With a prize pool of a whopping $1,000,000 on offer at CS:GO’s Boston 2018 major tournament, there’s a huge amount of money to be won by the world’s best CS:GO esports players. Fancy getting in on the action? Each CS:GO tournament provides punters with a huge number of betting opportunities, so you’ll have the chance to win big too! Not sure where to start? Our beginner’s guide to betting on CS:GO is sure to bring you up to speed in no time.
Beginner’s Guide to CS:GO
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is a first-person shooter esports game, developed by Hidden Path Entertainment in association with Valve Corporation. The game has sold more than 40 million copies and is today one of the most popular esports titles in the world.
There are a number of major tournaments organised each year. Competitions like the ELEAGUE Major, StarLadder i-League StarSeries and Intel Extreme Masters XII World Championship attract the CS:GO community’s biggest and best pro players. With so many events throughout the year, it’s safe to say you’ll never struggle to find a CS:GO betting opportunity.
Teams and Players
Many bettors head straight for the bookies’ favourites when placing esports bets. As with any competitive sport, there are certain teams and players to keep an eye out for. CSGO’s pro scene has seen some formidable contestants in the past — here are the latest and greatest CSGO teams.
- FaZe Clan is one of the best-known CSGO teams, and also one of the most successful. The current roster includes Olof ‘olofmeister’ Gustafsson, who is widely considered one of the best Counter-Strike players in history.
- Fnatic won the very first CSGO major tournament and enjoyed success in the following years, although it has slipped down the rankings more recently.
- Astralis is a Danish team with four major wins under their belt. Nicolai ‘dev1ce’ Reedtz is one of its star players, who became the first pro, along with his teammates, to win three CSGO majors consecutively.
- Ninjas in Pyjamas, commonly known as NIP, is based in Sweden. One of its most famous players, Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund, was part of the roster from 2012 to 2019.
- Team Vitality is based in France, and is ranked number one at the time of writing. Key players include Mathieu ‘ZywOo’ Herbaut, Peter ‘dupreeh’ Rasmussen, and Emil ‘Magisk’ Reif.
- Cloud9 is another well-known CSGO roster who became the first North American team to win a Valve-sponsored CSGO major, with past players including Jacky ‘Stewie2K’ Yip and Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek. Cloud9 also has teams competing in many other esports including League of Legends, Overwatch, Fortnite, and Valorant.
- MOUZ, formerly known as Mousesports, is based in Germany. It’s won a number of premier tournaments but is yet to take the title at a major.
- Natus Vincere, often referred to as NAVI, is based in Kyiv. It’s undoubtedly one of the best CSGO teams in the world, having spent over 2,000 days in the top 10 and becoming the first team to win three majors in one calendar year. Oleksandr ‘s1mple’ Kostyliev is one of NAVI’s most famous players, and is considered an all-time great. NAVI won PGL Major Stockholm 2021 without losing a single match throughout — an impressive feat!
While you may manage to win more often than not when backing CSGO odds on favourites, it’s always a good idea to run through some key statistics before placing your bets. Looking for a nudge in the right direction? Take a look at the head-to-head records, recent form, and overall win records. While you’re never guaranteed to win just because you’ve done your homework, many believe that these statistics are a great indicator of future performance.
CS:GO Betting Markets
If you’ve figured out who to back at the bookies, it’s time to check out the betting options available to you. Let’s take a look at the most popular CS:GO betting markets:
- Tournament winner: here, you are betting on a certain team to win a particular tournament.
- Tournament finalist: here, you are betting on a certain team to qualify for the Grand Final of a particular tournament.
- Match winner: here, you are betting on a certain team to win a particular match.
- Map winner: here, you are betting on a certain team to win a particular map within a match. CS:GO matches are usually played in a one-off, Best-of-3 or Best-of-5 format.
- Handicaps: You’ll often find there are matchups with a huge gulf in ability between contestants. In these instances, you could struggle to find some value. The handicap levels the playing field and gets you a much better price. You’re simply betting that a certain team will win a particular match while starting with either an advantage or a handicap, such as being 1.5 maps behind or 1.5 maps ahead.
