When you are browsing the sports at your favorite online sportsbook, you may notice a sport called “futsal.” For a moment, you might think you misread it. Surely it said “football?” You check again. Nope—it most definitely says “futsal.”
In this guide, we are going to tell you where you can bet on futsal in the US online. We will also tell you about the history of the game, the rules, and some reasons wagering on futsal is rewarding. We also will review the types of bets and some basic strategic suggestions.
What is Futsal?
Futsal is simply indoor soccer.
Okay, we said “simply,” but the definition above is actually an oversimplification. Because the indoor environment is quite a bit different from a soccer pitch, the structure and rules of futsal also differ from those of traditional outdoor soccer. So, the game is more accurately a variation on soccer.
Top Betting Sites for Futsal in the USA
We are not going to lie — there are not a ton of sportsbooks that offer futsal betting in the US. And that is a tragedy because this is an exciting sport that does not get nearly the recognition it deserves in this country.
Nonetheless, a few of the top USA betting sites do let you wager on futsal, especially during major competitions. Let’s check them out.
The number one place to wager on futsal online if you are in the US is undoubtedly Bovada. This site offers quite a few of the more obscure sports to bet on that other sportsbooks online do not, and futsal is among them.
In fact, we actually discovered futsal betting through Bovada, which prominently displays the sport under “All Sports (A-Z).” Before that, we were not too familiar with the sport.
If you click on “Futsal” in the menu, you can take a look at the action. On this site, you can place spread, win, total, and future bets on futsal.
We have noticed that Bovada often has action for futsal at times when other sportsbooks do not, even if they offer futsal betting markets.
So, if you want a large selection of futsal events to bet on, head here.
If you do not have a Bovada account yet, lucky you! You get to claim the Welcome Bonus on your First Deposit! It is $250 to bet on Sports, and $3,000 to play at the Casino. There also is a 100% Poker Welcome Bonus.
You can grab an even bigger bonus on your first bitcoin deposit: $750 for Sports, and $3,750 for the Casino.
While betting on futsal at Bovada, you will be able to earn rewards points as well that you can trade-in for cash-back. Climbing the ranks will let you enhance your redemption rate. If you take a break, you will keep your tier.
If you want to use bitcoin to wager on futsal, Cloudbet has a section specifically for this sport. There is no action as of the time of this writing, but the page for futsal appears to be permanent.
When you begin on Cloudbet, you can claim a welcome bonus of up to 5 BTC. That is absolutely an astonishingly huge bonus. The Cloudbet Loyalty Club and zero margin sports bets add value to your membership at this crypto sportsbook.
Bovada may need no introduction, and Cloudbet is pretty well-summed up above. But you may not have heard of BetAnySports.
That is because BAS is a relatively new betting site. It appeared shortly after 5Dimes closed. Even though the two sites do not appear to share a direct relationship, their software, betting markets, bonuses and features are near identical. So far, the quality of service has also been comparable. So, we have been happy to call them our replacement for 5Dimes.
Futsal is one of the sports BetAnySports offers. Surprisingly, BAS actually seems to outpace Bovada, offering even more events to bet on.
Additionally, there is a huge range of bet types for futsal at BAS. These include:
- Asian Total
- Asian Handicap
- Next Goal
- Double Chance
- Both Teams to Score
- 1st Half
and so many more!
BAS has inherited the structure of the innovative promotion that was originally offered by 5Dimes. So, when you sign up, you get to choose from a list of promos. You can have one promotion active at a time.
Promos you can choose from include the Less Juice Package, 35% Free-Play Bonus, the Kickback Package, the Casino Rebate Program, the House Money Program, and FREE Lotto Tickets.
While many of these are great, we tend to recommend the Less Juice Package. It makes all your betting less expensive. That means that your bankroll goes further. And if you are good at what you do, it could mean higher profits.
This website is run by the folks who operate MyBookie. The situation on Xbet appears to be much the same as it is on Cloudbet. There is a permanent page for futsal, so the site definitely offers it. But we do not see any action at the time of this writing.
Xbet is a nice, reliable sportsbook that offers some great promotions. On your first deposit to bet on sports, you can score a Bonus of up to $500. An equivalent bonus is available for the casino side of the site.
You can get a Sports Reload Bonus of up to $250, and a Casino Reload Bonus of up to $500.
