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CSGO Betting Guide

In the following guide we will cover what you need to know to start your csgo betting journey, including game mechanics, basic game and betting terminology, the available markets and much more.

Whether you’re new to esports gambling and/or to CSGO, there will be much to learn in the following chapters. Before we dive into the betting aspect of the guide, we need to understand the basics of how Counter-Strike works, so let’s start there.

ESL Pro League Season 15
ESL Pro League Season 15

What is Counter-Strike?

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a multiplayer FPS (Multiplayer First Person Shooter) video game for PC released by Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment in 2012. It’s currently one of the most played video games and biggest esports with many global leagues and multiple online and in-person international events throughout the year.

In a 5 vs 5 strategic battle, two teams compete in a best-of-30 match purchasing armor, weapons, defuse or rescue kits, and their in-game economy to maximize their chances of neutralizing the enemy. With a wide variety of items you can purchase, from pistols to sniper rifles, smoke bombs and grenades, you will see a wide variety of strategies used to win the 16 rounds necessary to come victorious out of a map.

A typical match will last between 30 and 45 minutes but can be shorter or much longer than that. At the beginning of the game, one team plays as the terrorists (t side) and the other is playing as the counter-terrorists (ct side). For both teams, the most straightforward strategy to win a round is to eliminate the opposing team members. However, the terrorists possess a bomb and can plant it in any of the two spots available in every map, commonly known as A site and B site.

As the counter-terrorists, you are looking to guard these two bomb spots from the terrorists. When the timer runs out, the CT side has won. If the bomb is planted, however, the game flips and now the terrorists must defend the bomb spot or the CT side will easily defuse the bomb. If the bomb succesfully explodes, the terrorists win the round but should the counter-terrorists defuse it, they win the round instead.

In a single map, fifteen rounds are played with teams being t side and ct side, after which the two teams switch sides. The first team to win 16 rounds winds the map but it’s also possible to draw. Games that land on a 15-15 score line transition into overtime.

Overtime is a best-of-6, first to 19, segment in which all players start with the same amount of in-game economy. If the teams tie 18-18, a second overtime starts. Overtime has no theoretical end and will continue if the teams keep tying.

Map Veto Process Explained

Before a match starts, teams go through a map veto process to decide which map or maps they will be playing in. The competitive map pool for CSGO features seven maps. Rules vary slightly depending on the tournament and tournament organizers.

In a best-of-1 series, the higher seeded team starts the veto process by banning 2 maps followed by the opposite team banning 2 more maps. In the next step, the higher seeded team chooses the map that will be played and the opposite team chooses which side to start on, either the terrorist side or the counter-terrorist side. If there is no seeding structure, a coin toss is used to decide who starts the veto process.

In a best-of-3 series one team bans 1 map followed by the opposite team banning another map, then the first team selects a map for game 1 followed by the opposite team choosing which side they will start for game 1 and which map will be played for game 2, finally the first team chooses the starting side for game 2.

CSGO Weapon Types

The most important factor of Counter-Strike Global Offensive is the economy-game. At the start of every round, players have to buy their equipment for the fight. Equipment includes items such as weapons, armor and grenades that can be purchased to amplify your chances at winning the round. If you survived a previous round you get to keep the remaining equipment you had with you. In order to purchase equipment you need in-game currency which is awarded based on how each round goes, you get more currency if you win rounds but you are also rewarded for every kill you make in the game.

Each weapon has a different price on it and there are different types of weapons too. The cheapest of all the weapons are the pistols but they offer a low fire rate and are mostly semi-automatic. The sub-machine guns, also known as SMGs, offer good damage but are often less accurate and have a lesser shooting distance. Shotguns are fairly similar in price but are extremely effective in tight spaces and pretty much useless in long distance battles.

For the big chunks of cash you can get automatic rifles such as the M4A4 and the AK-47. These guns are what professionals aim for during most of the game since they offer the highest damage output, armor penetration, firing speed and accuracy. The most expensive weapons are the sniper rifles which are crucial for most team strategies. Since you won’t be able to afford all these weapons every round, that’s why the economy-game is so important. Coming up next we will talk more in detail about the in-game currency and how it works.

CSGO In-Game Currency and Economy

As we mentioned before, maps are played in a best-of-30 rounds format and are split in halves of 15 rounds. At the beginning of each half, every player starts with $800 that they can use to get a pistol, body armor and a few grenades. The commonly known ‘pistol round’ is crucial as it sets the foundation for the upcoming rounds. If you win the round your team will have more money to play with in the second round and so on. If you amass enough currency you outpower the enemy team through powerful weapons and utility equipment.

