How big of a betting bonus can I get?
When you bet with BTC at a sportsbook, they are going to offer you the option of taking a bonus. The bonuses are typically the size of your deposit.
Bonuses are the blessing and the curse of online betting, and it’s no different if you’re betting with bitcoin, litecoin or fiat-money.
They are a blessing in the sense that they, for real, are free money. Most betting sites offer you a 100% bonus when you make your first deposit. Note that sometimes these offers are called free bets, while in reality they almost always are deposit bonuses.
The bonuses can be a curse if you don’t pay attention to their terms and conditions. Most of the time the terms state that you need to bet your bonus + deposit amount 3-5 times with specific odds before you can cash out. Typically you need to bet your deposit + bonus 4 times with odds of 1.5 before you can cash out.
Most good sites, like Playamo straight up offer you the option to either accept or declince the deposit bonus.
If you want to get a bonus or not is up to you and depends on what your plan is. If you’re at the betting site to wager on a single match, it doesn’t make much sense to get the bonus. On the other hand, if you are at the site to gamble for a longer time, doubling your bitcoins is a good idea.
Personally, I don’t take the bonus if I’m betting on something like the UFC. I’m betting on one or two matches, meaning that the playthrough rules would be a pain in the butt. On the other hand, when I’m betting on something like the World Cup or Ice-Hockey World Championship, I always take the bonus. I know I’m not stopping before the tournament is over, so might aswell get the extra cash as the playthrough requirement is not going to be a problem in this case.
One last bonus tip. If you’re a serious gambler and want a big betting bonus, you’re best option is Cloud Bet. It doesn’t offer free bets. Instead, it’s a package of massive deposit bonuses.
Can I bet anonymously?
Yes you can. Depending on the BTC-betting site, the personal information you need to supply is either an email address or nothing.
Bitcoin is the perfect currency for anonymous sports betting. If you funded your betting account with a debit or a credit card, the betting site would need to check your personal information to prevent fraudulent deposits. With bitcoin no ID checks are necessary.
Most betting sites require exactly two bits of information to get you started: your birthday and email address.
The birthday info is only to “prove” that you’re 18 years or older. You can, in fact, enter any date you’d like to. Most cryptocurrency-players are quite serious about their privacy, so almost nobody uses their actual birthday.
An email address is sometimes required together with a password. Requiring an email address is not an attempt to collect any personal information. It simply makes it easier to play at the same betting site using multiple devices (computer, phone, tablet), as the site recognizes you by your email.
Do individual bets show up on blockchain?
No. Your deposit to the betting site and your withdrawal do, but individual bets don’t.
When it comes to individual bets, your gambling history is private and secure. Your deposits to a betting site and your cash out will show up on the blockchain, but your bets don’t.
Betting sites operate similarly to brick-and-mortar casinos. When you go to a real-life casino, you exchange your money for the casino’s money (chips). When you finish gambling, you then exchange your chips back to cash.
When you bet online at a Bitcoin-accepting gambling site, the site takes your deposit. It then keeps track of all your bets, win or lose. When you wish to cash out your funds, the site figures out how much it owes you. It then adds that many coins to your Bitcoin wallet.
Which betting games can I play?
You can bet on all the popular markets: 1X2, goal totals, halftime/fulltime, draw-no-bet, Asian handicap, correct score and much more.
While bitcoin betting is still quite new, it doesn’t affect the matches and markets you can bet on. In fact, you have the same markets available for betting as a punter playing in a fiat currency.
The reason for the surprisingly good selection this is that most betting sites buy their odds from an outside odds provider. When a Bitcoin-based gambling operator wants to add sports betting to their offering, they simply buy the whole solution from a company that’s been calculating odds for decades. These companies cover every single sport on earth, thus giving you a practically endless selection of matches, markets, and odds.
Is there a BTC-based betting exchange (betting platform)?
Yes. There are a couple of betting exchanges where you can trade in btc. However, they are not as large or established as traditional betting exchanges.
While you and I think of bitcoin as a major currency, gambling regulators in charge of the rules and regulations governing the biggest betting sites sadly do not. In practice this means that you can’t deposit BTC at major exchanges like Smarkets or Betfair.
While always improving, the bitcoin operations are still far behind the major sports betting exchanges both in the number of players and market liquidity. Before both of these figures improve, it’s difficult to bet at a BTC betting-exchange.
Can I bet on eSports like LoL, Dota or CSGO?
Oh yes you can. Betting on eSports is super popular among BTC bettors. You can bet on all the top games, including League of Legends, Counter Strike: Go and others.
Bitcoin is the currency of choice for eSports fans. Bitcoin’s popularity among the gaming crowd means that at bitcoin-accepting betting sites you can bet on all the biggest games and leagues.
