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betting on cards in football

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Betting on cards in football matches means wagering on scenarios relating to the number of cards shown in a game. Multiple variations of this betting market include card handicap betting, cards per game, booking points betting markets, and more.

If you would like to bet on cards, you can find suitable odds at top online bookies. We recommend our favourite site a little further down this page. But before that, we will take you through some popular cards betting markets and provide several strategy tips to help you win your bets.

What is Betting on Cards in Football?

Referees hand out cards in football matches to players, teams, and sometimes even managers. By Bookmakers offer odds on a wide range of scenarios relating to the number of cards shown in a game. You can potentially make a profit from wagers on an individual player to be booked or sent off, the total number of cards to be odd or even, over/under yellow card betting markets, and more.

Betting on Cards in Football Main Sports

Card odds and markets in football betting exist in many forms. This provides an opportunity to make informed betting decisions based on specific market types. Let’s look at the various markets you can target at the best UK online bookmakers around today.

Football Card Betting Markets

Football cards betting markets are ubiquitous. Given their popularity with players these days, you can find everything from bookings per game to Asian card handicap markets. These are often found under “special” bet tabs within the main match market at football betting sites.

Here are some of the most popular markets for betting on cards in football.

  • Booking Points In these markets, each card shown has a value assigned to it. The booking points for a yellow are usually 10, with reds coming in at 25 – your job is to bet whether the total points at the end of a game will be over or under the figure advertised by the bookie.
  • Player to be Booked / Yellow Card Betting – Multiple markets for betting on yellow cards exist – a player to be booked is the most popular. Popular additions to bet builders, this market may also be geared toward a bet on yellow cards shown to an individual player or a team.
  • Player to Be Sent Off Card betting options at bookies include bets for players to be sent off. While not as popular as other markets, punters may find betting value in markets like this by targeting players with poor disciplinary records.
  • Total Cards – This market allows you to simply bet on the total number given out.  More precisely, whether the total number of cards awarded in a game will be over or under a set threshold. This can include both red and yellow card betting options but can sometimes be for yellow cards only.
  • Asian Cards Betting – Asian cards betting markets are two-way totals cards markets with quarter, half, and full points. Asian handicaps card odds betting awards hypothetical advantages/disadvantages to teams – this is done according to the likelihood of that team getting more cards.
  • Card Handicap Betting – Falling under the umbrella of European handicap betting, card handicap betting allows you to bet on yellow card bets or booking markets with both negative and positive handicaps.

That’s a simple explanation of the popular booking bets you can target when betting on Premier League matches. Or games in other leagues and competitions. Let’s now move on to examples for each of the card betting markets above.

Examples of Card Betting

The results of bets on card markets are not affected by who wins. We believe it’s crucial to understand the other differences, too. As such, we have added examples of card betting markets to help you get a better idea of things.

Booking Points

Although you can bet on specific value ranges, most booking point markets fall into over/under bet categories. The aim of the game is to predict whether the total value of points is over or under the figure set by the bookie. As the final number of cards in football matches is indeterminable at kick-off, you can bet on it.

Booking Points

Yellow cards are worth 10 points apiece while each (straight) red is worth 25. If a player receives two yellows, the value is 35 – this is 10 points for the original booking and 25 for the red. So, if you bet over 42.5 cards, you would need at least 5 yellow cards to win at EVS, or a similar final sum made up of yellows and reds.

Player to be Booked / Yellow Card Betting

Betting on cards in football can be as simple as choosing a player to get booked. In this case, we fancy Eduardo Camavinga to be shown a yellow in Real Madrid’s Champions League match with Napoli.

Betting on Cards in Football To Be Booked

Again, this type of bet is not complicated. Should Camavinga get booked, we get paid out at betting odds of 17/10. If the Real Madrid star does not go into the ref’s book, we lose our bet. Pre-match markets are available for all players in the starting line-up, with odds varying according to their perceived chances of being carded.

Player to Be Sent Off

If yellow card betting isn’t doing it for you, you can look to the red card odds markets. If you’re wondering how betting odds work for a player to be sent off, you’ll be happy to learn that they are just as simple as betting on a player to pick up a yellow. Here’s an example.

Betting on Cards in Football To be Sent Off

The example above shows multiple options for you to choose from. At 7/4, Lucas Torreira is the shortest price in this market. The reason for this is that the Uruguayan was sent off in his previous Champions League match for Galatasaray and is considered to have a “hot” disciplinary record. Whether you are betting on the Europa League or Chinese Super League, these stats affect the odds.

Total Cards

This market focuses on the total number of yellows and reds in a game. In the case where totals are for yellow card betting markets, reds won’t count. But for simplicity, here’s an example that includes both card colours.

Betting on Cards in Football Total

You have options to choose whether the total number of cards in the Arsenal vs Lens match will be over 3.5, 4.5, or 5.5 cards. As with over 1.5 goals, and other totals markets, there is no such as a half. This is simply the divider between over and under. So, if we were to bet over 4.5 cards and 5 cards were handed out in that game, we would win our bet at odds of 11/10.

