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The Best Chess Betting Sites & Bonuses

Top 3 bookmakers for betting on Chess
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Find the Best Place to Bet on Chess

Chess has been around for centuries, and it shouldn’t surprise you that you can not only watch and play chess but also bet on it. Admittedly, online betting on chess isn’t as popular as betting on any other sport, but if you want to learn more about it, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we will cover everything about online betting on chess, including:

  1. Where to find the best chess betting sites?
  2. Which chess bets are available to you?
  3. What are online chess game betting strategies?
  4. What are tips & tricks for betting on chess?

List of the Best Chess Bookmakers

Online chess game betting is not nearly as popular as betting on football, basketball, and even volleyball. So it shouldn’t come off as a surprise that finding a bookmaker that will accept your chess bets is more complex than locating football, basketball, or volleyball bookies. Still, chess betting sites are out there, and if you know where to look, you won’t struggle to find them.

100% up to $500
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check iconLive betting
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100% up to €100
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check iconMobile apps
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Bet £10 Get £30 in free bets
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However, while it will not take long to find a gambling site that will accept your chess bets, you have to ensure that you are using only the best betting sites. 10Bet, Bwin, MyBookie, and Unibet are some of them, and they all have one thing in standard – competitive chess betting odds and a generous selection of betting markets.

If you find a bookmaker that has both, you’ve located a winner, although there are other – albeit less critical – features you should keep an eye on. That mainly includes the availability of betting apps and live betting markets.

Chess Betting Bonuses & Offers

If you plan to bet on chess, it’s wise to check whether the sportsbook you’re using has any betting bonuses available. Since chess is not as popular as other major sports, these promotions will not be as common. Still, if you plan to enjoy some Chess World Championship betting or wagering on any other prominent event, you can rest assured that chess betting sites will have something ready for you.

The bonuses will come in many shapes and sizes, but most commonly, they’re offered deposit bonuses, free bets, or boosted odds on tournament candidates who aren’t favoured to win. It’s also worth noting that most prizes will be awarded to you directly, without needing to do any more work; however, we would advise you to check the terms and conditions to ensure you’re eligible for the offers.

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How Does Chess Betting Work

Betting on chess is very straightforward and should come as second nature to anyone with basic knowledge of how online betting works. Admittedly, some bet types are unique to chess and are not found in other sports betting markets, but once you get a solid grasp of what they mean, you can bet on chess effortlessly.

Moreover, chess betting online odds are no different to odds on other sports, so if you decide to start betting on chess, there are just a few things to do.

Familiarize yourself with the players, their strategy, and the available bet types. If you aren’t sure how to read the odds, that’s a fairly straightforward process, so if you’re new to chess betting, you will need just a couple of weeks to get a feel of how to bet on chess.

Chess Odds

Reading chess odds is simple; anyone can do it even without a calculator, but some people forget the most important thing about the odds. You will often find different offers depending on which online chess betting site you visit. For example, Unibet can have Magnus Carlsen priced at 2/1 to win the next World Championship, while MyBookie can have him priced at 3/1.

These odds discrepancies come because chess bookmakers compile their odds differently; some are more efficient than others. Then there are online chess betting sites that are slow in adapting their odds to match the market.

As a chess bettor, you should be aware of that and always look for the best odds. It also explains why having accounts with multiple chess betting sites is beneficial – it will allow you to bet with the best odds, effectively setting you up for the highest potential payout.

If you want to start betting on chess, you might think that there isn’t much action happening throughout the year and that you might be limited to only a few competitions. But that’s not the case.

Chess is played worldwide, and every country has its tournament and competitions on which you can wager. Yet out of all the chess tournaments you can bet on, just a few stand out as the most popular. The Candidates Tournament, Wijk aan Zee, Chess tournament in Linares, and many more.

If you plan to bet on bigger tournaments, you can expect better coverage from chess betting sites and potentially more betting bonuses. So it pays to focus on more significant chess events!

History of Chess

Chess has a very long and rich history. While there are no clear dates of when the first chess – or variation of chess – was played, many scholars believe that the game originated in the 6th century in the Gupta Empire of India. Interestingly, the game of chess has not changed much over the years, and it has kept the same rules, same game pieces, and the same board.

However, the game became increasingly popular, and it quickly spread across the globe. And as the game spread, new rules were added, changing the game of chess to reach the final form we know today.

