Beginners Guide to Winter Sports Betting

Winter sports attract millions of punters looking to strike it lucky during the lazy season. Starting with the national tournaments to international games, you’ll find a lot of winning opportunities. Winter sports betting markets include alpine skiing, cross country skiing, biathlon, ski jumping, and slalom.

As a fresh face in the world of winter sports, it’s of the utmost importance to keep alert and guard yourself against cyber-crime and threats. With this in mind, we sought to unearth the most reliable and lucrative winter sports betting sites.

Our review takes into account the nitty-gritty aspects of successful winter sports betting. To get you off to a great start, we’ve narrowed down the basic rules and markets. Not to forget the winter sports betting tips necessary for a lucrative gaming experience.

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Understanding the rules

winter sports snowboard

Winter sports are a group of sporting disciplines that are mostly played on snow or ice. Most of these sports are a variation of skating, skiing, and sledding. Winter sports were traditionally played in cold areas during winter. Today, artificial ice allows winter sports to be played in a wider range of locations and periods. The rules vary, depending on the specific discipline. The betting rules, however, have a lot in common. Let’s look at the general rules for some of the most popular winter sports.

Alpine Skiing

Alpine skiing has been around since the late 19th century. The sport involves competitors sliding down snow-covered slopes on fixed-heel skis. Rooted in the mountainous terrains of Alpes, the sport has become an international sensation; thus, you’ll find it enlisted under numerous bookmakers. Punters typically bet on the first competitors to cross the finish line, as well as betting times. Other popular alpine skiing betting markets include Head-to-Heads, Finish in Top 3, and Antepost/Outright winner.

Cross Country Skiing

Having been in the Olympics since 1977, cross country skiing, also known as XC, rallies up over 41,000 athletes yearly. Competitors in this winter sport propel themselves forward either by striding forward or by pushing on ski poles. Punters can bet on Head-to-Heads, Finish in Top 3, Winning margins, Antepost/Outright winner, and more markets. Apart from these potential money-makers, punters can opt for freestyle, classics, or relay tournaments.


If you’re a fan of skiing and rifle shooting, biathlon betting is your ultimate gambling destination. Presenting punters with the best of both worlds, biathlon tournaments boast insanely high winning odds. Moreover, biathlon betting markets are widely varied, including the standard Head-to-Head, Heat Winner, and Competition winner.

Ski Jumping

Ski jumping involves competitors jumping the longest distance after descending from a specially designed ramp on their skis. The iconic winter sport first emerged in the Olympic Games back in 1924. To kick-start, the game is 2 rounds comprising 50 athletes. Only 30 make it to the final round. The winner is based on which individual had the highest total score in the final 2 rounds. As expected, you’ll find ski jumping betting a breeze as it is available in almost every sportsbook.


Slalom is closely related to alpine skiing and is played the same way, except athletes are required to follow a winding course. Slalom betting markets are the most rewarding and adrenaline-charged events because of a game of pace, strong carving turns, tempo, and great poise. Not only is the sport part of the Winter Olympics, but it also falls under the Annual FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

Where to find Winter Sports betting websites?

