eSport betting tips: Beat the odds

CS:GO Betting Guide

A complete guide on the best way to start CS:GO betting and build your inventory. We help you through from understanding odds to managing your first win.

Before you start CS:GO betting

Firstly, ask yourself…

  1. Do I love CS:GO?
  2. Can I afford to spend $X on betting?
  3. Can I afford to lose $X on betting?

If the answer to any of those is NO, then save yourself the tears and stop before you start.

If you answered YES to all, take a look at the CS:GO betting guide we recommend below.

Where to bet

Betting websites take a variety of forms and all offer a slightly different service There is a huge variety of betting sites which allow you to use real money or other options such as bitskins and the list is growing all the time. They all offer slightly different odds meaning you can maximise your winnings if you’re comparing a few different sites. Check the site betcsgo.org for a comprehensive list of sites.

How much to start betting with?

Our CS:GO betting guide recommends starting out with an overall inventory size, this is the amount you’re willing to lose if it all goes wrong. By fixing this amount in your mind, you’ll get a clear marker of when to stop. For some this is $100, for others $5. Whatever the amount, make sure you’re comfortable with it, and if you lose everything. Force yourself to take at least a week off before starting up again.

Placing your bets, how to pick your winner

Before you begin looking at odds, decide for yourself who you think will win the match between the two teams.

Do your own research, rely on trustworthy a CS:GO betting guide. The more you know the higher your chances of making a successful bet:

  • Look at past match results between these two teams
    If possible see if any players had huge performances which caused them to win, in a close series perhaps a team won a lot of clutches/both pistol rounds. Maybe different rosters played, has the roster improved/gotten worse since the swap.
  • Check the maps
    Check the team’s success on maps are good at. Try to plan out the veto process in your head to see what the map(s) might come to. This could decide the series and give you a good idea on who will win the series.
  • Check the event format
    • ‘Best of 1’ Has a dramatically increased chance of an unexpected result.
    • ‘Best of 2’ the favourite should be a more reliable bet, however, a draw is possible
    • ‘Best of 3’ in most cases the favourite should be able to recover but upsets are always possible
    • ‘Best of 5’ a true test for any team to be consistent across multiple maps. The best teams should win this.
  • Is the lineup consistent?
    Look to see if the lineup is consistent or does the team win with certain players but not others. See if there are any standins for the match.
  • Have the teams traveled far?
    Check to see if the sides have recently travelled to/from a LAN event, as jet lag or long trips can affect a player’s performance.
  • Check individual players practice times
    Look at the player’s steam accounts for the hours played on CSGO the past two weeks. This is a pretty clear indicator of how much work they are putting in. You should be seeing above 40 hours for the past two weeks, anything below is pretty low for a professional player and they could be rusty.
  • Look for late developments
    Check the players’ social media accounts. Anger or sickness prior to a match is a good sign they’re not going to play on top form.
  • Past match performances
    If you have time, watch the team’s recent matches, see how they play and look for weaknesses or strengths. Make sure to note the teams form to see if they are currently slumping, or perhaps on a hot streak of form.
  • Use predictor information
    Apart from relying on our CS:GO betting guide, look at what the predictors are saying about the match. They will have all of this work done and have a good estimation of how the match should turn out. They’ll also recommend the size of the bet to place and give a good idea at the amount of risk associated with this.
  • How is the community betting?
    Look at the bets the community tipsters are placing. Look at the highest ranked tipsters and see which way they’re betting.
  • Talk to the betting community
    Use the match chat to see if there’s any other final information you might be missing
  • When using other, unproven information, take it in with a pinch of salt.
    Individuals at times may attempt to sway users into making the bad bet in an attempt to sway the odds and return a greater profit for themselves.  The individual(s) may over exaggerate/Makeup false information so make sure you are a) Listening to reliable sources and b) Double checking any information you receive.
  • Be careful of form
    Seeing the form a team is currently is experiencing is great and should give you a general idea for the match, however, do not fall into the trap that form = everything. Often times a team may be struggling, or doing really poorly, however that does not mean that it will continue, that spree may break at any time.

Always remember, the final decision to bet is yours.

Understanding Odds

Odds come in three different types. Decimal, Fractional or Implied Probability.

Decimal Odds e.g. 2.11

Decimal odds give you the easiest conversion from stake to return e.g.

Bet $5 with odds at 2.11

$5 x 2.11 = $10.55 return (including your original $5 stake)

Fractional Odds e.g. 2/1

Unless you’re into horse racing or the English, this shouldn’t come up.

Implied Probability e.g. 55%

This is a more readable figure of what odds say the chances of this bet occurring are. This can be highly inaccurate and is used more as a reference to help you calculate the risk in your own head.

