Even before we were all living in a world where COVID-19 was our everyday reality, virtual sports were fast gaining popularity. South African betting companies are always looking for new ways to entertain us and it was only a matter of time before they found ways to keep us busy, even late on a Sunday night when the weekend’s soccer and race meetings are all over. Betting on virtual sports, especially in the UK, has become an integral part of every serious bookie’s offering, and it’s now here in South Africa. But now it almost feels like the rise of virtual sports was the world’s way of preparing us for the crazy situation we all now find ourselves in—with no sport to watch but plenty of time on our hands to bet. Enter Jika Sports, a fun way to bet on virtual soccer games and horse racing in the time of COVID-19.
How Does Betting On Virtual Sports Work?
The process for betting on virtual matches or races is just as easy as with real-life sports. The fixtures or race meetings are listed on the bookmaker’s site and you go about placing your bets in almost the same way. How betting on virtual sports mainly differs from real sports is that the outcomes of virtual events are generated by a computer algorithm and not based on what happens in real life. An easy way to think about betting on virtual sports is like playing a fixed-odds casino game rather than betting on a sports match where almost anything can happen from one match to the next.
What Is Jika Sports?
Jika Sports is a South African virtual sports betting platform that offers soccer as well as horseracing. With Jika Soccer and Jika Racing, you can bet on live-streamed virtual events every six minutes so you have even more chances to win than in real life. Place your bets on all the markets you’re used to finding at your favourite sportsbook and watch as the 3D-animated action unfolds on your screen in front of a raucous crowd. It’s almost like watching the real thing except it all happens much faster and you can bet on live matches 24/7!
How Does Jika Soccer Work?
Jika Soccer is the ideal virtual sports betting game for fans of the English Premier League. With COVID-19, your team might no longer be getting out on the pitch every weekend to play for the league trophy but you can still watch them compete against their biggest rivals in the virtual world. This fixed-odds soccer betting game consists of a high-speed virtual match where every aspect of the contest is dramatically sped up so that an entire match lasts just a few minutes. Just imagine how many matches you can bet on in a day!
If you’re wondering what playing virtual sports looks like, think of it like watching a highlight reel of any Premier League soccer game with only the most important and consequential plays of the match. Now, imagine those matches haven’t actually been played already and you can predict the results. It’s like soccer betting on steroids!
How To Bet On Jika Soccer: An Example
When you visit the Jika Soccer site or a bookmaker that offers Jika Sports, you will see a list of fixtures and odds for different betting markets such as Match Result, Double Chance, Over/Under 2.5 Goals, etc. All you need to do is place your bets just like you would on a real-life match by clicking on the odds of the market you want to bet on. The virtual soccer match is then live-streamed like you’re watching your friends play a game of FIFA except that you have no control over the outcome. You can’t have it all!
Here’s an easy breakdown:
- Log in to your Hollywoodbets, Betway or WSB account
- For Hollywoodbets: Click the Jika Sports tab on the left side of your screen (second from the top on the main sports menu)
- For Betway: Click the Jika Sports tab on the main menu
- Scroll down below the video/results screen to see the fixtures of upcoming virtual soccer matches
- Alongside each upcoming fixture, you will see the odds for the corresponding betting markets listed above
- Make your selection by clicking the odds of the market you want to bet on
- Go to your bet slip on the right side of your screen. Select your bet type, enter your stake and click ‘Place Bet’
- Scroll up to the live steam and wait for the timer to run down to zero. Sit back and enjoy the game. Good luck!
How Does Jika Racing Work?
With Jika Racing, you can bet on virtual horse races every 6 minutes at 3D-rendered venues like Milnerton and Turfontein. Choose an upcoming event and read the form and star ratings for each horse competing to inform your betting selections. Virtual races are made more realistic with commentary and photo finishes so it feels like you’re an actual spectator. Bet types available for punters include the most basic straight and place bets as well as forecasts, trifectas and other system bet combinations, all for as little as a R1 stake!