Rating: 5.0/5
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  • Extensive sports library
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18+ | New UK players only | Min deposit req. £10 | Certain deposit methods excluded | Pace 1 sport bet (3+ selections) } Excl Horse Racing | Min stake £10 | Max stake £20 | Min odds 2/1 (3.0) for each selection | Max FreeBet £20 for football only | FreeBet valid for 7 days | FreeBet stake not returned | T&Cs apply | |
Rating: 4.9/5
  • Trusted online betting site
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New customers using Promo Code R30 only. Min £10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 3 x £10 free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment methods/player/country restrictions apply. 18+ T&C apply | | | Play Responsibly
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18+ | T&Cs apply. New reg only. Claim by placing a min deposit £10 via "My Offers" page within 30 days. 7 days to stake max £10 in-play, min odds 1/1. Max. extra winnings £100. Once claimed, 30-day expiry. Cashed out, System & EW bets do not qualify. Other Promotional Play Restrictions Apply. (Full T&Cs apply) | | LeoSafePlay
Rating: 4.4/5
  • Trusted & Licensed UK Brand
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18+. UK Customers (Excluding NI) only. Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds ½. Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each 3 £5 max qualifying bets. 13 settled bets required to receive full £25 free bet. Qualifying bets must be placed on sportsbook within 30 days of opening account. Cashed out bets will not qualify towards your average stake. One free bet offer per customer, household or IP address only. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply. 18+. T&Cs apply. | |
Rating: 4.6/5
  • Good looking website
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18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + T&Cs apply. | |
Rating: 4.7/5
  • Trusted Betting Site
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18+. New customers only. Min Dep £10. Debit cards only. Opt in for bonus funds. Wagering, sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Sports bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Valid for 7 days. Geographical Restrictions and T&Cs Apply. | 18+ | | | Play Responsibly
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  • Huge amount of promotions
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New Players Only. Free bet is a one-time stake of €/$/£10, minimum odds of 1.5, stake is not returned. 10X wagering the winnings. Wagering occurs from real balance first. Wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only, wagering starts from real funds. Max conversion: €/$/£20. Valid for 7 Days from issue. Excluded Skrill deposits. 18+ T&C apply | | | Play Responsibly
Rating: 4.5/5
  • Good welcome offer
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New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager 8 times deposit + bonus, max qualifying bet equal to initial bonus amount; valid for 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles or 2/5 per acca leg; Some bet types excluded; See full terms; 18+ | | Play Responsibly
Rating: 4.6/5
  • UKGC Licensed Bookmaker
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  • Licensed bookie
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Rating: 4.1/5
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The rising popularity of winter sports cannot be overemphasized. With most bookmakers adopting winter sports, locating the best site is anything but a walk in the park.

The key to scoring big in winter sports is to identify a bookmaker with the highest odds. What’s more, it’s always a good idea to have a wide variation of betting markets at hand. So, look out for a winter sports betting site that comprises several variations of each sport and favourable payouts.

Above all, the bookmaker has to be licensed by a reputable jurisdiction, else you risk falling victim to online sharks. If you prefer lucrative contemporary markets like skiing and skating, the winter season is packed with money-spinning entertainment.

Effective Strategies for Betting on Winter Sports

You can find a lot of different winter sports betting strategies, but if you test some of them, you will see that they aren’t always effective. The types of sports that fall into this category are specific, and so are the markets and odds. It really depends on which bookmaker you choose because some will not offer you enough options to execute your strategy.

Lucky for you, some people on our team are big fans of winter sports and have been betting on them for some time. Here are a few strategies that they have tested themselves:

  • Research a given player’s current form and previous achievements – This is essential to make the right decisions. All winter sports are dynamic, so you need to know everything about the person you’re betting on.
  • Try learning more about the person’s life outside the sport – It’s very common for someone who excels at something to deliver poor results due to different personal issues. For better or worse, we can learn almost everything about all sports celebrities, so we recommend doing it before wagering.
  • Pay attention to the live betting option – Many punters underestimate the live betting options for winter sports. Although the number of options won’t be as high as the one for football, you will have at least a few unique markets. Usually, they have good odds.
  • Use the home-crowd advantage – Due to their specifics, the home-crowd advantage does not always work. However, we have seen a lot of situations where players perform a lot better because of it, so keep it in mind.

Which are the most popular tournaments?

winter sports competition

Technological advancement has been a driving force towards the popularity of winter sports. With this progression, more and more tournaments are brought into the spotlight. Determining the most recompensing tournaments is never a refreshing experience as almost every tournament, no matter how small, is made to appear bigger.

To separate gold from sand, we placed all major tournaments under a microscope and came out with the top 3. These tournaments boast both high payouts and impressive odds. If your goal is to follow the money, here are the top 3 most popular tournaments.

Olympic Games

Dating back to 1924, it was upon the inception of the Olympic Games that winter sports stepped into the sport. Today, the tournament stands taller than any other event in the winter sports games. Another point in its favour, the tournament is also the most highly rewarding, boasting the best odds. Whether you’re looking for the big names like skiing and skating or prefer fancy games such as figure skating, the Olympic Games will always deliver your heart’s desires.

