Cricket is among the sports with the longest tradition. It was a pastime of numerous Englishmen for hundreds of years, while competitions have been running since the mid 19th century. Naturally, you can also bet on cricket, with many betting sites allowing you to make money while watching this exciting sport.
Knowing it’s an option is one thing but working out how to place bets and understand the odds is another matter entirely. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know to become a successful cricket punter.
Like any other sport, it’s good to first get familiar with the various competitions and formats the game is played in, so we’ll be kicking off our cricket betting guide by talking about those. But first, let’s see which countries participate in cricket competitions.
The sport started in England but soon spread to the British Empire’s colonies, where it really took off. India and Pakistan, for example, have the world’s largest fan bases, as well as some big leagues and many great players. Cricket is also popular in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. While the North American countries do play cricket, there aren’t as many leagues or active players. The sport simply didn’t become mainstream there, unlike baseball.
So, those are the markets, but to start betting on cricket, we’ll also need to talk about leagues and competitions. Naturally, each of the aforementioned countries has its championship, like the IPL in India. International matches are organised by the International Cricket Council. These include one-day matches, test matches, and the Twenty20 format (which is played for one inning, and each team can get a maximum of 20 overs).
As the name implies, one-day matches are limited to one day of play. This is also the format of the ICC World Cup that’s held every four years. Similarly, the One Day International is also restricted, but to nine hours of play, so pay attention to the wording when you place an online bet on cricket.
Test cricket is, for the diehard fans, the truest form of the game. The name comes from the fact that these matches have no time limit and are the ultimate test of players’ physical and mental capabilities. Both teams get four innings, and these matches can easily span five or more days. On top of that, a national team has to earn the Test status, which only 12 countries currently hold. The other countries can only participate in the ICC Intercontinental Cup in matches limited to four days each.
What Can You Bet on in Cricket
There are many ways you can bet on cricket, not just by picking the outright winner of the match. But, as we’ve been discussing previously, cricket is a sport with many nuances. Plenty of things can happen during a game, so the options for some in-play quick bets are numerous, to say the least. Not just that, but the weather conditions play a big part in cricket, as the matches quite often get postponed. No joke: you’ll need to start watching the weather forecast if you want to bet on this sport.
Here are some of the most popular cricket bets the betting sites accept these days:
Match bet – your classic bet in online cricket and other competitive sports. Pick from one of three outcomes and, if you’re correct, you win. You can pick that either the home or away team will win, or you can guess that the match will end up in a draw or tie. Simple and, obviously, the most popular type of bet.
Completed match – a cricket match isn’t played against the clock, so it’s not unusual for the match to be halted and continued on next day. You can place a bet that, for whatever reason, the one-day game won’t be completed on the same day.
Top bowler/batsman – another popular cricket bet is to pick the highest-scoring player in a match or a series. Bowlers need to take the most wickets, while batters aim for the most points. These bets usually have high payouts. Want something less risky? Just pick a team you believe will have the top player to get significantly higher odds of winning but a lower payout.
Bowler/batsman match bets – the match bets mean you’ll just need to pick between two players. If your chosen player scores higher, you win.
Score bets – like in football, you can bet on cricket scores. Pretty much everything goes here, from the match score to a series score. That could be the number of won matches in a series, over/under bets for a given game, etc.
These are, of course, just some of the betting options you’ll find at the betting sites around the internet. Cricket offers plenty of opportunities for pre-match and in-play betting. Even if your favourite bookmaker doesn’t offer something right off the bat (pun intended), they can easily add a betting option to their sportsbook if players request it.
Understanding Odds in Cricket
Cricket betting odds are pretty standard fare in the world of sports betting. They don’t require complicated maths or, worse, reading complex instructions to understand them. Like in every other sport, they represent the probability of a particular outcome, whether it be a number of runs, the top-scoring player, or the winner of the match.
For cricket specifically, the betting odds are represented by either decimals or fractions. The fraction format is popular among UK bookmakers, while other European and Asian sites prefer decimals. Many sites now offer conversion between these systems, so you can easily choose your preferred cricket betting option.
Let’s say you’ve chosen decimal odds on a betting site. To calculate your potential winnings, you just need to multiply the odds by the amount wagered. For example, if you place £10 on a bet with 1.50 odds, that means your payout will be £15. Your profit from that bet is a neat fiver. This is, of course, assuming that you placed a single bet, and accumulators build on your winnings significantly, at the cost of much higher risk. At most sites, you won’t need to calculate the odds and payouts by yourself, as it’s all shown on your betting slip. If not, you can also use various betting calculators to make the process easier.