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Betting on Cards in Football – Tips and Strategies

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What is card betting?

Cards betting is a form of gambling where you are wagering on how many yellow or red cards a referee will show during a particular match. This type of betting comes with different markets and options, the most popular being the Over/Under option. This involves predicting whether there will be more or fewer than 3.5 cards, for example, shown in a single game.

When it comes to card betting, it’s important to understand how referees issue yellow and red cards. Yellow cards are usually given for misconduct such as dissent, time-wasting, aggressive behaviour and unsporting conduct. A player who has already been given a yellow card can receive a second yellow card resulting in a red card if they commit a second bookable offence. Red cards can also be given for serious foul play or violent behaviour, which results in immediate dismissal from the game.

As well as this, some bookmakers offer other markets related to card betting such as how many minutes into the game any card(s) will be issued, or how many cards each team receives throughout the entire match (with special handicap rules). It’s important to take these different bets into consideration when deciding how to bet on cards. With so many variables involved it can be difficult to correctly predict how many cards will ultimately be issued during any single match, yet that is what makes it such an exciting betting format.

Available Cards Betting Markets

When it comes to betting on cards, you will be spoilt for choice with the variety of markets available. You can either place in-play or pre-match bets, and some of the most common bet types offered by bookies include Alternative Card Handicap, Asian Total Cards and more. Here are some of the popular selections:

Total Number of Bookings Over / Under

This market requires punters to predict how many yellow or red cards will be handed out to players during normal time in a match. This type of bet usually comes as an Over/Under selection, where the bookmaker sets a number, for example, 3.5 – and you have to choose if the total number of bookings will be over that number or under it. If you select Over 3.5, you win if there are four or more cards given out during the game; while Under 3.5 means three or fewer cards in the match will result in a winning bet.

Exact Number of Bookings

The exact number of bookings is similar to the total number of bookings, but here you have to predict how many cards exactly are given out during the match instead of merely estimating how many there might be. This type is usually considered harder than total numbers and thus rewards punters with longer odds.

Bookings at Half Time

This betting option allows bettors to determine how many cards are given out before half time, without having to specify precisely how many are brandished in total.

Handicap Cards  

Handicap cards betting is a three-way market in which punters must decide which team will receive the most cards within a match regardless if they are advantaged or disadvantaged by the bookie’s handicapping system. To win this bet, players must meet and exceed the handicap value set by the market.

Team With The Most Bookings

Team with more bookings is a betting market that requires bettors to assess which team will have received more bookings at the end of the match. This betting market only takes into account the bookings counted within 90 minutes of the match and doesn’t include any extra time periods. 

Timing of The First Card of The Match

It can be difficult to accurately guess when the referee will issue the first card of the match. Bettors can research how aggressively teams have been playing in previous matches, how often each team has been receiving cards, and how quickly a side has been drawing them from the referee. 

Player to be Booked

You can select a player on either team to receive a booking during a match. When assessing who might receive a booking it is important to consider how many yellow cards they have previously received as well as how aggressively they generally play while on the field. 

Also look into which types of fouls occur most frequently in each player’s game style and how easily they seem to get frustrated, as this could increase their chances of making a mistake that would result in a card being issued by the referee. 

Red Card in The Match 

Red cards are less common than yellow cards but can still occur during any football match so some sportsbooks will allow bettors to wager if there will be one or not during the game. It is important for bettors to research both teams’ records and statistics around receiving sendings off before making a decision on whether or not there will be one issued during a particular matchup. Analyse how intense these two teams generally get when competing against one another and look into how often either team receives red cards when playing other opponents too, for greater accuracy.

Other considerations for card betting

Betting on cards is an exciting market for sports betting enthusiasts. It’s important to understand how to bet on cards and how the different factors involved can influence the outcome of a match. Here are some tips and guidelines for how to bet on cards successfully:

The match Referee 

When it comes to betting on cards, one of the most important things to consider is the referee for the match and their levels of tolerance. This can have a significant impact on how many bookings there will be in a match. Check how often a particular referee issues cards and how many bookings they usually give out during games. This data should be used when determining how many booking points are likely to be awarded in that particular game.

Match Importance 

It is also important to take into account any matches that might have more significance than others, such as cup finals or decisive league games. These types of matches can often trigger some needle between players which could lead to more confrontations and cards throughout the game. It is therefore wise to research the history between the two teams if they have ever met in such an event before, as this may give you a better understanding of how the match could play out in this scenario. 

Derbies and Rivalries 

Another factor that needs to be considered when betting on cards is derbies or matches with more at stake, derbies or long-standing rivalries where both teams want to win badly can see tensions run high during the game. Examples include Liverpool vs Manchester United, Barcelona vs Real Madrid and Celtic vs Rangers, all of which tend to produce high levels of motivation among players which can lead to more bookings being issued.

Team Playstyle 

It’s also important when betting on cards to look at how each team plays since their style of play can influence how many fouls or misconducts occur throughout a match. Analyse how each team moves around the field and what confrontations may arise from their style versus their opponent’s style, as this could lead to more or fewer bookings occurring during a match.  

Players’ Temperament 

One more key aspect that should not be overlooked when betting on cards is analysing player temperament, how easily do they become angry? If a team has multiple players with short fuses, it could result in them receiving more yellow and or red cards than usual due to their emotional state while playing compared with opponents who behave in a calmer manner even under pressure.

Placing Accumulators and Cash-outs 

In-play card accumulators are one way that bettors can increase odds when betting on booking markets. It is possible sometimes too for cash-outs on card bets so make sure you check whether this option exists for your chosen game before taking part in it – doing so could help you minimise losses or maximise wins depending upon your situation at any given time in a match or bet.


What are Cards Bets?

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Cards bets allow you to predict bookings and red cards likely to be issued in a game within 90 minutes. They are separate from ordinary betting markets.

Is it possible to bet on cards once a game has started?

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Yes, you can bet on cards during a game. In-play games commonly have betting options for cards. All you need to do is locate the event with card betting markets.

Can you bet solely red cards?

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Yes, you can bet just on red cards. Bookmakers now allow you to predict the number of red cards that may appear in a game. Additionally, you can also bet on whether there will be any red cards at all.

If a player receives two yellows and a red, does it count as three cards?

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Yes, two yellow cards and a red card count as three cards. The same applies to one yellow card and a red card, which would be two cards.

Is a straight red card counted as two cards?

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No, a straight red card does not count as two cards, but rather as a single card. A straight red card is the immediate sending off of a player due to misconduct.

What does over 5.5 bookings mean?

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Over 5.5 bookings means that if a game ends with six or more yellow cards within 90 minutes, the bet will land.

Which bookies offer cards betting markets?

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Many bookies offer card betting markets. Top bookmakers such as Paddy Power and Betfair, among others, provide card betting options.

Which leagues produce the highest number of bookings per game?

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Bundesliga and the English Premier League produce high numbers of bookings per match. This is especially true for significant matches that are often filled with emotions and sometimes moments of madness.

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