Other Sites That May Offer Futsal
Finally, there are some betting sites that have mentioned offering action on futsal at some point in the past but do not appear to have it listed in the present. BetOnline.ag falls into that category. So does BookMaker.eu, which has a prominent page discussing wagering on futsal. The same goes for MyBookie.ag.
Judging from our research, it seems like these sites sometimes put up temporary pages for special futsal events.
For example, MyBookie.ag has offered wagering on the Futsal World Cup in the past. We know this because the site has a page specifically for this event.
Betting on futsal on these sites is likely just a matter of checking them right when a major competition is coming up.
History of Futsal
Now that you know what futsal is and where you can wager on it in the USA, let’s talk a bit more about this sport’s history.
If you have always lived in the USA, you may think of futsal as something totally obscure (if you think of it at all). This is also true in some other parts of the world.
But futsal is not obscure everywhere. In fact, in South America, it is very popular. That is because this is the continent where the sport was originally invented in 1930 by Juan Carlos Ceriani, who came up with it for the YMCA.
The first futsal courts were basketball courts, so some of the rules for the game are derived from basketball. But other sports such as water polo and handball also influenced the development of futsal.
It did not take long for this version of indoor soccer to be formalized. In 1933, the first set of rules was published.
After spreading throughout Uruguay, futsal then took off continent-wide. Eventually, it reached Brazil, where it became an even more successful phenomenon. It was in that country that new rules were published in 1956.
The game was inconsistent, however. Players in one country were not using the same set of rules as players in another. This caused issues when it came to hosting international competitions.
The solution was to create a governing organization for the sport. This happened the same year as the new rules were published in Brazil. The Confederación Sudamericana de Fútbol de Salón was formed jointly by members in Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
Today, that organization is defunct. Instead, the following organizations all oversee futsal in different regions and capacities:
Alas, AMF and FIFA have irreconcilable differences, at least to date. Maybe someday that will change. But for now, the organizations do not work together.
We imagine this explains at least some of why futsal has not increased in popularity in Europe. It might also be responsible for a bit of why it has also not spread significantly to the US. To read some additional explanations, scroll down to the FAQ.
Futsal Events to Bet On
In the USA, you are most likely to find action on futsal when there is a major event taking place. Below are some examples:
- FIFA Futsal World Cup
- AMF Futsal World Cup
- Africa Futsal Cup of Nations
- AFC Futsal Asian Cup
- CONCACAF Futsal Championship
- Copa América de Futsal
- OFC Futsal Nations Cup
- UEFS Futsal Championship:
Taking place since 1989, this is the biggest event in FIFA futsal. You can look forward to it every four years.
The biggest event in AMF futsal is the AMF Futsal World Cup. Like the FIFA Futsal World Cup, the AMF Futsal World Cup takes place every four years. It used to take place every three years. The name of the event has changed as well. Previously, it as called the FIFUSA Futsal World Championships.
This is one of the FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifying events, previously known as the African Futsal Championship.
Previously known as the AFC Futsal Championship, this event is another qualifier for the FIFA Futsal World Cup.
Members of the Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football participate in this event, which serves as a qualifier for the FIFA Futsal World Cup.
This FIFA Futsal World Cup qualifying event is for teams in South America.
Teams in Oceania can participate in this event as a qualifier for the FIFA Futsal World Cup. The previous name for the event was the OFC Futsal Championship.
If you want to bet on the most prominent event for the European Futsal Association (UEFS), this is it. There is also a corresponding UEFS Futsal Women’s Championship.<
These events can get you started, but there are other big futsal competitions to bet on as well. Some sportsbooks may also offer action on smaller games.
How Futsal is Played
Due to the issues between FIFA and the AMF, there are multiple rule sets for futsal. You have to find out which is in use before you bet.
The “Laws of the Game” are the official rules according to FIFA. Here are some of the basics:
- A futsal court must measure at least 25 m × 16 m (82 ft × 52 ft) and at most 42 m × 25 m (138 ft × 82 ft).
- The game is played using a size 4 ball.
- There is a goal on either side of the court measuring 3 m wide by 2 m tall.
- The goal of the play is to try and put a ball through the goal on the opponent’s side of the court.
- Futsal games feature a pair of 20-minute periods separated by a 15-minute break.
- There are five players on the court for each team at a time (with additional players in reserve).
- The number of reserve players per team is nine.
- Teams can switch the players on the court with those in reserve as many times as they wish over the course of a game.
- A goalkeeper can move wherever they want, but only inside the penalty area are they allowed to touch the ball with their hands.
