The gambling industry has come a long way over the past couple of decades. In a time not so long ago, players would be required to visit their nearest land-based casino to play popular games such as blackjack, roulette, and video poker. Accessing the multi-billion dollar sports betting industry was also a pain-point, as you would be required to visit your nearest operator in person to place a bet.
Fast forward to 2019, and you can now access a full suite of gambling and sports betting markets from the comfort of your own home. However, things have moved to yet another level, with the rise of the online Bitcoin betting space. As such, we have created the Ultimate Guide to Bitcoin Betting – where we cover both gambling platforms and sportsbooks. We explain how Bitcoin gambling works, the many benefits it offers over traditional fiat-betting, and how you can get started today.
- 1 Criteria used to rank the best Bitcoin betting sites
- 2 The best 5 Bitcoin betting platforms in 2019
- 3 What is Bitcoin betting?
- 4 How does Bitcoin betting work?
- 5 Bitcoin sportsbooks – How do they work?
- 6 In-Play and live betting at a Bitcoin sportsbook
- 7 Cash Out feature at Bitcoin sportsbooks
- 8 Bitcoin Betting vs Traditional Fiat Gambling Sites
- 9 Are Bitcoin betting sites safe?
- 10 How do Bitcoin betting bonuses work?
- 11 FAQs
- 12 Do Bitcoin betting sites offer bonuses?
- 13 Are Bitcoin betting site withdrawals really instant?
- 14 Who creates the games at Bitcoin betting gambling platforms?
- 15 What is the minimum deposit amount?
- 16 Will I need to upload ID at a Bitcoin betting platform?
Criteria used to rank the best Bitcoin betting sites
❓ What sign-up bonus the site offers for new players
❓ Whether deposits and withdrawals are instant
❓ How comprehensive the gaming suite is
❓ Whether it supports gambling ino games, sports betting, or both
❓ What customer support is like
❓ How competitive the odds/house-edge are
The best 5 Bitcoin betting platforms in 2019
What is Bitcoin betting?
As the name suggests, Bitcoin betting refers to the process of gambling online – albeit, instead of using traditional currencies like the US dollar, you instead gamble with Bitcoin. The phenomenon first grew its roots back in 2013 with the launch of SatoshiDice.
For those unaware, the game was a simple dice betting game backed by Bitcoin, and it attracted a significant online following. One of the key reasons for this is that the game was facilitated by blockchain technology, subsequently guaranteeing that each gaming outcome was not only true and fair, but completely transparent.
Although SatoshiDice is longer here to tell its story, the game subsequently created a whole new industry of its own – the Bitcoin gambling industry. As such, there are now dozens of established gambling platforms and sportsbooks that specialize purely in Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals, as well as other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash.
How does Bitcoin betting work?
If you’ve ever engaged with the online gambling space, then you’ll be pleased to know that the end-to-end process is largely the same. If you’re yet to experience the wild and wonderful world of online gambling platforms, we’ve broken down the typical process below.
Step 1: Choose an online Bitcoin betting platform
First and foremost, you’ll need to choose an established online gambling platform. Depending on your needs, this will either be a platform that specializes in gambling games like blackjack and roulette, a sportsbook that allows you to bet on the outcome of sporting events, or a platform that offers both.
If you scroll down below, you’ll find a detailed overview of the 5 best Bitcoin betting sites currently active in the market.
Step 2: Open an account and deposit Bitcoin
Once you’ve chosen your preferred operator, you’ll then need to open an account. Take note, and as we discuss in more detail further down, Bitcoin betting platforms allow you to remain anonymous. As such, all you need to provide is an email address and a strong password.
In terms of depositing funds, the process is exactly the same as funding a cryptocurrency exchange account. Your betting account will come with a unique Bitcoin wallet address. This is the address that you will need to send your Bitcoin to in order to fund your betting account. Simply head over to your private Bitcoin wallet, transfer the coins, and the betting operator should credit the funds within 1 confirmation (10 minutes).
Step 3: Choose what you want to bet on and have some sensible fun!
