Odds shown as:

Football Betting for Beginners: What are booking points?

Not sure what booking points are? We've put together a simple guide on how much they are worth and things to look out for
Not sure what booking points are? We've put together a simple guide on how much they are worth and things to look out for

As we all know, there is a lot more to football betting than just simply choosing which side will win the game. Betting on cards being shown by referees is one of the most popular areas with punters and we’ve put together a simple guide to what booking points are and how much they are worth.

Football is an emotional game and the vast majority of matches include at least one yellow or red card. The evolution of football betting has led to a wide range of card markets being offered by bookmakers with certain firms even allowing these to be added to Bet Builders or Same Game Multis. 

So what exactly are booking points?

When scrolling through the endless list of things you can bet on, you may have noticed that bookmakers use the term booking points.

Bookmakers use booking points for red and yellow cards. They then allow you to bet on how many points you think there’ll be over the duration of a match.

What is each card worth ?

  • Yellow Card: 10 points
  • Red Card: 25 points
  • Two yellows resulting in an automatic red: 35 points

It’s worth noting here that if a player is shown two yellow cards, that is worth 35 booking points rather than 45. This is because the second yellow is not counted as a red is awarded instead. 

Do all bookmakers use this method?

The majority of the big bookmakers in the United Kingdom use booking points and follow the system of 10 points for a yellow card and 25 points for a red. This includes Betfair, Paddy Power, William Hill, BetVictor, Ladbrokes, Coral and Sky Bet.

One exception, however, is bet365. The Stoke-based firm do not offer booking points but instead punters can bet on the number of cards being shown in a match. 

  • 1x yellow card = 1 card
  • 1x red card = 1 card
  • 2x yellow cards for the same player resulting in a red = 2 cards
Premier League Betting

Rules to be aware of

We’ve covered the essentials when it comes to booking points but here are another few things you should be aware of as a punter.

  • Only cards shown to players on the pitch will count towards the total booking points
  • Cards shown to managers, substitutes not used yet and to substitutes who have already come off, do not count towards the booking points total
  • You may see bookmakers use terms such as 20+ booking points. If there are bang on 20 points in the game, this bet will be a winner. If there are more than 20 booking points this will also be a winner. 
  • Extra-Time does not count towards the bookings points total

Things to look out for when betting on booking points

Referees

One key bit of information that people often forget before placing their bets on booking points is to check who the referee for the game is. Certain referees can be a lot more lenient than others when it comes to dishing out the cards. 

Let’s take this season’s Premier League campaign so far as an example. At the time of writing Stuart Attwell currently ranks first for yellow cards per game shown. The official has given out 4.38 per game on average this campaign. If we compare that to Lee Mason, who ranks 19th with an average of just 1.67 yellow cards per game, you can see just how much variance there can be in a referee’s yellow card average. 

Avoid dead rubbers

When researching your football bets it’s often a good idea to think about the game script and what kind of a match will play out. Games at the end of a season between two sides who have nothing to play for can often be described as a bit of a ‘dead rubber’. The likelihood of cards being shown in games such as these is considerably lower to a game that could potentially decide a title or a relegation. 

On the flip side games that have huge significance, such as a semi-final or a game between two title rivals in the latter stages of a season, have a much greater chance of cards being shown. With success or failure on the line, players are more inclined to make fouls in order to prevent the other team progressing. 

Take Chelsea v Spurs back in May 2016, when Tottenham needed to win in order to try and stop Leicester winning the league and do so themselves. Tottenham’s season very much depended on this result and combined with the element of a local derby it produced a whopping 12 yellow cards. 

The 2-2 draw that evening meant that Claudio Ranieri claimed the Premier League title, but lt also saw Spurs the first Premier League team to have nine different players yellow carded in the same game. When the sides met the following season in November many punters expected a repeat of a high volume of cards, however there were only three yellows brandished that day, with Spurs in 13th in table.

Free Betting Offers
Advert Disclaimer
Bettingodds.com is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that Bettingodds.com accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta users only. Min. £10/€10 first deposit only using Debit Card or Trustly. Free bets expire in 90 days. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after  settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after  the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
100% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus + 25 Spins
#AD 18+ begambleaware.org; New bettors get 100% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; Free spins validity: 7 days; Free spins max. winnings = £100; See full terms; Terms apply.
Bet £10 & Get £30 In Free Bets + £10 Bonus
#AD Promo code: 30FB • Min deposit £10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days and expires after 14 days • To withdraw any winnings from the Casino Bonus, wager the Bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&Cs apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets + 100 Free Spins
#AD 18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days, no cashout. Get 3x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus 100 Free Spins on Big Bass Bonanza, no wagering. Free Bets and Spins expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs apply. Please gamble responsibly.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Get £35 In Free Bets
#AD Place a qualifying £25 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. A first free £5 fixed odds bet will be credited upon settlement of the qualifying bet. 4 x following £5 free fixed odds bets will be added to your account on consecutive days. T&C's apply, 18+ begambleaware.org