One of the most popular real money options for gambling online is betting on sports. In fact, we've taken the time to evaluate a wide range of sportsbooks and provide you with a shortlist of quality betting rooms for Canadian bettors!
On this page we're going to give you an entry-level guide to sports betting on the Internet. We'll guide you through the basics of what's available in Canada, how you can access it, and how to go about winning some cold hard cash when betting on sports.
We can't promise you'll make your fortune, but we can promise you'll know what you're getting into when you try.
Sports betting is defined as wagering money on outcomes in professional or amateur sporting events. The most obvious example would be betting on the winner of a horse race, or the team you think will win a hockey match, but it gets far more nuanced than that.
The way sports betting sites work is by setting odds for these outcomes, which represent the ratio of return on offer for placing a certain stake on a bet. If you place C$10 on a horse with odds at 10-1, for example, you stand to collect C$100 in winnings plus the return of that additional stake.
The "point spread" is used by bookmakers to place a betting line between two teams competing. If we take NFL as an example, you might see the Dallas Cowboys at -5.5 against the Carolina Panthers at +5.5.
This means the bookmaker has the Cowboys as favourites to win, while the Panthers are underdogs at plus five. To bet on the Cowboys you need to be sure they're going to win by six or more points. A bet on the Panthers, meanwhile, will pay out if they lose by less than six.
Bookmakers deploy point spreads as a great way to get punters interested in markets that would otherwise appear one-sided. You might be sure a team is going to lose, but if the bookmaker if predicting a landslide and you think it will be close, you can make your move.
You can also place longer term sports bets, such as predicting which NFL team will win next year's Super Bowl, or the boxer you think will be world heavyweight champion at the end of the year. As it applies to major professional sport, pretty much anything with an uncertain outcome can be wagered on these days.
Another area to bear in mind is real-time live sports betting. This is where you place bets on live sporting events to reflect what you predict will happen. An example would be betting on your NBA team to win a game at a moment in time when they're trailing by 15 points.
Now here's where things get really interesting. It's now possible to bet on simulated virtual sporting events. Software runs data and produces an outcome in a fictional sporting event. You place you bet in advance and everything else works like a real event. How crazy is that!
Canadians are not allowed to bet on the outcome of single sporting events so only parlay bets are allowed. These are where you place multiple bets and the combined odds are reflected in your pay out, should you be successful.
In terms of the sports you can bet on, pretty much anything goes. You can bet on hockey, basketball, soccer, football, tennis, athletics, rugby, skiing, and a whole lot more. All the major professional leagues are covered and, if you choose a top site, you'll find markets for lower leagues and some amateur sports too. You can even bet on sports events happening all over the world.
We would always advise you stick to the sports you know best. Successful sports betting requires a deep understanding of the sport you're betting on, along with a detailed knowledge of odds and how the markets work. Doing your research is key, along with knowing when to spot generous odds when you see them.
Another good tip is to start small, and not to go chasing the money if you're on a losing streak. Set yourself a budget for betting and keep to it, even if you win.
Sports betting is great way of combining a love for gambling and sport. You get to experience the thrills of gambling while also enjoying a heightened experience as the sport unfolds in front of you. If you thought watching a hockey game was exciting before, try watching one when you have C$200 riding on the result.
Another positive of sports betting is that you get to play to your expertise. If you've been a sports fan all your life think of all the knowledge you've stored up along the way. What better way to put that to use than by accessing it to help you win money!