As soon as your Bitcoin betting account is funded, you can proceed to start gambling. This part of the process works in exactly the same way as any other online gambling platform. We’ve listed the most popular betting markets below.
???? Table games such as blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, etc.
???? Live dealers
???? Slots, including progressive jackpot slots
???? Video poker
???? Virtual games
???? Sports betting
Step 4: Withdraw your winnings
Once you are ready to cash out your winnings, the process could not be simpler. All you need to do is head over to your Bitcoin betting account dashboard, select ‘Withdrawal’, enter the wallet address you want to withdraw the funds to and the amount, and that’s it!
While traditional fiat gambling platforms and sportsbooks will often take days just to process the withdrawal request, the vast majority of Bitcoin betting sites will do this automatically. As such, you’ll likely receive your winnings back into your private wallet within an unprecedented 10 minutes.
Bitcoin sportsbooks – How do they work?
Much like in the case of Bitcoin gambling platforms, Bitcoin betting sites work in much the same way as their fiat currency counterparts. In a nutshell, you will have access to thousands of betting markets at the click of a button. Whether you are looking to bet on soccer, basketball, baseball, cricket, tennis, or badminton – you will all-but certainly find a market offered by the Bitcoin sportsbooks that we recommend.
Here are some of the main features that you will need to look out for when you join a new Bitcoin sports betting site.
✔️ Sports Offered
First and foremost, you’ll need to make sure that your favorite sport is covered. Most Bitcoin betting platforms will cover the major sporting events – such as the NFL, NBA, Premier League, MLB, and more. However, if you have a passion for a less popular sporting market – such as cricket, darts, or badminton, then you’ll need to make sure the betting site in question offers it.
✔️ Markets Offered
It is all good and well if the Bitcoin betting platform offers your favorite sport, but you also need to make some considerations regarding the number of markets that the operator lists. When we refer to ‘markets’, we mean the number of different bets that you can make on a single sporting event.
For example, let’s say that you are betting on the NBA. Not only do you want to have the option of betting on who wins the game, but you’ll also want access to the totals market (e.g. how many points will be scored), quarter markets (e.g. which quarter will have the highest score) and player markets (e.g. which player will score the most individual points).
Once you’ve assessed whether or not the Bitcoin sports betting site has the required sporting events and betting markets, you’ll then need to make some considerations regarding the odds. Generally speaking, the Bitcoin betting sites that we recommend will offer competitive odds – especially in comparison to traditional online sportsbooks.
As a side tip, the best way to assess whether or not the platform offers good odds is to look at the handicap markets. Although the handicap markets are technically a coin-flip, you won’t get odds of Even Money (2:0). However, you’ll want to get as close to Even Money as possible. If the Bitcoin betting site offers 1.90 or higher on the handicap spread, then you’re on to a winner.
You should also spend some time assessing what sort of limits you are able to stake on your chosen betting markets. Most Bitcoin betting sites allow you to gamble with high stakes, which is great. However, this might only be the case on major markets.
A good way to assess the stake limit is to add your chosen market to your bet slip and click on the ‘MAX BET’ button. The sportsbook will automatically fill your stake amount, with respect to the maximum bet they will allow.
✔️ Get your head around ‘mBTC’
When you gamble at a Bitcoin betting site, everything is conducted in ‘mBTC’ as opposed to ‘BTC’. The reason for this is that it would be super difficult to assess how much you are betting, not least because you would have a significant amount of decimals to contend with.
For those unaware, 1 mBTC = 0.001 BTC. As such, if you deposited 1 BTC, your balance would be displayed as 1,000 mBTC.
In-Play and live betting at a Bitcoin sportsbook
If you’ve ever played at a traditional online sportsbook, then you might be fully aware of how the in-play section works. If so, great – because this is also available at Bitcoin sports betting sites. For those of you unaware, in-play betting allows you to gamble on a sporting market while the match is still being played. The bookmaker will update the odds on almost a second-by-second basis, to reflect the current position of the game.
