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How to bet on sports:

If your only exposure to betting on sports has been through the provincial sports lottery games, you can be forgiven for not understanding all the ways that you could be betting on sports.  You see, the lottery sports games have developed their own particular system for betting on game outcomes, which is extremely limited.  When you decide to make your bets with an online sportsbook your options open up significantly.  I quickly take you through the process of how to set up an account, and then outline the main ways you can bet on sports.  I then have developed pages that describe in detail how to bet on baseball, basketball, hockey, football and soccer.

1) Decide what you are going to do with your account and what kind of a player you will be in terms of frequency

If you are purely going to be a sports bettor and you expect to bet a lot, it probably makes sense for you to see who offers the highest paying odds for your sport or games of choice.  Better odds means more money in your pocket when you win.  If you’re going to play often, a bonus while nice doesn’t really matter very much.

If you think you see a benefit to being able to play online poker, blackjack or other games from the same account, have a quick look to ensure the site offers sports, poker and casino play as they are 3 separate offering.  All our sites listed offer all of these services with the exception of Pinnacle, which offers Sports and Casino services, but no poker.

2)  Once you decide on on your sportsbook of choice, you’ll be asked to register your account.  Most people want to register for things with as little information as possible to protect themselves, I know I do.  Understand a few things, reputable sportsbooks want provide you a service and want to protect your information.  As such they’ve developed policies to ensure that they deal with the real you, this is often called KYC or “Know Your Customer”.  This is a way they can know that you are who you say you are and will help in communicating with them in the future so it would be difficult for someone to impersonate you.  While I would not call signing up for any of these services difficult, it requires more than your email and a password, but I assure you, it is all for your protection and these companies take this extremely seriously.

3)  Once you’ve signed up, you’ll need to fund your account.  If you need to get up and running right away, you can of course use your credit card to fund your sportsbook account.  It will be charged in Canadian Dollars if you use one of the ones on my list as they all offer CAD accounts.  However, understand that all credit card transactions for ANY sportsbook will be treated as a CASH ADVANCE, not a purchase.  This means that the amount you choose to deposit will be eligible for interest charges.  Thus I would advise you choose to sign up with your chosen e-wallet (payment method) accepted by your chosen sportsbook.  You will see these in my reviews for each sportsbook and on their own websites.  Each of these services essentially works just like Paypal where you can link your bank account for quick and easy electronic transactions.  If you prefer Interac email transfers, Bodog happens to be the only service that accepts this method.  If you prefer Paypal itself as a deposit method, I have page dedicated to the surrounding issues.

4) You’re ready to go, so learn about how to bet on each sport.  In general, there are three main ways to bet on sports: Moneyline, against the Spread or the Line, and the Total or Over/Under.  And the odds formats are expressed in Decimal (like 2.25), American (+125) or Fractional (5/4).  In Canada, Decimal is most common as it is also used by the sports lottery games

For Moneyline, the sportsbook sets odds pricing for each potential outcome in a game, being a home win, visitor win and if applicable a draw.  The payout for your winning wager will be the product of the wager and the odds.  Heavy favourites will have low odds.

For the Spread or Line, the sportsbook decides on an artificial handicap whereby the favoured team would need to win by more goals, runs or points than with a regular win.  This means that the handicap is expressed in the game itself not generally in the odds pricing as both Home and Away win prices against the spread will be very similar if not exactly the same.

For the Total or Over /Under, the sportsbook sets a number for the total points, goals or runs scored and you may bet whether or not the actual Total will be over or under the set number.  

5) While these are the most common ways to bet, each sport has their own unique array of wagering options including available and increasingly popular prop bets also known as proposition bets where you can wager on certain events or achievements within the game.  You can also bet on what are called “Futures.”  These are bets about what team might eventually win a Championship or make the playoffs.  You can read about how to bet on baseball, how to bet on basketball, how to bet on football, how to bet on hockey and how to bet on soccer.

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About my sportsbook listings: I only list the best.  I do not list online sportsbooks that failed to meet my standards, so you might notice some big international brands missing. Remember, I analysed each company from a Canadian perspective.  Many of the big brands just don’t cater to Canadians well enough.

I reviewed 20 services, but why don’t I list all 20?  Would you want to read through 20 sportsbook reviews?  Would you then sign up with the 17th best one?  Of course not.  So why would I try to create confusion for you?  I keep it simple with the best few.

I don't try to fool you with phoney grades, rankings or star ratings.  My list is in alphabetical order and I just give you the unbiased information, you choose the best one based on your preferences & requirements.

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