To calculate a return on probability odds use the following:

Decimal odds = 100 / probability odds

E.g. 100 / 55 = 1.81

So a $5 stake would return $9.05 ($4.05 profit)

Betting stakes

At Tipify we follow a rough CS:GO betting guide for betting sizes tiny (aka ICB), small, medium and large. These relate to the stake of your bet relative to the size of your inventory.

Small = 1 – 5%
Medium = 6 – 10%
Large = 11 – 20%
Tiny (ICB) = <1%

This ensures that if your inventory shrinks or grows, your bets are offering the maximum return without risking everything.

If you’re only betting casually

As an extra precaution, you could use the same setup as above, except as your inventory grows, keep your stakes at fixed sizes. Your profits will be reduced but this drastically minimises the impact of a big loss.

Planning for success

Making a big win feels great, you’ll feel invincible (and very smug if it was an underdog). You’ll be tempted to throw that win straight back into more bets with a higher value. No matter how much you are winning, or losing, you should keep strict discipline on the bet sizing you are making. Bet sizing is one of the biggest reasons people go bankrupt, so make sure you are betting the appropriate amounts on each match.

Having a plan in place of how you’ll handle these wins ensures you think with a level head when it happens.

To build an inventory

Leave it in your inventory, readjust your stake sizes based on this new amount. Keep going on this basis and you’ll be betting with huge amounts.

To make money

With each big win, skim off a percentage (e.g. 10% – 30%) to withdraw, so even if you lost everything tomorrow, you’ve still got something in your pocket.

To make CS:GO more fun to watch

Do you really need to place a bigger bet next time? Return your initial stake to your inventory and sell the rest

All bettors have a different approach and you’ll need to find something specific for your style.

CS:GO Betting Tips

A collection of tips from our predictors.

Tip #1: Be patient

When you first start out you’ll be tempted to try to bet as frequently as possible, don’t. Wait for matches with good odds where you or the predictors know the teams. Never force yourself to bet, bet on matches that you are confident in. You may go days or weeks without placing a bet, you’re not in a rush, wait for bets you are comfortable and confident in and profit should follow.

Tip #2: Skipping a bet is always an option

If there’s any uncertainty, don’t place a bet. Save your skins for another day. There will be plenty of other matches that you can bet on.

Tip #3: The 'safe odds' zone

Betting is always risky, that’s unavoidable. But staying inside a ‘safe zone’ will help cover you off from some really silly bets. When starting out with a low inventory, large bets placed on matches with 80%+ odds aren’t going to return much in general (on lounge, even less due to the inconsistent returns) but you’re still risking a large amount of your inventory for very little.

Equally, odds below 30% sound very, very attractive with huge returns possible. But if you don’t know the teams or all the details, it’s very possible the team doesn’t stand any chance. If you think there might be a chance, reduce the size of the stake or consider an ICB.

Tip #4: NEVER go 'all in'

Always bet with a percentage of your inventory. Think, what happens if you lose an ‘All in’ bet, do you stop betting for the rest of your life, or just get your wallet out and go again? You may think there’s no risk, however there is always risk. If you’re placing a high bet, stick to an absolute maximum of 20% of your betting inventory.

Always leave enough to bet another day.

Tip #5: NEVER bet when angry or frustrated (ragebet)

If you’re feeling angry or frustrated, your judgement get’s very cloudy. You’ll make a stupid bet and lose. If you just lost a big bet or are on a losing streak, instead of trying to force a bet, you should take a step back, calm down and just take a break, come back refreshed with a fresh mindset.

Tip #6: Always do your research

Betting blind is a purely relying on luck, if the underdog odds are 30%, that definitely doesn’t mean the team has a 30% chance of winning. It just means 30% of the betting community chose that team. A late roster change could mean there’s zero chance for the team to win. Check in with our predictions to help give you some more background on the game.

Tip #7: Use the odds tracker

Use the lounge odds tracker to predict the final odds as the start of the match get’s closer. If the odds are increasing/decreasing for the team you intend to bet on the return may not outweigh the risk anymore. A huge significant switch of odds at the last moment may mean that something shady is going on, mostly in very low tier games, or a sudden announcement, E.g standin may have occurred.

Tip #8: Bet early

Bookies will put up their odds based on their own expectations, as the bets start coming in they'll tweak the odds to ensure it's still profitable for them. That early stage is key to getting an edge on the bookies.

Tip #9: Never chase back your losses

As soon as you feel like you have to bet again to recoup loses, you’ll feel compelled to make bigger bets with bigger risks. This often starts an endless cycle driving your losses further and further. Instead, after a big loss, take a day off from betting (or a week if was really big). .Keep to the proper bet sizing based on the risk of the match no matter what. You are not in a race to win it back, just take it easy.

