Skiing is traditionally not one of the major sports that you will find at sportsbooks, but it is safe to say that it is a sport that is growing in popularity thanks to television deals and coverage on big TV channels such as Eurosport.
Many people think of skiing as a sport that only happens when the Winter Olympics is on, but there are plenty of other skiing events that take place. Betting on skiing is something that is becoming more popular, and in this review, we are going to tell you everything that you could possibly want to know about betting on this sport.
Best Skiing Betting Sites: Free Bets, Bonuses and Other Offers
How We Rate
The Top Online Betting Sites For Skiing
When we are thinking about what rating to give a bookmaker, our expert team will take into consideration all of what we just mentioned above.
Everything you need to know about Skii Betting Online
The History of Skiing
Digs in countries such as Norway, Finland, Russia, and Sweden have come across evidence of wooden planks that experts believe were used to transport people from one place to another. These primitive skis were found in bogland, with the modern version being able to trace its history back to the time when wooden planks were used to transport people across wetlands and marshes when they froze during the winter and people needed to get across them.
In the 1760s, skiing was a discipline that was added to military training, with the likes of Norwegian army training their soldiers to be able to ski down steep slopes, slalom around trees and other obstacles, and to shoot at targets while skiing. The sport as we know it today can trace its origins back to the 1850s, which was roughly the time when it began to change from being just a transport method to a more recreational and competitive pastime. Sondre Norheim, a man from Norway, is believed to be the person who modernised skis, adding a curve and bindings to them and developing the slalom turn.
To add to this, he was also the very first person to win a downhill skiing event – this took place in 1868 in Oslo. Within about three decades, the sport had spread across Europe and across the Atlantic to the US, although a slalom skiing tournament did not happen until 1922 when Mürren, a Swiss village, hosted one.
Skiing Added to the Olympic Roster
The key moment for this sport arrived in 1936 when it became part of the Olympic roster for the very first time. The Olympics saw it as a combined sport that saw the amalgamation of slalom and downhill skiing, instead of seeing it as the two different skiing disciplines that they do today.
By 1948, the Olympic committee took the decision to keep the original skiing event that was first seen twelve years earlier and add both downhill and slalom disciplines to freshen things up a bit. The combined discipline was taken off the roster in the 1940s, but giant slalom was added in the 1950s and things remained pretty much the same for a good few decades.
In 1988, super giant slalom became the latest skiing event to be added to the roster, becoming the fourth skiing discipline of the Winter Olympics. This was also the very same year that the combined skiing event occurred, remaining right up until 1998 when it was eventually dropped for good for combined downhill and combined slalom events. There is no doubt that the decision to add skiing to the Winter Olympics helped to improve its popularity.
Major Skiing Competitions
The competitive alpine skiing world is divided into two main disciplines: freestyle and racing skiing. The latter includes the likes of the slalom, giant slalom, and combined races, while the former is about events like the halfpipe, moguls, and skicross. Neither grass skiing or speed skiing are considered to be an alpine skiing discipline, although both do come under the control of the Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS), which is the sport’s governing body.
When it comes to competitive skiing events, there are two things that you have to consider, which is whether it is a generic competition that any skier can participate in or whether it is a top-class skiing tournament that only those skiers who are the very best can enter. With regards to the latter, there happens to be three main events that the best skiers participate in every time they roll around, and we shall take a closer look at them now.
The FIS World Cup
The FIS World Cup is a great example of how some enthusiasts can have a huge influence on their sport. This event was started back in 1966 by some friends who loved to ski. Their dream of making this a major event was helped by the fact that one of the friends was a French journalist, while a couple of others were ski directors from France and the United States. Nevertheless, it is still a fact that they wanted to start a competition and this is exactly what they did.
Marc Holder, the International Ski Federation President at the time, soon gave it his backing and come spring the following year, it was an official FIS tournament. The event has numerous disciplines where competitors can prove their worth and these are:
- Super G
- Giant Slalom
Points are awarded to the top finishers for each of the events, and the skier that earns the most points for a particular discipline will be the winner. The skier that comes first will get 100 points, the skier that comes second will get 80 points, the skier who comes third will get 60 points, and this keeps dwindling until the 30th skier, who will get a solitary point.
