Hockey is one of the British public’s favourite past-times, although when it comes to sports betting, it’s often spurned in favour of more popular choices like football.
This is a shame, as both field hockey and ice hockey rules are straightforward to understand and place bets on. Additionally, bookies tend to give more generous odds on hockey matches due to the small number of bettors on these games.
And there are ample opportunities for punters to get involved, as various worldwide field hockey leagues rub shoulders with the likes of the NHL. The Olympic Games and Hockey World Cup are also two huge international competitions that are perfect for punters looking to place a wager.
There’s never been a better time to start betting on hockey. Keep reading for a novice’s guide on how to find the best sites and more.
Finding the best sports betting sites
One of the most important parts of hockey betting is finding the best betting sites to bet with. There are several factors to consider when choosing a bookies. These include:
- Sport choice: Although most leading sports betting platforms offer field hockey and ice hockey bets, you must check this before registering. Some sites only offer ice hockey betting, which would be annoying to realise after you’d signed up.
- Promotions: Many bookmakers like Bet365, offer an array of free bets and other promotions to keep their customers happy and attract new ones. It’s crucial that you choose the most generous ones and receive the most bonus funds.
- Odds: Although most bookmakers have similar odds, some sites favour particular sports. Try and find a sports betting site that specialises in field hockey and ice hockey, as you’ll find that the odds are more generous and more accurate.
Field hockey vs. ice hockey
There are two main types of hockey worldwide: field hockey and ice hockey. Field hockey tends to be more popular in the UK, as illustrated by England reaching the semi-finals of the 2022 Women’s Hockey World Cup. Field hockey is also extremely popular in places like India. The rules of these two types are quite similar, with the main difference being the playing surface. As you can imagine, field hockey is played on short grass, whereas ice hockey is played on ice.
Additionally, ice hockey players can score from anywhere, while field hockey players have to be inside the “D” to score. There are also differences in the team numbers, with ice hockey teams containing 6 players and field hockey teams having 11.
In ice hockey, there are three thirds, which are split into twenty minutes so the ice can be kept in superior condition. Field hockey is more akin to other team sports, generally being played over two 35-minute halves.
There are also a few other differences in the games regarding stick handling and what constitutes a foul.
Different types of hockey bets
Hockey betting novices need to learn a bit about their options regarding hockey bets. Generally, the main types of bets are:
- Team to win: This is the most straightforward type of hockey bet, revolving around who you think will win the match. The underdogs are given higher odds for winning, resulting in larger prizes. The more likely a team is to win, the smaller your pay-out. However, the flip side is that you’ll be more likely to pick up a prize.
- Over/Under: Over and under hockey betting is a popular option for punters who are unable to choose a winning side. Instead of wagering on the winning team, you predict the total number of goals. Bookmakers will state a prediction, and you must choose whether to bet over or under this.
- Handicap: Handicap bets are great for games with an overwhelming favourite. Punters bet on the winning margin rather than the overall winner. Consequently, you can boost your returns on matches with one team that is much better than the other.
Tips to win hockey bets
As with all types of sports betting, there is no sure-fire way of winning hockey bets. However, following the tips below can help:
- Research: Researching competitions like the England Hockey League is key, so you know the best players and teams.
- Bonuses: Take advantage of bookmakers’ bonus promotions to increase your bankroll.
- Tactics: Never throw yourself straight into sports betting. Using tactics to preserve your funds or enhance your profits is essential to long-term success.
Global field hockey competitions
Although several high-profile hockey leagues exist worldwide, in places like India and the UK, the international competitions are the most exciting. The Women’s 2022 Hockey World Cup has lit up the summer, but it isn’t the only tournament to keep an eye out for. Here are a few more:
- Olympic Games Hockey
- Men’s Hockey World Cup
- Men’s FIH Pro League
- Women’s FIH Pro League