Even though cricket isn’t the first sport to come to mind when talking about sports betting, it actually has a bit of a cult following within the industry. Whilst the majority of casual bettors are unlikely to bet on a cricket match – at least compared to a horse race or football match – there are still plenty of people who bet on it regularly.
That being said, a number of bookmakers now operate a huge catalogue of less obvious markets to wager on with a wide range of game coverage to boot. One of the main reasons as to why cricket is gaining popularity from punters is the coverage it gets thanks to television rights. Those of you based in the UK will know that the sport now plays a huge role for some of the bigger satellite companies, and even has dedicated TV channels.
Still, it’s not unfair to say that cricket betting isn’t for everyone. It’s a sport that people tend to love or hate, and there appears to be very little middle ground. Hopefully, for those of you that want to give it a go, some of the bookmakers that we have picked out will be a good fit and suit your cricket betting needs.
Best Cricket Betting Sites
#1 – BetVictor
BetVictor come in at number one on our list that is mainly down to their market coverage being excellent. They possibly don’t include as many features as we would like but they will make a really awesome base for any cricket enthusiast. As with most sports that BetVictor cover extensively, their in-play section is one that really comes to life and is a real pleasure to use. Here you can see information such as latest scores but it also allows you to track a really wide range of markets as well.
The site probably lacks a little from the number of tournaments that are covered. You will get all your main choices such as the English domestic leagues and major international matches, but aside from that, the lesser competitions aren’t as well covered.
#2 – Coral
Coral will be your best bet for cricket betting offers and they are constantly coming up with enhanced promotions for cricket betting. They vary depending on the competition but we’ve even seem them push some of the lesser English domestic games with top run scorer offers and enhanced doubles/trebles.
The thing with Coral is that the site always feels really fresh and we like the markets that they have on offer. They aren’t necessarily all exclusive to Coral, in fact you can probably find them all somewhere online, but as a collection we feel they tend to strike a really nice balance between ones that are common and then others that are less common, but still good value.
One thing we noticed is that Coral haven’t included cricket on their live streaming channel, which is a shame. Whilst we rank them in the middle of the pack, we definitely feel that if you haven’t already tried them, they are worth popping back to every now and then, if only to take advantage of their enhanced offers for betting on cricket.
#3 – Betfred
Betfred are another decent choice when it comes to cricket betting. We feel their ranking is deserving because they don’t cover the range of markets that the three bookmakers above them do. But, as with most of these posts, you will find that they will be more than adequate for the majority of bettors, but in terms of extra features, Betfred do lack a little.
The biggest void probably comes in the form of the number of matches covered. Outside of big international tournaments and domestic English cricket, markets can feel very slim, especially in comparison to likes of BetVictor. It’s an even bigger shame because once we got into the fixtures, the markets that were on offer were particularly impressive. We loves the range of ‘tongue in cheek’ markets such as who will win the toss with both teams odds on for a coin toss!
As ever with Betfred, they do a lot of things very well, but just can’t seem to get over the finish line. Their cricket betting section is decent, but it doesn’t go the extra mile and if you compare this to the likes of football on their site, then it doesn’t even get a look in!
#4 – Ladbrokes
It may seem like Ladbrokes have come last in our poll, and technically they have, but you could probably link the final three spots altogether as they each offer very similar products when it comes to cricket betting.
They are another that concentrates heavily on the English domestic season along with international matches. We do like the fact that they include a cricket HUB of which can select/de-select the markets that you want to bet on. They are another bookmaker who turn the majority of their match markets live and then you can again choose which markets you want highlighted when into the live betting section.
Feature wise, the site is a little thin on the ground. We were a little disappointed from the live section for it not include some sort of up to date scoreboard and also the lack of any live streaming service is one factor that stopped it’s progression in our cricket betting poll.
How to Bet on Cricket
As you will already be aware, there are a number of bookmakers who dedicate a good deal of time and effort to cricket. Market range and depth varies from one to another, so it’s not necessarily just a case of picking the #1 ranked bookmaker to bet with; you need to first work out what you want to bet on and what you want from the bookmaker.
Are you chasing the best odds? The biggest bonuses? Free bets? Do you want to be able to bet live and if so, do you need live streaming? Ideally, there would one bookmaker that comes out on top for every category, but life is never that simple, so you will probably have to decide what is most important for you and go from there.
