Updated Updated: 2024

Virtual Bets on Horse Racing, Football and many other sports | Sites & Tips

Online UK bookmakers offering virtual betting on horse racing, greyhound and other sports

Virtual sports betting overview

Virtual sports are sports that do not use real-world fixtures. Instead, they better resemble a sports game you might play on a gaming console. In regard to this, the action is all played out as an animation that you can watch as the event unfolds. 

You cannot influence the result, as the event will be completely simulated by a computer. Your role as a bettor is to decide what will be the outcome of the event in the same way you would normally bet on sports that you enjoy.

The rules of the sport will remain the same, although time lengths are shorter, and the results of virtual sports, i.e. the points system, will be determined the same. It may even be the case that teams participating in the virtual event might resemble real-world teams.

The difference with normal sports events is that they will not be influenced by the performance of real teams as the event is all being played out via a computer simulation.

Due to this, you are not restrained by the normal restrictions that happen in real-world sports. Namely, you do not have to wait for a sporting event to happen and can play them around the clock as a virtual sports event launch every few minutes meaning you can bet on them whenever you want. 

Therefore, when you are watching and betting on virtual sports, it is identical in set-up to how you would bet on sports events, the only difference is you are betting on fictional, animated sportsmen as opposed to living, breathing human ones. Hence why it is the ideal stop-gap if you love betting on sports but hate waiting for your preferred events to roll around. 

Pros and cons of virtual bets

There some important pros and cons of the nature of virtual sports that are intimately related to the nature of virtual sports and how they are different from the real thing. 

  • Very little entry-level knowledge required
  • Results are random and so fixing results is impossible
  • Available to play around the clock, whenever you want to play
  • Quick turnaround on bets.
  • Various betting options to choose from
  • No way to implement a solid strategy or make predictions as results are random.
  • Results are very difficult to predict.
  • Lacks the authentic sports experience
  • No loyalty to teams,
  • Fewer betting options.

If you are looking for real sports betting guides you should take a look at our dedicated sports betting guide covering all sports available at online bookmakers.

How does virtual sports betting work?

Virtual Sports is a selection of scheduled fixed odds games (events) that use a random number generator (RNG) to decide the outcome.

The concept of virtual sports combines two fundamental elements of traditional betting. One of these elements is the betting on sports, while the other is the concept of random number generators. While the first of these is well-established, the second happens behind the scenes.

Random number generators are what decide the results of online casino games such as slot games, blackjack, roulette, or poker. These are essentially the system that decides the result you get when betting on such casino games. When you put this together with sports betting, you then get virtual sports betting.

Therefore, while the action you are watching may resemble real-world sports, the results will be entirely random.

Nonetheless, you get the same feeling of excitement watching the event unfold because the match will play out like a normal sports event would. Thus, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Moreover, it provides a more fair and balanced approach to sports betting. Namely, it means there is less chance of fluke results due to bizarre occurrences that can sometimes happen in sports, while also preventing any danger of corruption.

Types of virtual sports betting

When it comes to virtual sports there are a handful of prominent options available that can be found frequently at virtual sports betting sites.

Virtual horse racing

Virtual Horse Racing was one of the first virtual sports that hit the online casino market. In fact, it is fair to say that virtual horse racing predates even online casinos. For decades, miniature horse racing track could be found in casinos and arcades worldwide where you place a small money bet on a motorised horse. Virtual horse racing just brings that to a modern audience and uses animation. The concept remains the same, where you choose your horse and then hope for the best.

Virtual football

It did not take long for football to also receive the virtual sports betting treatment.  Virtual football matches generally take around 5 minutes to complete and resemble your FIFA, Football Manager or PES console games. Virtual football is one of the most advanced virtual sports there are and you can even find virtual football leagues.

Virtual greyhounds

Another virtual racing option is the Virtual Greyhounds. This is almost identical to format to virtual horse racing except for one obvious difference – the presence of greyhounds instead of horses.

Virtual cycling

Enter the virtual velodrome and enjoy virtual racing in the form of virtual cycling. This again has a very similar concept to the other virtual racing options on offer.

Virtual speedway

If you like your virtual bikes motorised then Virtual Speedway is the best option for you.

Virtual tennis

It is Wimbledon all year round with Virtual Tennis. However, these are much shorter matches than in the virtual world with one game played as opposed to three or five-set match so you will have your bets resolved much quicker.

Virtual basketball

One of the newest additions to the virtual sports betting world is Virtual Basketball. If you have played the NBA console games and always wanted to bet on the matches, then virtual basketball is the perfect middle ground. Naturally, this is another virtual sports offering that is much shorter in time periods than the real thing.

Virtual sports betting tips

1. Select Your Discipline

horse icon

As there are tens of different virtual sports disciplines available at Bethard, you might want to spend some time deciding what to bet on. Many people think that betting on virtual sports is all the same.

However, the different criteria of each sport and the types of disciplines, in general, do matter when it comes to your potential winnings.

If you decide to stick to the game options (such as football), the number of competitors will be always the same, so does the type of the offered bet in each game. 

