What is Virtual Horse Racing?
Even though you can pretty much find horse racing markets going off 24-7 in this age of online betting, there is an alternative to explore if you wanted more. That is virtual horse racing.
Virtual Horse Racing Explained
One of the great things about virtual horse racing is that it is so easy to jump into. It is pretty much the same experience you would expect from regular horse racing betting. Just that there are no real-life variables like track conditions and form to deal with.
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What to expect with Virtual Racing
You will see a parade of the computer-generated horses running in the race and of course, their odds. You will also see race information like the distance and the Place terms. It all has the feel of just watching a race on TV along with full commentary.
As you can see from the screenshot of a virtual horse race, you can also see the ‘form’ of the horse. Note that it doesn’t exist. It’s there for show. You can’t look back through the visual history of a virtual horse, because it just doesn’t exist.
In essence, virtual racing it is a very simplified version of an experience that you would have with real horse racing betting. You don’t get non-runners for example in the virtual world, and you don’t get bombarded with statistics.
As the virtual race goes along you will be able to keep a track of your selection. The numbers of the horses will move position in relation to their place on the track, so you can easily see where runners are.
Who sets Virtual Horse Racing odds?
The outcome of these virtual horse races is all done by a Random Number Generator to keep things fair. Outcomes therefore, cannot be influenced. So virtual horse racing eliminates the skill of studying form.
It becomes more of just a random game, on par with something like a slot machine. So you don’t have to worry about betting strategies. It is just chance. The important thing to realise though is that the odds that you will see presented, do still have a bearing on chance.
The race is still weighted where the runners that you see with shorter odds are going to have a higher chance of winning than those with a larger price on them.
How so if the winner is just picked randomly by a computer? Shouldn’t all runners have an equal chance? Well yes, but no. If that was the case all horses would have the exact same odds.
Think of the horses in a virtual race as players in a lottery. However, one of the horses has 10 tickets in that lottery draw, another just 7 and some just 1 ticket. The computer then draws a winning number at random.
It is statistically more likely that the winner will be one of those horses holding more “lottery tickets”. That will be reflected in the odds on that horse. The bookmaker can control which of those horses in a virtual race have more “lottery tickets” than others.
That’s how the game is controlled on their end. It is why, at the end of the day, it is just a massive game of chance.
What kind of markets are available on Virtual Horse Racing?
There is not a broad range of different bet types in virtual racing compared to real-life racing. You will most likely have a Win or Each Way option on a race. You will also, depending on which bookmaker you look at, probably see Forecast and Tricast options to build.
How to place a Virtual Horse Racing bet
The process is just the same as in real life horse racing betting. At its very simplest you browse the race card and select your horse, by clicking their odds. That odds selection goes straight to your bet slip where you enter your stake and strike your wager.
Bookmakers will have their dedicated section for virtual racing. That’s for easy access and so it doesn’t get wrapped up in the regular sportsbook. Remember, it’s not sports betting, this is just chance game with beautiful graphics.
Virtual Racing Turnover
Virtual racing can keep you on your toes. The races come thick and fast. Note that a virtual horse race doesn’t last as long as it would in real life. A virtual race may last around a minute. Then in between races, there is just a short amount of time.
You can see from this Virtual Racing card below that there is a new race every three minutes.
Different bookmakers may vary with their services, but in general, you are looking at between one and three minutes. With that rapid virtual racing turnover, it’s easy to get sucked into “just playing another round”.
Don’t go into virtual horse racing without a financial game plan. Why? Read on.
Virtual Racing and your bankroll
You have virtual racing all day every day available at your fingertips. It’s not like waiting for seven races to go off on a real-life card at a racetrack, where there may be a good 20 minutes or half an hour between races.
Just as with any betting you are going to want to set yourself some limits. Virtual horse racing can be seductive and addictive. The rapid turnover in races means that it is a thrill ride with not much logical time to step aside, take a breath and take stock of your situation.
So set yourself a bankroll when you start playing, and if the budget goes, switch it off. Also, be happy to walk away with a profit on a good day and not plough it all back in.
With the right approach, Virtual Horse racing can provide a lot of betting fun. You just have to be reasonable with it in terms of your finances. Don’t chase losses. Cut them.
Are other virtual sports available?
Virtual sports betting is not just limited to horse racing at all. You can find football matches, greyhounds racing, motorcycle racing, tennis, speedway. They all work on the same principles as laid out above for the virtual horse racing. Of course, the markets will vary, like getting over/under 2.5 goals markets on football.
Want to learn more about horse racing? Check our other detailed beginner guides.