Before we start, if you don't know the basics about sports betting visit our Sports Betting 101 Guide. Once you're good with that, keep going.
For anyone who’s looking at betting online you’ve likely started to see a few sites that either use Bitcoin exclusively or have started to roll out Bitcoin as a payment method. There are a lot of advantages to using Bitcoin and I’ve been doing it myself for almost a year now. To get setup takes a few steps but once you’re setup I find it to be my preferred way to place bets.
Advantages of Betting with Bitcoin:
- Anonymity: When you use Bitcoin to bet through a website all they need is your Bitcoin address, which is a long, encrypted code. That means they don’t know your name, address, credit card info, or in many cases, even your email. When betting online this can be a huge plus.
- Low fees: When betting through a Bitcoin site there are no fees to deposit or withdraw. The only fees you pay are to the service you use to buy the Bitcoin (which I’ll cover shortly) but that is usually only a couple percent of your purchase amount. That means at most just a few bucks for a big bet.
- No withdrawal limits: A lot of betting sites have a limit to how often you can withdraw. You might get one free withdrawal a month then need to pay as much as $40 for any additional withdrawals. There are no limits and no withdrawal fees for most Bitcoin betting sites.
- No rollovers: This is a huge one for anyone who’s been hit with a rollover. For those who aren’t familiar with rollovers, this occurs when a site gives you a “bonus.” Never. Take. The Bonus. When you accept that you become subject to what’s called a rollover. This means the site will require that you wager a multiplier of your deposit + the bonus amount before you’re allowed to make any withdrawal. If the rollover is 6x (a common number) and you deposit $100 with a 10% bonus, that means you need to wager $660 before you can withdraw. That means you better win every bet you make! If you lose the first bet and make another deposit you need to wager a total of $1,320 before you can withdraw. That’s insane! There is none of that with Bitcoin betting sites (and if there is you can request to not take the bonus).
- Same day deposit/withdrawal: Want to place a last minute bet and withdraw the same day? Not a problem with Bitcoin. With no fees or limits on how often you withdraw you don’t need to worry about having your money sit in an online account for weeks while you wait for your next chance to make a withdrawal.
Now if you aren’t already sold on using Bitcoin to bet, I’m not sure what will change your mind. But the next question is likely three fold. One, what the hell is Bitcoin? Two, is it legal? And three, how do I get Bitcoin and get started.
To answer the first question, Bitcoin is a currency. Just like the Dollar or the Euro, or the Yen or any other currency. The difference is that it’s all online and maintained by a digital community. 1 Bitcoin has a dollar value and you can buy as much as you want. As of right now the value of 1 Bitcoin is $612.19. But if you only want $1 worth you can buy just $1 worth.
The price of Bitcoin does vary though, which is really the only thing that makes it more risky than your normal betting. The risk is that if you buy 1 Bitcoin at $600 and the price drops to $550 before you withdraw, then you lost $50. Conversely you could buy it at $600 and it could increase to $650 and you’ve increased your dollar amount without doing anything. While the price does vary its usually only a couple dollars a day at most. And the quicker you buy, bet, and withdraw, the more you reduce the chance of the price varying greatly. This is one advantage of Bitcoin in that you can buy Bitcoin, make a bet, and withdraw back to your bank account same day.
The second question, is it legal, Yes. Bitcoin is totally legal to buy and can be used to buy everything from products online to a cup of coffee at your local coffee shop. Signing up for a Bitcoin account is safe, legal, and there are many reputable companies that you can use to do this.
Finally, how do you buy Bitcoin? To buy Bitcoin you need to use a service for the transaction. This requires linking a credit card, debit card, bank account, or some combination of these in order to purchase the Bitcoin. Two good services to use are Coinbase (my personally preference) and Snapcard. There are others as well if you want to use a different service.
When you sign up you need to link you payment methods and verify your identity. It’s like opening a bank account or credit card and the may ask you to send a copy of your ID. Remember this is legal and they’re just verifying your information. This information will never make it to your online betting site. The verification process can take a couple days. This is the longest you’ll ever need to wait. Once you’re verified you can start buy and selling Bitcoin immediately.
Now that you’ve got your account setup and you’ve made your first Bitcoin purchase, you’re ready to play. The first thing is to find a site. There are two I recommend:
1: NitrogenSports.eu - This is my favorite for sports betting. It has blackjack and dice as well but it’s very limited. This is a sports betting site. Advantages:
- It’s simple and clean,
- Lets you customize how odds are displayed
- Grades bets very quickly
- Accepts deposits nearly immediately
2: BetCoin.ag - This another one I’ve used and it has sports as well as poker, blackjack, slots, and everything else you could need. I’ve never had any issue withdrawing funds but I’ve found sometimes that it can be slow to receive your deposit (maybe 30-45 minutes) and slow to grade events. That means if I win a football bet and want to bet the next game in 30 minutes, I might not be able to if they haven’t graded my previous bet yet. However, if you want more than just sports this is the site to use.
When you go to either site you can create an account, like any other website account. Then to deposit they’ll give you a Bitcoin address that will look like this:
(Now that isn’t a real address, but that’s what they look like.)
- Buy Bitcoin from Bitcoin service like Coinbase
- Get deposit address from betting site (found under your account settings)
- Go to Bitcoin service and select “Send/Request”
- Select send option and paste Bitcoin address into the address box
- Enter how much money you want to send
Within a matter of minutes your Bitcoin will be in the account of the betting site you chose. Then you can start betting. Make sure to use some simple math though. You’ll be show the amount of Bitcoin you have, not the dollar value. So if you bought $60 worth of Bitcoin when the price $600, you’ll have 0.10 Bitcoin to gamble with. Want to make a $30 bet? That’s 0.05 Bitcoin. Do that math when you’re placing bets and you’ll be good to go!
Now when you’re ready to withdraw all you need to do is get your Bitcoin address from Coinbase or whatever service you use, and enter that in the withdraw field of the website you’re using. Once it’s in your Coinbase account you transfer to your bank account!
Now that was pretty long but I hope it was helpful. Now go forth and win some money!