Here’s an example of how in-play betting works at a Bitcoin sportsbook:
⚽ You are watching the USA vs England soccer game on TV
⚽ It is now half-time, with scoring locked at 1-1
⚽ You believe that England will go on to win the game
⚽ As such, you head over to the in-play betting department of your chosen Bitcoin sportsbook
⚽ The sportsbook is offering odds of 2/1 (3:0) on England winning the game
⚽ You place the mBTC equivalent of $100 on England, and your bet is accepted 10 seconds later (to allow for in-play delay)
⚽ England win the game 3-1, so your $100 stake has returned a total of $300!
Cash Out feature at Bitcoin sportsbooks
A relatively new feature available at Bitcoin sportsbooks is that of the Cash Out feature. Essentially, this acts as an insurance policy on a bet you currently have outstanding. For example, let’s say that you have a bet on the MLB, and your team is winning by 2 runs – great! However, with 3 innings left to play, you are worried that the other team might end up winning the game. By using the Cash Out feature, you can cash your bet out early, albeit – at lower odds than what you would have got if you held on to the bet until the very end!
Here’s an example of how it works:
???? You placed a bet on the New Zealand vs Australia rugby game
???? You staked $100 that New Zealand would win at odds of Even Money (2.0)
???? This means that were New Zealand to win, you would win a total of $200 – including your stake
???? With 10 minutes to go, New Zealand is winning the game – but only by 5 points
???? You now have two options – you can wait until the end of the game and hope that New Zealand hold on, or you can use the Cash Out feature
???? Based on the current score/time of the game, the Cash Out feature offers you odds of 1/2 (1.5), should you want to cash your bet out now
???? You decide to take the offer, and subsequently collect a total of $150 (original $100 stake x 1.5)
???? Australia scored a last-minute try and won the game – but this doesn’t matter, as you have already cashed your bet out!
Bitcoin Betting vs Traditional Fiat Gambling Sites
Before you begin your Bitcoin betting journey, it is absolutely fundamental that you have a firm grasp of the many benefits that it offers over its fiat currency counterpart. We’ve broken these down in more detail below.
✔️ Super Fast Registration
If you’ve ever used a traditional online gambling platform or sportsbook before, then you’ll know how much hassle it is to open an account. You need to go through a highly stringent account opening process, which asks you to enter your full name, address, date of birth, telephone number, and much more.
On the contrary, most Bitcoin betting sites will simply ask you to enter your email address. This is only needed in the event that you need to contact support, or you forget your login credentials.
✔️ Anonymous Betting
Following on from the above point, traditional fiat gambling platforms must engage in something called KYC (Know Your Customer). In a nutshell, this requires all online gambling platforms and sportsbooks to verify the customers that use their platform. As such, players need to upload a copy of their government-issued ID, proof of address (such as a bank statement or utility bill), and in some cases – a copy of the front and back of your debit/credit card.
This is in stark contrast to Bitcoin betting sites, as they allow you to gamble anonymously. As a result, there is no requirement to upload any identity documents, period!
✔️ Ultra-Fast Withdrawals
We would argue that the overarching benefit of playing at a Bitcoin betting platform is the withdrawal process. In the vast majority of cases, traditional gambling platforms will take 48 hours just to process your withdrawal request. Once they do, it will then take in the region of 1-3 working days for the funds to appear back on your debit/credit card.
Instead, Bitcoin betting sites are able to facilitate virtually-instant withdrawals. As soon as you make the request, the funds will be sent to your private Bitcoin wallet straightaway.
It is also important to note that Bitcoin betting sites are significantly more secure – especially when it comes to payments. At a traditional online gambling platform, you would need to manually enter your debit/credit card details into the platform. This in itself presents a security risk.
However, when you deposit funds into your Bitcoin betting account, you do so from your external wallet. As such, there is no requirement to worry about your sensitive financial details ending up in the wrong hands.
✔️ Lower House-Edge & Better Odds
Running a traditional online gambling platform in 2019 is no easy feat for operators. One of the main reasons for this is that regulation has become so stringent that operators are required to spend vast resources to ensure they remain compliant.
This covers everything from a fully-fledged risk management team, anti-money laundering officers, and document verification departments. This has subsequently resulted in traditional online gambling platforms increasing their house-edges and/or sports betting odds just to cover the costs of enhanced regulation.