- Both teams are entitled to one time-out per game period.
- A team can only request a time-out if they are in possession.
- Violations in futsal can result in yellow cards and red cards.
- A penalty or free-kick may be awarded if there is a foul.
The court can be made of wood or artificial material. This playing surface is smaller than the size of a soccer pitch. FIFA states that the appropriate size range for a soccer pitch is between 90-120 m long and between 45-90 m wide.
The measurements for that ball must be within the range of 62–64 cm (24–25 in). The ball should weigh 400–440 g (14–16 oz). Just as the court futsal is played on is smaller than a soccer pitch, the same is also true for the ball. A regulation soccer ball should measure between 68-70 cm and should weigh 410-450 g. So, the difference is subtle but noticeable. The ball for futsal also behaves differently, bouncing less.
This is just like what you see with soccer.
This is fewer than what you would see watching a game of soccer, and will put you immediately in mind of basketball. Each team has a single goalkeeper and four outfielders.
They need to play the ball within four seconds of taking possession.
If a team does not use their time-out during the first period, they do not get to use it in the second period. They simply have one remaining time-out available.
So, those are the basics to get you started. But you should familiarize yourself with the full rules before you start wagering. You can find them in the FIFA Futsal Laws of the Game.
And remember, the rules above are specifically for FIFA futsal games. AMF games feature a different set of rules. So that you can wager on both, you are going to want to get to know both rule sets.
In fact, let’s take a look at the basic AMF Laws of the Game:
The AMF specifies different fields of play dimensions for local vs. international games:
|Local Games||International Games|
|Length Minimum 28m||Length Minimum 36m|
|Length Maximum 28m||Length Maximum 40m|
|Width Minimum 15m||Width Minimum 18m|
|Width Maximum 20m||Width Maximum 20m|
The ball must measure between 60-62 cm in circumference, and should weigh between 430 g and 450 g. The pressure must be 9 pounds. There are also highly specific bounce rules: “The first bounce must not exceed 50 centimeters and the second bounce must not exceed 20 centimeters.”
There are five players per team on the court at any given time.
There may be 7 players waiting in reserve per team. Once again, the number of substitutions is unlimited.
As with the FIFA version of the game, there are two periods, each running 20 minutes. In between, there is a slightly shorter break of 10 minutes.
Timeouts work the same way, with 1 per team per game period, and without the first one rolling over into the second period if it goes unused.
The objective of play for AMF futsal is the same as it is for FIFA futsal, which is to score by getting the ball through the opposing team’s goal.
There are red and yellow cards to penalize violations.
You can see just how similar FIFA and AMF rules are, despite the fact that there are some differences. Again, make sure you read all the rules in detail.
Why Wager on Futsal?
Is it worth it to wager on a sport that is so obscure in the US? Absolutely! Here are a few reasons to bet on futsal:
- Take a break from your routine.
- If you like soccer, you will probably like futsal.
- You can find great value.
- You can carry knowledge between futsal and soccer.
- Watching the games is very entertaining.
However much fun you have betting on soccer and other major sports, sometimes doing the same thing all the time can start to feel a little repetitious. Betting on futsal can liven things up.
The sport is similar enough that a lot of what you enjoy about soccer is a part of the game but just different enough to put a refreshing twist on it.
How much time do you think US-facing sportsbooks spend setting odds for futsal? Not nearly as much as they put into setting odds for more well-known sports. Since less research goes into their odds, you might find that sometimes, you are the one with the edge.
Even though you will have to make some adjustments going back and forth between betting on soccer and betting on futsal, you should find that at least some of what applies to one sport also applies to the other.
With the players’ advanced technical skills on full display, you will get to witness a lot of incredible moments.
Types of Futsal Bets
- Correct Score
- Result at Half-Time
Wager on which team will be the winner of a futsal game.
This type of bet is similar to a moneyline bet, but points are added or subtracted to even out the odds of either outcome.
This type of wager is also known as an “over/under” bet. The sportsbook will ask you if you believe that the combined score at full-time is going to be over or under a specified number.
If you believe you know exactly what the final score will be for a game of futsal, you can make a bet on the correct score. Alternately, you can wager on the exact score at half-time.
Don’t think you know what the result of the game will be at full-time, but have a pretty good guess what it will be at half-time? Wager on which team will be in the lead.
You can make an in-play bet on futsal when a match is underway. Because there are so many flukes in futsal, games can feature a lot of twists and turns. In-play betting is a great way to capitalize on surprising opportunities that may come up in the middle of a match.
