In this guide, we will look at what bowls is, how it is played, and teach you the essential things you need to know before you place your first bowls bets, including:
- How to find the best bowls betting sites?
- How does bowls betting work?
- Which bet types are available for lawn bowls betting?
- What are interesting facts about bowls and online betting on bowls?
List of the Best Bowls Bookmakers
Before placing your first bowls bet, you must register with a bookmaker who accepts your bets. That might be tricky to do since not all sportsbooks offer bowls betting odds, yet there is still plenty for you to have enough options. However, the trick is to register with the best bowls betting sites.
A good bookmaker for betting on bowls games must have some things, mainly competitive bowls odds and enough betting markets. Besides the 2, it helps if the bookmaker also has betting offers, promotions and other bonuses.
If you’re looking for the best bowls betting site, there is, unfortunately, no such thing, just like there is not a single best bookie for any sport. But just as there are many great athletics bookies, there is a fairly long list of good sportsbooks for betting on bowls, including prominent bookies in Betfair, Ladbrokes and Coral as 3 of the most popular bowls bookmakers.
Bowls Betting Bonuses
Once you find bowls betting sites with solid gambling odds and enough market depth, it’s time to narrow down the list based on the bookies’ quality of bonuses. Since bowls is a fair niche sport, some bowls betting sites won’t have any rewards, a free bet, and other offers available, but some will.
Those will mostly come in the form of a free bet, boosted bowls betting odds on Acca bets, insurances, and bonus deposits. Those are some of the most common bonuses found on bowls bookmakers, and you should try to take advantage of them if you can. So make sure to check the sportsbooks’ promotions tab if there are any bowlsbet bonuses available, and don’t forget to read through the terms and conditions to see whether you’re eligible for the promotions!
How Does Bowls Betting Work
Bowls is a very niche sport that doesn’t have a massive following; however, if you plan to start betting on it, you should know that it’s a fairly simple sport to wager on. Even bowls rules are very straightforward to understand, which is a plus, but there are still some things you need to do before you start betting on the sport.
You need to have a solid understanding of sports betting basics, including the ability to read bowls betting odds, understand what the betting lines mean, and how the gambling industry operates. Once you master that, you need to dedicate some time to learning a thing or 2 about bowls as a sport.
That mainly includes following the players, teams, and competitions so you get a better idea of which players/teams are good, their strengths and weaknesses and so on. Realistically, those are the same things you need to do before you bet on any other sport, which further confirms that bowls betting is not as complex as wagering on football, tennis, and so on.
Lastly, you need to understand what bowls betting types mean. Most markets will include bet types you will recognise from elsewhere, but some wager types (such as ends winner) will only be available on bowls betting markets.
Reading and understanding bowls betting odds might sound complex, but it isn’t. That is mainly because bowls odds aren’t that much different from odds on any other sport. You will come across some unique bet types that are not complex.
The main thing you need to know when reading bowls betting odds and looking through the betting offers is that bookmakers often offer different odds on the same game. Assuming you want to wager on Australia beating the UK in the Bowls World Cup, Betfair might have Australia priced at 3/1 to win.
These price gaps are not intentional but a byproduct of sportsbooks using different odds providers and formulas to set their prices.
It is just one example where one bookie will have better odds than the other, and it is also a perfect example to show why you should have betting accounts with multiple bookies. It’s a common practice to do so in 2023, as only this way can you price shop and always bet with the best odds of bowls!
Most Popular Bowls Competitions & Tournaments
Since bowls are not as popular as football, basketball, ice hockey and other major sports, there aren’t as many competitions and tournaments. However, a handful of events attract a sizable crowd of viewers and bettors.
Popular bowls tournaments include Commonwealth Games, World Bowls Champions, and World Indoor Bowls Championship. As 3 of the most significant events in bowls, they’re also extremely well covered by sportsbooks, making it easy to bet on either of the 3.
Unfortunately, some lesser events and competitions are often forgotten. So it’s wise to take your time when picking a bookmaker for your lawn bowls betting needs and choose the right bookie that can offer you betting lines on more than just major bowls events.
History of Bowls
Bowls have a long history, but it’s poorly recorded, making it hard to pinpoint the most important dates. Still, we know that bowls are an English game, which is believed to originate from the 13th century, granted some records would suggest that bowls were played in ancient Egypt. Either way, bowls are easily one of the oldest sports in the world.
We also know that the oldest bowls field in the world first used for a bowls game is Southampton Old Bowling Green in 1299. Bowls were initially played only in England, settlers brought the game to New Zealand in the early 1860s, and it later spread to the UK, Ireland, Canada, and the USA.