On the contrary, Bitcoin betting sites are not accustomed to the same regulatory red-tape. As such, they are not required to waste vast resources on compliance and thus – can pass these savings down to their players.
Are Bitcoin betting sites safe?
The most important consideration that you need to make prior to choosing a Bitcoin betting platform is whether or not the process is safe. First and foremost, let’s look at the games themselves.
Online gambling games: How do I know they are fair?
So, you’ve just spent the last 30 minutes playing an online slot machine with real money, and it’s just come to you – How do I know whether or not the slot machine is playing fair? In fact, how do I know that the gambling platform in question hasn’t rigged the machine? Well, firstly, this depends on the type of game that you are playing, as Bitcoin betting platforms will offer games that are created by regulated software developers, or games based on provably fair.
✔️ Regulated Software Developers: If it’s the former, then each game must go through a highly stringent testing process before it can be launched. Well-known players in this market include the likes of NetEnt, Evolution, and Playtech. Not only this, but software developers routinely have their games audited by third-party regulators to ensure they remain true, fair, and random.
✔️ Provably Fair: If you’ve read our guide up to this point, then you’ll remember how we mentioned SatoshiDice. The great thing about the game was that the developer created a new phenomenon called ‘Provably Fair’. Fully backed by blockchain technology, Provably Fair ensures that beyond any doubt at all, each and every gambling outcome it true and fair. Not only this, but as the data is facilitated by the blockchain protocol, this can be verified transparently at any given time.
Are Bitcoin betting sites regulated?
There is often a misconception that Bitcoin betting sites operate is the Wild West. However, this could not be further from the truth. Not only is there now a range of established platforms that boast a trading history of 5+ years in the industry, but many of the platforms in the space actually hold gaming licenses. If so, this is commonly issued by the Curacao Gaming Control Board, which specializes in the e-gaming marketplace.
How do Bitcoin betting bonuses work?
One of the best things about the Bitcoin betting arena is that – much like in the case of traditional online gambling platforms, new players are typically offered a welcome bonus. In most cases, this will center on a matched deposit bonus. This is where your first deposit is matched up to a certain amount. For example, a 100% 1 BTC bonus would give you a starting balance of 2 BTC, if you were to deposit 1 BTC.
Here’s an example of how a Bitcoin betting bonus works
- You join a new Bitcoin betting platform that offers a 100% matched bonus up to 5 BTC.
- As you don’t want to gamble 5 BTC, you instead deposit 0.2 BTC.
- This means that the gambling platform will match your deposit by giving you an additional 0.2 BTC
- Your starting balance is now 0.4 BTC, even though you only deposited 0.2 BTC
???? Sticking with the same example as above, you were awarded a 0.2 BTC bonus when you signed up and made your first deposit
???? However, the bonus funds have a wagering requirement of 10x
???? This means that you will need to gamble the bonus amount 10 times before you can request a withdrawal
???? In this example, you would need to wager 2 BTC (0.2 BTC x 10) before cashing out your bonus winnings
Do Bitcoin betting sites offer bonuses?
They certainly do. When you register an account for the first time, you'll be given a traditional matched deposit bonus, and likely some free spins too. Just make sure you understand how the wagering requirement works.
Are Bitcoin betting site withdrawals really instant?
When you request a withdrawal, the Bitcoin betting site will process it instantly. As such, you just need to wait for the Bitcoin blockchain to transfer the funds into your private wallet, which typically takes 10 minutes.
Who creates the games at Bitcoin betting gambling platforms?
Much like in the case of the traditional fiat gambling space, Bitcoin betting sites have their games designed by software developers. In the vast majority of cases, these are the very same developers that create games for the traditional gambling space.
What is the minimum deposit amount?
Because you are depositing funds in Bitcoin and thus - the gambling platform does not need to worry about transaction fees, there is typically no minimum deposits or withdrawals to contend with. This is perfect if you want to start with smaller stakes.
Will I need to upload ID at a Bitcoin betting platform?
Absolutely not. One of the best things about Bitcoin betting sites is that they allow you to deposit and withdrawal funds without needing to upload countless documents.