This is a yearly event, and it happens throughout a season, which means that competitors need immense discipline – it is seen by many as being even more prestigious than the Olympics. It takes place across the world and has previously been hosted in countries such as Japan and Argentina.
FIS Alpine World Ski Championships
Usually just called the World Ski Championships, this event took place for the very first time back in 1931, which means that it is even older than the Winter Olympics. It was held each year up until the Second World War, and when it came back after the war had ended, the event was seen by many as an offshoot of the Winter Olympics. Aspen hosted this event in 1950, and this was the first time that it was held outside Europe.
Since 1985, this tournament has been held on odd-numbered years, with the only exception being in 1995 when a lack of snow on the slopes meant that the event was postponed until 1996. Just like with the World Cup, this tournament sees men and women take part in these disciplines:
- Giant Slalom
- Super G
There is also a team event, where the teams have both men and women participating in them.
The Winter Olympics
The combined event we spoke about above that took part at the 1936 Winter Olympics was the first time that skiing happened at the Olympic games. Nowadays, you will find a variety of different skiing disciplines at the Olympics and these are:
- Giant Slalom
- Super G
Just like with the World Ski Championships, there is also a team event with teams made up of both genders. At the time of writing this skiing betting guide, Austria is the country that sits at the top of the medal table, and they will stay there for many years to come as they have nearly double the number of medals that the nation in second place has.
How do we choose
the best betting sites for skiing?
There are numerous bookmakers out there that sports betting fans in the United Kingdom can create an account with in order to place boxing bets.
For new sports gamblers, choosing can be quite a challenging task, but we have done all the analysis for you.
Below we will explain the different aspects of a sportsbook that we analyse when we are deciding whether a particular bookie is worth recommending to our readers.
The Different Disciplines
Above we mentioned a number of different disciplines and if you are new to the world of skiing, you will probably not have any idea as to what each discipline involves. When you are betting on this sport, it is vital that you know the differences between the major disciplines, so this is what we are going to discuss here.
Downhill skiing: This discipline takes a look at the six main components of skiing, which are risk, speed, technique, judgement, courage, and physical condition. Courses are often 30 metres wide and have a number of sheer drops and gates, which are two poles that the participant has to pass through.
Slalom skiing: This discipline is there to test a skier’s ability to turn and twist their way through a course that has a number of gates that are spaced close to each other. Participants have to go through each gate, with each missed gate leading to a time penalty.
Giant Slalom: This is pretty much the same as what we just mentioned above, with the main difference being that the gates are spaced a further distance apart.
Super G: With this discipline, skiers have to pass through a number of gates that are spaced far apart. Competitors only have the one opportunity to clock their fastest speed, so ridiculous high speeds are reached often. This is a really fun discipline to watch.
Combined: This was the first discipline to happen at the Winter Olympics and participants have to take on a downhill course as well as two different slalom courses. The disciplines take place on different days and the skier that clocks the fastest aggregate time is declared the winner.
Betting on Skiing
Skiing, no matter what discipline you are watching, is an exciting sport to watch. The skill and speeds that the skiers reach will always leave you mightily impressed. However, you can boost the entertainment levels even more by placing a bet on the skiing event that you are watching.
When it comes to skiing betting, you can dive straight in and make a random bet without using any strategies, but this is a surefire way to lose money. Placing a random bet and hoping for the best might work every now and then, but more often than not, you will just lose your hard-earned money.
Therefore, to help you out a little, we have given you some very handy betting tips below that you should keep in mind whenever you go to do a spot of skiing betting.
Know the Different Disciplines
Since it is a very niche sport, knowing how the different disciplines work is vital if you are going to spot the best valued bets. Above we gave you a summary of the different disciplines, but we do recommend that you take a bit more time to do some research and familiarise yourself even more. While the favourites for the World Cup will be very good across most disciplines, other competitors are only good in a couple of disciplines at most, so it is worth keeping your eyes on the outright and podium finish market options when it comes to individual events.