For race-based sport, you must take into consideration different parameters. For example, in horse racing races can host between 6-15 runners, Speedway has 4 competitors, while Motor Racing features 12 cars. Always learn all the game criteria before you deposit funds!

Our genuine advice is that you should stick to sports with fewer betting options, whenever possible. Although the odds might not seem too fascinating, the chances of you winning are higher!

2. Bet Considerate Amounts

money icon

Virtual sports are designed to give you a representation of a real-life event. A representation! Which means there is a certain degree of randomness and it might not be that easy to predict an outcome of the given event.

The nature of such games is highly volatile, that’s why it’s not really smart to compare them to any types of events you know from the non-virtual world.

For this reason, you should always make smaller bets to avoid disappointing losses. Simply bet a fraction of what you would normally bet on a real-life sports event. That’s right, smaller bets mean smaller winnings but they can save the content of your wallet!

3. Don’t Chase Your Losses

man facepalming icon

We have suggested that you should place smaller bets to avoid big losses. And as you might still lose a bet or two, the little amounts of lost money will probably not hurt too much.

For some, it might be tempting to start increasing the value of their bet to cover the losses. What then tends to happen is that rather to make up for the lost money, you will see your losses increase at an even greater rate.

If winning on virtual sports is not too successful for you, maybe you should consider either changing the discipline or moving back to a form of betting you are more familiar with. Also, it would definitely make sense to try betting options that are characterised by lower volatility

Virtual sports betting strategy

As previously mentioned, the way by which virtual sports are designed to work means that crafting a strategy behind them is a pretty tough thing to do. Much the same as slots, there is no full-proof way of ensuring that you get results and often any patterns you see in virtual sports will be either imagined or misleading. However, this said, there are certain rudimentary steps that could be utilised in order to gain a slight advantage. 

Analyse odds – Not results

The first important rule of thumb to consider is that you analyse the odds accurately. While the result is ultimately random, the odds are there to help you make a more informed decision. The science behind this is the same in reality, the higher the odds the less likely the result will come in for you. Meanwhile, if odds are too low then placing the bet might not be worth your while so you should consider this also.

Check form when possible

In some virtual sports, there are other ways to judge the likelihood of a result. Specifically, in events such as football or basketball, there may be a form tracker which indicates the form of the teams playing over the last 5 games. This can help you better judge the next result of the team. Again, while not full proof, it is still going to provide you with a better-educated guess as opposed to picking at random.

Hedge your bets

The next strategy you can consider utilising is betting on more than one outcome. This is useful for virtual racing sports. Choosing a couple of winnings with respectable odds is going to literally hedge your bets, as opposed to choosing just one winner out a line-up of 5 or more. It may be the case that some software providers are more also lenient about the types of bets you can choose. Therefore, you may be able to bet on a horse coming within the top 3 sports in a race for example. Choosing these bets, much in the same way as in real-life, means you are less likely to continuously lose.

Stay in control and manage your bankroll

Of course, one important strategy that should be applied across the board is bankroll management and betting responsibly. In regard to this, you need to make sure you don’t spend too much, too quickly and stay in control. The results are completely random so wagering too much on a single event is very risky, therefore spreading out funds and betting smarter is crucial. It goes without saying also that you should never spend more than you can afford to lose.

Best virtual sports betting sites

There are countless sport betting sites that offer virtual sports as part of their service. However, the best virtual sports betting sites in our opinion, are:


Bethard has a big collection of virtual sports to bet on. We can only imagine what new virtual sports are currently being developed at the moment but only time will tell. It really is an exciting area within iGaming and especially so when you think about the virtual reality technology that will get integrated into online casinos in the future.

Example of Virtual Sports at Bethard:

instant horses
instant football
virtual greyhounds

Example of Virtual Sport Games:

football champsion
the grand national race
lets get ready to rumble


Bet365 have designed their own unique virtual sports betting options which brag a wide selection of top betting options. These include horse racing at a selection of three different racing grounds, virtual trotting, virtual greyhounds, virtual football, virtual motors, and virtual cycling. 

Paddy Power

PaddyPower are another site with a strong virtual sports betting selection. Their sports can take a variety of different conditions and setting, as well as varying betting options dependent on the virtual sport you decide to bet on. Choose from virtual horse racing, virtual football, virtual greyhounds, virtual motorsports, virtual motorsports (Speedway), virtual tennis or virtual cycling.


You could also opt for SkyBet’s virtual sports options. These include normal horse racing or horse racing with jumps, speedway, motorsports, football and greyhounds. They have also hosted a virtual Grand National previously and may do this in the future with other popular events.


A virtual bet would be any bet you place on a virtual sports event.

It is both illegal and impossible to fix virtual betting. The use of a random number generator ensures that the results are always random, while random game audits mean that any virtual sports betting event that is fixed it would soon be discovered and removed while the provider would be punished.

Winning a virtual bet works in the same way as it would when placing a bet on normal sports. If you choose the correct betting selection, then you will be paid out a stake reflective of the odds.

Virtual sports work via a random number generator that determines the results of animated, computerised sporting events.