What Are Booking Points in Football Betting?

If you want to bet on how many red or yellow cards will be shown in a footabll match, booking points are one of the most widespread ways to do so. Almost all bookmakers allow you to bet on these card-based points, but what exactly are they, and how do they work? In this article, answer those exact questions and others, so that you can get more out of your football betting ventures!

What Are Booking Points?

Booking points are points awarded depending on how many yellow or red cards are shown in a football game. Many bookmakers and betting exchanges support betting on booking points, meaning that you can bet on how many cards will be shown in a given match. Importantly, booking points for both teams are usually counted together, meaning that you'll be betting on the total number of cards shown. So, how many booking points come with each type of card? For starters, any yellow card shown will result in 10 booking points, while any red card shown will result in 25 points. This is pretty simple, but what trips some punters up is how many points are added when a player is sent off. If a player is shown a second yellow card, and subsequently a red card, a total of 35 points booking points are added (instead of the 45 you'd expect to get from two yellows and a red).

Booking Points Markets

Many bookmakers and betting exchanges allow you to be on booking points. However, the exact markets offered can vary. For example, some bookmakers allow you to bet on there being under 30 points, exactly 30 points, or over 30 points. Others allow you to bet on there being under 15 points, between 15 and 35 points, or over 35 points. What markets are available to you will depend entirely on what bookmakers or exchanges you use. Of course, slight variations in the numbers of points described in certain markets can make a big difference to the odds, and make things like arbitrage more complicated for betting points.

What to Consider When Betting on Booking Points

If you want to bet on booking points, there are three key pieces of information to look at before making a decision on if and how much to bet. These are the history of the two teams, their players, and the game's referee, since all of these factors can affect the likelihood of cards being shown.

Team history

Like when evaluating the match odds for a game, an important thing to look at when betting on booking points is the history of the two teams playing. Review the number of cards shown in the teams' previous games, since this will broadly tell you whether a team is more or less aggressive. If lots of cards are usually shown against a team, it might encourage you to bet on there being more booking points.

Player history

To make your evaluation more precise, you can look at the exact players playing in a certain game. Looking at the teams playing is a good start, but it's often the individual players that are more or less likely to be shown cards. Some notorious players might see cards every second game, and this can affect how you bet on booking points.

Referee history

Looking at the teams and players playing is common practice when evaluating the odds for a sporting outcome. However, one piece of information that's more specific to betting on booking points markets is the knowledge of which referee will be judging the match. Some referees are more prone to showing cards than others, and this is very likely to have an impact on how many booking points are scored in a match. Bear in mind that even if you look at all three of these factors, you might struggle to find favorable betting opportunities. This is because bookmakers (and other users in the case of betting exchanges) will also be taking into account this information when setting their odds.

Other Markets for Betting on Cards

If you want to bet on the number of cards that'll be shown in a football match, there are a few other betting markets that you might find interesting. In particular, many bookmakers and exchanges offer the ability to bet on the total number of cards scored in a game and/or which team will score the most cards. The Total Cards bet is exactly what it sounds like: you bet on the total number of cards that'll be scored. Most of the time this bet is offered in the form of Over/Under markets, meaning that you can bet that there will either be over or under a certain number of cards shown.

On the other hand, the Most Cards bet allows you to bet on which team will be shown the most number of cards (or whether both teams will be shown an equal number of cards). As a result, the Most Cards category consists of three individual markets — one for either team and one for a draw — much like a Match Odds bet.

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Booking points are points accrued when yellow or red cards are shown. Bookmakers and exchanges usually offer Over/Under booking points markets, where you can bet on there being more or less than a certain number of points. There are three important factors to take into consideration when betting on booking points: the history of the teams, players, and referee.