Total Cards In Match Betting Market Explained

Written By: Bradley Gibbs
Last Updated: February 22, 2023

As card betting has become more and more popular, there’s one market in particular that has grabbed the attention of bettors. 

This market is ‘Total Cards’, the market that allows bettors to predict how many cards will be shown during the course of a football match. 

Let’s first start by setting out that we have two types of cards in football. Players can receive yellow or red cards. If a player steps outside of the rules, the referee may present a yellow card. If a player makes a particularly severe infringement, referees can brandish red cards. 

As yellow and red cards can and indeed are shown during football matches, they can be bet on. 

What is the ‘Total Cards’ market? 

This is where you can bet on the number of cards that a match will contain. You can do so by betting on either under or over a specified number. 

For example, if you thought that a game was going to be particularly feisty and you were anticipating lots of cards, you may bet on ‘Over 4.5 Cards’. 

Conversely, if you thought that a game may be rather tame, with little aggressive action or ill discipline, you might choose to bet on ‘Under 1.5 Cards’. 

Betting on ‘Total Cards’ is the preference of many punters. Why? Well, one of the main reasons for betting on ‘Total Cards’ is that it is a bet completely isolated from the result of the game. 

For instance, if you bet on markets such as ‘Full Time Result’ or ‘Draw No Bet’, then your bets can be over very quickly, say if the other team is 3-0 up at half-time. 

That’s not the case if you bet on ‘Total Cards’. For example, if you’ve bet on ‘Over 2.5 Cards’ and there’s only ten minutes left it’s entirely plausible for two late cards to be shown. 

‘Total Cards’ betting strategy 

As we say in all of our betting articles, strategy is key. Successful bettors always have a plan, they adopt a strategy and as such, positive results often follow. 

Focus on one area 

To increase your chances of success as a sports bettor, you need to specialise. This means, not trying to bet on everything, or bet on every market. Narrow down the approach, focus on identifying only a few types of bets, such as ‘Total Cards’ bets. Become a master of the ‘Total Cards’ market. 

If you’re going to focus your betting attention on ‘Total Cards’, you should also focus on as few leagues as possible. For example, if you focus on one league, you can get to know that league back to front from a ‘Total Cards’ market. In contrast, if you try and focus on lots of leagues, unless you have an awful lot of time to dedicate, which most casual punters do not, you’ll likely end up leaving many stones unturned. 

Team stats 

Within your chosen league, get to know the teams. Understand how they perform in relation to cards. Do certain teams commit more fouls in certain games? 

Are some teams more likely to pick up lots of cards against certain opposition. Do some teams perform worse from an indiscretion point of view on the road? 

Knowing the teams in your league and how they behave should help you to make more informed ‘Total Cards’ betting decisions. 

Player stats 

The same goes for players too. Make sure you understand how the players in your chosen league behave in certain situations. 

Are some players more prone to committing fouls against certain types of opposition? 

Do players commit less fouls when their team plays against certain types of teams at home? For example, will the defensive midfielder for a mid-table team make less fouls and thus be less likely to get booked when their team is playing a team that they can dominate at home compared to when their team is under pressure against the league leaders on the road? 

Know the answers to the above questions and stay on top of how players perform in terms of fouls and cards in general and you’ll be better equipped to attack the ‘Total Cards’ market. 

Referee stats 

Knowing the referees is hugely important too. You’ll want to know how referees behave and perform in terms of fouls and cards. 

Which referees are more lenient? Which ones are famously whistle happy? Are some referees more likely to give yellow cards early in the game than others? How many cards on average does a certain ref brandish? 

If you know your referees and can use referee statistics to inform your betting, you should be in a position to make more well-rounded decisions when it comes to placing ‘Total Cards’ wagers. 

Where to find relevant stats for betting on ‘Total Cards’

So, where can you find all of the information you need for ‘Total Cards’ betting. Fortunately, there’s plenty of free sites that are perfect for the card bettor. 

For team stats, something like is very useful. You can view card stats for a variety of leagues, and you’ll see how many yellow and red cards each team in that league has, alongside how many fouls that they’re committing. 

There’s also stats on how many cards teams collect and home many fouls they commit on a per game basis. All of this info is great for the bettor looking to invest in the ‘Total Cards’ market. 

If you want to explore further, then is a great resource. You can look at how many tackles and interceptions teams are making per game as well as how many cards they collect and how many fouls they commit. 

This information is also readily available for individual players too. This means you can see which players are the best/worst in their team when it comes to picking up yellows, making fouls. You can also see how many tackles a player has made, how many times they’ve been dribbled past, and how many tackles they’ve attempted. 

At you can also see how many times a player has been fouled, which is a useful stat. For example, if you know that a player is drawing in lots of fouls, then this may help you to identify ‘Total Cards’ bets if their team is coming up against opposition who like to foul. 

Bookmakers offering “Total Cards” betting markets

In terms of bookmakers, there are plenty of options for punters looking to bet on ‘Total Cards’. 

If ‘Total Cards’ is a market that you’re looking for, then these are the best options: 

  • bet365
  • Betway
  • betfair 


To find the ‘Total Cards’ market on bet365, simply visit the desktop site or download the mobile app, which is available for both iOS and Android. 

All you need to do then is select ‘Soccer’ from the main list of sports. Find your fixture from either the list of upcoming games, or by finding the correct competition. 

Once you’ve clicked on the game you want to bet on, click on ‘Cards’ from the headings at the top of the main odds page. At the very top of the ‘Cards’ page, you should see a market called ‘Number of Cards in Match’. This is bet365’s ‘Total Cards’ version. 


From either the mobile betting app or the desktop site, select the ‘Football’ tab displayed on the main page, find the fixture that you want to bet on, and open the main odds page for that fixture.

At the top of the page, you’ll see tabs detailing different things that you can bet on. Scroll to the right until you hit ‘Cards’. From the primary ‘Cards’ page you should see ‘Total Cards’. 

There will be several ‘Total Cards’ markets in this section, depending on the number of cards you want to bet on. For example, you’ll see ‘Total Cards (3.5), Total Cards (4.5) and so on. 


Both mobile and desktop punters should have an easy time of locating betfair’s total cards offering. 

From the main page, find ‘Football’, which should be in the middle of the main tabs at the top of the page. Then find your fixture and open all the odds for that fixture by either clicking the two team names or by clicking the small arrow to the right of the quick odds. 

From here select the ‘Cards & Corners’ tab, then scroll all the way down until you hit ‘Cards Over/Under’, this is where you’ll find betfair’s ‘Total Cards’ odds. 

888Sport, Coral, Betfred, William Hill 

At most of the other bookmakers it’s slightly different. You can effectively bet on the total number of cards shown in a game, but you’ll only be able to do so by betting on ‘Booking Points’. As covered in our ‘Booking Points’ article, bookmakers assign 10 points for every yellow card shown and 25 for every red. You then have the option to bet on over/under a chosen number of booking points. 

Bradley Gibbs
Bradley Gibbs

Bradley is a freelance writer and sports betting analyst, specialising in all things golf, football, and horse racing, who has also written a variety of educational sports betting content. Over the years, Bradley has produced a plethora of content in the sports betting niche, writing for numerous websites and publications, including popular UK betting newspaper The Racing & Football Outlook.

View all posts by