Asian Cards Betting

Asian totals are interesting booking bets markets that work similarly to over/under betting. Except they remove the possibility of the stalemate found in totals. For example, the following line is set at over/under four cards – a similar over/under market might be over/under 3.5 or 4.5 cards, which gives an advantage to bookies.

Betting on Cards in Football Asian Totals

Put simply, if you bet under 4.0 cards, you win at odds of 1.950. Expressed as a fraction, this works out to around 39/20.

Asian handicaps work differently in football card betting, as the following example shows.

Betting on Cards in Football Asian Handicaps

Manchester United have a +0.5 advantage – in the case where both they and Galatasaray finish on 6 cards each, that extra point ensures United win you your bet. If you back Galatasaray at a -0.5 disadvantage, they need one more card than United for you to win your wager.

Card Handicap Betting

Card handicap betting works on the same principle as Asian handicap cards, with advantages and disadvantages present. The main difference between the two is that the bookies set half points for football teams in European handicap betting.

Betting on Cards in Football Card Handicap

There are three possible scenarios to bet on in this handicap market – Man Utd (+1), the tie (-1), and Galatasaray (-1). If you are betting on Utd with a +1 card advantage, you win at odds of 5/6 in the case of both teams receiving an equal number of cards.

Football Card Betting Tips

Arming yourself with a good football card betting strategy can improve your chances of winning your bets. Good strategy tips are essentially informed betting decisions based on the specific criteria of each match. Here are some to help you get started.

Look for Betting Value

Football card betting odds are carefully balanced. They reflect the disciplinary records of teams and players in previous matches, painting a picture of what might happen. But the bookies don’t always get it right. Comparing odds across different sites is a good way to identify value betting opportunities.

Target Derbies and High Stakes Matches

You might fancy an individual team to rack up a high cards tally. But sometimes, even the most systematic side can be prone to committing too many fouls and offences. Derby matches, such as Celtic vs Rangers and Arsenal vs Spurs can lead to an upswing in cards.

Take the Referee Into Account

The referee in charge of a match can influence how many names are collected. Refs can range from moderately liberal to excessively harsh, which may affect booking points markets. Sites like Opta are great for players’ stats, but finding similar data for refs is admittedly more challenging. But it is out there.

Avoid Cards Markets in Friendlies

Speaking of informed betting decisions, it’s rarely a good idea to bet on exact card or any cards markets in friendlies. Teams don’t tend to give it their all in games that don’t matter too much. While there are exceptions, a good rule of thumb is to avoid cards wagers in your football accas or bet builders on low-stakes games.

Identify Clashes in Playing Styles

One of the best football card betting tips out there is to do your homework. One way to paint the bigger picture before wagering on cards markets is to consider clashes in playing styles. We often find that dirty teams are forced to get more aggressive when up against a faster, slicker outfit. Sometimes, it can look as though a stronger, less-talented side is playing on the fringes – and that can also be enough to lead to cards.

Best Card Betting Sites

Our recommended site for betting on cards in football is bet365. This online bookmaker provides a plethora of cards bets for straight cards, totals, handicaps, and Asian handicap markets. We are big fans of the bet options available, as well as their odds and live betting opportunities.

When compared with other top sites, such as Paddy Power and BoyleSports, bet365 wins. The other two sites have excellent football betting apps for in-play markets and live streaming, but simply cannot match bet365’s range of card-specific markets.


More and more punters are turning to booking odds and yellow card markets to get their kicks. In the past, the old 1X2 bet would have suited most. But cards betting adds another dimension to wagering on football that is arguably as exciting as any other bet we can think of.

Where bet builders are concerned, cards have become one of the most popular football markets online. And there is often value to be had, once you know what you are doing. For that reason, it’s essential to understand the various types of markets for betting on cards in football.

The good news is that it takes little to no time to work cards markets out. But feel free to bookmark this page for future reference, if something doesn’t immediately make sense.


Does a red card count as 2 cards in betting?

How do red cards impact a match and betting odds?

This depends on the football cards betting market and the bookie you bet with. Some sites, like bet365, count two yellows and a red as two cards – others may count them as three, especially where booking points are used.[/A3

What does 2+ cards mean in betting?

Does football card betting include Extra Time?

Can you bet on yellow cards in a match?

Do yellow cards for managers count in betting?

Adam Haynes
Adam Haynes
Adam Haynes

Adam joined in August 2023, bringing almost a decade of betting knowledge with him. A former writer for, Adam prides himself on spotting a good bet, and loves to share his tips and picks across a wide range of sports and events. Adam is a huge boxing and MMA fan, and started his career writing about both. He is also passionate about his favourite sports teams, which are Glasgow Celtic, Dublin GAA, and Leinster Rugby. At the casino, you're most likely to see him at the poker or blackjack tables. But what he loves more than anything is writing about sports and the gambling industry. You can find his expert insight and commentary right here.