Take the Courses into Consideration
You might think that all courses are the same, but this is simply not the case. The World Cup, for example, takes place at different ski resorts and each course is different to the previous one. There will be certain courses that will suit particular skiers better. Also, some of the participants might be from the location where the skiing resort is, so will have home advantage as they will know the course really well and will have skied on it plenty of times.
Even if the course is not a skier’s home course, their style might mean that they are tailor-made for that particular run. which means they are a good bet to win the event or at least finish on the podium. Didier Cuche, a retired skier from Switzerland, is the perfect example here. During his career, he won 12 Downhill events, and nearly half of these were at Kitzbuhel. This course was perfectly suited to him, so it was never a surprise when he won at this Austrian resort.
Cuche also highlights our earlier point that some skiers do not excel in every discipline. He won 4 Downhill titles, including consecutive wins in 2007 and 2008, but in those same years he took place at a Super Combined event and came 34th and 23rd. Backing him on a Downhill event would have made perfect sense, but he definitely would not be worth betting on in a Super Combined event. It is very important that you tailor your skiing betting to the individual disciplines.
Take Form into Account
Just like with all other sports, when you are betting on skiing you have to take form into consideration. If a skier is skiing well and landing some good results, they will have some confidence going into future tournaments, which can lead to quicker times and a better final standing. If a skier has been performing pretty poorly of late, then we definitely do not recommend that you put your hard-earned money on them to win.
Popular Skiing Bets
Above we gave you some very helpful betting tips that you should keep in mind when you are placing skiing bets, and below we are going to have a look at the popular markets that you can place bets on when gambling on this sport.
Event winner: This is a simple bet to understand as all you are doing is predicting who will go on to win the event in question.
Podium finish: With this kind of bet, you are betting on a participant to finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Since you have a higher chance of winning such a bet, the odds will not be as good as the odds for the event winner market.
Head-to-head: The bookmaker that you have an account with will group two competitors together and it is then up to you to decide which one will finish higher than the other. Your chosen participant does not have to win the whole event, they just have to finish above the competitor they were paired with.
Winning margin: With this market, your goal is not to pick a winner of an event, but to predict how many seconds the winner will win by. The bookmaker you are registered with will give you a list of winning margin groups and you have just got to select the one the one that you think will be right.
When compared to the likes of Coral, 888sport is a baby as it has only been in existence since 2008. However, in those 12 years they have gone on to become really popular and they now have millions of customers. The reason for their popularity is an attractive Welcome Bonus (free bet of £30), plenty of sporting markets to bet on, plenty of live streams, and the fact that they offer attractive odds too. How exactly do we rate this sportsbook? Take a look at the table below to find out.
- They provide a very attractive Welcome Bonus
- They have very good odds
- They offer top-quality customer support
- Live streaming is a bit limited
If you decide to register with Unibet then you can take advantage of a very attractive Welcome Bonus as well as plenty of fun promotions. When it comes to the different sports on offer, you will find plenty of markets for all of them as well as very reasonable odds. There are plenty of payment methods to choose from and the customer service that they offer will not leave you disappointed. However, perhaps one of the best things about Unibet is the live streaming feature that they offer - over the course of a year they will stream around 40,000 different sporting events.
- They have some of the best live streams around
- They have a wide variety of markets
- They have very competitive odds
- No mobile app for Blackberry devices
Best Bonuses and Free Bets for Skiing Betting
When you spend some time in the sports betting industry you will soon realise just how super competitive it is. In fact, we do not think that we are exaggerating when we say that the world of sports betting is one of the most competitive industries out there. This competition might not be good for the bookies, but it is great for us sports bettors as it is what forces bookmakers to offer attractive bonuses. Sports betting websites know that a failure to offer an attractive bonus could be catastrophic in terms of new customer numbers. A bookie that is not getting any new players, is obviously one that will soon go out of business.
Some sports betting fans think that all bonuses are pretty much equal, but this is a foolish misconception. When you are betting on sports, you will come across a variety of bonuses, with some being great and others being very poor. This is why it is really important that you do some research and look around before you make a decision regarding the bookie that you will open an account with. Below we have tried to help you out a little bit by giving your four sportsbooks that we feel are offering the best bonuses at this current moment.