- Total number of map rounds: for this type of bet, you must predict that a certain map will have more or less than a given number of rounds. For example, if you bet that the first map of the match will have less than 25 rounds, you’re predicting that either team will win before the 25th round.
- Round winner: here, you’re betting on the result of a certain round within a map.
How to Play CS:GO
The very best esports players have spent thousands of hours mastering the game and gaining a deep understanding of its components. Becoming a successful CS:GO bettor won’t require you to do the same, but it’s definitely a good idea to develop a basic understanding of how the game is played. Let’s take a closer look.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a multiplayer first-person shooter contested by two teams, with five players on each side. The two adversary lineups –the Terrorists and the Counter-Terrorists– confront each other on a given map over a series of 16-30 rounds (plus overtime rounds if the score is tied at the end).
At the start of each round the teams spawn in separate and predetermined map locations. Players are locked in place for 15 seconds and during this time they can buy equipment and weapons. They can also exchange weapons with their teammates, so if one player has funds to spare, he can buy weapons for multiple members of his team. One player from the Terrorists team receives a bomb which needs to be planted in one of two areas (marked A and B respectively on the map). After the bomb is planted, the Terrorists have to prevent the Counter-Terrorists from defusing it.
Each round lasts for 2 minutes and 10 seconds or until one of the teams reaches a win condition. For Terrorists, killing the entire enemy team or planting the bomb and having it explode are the two win-conditions available. For Counter-Terrorists, defusing the bomb (once it has been planted) or killing the entire enemy team (if the bomb hasn’t been planted) are the two ways of winning. If none of these conditions is reached during the round’s regular time, the Counter-Terrorists win by default.
Players are rewarded with money every time they kill an enemy, win a round or lose a round. Of course, winning a round grants a much bigger reward than losing it, so the team that wins a round will have a money advantage going into the next one. This usually translates into better weapons and equipment. Money can be gathered from one round to the next, up to a maximum of $16,000 per player.
By default, each player receives a pistol at the start of each round. Purchasing an upgrade will come at a cost. After the first 15 rounds, the two teams swap sides (Counter-Terrorists become Terrorists and vice versa), all equipment is lost and balances are reset to their default value of $800. The first team to reach 16 round victories wins the game.
CSGO Betting Site Bonuses
Looking to get started with CSGO betting but don’t want to put your own money at risk? Maybe you’re a seasoned esports bettor looking for some extra value at your next betting site. With a CSGO betting bonus, you’ll be able to place bets on your favourite matches without spending a dime — and you’ll still be in with a shout of some real money wins! Let’s take a look at what’s on offer.
Free bets are exactly what they sound like — bets that can be placed at no cost to yourself. Often given when you sign up or as a first deposit bonus, you can use these tokens to wager on eligible markets and odds. If your bet comes good, the profit is yours to keep. The stake usually isn’t returned.
A matched deposit offer matches the value of your qualifying deposit up to a certain threshold. For example, a 100% deposit match up to £50 would see you receive an additional £50 in bonus bet credit when you deposit £50, giving you a total of £100 to bet with. This bonus credit is separate to your real money balance and will be subject to similar terms and conditions as free bets. You may also need to complete wagering requirements before the bonus credit and associated winnings can be withdrawn.
If your chosen CSGO betting site also features an online casino, you might be able to bag some free spins. These let you play games in the slot library and have the chance to win cash without risking your own funds. You could receive anywhere from 10 to 100 or more free spins, which are generally valid for one or two selected titles. Watch out for wagering requirements with your free spins bonus, as these are typically higher than with free bets — 30x–40x your free spins winnings is quite common.
CSGO Betting Site Promotions
If you’ve already signed up, there’s a good chance there’ll be some promotions for existing players you can take advantage of. Here are some you might encounter.
