How to Bet on Cricket
What You Need to Know
- Cricket can be a complex game, even for fans, so you should learn the rules and study the form before you bet any money
- High street betting shops will take bets on the cricket, though you will get far more options and the chance to bet in-play if you go online.
- Odds are usually expressed in fractions, though you can switch them to decimal or the American style
- Two-way Match Winner bets are the easiest to make. Simply predict which side will win a game and put your money where your mouth is
- The number of other bets available is huge. You can bet on everything from the coin toss to the number of wides you think will be bowled
- A good knowledge of form is important, as is an understanding of how pitch conditions and the weather can affect a game's outcome
- You should only bet what you can afford to lose, and always bet on the assumption that the bookie will beat you
Betting on Cricket
If you're not a fan, cricket can seem very confusing, making betting on the game quite a daunting prospect. However, whether you're a serious gambler keen to boost your bank balance or a newcomer just after a little harmless flutter, cricket is one of the best sports to bet on since it offers a massive range of markets.
As with most sports, betting on cricket can be as easy or as complex as you choose to make it. You can bet on everything from the outcome of the next ball to be bowled right through to the overall result of a summer-long tour. But however you choose to bet, it pays to have a good idea of the game and the various betting markets on offer. So, here are some of the main things you need to know:
Where to Bet
The best and most popular way of betting on the cricket is to go online. Here you will find a large selection of bookmakers, most of them offering a variety of markets for both domestic and international cricket matches. Check out our list of the best 10 Sports Betting Sites (http://www.uknetguide.co.uk/Sports/Betting/ ) and take advantage of some great introductory offers to get betting today.
If you don't want to bet over the internet, then head to your local high street, Here, you'll find a range of bookmakers, all of them happy to offer wagers on the cricket. Note, however, that high street bookies tend to offer fewer markets than online platforms and your in-play opportunities will certainly be limited.
Working out the Odds
The odds (also known as the price) show how confident the bookmakers are that a specific event, such as one team winning a cricket match, will happen. The odds also determine how much you will win if your prediction comes true. On most sports betting sites, the odds will be expressed either in fractional or decimal form, and you should always be able to change the settings to suit you.
Here's what each of these mean:
1) Fractional Odds
On UK-based sports betting sites, the default setting for displaying the odds will be as fractions. Odds displayed this way show you how much you will win on a bet compared to how much you put on. The first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction.
So, if the odds for Team A beating Team B are 3/1, this means if you bet £1, you will receive £3 in winnings (and you will get your original stake back on top of this).
This works on a ratio basis. So, if you place £10 at odds of 3/1, you will receive £30 in winnings. Or, if you place £8 at odds of 3/1, your winnings will be £24, plus your initial stake.
Sometimes you will see that the second number of the fraction is larger than the first. This is an 'odds on' bet and signifies that the bookies believe that the chances of a particular prediction coming true are greater than 50/50. The principle remains the same, however: the first number of the fraction indicates how much you will win if you place the amount of money shown in the second number of the fraction
For example, if you put £2 down on odds of 1/2, your winnings will be £1. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £60 at the same odds, you will win £30, plus your initial stake.
2) Decimal Odds
Given most people are used to seeing odds displayed as fractions, getting your head around decimal odds may seem daunting. But, don't worry, this system is equally straightforward once you've got the hang of it.
The way it works is that you just need to multiply your stake by the decimal shown and this is how much you will receive in winnings, including your returned stake.
So, if you put £1 down on odds of 3.00, you will win £3.00, including your initial stake, if your prediction comes true. And again, this works on a ratio basis. So, if you put down £15 at the same odds of 3.00, you will win £45, including your original stake.
A Further Note About Odds
Some online bookmakers will also display odds in the 'American' style. While some US sports betting fans prefer this system, to avoid any unnecessary confusion, you should switch the odds to either the fractional or decimal system.
If you're still confused about the odds on offer, then click on the bet you want to make and type in the amount you want to bet. With most online bookmakers, you will then be shown how much your stake will return and, using this information, you can decide whether or not you want to go ahead with the bet.