Follow the same basic process for placing your bets on Jika Racing. The main difference is that once you’ve selected an event, the drop-down screen will be a race card with different markets to choose from such as Win, Place, 1st Two, 1st Three, etc.
Where Can I Play Jika Sports?
This South African virtual sports platform is currently only available at Hollywoodbets, Betway, World Sports Betting and Supabets, but Jika Sports will also be accessible for punters with accounts at Gbets and other bookies soon.
How Real Does It Feel Playing Virtual Sports?
As more bookmakers offer virtual sports betting, the graphics and features have become increasingly advanced and innovative. On some platforms, the virtual matches are even modeled on real-life stadiums and race tracks so it feels like you’re standing right there! Enjoy listening to commentary as the events unfold and instant replays of goals and key moments. The most advanced virtual soccer betting platforms at big-name bookmakers in Europe even feature fans singing their clubs’ anthems. “Glory, glory Man United!”
Is Virtual Sports Betting Rigged?
No, virtual sports are not rigged, but they are not completely random either. If that confused you, just bear with me for a while as I explain. When bookmakers set their odds for any real-life sports event, they assign a probability to every betting market based on the perceived chance of it happening. How they determine the likelihood of each event occurring is by looking at what has happened in the past. They weigh up different factors like home/away, recent form, injuries, H2H matchups, etc. which are all clues as to how the event might unfold the next time around. But even with all this information at hand, the reality is that we still have no idea what is actually going to happen on the field or track.
But in virtual sports, the bookmaker sets arbitrary odds which are not based on reality or real-life past events. Instead, the result of each virtual event is determined by a computer algorithm and punters can more confidently ‘play the odds’. What this means in practice is that you have the exact chance of winning as the odds represent minus the bookmaker’s margin (profit). This makes virtual sports a much safer bet for punters because the risk you take is perfectly aligned with the potential reward. Because we are dealing with computers and not humans when playing virtual sports, there is less randomness involved and matches are more predictable. For this reason, there are fewer upsets where strong favourites lose or big underdogs win.
Is Virtual Sports Betting Regulated In SA?
Unlike sportsbooks, slots in casinos are designed to make the same amount of profit every day/month/year no matter how many big winners or losers there are. If somebody wins a jackpot that means there is simply less money to go around until the algorithm resets itself again at random. Similarly, if nobody has won big in a while, the casino will eventually pay out more to ensure profit margins stay in line. The problem we have as gamblers is the difficulty of predicting when exactly the algorithms of these machines will reset. The idea of a machine “being hot” or “due to pay” is only as good as your knowledge of its algorithm.
So, what does this have to do with virtual sports? This kind of betting works the same way as casino slots in that the results are not completely random. In fact, they are inherently more predictable over the long term because the bookmaker has control over the algorithm and needs to ensure they payout just the right amount. Thankfully, this algorithm is checked by independent verifiers to ensure the virtual markets it controls are fair and unbiased. So, you can rest assured that playing virtual sports at a bookmaker regulated by the National Gambling Board in South Africa is completely fair and safe.
Jika Sports Betting Tips
At its core, virtual sports betting is no different to regular betting, so it is essential to remember there is always lots of luck involved, no matter which sports or markets you choose to bet on. There are several betting systems you can use to try and take advantage of prevailing trends. We won’t go into any of those here but just know the biggest advantage of betting on virtual sports over real-life sports is the odds more accurately predict your real chances of winning. Putting aside your knowledge about teams in the real world helps you focus just on the odds given by the bookies and no other distractions. The same rules then also apply about managing your bankroll like a budget and being responsible by not chasing your losses. This way, you can minimise risk and maximise your potential for long-term profit.
Why Play Jika Sports?
- Easy to play and anyone can win
- Bet on soccer matches and horse races every 6 minutes, 24 hours a day
- Events are streamed in high-quality video and are made ultra-realistic with commentary, cheering fans and other features
- Test your betting strategies and learn about different betting markets in a more controlled environment