The match odds market is going to be the most popular, and this is simply a case of predicting the overall result of the game. Remember though, in cricket, there will be some matches that can finish tied and others that have to have a result either way. This needs to be factored in when betting on this market.
Top batsman requires you to bet on the player that you think will score the most runs in a particular match. Often this will be broken down into two markets with one for each team and then betting versus that team. Occasionally you can pick an overall winner, but this is more likely to be a separate market.
Similarly, you will be able to bet on who you think will be top bowler in the game. This comes down to the number of wickets they have each taken, but if this ends up as a tie the decision is made on average runs per wicket.
Fours & Sixes
Betting on the total number of fours or sixes in the game (from both sides) has proved to be quite a popular wager within the cricket betting community.
These bets can either take into account the total number of fours/sixes scored in one innings, or the total number scored in the game. More often than not this will be a multiple choice type of bet, with a spread or group of numbers to pick from.
The spread is another popular market to bet on with cricket. This is a points system that allows you to take over or under a certain amount of runs for each innings. You bet per point (or per run as it’s more commonly known) and you will win money for every point/run over or under your prediction, depending on whether you bet under or over in the first place.
Let’s say that you bet £1 per run on the under 300. The team scores 250 meaning a deficit of 50 runs resulting in you taking £50 (£1 x 50 runs) as your net win. If over 300 runs were scored then you would owe £1 for every run from 301 onwards.
Cricket Betting Highlights
- To Win The Match –Select a team to win the match. Simple It only becomes more complicated where aspects such as the draw (test matches) or tied games (one day games) occur. The draw will be included as a possible result to bet on while a tied game gets a little more obscure, as some bookmakers will refund bets and others put it down as a loss. Check the terms.
- To Win The Toss – Before each game you can bet on which team will win the toss. You do not need to worry about what happens once the game begins, just the result of that coin toss.
- Top Batsman (Team and Match) – You can select who you think will be the top batman for a specific team based on volume of runs scored, and also which batsman will score the most runs overall in the match.
- Most Match Sixes – Select which team will hit the most sixes in the match. A tie is also available as a betting choice. You can select individual players for this bet type as well.
- Highest Opening Partnership – The opening partnership market is simply a case of choosing which batting team will pull in the highest number of runs for their opening partnership.
- First 6 Overs – The accumulation of runs in the first 6 overs of each innings is taken into consideration for this market. The team with the most wins.
- Top Team Bowler – The top team bowler is based on how many wickets are taken per bowler. In the event of a tie the bowler with the least number of runs conceded will be deemed the winner.
- Fall of First Wicket – It’s possible to choose the over or under on the number of runs on the board before the first wicket falls.
- A Fifty or Hundred to be Scored – Two separate markets here; first, bet on whether there will be a fifty scored in the match; second, decide whether there will be a hundred scored in the match.
Cricket Betting Rules
Cricket is actually one of the more complicated sports when it comes to betting rules, mainly because the weather so frequently affects gameplay. Let’s try and clear a couple of them up for you.
Limited overs games will pay out on match bets should the game start and then finish with an official result. Match bets will be settled if the game finishes in a bowl out or a super over. The only way bets will be rendered void is if no play has taken place for that game or the game is abandoned for any reason.
Test matches work a little differently in that if the game is washed out or abandoned after 1 or more deliveries being bowled then the game will be settled as a draw. If the game finishes as a tie then dead heat rules will apply and the draw would be deemed as a losing bet.
The top batsman market also has a number of rules worth knowing. In games that include 2 innings only the runs from the first innings will count towards this market unless otherwise stated. A minimum number of overs need to be bowled in an innings for this bet to stand, and this number will vary depending on the format of the game – check the terms. If two or more players score the same number of runs then dead heat rules will apply.
Team to Hit Most Boundaries
The team to hit most boundaries market will become void unless both teams have the same number of overs. If the market had already been settled before the game sees its reduction then the market will stand.
- Batsmen / Bowler Market – Where a batsman or bowler market has been formed, all bets will be taken from the first innings unless otherwise stated.
- Abandoned Games – Where games are abandoned through the weather, official results will be held by the bookmaker. Where no result has occurred then the market will become void and any unsettled bets will be refunded.