Eventually, the game reached Europe and other parts of the world; however, it never really took off as much as it did in English-speaking countries.
Bowls is a very interesting sport, similar to bowling, that is played on grass or indoors. The game’s goal is for the players to roll a bowl as close as possible to the “jack” or “kitty”, a smaller ball placed near the end of the field. With the basic rules of the game out of the way, we can now mention more specific rules of bowls:
- Bowls can be played on artificial or natural turf; however, it’s mostly played on a large, manicured, leveled rectangular field – also known as a bowling green, which is further divided into rinks or playing strips.
- The game begins with a toss, deciding which of the 2 players goes first. The one who wins the toss then rolls the jack or kitty to the other end of the field.
- The players roll the ball towards the jack, while he must avoid rolling the ball into a ditch.
- If the ball falls into a ditch, it’s treated as a “dead ball” and is removed from the game.
- If the ball touches the kitty before falling into a ditch, it won’t be treated as a dead ball.
- If a player knocks the kitty into the ditch, the ball is still treated as alive; however, by international rules, the jack will get placed back in the center of the rink.
- After each player rolls their balls, the referee measures the distance between them and jack. The minimum distance between the jack and the ball awards a point to the bowler.
- Each player has four balls if they play in singles or doubles, but only 3 in triples matches and 2 in 4s.
The object of the game is elementary, which is why bowls are also a popular recreational sport and activity for many people worldwide.
How to Bet on Bowls
Bowls is played all over the world, and even though it’s by no means one of the most popular sports, it has a sizable following of fans and punters who don’t shy away from placing an occasional bet on a bowls game. Even though betting on bowls might seem complex, given its niche nature, we can tell you that that isn’t necessarily the case.
On the contrary, betting on bowls is straightforward as long as you take the right steps. You need to know a few things before placing your first bet on bowls:
- The first and most important thing you need to do is find a reliable, legit, licensed bookmaker that offers betting odds for bowls.
- Moreover, the bookie must have odds available and offer competitive prices and market depth.
- Preferably you should register with multiple bowls betting sites, so you can price shop and always bet with the best odds.
- Even if you don’t plan to wager in-play, the bookmaker you choose should offer in-play betting markets and live streams of the games – at least for major tournaments.
- You need to understand what you’re betting on, so familiarize yourself with the bowls’ bet types, the players, tournaments, and the sport.
- It helps if you find a reliable website that can provide information, stats, and bowls data to help you make smart bets.
- Alternatively, you should find a website that can offer you land bowls betting previews and predictions.
- Find a bowls wagering strategy that suits you and stick to it. But most importantly, learn how to manage your bankroll.
Most Popular Bowls Betting Markets
There is no denying that bowls are not even close to one of the most popular sports in the world, which explains why there are very few bowls bookmakers. But you will be surprised to hear how many different bowls bets you can place and how many betting lines are available. Here we will check some of the most popular:
To Win Outright
To win outright is a futures wager you can make while you bet on bowls. It’s essentially a prediction with which you’re predicting which player or a team will win a certain event.
An outright bowls bet is very simple to understand and popular among bettors, mainly due to the high odds sportsbooks usually offer on this market. While the favorites will be priced at lower odds, even the top dogs will often pay out at double digits!
Match-winner is the most straightforward bet you will come across. As its name suggests, a match-winner stake is a wager on which player or a team will win the next match. Since draws are impossible in bowls, you only need to pick between the 2 sides and correctly predict which of the 2 will come out ahead.
The only thing that matters with match-winner bowls is the final result, so a player can either win by one point in the playoffs or straight sets.
The winning margin is a popular bowls bet type available to all bowls bookmakers, and it can be used in 2 ways.
If you’re betting on bowls game that is played as best-of, you can wager on a set margin. So, for example, if the match is Bo3, you can predict by how much a player will win – either 2-0 or 2-1.
The other way to use winning margin bets is to wager on points, in which case it doesn’t matter whether the match is Bo1, Bo3, or Bo5. With a points margin, you’re guessing how many points a player or a team will win a set. This approach is similar to how you bet on how many points a basketball team will win in the next match.
Match-up betting is a form of futures gambling, similar to the outright winner. But instead of predicting which team or a player will win a tournament, you’re predicting which will perform better.
So if you believe Player A will perform better at Bowls World Cup than Player B, you can bet on him, and your wager will hit as long as Player A places higher than Player B. That doesn’t necessarily mean that Player A must win. Assuming Player B places 10th, Player A only needs to finish the tournament 9th or better for your bet to hit.