888sport: If you opt to open an account with the wonderful bookie that is 888sport, then they will welcome you with a bonus offer that sees your first deposit doubles up to £100. This means that if you go ahead and deposit £100, you will receive an extra £100 in your new 888sport account. If you deposit £200, you will still only get an extra £100 as this is the max bonus amount. You can use this additional money on whatever sporting event you like, but we suggest you use some of it on skiing events.
TonyBet: If you decide that you want to join TonyBet on their adventure, then they will happily double your first deposit up to the value of £50. So, if you deposit £50, you will receive an additional £50 in your account. Remember that £50 is the most that you can earn from the bonus, so depositing £100 will not see you get £100 in your account. You can use the TonyBet bonus money on whatever events you like, but you should try your luck at skiing betting.
Unibet: If you decide that Unibet is the sportsbook for you, then they have a £40 money back bonus on offer. With this bonus, you make a qualifying bet of up to £40, and if it loses, you will get your stake back in the form of a free bet. Once again, you will be able to use the free bet that you get on any sporting event.
Bwin: If you opt to register an account with Bwin, then they have a £20 money back bonus available. Just like with the aforementioned Unibet offer, you simply place a bet of up to £20, and if it is a loser, you will be given a free bet that is the same value as your stake that you can use on any sports event.
N.B. Online betting sites are constantly changing their bonuses as this is one of the main ways that they manage to stay one step ahead of any of their main competitors. Therefore, we certainly cannot guarantee you that the offers that we just described above will be the offers that are on offer when you go to sign up with one of the bookies. We are sorry if this is the case, but we do not have enough spare time to always check for bonus updates.
Another thing that we want to point out to you before we move on with this skiing betting review is that it is vital that you read the T&Cs that apply to the bonus before claiming it. By familiarising yourself with the various terms and conditions, you will learn what you need to know about the wagering requirements in play, the min/max deposit limits, the different payment restrictions, and the days that you have to place your free bet before it runs out. Read each T&C carefully and you will decrease your odds of forfeiting a bonus.
Where to Find the Best Skiing Betting Odds
Odds, like bonus offers, will vary between bookies because they are aware that having higher odds than their competitors is a good way to ensure that more sports bettors sign up with them than sign up with their rivals. A betting site that has higher odds than their competitors is one that will see a stream of new players register with them, while a betting site that offers the lowest odds around will soon find themselves struggling to make ends meet.
Before you go and sign up with a bookie, you should do some research to ensure that you are getting decent odds that allow you to make the most of the money that you will be spending. When you buy other products, there is a very good chance that you do some shopping around before you finalise the purchase to make sure you get the best deal, so why would you not do the same when searching for a sportsbook to bet at.
We are going to give you an example that will highlight how important it is to find the best odds around – or competitive ones at the very least. Let us say that you found a skiing event that you want to bet on, and you have a look at the odds for one of the skiers to win the event. One bookmaker, that we shall call A, has given them odds of 2.10, while another bookie, who we shall call B, has given them odds of 2.20. If you make a £10 bet with A and your chosen skier goes on to win, you will land a profit of £11, while if you make the same wager with B and your chosen skier wins, you will land a profit of £12. We know that a loss of £1 is nothing to worry about, but if you lose £1 with every winning wager you get, it will quickly add up.
So, what bookies do we recommend when it comes down to skiing odds? Well, these four bookies offer very good skiing betting odds:
Skiing Live Betting
It was the 90s when sportsbooks were able to make the transition online, but there was one thing lacking when sports betting sites arrived online, and that was live betting. If you are new to sports betting, you probably do not yet know what live betting is. Well, for those who are new among us, a live bet is one that is placed when a sport event is still in play. However, technology is now a lot better than it was back in the 90s, which means that live betting is readily available at the majority of bookies.
Bookies are aware that sports betting fans enjoy making live wagers and they know that if they fail to offer a good live betting platform, they will lose custom. However, while most bookies now have a live betting platform, they are not all as good as each other. If you want to make live skiing bets, then we suggest that you look at these bookmakers:
This skiing betting guide has given you plenty of information to ponder, and we really hope it helps you out when you start your skiing betting experience.