Bet builders have become a buzzword in the relatively niche world of esports betting. With its proven success in sports, many sportsbooks look for similar products in esports. Something that could truly create an engaging in-play experience. But what different bet builders are there – and how do they work?
Online sports betting has been around as we know it since the late 90’ties. Being a highly competitive industry, new features have been added and optimised ever since, leading the way for a streamlined player experience.
In 2002, live betting became available. It led to the rapid growth of online sports betting, with numerous bookmakers offering bets in play. The innovation paved the way for more intricate products, such as player props and bet builders.
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Bet builders have been hugely successful in regular sports, where players delight in placing a bet on multiple options, for example, Messi scoring most goals and Argentina losing. Or Redbull Racing winning the Constructors Championship and LeClerc winning the Drivers Championship.
As esports has become increasingly popular among sportsbooks, many have naturally looked to make use of the features successful in sports to fuel their esports offering. One of which is bet builders.
What is a bet builder?
Bet builders allow players to combine two or more bet offers into one, increasing the risk and subsequently the payout.
Risk and probability in betting have an inverse relationship. When two or more bets are combined, the probability of the player winning the bet reduces, as the probability of two events occurring is lower than for one in most cases. The increased risk of loss means the player also enjoys a higher payout, should he/she win. With a higher multiple on the payout comes multiple risks.
Assuming a fixed amount of money wagered, if a player instead splits the amount wagered on the combined bet offers into separate wagers on the same bet offers, they stand to gain a lesser payout if all the wagers are successful. The player would need to invest double the amount of money to reach similar payouts as for a bet created with a bet builder, which is another way of increasing risk and thereby achieving a higher potential payout. However, given the scenario where the same amount is wagered but split into several bets, the player can win on each individual event, making it a safer choice for the risk-averse player.
It’s worth noting that no gambling is a safe bet, and the risk-averse player could still stand to lose on both their bets.
With that said, bet builders have proven successful for regular sports, and have seen great interest from sportsbooks in esports as well.
There are two types of bet builders, built on correlated and uncorrelated bets.
The bet builders with uncorrelated bets allow for combinations of bet offers from different matches, or even different games, but not from the exact match. This is because probabilities in the same game affect each other, making the underlying math and modelling more complex.
When calculating the probability of uncorrelated bets occurring, one multiplies bet offer x with bet offer y.
If in one match a certain bet offer has the odds of 2.30, and another uncorrelated match has a certain bet offer with the odds of 1.25, the odds for the combined bet would be 2.30 x 1.25 = 2.875
The caveat is that to win that bet, both bets need to be won for the money to come through.
Bet builders for esports built with uncorrelated bets have been released by several suppliers in the esports industry. While they might seem enticing, we believe the true breakthrough will be when true same-game parlays reach the markets.
Same-game parlays or correlated bet builders
In contrast to bet builders with uncorrelated bets, same-game parlays allow for bets to be combined from the same match. When creating odds for a given offer in a match, models have to take several parameters into account to create a feasible probability. The models incorporate the fact that if one event occurs it might mean that another event is more or less likely to occur. The models naturally also include everything from the previous performance to punter behaviour or changes in the game.
If two bet offers from the same match are combined, such as “NAVI to win the match” and “s1mple to get over/under 25,5 kills” the underlying models that help traders determine odds affect each other. It makes it harder to create and is the reason why same-game parlays are still uncommon in esports.
While it might be fun for players to combine bets themselves, it’s time-consuming. Especially when there’s a lot happening in a game and a player wants to nail down a specific set of odds. The bet builder can also seem daunting for new players.
Hence, a way to make bet builders more enticing for players is to precombine the historically most popular bet offers. If a sportsbook has same-game parlays for esports, they could determine the most popular combinations of offers, and boil them down to precombined bets. When creating these precombined bet offers, the markets most relevant could either be two match-winners in a best of three or same-game parlays.
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