CSGO Betting – Best Sites And Strategy

Esports betting has taken the world by storm. This is especially the case with CSGO betting and other gaming titles that attract mainstream attention. Their fast-paced, often team-based gameplay is analogous to sports in many ways, and CSGO betting has become an exciting way to spice up your tournament experience and potentially pocket a bit of money as well. Our expert guides are perfect for every experience level.

Betting companies are increasingly interested in offering odds for CSGO tournaments and are also sponsoring teams – a clear sign that betting on CSGO is here to stay. With all this interest around eSports and CSGO, you should at least be willing to learn and bet on it!

There’s no better way to enter into the eSports betting scene than betting on CSGO, it’s easy, fast and filled with pure entertainment. And with our guides and expert writers having your back at every step of the way, you are sure to earn more than a few dollars in your betting career.

Best Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) Betting Sites 2019

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Types of CSGO betting

There are several eSports games to bet on, but getting into Counter Strike can be a bit of a challenge. This is due to the different CSGO betting types that were popularized over the years. While we’ve now reached a point where many traditional bookmakers offer CSGO eSports betting, some other, less desirable alternatives were also developed in the intervening period.

CSGO Esports Betting – Our recommendation

CSGO Esports BettingFor our money, the choice is a no-brainer: eSports CSGO betting. Skins betting is an unregulated and unsafe alternative to real money bets and is therefore a non-starter for us. While fantasy eSports betting can be a legitimate option – though that isn’t always the case in the esport scene – it just doesn’t deliver the same kind of thrill.

Betting on CSGO results makes it more exciting to watch tournaments and provides you with a much better opportunity to gain tangible winnings. It also requires more skill than spinning a roulette wheel or identifying well-performing individuals in a team game, so it makes a lot of sense to invest real money in CSGO betting.

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Skins Betting – Entirely Luck Based

CSGO Skins BettingThe inclusion of skins – virtual cosmetic items – in CSGO played a large part in increasing the game’s popularity with the arrival of 2013’s The Arms Deal update. With Steam’s built-in marketplace, players could buy and sell these colorful weapons, and it didn’t take long for third-party platforms to try and take advantage of the fact that these digital items were given monetary value.

Whether Valve purposefully looked the other way about skin gambling or held their fire until they were sure they could shut most of it down remains a mystery to this day – what we do know for sure is that many skin betting sites were established in that period.

The problem with using skins as a currency for betting is that it runs against Steam’s terms of service to operate any site that offers such an opportunity. Needless to say, this means that the sites operating skin betting services are not safe for you to use and there’s no guarantee you can get your money back.

Companies engaged in practices like these are regularly sent cease and desist letters by Valve nowadays for a reason. Skin betting also doesn’t offer anything that legitimate eSports betting options don’t as well, making it even worse of an idea to take an unnecessary risk on them.

Worse yet, skin betting sites also tend to offer jackpot games, which should tell you all about their business model. These are the digital equivalent of buying a lottery ticket with a similarly poor return on your investment.

Fantasy betting – No Skill Required

CSGO Fantasy BettingFantasy eSports betting is a different beast, and while it has its pros, it doesn’t compare with the real deal. Most of the sites that offer fantasy eSports revolve around a salary cap system where you need to establish a fake team of pro players by spending a given amount of virtual money to buy them.

If they do well, you gain points, and with bettors partaking in different leagues, the one with the most points at the end of the “season” wins the prizes. Sadly the prizes are CSGO skins, with all the legal and regulatory complications they imply.

CSGO Esports Betting Guide And Tips

It can be tricky to navigate all the options available to you in the world of CSGO betting. Here are a few things you need to pay attention to when you’re doing your research that will increase your chances of winning. Take also into account the list of the overall best betting sites around when finding your way around the betting world.

Betting Tip #1Understand The CSGO Tournament Format

The larger the sample size, the less likely it is that an upset will occur. Best-of-one matches give a much better chance to the underdogs than a best-of-three does, simply because it’s easier to steer the series to a map the opponent is less comfortable on and a slow start is much tougher to recover from. There’s a reason why there are a lot more unexpected results in CSGO when there is only one map to play. Is the tournament double-elimination or single-elimination? Perhaps a Swiss format? Are the rounds seeded? These are all factors to be considered.

Betting Tip #2Map Selection Matters

The different teams specialize on different maps and an incorrect veto decision can massively swing the odds in favor of one side. This is definitely worth paying close attention to: every competitive side tries to establish a “home map” where they are incredibly tough to beat and treat one as their permaban.

