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The complete guide to hockey

Hockey is the overall term used to refer to a number of different sports played in countries around the world. If you are from North America, Canada, or a number of eastern or northern European countries like Russia, Finland, and Sweden, hockey refers to ice hockey. In many other countries, particularly the UK, India, and Pakistan, hockey refers to field hockey. The basics of each sport are essentially the same: two teams of players compete to win points by moving the puck into the goal of the other team using sticks, but whereas field hockey is usually played either on grass or astroturf, ice hockey is played on an ice rink, either inside or outside. So, let’s first take a look at the history of the game, and then discuss its major leagues and tournaments.


Ice hockey and field hockey are thought to have developed from the same original sport, which is believed to date back all the way to Ancient Egypt. In the UK, it was first very popular in Ireland, and developed into the Gaelic sports now played there. In the rest of the UK, field hockey remains more popular than ice hockey, whereas in America, Canada, and other parts of Europe, ice hockey is more commonly played.

Major tournaments and leagues

The two largest major ice hockey leagues are the National Hockey League in North America and Canada (NHL), and the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia (KHL). Ice hockey is also part of the Winter Olympic Games, and there are regional and national competitions held around the world each year. Ice hockey is slowly becoming more popular in the UK, too, especially as NHL is broadcast to UK audiences and the game becomes more accessible. This growing popularity is what has lead many online betting websites to introduce ice hockey in its sports markets.

Field hockey is represented at the Olympic Games, and has its own World Cup, as well as many other tournaments around the world. It is also played at the Commonwealth Games, and there are national leagues in many different countries, including Pakistan and India, where it is second only to cricket as the national sport. As a result, these two countries often dominate international tournaments, along with Australia and New Zealand.

Now that we’ve covered the basics of the game, including how it is played and how the scoring works, we can move on to the next section, which will tell you everything you need to know about how to bet on hockey.

Online hockey betting – everything you need to know

Below are a few of the different types of bet that you can place on a hockey match, covering everything from more common bets to those specific to ice hockey.

  • Match winner

This means betting on who will win the match, and sometimes excludes overtime and penalties.

  • Tournament winner

This is a simple as it sounds – you are placing a bet on who you believe will be the overall winner of the tournament.

  • The money line

The money line is a type of bet specific to American sports, including baseball, basketball, and ice hockey. It works by ascertaining which of the team is expected to win and which is considered the underdogs. The odds for the team expected to win will begin with a -, followed by a number, like -£150. This means in order to win £100 betting on this team, you must bet £150. For the underdog it will show a + followed by a price, say +£120. This means for the every £100 you bet, you stand to win £120.

  • The puck line

In addition to the money line, ice hockey betting also has a market called the puck line. This works in the same way as betting on the number of goals scored in a football game, for example, but like the money line comes with a handicap. The team expected to win will have a puck line handicap of -1.5, which means that if they win by more than one goal you will win your bet. The team considered underdogs will have a handicap of +1.5, which means that if they lose by one goal or win by one goal, you will win your bet.

  • Live hockey betting

As with many other sports, you can bet on hockey matches while they are being played. This is called live or in-play betting, and allows you to make bets on a number of different selections at changing odds. For example, you can bet on match winners and total goals scored, as well as other markets like next goal or next foul. This makes for exciting betting, and can sometimes have much better odds, especially for the smaller markets.

How can you get free hockey bets?

Did you know that you can partake in hockey betting online for free? Most people don’t, but it really is as easy and simple as it sounds. In order to entice more new customers to their websites and beat off the growing competition from business rivals, lots of online betting websites are introducing free bet offers and promotions. They do so as they believe it helps them get new customers on to the site, who will then continue to bet with them, instead of their business rivals. However, there is nothing to stop savvy customers from working their way through a range of different free bet offers for different betting websites – and to make that process as easy for you as possible, at Best Deal Casinos we’ve put together a table containing all the information you need to know about all the best free offers.

