Ice hockey is one of the most popular winter sports out there. It has a massive audience in countries like the USA, Canada, and Russia. In fact, it’s considered a national sport in many northern nations across the globe.
As a result, there are millions of people worldwide who watch hockey and also place a bet or two. If you are among them, our guide to hockey betting online will provide a lot of useful information about the best bookies, promotions, and strategy.
Let’s start by looking at the most important hockey competitions in the world:
- Winter Olympics hockey tournament: it’s a funny fact that ice hockey was initially introduced as a part of the Summer Olympics in 1920 before permanently moving to the Winter edition of the games in 1924. This is considered as one of the highest honors when it comes to international tournaments;
- World Cup: the hockey World Cup is a direct heir of the popular Canada Cup and was established in 1998. The current holder of the trophy is Canada and the next edition will be held in 2020;
- National Hockey League:this is the biggest club competition in the world. The National Hockey League or simply NHL is played annually and features teams from Canada and the United States, It is popular worldwide and most of the best players around the globe play there. The trophy is called the Stanley Cup;
- Kontinental Hockey League: the KHL is widely considered as the best second best ice hockey league in the world. It features teams from Russia, Belarus, China, Finland, Kazakhstan, and other countries in Europe and Asia;
- European Champions Hockey League: this international club competition includes the best teams in Europe. It features the champions of countries such as Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, and more;
- Domestic European Leagues:there are a couple of very strong domestic competitions in Europe, most notably in Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
Most Popular Types of Bets
Fortunately, you can find plenty of ice hockey betting markets. Here are the most popular among them:
- 3-way match result: a pretty straightforward market that is popular in Europe. You can pick between home win, away win, or draw. Applies to the regular time;
- Handicap:similarly to many other sports, in ice hockey one of the teams may start with an advantage in this betting market, usually the underdog. For example, home team -1.5 means the game begins at 0:1.5 and the home team has to win by at least 2 goals to cover that;
- Over/Under Overall Goals: this option allows you to place a wager on the number of goals in the game (scored by both teams). The bookie sets a line such as 5.5 goals, for example, and you can pick either under or over;
- Over/Under Team Goals:this one is basically the same, but only for one of the teams involved;
- Team to score first:a pretty self-explanatory market that gives you the chance to bet on the team that will open the scoring in the ice hockey game;
- Correct score: some people love hunting for big odds and this market gives them the chance to find them. You can place money on the exact result at the end of the game.
The markets included on this list are the most popular when it comes to ice hockey, but you will find many others as well. Especially in the betting coupons of the best bookmaker online.
Top Sites for Ice Hockey Betting
If you love betting on ice hockey, you can feel privileged. A lot of bookmakers cover the sport. You can easily find one or two that suit your needs. We decided to create a list of the ones we believe are the best out there. If you wonder how we did that, simply check the list of aspects we rated:
- Reputation and license:a flawless reputation and a proper license are the first two things we check. You don’t want to lose your money to a fraudulent operator after all;
- Competitions and markets:there are plenty of ice hockey events across the globe and we expect most of them to be covered. Also, the sheer number of betting markets available for each game matters too;
- Bonuses and promotions:nowadays, every serious sportsbook online should have a generous welcome bonus and at least a couple of ongoing promotions that will help you earn some extra goodies;
- Live betting:watching hockey and placing can be the perfect mixture of fun and profits. This is why we check the quality of the live betting console of the bookies;
- Prices and maximum bets:a lot of people underestimate the importance of the odds. Even the tiniest margin matters in the long run and could make the difference. This is why the bookies with the highest prices get an extra point. Since some of you would probably like to bet big, we also consider the maximum bets allowed;
- Betting on the go:a lot of people are used to placing wagers from their phones or tablets. Frankly, the technologies allow this easily, so any bookie should have a solid mobile version;
- Other:this is not all of course, as we also checked the Help section, talk to the support, and explore the banking options of each bookmaker.
