No esport has a bigger betting offering or audience than Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, aka CS:GO. With a plethora of betting options and an exciting viewing experience, it is easy to see why bettors have flocked to CS:GO.
If you are new to esports or CS:GO or even betting, there are some things you need to know before you start wagering on the game.
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CS:GO Gameplay Basics
At face value, CS:GO is a fairly simple game to understand. Two teams face off on the maps, with one team aiming to plant a bomb and the other trying to stop their opponents from planting the bomb. The team planting the bomb, or the Terrorists, win a round if they set the bomb off or kill all the members of the opposing team. The team defending the bomb sites, or the Counter-Terrorists, win by eliminating the enemy team or defusing the bomb once it is planted.
Professional CS:GO maps consist of a best-of-30 round format with the first team to 16 wins claiming the victory. Teams take turns playing the Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists and will switch sides at the halfway point of the map (after Round 15).
The complexity of CS:GO comes from the economy. Players need to purchase everything from armor to guns and grenades for every round. Players earn money through a variety of means, whether that be kills, bomb plants, bomb defuses, etc. The economy is easily the most complicated and strategic aspect of CS:GO and will take a lot of time for beginners to fully understand.
Understanding CS:GO Betting Odds
There are primarily two different types of odds that will be shown when looking into betting CS:GO. Those are American Odds and Decimal Odds.
American odds consist of numbers in relation to -100 (aka EVEN). At -100 or EVEN, a winning wager will return the wagered amount and the same amount for the winnings. For example, if you were to wager $50 on Renegades -100 and your bet was a Sportsbook, you would receive $100 – your original wagered amount plus your winnings.
In relation to that, anything that has a minus sign (-) in front of the number is the favored side. The number following the minus sign is the amount of money you would need to wager to profit $100. Let’s say you bet on 100 Thieves at -150. That means you would need to wager $150 to win $100.
Any odds that have a plus sign (+) in front of the number would indicate the underdogs for a CS:GO series. The number following the plus sign is the amount of money you would earn if you wagered $100 on the series. Say you wagered $100 on Team Vitality at +150. A winning wager would return your original $100 wagered plus $150 in winnings.
The other way of presenting this information that you may see at books is called Decimal Odds. At their core, decimal odds are easy to understand. Basically, you take the money you wager and multiple it by the odds and that is the number you would walk away with from a winning bet. For example, FaZe Clan is 2.50 to win a series and you wagered $100. To know how much you stand to win, simply multiple $100 (your wager) by the 2.50 (the odds) and you learn that you are looking to return $250.
Keep in mind you can change the preference of which odds you see displayed on most sportsbooks.
That is a lot of information to absorb, so let’s look at an example of a typical CS:GO betting line:
Astralis -250 vs Team Liquid +175
In this example, Astralis is a -250 favorite with Team Liquid the +175 underdog. A $100 bet on Astralis at -250 would bring the bettor $140 (the $100 original bet and the $40 winnings).
Types of CS:GO Bets
CS:GO has some of the deepest and most varied betting options in all of esports. There are a nearly endless number of props and unique wagers for just a single series.
However, let’s start with the simplest, the moneyline wager.
Moneyline wagers could not be simpler to understand. It boils down to just picking which team will win a series outright and then placing your bet on that team.
Let’s say you think that Evil Geniuses will defeat Na’Vi. You decide to wager $40 on Evil Geniuses as the -135 favorite. If EG were to win the series, your original $40 bet is returned while you also gather your winnings of $29.63. If you don’t understand the payout per bet, be sure to check out our Odds Calculator, which will easily show you how much you stand to win per bet.
Most series of CS:GO will consist of a best-of-three and you can also bet on the moneyline for each individual map in the series as well.
With most high-level CS:GO games consisting of a best-of-three format, spreads are also an interesting wager for bettors.
Imagine that you think Fnatic will defeat MIBR in their series but Fnatic is a huge moneyline favorite of -300. You might not want to bet that because you don’t stand to make a huge return. Instead, a bettor can look at the Map Spread (sometimes called Map Handicap). Fnatic’s map spread is -1.5 at +100. That means that Fnatic would need to win the series by two maps – a 2-0 map score in this situation – for you to win the bet. However, a bettor would win three times as much money by betting the spread rather than betting the moneyline straight up.
CS:GO totals typically revolve around the number of maps played in a series. In a best-of-three series between mousesports and Team Liquid, the total could be set at 2.5. As a bettor, you are deciding if the series will have more than 2.5 maps played (three or more) or less than 2.5 (two or fewer). Whether you believe it will go OVER or UNDER, there are specific betting lines associated with each.
CS:GO bettors can also bet before an event even starts. These futures are typically as simple as the Sportsbook of the event. A CS:GO bettor might look at the futures for the Blast Pro Series Global Finals and see something like this:
Team Liquid +280
FaZe Clan +475
Ninjas in Pyjamas +700
You can wager on which of these four teams will ultimately win the tournament. As you can tell, Astralis is the favorite to win the Blast Pro Series while Ninjas in Pyjamas are the biggest underdog.
When you really get into CS:GO and start to understand the mechanics of the game, you can really dig into the prop bets. There are far too many different prop bets in CS:GO for us to list them all here, but some examples include:
Correct Map Score
Teams to Win Pistol Rounds
Will a Map Go To Overtime?