An In-depth Guide to Winter Olympics Betting

Winter Olympics logo While the Winter Olympics may not be as popular as the Summer Olympics with UK fans, Great Britain’s success in sports such as skeleton and curling has increased interest in the tournament. In our ultimate guide to Winter Olympics betting, we’ll cover everything you need to know to bet with confidence. We’ll cover the popular sports, help you find your perfect betting partner, discuss the different bets you can place and much more.

The Top 10 Winter Olympics Betting Sites
Best Betting Sites Bonus Offers Highlights Rating Secure Link T&C’s
Betway Up to £30 100% Deposit Match Best for Football 5/5 Visit Site! Full T&Cs Apply! *New UK and Ireland Customers Only. Min Deposit: £/€10. First Deposit matched up to £/€30. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card & PayPal deposits only.
888sport Up to £30In Free Bets Fantastic Odds 5/5 Visit Site! Full T&Cs Apply! Under the terms of this Promotion, eligible members will receive £30 in free bets at the Site. In order to receive the welcome offer, members must first place a qualifying bet. A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 with odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater. Bets that are ‘Cashed Out’ do not qualify. First qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of registration. Please gamble responsibly. 18+
bet365 Up to £100In Bet Credits Top In-Play Wagers 4.5/5 Visit Site! Full T&Cs Apply! Open Account Offer. Up to £100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Betiton Get £10Free Bet Wonderful Interface 4/5 Visit Site! Full T&Cs Apply! 18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit,: £10, max £10 free bet valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at odds of 1/1 or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets not eligible. Neteller,Skrill and Paypal not eligible.

The Most Popular winter Olympic Sports you can Bet On

The Winter Olympics has a variety of sports, meaning there is likely to be something for everyone. Individual events such as biathlon and cross country skiing test human endurance to the limit, whereas figure skating is a display of strength and elegance. Fans of team sports are also well catered for, ice hockey and curling are firm favourites when Winter Olympics betting.

The Most Popular Olympic Sports
Olympic Sport Governing Body Olympic Since Participations Most Gold Medals
Curling 1928 7 Canada (6)
Ice Hockey 1920 12 Canada (13)
Figure Skating 1924 30 USA (51)
Bobsleigh 1924 22 Germany (11)
Speed Skating 1924 32 Netherlands (121)

The table above shows the most-backed winter sports when taking part in Winter Olympics betting, there are of course other sports that we have not included in the table; such as bobsleigh, freestyle skiing, luge, Nordic combined, ski jumping, snowboarding and more. In this next section, we’ll take a closer look at the most popular sports for UK punters.

Curling

Curling logo Ask Brits what their favourite Winter Olympics event is and the chances of them saying curling is pretty high. First demonstrated in the inaugural Winter Olympic Games in 1924 in Chamonix and then again in 1932 (held in the United States), the sport wouldn’t make an appearance again until 1988. In the 2018 games, the women’s team of Eve Muirhead, Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams, Lauren Gray and Kelly Schafer made it to the semi-final in which they were beaten by Sweden 10-5.

Ice Hockey

Ice Hockey logo Ice hockey first originated in Canada in the early 19th century, and six-a-side men’s ice hockey has been on the programme of every edition of the Winter Games since 1924. A popular spectator sport due to the fast-paced action and the occasional breakouts of fighting. Canada dominated earlier tournaments until surpassed by the Soviet Union. In recent years the Canadians have once again been the team to beat, winning golds in all games since 2012. The exception being 2018 in PyeongChang in which they finished second.

Figure Skating

Figure Skating logo Few people who ever witnessed it will ever forget Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean’s legendary performance at the 1984 Winter Olympics in which the Nottingham couple took gold and a place in the nation’s heart. The “Bolero” routine wowed judges who awarded the performance twelve perfect 6.0s and six 5.9s which included artistic impression scores of 6.0 from every judge. Twenty-four million Brits watched the performance live on TV.

Bobsleigh

Bobsleigh logo Few sports can claim to excite in the same way as bobsleigh racing does. The idea of hurtling down an ice track in a tin can at speeds of up to 85 mph is not for everyone, that’s why it is so thrilling. Danger is synonymous with the sport that has sadly seen 17 fatalities in its history. On a lighter note, the sport saw an enormous spike in popularity when in 1993 the classic film Cool Runnings was released. The film tells the story of the Jamaican bobsleigh team who competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics.

Speed Skating

Speed Skating While the 100m sprint in the Summer Olympics is always likely to grab the headlines, the Winter Olympics has its sprint events that are just as enthralling. Alongside sprint races (held over 500, 1000, 1500, 5000 and 10000 metres) speed skating also features mass start and team pursuit races. Fans of British cycling will be familiar with these events. The dominant country in the men’s events have been the Netherlands; their 121 total medals is almost twice that of the nearest challengers the United States (68 medals).

