One thing that gives Counter-Strike strategic depth is its economy system. Players earn money every round, which they can spend on armor, better weapons, and utility.
Winning a round rewards players a lot more than losing, while kills with different guns reward different amounts of money. This leads to players sometimes using weaker but more rewarding guns, and sometimes even not buying anything and putting themselves in a losing position on purpose.
There’s quite a lot to the economy, so let’s break it down and take a look at how it affects betting, especially in live markets.
If you’re unfamiliar with CS:GO, you may want to first take a look at our guide on how to bet on Counter-Strike, which will run you through the basics of the game.
How Does CS:GO Economy Work?
The CS:GO economy may seem complicated at first, but it is quite easy to understand once you look into it.
First of all, every weapon, grenade, and armor costs money. Players start the game with a basic pistol and $800, they then must build up their money to purchase better items. Every kill a player gets rewards money, depending on the gun, and at the end of each round, every player is given a cash reward.
The main source of income for every player is the end of round reward. Players earn more money for winning a round but gain increased rewards if they lose rounds in succession. Here are all the possible end of round rewards:
Round win rewards
Round loss rewards
The maximum loss bonus is $3400 and Terrorists are also given $800 for every bomb plant, regardless of round result.
After players receive this money they will buy items to give themselves the best chance of winning. A full buy, which includes armor, a rifle, and some grenades, costs around $5100 for the Counter-Terrorists and $4400 for the Terrorists.
Considering that players start with $800, getting a full buy will take a few rounds. This means they must first go through some other rounds as their economy builds. There are a few different types of rounds, let’s take a look at them.
Types of CS:GO rounds
The pistol round is the first round of each half (round 1 and round 16). Every player starts at $800, meaning they have very limited options when it comes to buying items. Generally, players will buy either armor or utility here.
This round is very important as it will help kickstart the winning team's economy. A winning team will get $3250 or more, while the losers will only get around $1400. Usually, winning the pistol round means winning the first three rounds, as the losing team will have very little money and will likely choose to eco.
Eco & anti-eco rounds
Eco and anti-eco rounds go hand in hand. An eco round is when a team chooses to save their money in order to build their economy. This means that they’ll invest very little or even nothing into the round, almost certainly losing it but giving themselves more money for the future.
Eco rounds are only done by teams after losing rounds, for example in the second or third round after losing the pistol.
Anti-eco rounds, on the other hand, are done by the winning team when they suspect their opponents will eco. The aim of an anti-eco is to spend less money than usual to still win the round. For example, players will buy cheaper SMGs instead of rifles. Although SMG’s are generally weaker, they still provide enough damage to eliminate opponents on the eco and give a little more money per kill.
A force buy is when a team can’t afford a full buy, but still spend all of their money to try and win a round. Generally, this is done when a game is very back and forth, or to surprise opponents.
You’ll most often see this from the Terrorist side as some of their items are a touch cheaper. The aim of a force buy is to break the opponent's economy, meaning that the winner of a force buy will have enough money to buy again next round, while the loser will likely be forced to eco.
A full buy is the standard CS:GO round. Both teams have all the armor they need, rifles, and grenades. This is what teams work towards in the first few rounds, and then try to reach again once they start losing.
How the Economy Affects CS:GO Live Betting
Now that you know about the economy and type of CS:GO rounds, you can apply this to live betting.
When looking at odds in-play, you can see that they shift very often. Every time a team wins a round, their economy gets better, while their opponent’s gets worse, and they get one step closer to victory.
The easiest way to apply the economy to live betting is by looking at the winner lines for each map, especially in the second half. Some key rounds to look at are the pistol and the fourth round. As mentioned in the pistol rounds section, a pistol round usually means three round wins and a solid start to an economy.
Each half’s fourth round is very important too, as it's the first round where both teams have a full buy. If a team manages to win the first four then they’re in a very good spot economically as the losing team will likely have to eco. Meanwhile, losing the first three but winning the fourth still puts a team on shaky ground, as they will likely have to face another full buy again.
You can also look at prop bets for individual rounds. There will often be betting options for specific rounds and if you have a good grasp on the game’s economy you can tell which team will have an advantage.
One thing to keep in mind is that in CS:GO anything can happen. Even the best teams in the world stumble to an eco or a force buy from time to time. Having rifles against pistols is a huge advantage, but it isn't a round guarantee.
Overall, whenever you’re betting on live Counter-Strike action, keep the economy and round types in mind and you’ll easily be able to predict what type of round is coming up as well as who’s likely to have the advantage.
If you’ve not yet found a place where to place your wagers, then make sure to check out our list of the best esports betting websites.
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