So, what do you need to do to sign up to these offers? It’s as easy as following our three step guide to free bet success:

Step 1 – Choose your free bet offer

As you can see, we’ve compiled a table of all the best free bet offers out there online. So, the first thing you need to do is to decide which one is best suited for you, or which one you want to start with. Using our table, you can find out everything there is to know about each betting website and their particular free bet deal, then, once you’ve chosen your deal, all you need to do is click the link in the table to get started. Usually, this part of the process would be the most time consuming, especially as you would need to trawl around the internet looking for the best deals, but our table makes a quick and easy process.

Step 2 – Sign up

So, you’ve chosen your deal and clicked the link – now what? The next step in the process is to register with the online bookmakers; this is easy, and will only require you to enter some basic personal information. Unfortunately, there is no getting around this step, as all of the bookmakers require you to sign up before you can claim you free bet deal. In some cases, you may also need to copy and paste the promotional code from our handy table into the box on the betting website as you sign up, but this is also as easy as it sounds!

Step 3 – Claim your free bet

Once you’ve signed up, you will be ready to claim your free bet! However, in almost all cases you will first need to make an initial deposit in order to get your promotional bonus. Most free bet offers work by the bookmakers matching your first deposit, and unfortunately in most cases there just isn’t a way around this. But, once you’ve made your deposit, you will be granted your free bet and you can start betting!

However, you should also be aware that there may be some restrictions placed on your free bet, and depending on which online betting site you choose, these can vary. So, we’ve put together a list of the some of the most common free bet restrictions out there online, so that you have some idea of how your bet might be limited.

What are the restrictions on your free hockey bet?

Hockey betting sites often place restrictions on free hockey bets, mainly as a way to ensure that new customers don’t just sign up and leave with tons of cash! So, here’s a list of some of the most common restrictions out there, starting with expiry dates.

  • Expiry dates

Your free bet may only be valid for a limited amount of time. Depending on the website you choose, this can vary between one week and one month, but to be sure you don’t miss out it’s a good idea to use your free bet as soon as you’ve registered.

  • Rollover requirements

Sometimes your free bet may be subject a rollover requirements. This means that before you cash out any winnings made with your free bet, they must be re-invested back into bets a set number of times.

  • Bet restrictions

In addition to any rollover requirements, your bet may also be subject to a number of different restrictions. These can include restrictions on which sports or markets your free bet can be used, and in some cases you may be limited to popular or mainstream betting markets. Also, you may be restricted as to the type of bet that you are allowed to place. Lots of free bets exclude other promotions or special offers, including enhanced odds and combination specials. This may mean that, depending on which market or sport you want to bet on, you may have to choose a free bet offer that gives you more flexibility with how you place your free bet.

  • Odds restrictions

Your free bet may also be subject to minimum odds or pricing restrictions. This means that you may be required to use your free bet on a selection with a minimum odds or return, which can sometimes make your chances of winning slimmer. However, by doing your research and following our tips and tricks you can still make the most of your free hockey bets.

Tips and tricks for hockey betting online

If you’re new to betting on hockey, you may find it difficult to adjust from your main sports. So, to give you a helping hand, here’s three great tips for making the most of your free hockey bets.

1. Do your homework

As you’re new to hockey, you’re going to need to do your research before you start winning bets. It’s a good idea to read up on the teams in the tournament or match you’re betting on, which will help give you an idea about who will win. You can find information like this on specialised hockey news websites, or sometimes on mainstream sports websites during a major competition, like the Olympics or the Commonwealth Games.

2. Use betting tips

Betting tips can be very useful if you’re new to a sport. These will give you an idea of who to bet on, and which teams to back. However, you need to be careful, and make sure that you contrast and compare a few different tips websites before you take any information as the truth.

3. Watch out for fouls

Fouls are a major part of hockey, especially field hockey, and so betting on them can be very lucrative if you get it right. Find out which players are likely to concede the most fouls and get the most cards or suspensions during the game or tournament, and then use this to make sensible bets based either on next foul or card, or the player to commit the most fouls during the game.

Please check out other sports suitable for betting, including Ice Hockey, Motor Racing, Netball & Rugby.