Hearthstone Betting

Similar to the classic geeky card game of old, Magic the Gathering, and created by the same people behind World of Warcraft, Hearthstone had all of the makings of a classic from the outset, which is perhaps why this game was immediately accepted into the gaming and esports communities, and why it is currently one of the fastest growing online card games in the world.

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About Hearthstone

The full name of this game is Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, and it is based of the famous Warcraft series, of which the MMORPG World of Warcraft is a part. Hearthstone is available on many operating systems, including mobile ones, and it can be downloaded and played for free. However, to truly make it in this game you need to spend some money in order to buy some cards.

Hearthstone was released in March 2014 and within its first year it had accumulated 30 million registered users. The game itself is similar to Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Ho! and other card collecting games, only all of the cards are virtual and the game is entirely online based. The users can purchase packs of cards and individual cards, and they can also win and lose cards playing the game. There are also adventures that reward cards when players complete them, which makes this as much of a single-player game as it is a multiplayer game.

However, it is the multiplayer aspect that draws the esports betting crowd, and it is the multiplayer, or person-to-person contests that sportsbooks like Betway and Pinnacle Sports typically offer markets on.

Types of Bets

One of the biggest bets on Hearthstone is the “tournament outright” bet. Simply put, you are staking your money on the player that you think will win the whole tournament. Because tournaments tend to be very large, with a host of players contesting for the top prize, the odds on all of the entrants are quite high. Obviously, the better the player and the greater their reputation, then the smaller their odds will be, but even then they will still be higher than 5.00. The smaller the tournament, the shorter the odds will be across the board.

You can also bet on individual matches, but bear in mind that the odds will be much shorter, particularly when a strong favourite is going up against an outsider. Also, as much of Hearthstone is played in a knockout format, a winner needs to be decided. This eliminates the “draw” as a possibility, which further decreases the total odds you will be offered for each player.

In bigger tournaments, you may be able to bet on how far certain players will advance. Such bets are typically only found on the players with the biggest reputations, and you can usually bet on whether they will make it to the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, or whether they will be eliminated beforehand.

Basic Betting Strategy

A good thing about betting on Hearthstone is that it all boils down to numbers. To be fair, so does it for most other games, but unlike betting on Starcraft 2 or any of the other “skill” games, your APM or aim is not of importance here. You have an allotted amount of time that you can use to decide your next moves. And in addition, there are almost always an optimal move given the cards available and the probabilities that are given. Still, the players has to be able to calculate these on the spot and luck still plays a factor, even though skill wins out over the long run.

In this regard, the game plays much like poker. Sure, on average both players are dealt the same cards, but it is how you play each situation, both the good and the bad, that determines how you will do in the long run. The good thing about this is that it will, like poker, attract a lot of average players that will come back and try their hand as they can always tangle with the best with a little luck.

hearthstone_4So what does all this have to do with Hearthstone betting? Given that there is mostly a game comprised of numbers and probabilites, it is quite possible to come up with very accurate numbers for a players win probability. Unlike team-games like Dota 2 or League of Legends, where there are waaay too many variables to be able to pin-point a somewhat exact win percentage, you have to make some assumptions along the way, Hearthstone allows you to setup calculations on who will win out when they play different decks against each other. How easy it is is another question all together, but making money seldom is 🙂

A good place to start when trying to determine win-probabilities is to watch streams of the better players. The likes of Kolento, sjow, Trump, dog and many others are streaming all the time and you can glean quite a lot from their play style and preferences when it comes to decks. If you can do this for most of the players, construct their decks and then run some simulations between them, you might be able to come up with good numbers to use in your betting strategy.

Biggest Tournaments

The Battle.net World Championship Series is currently one of the biggest events for Hearthstone. Hosted by Blizzard Entertainment, it also features some of their other games and was founded as recently as 2012. The Dreamhack, which is one of the biggest events for esports in the world, has also featured a Hearthstone tournament on a few occasions, beginning in the winter of 2014 when the single-player event was won by Ukrainian player Kolento, and the team event was won by Cloud9. During the following event, which was held in the summer of 2015, both the player and the team events were dominated by Chinese players, with US players scooping second place in both events.

Hearthstone Twitch Streams

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Game Information

March 11, 2014