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A Beginner’s Guide to Curling Betting

Today curling is most popular in Canada; however, the sport has a rich history that dates back to 16th century Scotland. Each year brings with it many curling competitions, and this means that there are plenty of opportunities to bet on it. If you are looking to start betting on curling but you are not sure how, then here you will find all you need to know. We will give you a brief overview of the history and rules of the sport, as well as explain the different betting markets and what you should be looking at when placing bets.  

Curling Basics 

As mentioned, curling was first played in medieval Scotland and the first curling clubs began to appear in Scotland in the early eighteenth century. Over the years, the quality of the equipment used greatly improved, changing it from a sport that relied upon the power of the throw to one that requires skill and tactics, to the point that some describe it as “chess on ice”. 

The sport actually takes its name from the sound the granite stone makes on the ice. It comes from the Scottish verb ‘curr’, which means to make a low growling sound. The game achieved widespread popularity in the 20th century before fully entering the Olympic programme in 1998. Today, there are more than sixty countries in the World Curling Federation and more than 1.5 million officially registered players.  

The game is played on an area that is 147 feet long. At the end of the platform, there is a circle pointed under the ice, called “home”. Two teams of four people each contest the game. It lasts between two and two and a half hours, and consists of ten periods called “ends”.  

The team members push the stones one at a time, with the team taking eight shots in each side. After launching the stone, other team members try to increase its speed or change its direction using special brushes. At the end, the team whose stone is closest to the centre of the target wins. Each team is awarded one point for each stone that is inside the “home” area.  

A new power play rules was introduced for the 2018 Olympics. It differs from other sports such as hockey in that it does not require a foul or infraction to be awarded. Instead, each team in mixed doubles will have one power play to use in each game when they have possession of the hammer. This allows the team to position the defending stones to the side rather than to the centre to their advantage. This introduced new strategies to the sport, such as attempting to prevent the opposing team from “blanking the end”, which means to leave no stones in the house on purpose with the aim of retaining possession of the hammer. It also gives teams the opportunity to push the entire game out to the side, which could give them the chance to get the final stone in the “house” with ease.  

There are many competitions that curling fans can bet on. In addition to the Olympics, there is also the Curling World Cup, which includes men’s, women’s and mixed competitions. Each year the European Championships takes place, and a betting highlight is always the Canadian Championships, which also takes place annually.   

Betting on Curling  

When you go to bet on curling, you may be surprised by just how many betting markets are available. You can bet on individual matches as well as tournaments as a whole. Here we will explain the most popular betting markets to help you get started.  


This is the most basic bet on a match and the most popular. You are simply betting on which of the two teams will win. As long as your chosen team wins, then you will win the bet.  

Handicap Betting  

In the case of matches where there is a clear favourite, punters may not have much incentive to back the underdog. In order to rectify this, handicap betting is used. The idea is that the favourite team is given a points handicap that they must then overcome, for example, -3 points. This means that if you back the favourite, you will only win your bet if they are still the winners once that number of points are deducted from the final score. If you were to back the underdog, you will win the bet if they are the winners once that number of points has been added to their score.  

Over/Under Points  

These betting markets relate to how many points will be scored in a match. The most common is Full Time Over/Under, which relates to how many points are scored in total, across both teams. For instance, the market may offer Over/Under 11.5 points, which simply means that if you think that 12 or more points will be scored you bet over and if you think 11 or less will be scored you bet under. You may also find the same markets available on the scores for the individual teams.  


These are betting markets that apply to the competition as a whole rather than individual matches. For instance, you could bet on which team will be the winner. You may find many more markets on offer, and with the bigger competitions, they could be quite interesting. Furthermore, as a general rule, the earlier in advance that you place the bets, the more generous the odds on offer.  

In-Play Betting 

In-play betting, or live betting, is a great way to make betting on curling even more exiting and potentially profitable. It gives you the ability to bet on a match as it is taking place. You will find many of the same markets as discussed above on offer, but the odds will be updated in real time to reflect the action. Furthermore, you may also find ‘Next To’ markets, such as next team to score. This means that by keeping a careful eye on the odds and the action, you may spot some excellent opportunities.  

What to Consider When Betting on Curling  

As with any sport, the key to placing successful bets is to do as much research as possible, so that you are fully informed. It will not guarantee you will win your bet, but it will improve your chances. Much of the research you should do will be self-evident. However, here will shall discuss a few things that are unique to curling that it is important not to overlook. 

The most important person in a curling team is the captain. The captain will decide upon the direction of the throws and adapt the tactics throughout each game. Furthermore, the captain will perform the final two throws in each end. Therefore, rather than getting bogged down in lots of statistics, you can start by analysing each team’s captain ahead of a match and look how they have been performing in recent times.  

Each captain will have his/her own style of play, and often there is great competition to be team captain. This means that you may have to carry out a bit more research, particularly if you are looking to bet well in advance of a tournament, but it will be time well spent.  

Taking this to the next level, you should look at whether the team has had enough practise playing under that captain. This is more relevant at international events, where the teams may have had very limited training times.  

This becomes even more important in mixed disciplines, especially in the duos. You should look at how long they have played together and what type of relationship the team members have. Often, this form of the sport can produce big surprises, so it is dangerous to fall into the trap of always betting on the favourites.  

It is always important to stay on top of team news; you need to be aware if any players have suffered from recent illness or injuries. Also, be on the lookout for last minute changes, as this can have a big impact on how a team will perform.  

Of course, you can also look at the more basic statistics, such as the head-to-head results of the teams, as this can give you a good foundation. However, it is dangerous to rely too much upon historical results. 

Ultimately, you should do your best to stay up to date with the sport and watch as much as you can. Hopefully, this will give lead to you placing many successful bets and landing plenty of big wins.  


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