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How to get started betting online:

If your only exposure to sports betting has been through the provincial sports lottery games like Proline, you can be forgiven for not knowing about all the ways that you could bet sports.  You see, the lottery sports games have developed their own particular system for betting on game outcomes and it is very limited.  When you decide to place your wagers with an online sportsbook your options open up significantly.  Below, I quickly take you through the process of how to set up an online sportsbook account, and then outline all the ways you can bet on sports from within your account.

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 play a lot, it probably makes sense for you to see who offers the highest paying odds.  Better odds means more money in your pocket when you win.  If you’re going to play often, a sign-up bonus while nice, doesn’t really matter very much.  Think of how 5% higher odds would add up over time.  If you expect to play often, higher paying odds will surpass the value of any sign up bonus very quickly.

If you think you see a benefit to being able to play online poker, both Bodog and William Hill offer full online poker services that are very well-developed.  All three of our listed sites also offer extremely reputable Canadian Dollar online casinos.

About My Sportsbook List:

If I researched 20 international sportsbook brands, and 17 of them don’t measure up from my Canadian perspective, do you need to know about the 17? Would you read all 20 reviews and then sign up with the 15th best site?  Of course not!  Simple is best.

Why might I reject a certain site?  Poor payout record like withholding player funds or limiting bets of winning players, not offering CAD wagering, or not offering mobile betting.

That’s why I only list the best sportsbooks for Canadians.  Other sites make you read a massive list and give phoney grades or ratings. Each site I list gets a checkmark for my review criteria, but they are each different in their offerings.  Read the reviews and choose based on your own preferences and requirements, not a bogus rating scheme or star ratings.  

Why switch to a Sportsbook?

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 before you get started, reputable sportsbooks want provide you with a service and want to protect your information.  As such some have 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 significant steps to protect your information.  If the sportsbook service that you choose has a KYC program, you will likely be mailed a letter with information that you will use to confirm your account.  You won’t have to wait to start betting immediately, it’s just an added level of security for you. Keep this letter in a safe place for future reference should you need to retrieve your account if your ever forget your login details and need to contact them.

3)  Once you’ve signed up, you’ll have 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 as all the sites I list allow CAD accounts.  However, you should know that all credit card transactions for ANY sportsbook in the world 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 on your next credit card statement.  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 e-wallet services essentially works just like Paypal where you can link your bank account for quick, easy and secure electronic transactions.  If you prefer the ease of an Interac email transfer, Bodog happens to be the only service that accepts this method.  Reputable e-wallet solutions for Canadians include Instadebit, Entropay, iDebit, Ukash, ECO card and others.  Note that Skrill Moneybookers no longer processes gaming-related payments for Canadians. Also, there are no PayPal betting sites for Canadians.

4) Now you’re ready to go, but what are all the different ways to bet on sports?  In general, there are three main ways to bet on most sports: Moneyline, against the Spread or the Puck Line, and the Total or Over/Under.  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 provincial sports lottery games like Proline.

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.   As with the name, the handicap for a given game is built into the payout.  Heavy favourites will have low odds, underdogs get higher paying odds.

For the Point Spread or Puck Line or Run Line, the sportsbook decides on an artificial handicap within the game whereby the favoured team would need to win by more goals, runs or points.  This general means that the handicap is expressed in the game itself through the spread, not in the odds pricing.  The result is that both Home and Away odds pricing 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 goals or runs or points, and you may bet whether or not the actual Total will be over or under the set number.  

While these are the most common ways to bet, each sportsbook offers its own array of proposition bets.  Also known as prop bets for short, you can wager on certain events or achievements within the game.  Prop bets can be revolve around a given player, one player versus another player within a game, or it can focus on a specific part of the game itself.  

You can also bet on what are called “Futures.”  These are bets about what team might eventually win a Championship or make the playoffs.  Often, futures bets are only available before the given season begins.

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