The most important date is 1851, when the first chess tournament – the Immortal Game – was held in London, UK.

Nowadays, we have way more major chess tournaments such as the world championship and various big events featuring the world’s elite players. And considering how big the betting world is today, it also shouldn’t surprise anyone that, unlike back in the day, we have a plethora of tournaments running across the globe.

Although there is a chance that people were betting on chess in the 6th century, the chess betting world looked much different from how it is today. And likewise, it didn’t produce the same amount of revenue, which eventually gets used to help with further development of the chess ecosystem, finance tournaments, schools, and more.

How to Bet on Chess

Chess betting is quite an enigma to most online sports betting worlds, which isn’t that shocking. Even though chess is one of the world’s most recognizable games that almost everyone knows how to play, very few decide to place chess bets.

Still, the process is very straightforward if you want to try it out.

  • First, you must register on a sportsbook that offers online chess game betting options. Admittedly, not every bookmaker will have chess betting markets available, and you won’t be able to enjoy chess betting online at every bookie you come across – as you would football. However, as long as you register on reputable and big-brand sportsbooks such as MyBookie, Unibet, Bwin, or 10Bet, there is a perfect chance that chess betting markets will be available.
  • While picking between chess betting sites, check if it has enough betting options and the deposit/withdrawal methods you prefer.
  • Chess bookmakers with high betting limits are your friends – especially if you’re a high roller.
  • Preferably, you should pick a bookie with chess live betting markets even if you don’t plan to bet on live matches at the start. Likewise, it helps if a sportsbook has a chess betting app.
  • After you’ve found a place to bet on chess, you need to find a website – or preferably a few – that can offer you stats, data, and other useful information to help you decide what to bet on.
  • Following chess betting experts and their betting previews are beneficial, mainly because betting previews are the most efficient tool to get information on games or events you wish to bet on.
  • Lastly, you need to have a solid strategy and be good at managing your bankroll. Betting is similar to investing – you need to have a plan and stick to it.

Even though chess betting is not very popular, you will be surprised by how many betting markets are available if you decide to bet on chess. You would think that the match winner is the only chess bet available, but you would be very wrong.

Here are some of the most popular chess betting markets, starting with everyone’s favourite, the outright winner.

Outright Winner

Outright winner is the most common and popular chess bet type for anyone who bets on chess events. For example, if you want to engage in chess World Championship betting, the first chess wager you would place would be the outright wager, mainly because this market opens up way sooner than the rest.

The outright chess bet is no different from outright wagers in other sports. With it, you’re predicting which chess player will win the next event, or you can bet which country will come out on top in some tournaments. So if you want to bet on Magnus Carlsen to win the next world championship, you would explore the outright betting markets.

Match Winner

Match winner is the most straightforward chess bet you can take on any match. It’s a simple wager on which player will win the next chess game and is the same bet type as moneyline in football, basketball, or any other sport.

Opening Move

The opening moves bet in chess falls under proposition bets because it does not directly dictate how the game will end but instead focuses on a specific event in the game – more precisely, the first move.

There are 16 possible first moves in chess, and you can bet on that as a bettor. Admittedly, this is an exotic wager that only the biggest chess betting fans use, but it’s there, and it’s available if you feel adventurous.

Number of Moves

The number of moves is a similar bet to total goals in football and is a simple wager on how many total moves the players will make by the end of the chess game. Sportsbooks will set the line according to the probability and usually set the totals lower in an uneven match and higher in closer affairs.

Chess Live Betting

Live betting on sports is not a new concept, so it shouldn’t surprise you that chess live betting is available on most online chess betting sites. Live betting on chess and any other sport has been around since the 90s when sportsbooks were first able to develop a website and offer live gambling options.

But if you decide to try out live betting, you should know that chess live betting markets won’t be as accessible as live betting options on other major sports. So you should pay close attention to the chess betting sites you choose and whether they have in-play markets.

There is a wrong way to choose a chess betting site for live betting on chess. Not only should the site have live betting markets, but it should preferably also provide you with live streaming options since sports TV challenges do not cover all chess tournaments. Although you can still find live streams on streaming websites, it is far more convenient to have a stream available on the site you plan to bet from.

Chess Betting Tips & Predictions

Betting on chess isn’t easy, especially if you have never done it before. Although anyone can place a chess bet, deciding what to bet is often tough. And this is where research comes into play.

