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How to Bet on Cards in Football – Bookings betting Explained

Stefan Budur in Soccer Betting Strategies 30 Oct 2023

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The bookings (cards) betting market increased in popularity since the introduction of live betting. Every major bookmaker offers multiple choices if you decide to wager your money on cards. You have a variety of options to choose from when placing your bet. From the total bookings in the match to specific players to be booked, to which team will receive more cards.

In this article, I will look at the most important variables you need to pay attention to, and, show you how to bet on cards in football.

What is cards betting?

Cards betting is when a punter decides to place a bet on the total number of yellow and red cards during the regular time of play.

You also have the extra option to select which player or team will receive those bookings. The most popular market is the Total Cards in the Match. Like in the case of the goals scored market, the bookies will add a line (ex.4.5) from which you can choose the over or under option. Total cards in the match is the option I will explore while breaking down how to bet on cards in football.

The most popular card betting markets

As already mentioned above, the most popular market when it comes to betting on cards is the Over/Under. Other markets that are gaining popularity are:

  • Player to be booked: as the names suggest, you can bet on a specific player to be booked from the teams involved in action. Choose players that are notoriously known to be aggressive towards their opponents and the referees.
  • Player to be sent off will be a winning bet if the player you selected receives a red card by receiving 2 yellow cards or a direct red card.
  • Over/Under 1st half: this option allows you to choose how many cards will be given until the half-time whistle.
  •  Card handicap is exactly the same as goals handicap. Let’s say you place a bet on Marseille (-2) cards in the match played away at PSG. If PSG receives 3 yellow cards, Marseille needs to get 6 bookings to win your bet.

The best card betting strategy

The best card betting strategy is the one that can potentially turn out profitable in the long run. To be a successful punter, you need to understand the variables that will influence an outcome. The match choice, the players, and the referee are key factors you need to look at before placing your bet.

What teams to choose when betting on cards in football

The 1st step you need to do is to find teams that consistently get a high number of bookings. This will increase your chances to win.

Getafe has the highest number of yellow cards this season.

The Spanish team is averaging 4.7 yellow cards (YC) received/match. Other teams are placing 2nd with an average of 4 YC received in each game played. In this case, I will use Getafe since you can get more reliable information compared to other matches from less popular leagues.

You can choose to follow closely several other teams from the table above and build an Acca to enhance your final odds. Don’t turn your bet into a lottery ticket so keep your Accumulator to 3-4 selections.

How do referees influence cards betting in football

Referees are probably the most important figure when it comes to betting on cards in football.

We all know that some of them leave the game freely without inputting disciplinary sanctions to players. Others are the complete opposite, having zero tolerance towards aggressive play and disrespectful behaviour. Follow the headlines to identify which referee is appointed to lead the match you will bet on.

Cesar Soto Grado, the referee from Spanish’s top flight is the one you want at the helm in the match you decided to bet on cards.

Looking at his impressive figures (39 yellows and 3 reds in 6 games), he will be your best pick to win your bet. Maeso and Hernandez are the other two referees who keep the game under control by giving a lot of bookings to undisciplined players.

How to choose the best match when betting on cards in football

Now that I explained to you the importance of players and referees, let us see why  Athletic Bilbao vs Getafe was the perfect match to illustrate how to bet on cards in football. Bilbao received 16 yellow cards and 1 red before hosting Getafe (6 matches). On the other hand, Getafe was booked 28 times (26 yellows and 2 reds) before travelling in the North of Spain to face Bilbao.

Isidro Díaz de Mera Escuderos is a well-known referee who likes disciplined players. He does not tolerate any aggressive behaviours during the match as we can see from the above screenshot. Not only did he book a lot of players from both sides but he also sent off Getafe’s manager Pepe Bordalas for protesting his decisions.

The best live betting on cards strategy

Another way to show you how to bet on cards in football is to use live betting. The odds are shifting every minute and by using time to your advantage you can turn the odds in your favor.

Espanyol vs Getafe last season’s crucial fixture for survival battle was the perfect match to bet live on cards. Both sides were known to be undisciplined averaging one of the highest number of bookings received during the season.

I was watching the game live using my betting app.

Espanyol took the lead before the break, laying down a perfect scenario for a 2nd half with many bookings. José María Sánchez Martínez has a modern approach to leading the game. He likes speaking a lot with the players during the match, warning them verbally before using disciplinary actions.

Considering all the factors, I decided to place a bet on the Over/Under cards market. After 75 minutes of game time, the referee handed a total of 7 bookings.  Getafe’s frustrations increased when Espanyol started to waste time on resuming the play. It was at that moment when I decided to place a bet on Over 7.5 yellow cards in the match at odds 1.83. Espanyol and Getafe received a yellow card 10 minutes before the final whistle and I won my bet.

Always track all your bets using an Excel sheet. Use a good betting strategy to never lose your bankroll. Take some time off from betting and always gamble responsibly. Only bet money you can afford to lose!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stefan Budur


Former owner of Betting Mojo, experienced bettor and former punter at Betadvisor, Stefan has done it all when it comes to soccer betting. With more than 15 years of experience in the gambling industry, he gained a lot of knowledge that he'd like to share with SoccerNews.com readers so you can position yourself better every time you place a bet.

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