Football Betting Strategy: Cards Markets

Football Betting Strategy: Cards Markets

Football Betting Strategy: Cards Markets
Autor betsonly 15 Oct 2018

A description of the market for betting on the number of yellow and red cards that will be issued by a referee during a football game.

Betting on the number of cards shown to players by referees in the course of a match is one of the least known forms of football betting. However, if the right research is undertaken on the teams involved, the match, the type of footballing styles, and, by no means least, the record of the referee who will take charge, then betting cards markets can be an interesting option for some.

By way of an overview, yellow cards are issued for a range of disciplinary infractions on the field of play – persistent foul play, deliberate handball, swearing at match officials, or time wasting, to name some of the more common offences. Two yellow cards incurred by the same player in one match result in a red card and dismissal from the field, and players can earn a straight red for particularly bad fouls or denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity.

However, whilst the laws of the game are standard whatever the level of football being played, how they are interpreted can vary considerably. This means that whilst one referee may issue a player with a warning, another may choose to take sterner action for the same offence.

It is one of the elements of the game that make it so controversial, and yet so fascinating.

One problem with betting cards markets is a lack of consistency – not every bookmaker offers odds on the number of cards beforehand – although some offer them in-play – whilst the scoring method also varies.

Again whilst most bookmakers provide some form of points tally, scoring systems vary – some will give a yellow card a value of one and a red two, whilst others use slightly more complex methodologies, with a yellow card assigned 10 points, a red 25 points, and two yellows 35 points.

There are a number of options when it comes to yellow – or red – card betting. Most commonly, gamblers can choose to bet under or over in terms of the number of cards received by one or both teams; the bookmaker will set a mark, and the punter bets over or under that level.

Another variation is to bet which team will see a player carded first. Teams that receive, in general, a high number of cards, are always a good bet to back here. Alternatively, you can choose to bet that there will not be any cards at all, perhaps in the case of an end of season fixture with nothing riding on it for either side.

Some bookmakers, particularly for high profile matches, might offer odds on individual players to be booked. This is not as idiosyncratic as it might seem. Some players, due to their style, character, or the position they play on the field, are more likely to be carded than others, and also their reputation may precede them. This means they will get a card whilst others may just get a ticking-off.

When preparing to bet on cards, make sure you know the referee’s record and his attitude to on-field discipline, as this can make a big difference to your bet. For example, in the English Premier League in 2017/2018, Michael Oliver officiated in 30 matches and gave out 5 red cards and 100 yellow cards. By contrast, Kevin Friend took charge of 20 games and gave 46 yellows, but not a single red card.

Tactics also need to be assessed. If one time is likely to dominate in attack, then it can be expected that their opponents will need to defend doggedly, and will be looking to commit fouls to break-up play. Also, quick passing teams will most likely be on the end of more fouls than a long ball team that tries to by-pass the midfield.

Finally, do not ignore the importance of a match. A top of the table clash or a derby between local rivalries will always have more of an edge than a routine league fixture, with more cards to match, so be prepared to adjust your football betting strategy accordingly.