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DOTA 2 betting guide: How to bet on DOTA 2

29 May | BY Guy Giles | MIN READ TIME |
DOTA 2 betting guide: How to bet on DOTA 2

From our most popular markets to some handy tips, here is everything you need to know about betting on DOTA 2.


DOTA 2 is a multiplayer online battle arena game that pits two teams of five players against each other, with each player controlling a single ‘hero.’

The objective of the game is to destroy the enemies ‘Ancient’ – the building located at the centre of their base.

Every hero has different strengths and weakness, and every player will specialise in using certain heroes and operating in a certain area of the map.

Players engage in combat against each other throughout the match in order to make their way towards the opponents’ base and destroy their Ancient.

DOTA 2 is one of the world’s largest competitive esports, with The International – the game’s largest tournament – offering prize pools of more than US$30million.


Betway offer a range of different markets for customers looking to bet on competitive DOTA 2 action.

We provide betting markets for all of the biggest DOTA 2 tournaments, including the The International, ESL One and BLAST: Bounty Hunt, among many other worldwide events.

Match winner

This is the main market for betting on any sport, and is also the simplest one to understand.

The sportsbook will give you the option to select Team A or Team B to win. Simply select the team that you think will win the match.

Map winner

Many DOTA 2 matches will take a best-of-three format, with a team needing to win two maps to win the whole match. 

Instead of selecting the team you think will win the whole match, the map winner market allows you to select the team that you think will win a certain map.

To navigate to this market you need to select the map you want to bet on in the tabs at the top of the match page, and then select the team you believe will win that map.

Maps handicap

This market is slightly more complicated but can be useful if one team is heavy favourite to win a match and the odds are very short.

Handicap betting works by placing a disadvantage on the favourites or an advantage on the underdogs.

For example, if Team A are favourites to win the match, their maps handicap might be set at -1.5 on the sportsbook.

This means that they essentially start the match on -1.5 map wins, and therefore must win the match 2-0 for your bet to come in.

Conversely, the underdogs would be set a handicap of +1.5, meaning they start the match with 1.5 map wins and only need to win one map for your bet to come in.

Maps total

Instead of betting on a winner, the maps total market allows you to bet on how many maps you think will be played in the match.

You are essentially betting on whether you think either team will win the match 2-0, or whether the match will be taken to a third map.

The sportsbook will give you the option of selecting over or under 2.5 maps. If you think that a team will win the match quickly, then select under, if you think that it will be a close match that requires three maps, then select over.

Correct score

This market allows you to predict exactly how you think the match will finish.

The sportsbook will give you four options: Team A to win 2-0, Team A to win 2-1, Team B to win 2-0, Team B to win 2-1. Simply select the score you think will happen.

Map 1/2/3 First Blood

This is a popular market within DOTA 2 betting and is very simple to understand.

First Blood allows you to predict which team will make the first kill on a specific map.

Map 1/2/3 First To Reach 10 Kills

This market is another simple one, allowing you to bet on which team you believe will be the first to make 10 kills on a specific map.

Map 1/2/3 Team To Destroy The 1st Tower

Each lane on a DOTA 2 map is guarded by three towers, buildings that will attack any non-neutral enemy within range.

This market allows you to predict which team will be the first to destroy a tower on a specific map.

Map 1/2/3 Team To Destroy The 1st Barracks

Barracks are buildings responsible for spawning non-neutral creeps in DOTA 2. There are two barracks located on each lane.

This market allows you to bet on which team will be the first to destroy a barracks on a specific map.

Map 1/2/3 Team To Slay The 1st Roshan

Roshan, also known as Roshan the Immortal, is the most powerful neutral creep in DOTA 2. It spawns right at the beginning of the match and is far more powerful than any hero early on in the match.

This market allows you to bet on which team will be the first to eventually slay Roshan on a specific map.

In-play betting

As well as being able to bet on a match before it starts, Betway also give you the chance to bet on a match while it is going on. This is called in-play betting and is one of our most popular offerings.

In-play betting allows you to place bets on certain teams to win specific rounds as the match goes on, along with a few other markets.

By betting while the match is going on, you are able to make informed decisions on the direction in which you think certain rounds will go.

Betway also allow you to stream DOTA 2 matches live on our website, all you need to do is log in to your Betway account.



Looking at a team’s previous results, current form, team head-to-head results and whether they are playing with a stand-in or have recently undergone a roster change is important for determining a team’s strength.

Teams in the SEA, CIS and NA regions tend to undergo a lot of roster changes, so keeping an eye out for this is important.


As with most esports, DOTA 2 has a meta that changes throughout the year. The meta affects which heroes and items are most effective at that time, the pacing of the game and the map geography.

Changes in meta can greatly affect the performance of a team – some teams will be better suited to the current meta than others. Some teams perform very well immediately after a new patch is released, others take more time to adapt.

If a new patch has just dropped, it’s not uncommon for previously successful teams to struggle for a while before learning the new meta. Upsets become more common when the best strategies for the current meta haven’t been figured out yet.

LAN vs Online

There can be a big difference between DOTA 2 matches that are played on LAN – on stage at tournaments – and those played online.

LAN tournaments are preferable for competitive play as they provide the perfect playing environment for the best teams to thrive. Teams have to deal with the pressure of a crowd, but they will have trained for several months towards that one tournament.

Online matches are usually played from the comfort of the home, and can feature ping issues that put certain teams at a disadvantage. Upsets are generally more common in these conditions.


It is generally recognised that Europe contains the strongest Tier 1 teams, while China has the strongest in Tier 2.

North America is a weak region in DOTA 2 esports, with Evil Geniuses being their only strong team.

South American teams have a distinctly chaotic playstyle, meaning there is a larger potential for upsets when they are involved.


The draft is the single most important factor in determining results before the match starts. This determines the hero lineup for each team.

The abilities of each hero, power spikes (how strong a hero is at a certain time in the game) and how they synergise with each other will help inform the following:

  • Who gets the first tower (heroes with good building damage early on)
  • Who gets the first Roshan (heroes with abilities that reduce armour)
  • Who gets the first barracks (heroes that reach full strength quicker)
  • Who will win (‘early game’ lineups prevail in quick matches, while ‘late game’ lineups prevail if the game lasts longer.)

Visit Betway’s Dota2 betting page.

Guy Giles

Guy Giles

Sports writer who produces regular football and cricket tips, while also covering a range of other sports.

Guy Giles

Guy Giles

Sports writer who produces regular football and cricket tips, while also covering a range of other sports.