Winter Olympics Betting Sites: A Focus on Odds

The simple fact you are reading a guide on Winter Olympics betting means you want to see a return on your bets. Therefore, the bookmaker you choose must offer value for money. After all, The lower the odds, the less money you win, and the higher profit the bookie makes. Better odds means more money to you!

The Odds of Winter Olympics at the Best Bookmakers
Winter Olympic Betting Site Curling Ice Hockey Figure Skating Bobsleigh Speed Skating
94.49% 95.29% 96.89% 95.13% 96.63%
95.29% 96.23% 94.89% 95.76% 97.01%
95.14% 95.52% 96.49% 95.69% 95.38%
96.01% 95.89% 95.09% 95.07% 95.29%
95.89% 96.29% 95.01% 95.89% 95.00%

As you can see in the table above, all five of our recommended sports betting sites consistently offered a return to player figure of over 90%. We looked at historical odds offered during the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang 2018. Picking five of the most popular sports, we were able to calculate the payout rates. As two operators statistics were not available, we checked recent competitions that are in the Winter Olympics for comparison.

When betting on Winter Olympic events, there is a large range of sports you can bet on; there is also a comprehensive range of betting types you can place when betting. In this section, we’ll cover some of the most popular bets that us Brits place online at the best Winter Olympics betting sites during the tournament.

The Race for Gold

Unlike the Summer Olympics, which are often dominated by one or two countries, the Winter Olympics’ top dog’ changes hands regularly. It’s this uncertainty about who will top of the medal table at the end of the games that makes this topic so popular when Winter Olympics betting. While Norway topped the overall table and achieved the most golds in 2018 and South Korea, recent overall goal leaders include Russia (2014), Canada (2010) and Germany (2006).

Over / Under Betting

Some betting types work for all sports, and a good example of this is the Over / Under betting market. The idea is simple, the bookmaker will set a target number of goals, points or time (depending on the sport) and you have to decide if the actual tally will be lower (under) or higher (over).

Example: One of the most popular under/over betting markets is predicting how many gold medals a particular team will win in a sport during the tournament. The bookmaker will assess a team based on past performance and current form and give an estimation of how many golds will be won.

To prevent a situation that would result in the bet being drawn, most bookmakers will use a fraction of a total that couldn’t be achieved. For example, Great Britain will win 3.5 golds.

How to Use it: As with all betting, the first step is to do your research, especially if you are inexperienced with the sport you will be betting on. Look at the history of the team; do they consistently achieve a similar medal haul in tournaments?

For example; In the 2018 Winter Olympics Great Britain took one gold. This figure is consistent as they also took just one gold in 2014 in Sochi and also in 2010 in Vancouver. Therefore the bookmaker would be likely to set the Over / Under total of Great Britain’s gold tally at 0.5 or 1.5.

Head to Head Betting

Rivalries are what sport is all about, and betting which person, team, or country will win against each other is a hugely popular market at Winter Olympics betting sites. The Winter Olympics has had its fair share of showdowns, the infamous battle between Nancy Kerrigan / Tonya Harding immediately springs to mind. Sounding like the plot from a true-crime Netflix documentary, figure skating was on the from pages in 1994 when Gold medal favourite Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee by the ex-husband of her biggest rival, Tonya Harding.

Winner Excluding the Favourite Betting

It’s hardly a surprise that the Nordic countries do so well in the Winter Olympic games, snow and ice is a regular feature for leading gold medal country Norway. Even second placed in the table Germany has excellent ski resorts such as Arber, Ochsenkopf, Alpsee-Grünten and Oberammergau. Therefore, sometimes, it’s a good idea to take the favourites out of the equation and bet on the best of the rest. Many Winter Olympics betting sites offer to bet with the favourite excluded.

Live Betting on Winter Olympics

We are huge fans of being able to bet on events while they are taking place. From a tactical point of view, live betting (also called in-play betting) enables you to judge in real-time how well a team or player are doing. You can take advantage of the fact that the odds constantly change, often finding better value than you would if you placed the bet pre-event.

Another great feature that you’ll find at bookmakers that offer Winter Olympics betting is the ability to cash-out your bets early. This could be for a profit if things are going well or to at least salvage a part of your stake if things look risky with your bet. It is also possible at most sites of partially cashing out, meaning you could still make a profit while part of your bet is still in play.

The Promotions You Can Find for Winter Olympics Betting

One of the highlights about betting on the Winter Olympics online is being able to take advantage of one of the welcome bonus promotions that the bookmakers offer. The UK gambling market is fiercely competitive, which means you’ll find plenty of special offers that you can use when to place wagers.

Olympic Winter sporting action
  • Free Bet Club
  • Bet Builder
  • Acca Boosts
ESSAIBASLicensed by:

Open a new account with one of our recommended Winter Olympic betting sites, and you can increase the size of your bankroll that you have to wager. One of the most common and popular promotions is the matched deposit deal. The bookmaker will match the amount of your first deposit. As well as matched deposits, other promotions are available such as free bets and no-lose betting. To find out more, we have a dedicated bonus page.