Place a bet on a futsal event that is scheduled some time from now. Keep in mind that due to the often surprising results of futsal games, it may be extra hard to win this type of wager.
When you make a bet on anything that is not in some way connected with the result of a futsal match, you are making a proposition wager.
Combining multiple futsal selections in accumulator bets is risky, but also very lucrative when doing so pays off.
Strategies for Betting on Futsal
We are not going to go into detailed strategies for futsal betting, which would be beyond the scope of this introductory guide. But here are a few general recommendations to get you started.
- Check the rules
- Focus on the goalkeeper
- Do not neglect the players on reserve
- Be ready for flukes
- Join multiple sportsbooks
Before you bet on futsal, you should take a look at the rules for the specific type of futsal you want to wager on. Make sure that you are not mixing up different rule sets, as that could really throw you off your game.
Check on past performance of teams and players. Along with the statistical analysis, see if you can find news articles or social media posts that give you additional insights. Keep in mind that you might have a more difficult time with this task than you would with major US sports. If you are specifically wagering on AMF matches, you might want to broaden your search for data to include sources that are local to South America.
In the sport of futsal, the goalkeeper’s role cannot be understated. If a goalkeeper’s performance or conditioning has been a bit “off” lately, the impact can be huge. Injuries to the goalkeeper also can have a significant negative effect.
Since the rules of futsal permit unlimited substitutions, teams do take advantage. The reserve players can play an essential role, so their quality is important to assess along with the core members you expect to get the majority of the minutes.
Futsal is considered to be a fairly unpredictable sport. Surprising upsets happen on a regular basis. However confident you feel about a wager, the unexpected can take away what looked to be a certain win. But on the bright side, that also means that underdogs may stand a better chance than one might expect. So, sometimes betting on the underdog can pay off nicely.
There is some good value to be found in betting on futsal, but you need to look for it. Sign up for several sportsbook accounts so that you can compare their odds and choose the best value. It is also smart to join more than one sportsbook simply so you have access to more futsal matches.
Below, we answer a few frequently asked questions about futsal.
- Why do we never hear about futsal in the US?
A: Once you start discovering how exciting futsal is, it may seem bewildering to you that more people in the US do not watch it. Indeed, quite a few US sports fans do not even know what futsal is.
As we stated previously, we think that the failure of FIFA and the AMF to come to agreements about the sport has held it back from broader global success.
There may also be some confusion related to what we even call futsal. Sometimes futsal is referred to as “mini soccer.” There is also a game called “indoor soccer” that is different. You can read more about this issue in our next two answers.
What else may be preventing futsal from reaching a broader audience? There are a couple more possible explanations:
Futsal will always be seen as a “derivative” sport. Because it is based on soccer, a lot of people might think, “Why not just watch soccer?” They may believe that a game that has been adapted for the indoors cannot be as thrilling to watch as the original (they are wrong, but this is still how folks tend to think).
Futsal is seen as an “exclusive” sport. The reason why is because the technical skill required to excel at futsal exceeds that required for soccer.
It might seem strange that a sport that is considered “exclusive” would make it less popular, but it does seem to be a factor.
- What is “indoor soccer?”
A: Indoor soccer is closely related to futsal. Usually, the differentiation offered is that it is played on turf instead of a hard surface. A regular soccer ball is used rather than a futsal special ball, and there are also differences in the number of players and the length of the periods.
So, indoor soccer is not the same thing as futsal, but it is another indoor variation of soccer!
- What is “mini soccer?”
A: Sometimes, you will hear people call futsal “mini soccer.” Other times, you will hear people talk about the differences between futsal and mini soccer. This can get to be very confusing.
As best we can tell, some people use the term “mini soccer” to refer to FIFA-style futsal.
To be clear, yes, FIFA futsal and AMF futsal differ in some respects as we have discussed. But FIFA does refer to its game as “futsal.” You can see this for yourself by looking at the FIFA Futsal Laws of the Game.
Plus, if you read through our detailed section on FIFA and AMF rules and compared them side by side, you surely noticed that the two are very close. So, we feel comfortable calling both versions of the sport “futsal.”
Bet on Futsal Now
Futsal is sorely underrated in the USA and many other countries. But this South American game is a blast to watch and bet on. If you are ready to get started, click on any of the links in this post to open an account, grab a bonus, and begin wagering on futsal!
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