So, after carefully reviewing pretty much most of the online bookies that offer ice hockey, here are those we believe are head and shoulders above the rest:
Bet365 is the king when it comes to online gambling on any sport. It’s the same with ice hockey. You will find one of the richest betting coupons in terms of both matches and markets. On top of that, Bet365 has arguably the best live betting console in the whole industry. If you add the high odds and the solid number of promotions, it’s easy to see why Bet365 is an excellent choice.
The main reason we included Betway on this list is the low margin of the bookmaker. You will find some solid prices there when it comes to ice hockey. Other advantages include live betting, juicy promotions, and a user-friendly betting platform that works on mobile too.
Betsafe is part of the Swedish giant Betsson and one of the company’s best sports betting brands. It has been around since 2006 and offers a large number of sports. One of them is ice hockey and the selection of games is impressive.
Another good choice is 888 Sport. The bookmaker covers all of the popular games in the world of ice hockey and then some more. On top of that, 888 Sport is famous for the many promotions available to both new and existing customers of the company.
William Hill was focused mostly on sports that are popular in the UK in the near past. However, the company’s ability to adapt is the reason to see it a superb option for people who love betting on ice hockey. The British giant has high odds, all kinds of markets, and the opportunity to place wagers live with ease.
Here’s what to expect from each of the top bookies when it comes to welcome bonuses and free bets:
Betway a free bet of up to £30
Each new customer of Betway can get a £30 free bet. You have to complete your first deposit using PayPal, credit, or debit card. The place a wager priced 1.75 or more on any sport. Betway will give you a free bet of the same amount up to £30. It will expire after 7 days, so make sure to use it.
888 Sport £30 in free bets
888 Sport is pretty generous towards new customers. You need to simply join, make a deposit and place a bet of £10 or more to get free wagers worth £30. Once your qualifying bet is settled, you will receive the tokens worth £10 each. One of them can be used only through the mobile version of 888 Sport.
William Hill £30 in free bets
If William Hill is your choice, you can get £30 in free bets. For a start, open a new account and complete your first deposit. Place a bet of at least £10 and you will receive 3 free bets for £10 each. They expire in 30 days and you have to use them on any betting market priced 1.50 or higher.
One of the best things about modern online bookies is that they give you the chance to watch various sports events live through their platform. You can find high-quality streams from various games. The good news is that ice hockey is included.
The likes of William Hill, and Bet365 are good examples of sportsbooks that have ice hockey streams. On top of that, it doesn’t really take much to have access. You only need to have a positive account balanced or to have placed a real money bet in the past 24 hours.
Tips and Tricks
All of our guides start with one fundamental advice that works for every single type of sports betting out there, ice hockey included. And’s that looking for the value or the best with the positive expectations in the long run. Most people don’t adopt such an approach. They decide that it’s enough to make an educated guess what will happen without focusing on the odds.
In reality, you might have a good success in your predictions and still lose money. The reason is simple – it’s not important what you expect to happen, it’s important what are the probabilities.
For example, if you believe a team will win a game, your guess will be correct if the actual chance of this happening is 70%. However, if the price by the bookmaker actually represents a probability of 80%, the difference will lead to long-term losses. Simply put, you will be correct but still lose money.
That aside, here a couple of more concrete tricks:
- Don’t go for the favorite too often: this one is true for more sports, but especially in ice hockey. Most of the time, the odds for the favorites have no value at all and represent a losing bet in the long term;
- Go with streaks: ice hockey is one of the sports where streaks play a huge role. The confidence of the teams that are on a roll is sky-high and this is very important;
- Don’t get distracted: don’t try to bet on too many leagues and too many betting markets. Try to build a comfort zone where you know everything about the competition, the teams in it, and have the experience to win;
- The Goalie matters a lot: there’s a saying in football that the good goalkeeper is worth half the team. Well, that’s true in ice hockey as well. A good goalie can do wonders and completely change the score of the game;
- Stats, stats, stats!: there are so many sources of data out there that it’s stupid not to take advantage. Check the trends in the teams’ performance, previous results, and everything important.
Of course, not betting guide will make you an instant winner and our ice hockey guide here is not an exception. It serves as a starting point that will show you the right direction to success. To get there, you will have to put some effort and stay disciplined.