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How to bet on bookings – Cash in on poor player behavior

Online bookmakers provide players with a broad spectrum of betting markets, so you can never run out of options. However, some look downright strange for new players, and betting on bookings is a shining example.

In this guide, we take a closer look at what football card betting is all about and how are booking points calculated. So keep reading to find out how to bet on bookings and decide for yourself if this type of wagering is suitable for your style and expectations.

Top online bookmakers list updated 28 May 2024

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What does betting on booking mean?

yellow and red bookingThe concept of placing a wager on yellow and red cards is not exactly new, but it still remains one of the soccer betting fringe markets. In most cases, this is a standard total bookings bet, in which we try to predict whether more or fewer cards are shown.

Alternatively, you can diversify your betting options and wager on the first and second yellow card, or the cards awarded by the referee to individual players. The best online bookmakers have several betting options for this type of wagering, so developing a functional bet on bookings strategy pays off.

Factors that can influence betting on football bookings

Understanding what is betting on bookings is a relatively easy task, as it mirrors many popular markets. The total bookings bet meaning is the easiest to grasp, the same goes for the first card, most cards, or total cards are shown. Having said this, many factors can influence the number of red and yellow cards, and you need to understand the impact they have to make an educated decision.

👉 Local derbies are pretty intense: Teams that harbor a rivalry is more likely to have their football players booked with yellow and red cards. This applies to major competitions such as La Liga and minor leagues so that you can incorporate these into your football strategies and systems.

👉 Pushy and aggressive players: Athletes should be professional, but some players behave poorly on the pitch and get booked. If you bet on teams with recalcitrant players, the odds of two yellows, a high number of bookings per match, and halftime are likely to happen.

👉 Lopsided matches: Weaker teams tend to defend for 90 minutes against superior opponents, and their backline is under a lot of pressure. When there is an apparent mismatch, red and yellow cards are more likely to be shown due to a higher number of tackles.

Types of football bookings markets in 2024

Once you learn how to bet on bookings, it is time to check out the available market at online bookmakers. Don’t expect to find too many options for minor football competitions, as the most diversified betting options are available in top divisions, such as the Premier League. These are the most critical seven bookings markets you will find at leading international betting sites:

Yellow cards shown: The first thing to wager on after learning what is total number of bookings is on yellow cards. You can bet on more or fewer to be shown, with the line ranging from as little as 2.5 yellow cards to as many as 7.5, depending on the game’s intensity.

Red cards shown: You can bet on how many cards of different colors are shown and whether players will be eliminated. The odds on red cards shown are the highest, but the variance is also higher in this example. This is an excellent market to use when you have free bets and bonuses.

The number of cards: This market refers to the total bookings over or the total bookies under a specific value. Some sports betting sites assign different points to yellow and red cards. Booking points betting means you wager on the combined total rather than color.

Team to receive the first card: Unlike the booking points soccer market, which takes longer to settle, this offers immediate gratification. You can make money betting on football by indicating the team to be booked first in a football match.

Player to receive a yellow card: A better-paying market- is suitable for punters seeking higher odds. You can use it to wager on aggressive defenders and players who simulate faults to maximize profits. These are also great qualifying bets for clearing bonuses.

Team with most bookings: Underdog wagering can be more profitable at bookmakers with card betting. You can bet on the team to see more yellow or red cards in this standard type of over-under betting. If you understand our booking points, you can use them here successfully.

Asian handicaps on card: Handicaps allow you to boost the odds and enjoy profitable football betting by taking more chances. The Asian handicap will enable you to create your own rules and predict the difference in the number of cards shown throughout the match.

Meaning of total bookings: Over/Under

The easiest way to bet with points for bookings is the over/under market. It works the same as any other bet on game totals, such as goals scored, corner kicks, or other in-game events. You are paid based on how many booking points are collected at the end of the game. Alternatively, you can bet on yellow and red cards in particular for a more straightforward football gambling cards betting approach.

The beauty of this market is that first and second-half betting systems work just as well. For this type of soccer betting, you don’t have to wait until the end of the match to see if you want or not. Most cards are shown in the final 45 minutes, so second-half booking betting usually offers lower odds. You can even bet on whether the first card is shown before or after the 30th minute or another milestone in the game.

At most mobile betting sites, you can bet on the individual performance of home and away teams in terms of yellow and red cards. Betting on cards in the first half is also possible on either team, and you can also wager on the most bookings after the game has started. The allure of these high-paying markets is powerful with low deposit betting, so it’s essential to bet responsibly.

Other types of  bets:

Understanding the booking points

Established and new bookmakers might have different ways of calculating the points allotted to cards of different colors. While there can be some differences, the standard approach is that a yellow card is worth 10 points and a red card is 25. The total bookings bet means that the points are calculated at the end of the game by adding up all the cards shown.

In this example, the maximum number of points you can play on an individual player is 35, if he sees two yellow cards. Some trusted sports betting sites calculate the points differently by not factoring in the second yellow if a player is sent off. It’s essential to go beyond what are booking points and understand these differences, so you are not surprised by the final total at the end of the football match.

Effective tips on how to bet on bookings

How to bet on bookings is not that difficult to learn, but mastering the art is an entirely different thing. There are many things to consider, but we firmly believe these are the most effective tips for betting on bookings. Use them for individual selections or when you try to figure out how to win football accumulators that also include these markets.

Focus on lesser-known rivalries: Bookmakers will adjust the odds on betting on bookings greatly for derbies and known rivalries. To maximize the odds of winning and the odds, try to find games between local rivals, and teams that have grudges

Lower leagues pay better:  If you learn how to bet on football in the UK, you shouldn’t focus exclusively on the Premier League for this type of wagering. Players from lower divisions are likelier to commit violent tackles because they lack sophistication.

Bet on cards to clear bonuses: The combination of high payouts and numerous options makes betting on bookings a good choice for clearing bonuses. If the market is eligible at your bookmaker, you can win more with football multiples bonus bets on yellow and red cards.

Which competitions are preferred for betting on cards?

As mentioned above, the best leagues for betting on cards are not necessarily the strongest in the world. You are more likely to see a high number of cards shown in games involving mediocre teams with basic players.

The problem is that most bookmakers don’t offer this market on minor events, as there is a higher risk of foul play. On the other hand, some championships such as the English and Scottish Premier League see fewer cards because referees have a higher tolerance for tackles and penalties are dished out less often.

Pros and Cons of betting on bookings


  • Exciting betting market with high odds
  • Available for pregame and live betting
  • Perfect for clearing daily betting bonuses
  • Offered by leading online bookmakers


  • Higher degree of uncertainty, therefore greater volatility

Frequently asked questions about how to bet on bookings

If you choose the match well and exercise solid bankroll management, this type of wagering can be profitable.

You bet on at least three cards to be shown in a game, on both teams or individual squads.

A red card is usually worth 25 points at most bookmakers, while a yellow one is worth 10.

Most bookmakers don’t consider the yellow and red cards shown to coaches and players on the bench.

The same rules apply for game suspensions and postponements as when betting on any other market.

Yes, many bookmakers allow you to place multiple booking bets on a betting slip.

Use the lack of sportsmanship in your favor

Some players lack fair play, and their behavior negatively reverberates upon the entire team. Learning how to bet on bookings means that you can take advantage of the lack of sportsmanship and place-winning wagers.

Most sportsbooks cover this market, so you can easily bet on your preferred currencies of bookmakers and take advantage of high odds. There’s a lot of research needed and some degree of uncertainty, but with the right approach and a smart strategy, betting on bookings can be profitable.