Knowing how different teams’ map pools line up to each other is a very important aspect of figuring out who to bet on. This is something analysts spend a lot of time discussing on the broadcasts, so paying attention to the talking heads between games can also provide you with useful information.

Betting Tip #3Be Careful With Domestic Rivalries

The rankings and the form book tend to go out of the window somewhat when strong teams of the same nation meet up in a tournament. Not only is the domestic number one a clear target to anyone else in the country, adding extra motivation to take them down, there’s usually a disparity in the “demoes” available to watch.

The underdog usually has more material to use to prepare for the game in question and they have an easier time springing surprises against their big-name opponent. If you’re looking for value bets, potential domestic upsets can be a good place to look as long as you have a very good understanding of the rivalry.

Betting Tip #4CT And T Sides Are Very Different

The asymmetry between the foes in CSGO is part of what makes it such an exciting game to watch. It’s more than just a gameplay quirk: some maps are designed in a way that directly favors one over the other for specific reasons. Just because on team did well on one side of one map, don’t bet the house on them winning the entire series. Sometimes that’s just par for the course or simply their specialty.

Strong individual players tend to do better on the Terrorist side where they can create something out of nothing by themselves – cohesion, teamwork, good grenade usage, and communication are the CTs’ bread and butter.

If one of the players happen to be below par due to having a bad day or just a clear difference in class, the Terrorists’ side will try to identify which bombsite he’s on and abuse that position – this can especially play a part when a team is forced to field a stand-in – usually their coach – due to illness, visa issues or some other reason.

Betting Tip #5Form Is Temporary, Class Is Permanent

It may sound like a cliché, but there’s a reason why you usually see the same teams at the business end of tournaments year after year. There are always the occasional blips or the tailing off of a former superstar’s career, but most of the top orgs and players proved remarkably resilient over the course of the last few years in CSGO. That hot team that took a few impressive scalps? May not be the safest of bets next time they play each other.

Similarly, strong teams tend to rebound quite impressively from disappointing performances. Fnatic shocked the world by going 0-3 in the Swiss stage of StarSeries i-League Season 4 before going on to win the two next premiere tournaments in a row. Take your time before boarding the hype train in CSGO – it takes time for teams to prove themselves in this environment.

Betting Tip #6CSGO Is A Mental Game

You’d be surprised at the resilience required to keep fighting after a demoralizing opening period or an upset defeat. Some teams tend to struggle more with this than others – and having the experience on big stages certainly factors into this aspect of the game as well. Some sides are notorious for their incredible comebacks while others have a tendency to crumble under pressure.

Certain players are well-known for their capability to tilt off the face of the planet. These factors can play a bigger role in the middle of the tournament than the sheer firepower of the two sides – make sure to educate yourself about the players’ personalities as well!

Betting Tip #7There Are No Transfer Windows

The focus on third-party tournaments and the fragmented nature of the scene means that roster changes can occur at any time, though they’re generally more likely to take place after big events. Most organizers – including the Valve-sponsored majors’ rulebook – stipulate that you need to maintain a plurality of qualified players (meaning three out of five) to be considered the “same” side.

This can tell you a lot about a team’s internal structure by itself: more than two changes made means they are going to completely discard everything that came before and start all over again.

This also means that substitutes and extra players are not commonplace in CSGO, and a loss of a player to illness or a family emergency has a massive detrimental effect on a side’s potential. While it’s not impossible to make a deep run or win an event with a stand-in, it is incredibly unlikely and you should adjust accordingly.

Best Betting Sites For CSGO

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Top CSGO Tournaments To Bet On

The Valve-sponsored majors

Valve Sponsored CSGO EventsWhile CSGO doesn’t have its own International and mostly relies on a very healthy third-party tournament circuit, the crown jewels on the calendar are still the majors sponsored by the developers. These events feature the best teams from all over the world in a multi-stage format, with successful squads from the previous iteration getting an automatic re-invite and the rest of the spots distributed via a grueling qualification system.

The tournaments’ rules are regularly changed so their prestige tends to ebb and flow, but no team would ever willingly skip what is undoubtedly the most important tournament in the scene and the one everybody wants to win. Valve always selects one of the established third-party organizers to host these events, scheduling either two or three of them in a calendar year.