Different Types of Match
Unlike some sports, there is no standard game of cricket. Matches can vary considerably in format and particularly in duration, with this often affecting the betting markets available and influencing how you should choose to bet. These are the most popular types of game:
1) Five-day Test Matches
The longest type of cricket match, Five Day Test games are played between international sides, with teams often playing several Test matches as part of a series. The England versus Australia Ashes series is perhaps the best-known example of Five Day Test cricket, though most international sides will play several Tests each year. Despite their length, draws are possible, and you have the opportunity to bet on the overall outcome of both individual Tests and series as well as on
2) Four-Day Test Matches
Unlike five-day versions, in English cricket four-day Test matches are usually played between counties. For example, Warwickshire could play Yorkshire in a four-day Test. Generally speaking, however, the same betting markets will be on offer here as for five-day international Tests
3) Twenty20 (T20) Matches
This is now the most popular type of cricket match and is particularly good for in-play betting due to the fast-paced nature of the game. Here, teams have 20 overs each (or 120 balls) and have to score as many runs as possible. As well as the Indian Premier League, which is played over six weeks of every summer, English counties also play each other in T20 matches and there are also regular T20 internationals, opening up a lot of betting markets.
4) Other Limited Over Matches
As well as T20 matches, there are a number of other variations, including 40-over games, such as those played between English counties. Again, here the onus is on scoring as many runs in a limited amount of time, so the play tends to be more attacking and adventurous, making it perfect for betting.
Different Types of Bet
There are a huge number of different betting markets usually on offer for every cricket match. While some allow you to put your knowledge of the game to the test, others can be blind gambles and perfect for the uninitiated. Here are just some of the most popular markets on offer:
1) 'Match Winner'
The simplest type of bet to make on a cricket match is to put your money on the side you think will win. This is known as a 'Match Winner' and is a two-way bet, that is there are only two options for you to choose from.
So, let's go back to the example of New Zealand playing South Africa. Below is a screenshot from Bet365, a popular online betting platform, with the odds displayed in the fractional form. Here, they are offering odds of 4/11 for New Zealand to win and odds of 11/5 for South Africa to win.
Here, then, if you were to bet £10 on New Zealand winning you would win £13.64, including your original £10 stake. This is not such a great return since the bookmaker has them down as favourites, though your risk level will be lower. Alternatively, if you put £10 on South Africa and they did in fact win, your payout would be £32, including your initial stake.
In Test matches you will also be given the chance to bet on a draw, making Match Winner a three-way bet. However, for limited over matches, such as T20 games, you will only get the chance to pick a winner and loser.
2) 'Number of Runs'
As well as being able to predict the overall outcome of a match, you can also bet on how many runs a team, or even an individual player, will score.
For example, you could put money on how many runs you expect a team to score in a single over. Or, you could bet on how many runs a player will get off a single delivery. For this type of bet, you will be given a simple under/over choice.
So, you might see the following odds:
Here, you can put money on whether you think a player will get one run or more off a single ball (at odds of 2/11), whether they will score a 4 (at odds of 4/1) or if they will get no runs at all (at odds of 7/2).
In the same way, if you want to bet on the score for an over of six balls, you will be given the choice of betting under or over a fixed number, with odds changing as play progresses.
If you're feeling particularly lucky, you can bet on whether a team will score an even or an odd number of runs in an over. Since this is largely a random guess, the odds offered for each option of this two-way bet will nearly always be the same, as we can see below:
3) 'Method of Dismissal'
Unlike two-way bets, Method of Dismissal markets offer a variety of choices and can be a good way of making a little bit of money from your knowledge. Here, you put your money on how you think the next wicket will be taken, with the odds offered reflecting how likely each scenario is.
For instance, the chances of a player being 'stumped' are always longer than a player being caught out LBW, so the odds offered by the bookies are usually a fair reflection of reality. However, if, for example, you happen to know a particular batsman has a habit of being caught LBW by a left-handed bowler, then you may be able to increase your chances of taking money off the bookie.
A typical Method of Dismissal online market will look like this, with again the odds on offer reflecting the likelihood of each method of getting a batsman out:
4) 'Series Winner'
As well as letting you bet on the outcome of individual matches, overs and even deliveries, bookmakers will let you bet on the outcome of whole series and even seasons. So, for example, you could put money on Surrey winning the County Championships or Australia winning the Ashes series.
The advantage of this type of bet is that, while teams may sometimes have shock results, over the long-run, results tend to be consistent with ability. So, if you know a little about cricket, betting on longer-term results can guard you against any shocks. The downside, of course, is that you may not be able to take into account unforeseen circumstances such as injuries to players or freak weather conditions.
5) 'Top Batsman'
Another popular type of bet is putting money on one player to be the top-scoring batsman. Again, this is very straightforward. You can either put money on a two-way bet, choosing between the two players currently batting for one side, or you can choose from the whole team or from both team's 22 players.
