CSGO gambling: Sites, tips, advice and free bets
CSGO gambling has had a chequered past to say the least, with many sites being shut down and penalised because of illegal activity.
There is clearly a demand among some Counter-Strike lovers to bet on their favourite game but for the sector to be sustainable long-term, CSGO gambling sites must comply with the laws - primarily for the safety and security of esports fans but also for the sake of themselves.
So is CSGO gambling legal?
The good news for esports fans is that there are plenty of CSGO gambling sites offering a legal and safe place for players to bet on the greatest first-person shooter ever made.
But, before we delve into those CSGO gambling sites, let's take a look at what betting on Counter-Strike is all about.
Why gamble on CSGO?
Just like fans of any other sport, many lovers of esports like to have a flutter on their favourite games. Fans who enjoy CSGO gambling like to place bets to add an extra layer of fun to the experience, while others enjoy using their in-depth knowledge of the complex metagame and varied tactical outcomes to potentially turn a profit from an already pleasurable experience, watching their favourite esport.
What makes CSGO unique among the tier-one games is the simplicity of the esport, especially at the beginning, with no heroes or abilities to learn, and very little jargon to keep new fans at the gates. Aligned with the fact everyone has either played or seen a first-person shooter, and therefore understands the fundamentals of what they are seeing, it makes CSGO not just the perfect beginner esport, but also a game with virtually infinite depth when it comes to gambling.
With near-constant play all year round and two Majors to enjoy, CSGO also has a fantastic spread of reliable top-level play for you to bet on at all points in the year, with amazing tournament organisers across the globe. Be it Blast, ESL, FACEIT, DreamHack or some other group, there is almost always an elite tournament on every weekend, and the professionalism of the scene is arguably unrivalled in esports, meaning you can trust the world’s best with your hard-earned specie when you do decide to gamble on CSGO.
Find CSGO matches
Getting into CSGO couldn’t be easier, with Twitch offering content under the CSGO tab, and both YouTube and Facebook streaming free content at times. The scene is also blessed with some amazing content creators who will teach you the game at every level, so you can learn everything from the basics to complex executes and site timings with just a click of a button.
The vast majority of high-level play is broadcast, for free, on Twitch though, and by going to you can find out what is starting when at virtually any event you please. A great place to find schedules for upcoming matches as well as live streams is the Luckbox CSGO matches page, where you can enjoy the best esports has to offer from around the world in the comfort and safety of a fully regulated site.
CSGO gambling sites
Looking for the best CSGO gambling sites? The following operators are reputable CSGO gambling sites but bear in mind that not all will be available in your part of the world.
All licensed and, therefore, legal betting sites require customers to be at least 18 years old.
Also, look out for esports bookmakers who are members of the Esports Integrity Coalistion (ESIC) - this is a good sign that they are responsible operators.
Another word of caution - when you see a site promoting X or Y gambling operator, keep in mind they won’t always be doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. Affiliate deals mean a partner is paid for every user that clicks on an advert and places a bet, so it is in their interest to encourage you to bet with their partner, even if that isn’t actually the best option or price.
Free bets, bonuses and codes
There are several of CSGO gambling sites with codes to offer new and existing players a bonus such as free bets, free cash or another incentive to sign up. They say nothing comes for free and these offers usually come with a caveat such as minimum deposit or wagering requirements.
Typical types of betting offers include:
- No-deposit offer - just sign up to get the bonus
- Free bets - credit in your account you can bet with but not withdraw
- Free cash - credit in your account you can withdraw after betting once
Free bets commonly require multiple wagering (for example 10x the amount) before any winnings can be withdrawn. Free cash can usually be withdrawn after being bet once. This is required by most regulators to prevent money laundering. Always check the terms and conditions on any betting offer and contact support if you are unsure.
Almost every site will offer you some kind of free bet or bonus to create an account with them, but remember you don’t have to limit yourself to a single site or bookmaker. Taking advantage of the best offers and bets will maximise your chances of having the best and most productive betting experience, although, obviously, we have to recommend Luckbox as your first port of call.
Types of bets
The best CSGO gambling sites offer fans plenty of choices on every Counter-Strike game. A typical CSGO match at Luckbox allows fans to bet on
- Match result - who will win the match?
- Correct score - the result of the match, for example 2-1 or 2-0 in a best-of-three.
- Map winner - who will win map 1, who wins map 2?
- Total maps - will there be two maps or three maps in a best-of-three?
- Total rounds in a given map - will the number of rounds in map one be higher or lower than a given number?
- Handicap betting - will team A win with a plus or minus maps headstart?
- Race to 5 or 10 rounds - who will get to 5 rounds or 10 rounds in a given map?
- Overtime - will a given map go to overtime?
Events and teams
As we said, there is CSGO pretty-much 24/7 in 2019, from streamers to tournaments and everything in between, and both male and female events take place at the professional level.
However, it’s the bigger prize pools that attract the best teams and biggest crowds, and in 2019 we have a great selection of tournament across the globe to catch your eye.
We’ve already seen a Major in Katowice and some incredible action from places as far-flung as Sydney and Dallas, while Blast Pro have taken us to areas that aren’t traditionally as into the game, like Madrid. In the near future there is ESL’s Pro League Finals from Montpellier, with $600,000 on the line, then we go to the Cathedral of Counter-Strike in Cologne for ESL’s jewel in the crown, and the scene’s only ‘unofficial’ Major, ESL One Cologne.
Of course there is still another proper Major to come as well, and it is the German fans who are blessed this year with the news that Berlin, and Starladder will be bringing them the second $1m event of the year. As you can see, if you’re getting into CSGO today there is still a massive amount to look forward to in 2019, even with all the great stuff you’ve already missed.
Related: How to bet on Dota 2
Pictures: Timo Verdeil, Bart Oerbekke, Adela Sznajder / ESL