The Intel Grand Slam tournaments (ESL, DreamHack)

Intel Grand Slam CSGO TournamentsA million-dollar bonus tends to get people to pay attention, and a recent technology deal struck between Intel and ESL established a unique challenge for a specific set of tournaments: the DreamHack- and ESL-branded events were already prestigious enough, but now you’re rewarded with a seven-figure sum as a bonus if you manage to win four out of ten over the course a given period.

Some, like ESL One Cologne, have achieved legendary status on their own and were occasionally co-opted as majors, making these definitely worth watching. The prestige of the organizers allows them to secure top broadcasting talent, guaranteeing a great viewing experience.

BLAST Pro series

Blast Pro Series CSGO TournamentA relatively new addition to the tournament circuit, this ambitious initiative uses its own format all around the world in a short but sweet round-robin event with a best-of-three grand final and a special showmatch at the end of a pack weekend.

While the variance here is slightly higher than at the previously mentioned tournaments, the large prize pool means they still tend to attract fairly strong sides that take the event seriously. While there are definitely more upsets here than at the ones we’ve discussed above, the eventual winner always ended up being a worthy one so far.

CSGO Basics – Gameplay Mechanics Of Counter Strike

Main Objective Of CSGO – First Person Shooter

CSGO First Person ShooterEvery game of Counter-Strike consists of two fifteen-round halves where one team plays as the Counter-Terrorists and the other as the Terrorists before swapping sides at half-time. Your goal is to win sixteen rounds overall throughout the two halves.

Each round revolves around the same core gameplay challenge: the goal of the Terrorist side is to plant a bomb at one of the two designated sites, then to protect it until it explodes. If the bomb explodes or they eliminate all CTs, they win the round.

Conversely, the goal of the Counter-Terrorists is to stop the bomb from going off. They can stop the Terrorists planting it outright by either killing them all or running down the clock (one round lasts 1 minute and 55 seconds, not counting the 40-second timer that starts the moment the bomb is planted). Failing that, they can defuse it, which normally takes ten seconds – five if you’ve purchased a defuse kit. This almost always requires them to forcefully “retake” the lost bombsite and kill all terrorists present.

You can see why the core gameplay is so engaging: not only is it easy to understand, the teams’ roles also dynamically change from attack to defense over the course of a single round. Beyond the great mechanical skill required, CSGO is also a very strategic game. Since gunfights only last a few moments, positioning is of pivotal importance. Not only that, but a complicated economy system also adds a lot of depth to the gameplay.

CSGO Money Management – The Economy

CSGO Economy - BigMoney management is one of the most important aspects of CSGO. If you survive a round, you get to carry your equipment over to the next one – otherwise, you only start with a pistol and are required to spend money on whatever you’d like to fight with.

There’s also a disparity in finances depending on how the previous round has ended: winning nets you 3000+ dollars while a lost round is only rewarded by 1400 under normal circumstances. If you lose multiple rounds in a row, a consecutive loss bonus kicks in, slowly bumping up your reward but never reaching the point where it’s “worth” more than the win.

This creates many crucial decision points over the course of a CSGO match. If the terrorists managed to plant the bomb and have an extra player left, is it worth trying to go in for the kill as the CTs and try to get the defuse or should you hold on to your guns and carry them over to the next engagement?

Suppose you’ve lost one round and now you don’t have enough money to get proper equipment: do you just go with the pistols to save up for the subsequent one (often referred to as an “eco” round) or spend it all and go for broke with inferior weaponry (a “force-buy”)? Decisions like these can make the game exciting.

CSGO In-Game Roles

CSGO In Game RolesThough there are no heroes or character selection options in CSGO and the arsenal available to players is almost identical, there are still clearly identifiable player roles in the game that are important to understand from a viewer perspective.

The entry fragger is the first one in (and often the last one out) in every engagement, tasked with making something out of nothing upon encountering enemy territory. Aided by the support players, they need to win the initial engagement to either open up a bomb site or shut down an impending assault.

The first kill is incredibly important in a CSGO round, and the men with the fastest reflexes and the greatest accuracy are the ones tasked with getting it – the supports are there to mop up the rest, dish out the grenades and trade the kills if things go wrong.

While players generally don’t specialize for individual guns, the role of the AWPer is the sole exception. The giant green sniper rifle is incredibly expensive (4750$) but guarantees a one-hit kill even against armored opponents if you hit them anywhere but the leg. Many economy-related decisions in CSGO revolve around supplying the AWPer with the signature gun and saving up for enough money to keep him in the fight.