Tip #10: Gambling odds do not match a team’s chance of winning

Do not blindly follow betting site odds and think that they are correct to the true odds. If a betting site has ‘Team A’ as a heavy favorite, it does not always mean that it’s an easy win for ‘Team A’.

Tip #11: Chain logic doesn’t work

SK beat Na’Vi… Na’Vi beat E-Frag. That means SK can beat E-Frag now, right? No.

There are many factors which contribute to the team winning a match, these factors such as player performance, map selection, strategy and tactics which may not apply to other teams.

Websites For Research

HLTV

The elephant in the room obviously. HLTV is the goto research website for most people. It hosts team lineups, past results, news, team statistics and many more things. If you are into betting, this will probably become your daily goto checkup.

CSGONuts

Just like HLTV, CSGONuts provides past results of teams, sometimes with more past results as HLTV does not add certain leagues, so it is always good to check up here too, or use this as your go-to “Result Checkup website”

Reddit.com/R/CSGOBetting

Now, this is a double-edged sword one. You can gather information about events that are happening and read people’s opinions in the comments, however, more notoriously known for its match threads. Here you can read people’s thoughts regarding most matches, however, be careful. As noted above, this is usually where the pesky ‘swayers’ hang out. They will try and trick innocent individuals into making a bad bet to achieve higher odds for themselves on matches, in result basically earning more money. Take everything you see here with a pinch of salt, and make sure to double check any info you intake. As time goes on you will perhaps recognize certain individuals who may be either harmful or useful. A good place to get a few different opinions.

League Website e.g. ESEA / CEVO / FaceIT

A good place to stop by, especially for lower-tier games as rosters may be unclear, or the match may not be listed elsewhere. ESEA does a good job keeping their website in top shape and also shows scrims of teams. Whilst scrims aren’t something that should decide your bet, it’s a good thing to have in mind, for example, if they did well versus a higher tier team.

Tipify

Obviously, there’s us. We pride ourselves in our analysis and our analysts will make sure to supply you with as much information that is available and guide you in the right direction. Our analysts are proven to be methodical, professional and experienced. We can’t recommend you follow predictions blindly, always do your own research and make your own decision how to bet, it’s your money.

Wiki.teamliquid

“A personal favorite that I have started using a lot recently” – Kristyboi.

If you simply visit the website, you will immediately see how this is an extremely useful website. It has almost everything in one place, the one thing I like in particular is the easy access to league standings, league prize pools and what not. Gives player transfers and what not, overall really useful and would definitely recommend this.

Others

Not going to give full details on the following, however, feel free to check them out as they are all pretty useful in their own ways. 99Damage.de, stats.csgopher.com, Gosugamers.net, Statspy.us

Glossary

ICB = Inventory Cleaning Bet

This is an old term from skin betting, where you’d clean out some skins you really don’t want. Use an ICB in cases where it’s too risky to place anything valuable down, but the odds are so good that even a 40 cent stake could return something big. This doesn’t really apply to real money betting (as all money is good money), so just use this as a reference to place a really small insignificant bet, assume you’ll lose it, but, an ICB is only used where the odds are really high, so on the off chance it does come in, you’ll win a nice chunk in return.

The Favourite

The team with the best odds

Underdog

The team with the lowest odds

“Throw”

A clear favourite loses the match resulting in a big payout to any users who put bets on the underdog.

A malicious throw occurs when the odds drastically change in the final minutes before betting closes. This is an indication that a large number of bets were switched last minute. In the past, this has been related to a tipoff from the favourite in order to make profit. This has become less frequent as the sport becomes more mainstream and many recent throws have resulted in legal action or lifetime bans for players.

“Max Bet”

Most betting platforms for skins have a limited number of slots to place items on a bet. With a “Max Bet” you place the highest amount allowed on the specific match/website. This is a very high-risk tactic to maximise the return on a near-certain match. We don’t recommend this approach

“All In”

Placing all of your inventory on a single bet. This is a very high-risk tactic to maximise the return on a near-certain match. This is a terrible idea.

Fixed Odds

Once you place your bet, the odds stay at this value.

Stake

This is the amount of money you’re going to place on your bet.

Return

The amount of money you get back when you win a bet. This includes your initial stake.

Profit

This is the money you actually gained from your bet

Profit = Return – Stake

E.g. a $5 bet at 1.5 = $7.50 return ($2.50 profit)

Sway

When somebody attempts to trick individuals into making a bad bet by providing false or heavily exaggerated information in an attempt to gain from it.