The history of the Winter Olympics

While the Summer Olympics have their roots in ancient Greece, the Winter Olympics have a much more modern history with the first tournament held in 1924 in Chamonix, France. The first Winter Olympics consisted of nine sports; bobsleigh, curling, ice hockey, Nordic skiing, cross-country skiing, Nordic combined, and ski jumping and skating (broken into speed and figure).

The games are held every four years and until 1992 were held in the same year as the Summer Olympics. They now are held in the even number years in which the Summer tournament isn’t held, meaning every two years there is either a Summer or Winter version of the Games. Twelve different countries have hosted the games; the US has held the games the most with four (1932, 1960, 1980, and 2002).

Some Tips and Tricks When Winter Olympics Betting

Placing bets on the Winter Olympics is no different from placing wagers on any sports; therefore, the same best practice should be employed. The first golden rule is to do your research. We cannot stress enough how doing your homework can pay dividends in the long run, gut feelings work on occasions but, punters who consistently see a return often state that preparation is key.

The second golden rule is to use tools and technology to your advantage. Most bookmakers will provide you with historical data of previous encounters between players or teams; this can be used to determine a reasonable expectation of the result, it’s no guarantee of predicting the future but certainly better than placing blind bets. The best Winter Olympics betting sites will also have features like live betting and cash-out options, used correctly these can make a difference to your returns.

Curiosities and Facts

In our guide to betting on the Winter Olympics so far, we’ve looked at some of the sports that you can place bets on in the tournament. We’ve presented some of the popular markets with punter such as gold medal betting and the over/under markets, and we’ve had given you a brief insight into the history of the tournament.

In this next section, we’ll continue with the theme of history and share some interesting facts that you may not know about the Winter Olympics. Although this trivia is not very likely to help you win any money, we still hope you’ll find it interesting.

The Hosts that Never Were

Winter games 1976 australiaWe all know that hosting the Olympic Games is prestigious with stiff competition between countries to host it. However, Denver in the US won the right to host the 1976 Games but later rejected the opportunity. Stating high costs than expected and the environmental impact, Colorado voters rejected a $5 million state bond issue to help pay for the Games. They instead were held in Innsbruck, Austria.

Spot the Link

A picture of a leader of a countryWhat do George W. Bush, Emperor Akihito, Emperor Akihito, Richard Nixon and Adolf Hitler all have in common? They are all of course dignitaries that have opened the Winter Olympics ceremonies. The first Games were opened by Undersecretary Gaston Vidal in France in 1924. It is expected that President Xi Jinping will open the next edition in 2022 in Beijing, China.

Switching From Summer to Winter

Figure skating pictureTwo of the most popular sports in the Winter Olympics, figure skating and ice hockey were originally part of the Summer Olympics but switched to the Winter Olympics in 1924. Men’s, women’s and pairs figure skating events premiered in 1908 at the London Summer Games. Ice hockey debuted at the 1920 tournament help in Antwerp.

Conclusion

Winter Olympic betting is popular at online sports betting sites, and it’s not difficult to see why. The large number of sports that are represented at the Winter Olympics means there is something for everyone. Whether you like the artistry of figure skating, the skill of alpine skiing, the pure fear of bobsleigh or team events such as curling, it’s all here and so much more.

All of our recommended Winter Olympic betting sites make the process of placing a bet simple. There was a huge selection of events and sports you can bet on and the odds they offered represented great value for money. This value is increased if you take advantage of the new customer deals that are available.

Frequently Asked Questions About Betting on Winter Olympics

To complete our Winter Olympics betting guide, we have created a handy FAQ section. We researched what gamblers in the UK want to know about betting on the games. In the following section, we have collated the most common questions and provided answers with all the details you need.

Which are the best Winter Olympics betting sites?

We have listed the UK’s best Winter Olympics betting sites in this guide. Each of our recommended operators is UK licensed and safe to play at. Our top-ranked betting sites offer bets on a wide range of Winter Olympics sports. You can also claim generous welcome bonuses when you join.

What Winter Olympics sports can I bet on?

There are 15 sports featured at the Winter Olympics, and you can bet on them all at the betting sites featured in this guide. Among the most popular Winter Olympic sports to bet on are curling, ice hockey, and figure skating. You can find more details about the popular types of Winter Olympics games in our dedicated section.

What types of bets can I place on the Winter Olympics?

There are various types of bets that you can make on the Winter Olympics. Among the most popular betting types, you will find head to head betting and over/under betting. We have created an overview of popular types of Winter Olympics bets, where you can find more details about your betting options.

Are there any bonuses for betting on Winter Olympics?

Yes, there are. The best Winter Olympics betting sites offer a range of bonuses that you can use to bet on the games. You can claim a welcome bonus as a new player at most sites. Plus, top sports betting sites usually feature a selection of special promotional offers when the Winter Olympics are underway.