As far as virtual sports go, greyhound racing is about as close to the real thing as you’re likely to get. Greyhound races in the real world are both fast and frequent, some would say that’s the very point of the sport and so in that sense virtual greyhound racing is ideal even for real-life fans and punters.
Between them developers and bookmakers have built platforms to provide realistic, high-quality CGI representations of greyhound races and that is particularly important to regular punters during times when the real thing is unavailable.
Virtual greyhound races, much like their virtual horse racing cousins, are played out using computer algorithms with the result ultimately decided using a random number generator, something that is regulated and checked independently meaning all results are fair.
Naturally there are good things and bad things to consider when it comes to taking part in virtual greyhound racing but one thing’s for certain, it is among the most entertaining and fast-moving online gambling pastimes available.
What Sort of Greyhound Races are Shown?
Our disparate array of online bookmakers need to stay competitive with each other without simply offering the same product, so what finished effect you’ll get depends on who you bet with and who provides their virtual betting software.
Ordinarily, bookies will offer simple flat greyhound races every two to three minutes, races lasting around 30 seconds. bet365 also offer ‘bullet racing’, where races go off every single minute of the day.
Greyhound stadiums are of course fictional as are the names of the dogs, but these computerised representations are very realistic in nature and are at least a good substitute for the real thing which for many, are just as hard to make a profit from!
Is There More Than One Virtual Dog Track?
Much like in horse racing, producers of virtual greyhound races can’t use the names of real stadiums because of licencing laws, however they do mix things up with each bookmaker showing their own virtual arenas.
The aesthetics and the atmosphere provided at each of these tracks really do their best to recreate real greyhound racing pretty well, but don’t expect to see Belle Vue, Newcastle or Shawfield!
Instead, you can expect to be backing dogs at Bennett Park, Goldenhill Park, Hillside Park, Longlead Stadium, Ballyhale Park and plenty more besides.
Bet Types within Virtual Greyhound Racing
Betting on real greyhound races is a very simple affair of course, and so pretty much anything you can do in the real world is replicated by most online bookmakers within their virtual greyhound sections.
Every race has six starters as standard, with the only change in markets really being when there may be a hot favourite versus times when the whole field is close and the betting is therefore wide open.
Generally then, you will tend to see these basic markets offered up:
- Win Market – all six dogs are listed in trap number order with their odds displayed. As this is a computer-generated race, the odds will not change even if many people are backing the same dog.
- Forecast – the market for the first two dogs home can be done as a straight forecast, or a reverse forecast.
- Tricast – again, straight or reverse tricasts are available on the first three past the line and once more odds will not change.
Length and Frequency of Virtual Greyhound Races
bet365 have a terrific virtual sports section and so there, much like within their virtual horse racing section, they offer ‘one-minute bullet racing’.
These races last for 30 seconds at a time and go off every minute of the day. The reason they are so popular is that, with punters knowing and accepting that races are decided by a random number generator and so not much time is needed to decide on a bet, the speed with which these races play out and are settled really suits those with a penchant for fast-moving online games, such as slot titles.
Generally speaking, flat and hurdle greyhound races go off either every 2 minutes or every 3 minutes depending on the bookmaker involved, lasting around 30 seconds at a time.
What punters seem to love about virtual races is that, given that they are pre-decided by algorithms, they can be settled and winnings paid out immediately allowing them to move on quickly.
Virtual Greyhounds Pros & Cons
Unlike certain other virtual sports, especially football, the greyhound racing offering can be described as very realistic which is its major charm.
Given the nature of greyhound races in the real world, there is a fair amount of luck involved as even when a dog has prepared expertly for a race and punters may know this, bad luck in running or a poor break can be enough to put paid to its chances.
Within virtual races, there is less of this and so if you simply want to take a chance on a favourite, second-favourite or even a rank outsider you may as well give it a go!
- It’s Fast and Frequent – much like the real thing, virtual greyhound racing is regular and quick meaning it’s a great substitute for those used spending their afternoons in front of the TV or in the bookmakers betting on the real thing.
- It’s Realistic – greyhound racing is probably the virtual sport closest in look and feel to the real thing.
- It Features Simple Markets – only the win market on the six runners plus forecasts and tricasts are likely to be available, keeping things simple and meaning a decision on bets can be made very quickly.
- It Offers Unlimited Betting Opportunities – races go off every 1-3 minutes withing the virtual greyhound world, and this happens 24 hours a day meaning you will never be without a betting opportunity regardless of when you choose to get involved.
- It’s Always a Fair Result – the random number generators involved mean that, while no skill can be used to predict the result, it is always fair for all.
- There’s Less Control for Punters – in real greyhound racing, backers may use time and form or in some cases even inside knowledge to make an informed bet, however here it is all about the luck of the draw.
- There’s Nothing Like the Real Thing – real stadium visits, real dogs, real commentary and real form are all crucial parts of this sport and they are all of course removed within virtual greyhound racing.
- There’s No Social Element – many people attend dog racing for more reasons than to have a bet, likewise BAGS meetings have been a staple not just for bookmakers themselves but for those who meet in betting offices on a daily basis to get involved. It would be great to see a social element introduced to online virtual greyhound racing much as there is online poker for example, but for now that’s not an option.
- There Is Increased Temptation to Bet – the frequency of betting opportunities within virtual greyhound racing is a good thing for those who can control their wagering, however for those with less control it can lead to backers betting more and losing more than they can afford to.
Other Things to Consider
Whether you think any of the above pros and cons apply to you in their relevant forms, the fact is that the makeup of this being a virtual sport means that it is actually more akin to playing online slots than watching and betting on real sport.
So, if you’re OK with betting on a game that uses a random number generator and you’re simply after a fair chance of winning, then this could be for you.
If however you prefer to have a little control and are used to reading form and times to decide on your greyhound bet, then you’d perhaps be better off switching to another sport rather than relying on the virtual version of your real sport to provide meaningful betting opportunities.