Before you place any bet, no matter which sport you’re wagering on, you need to research, find as much information on the games as possible, and carefully decide where to place your money. It is a time-consuming task, and if you’re a rookie in chess betting, it will be even tougher, but there’s a way around all that.

Finding a website that can offer you betting picks and predictions on chess games will greatly benefit your long-term success as a chess bettor. And that is not necessarily because you’ll be copying what the betting predictions tell you but because betting previews are the best tool to get information on games.

Betting previews provided by chess betting experts include all the information you’ll need to decide what to bet on, and despite chess being a less popular sport, there are many such websites in 2022. So before you start betting on chess, find a few websites with predictions and tips – they will greatly help you.

Chess Betting Strategies

There is no hidden betting strategy that will guarantee you profits while you wager on your favourite online chess betting site. However, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you on your journey of finding the best chess bets.

The most important thing is to use only the best chess betting sites, with competitive chess odds and enough gambling markets. You’re doomed from the start without access to proper chess bookmakers, so make sure you pick the right one.

When deciding what to bet, it helps to check the ELO ratings of the players, which will show how good they are. An ELO rating does not mean everything, but it is an indication of the chess player’s skill.

Analyze past results, especially past head-to-head records. Even if Player A has a much higher ELO rating than Player B, he might have a poor H2H record, proving that ELO rating is not everything.

Bet on value rather than on who you think will win. It might sound counterproductive, but you should bet according to chess odds rather than on the better player.

Besides analyzing chess odds, you also need to make sure that you bet with the best prices, so look through all sportsbooks and bet on the one that offers you the best prices and, therefore, a better potential payout.

Lastly, you need to learn how to manage your bankroll – set a starting bankroll, decide on the size of your betting units and stick to the plan. Never overbet, and don’t bet with more money than you can afford to lose.

If you follow these steps, you will be well on making a profit betting on chess. Still, keep in mind that betting is a process, so don’t expect to become rich overnight.

Chess Overview

Before we conclude our chess betting guide, here are some interesting facts about chess you might not know about.

  • Some of the biggest and most crucial chess competitions include Chess Olympiads, FIDE Grand Prix, USA Championship, American Cup, Chess World Cup, and The Candidates Tournament
  • The most famous chess players in the world are Magnus Carlsen, Garry Kasparov, Viswanathan Anand, Alexander Alke, Hikaru Nakamura, and Bobby Fischer.
  • People worldwide play chess, but it’s trendy in India, France, Spain, Russia, Germany, and Turkey.
  • There is no sport like chess, but a few games are similar to it, including Shogi, Go, and Azul
  • Unibet, 1xBet, MyBookie, William Hill, and Bwin are some of the most popular legal online bookmakers for chess betting.
  • There are over 318 billion possible positions after each chess player has made only 4 moves.
  • There are more possible positions after 4 chess moves than electrons in the observable universe (10^120).
  • The longest chess game happened in 1989 between Nikolic and Arsenovic, which ended in a draw after 269 moves.
  • The rule that the first pawn can move 2 squares instead of one was introduced in 1280.
  • The longest possible game of chess (theoretically) is 5949 moves.
  • The word “Checkmate” in chess comes from a Persian saying “Shah Mat”, meaning “the king is dead”.

Bottom Line

That concludes our chess betting guide, where we covered everything you need to know about the game of chess and how to bet on it. Now you’re ready to find the best chess betting sites and start wagering on one of the world’s oldest sports!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you bet on chess online?

    Yes. Online chess betting is available and legal as long as you live in a country where online sports betting is allowed and you’re old enough to gamble. However, since not all bookies offer chess betting markets, you will need to find one that does before you can place your first bet.

  • How can I make money betting on chess?

    Like any other sport, you can make money betting on chess. However, it will take time and dedication to research which player you will bet on and have the right betting strategy. But it all starts with picking a solid chess bookie that can offer you competitive odds and enough betting markets.

  • Can you bet on chess in Vegas?

    Yes. Most commonly, you will bet on chess via online betting sites, but you will also find chess odds at some land-based bookmakers. You can bet on chess in Vegas or any other US country or city where betting is legal.

Writer & Tipster

Jimmy is our on-duty tipster and writer. His favorite sports are cricket, tennis, and basketball. If you’re looking for the best betting tips in the business, Jimmy’s your guy. His tips and events previews are among the most read at BetZillion.

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