Interruptions, delays and cancellations have marred major sports leagues in 2020 thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Everything hit a standstill in March with no word on restarts for a prolonged period of time. Even when sports returned to their reduced schedules, there was a lot of uncertainty around the ability to conclude seasons and crown champions in a fair and satisfying way. 

Fortunately, for sports bettors, there’s another way to bet on your favorite sports, and it’s far more convenient than what we’re used to: online virtual sports. This new form of betting uses simulations, that look incredibly life-like, to run through a condensed version of a game that you get to bet on. It uses the same technology that simulated horse racing uses in land-based casinos, letting you sit back and relax as you watch a highlight reel to see how your selected team performed, and most importantly, whether or not they scored you a payout.

Many different sports are available in this format, with everything from ever popular soccer to the more obscure betting options, like camel racing. This virtual sports betting guide focuses on basketball exclusively. We’ll go over everything you need to know to get up and running with our virtual basketball league, so that you can stop waiting for the start of the next NBA season and play virtual sports now

How Virtual Basketball Works

Our online virtual basketball league is called the American Basketball League (ABL), and it comprises 16 teams that will look familiar to any basketball fan. Watch Los Angeles duke it out on the hardcourt against Miami for a little flashback of the NBA’s last championship; the graphics are so good that you may forget that you’re watching a simulation. The league’s format has each team play every other team twice in a season—once as the home team and once as the away team. When that’s done, the 30-week season wraps up and another one begins. Just hop on and hop off whenever you want a quick basketball betting experience.

When you open the Virtual Basketball Betting page, a live window will be at the centre of the screen showing highlight reels for one of two games taking place simultaneously. You’ll quickly see which week in the season the league is currently in, and you can look three weeks ahead in the schedule for upcoming matchups and odds. Buttons beneath the window make it possible to toggle back and forth between the two games running simultaneously. You’ll want to move quickly; each game simulation lasts just a minute-and-a-half, which is perfect for a quick thrill in our sportsbook.

Under the live screen, an odds board with all eight of the current week’s matchups is included, making it possible to quickly place a straight bet on the winner of the matchup. Open it up, however, and you have all of the following options:

Straight-Up Winner

Bet on which team you think will win the game for a payout that reflects the odds and probabilities. 

Half-Time Winner

Bet on the team you think will be winning at half-time. A betting option for “tied game” is available under the “X”. 

Two Over/Under Betting Options

Two separate totals are available for each game. A total is a bet on whether the total number of points scored in a game will exceed or go under a pre-determined number set by the oddsmaker.

Winning Margin

For a bigger payout than simply choosing the winner of a game, you can choose a win margin like 1-5, 6-11, 12-19, 19+ for either team to cover.  

Half-Time Winning Margin

The same win margins are available for half-time bets, plus there’s also a tie option. 

Team Specific Over-Under Totals 

Bet over or under a total for a specific team instead of both teams’ combined scores.

Virtual Basketball Odds and How they Work 

The odds attached to each team on the board are designed to look like American odds for moneyline betting; for the most part, you’ll see a favorite with negative odds and an underdog with positive odds, but they don’t pay out the same way traditional moneyline bets pay out on sports games. Instead, the odds are converted to decimal odds, and your stake is multiplied by the decimal odds to determine your payout. For example, if you took a team with +108 odds for a single bet, the odds would be converted to 2.08 decimal odds. If you staked $2 on the game, you’d win $4.16 (2.08X2.00). Pull up an odds converter to see the change first hand. There is some variance when it comes to the type of bet you make (i.e. single vs system vs combi), which we break down below after explaining the “min” “max” sections on the bet slip.

On the bet slip, there are min and max sections for odds and potential payouts. The smallest odds in your picks are considered the “min” and the biggest ones are considered the “max”. The smallest potential win you can get would be a payout for the pick with the smallest odds, while the biggest potential win you can get would be payouts for all of your picks, which you’ll see in the Pot. MAX Win row.

Single Bets

A single bet is a bet on an individual game; you can do this by simply adding one pick to your bet slip from the main odds board. The payout formula discussed above applies to single bets, and the odds listed in the min and max columns on your bet slip will be identical for single bets, as there is just one possible payout should the bet win.

Combi Bets

The Combi option is available when you make at least two betting selections on your slip. You’ll notice that the smaller odds are converted to decimal and listed under the “min” column, and the bigger odds are converted to decimal and listed under the “max” column. The Potential MIN win lists the payout for winning the bet with the smaller odds only, while the Potential MAX win lists the payout for winning both of your bets; it’s simply the sum of both payouts, with both payouts determined by following the same formula listed above. 

For example, if your two picks come with +253 and +195 odds, they get converted to 3.53 and 2.95 decimal odds. The smaller odds (2.95) would award a potential minimum win of $5.90 on a $2 bet. If you won both $2 bets, you’d get $12.96—the potential maximum win.

System Bets

System bets require a minimum of three picks on separate games. This bet gives you an opportunity to win a payout if a minimum number of betting combinations comes through on your bet slip. It could be two of three or three of four for example. The more combinations that come through, the bigger the payout will be, but you’ll need to determine how many combinations you’re banking for when placing your wager. You’ll be able to see the minimum and maximum odds for each combination on the System tab of your bet slip, making it easy to pick the one that appeals most to you.  

Virtual Basketball Tips

The best way to familiarize yourself with these bets is to start clicking odds on the Virtual Basketball betting page to see how they appear on the bet slip. Toggle between the tabs for Single and System bets to get an idea of how they compare. And vary your picks between underdogs and favourites to see how it affects the size of potential payouts. The more you play, the better you’ll understand the mechanics of virtual basketball betting.

But before actually placing bets, you’ll want to do some research on the teams in the league. As the bettor, you get access to a Statistics tab that has the current standings plus relevant data for team performances. Win-loss records, win percentages, home and away records, last-10-game records and more can be accessed in that tab, so that you can make sound betting decisions before tip-off. The algorithms that determine a game result incorporate this data into the calculations, making it a valuable betting tool.

In addition to the Statistics tab, you’ll also have a Results tab that lets you look back to see the scores and end results of games in any given week. This can be especially useful for over/under betting as you can see the total scores combined of both teams in a game. Incorporate this information into your betting decisions, and you’ll be giving yourself the best shot possible at winning a payout far faster than you can with traditional NBA betting. For more information on virtual sports betting, see our Help section and don’t be shy about calling into our customer service team whenever questions arise.