Field hockey probably isn’t the first sport that comes to mind when you ask the average person about sports betting, but it does have a very loyal fan base that would be more than happy to tell you how great a sport it is. Field hockey betting sites are still somewhat of a rarity, but the number of bookmakers willing to cover the sport is growing. In fact, I have a few recommendations to make right now:
Best Field Hockey Betting Sites
According to some sources, field hockey ranks as the third most-played team sport in the world behind soccer and cricket. Although I believe these estimates to be somewhat… optimistic, the sport has clearly experienced a growth phase of late. And unlike its ice-based cousin, field hockey requires no expensive gear or perfect weather. All you need is a field and a few people willing to play and you have everything you need to get a game going.
We still have a severe lack of professional field hockey players to look up to, but things are slowly moving in the right direction. Online betting sites have been quick to catch on and now offer a respectable variety of betting markets for most major field hockey organizations.
On the international side, the annual Hockey Champions Trophy has been contested since 1978 (1987 for the women) by the top ranked teams in the world and is considered a prestigious competition within the sport. Every four years, teams compete for the Hockey World Cup and the Women’s Hockey World Cup. Hockey tournaments also feature at both the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.
How to Find the Best Betting Site for Field Hockey
Ranking the best field hockey betting sites isn’t too difficult if you know what to look for. What I like to do is consider both specific and non-specific factors. Specific factors are related directly to betting on field hockey. How many markets the site offers, what types of wagers it accepts on field hockey and so on. Basically, I just want to know if the bookmaker has what I need to bet on this specific sport.
Non-specific factors relate more to the overall quality of the bookmaker. Does it have a positive reputation on the internet? How lucrative are the new player deposit bonuses and ongoing promotions? Is it easy to place bets and confirm my wagers before I bet? Does the site even accept my currency?
Coverage and Betting Markets
More is better. Ideally, you can log in to your betting account any time and find open wagers on multiple matches. Field hockey is still a fairly niche sport by TV viewing standards, but it’s not too much to expect at least a few wagers open at any given time.
I also like to see variety in the types of bets on offer – something more than just wagers on who will win a given match. It’s always nice to have the ability to bet on point totals, props and futures for major events.
Deposit and Withdrawal Options
The best hockey betting site in the world isn’t much use if you can’t fund your account or get paid in a timely manner. Mainstream betting sites (such as those recommended above) are usually pretty good about offering multiple deposit methods no matter where you live or which currency you use.
Payouts should take no longer than a few days. It doesn’t all have to come down to trust, either. I like to run a small deposit and withdrawal through a site before moving on to larger amounts. Another thing you can do is check a couple betting discussion forums and see what other customers have to say about their experiences at a specific site.
Customer Service and Support
Remember: you’re the one with the money and that gives you the position of power. If you ask a question, answers should come quickly and be on target. Nothing is more frustrating than to ask a simple question and receive a canned response that doesn’t even address the issue at hand.
Plus, a quality customer support team shows that the betting site actually values its customers. If a site isn’t willing to spend a little money on competent support, I don’t see a reason to give them my hard earned money.
Usability and Features
Usability refers to how easy it is to access the bookmaker, find the bets you have in mind and then to place those wagers. One thing I always look for is a functionally “bet slip” that shows exactly how much money you’re about to risk, what the payouts will be and then confirm everything before you actually book the bet.
Extra features are nice but not all that important. If the site is functional and easy to use, I’m happy. I consider it extra icing on the cake if the site provides live odds updates and even the occasional in-play betting market for field hockey.
To summarize, the best field hockey betting sites get it right in all the important areas.
They keep up to date with the latest happenings in the sport, provide the wagers you want, are easy to use and always pay their winners on time. Those are exactly the types of sites that I have chosen to recommend on this page.
Betting on Field Hockey Online
The mechanics of betting on field hockey are largely the same as wagering on any other sport. If you have any prior experience with sports betting, you should be good to go. If not, read on for a recap of all the major types of wagers.
Match Betting (Fixed Odds)
In a match bet, you select which team you believe will win and then place your bet at current odds. The bookmaker adjusts the odds for each team to reflect their individual chances of winning.
The favoured team offers lower payouts since it is the most likely to win. The underdogs are given higher-paying odds to make them more attractive. Your job is to consider the upcoming match, compare the odds and back the team that offers the most value relative to your risk.
A point spread also has you pick the team you view as mostly likely to win. The difference between this type of wager and straight up match betting is that the oddsmaker accounts for perceived skill disparities by either giving points to one team or taking points from the other.
For example, if Team A is seen as likely to defeat Team B, your betting site may take a point from Team A and give a point to Team B. If you decide to back Team A at -1, they would have to win by at least 2 for your wager to count as a win. Likewise, you could back Team B at +1 and that wager would be a winner if Team A wins outright or somehow ties.
Futures are typically tied to the outcome of major international tournaments such as the Hockey World Cup. Your betting site will provide you with a list of all competing teams and provide odds for each one. Then, you pick one team to win it all. If your team does indeed go on to win the tournament, you earn a generous payout.
Prop Bets and Specials
Props relate to everything other than predicting the winner of a single match or tournament. These sorts of bets are also a little limited in field hockey, but you might find the occasional field hockey prep. A couple of examples would be predicting who scores the first goal or which team wins the coin toss.
Basic Field Hockey Betting Strategy
The strategy for online field hockey betting is comparable to that of any other sport. The best thing you can do improve your bottom line is to take a serious interest as a fan of the sport. Find a favorite league and focus your efforts on learnings the ins and outs of how that specific league works, which teams are the best and how each team reacts to different situations.
Something that has always worked well for me is to pick a few teams and dedicate the majority of my betting focus on matches that involve those teams. Eventually, you can get a pretty good grasp on each team’s playing style, coaching style, how it performs on the road, how it reacts to tough losses, what types of adjustments it makes during games and so on.
One of the advantages you have if you closely follow the game is that you can actually become more knowledgeable than the average bookmaker. Field hockey still ranks fairly low on the list of priorities at major betting sites that cover hundreds of events every day. The oddsmakers can only devote so much time to field hockey when they also have about 50 football games that are guaranteed to attract many times the betting handle.
Smart bankroll management is also a must-have in any form of gambling. No matter how good you may get at picking winners, you’re not going to win every time. Even the best teams have their off days. If you get into a habit of betting more than about 5% of your bankroll on every game, it is only a matter of time before you hit a bad run and decimate your bankroll.
Mike Murphy is the founder of OnlineBettingSites.com and has over 10 years of experience in the legal online betting industry. A regular attendee of industry trade shows and conferences, Mike is a strong proponent of regulated markets and responsible gambling policies.