Enhanced odds can be used to boost the price of a market, increasing your payout if your bet wins. These bonuses are often used to promote an upcoming match or event. Say you bet on a market at odds of 3/1, but boost the odds to 5/1 — a £5 stake would land you £25 profit if you win, rather than £15.
There’s nothing more frustrating than winning all but one of your chosen selections. With acca insurance, your stake is refunded if just a single leg fails. As disappointing as it is that you won’t net the full payout, this refund can take away some of the sting. Acca insurance may be paid as real money or a free bet.
Many CSGO betting sites run prize draws for active players at the site. Taking part may be as simple as opting in, or you may need to qualify by placing bets of a certain value within the competition period. What could you win? There’s often real money up for grabs, but prize pools often contain free bets, free spins, or real prizes like tech gadgets or getaways!
Real Money Esports Betting vs Skin Betting
Pros and casual players alike love to add some personal flair to the CSGO action by customising their guns with unlockable skins. Although these skins have no effect on gameplay, they change the appearance of in-game weapons. Skins can be randomly unlocked during gameplay, or by opening Weapon Cases with keys purchased via Steam.
These skins can also be traded on the Steam Market. Many of the rarest skins have reached substantial real money values. The AWP Dragon Lore skin is one example, with a Factory New model currently setting you back over £8,500.
Inevitably, this has led to a skin gambling market where players convert items from their Steam inventories into betting funds, rather than using real money. However, this is against Valve’s Terms of Service. This has forced the skin betting scene underground, meaning it’s often impossible to know if a given site is safe to use. As such, we recommend sticking to real money gambling at licensed CSGO betting sites, such as the ones featured on this page.
CSGO Betting Site Payment Options
Before you can get involved with CSGO esports betting, you’ll need to fund your account. There are several ways to do this, and each method comes with pros and cons. Let’s take a look.
The most popular e-wallet, PayPal allows users to link their bank accounts and debit cards within one login. It’s highly secure as you won’t have to share your financial information with the CSGO betting site when you make a deposit or withdrawal. PayPal accounts can also hold a balance, and the service’s fast payout speed makes it an excellent choice for retrieving your cash. In fact, you’ll often receive your funds within an hour of the CSGO betting site processing your withdrawal request. A significant drawback to PayPal is it’s frequently excluded from claiming welcome bonuses.
If you’re looking for quick and secure deposits and withdrawals, Trustly is a fantastic option. There’s no need to sign up for an account. Instead, users log into the Trustly portal with their online banking credentials. From there, direct transfers can be made to and from the CSGO betting site. The service runs on Open Banking technology, so withdrawals often arrive in a similar timeframe to e-wallets — within a few hours once the betting site processes your request.
Those who’d prefer not to share any bank details online might opt for Paysafecard, a prepaid card that can be purchased in denominations of £10–£100 at participating retailers. Then, simply use the 16-digit PIN to transfer the funds to your account at the CSGO betting site. As you’re limited to the amount stored on the Paysafecard voucher, this is also a helpful way to keep track of your spending. The primary drawback? You can’t request withdrawals with this service.
Visa debit cards remain a popular choice for CSGO esports betting thanks to their familiarity and simplicity. Just enter your card details and the amount to deposit or withdraw and you’re good to go. Debit cards are always valid when claiming a bonus as well. However, withdrawal speeds are often slower than other methods, taking 3–5 days. Watch out for CSGO betting sites that support Visa Fast Funds. With this withdrawal method, you’ll usually receive your money within just a few hours.
Other Esports to Bet On
The esports scene is positively flourishing, which means there’s some fantastic variety for bettors. FPS, MOBA, battle royale, real-time strategy — whatever your preferred flavour, there’s something for you. Here are some of the most popular esports you can bet on at our recommended bookmakers.
This sequel to the massively popular Warcraft 3 mod was released by Valve in 2013. In Dota 2, players pick from a pool of over 120 different heroes with unique abilities, and do battle on a symmetrical 5-vs-5 map. The objective is to destroy the other team’s Ancient, a critical structure located in opposite corners of the map.
