Esports Betting USA: A beginners' guide to esports gambling in the US

Learn how to develop a strategy for esports betting
Esports Betting USA


If you want to know about the types of esports betting US residents can enjoy then you’re in the right place. In this article, we’re going to tell you exactly what we mean by esports and esports betting. You can also find out a bit more about the sometimes confusing situation regarding the law and online betting in the USA.

We’ll also give you some tips on putting together a successful wagering strategy for when you’ve found some good US esports betting sites. Read on if you’re interested in finding out more about esports betting in the US

What is Esports?

Before we go any further in explaining the types of esports betting US residents can do, it’s probably a good idea to define exactly what we mean by esports. Esports is where teams of players take each other on in competitive professional video gaming. Hundreds of thousands of fans watch the contests via live streams or sometimes at large venues. The popularity of the concept has grown hugely in recent years.

As you might expect, whenever a sport or some kind of competitive activity becomes popular, people are drawn to the idea of betting on it. So it has proved with esports, and the proliferation of online sportsbooks offering esports markets has been a notable feature of the last few years. Increasing numbers of mainstream bookies like Bet365, Betway, and Pinnacle now offer a great choice of esports markets.

What is Esports Betting?

So now you know what esports is, we can tell you a little more about esports betting. In truth, betting on esports is not vastly different to betting on other kinds of sports. Many of the same types of bet can be placed and the way that odds are presented is the same as in other sports. You can bet in many of the same ways on your favourite esports games as you do on these conventional sports.

What types of esports bet can you place?

There is a pretty extensive choice of bet types when it comes to betting on esports. One of the simplest types of bet is the outright, where you attempt to accurately predict the overall winner of a tournament or league. This is just like betting at the start of the season on who will win the Super Bowl or the World Series.

You can also bet on the results of individual matches, where you attempt to predict which team or player will win a contest. Again, this is very simple and is just like betting on which team will win a football or basketball game. It is also possible to do handicap betting on esports contests, something that you might have seen called ‘line betting’ or ‘point betting’.

In addition to these betting markets, you can also usually find markets offered online for match events like who will win the most maps, or which player will make the most kills. This type of bet obviously varies depending on the type of esports game on which you’re betting. Another option is to try some live esports betting. This is sometimes called in-play betting, and it is where you bet on matches while they are taking place. You need a live stream of the match, excellent game and betting knowledge, and a mind that can move quickly if you want to be successful at in-play betting.

Overwatch esports betting USA

Esports Betting in the USA: Is it Legal?

The laws around online betting in the USA do vary from state to state. There are currently no federal laws around esports betting, US citizens must therefore pay close attention to the local state laws that are in place where they live. If you live in Tennessee, West Virginia, New Jersey, or Nevada then it is perfectly legal to bet on esports.

In other states, the situation is somewhat unclear. Residents of states like New York, Arkansas, and Delaware have a slightly nebulous legal situation when it comes to placing esports bets. If you live in Indiana, it is definitely illegal. You can check the local situation by enabling your location on your browser and attempting to open an account at an online sportsbook. If you can do this with no problems then you are more than likely in the clear.

What Esports Games can you bet on?

There is a great choice of esports games on which you can bet these days, and it is growing all the time. One of the latest additions to the ranks of esports games is Valorant, a first person shooter that was only released in 2020. It has already captured the interest of many thousands of fans, as well as players and bettors.

Probably the most popular game for esports bettors across the world is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, often referred to as CSGO. This first person shooter sees two teams of five compete across maps. The teams are the terrorists, who are trying to carry out an act of sabotage, and the counter terrorists, whose job is to stop them.

What esports are based on the Warcraft Universe?

There are also a series of games that are popular with esports fans and bettors that are based on the Warcraft universe. One of these is League of Legends (LoL), a Riot Games release that has proved enduringly popular with esports fans. Another is Defense of the Ancients 2, often referred to as Dota2. You can usually find plenty of betting markets for events based on these games at online sportsbooks.

Another interesting development in the world of esports has been how games that simulate real sports have become popular with esports fans and bettors. There are esports leagues for games like FIFA soccer, NBA 2K, and Madden NFL. If you’re learning how to bet on esports in the US then these games might be a good place to start, as much of the betting is very similar to how you would bet on the actual sports.

How to Put together an Esports Betting Strategy

If they want to be successful when enjoying some esports betting, US residents need to put together a sensible strategy. If you have already done some sports betting on more conventional sports like football or baseball then many of the principles of a sound betting strategy will already be familiar to you. Here are a few simple things that you can do to improve your chances of winning when you’re going to bet on esports in the USA.

1. Play the games before you bet on them.

In order to be successful at esports betting, US bettors should play the video games that they want to bet on before they do any wagering. This will give you the kind of insight and knowledge that can form a solid basis for your betting strategy. You can gain a greater understanding of how players might react in certain game situations and combine that with your knowledge of the top players to make more accurate predictions and place winning bets.

2. Stay on top of all the latest esports news and results.

Betway Esports bettingA really important part of any esports betting strategy is for you to stay on top of all the latest news in your favoured esports games. You need to follow the results of the latest tournaments, obviously, but you should also follow the more general esports news stories by checking websites, blogs, social media, and Reddit threads – all of these can provide you with nuggets of knowledge that can make you more successful at esports betting in the US.

3. Plan and prepare your bets.

When you have gained some game knowledge by playing the games that you’d like to bet on, and you’re ensuring that you’re following all the latest news from the world of esports, you need to take some time to identify which bets you want to place. It pays off if you spend some time doing this – look at odds, the type of bet that will best apply to certain situations.

4. Place a series of smaller bets rather than one big one.

While it can be tempting to place a massive bet at long odds because you might win big, this is a flawed betting strategy. It can lead to you wiping all of your bankroll in one bet and being really disappointed. It is much more sensible when doing some esports betting in the US for you to place a series of smaller bets on several different markets. If you choose your bets wisely then you can win just as much money. You are also likely to experience the thrill of winning more often – and this is what sports betting is about, entertainment.

5. Keep calm and manage your bankroll.

As anyone who has ever played poker knows well, managing your bankroll carefully is an essential part of any successful gambling strategy. If you’re going to be placing wagers at the type of betting sites USA bettors can use then you always need to keep a very close eye on what you are spending. It is wise to set aside a certain amount of funds each week or month and stick to this limit. That will mean you make much wiser decisions about what types of bet to place and how large your stakes should be.


There are a growing number of options for people who want to enjoy some esports betting in the US. Esports have become massively popular all over the world in the last few years and the audience for them in the USA is huge. Although the situation about the legality of esports betting is somewhat unclear in many states, if you can open an account at an online sportsbook while the location is enabled on your browser then you should be okay.

Esports Betting US FAQs

Online esports betting is legal in some parts of the USA but not others. This is due to the patchwork and often complex nature of betting laws in the USA and how they vary from state to state. Before you attempt to open an account at an online bookie to do some esports betting in the USA we strongly recommend that you check on local laws and regulations.

One alternative to esports betting is fantasy esports. You can also bet on this. DraftKings is one of the best fantasy sports platforms, and it is legal in all states apart from six.

As things stand, it is not possible to place esports bets online in California. Gambling laws vary from state to state in the USA and California is currently one state where esports betting is not permitted. Hopefully, this will change soon so that Californians can also bet on sports esports like CSGO, Dota2, and Valorant.