- Man of the Match Markets – Man of the match markets will be declared by the officials of that game. The same goes for any player of the series awards, as well.
Different Kinds of Cricket
To those that don’t like cricket, the idea of there being numerous different formats of the game will seem as though it’s a matter of being bored in more ways than one. In truth, the variety of cricket formats allows the sport to appeal to more people, not least of all because some variations of it are infinitely more exciting than others. If you’re not sure whether you’re going to like cricket, there is something of a ‘gateway’ into the sport courtesy of Twenty20 cricket, which was designed to help the game appeal to those that have previously disliked it.
Here’s a look at the different types of cricket that take place throughout the year. If you’re not sure whether the sport is for you, it is at least worth checking these out to see if they appeal. There is also the argument that seeing cricket in real life is much more enjoyable than watching it on the television. That is especially true in the case of Test cricket, which is the longest form of the sport and benefits from the additional space of watching it in person with a newspaper and a drink or two.
It is Test cricket where we’ll start our exploration of the sport, given that it is what things were like when it was first played. It boasts the longest match duration and is considered by most to be the highest form of the sport. They are played between national teams that the International Cricket Council have granted Test status. This version of the sport earned its name from the fact that its long-form nature presents players with a test of their endurance, both mentally and physically, typically taking place over five days.
Two teams with 11 players on each side go up against each other, with a day lasting for three sessions of two hours apiece. A coin is tossed to decide which team will bat and which will field, with the idea being that the batting team wants to score as many runs as possible and the bowling team wants to hit the wicket to get them out. After the first two hour sessions there is a 40 minute break for lunch, then there is a 20 minute break for tea after the second two hour session. Time can be adjusted if playing time has been lost to bad weather.
Play should take place across five consecutive days, with the rough idea being that one team will bat on day one, the other side on day two, the first team will be back in on day three and then they’ll swap once more for day four. Because teams want to rack up as many runs as possible, the fifth day allows one or both of them to bat for longer if they’re able to. If teams feel like they have notched up a high enough number of runs, they can ‘declare’, which puts the other team in to bat. If a team removes all of the opposition’s batters in the second innings when they have a higher run total, they win.
Teams Awarded Test Status by the ICC
At the time of writing, there are 12 teams that have been awarded Test status by the ICC. They are as follows, with the year they earned the status in brackets:
- Australia (1877)
- England (1877)
- South Africa (1889)
- West Indies (1928)
- New Zealand (1930)
- India (1932)
- Pakistan (1952)
- Sri Lanka (1982)
- Zimbabwe (1992)
- Bangladesh (2000)
- Ireland (2018)
- Afghanistan (2018)
The most famous Test is the battle between Australia and England, which is known as The Ashes. Other countries play cricket, but they are not official Tests as they haven’t been given Test status by the ICC.
One Day Matches
As you might imagine, some people struggle to maintain their attention on cricket matches across five days. Though the purists will only ever consider Test cricket to be a valid form of the game, the governing body of the sport decided that it made sense to try and attract different audiences, with the first One Day International, or ODI, being played in 1971. They began to gain real attention during the 1980s and have remained part of the cricketing calendar ever since, with the short-form version of the game offering real appeal.
In ODIs, each team gets one innings of 50 overs to score as many runs as possible. This version of the game blends technique with speed and skill in order to offer a fast and frenetic version of what is usually stretched out over five days. A One Day International can last up to nine hours, with the pinnacle of this version of the sport being the Cricket World Cup. That takes place every four years, mirroring the football World Cup in that sense. The main laws of cricket still apply to ODIs, though each team bats for a set number of overs.
The team that bats first sets the target score of runs during its 50 overs, unless the bowling team manages to bowl everyone out before all of the overs have been played. Each of the bowlers can bowl a maximum of ten overs, or fewer on days with rain delays. That means that each team has to have at least five competent bowlers. The team that bats second knows how many runs it needs to score, so if it succeeds then it wins and if it fails then it loses. This can lead to an exciting end to matches when things are very close.
One Day games aren’t limited to international matches, but they are most commonly played by international teams. If a number of overs have been lost from the day because of the weather, the total number of overs played will be reduced. Since the latter part of the 1990s, either the target or the eventual result has been decided according to the Duckworth-Lewis method, which decides the runs achieved according to a statistical model. In this way, a match can be decided even when the full amount of overs can’t be played.
