockwerk, and Treant Protector.

TEAM TO DESTROY THE FIRST TOWER – If a rotation leads to a kill or two, there is nothing defending a tower for a minimum of 30 seconds. Dota 2 hero pool has a couple of heroes that can destroy the tower fast, especially if one more hero is helping. If you see Pugna or Leshrac being picked, don’t hesitate on this bet.

Valorant Betting Markets

MAP WINNER – If you do your due diligence and analyze the match you want to bet on, you’ll for sure notice patterns in Valorant esports. Some teams are strong on certain maps and they win them more often than not. Keep in mind that you don’t always have to bet on the match-winner, but you can also focus on the team you’re backing to win a map where they have good stats on.

TOTAL ROUNDS PLAYED(OVER/UNDER) – Unlike CS:GO which is played until one team wins 16 rounds, Valorant esports is a bit different. Whoever wins 13 rounds first is the map winner, so keep that in mind when placing a total number of rounds played bet. 

StarCraft Betting Markets

TOTAL MAPS PLAYED(OVER/UNDER) – StarCraft esports is often played in a best-of-9 series which means whoever wins the 5 maps first is a winner. With that in mind, there is a wide range of total maps played bet that you can use.

MAP WINNER – StarCraft is based on three things. Strategy, army, and resources. If you see that a player is doing good in all of these fields, why wouldn’t you back him to win the map?

Our Thoughts on Special Bets in Esports

Now that you’ve learned more about the best esports betting markets for the most popular games, use what you learned in this guide to your advantage. While doing the analysis of potential bets, don’t be afraid to use esports special bets as they’ll for sure come in handy.

Most of these bets are labeled as coin flips(1.90 – 1.90 odds), which means that research is crucial and it can point you in the right direction. If you’re not in it to profit, betting on various things in esports is fun and it offers more excitement than the usual match-winner bet.


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Three best sites for gambling on esports are,, and Betway.

Round handicap in esports means that one team is starting with the advantage(+ handicap), while the other is starting with the disadvantage(- handicap). The team with the + handicap is in the lead before the match starts(for example: +4,5 means that the team is 4 rounds ahead already). On the other hand, a team with the - handicap(example -4,5) needs to win with at least 5 rounds difference.

The most popular betting markets for CS:GO are rounds handicap, correct score, total maps played(over/under), pistol round winner.

The most popular betting markets for Dota 2 are correct score, team to slay the first Roshan, team to destroy the first tower, first team to 5/10/15 kills, and team to draw first blood.

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