If you’re paying in the terrorist side, utility and weapons tend to be cheaper so if you just lost the pistol round as terrorists, it is a good idea to play what is known as an ‘eco round’. These rounds are normally defined by players buying only the basic utility and pistols with the goal of not straining your budget. If you lose this round, you don’t lose much in terms of equipment and you can put your savings to a better buy next round.

In the counter-terrorists side the better weapons cost more and some of their grenades are more expensive as well. Additionaly, counter-terrorists need to consider buying a defuse kit which halves the time that it takes to defuse a bomb. As the ct side you may be required to play two ‘eco rounds’ before being able to buy a full set of weapons which is commonly known as a ‘full buy’.

Full buys show what your team can do in full force since it features the best weapons, full armor and enough utility equipment and grenades to play out a full strategy. Another term that is important to understand is the wretched force-buy. Since money gets reset at the end of each half, if you were on the last round of the first half there wouldn’t be any reason to save money. Force-buys represent purchasing as much as you can with the limited amount of money you have and some teams use this strategy to surprise the enemy when they’re expected to do an ‘eco round’.

CSGO Moneyline Betting

After learning basic CSGO strategy and terminology, it’s important to nurture that knowledge by watching professional games, reading articles and even playing the game yourself. It’s also a good time to start learning how to bet CSGO. We will start by talking about the most basic and standard type of bet you can place in a CSGO match, the moneyline bet.

In sports gambling, moneyline betting is pretty straightforward, when you bet on a team’s moneyline you’re betting on that team to win regardless of how and when they do it. In a series (typically best-of-3 or best-of-5) you’re backing the team to win the entire series.

Take for example a Best-Of-3 match between Astralis and Team Liquid during the Blast Pro Series. The csgo odds for this match may look something like Astralis -140 Team Liquid +180. When reading odds, a negative number denotes that team is the favorite to win the match while a positive number denotes that team is the underdog. In this case, we can assume the linemakers are assuming Astralis will win the best-of-3 series against Team Liquid. If you had placed an $140 wager on Astralis (-140) you would only win $100. The negative odds tell you what you’d have to wager in order to win $100. If you placed a $100 wager on Team Liquid (+180), you would win $180. The positive odds show you what you would win on a $100 wager.

CSGO Totals Betting

With the understanding of how odds work, the other types of lines available are quite easy to understand. Totals betting applies to a variety of aspects of the game. Typically, esports betting experts bet on the map totals which determine how long a series will be. For example, in a best-of-3 series the totals line would be set at 2.5 and you would have to determine whether at the end of the series there will be more or less than 2.5 maps in the series.

Totals are also known as Over/Under. In the example discussed above, you could take Over 2.5 Maps as your esports pick which means the series has to go to a third map, hence meaning each team has to win at least one map for you to win your bet regardless of which team wins the match. On the other hand, if you determine the game is going to be Under 2.5 Maps, any of the teams has to win the series with a 2-0 score for you to win your bet.

Totals betting can also come in the form of prop bets which we’ll cover last in the guide. For example, you can bet on over/under rounds for each map.

CSGO Handicap Betting

Handicap betting can be a bit overwhelming at first but once you understand it, it’s a very powerful tool. In a best-of-3 series, you would typically see handicap lines accompanied by -1.5 or +1.5. For example, Astralis -1.5 +100 Team Liquid +1.5 +260. The -1.5 is the handicap and it means that it applies to the final score in order to settle your bet. T1 -1.5 basically means that Astralis’ map score in the series will be reduced by 1.5 to settle your bet. If Astralis were to win the series 2-0, you would win your bet as the final score for your bet would be 0.5-0 after the handicap was applied. However, if Astralis were to win the series 2-1, you would lose your bet as the final score for your bet would be 0.5-1 after the handicap was applied.

The same logic applies to the other team with the +1.5, that number would be added to the final score to settle your bet. In short, Team Liquid +1.5 in the example above means that Team Liquid would have to win at least one map to win your bet. Handicap betting can also come in the form of prop bets as kills handicaps. Handicaps are a great way to get better odds by tightening your prediction in a game with a heavy favorite where the moneyline odds may be too low.

CSGO Prop Betting

We will close this esport betting guide with props, which can be some of the most fun types of bets in the market. Prop bets come in all sorts of types, you can bet on which team will win a pistol round or  who will win a specific map. The reality is that while some prop bets are made for fun, some others can be used as bankroll boosters if you have the right numbers to back your pick.

As mentioned above, some prop bets can come in the form of moneylines, totals and handicap. For example, you can bet on the moneyline for a specific map of a series, or totals for rounds in a specific map and even handicap kills. Feel free to shop around the BetUS Sportsbook and carefully study CSGO matches to determine what your first esports pick will be.


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