The strategic nature of the game has led to some spectacular matches, many of which have taken place at The International. This tournament sees 20 top teams from around the world duke it out for a share of the prize pool — which was over $18 million for the 2022 season.
A tactical first-person shooter based on Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six novels, Rainbow Six Siege was released in 2015 and has maintained a robust competitive scene since. It bears some similarity to CSGO — competitive matches follow the ‘Bomb’ game mode, where the defending team must fight off the attackers, whose goal is to defuse two bombs.
What makes Rainbow Six Siege so exciting is the number of ‘operators’ players may choose to play as, each with unique abilities. To come out victorious, players must pick wisely, combining the right operators to draft the strongest team.
The top Rainbow Six event in the calendar is the Six Invitational, but there are also a number of regional leagues players can bet on throughout the year.
The original StarCraft, published by Blizzard Entertainment in 1998, is considered by many real-time strategy fans as one of the GOATs of the genre. A sequel was therefore inevitable — and StarCraft 2 hit stores in 2010. In its competitive format, StarCraft 2 is played 1-vs-1, with each player choosing between the Terrans, Protoss, or Zerg.
Punters looking to bet on StarCraft 2 can wager on international contests like the ESL Pro Tour, a collaboration between Blizzard, ESL, and DreamHack. The game is especially popular in South Korea, and a large number of StarCraft 2 tournaments are held in the country.
League of Legends
League of Legends is undoubtedly one of the biggest competitive esports in the world. The game sits in the MOBA genre alongside Dota 2. In fact, it too was inspired by the original Defense of the Ancients mod. Players choose from over 140 different champions, and an epic 5-vs-5 battle ensures where teams try to destroy their enemies’ base.
There’s no shortage of LoL betting opportunities each year, with 12 domestic leagues taking place across the globe. The pro season culminates with the League of Legends World Championship. The 2022 final was contested by two South Korean teams, the hugely successful T1 versus underdogs DRX. The latter pipped T1 to the post, swiping the title — and nearly $500,000 — with a scintillating 3–2 win.
Bet on CS:GO
Now that you’re all clued up on CS:GO, you’re probably ready to have a punt on the next big tournament! Looking for a top bookie? Check out our list for the very best esports betting sites on the market. It’s packed full of the best bonuses, markets and promos available online. Simply compare, sign up and place your bets!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I watch livestreams CS:GO tournaments?
Most of CS:GO’s major tournaments are available to watch online through live streaming sites such as Twitch, MLG and Youtube. These streams are free to watch and are a great way of tracking the progress of your bets and identifying in-play betting opportunities.
How can i claim my betting bonus at the top esports bookies?
First, you’ll need to pick out a favourite esports bookie from our carefully curated list. Once you’ve identified the perfect match for you, follow our link to sign up and become eligible for your exclusive esports welcome bonus. Unless stated otherwise, you’ll simply be required to make your first deposit in order for your welcome bonus to be credited to your account. This happens almost instantly.
Can I bet on CS:GO in-play?
Yes. The best esports bookmakers provide betting markets even once the match is underway. You’ll be able to choose from live CS:GO markets such as match winner, map winner and pistol round winner.
Where can I find the best odds for upcoming CS:GO tournaments?
We’ve compiled a list of the best esports betting sites available online today. Of course, the odds on offer are what often makes or breaks a sportsbook, so we’ve only picked out bookies with the very best odds. Amongst these top bookies, you won’t find too much variation in price, as they attempt to price competitively.
When should I place my pre-match CS:GO bets?
The timing of your bets can make a big difference to your final payout, should you land a winner. Odds change in the run up to an event, based on the latest information surrounding it. While some seek an advantage by placing bets weeks in advance, while there’s little information available to bookmakers, most punters wait for the most up-to-date information to become available before hitting the bookies. It essentially comes down to preference – it’s impossible to predict how the odds will change in the run up to an event.