Here's how a betting market would look for Top Batsman, with the odds varying according to each player's individual strengths and weaknesses. Note, however, that these odds may be either harsh or generous, so you may be able to use your knowledge of the game (for example, you may know a particular player tends to bat better after it's been raining) to boost your potential winnings.
Most online bookmakers will offer you the chance to increase your possible winnings by allowing you to combine Top Batsman bets with other markets. For instance, you could bet on Kusal Perera to be the top-scoring batsman of the whole match but for Sri Lanka to still lose.
6) Other markets
The above are just some of the most popular betting markets usually on offer for cricket. There are a whole host of other bets available, particularly for big games, most of them offered in-play. Indeed, almost any event that can happen in a cricket match is usually offered as a betting market, making it easily one of the most interesting sports to put money on. Just some of the other bets could include:
- Winner of the opening coin toss
- Leading wicket taker
- First player to score a century
- Team to score the most 6s
- Team to score the most 4s
- Number of wide balls in a match
- Number of run-outs in a match
If you're betting in-play, then you will usually be given the opportunity to 'cash out' on your bet. Quite simply, this means the bookmaker will give you the chance to cancel your bet, and this can either help you cut your losses or bank some profit without exposing yourself to further risk.
Let's go back to the example of New Zealand against South Africa. Let's imagine you did bet £10 on South Africa to win at odds of 11/5, originally giving you the chance to win £32, including your initial stake. Now, imagine South Africa lost their first three wickets having scored just 10 runs. This does not look good for them, especially since you know their 'tail' is particularly weak. Now, the bookie could give you the chance to 'cash out' at £6.64. So, you would lose some money but not all of it. The gamble, of course, is that South Africa could recover and so by cashing in you miss out on winning the full £32.
Alternatively, imagine had put £10 on South Africa at odds of 11/5, they scored 620 in their two innings and New Zealand are going into their second innings with just 270 on the scoreboard. Now, South Africa look well on course to win, so you could be given the chance to cash out at £16.50, which, along with your original stake, would give you winnings of £26.50. You can either take this and miss out on the chance to win the full £32, or you could gamble it and hope New Zealand's batsmen don't score more than 450 and win the Test.
Making a Good Decision
If you're serious about betting on cricket, then you need to be sure you're making sound decisions rather than uninformed bets. Here are the best ways of giving yourself the best chance of beating the bookies:
1) Knowing the Players
In the world of cricket, there are a handful of superstars who can be relied upon to deliver whatever the circumstances. For the most part, however, certain players will favour specific conditions or types of match. One player may enjoy a high batting strike rate in T20 cricket but struggle to get double figures in Test matches, while some players will thrive against spin-bowlers but fall to pieces against a fast-bowler. As always, a little background research can go a long way.
2) Understand the Conditions
More than perhaps any other sport, the weather and the condition of the pitch can affect the outcome of a cricket match. As such, having a good understanding of the importance of pitch conditions is one of the keys to successful cricket betting. For instance, sometimes the state of the pitch will favour the batsman while other times it could favour the bowler, and this could even change over the course of a single day. Be sure to do your homework and always check on the day's conditions before putting down any money.
3) Make Use of In-Play Betting
If you really know your stuff, you may be able to take advantage of in-play betting markets. For example, you may know that a certain player always tends to start off badly while at the wicket, so the increasing odds of him scoring a century could represent a great opportunity. Don't, however, make any rash decisions. If you're serious about making money, make sure all your bets are well thought-through.
Good sources of the latest cricket information, including the current form of both teams and individual players, include ESPN Cricinfo (http://www.espncricinfo.com/) and Cricbuzz (http://www.cricbuzz.com/).
Further Sports Betting Reading
We have an exclusive range of beting advice guides, using real time examples which include:
- A video tutorial and guide on How to Bet on a Horse and make money from the most popular type of sports betting in the UK
- The most popular sport in the UK is football and some of the odds you can get are very good, see How to bet on football we also have a video with bets made on The Champions League.
- A great guide on How to Bet on F1 and make some serious money gambling on the world's most glamorous sport
Test cricket especially may well be more predictable than most other sports, especially games featuring mis-matched opponents. However, as with all sports betting, there's no such thing as guaranteed money. Given this, you should bet on the assumption that you will lose at least some if not all your outlay and you should only bet with money you can afford to lose see our page on Responsible Gambling.
Important Information on Gambling
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See www.gambleaware.org for help and advice on problem gambling.
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To keep up-to-speed with all the latest cricket news, including international scores, pay regular visits to the ESPN Cricinfo website: (http://www.cricbuzz.com/) .