The big-3 of eSports betting are of course LoL (League of Legends), CSGO (Counter Strike: Go) and DotA 2 (Defence of the Ancients). When it comes to these games, all the even remotely important events are available for betting.
At the biggest events (ESL Pro League, Asia Championships, etc) even in-play betting is available. You can watch the match unfold and bet based on what you think is going to happen next.
What Are Some Good BTC Betting Forums?
There are many sites you can discuss BTC gambling and betting, but the best one is Reddit (really). Who would’ve known that Reddit is actually useful for more than bizarre political rants or harassing people?
Reddit has an active, mostly civilized discussion on BTC gambling, which you can find here.
Is BTC sports betting legal?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is it depends on many factors, including where you are physically.
Ever since from the mid-1990s, online gambling regulations have tried to answer a seemingly simple question: If a person from country X bets on a website at country Y did the wager happen in country X or Y? Now in 2018 nobody still really knows.
What makes this issue even more complicated is that most of the time gambling laws have no mention of Bitcoin. Bitcoins are treated in an ambiguous manner, sometimes on purpose, by many countries and jurisdictions making the whole issue even more complicated.
The result is that most bitcoin gamblers decide to either ignore the whole mess or consider it somebody else’s problem.
The BTC-accepting gambling operators get around the issue by getting a remote-gambling license from one of the jurisdictions that have declared sports betting and betting with bitcoins 100% legal. These jurisdictions include Curacao, Anguilla, and other big-time igaming jurisdictions.
Where can I bet on football / basketball / ice hockey / other popular sports?
Absolute anywhere. Pick any gambling site and football (“soccer”) and other big sports are always available.
When it comes to team sports, you don’t need to pick a betting site based on whether the sport is available for betting or not.
Leagues like Premier League, Primera Liga, Champions League, NFL, NBA, NHL are a sports bettor’s bread and butter. You’ll always find a full selection of matches for these sports at every single bitcoin-accepting sportsbook.
These popular sports always come with a huge number of markets (things to bet on). Apart from picking win, lose, or draw, you can also bet on the result, goal scorers, goal scoring times and up to 100 other things.
Are there any good BTC-betting specific strategy tips & things?
There’s one fantastic option: betting on the less-popular team of an Asian handicap bet.
Asian handicap is a form of betting where one team (usually European football… some call it soccer, not me) gets a handicap that ends in half a goal. So, for example, a team might get a handicap of +1.5 goals.
The idea behind handicapping in this manner is that it removes the chance of a draw. Let’s say in a ManU – Liverpool match, Liverpool gets +0.5 and then the match ends 1-1. But when it comes to betting, Liverpool actually won 1.5 to 1.
As its name suggests, Asian handicap is highly popular in Asia, where Bitcoin continues to boom.
Where the strategy part comes into play is to know that Asian bettors tend to bet their favorite team instead of carefully analyzing the odds. Now think of what this means from the sports books’ point of view: when a popular Premier League team plays, they get a huge influx of wagers for the popular team, such as Liverpool. Getting big bets on just one side of the match is highly risky for the sportsbook, so they manage this risk by trying to get a lot of bets for the other team. And the way they achieve this is by offering overly good odds so that at least someone would bet on the less-popular team!
So that’s the tip: because of how the BTC-loving Asian betting community plays, it’s a good move to bet against popular teams on Asian handicap markets. In fact, it’s possible to make a modest profit with this strategy without knowing anything about Premier League football!
Oh, and there is one really weird thing about Asian bettors (for us at least): They bet a lot on even/odd scores on football. So, if a game ends 2-0, then the game ends at even number. If it’s 1-0, then it’s odd score, and the odd bettors win. That’s one of the biggest discrepancies between Asian, US and European bettors. US and European bettors hardly bet on even/odd at all, while in Asia it’s massively popular among (sometimes superstitious) bettors.
Where can I bet on horse racing?
Among BTC-punters, horse racing is a bit of a niche sport. You need to bet at one of the bigger sites for a good selection of races and markets.
When it comes to horse racing, bitcoin-punters are not your average folks. BTC-punters are more likely to put their money on the line on an esports bet than on horse racing.
However, at the bigger sites (see the list at the top of the page) you’ll find a decent selection of horse racing. The racing events mostly cover the big race days of the UK and Canada.
Where can I bet on UFC with Bitcoins?
You can on UFC bet at every bitcoin-accepting sportsbook. Smaller MMA-events, like Strikeforce, and boxing are available at the biggest sites.
UFC has for a long time been the smart bettor’s sport. Fighters’ skill differences are typically minuscule, while their popularity might differ enormously. Smart bettors can often take advantage of this by placing strategic bets on the less popular fighter with inflated odds.
