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Dan Fitch
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Booking points are a points-based system that is used in betting markets such as total bookings where values are attached to yellow cards and red cards. In this article, we will explore the question of what are booking points in betting, explain exactly how they work and even give you some tips.

How Do Booking Points Work in Football?

what are booking points in betting

If you’re reading this article, then you’re probably looking for an explanation of what are booking points in football betting, so we’re going to answer that question. When players break the rules in a game of football, they can be given either a yellow or a red card. Bookmakers assign points to bookings and when a player is sent off, in order to create betting markets.

So, with a points value assigned to every yellow card and red card, bookies are able to take bets on the amount of names that go into the referee’s notebook in a match. A total booking points market allows you to place a wager on how many points will be accrued in the game.

Typically you place bets on booking points totals being over or under a certain amount. You can also wager on which team booking point betting about which side will accrue the most booking points and how many points each competing team will get. There are also often booking point markets based on how many points there will be within either the first-half or second-half of the match.

These are called 1st half booking points and 2nd half booking points markets.  By assigning points to bookings, top betting sites have created several different types of bets and wagering opportunities, with plenty of value on offer for punters.

How Many Booking Points is a Yellow Card?

A yellow card is worth 10 booking points. Yellow card booking points are worth the same amount, regardless of what bookmaker you use. The industry has decided on a standard value of ten points for bookings, which makes these markets easier to understand for punters, regardless of what bookie they are signed up with.

In the 2022-23 Premier League season, there were average bookings of 3.69 cards per game. The vast majority were yellows, with 396 players shown 1,375 cautions, in comparison to just 29 reds. Therefore, it’s fair to say that it’s the ten points for each yellow card, that you should be largely concerning yourself with, when it comes to betting booking points.

How Many Booking Points is a Red Card?

Red card booking points are a slightly more complicated affair. If a player gets a straight red, then that is worth 25 booking points. Yet as any football fan will know, you can also be sent off as a result of receiving two bookings.

Should that happen, it results in 35 booking points, which is comprised of ten points for the original booking and an additional 25 for the second booking and the resulting red. Many people expect two yellows and a red to come to 45 points (10 + 10 + 25 = 45). You could also argue that it would make more sense if a red simply resulted in 25 points, regardless of whether it came as a result of two bookings or a straight red, but that’s not the case.

Pros & Cons of Total Booking Points Explained

Having discovered what are booking points in betting, you may be wondering what are the strengths and weaknesses of this gambling in this market. Here are the pros and cons as we see them:


  • Large number of bookings points markets available
  • Uniformity in points rules between bookies
  • Value bets can be found in total bookings markets
  • Useful addition to a Bet Builder


  • Points system can seem complicated for newcomers
  • Two yellows accrues more points than straight red

What Should I Consider When Betting on Football Booking Points?

There are many things for punters to consider when betting on football booking points. In this section we’re going to highlight some of the factors that you should look to research, which will help your profitability at the bookies:

Is the Designated Referee Strict on Discipline?

Regardless of the teams that are in action, the identity of the referee can have a big impact on the number of bookings points. This is also impacts other markets that involve betting on cards in football available to punters. Some referees are more lenient and try to let the game flow. This is especially true in the first-half of matches, which can make a real difference in the bookings markets that concentrate on individual halves. Other referees are more card happy and like to stamp their authority on a game early on. Study the habits of the main match official in question and it can reveal a lot about the number of points that you are likely to see.

Have Teams Made New Signings with Bad Reputations?

A team could have a good disciplinary record, but that could soon change if they have recruited players that often pick up yellow and red cards. A good example would be Cristian Romero at Tottenham, who is a very aggressive central defender, who often lunges into tackles and gets himself into trouble. In the 2022-23 Premier League season, he picked up eight bookings and a red card in just 27 competitions appearances. Such a player joining the ranks of a team, can have a transformative impact on the amount of booking points they will pick up.

Are Players with Poor Disciplinary Records Available?

In the case of a player like Romero, who is often booked and occasionally sent off, they will naturally end up spending a lot of time on the sidelines serving suspensions. Be on the lookout for players with poor disciplinary records being unavailable, whether it is through suspension or injury. In such circumstances, the chances of a high points total will drop, which may not be reflected by the betting odds on offer.

Why Online Bookmakers Offer Booking Points Betting

You should now know what are booking points in betting and be ready to enjoy these markets. Bookmakers have created a different way to bet on games, away from the usual result and goals based betting. The gambling industry as a whole, have wisely offered uniformity when it comes to how many points for a booking in football, making these markets simple for bettors to understand. There is often more value to be found in bookings points, as they do not receive the same amount of interest and scrutiny, as other markets. Many punters like to add booking points selections to their Bet Builders, to create a same game multiple.


Can I bet on bookings and a sending off? 

How many points is a booking in football betting?

What is 10 booking points in football?

Do all bookies have booking points football betting markets?

Do cards markets include extra time?

What booking points markets are available?

Dan Fitch

A writer and editor for some of the top names in the gambling industry for nearly 20 years, Dan also works as a freelance sports journalist for publications and websites such as ESPN, FourFourTwo and LiveScore.