Everything to Know Before Betting on Hockey

Hockey game. Source: Depositphotos

Betting on sports is incredibly popular all around the world. In the United Kingdom, and most of Europe, soccer is the most popular betting sport. In the United States, it’s football. In Canada, of course, it’s hockey. 

The popularity of betting on hockey is now growing in other parts of the world too though. This is certainly the case in the United States, where the NHL is expanding into new markets and new fans are constantly finding the sport. It helps that the US has recently begun legalizing sports betting across the country on a state-by-state basis.

Whether you’re a brand-new Seattle Kraken fan and this is your first season watching hockey, or a dyed-in-the-wool Toronto Maple Leafs fan just like your parents and their parents before you, betting on NHL games is a great way to add an extra bit of excitement to an already exciting sport. 

This short guide will give you an overview of everything you need to know before betting on hockey.


Not every sport has the same betting terminology and knowing the specific terminology for your sport is essential. With most sports, spread betting is where you bet on whether or not the score will be above or below the score set by the bookmakers. In hockey, this is called the puck line rather than the point spread. If you want to place this type of bet, look for NHL lines at the bookmakers. 

Another important term to know is reduced juice. This is used to refer to a sportsbook that has a commission that is lower than the industry standard. This can impact how much a bet pays out, so it is something always worth considering.

Types of Bets

The types of bets you can place vary slightly depending on the sport, but in general, they’re all very similar. The most basic kind of bet that everyone is familiar with is a single-event win/lose bet. This is also known as a moneyline bet.

Parlay bets, known as accumulator bets in some regions, are bets made up of a series of individual bets. You place a bet on the outcome of a number of games and if they all pay out, then your parlay bet pays out as well. These are risky bets because they rely on so many individual bets, but that does mean that they tend to pay out very well.

The most fun kind of bets are prop bets. These are bets on things that will happen during a game that aren’t directly related to winning or losing. This could be things like a certain player scoring, a fight breaking out between two specific players, or even something like betting that the mascot will slip on the ice while doing a backflip. 

Watch the injured lists

While research has shown that hockey isn’t the most dangerous professional sport, injuries are still quite common. One of the biggest differences between hockey and many of the other biggest sports is that on average hockey players spend less time on the injured list. Whether or not a player is going to be able to make it onto the ice could have a major impact on how you bet so it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on who’s injured.

Finding a Sportsbook

Depending on where you live, you will have different access to online or retail sportsbooks. Online sportsbooks have exploded in popularity in recent years because they are so convenient and allow you to place bets from anywhere. However, many people still enjoy going to retail sportsbooks for the community aspect.

Whichever you prefer, take the time to find a reputable sportsbook before you place any bets. You only want to have to worry about a bet paying out, not your deposit being stolen by a sketchy company. The best way to find a good sportsbook is to read online reviews and find a betting guide that you trust and take their advice. Most of the biggest betting guides will have a list of sportsbooks that they recommend.

Be Smart About Bonuses

Bonuses can have a big impact on how your betting experience starts out. Most sportsbooks will offer welcome bonuses to attract new customers. The best welcome bonuses include risk-free free bet, no deposit bets, or deposit matching. 

While there are always terms and conditions that must be met before any winnings can be withdrawn, the best bonuses really can give you a leg up when you’re just starting out with betting on hockey.

Deposit Methods

The accepted deposit and withdrawal methods will vary by sportsbooks, though the top sportsbooks all typically accept a wide range of payment methods. The most commonly accepted methods are credit/debit cards, bank transfers, payment apps, or digital wallets. Some even accept cryptocurrency!

Before you start betting, figure out which payment methods you’re most comfortable with. Do you prefer having a separate account for betting? Do you want instant access to your funds, or do you prefer to have a cooling off period while you think about how to use your deposit? Consider these factors and then make your choice based on them.