It is a popular wager among punters who bet on bowls, adding more variety to outright betting. Moreover, it allows you to bet on outsiders who you believe will do well but aren’t good enough to win the tournament.
End winners is a unique bet only available with live bowls betting odds. It is a simple wager, however, as it only requires you to predict which player or a team will win the next end, which is why it’s named an “end winner” bet.
Bowls Betting Tips & Predictions
Bowls betting online can be tricky since there are many things a bettor must analyze to find the right bets. Admittedly, the same holds for any sport, but finding the right pick for betting on bowls is a bit tougher, mainly because there is not much information on the internet.
That is why it’s incredibly beneficial if you have access to a reputable betting website that can provide accurate data on the players and tournaments. Besides, it helps if you find a website that can offer you in-depth gambling previews and a betting guide.
Even though you should always decide how you will bet on bowls and which player you will wager on, it never hurts to see what bowls betting experts have to say. So if you aren’t sure what to bet on, a betting preview from a reputable betting expert can help you immensely.
Bowls Betting Strategies
Learning how to bet on bowls is very simple, but if you’re new to lawn bowls betting, we have a few tips and tricks you might want to know before you start wagering.
- Understand the difference between an indoor and outdoor bowls match.
As mentioned, bowls can be played indoors or outdoors, and each of the 2 presents the players with different conditions. Admittedly, it might not sound like there is much of a difference, but there is no denying that some players are better outdoors while others shine in indoor matches, so before you place a bowls bet, keep that in mind.
- The draw is very important.
A bowls game is usually played in an elimination format, meaning that one defeat is enough for you to crash out of the tournament. Therefore, any advantage a player can get can help him greatly, so if you’re betting on a tournament winner, pay close attention to the draw and the players’ road to the finals.
- Past results are essential, but so is the head-to-head history between the bowlers.
So if you’re looking at bowls odds and are deciding which player to bet on in any given match, consider the past head-to-head result between the players.
- The format of the games is the most obvious thing you need to check, but it’s also often forgotten.
A match can be played in numerous different sets, but most commonly, it’s either best-of-5 (Bo5) or best-of-3 (Bo3). It might not sound like a big deal, but the longer the format, the more mistakes the players can make.
Moreover, best-of-one (Bo1) matches commonly see upset wins, as it’s easy for the player who is priced at shorter bowls betting odds to slip once rather than 3 times.
To end our article, here are some interesting facts about bowls that you might not know about.
- The most popular bowls competitions are World Outdoor Bowls Championship, World Indoor Championships, Commonwealth Games, British Isles Championships, and Asia Pacific Bowls Championships.
- Some of the most successful and well-known bowlers are Tony Allcock, Karen Murphy, Margaret Johnston, Elsie Wilkie, and Safuan Said.
- Bowls are trendy in England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Wales, Ireland, and Malaysia.
- Bowls are a fairly unique sport, but some are similar, including curling, bocce, petanque, boccia, and basque bowls.
- The most popular online betting sites for bowls gambling are Bet365, Ladbrokes, William Hill, and LVBet.
- Land bowls first appeared in the Commonwealth Games in 1930, when the tournament was known as the British Empire Games.
- In 1966, lawn bowls were not included in the Commonwealth Games because there weren’t enough bowls greens in Kingston, Jamaica.
- People of all ages can play lawn bowls – the youngest player to play at the Commonwealth Games was 19-year-old Jamie-Lea Winch, who has since won one Atlantic Bowls Championships and 3 European Championships.
That ends our guide about wagering on bowls, providing you with all the information you’ll need to find the best bowls betting sites and how to succeed at betting on the sport. So now you’re ready to find the best bookies and place your first bowls bets!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I bet on bowls online?Betting on bowls is fairly straightforward, and you can bet on the sport online or at any land-based bookmaker. If you want to bet on bowls online, you need access to a bookmaker that offers bowl betting markets. However, not all bookies will cover bowls, so check if the sport is available on the site first.
What is the most trusted bowls betting site?Some of the most popular and trusted bowls betting sites include William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral. Although other bookies cover the sports well, the 4 are the most used among bowls bettors.
How to play lawn bowls?Lawn bowls are a straightforward sport and a popular pastime activity for people of all ages. Although non-professional bowls have far more relaxed rules, professional bowls are hardly more complex. The only thing you need to know about bowls is the game’s primary goal: toss the ball as close to the kitty (or the small ball) as possible. It’s very similar to curling, except it’s played on grass rather than ice.