Booking Points in Football: What are they and how do they work?

Written By:  Finn Huxley

Booking Points in Football
If you want to try a type of sports betting that doesn’t rely on scores, it can be a great idea to give football booking points a chance. This wager looks slightly complicated at first, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it’s the best choice if you’re not invested in a team winning or losing!

In this article, we will explain how betting on booking points works. We will also review the difference between betting on yellow or red cards and a little info on how bookmakers use this system.

What Are Booking Points in Football, and How Do They Work?

Booking points are a system used by some bookmakers to offer bets. Simply put, what you do is bet on disciplinary actions taken by the referee during a game – specifically, yellow cards and red cards.

This is how it works in terms of a points system: Each card that is shown in a match is assigned a number of points. So, how many booking points is a yellow card or red card? Although the specific amount can vary between bookmakers, a typical example would be something like:

  • A yellow card is worth 10 booking points.
  • A direct red card is worth 25 booking points.
  • An indirect red card (two yellow cards) is worth 35 booking points.

To calculate the total number of booking points in a football match, you just add the points for the cards that were shown during the game. For example, if there were three yellow cards and one red card (direct), the total booking points would be 10 + 10 + 10 + 25 = 55.

Some bookmakers like Paddy Power and bet365 don’t use booking points, but you can instead bet on the number of cards that will be shown during a march (or how many of them a team will get). This depends largely on the football betting app.

The Booking Points Betting Market

Booking Points Betting ExamplesExamples of booking points betting markets

Bookmakers usually offer different types of bets you can take based on booking points. Let’s see some common examples:

  • Total Booking Points: You bet on the total number of booking points in a match (whether it will be below or above a specific threshold set by the bookmaker. For example, 40 booking points).
  • Booking Points per Team: You bet on the total booking points for a specific team (whether it will be below or above a certain number, too. For example, 20.5 booking points for Team A).
  • Player-specific Booking Points: Some bookmakers also offer bets on specific players, so you can wager on whether a particular player will receive a card or exceed a specific number of booking points.

So, how do the specific UK booking points markets differ? Sky Bet uses classic booking points, where you can bet on the number of cards in a game or a team’s booking points. bet365 lets you bet on teams to receive a cad or two-plus cards, and Betfred allows you to bet on the exact number of booking points you expect for a match.

Booking Points Strategy

If you’re considering betting on booking points, one of the best things you can do is spend some time looking at the stats of the teams that are going to play. There are two things you will want to focus on: Firstly, which teams are more susceptible to bookings. And secondly, which sides draw more yellow cards.

For example, some big Premier League matches (or derby games) where there’s intense rivalry tend to always produce more cards (for example, Manchester United vs. Manchester City). In contrast, if you look at a march where two mid-table teams are facing off, you might find the players are more relaxed, and the game is quieter. The referee is also an important component, as some like to dish out more cards (you can look at this table of Premiere League referee statistics to get a better idea of their behaviour).

Different teams have varying styles of play, and some may be more aggressive or physical, leading to a higher likelihood of receiving cards. It’s definitely a good idea to look at the historical head-to-head matches between the teams involved and pay attention to any team news or lineup changes that could affect the match dynamics. Remember that cards shown to coaches, managers, and players who have not entered the field do not count (cards that are shown after the final whistle or in extra time are excluded, too).

Combining Bookings Betting with Other Selections

If you want to create the best odds, you can also consider combining booking points betting with other selections for the same game.

One approach would be through accumulator bets or parlays. In an accumulator bet, you can select multiple outcomes across different markets and combine them into a single bet. For example, you could combine a booking points bet with a correct score prediction, a goalscorer bet, or a result bet (like a home win, draw, or away win).

Another way you can combine booking points betting with other selections is by creating custom bets or requesting unique markets from bookmakers. This would allow you to tailor your bet to your specific predictions and preferences. For example, you could create a bet that combines the number of booking points with the number of corners in a match.

Booking Points Betting: Final Thoughts

Booking points can be a fun way to add some intriguing and dynamic elements to your sports betting, particularly when it comes to football matches.

What’s more interesting, this approach offers a unique opportunity to analyse team dynamics, player behaviours, referee tendencies, and match scenarios to make informed predictions. So, you can use your understanding of the sport to assess the likelihood of cards.

In short, if you love football and you enjoy betting, trying to figure out how many booking points there will be in a match can be an engaging and rewarding activity.