Winter Universiade

Second, to only the Winter Olympics, Winter Universiade is as good as they come. The event hosts over 1,600 athletes competing in more than 10 disciplines. As a member of a supported bookmaker, you can bet on biathlon, cross country skiing, alpine skiing, and ski jumping. Winter Universiade is available in 138 online bookmakers making it almost impossible to miss. Most thrilling is the live stream option that allows you to place bets as the tournament plays out. Other popular games under the Winter Universiade are figure skating, ice hockey, curling, and short track speed skating.

European Winter Games

Fuelled by the uniting spirit of the Olympics, the European Winter Games tournament includes athletes within the European continent and a select few from other nations. While the event is not as big as the other two, it presents multiple winning opportunities. European Winter Games comprise two championships, namely – the Zimmermann Cup and the FMB BAM Trophy. The event hosts close to every winter sport in the world. What’s more, you’ll find winter sports betting tips offered by most online bookmakers. Even more exciting are the lucrative odds available on the game selection.

Short history and facts

Premiered during the 1800s, winter sports are as old as any other traditional sporting event cherished by people around the world. The extreme freezing temperatures paired with long winter seasons have served as transportation and entertainment in some regions.

As people adapted to such punishing environments, a sense of thrill and excitement was injected into an otherwise long and boring season. With this development came winter games like skiing, snowboarding, skating, and many more. However, it wouldn’t be until later that the sports were adopted professionally and enlisted under the Olympics.

An interesting fact unknown to enthusiasts is that winter sports were originally bunched together with summer titles in the 1908 London Summer Games. In 1924, winter sports finally took centre stage in the Winter Olympics. Throughout this period, technology was lagging behind and so betting on world-renowned tournaments was not as popular as seen today.

Fast-forward to the current date, winter sports betting has taken the industry by storm. You’ll find winter sports flamboyantly displayed on multiple bookmakers, even in countries with less severe weather patterns.

Final thoughts

Winter sports betting presents a perfect kick for punters in search of a money-spinning winter buzz. Boasting lavish payouts and juicy odds, it’s almost impossible not to get wrapped up in the thrill of the sport. Winter sports top the charts by hosting multiple betting markets. Ranging from the famed Olympics, European Winter Games, World Winter Games, Winter Universiade to the national tournament, you’ll find winter an exciting season.

Archetypal of modern sports betting, online games are prone to scams. Hence the need to select a winter sports betting site with air-tight security protocols. Apart from licensing, bookmakers that swagger bonuses and promotions prove to be the most attractive and rewarding. Keep in mind that your career depends on the rules attached to the desired betting markets.

So, head over to the respective lobby and thoroughly review the T&Cs before plunging into your favourite winter games. With such lucrative opportunities in your back pocket, winter sports betting is worth every punter’s time.


What sport is the easiest winter sport to bet on?

The term ‘easy bet’ does not exist in gambling. Outcomes are based on luck, and there are no proven methods of cheating the machine. However, the most popular winter sports include alpine skiing, cross country, biathlon, and ski-jumping.

How can I learn Winter Sports betting?

Winter sports betting is similar to regular sports betting. The key elements to note are the odds, bookmakers, and deciding which sport to bet on. Not to forget the type of tournament, as it determines your payout rate.

Is betting on Winter Sports legal?

Whether or not the activity is legal depends on the bookmaker. While there are no specific laws that prohibit the sport, bookmakers are required to have a valid license to operate within a country.

What Winter Sports are there?

Winter games tournaments encompass the likes of biathlon, cross country skiing, alpine skiing, ski jumping, figure skating, ice hockey, curling, and short track speed skating, to mention a few.

Is Winter Sports betting fixed?

While there have been speculations about match-fixing in the gaming industry, the allegations are unfounded when it comes to winter sports. Online bookmakers employ state-of-the-art software to ensure a safe and fair gaming experience.

Kristiyan Kyulyunkov
Kristiyan KyulyunkovKristiyan Kyulyunkov specializes in bookmakers’ analyses. He has years of experience betting online and always keeps an eye on the different operators. His tasks in Nostrabet include writing, editing and publishing expert reviews.