The success of One Day Internationals meant that there was a long-standing desire in some quarters to find other exciting versions of the game that would bring a new audience to the world of cricket. In 2003, the England and Wales Cricket Board introduced Twenty20 cricket, also known as T20. It came in as part of an inter-county competition, asking each team to play 20 overs in a single innings. It takes about three hours for this form of the game to be completed, which obviously makes it much more exciting to many.
There is a ten-minute break between the two overs, yet it still remains within the sort of timescale that sports fans have grown used to with other events. It was hoped that T20 cricket would appeal to both those watching in person and those that watch on TV, thanks to its extremely fast-paced nature. Usually the games are accompanied with the likes of fire, fireworks, music and other things to keep up the level of excitement for those tuning in or attending. Even the likes of t-shirt cannons have been used in the past.
There are more tweaks to the rules for Twenty20 cricket, including the fact that bowlers can only bowl a maximum of one-fifth of the total overs. A no-ball that comes about thanks to a bowler over-stepping their crease costs one or two runs, competition depending, with their next delivery considered to be a ‘free hit’. This means that the batter can only be dismissed thanks to a run out, obstructing the field or hitting the ball twice. There are also some limits on the fielding team.
If the match ends in a tie, there is a Super Over played in order to decide a winner. In this sense, Twenty20 cricket is different from the Test format of the game, which can last for five days and still end in a draw. Each team nominees a bowler and three batsmen to play one over per side, with the aim being to score as many runs as possible without having two batters bowled out. A Super Over that ends in a tie results several Super Overs being played until there is a winner. Twenty20 cricket is played both on the international and the domestic stage.
Though Twenty20 cricket brought in a wealth of new fans of cricket, there was still a desire to make it even more appealing. There was a realisation within the world of cricket that the sport would only be able to survive if younger people began to watch it more regularly. In order to appeal to this younger crowd, the England and Wales Cricket Board created a new competition known as the Hundred. This involved two teams having one innings each, which is restricted to the bowling of a maximum of 100 balls.
In 100-ball cricket matches, the idea of outscoring your opponent remains the aim, but the games tend to last for about 90 minutes. This brings them in line with football matches, allowing them to appeal to a wider audience. It was first proposed in 2016 and three years later the ECB confirmed some tweaks to the proposals. It was to contain ten ten-ball overs, with bowlers either bowling five or ten balls and a maximum of 20 balls per innings. Warwickshire Cricket Board and Warwickshire County Cricket Club launched the 100-ball format for club teams in 2018.
For the ECB, the Hundred was always the main aim. It launched in 2021 and involved eight men’s teams and eight women’s teams. The BBC showed the competition for free, with equal weight given to the women’s version of the game as the men’s. The matches took place as back-to-back double headers at the same venue, allowing for everyone to watch both genders play the game. Though there was plenty of scepticism around the idea of a new form of cricket, it received a generally positive reaction, with 55% of tickets sold to people that had never attended a cricket match before.
Though there are numerous different forms of cricket that we could mention in addition to the ones that we’ve already talked about, it is worth drawing attention to indoor cricket. Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, this form of the game was introduced in England in order to combat the difficulties presented by the weather. It was first played towards the end of the 1960s, with other formed taking place in the decades that followed. There is a difference between indoor cricket and the traditional format of cricket played indoors.
Indoor cricket bears similarities to the outdoor version of the game, including the use of two batters and a bowler that is trying to get them out. There is also the need to score as many runs as possible in order to win the game. It is in the size of the team and the manner in which games are scored that the two versions of the same sport differ. It is generally played between two teams of either six or eight players, with scoring split into four different types, which are physical runs, bonus runs, extras and penalty-minus runs.
Dismissals also differ in indoor cricket. If a batter is dismissed, which can be in the usual style of the wicket being hit, being caught, run outs or leg-before-wicket, they get five runs removed from their total but continue to bat. Batters work in pairs for four overs at a time in order to rack up their runs, with each innings lasting for 16 overs. These are played in full even if a team has surpassed the run total of the other, owing to the fact that the batter can be dismissed and lose enough runs for the score to change.
- What Is the Hundred? Cricket’s New Fast-Paced Tournament
- Match Fixing in Cricket: The Scandals & the Players Who Got Caught