Nowadays UFC is so popular, that there is no reason to pick a sportsbook based on if UFC betting is available or not – it is. Both UFC main events and Fight Nights are available at all betting sites. The biggest sites might have a few more ways to bet on each match, but that’s about it.
You’ll find bigger differences when it comes to smaller MMA organizations like Bellator, One FC, and Invicta. You can usually find these on the bigger sites (see the list at the top of the page). One FC matches are particularly available on websites with a lot of players from Asia, mostly from Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand where mixed martial arts are becoming increasingly popular.
Boxing is easy to bet on at BTC sportsbooks. All the major fights are available at all bookies, so no need to pick your betting site based on boxing.
Can I bet on politics / other “specials”
You can bet on politics at most sites. From time to time other “specials” are also available for betting, like the Eurovision song contest, IMDB ratings or even Game of Thrones plot twists.
A fun category at any gambling site is Specials, which includes all the non-sports bets you can make. These can be anything from election results to reality-tv results to even plot twists of upcoming tv-episodes. One new special at Betcoin’s sportsbook even gives you the opportunity to bet on film’s IMDB-rating!
Typically these bets are there to entertain us punters, which among other things means that you can’t usually wager much – maybe a couple of mBits and that’s it. US and UK elections are an exception to this, and you can put in serious money, as many did with Brexit and the US Elections (Clinton – Trump).
Interesting point about the Specials is that the bettors are often smarter than the bookies! Both Brexit and US Elections had smaller odds for the losing bet, but more money was bet on the winning bet.
What are the limits, how much or little can I bet?
The minimum you can bet is most often 1 mBTC. The maximum varies a lot by site and what you’re betting on, but you can expect to get 1 BTC in at least.
The minimum bet size across bitcoin sportsbooks is almost universally 1 mBTC. This bet size equals one thousandth of a bitcoin, so you can roughly (very roughly, check today’s quote) think of 1 mBTC as 1 Euro or Dollar.
The maximum depends on both the sportsbook and the match/market you’re betting on. The bigger the sportsbook, the more you can get in. Also, the more money a single match pulls in, the more you can bet on it (in betting parlance the match/market is “liquid”).
Because of these two variables, it’s difficult to give an accurate estimation. With a not quite as big market, you might only get in 1 BTC or less. On the other hand, when you’re betting on a major football match on a popular site, you can realistically expect to wager up several bitcoins.
I’m from the USA, can I bet online?
Yes, but not at every site. Most bitcoin sportsbooks don’t accept bets from the USA, but lucky for you, a couple of good ones do.
Most bitcoin gambling operators don’t want to have anything to do with the USA. The reason for this is that the laws in the USA regarding bitcoin gambling are (on purpose!) incredibly vague. This legal mess wouldn’t matter much with any other country in the world, but the USA has a long reach and a reputation of ignoring international laws, so bitcoin operators tend to steer clear.
All that being said, there are still some options for your Bitcoin betting action. Check the list at the top of this page for some options.
I’m from the UK, can I bet with bitcoin?
While the UK is the number one online gambling country in the world, options for UK-based punters are surprisingly limited.
The UK is by far the most advanced country in the world when it comes to online gambling. It has a legal system regulated by the UK Gambling Commission in place and no shortage of players. However, when it comes to cryptocurrency gambling, things are not rosy.
The problem is that the UK has a list of gambling jurisdictions it considers to be good enough to take players from the UK legally. Unfortunately, these white-listed jurisdictions like Alderney and the Isle of Man don’t have rules governing BTC-gambling. For this reason, cryptocurrency operators can’t get a license from these places.
The result of this messy situation is that BTC and other cryptocurrency companies need to operate from egaming jurisdictions not found on the UK white list. This, in turn, means that many of them don’t dare to take UK players (even though for you, as a gambler, playing at these sites is still perfectly legal).
Anyways long story short, despite the limited options there are still good (great, actually) websites for BTC-betting. You can, for example, bet at CloudBet which is my #1 betting choice for players from any country.
Can I bet in Litecoin / Dogecoin / Dash / Ethereum?
Yes you can. See below for my list of recommendations for each smaller cryptocurrency and altcoin.
We’re always looking for new betting sites to recommend, which leads us seeing hundreds of sportsbooks per year. If there is one thing we can say for sure, it’s that many of the cryptocurrency-accepting betting sites only take bitcoins.
- Dogecoin: Nothing available at the moment
- Litecoin: I recommend mBitcasino
- Ethereum: I recommend Betcoin
- Dash: Nothing available at the moment
- Monero: Nothing available at the moment
- Zcash: Nothing available at the moment
If you have a stash of coins that can’t be used for betting right now, you can always change them to BTC at Shapeshift.io or other exchanges.