Finally, the in-game leader is the strategic mind behind the operation: there’s always a general who directs the troops in the battle. It’s his responsibility to decide on the map vetoes, the specific strategies before and during a round, adapting to the emerging situations on the fly. Generally, this means they’re somewhat less capable in gunfights than their teammates – another imbalance to consider. It’s a fairly tough and thankless task, but one that cannot be ignored if you want to be a successful CSGO squad.

Differences With Professional Matches

CSGO Difference With Professional MatchesWhile the core gameplay experience is almost identical for casual players as we see it on the biggest stage, there are a few alterations to consider. In most cases, 15-15 draws are not allowed, and the game continues with a best-of-six overtime where the teams begin with more money than usual, swapping sides after three rounds. If the scores remain even, another round of overtime occurs.

The more prestigious tournaments also feature three-map matches (and sometimes best-of-five finals) between teams and a veto process to determine which ones out of the seven competitively available creations at a given time will the game be played on. This can be a source of great advantage to one of the teams if they can outfox their rivals in the pick-and-choose phase – and something to keep an eye out on as a bettor.

The Best CSGO Content Creators To Follow

If you are new to Counter-Strike, perhaps the best resource available to you, if you want to understand the basics of the game, is TheWarOwl’s YouTube channel. His Matchmaking Academy series does an excellent job highlighting the foundations required for a successful player and he posts useful if infrequent analysis of the different CSGO updates as well.

Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert

Jordan n0thing GilbertIf you’d like to understand the game on a deeper level, the explanations and training videos of Jordan “n0thing” Gilbert are a must-watch. Formerly of compLexity and Cloud9, currently in a sort of professional limbo, he’s done a great job cultivating his personal brand as a talented player that can break down the nitty-gritty of top-tier play in a way that mere mortals can understand it all, it’s quite impressive, to say the least.

Similarly, Sean Gares, his former teammate also has a unique and informative perspective as a former IGL on the proceedings of high-level Counter-Strike. No wonder both are regulars on analysis desks for the various tournament broadcasts.

Jarek “DeKay” Lewis

Jarek DeKay LewisIf you want to learn of transfer news, Jarek “DeKay” Lewis’ columns are your best bet, and you can’t go wrong with Duncan “Thorin” Shields and Richard Lewis if you’re looking for insightful (and spicy) commentary on the scene’s latest happenings.

Following the entirety of the CSGO circuit can be an overwhelming task sometimes, but their By The Numbers podcast is an excellent and entertaining shortcut to get back up to speed on all things Counter-Strike.

CSGO Has Several Great Twitch Streamers

CSGO Twitch StreamersWhile CSGO is surprisingly brittle in terms of Twitch viewership when compared to other eSports – strictly where non-tournament broadcasts are concerned –, there are a few names worth paying attention to if you’d like to further educate yourself about the game by watching live broadcasts. Seek out GODDaZeD, shroud, fREAKAZOiD – or, you know, maybe s1mple, the best individual player of the world.

CSGO Esports Betting FAQ

How To Start Betting On CSGO?

Choose a CSGO betting site (you can see our recommendations below), sign up for free and make a deposit. From then on, navigate to the relevant eSports section on the site and search for the CSGO games you’d be interested in betting on.

What Are The Best CSGO Betting Sites?

While many bookmakers offer CSGO odds and a lot of CSGO betting sites are still up, we recommend MyBookie and BetOnline. Their record in the industry and many betting offers, make them a safe option for new bettors. Our reviews gave MyBookie and BetOnline the highest points of the whole site.

How To Make Money Betting On CSGO?

You’ve already made the first step! Knowing more than the bookmakers is important to win at CSGO betting, and while that may sound like a daunting task, this is not like a visit to a casino where you’re guaranteed to lose money in the long run.

Pay attention to the tournaments, read about what’s going on in the scene, who’s on a high and who’s on a low: it’s possible to gain edges just by being up-to-date on the CSGO world. Comparing odds offered on different sites is also a nice way to gain an edge.

Is There Cheating In CSGO?

Every bettor’s nightmare is the potential of match-fixing in a game, and Counter-Strike’s skin betting economy was especially a source for concern in that regard, but the top level of the game has not seen a major scandal since 2014. Still, gambling regulation-related bans still occur at the lower levels of competition and are something to keep in mind when selecting which events to consider betting on.

Sam Lee

Sam is a soccer and games enthusiast with years of experience in the industry. His favorite games are DOTA 2 and Overwatch and the favorite soccer team is Juventus. Sam's work has been featured in PC Gamer and Football Times. You can find his content at our eSports Betting and Soccer Betting hubs.