Cricket Betting Guide: How is betting done in Cricket?

This article is in continuation to my article on the mathematics of betting. In that article I talked about the mathematical nature of betting in sports and other gambling games. My main examples were based on Cricket games. In this article, I will continue with the same and will try to explain how betting is done in Cricket. This cricket betting guide is aimed towards the beginners and those betting on apps like Dream11, MPL, Betway and others.

About this Cricket Betting Guide

Cricket Betting Guide Banner — a cricketer hitting a ball.

Cricket is one of the oldest sports in the world, having roots dating back to southern England in the late 16th century. Thanks to its relentlessly growing popularity in the Indian subcontinent, it is also considered the second most popular sport in the world, after association football. As a result, betting in cricket has become a blooming market in its own right. In fact, it’s almost a parallel economy in India now, complete with its own rules and payment system as well.

Also see: IPL Betting for Beginners

The system is so complicated that, in fact, it can be quite confusing to understand. If you’re new to all of this, a number of questions must have arisen in your mind by now. For example,

  • How exactly is betting in cricket done?
  • How are the ratios for a particular game fixed?
  • How does a bookie earn profits in this business?

In this article, I will attempt to answer all these questions as accurately and clearly as possible. As I mentioned already, this Cricket betting guide is aimed towards the beginners and the ones who are betting in sports betting apps.

What are the most important factors to consider in cricket betting?

Although a lot of people do not seem to agree with this fact, the plain truth is that betting in cricket (or any other sport, for that matter) is very much like the share market. Namely, you must look at the situation closely and make a well-informed guess about the likely outcome of the match. How much you earn, and whether you earn money or lose it, depends on this guess.

The factors which influence the outcome of a match are literally countless – the pitch report, weather, strengths and weaknesses of individual players, team combinations, player forms, pace and spin combination, and much more. No matter how accurately you analyze all these factors, it is still impossible to correctly guess the winner every time.

That said, you can come up with a strategy that takes certain factually correct and very specific factors into consideration. For example:

  • Who are the players and teams involved?
  • What is the weather like?
  • Who are the umpires?
  • Where is the match being played?
  • What is the pitch like?
  • What are the pre-match odds?

You can then add these points to your initial theory, and develop it into a hypothesis. You will then have to test your strategy against some previous matches, to check whether it would have earned a profit over the past couple of seasons. If you’re experienced or observant enough, you will be able to come up with a hypothesis that is around 90% accurate.

How is betting in cricket done?

In this section, I will list some of the most popular cricket bets which you can place. Some of them are pretty straightforward, while others can be trickier. Make sure you go through the list and choose the ones which seem like a good fit for you, depending on your skill and experience.

  1. Match betting – You will have to choose if you think that the home team will win, lose, or the match will end in a draw.
  2. Completed match – You must place a bet on whether you feel that the game will be completed that day or not.
  3. Tied match – Similar to match betting, you must bet whether you feel the match will end in a draw or not.
  4. Innings runs – You must correctly guess the number of runs that will be scored in the first innings of the match.
  5. Top bowler – You must choose the player you feel will claim the most wickets in a match or series.
  6. Top batsman – You must pick the player you feel will score the most runs in a match or series.
  7. Team of top batsman – You need to guess which team the top batsman will belong to.
  8. Bowler match bets – Between two players, you need to choose the one you feel will score the most runs in the game.
  9. Tournament outright winner – As the name implies, you simply need to choose the team you feel will go on to win the tournament itself.
  10. Series winner – When a series is being played between two teams, you can bet which of the two teams you feel will come out on top at the end of the series.
  11. Over/under score – In this bet, a sportsbook will post a certain score which they feel that the team will reach at the end of the series or match. You need to bet whether the team’s actual score will be more or less than this predicted score.
  12. Series score – You need to guess what the final score of the series will be.
  13. Method of dismissal – You can predict how a particular batman will end up being dismissed during the match.
  14. Win toss – As the name implies, you simply need to predict which of the two teams will win the toss at the beginning of the match. Obviously, this is a guess that is based on pure chance.
  15. Toss combination – Apart from predicting which team will win the toss, you will also have to guess whether they will choose to bat or bowl first.
  16. Odd/even runs – You will have to bet whether a particular team will score an odd or even number of runs in a match.
  17. Most run outs – You must predict which of the two teams will score the most run outs in a match or series.
  18. Man of the Match/Player of the Series – As the name suggests, you need to predict which player(s) will earn these two titles.

How does a bookie/apps earn profits?

It’s rather difficult to accurately calculate how much money is involved in the betting industry, but according to a (rather conservative) estimate, the amount would very likely go up to ₹ 10,000 to ₹ 20,000 crore per match. It is impossible to arrive at an exact figure, because the betting system operates in a decentralised manner. Thus, bookies in different cities would be getting bets amounting to different sums of money from his punters (the people who place bets).

Bookies usually do not take bets from unknown people; people are chosen only via proper referrals. In the betting system, the bookie gets his profit from the people who lose their money placing the bets. They need to balance the amount of money which is being invested in each of the teams. For example, they do not have much opportunity to make money from the outcome of a match where one team is more or less certain to be the winner. Thus, the odds offered by bookies on the favourites are so meagre that any experienced person will not bet on such a match.

How are the ratios for a game fixed?

Betting is all about mathematics, and the ratios offered are entirely contingent on the situation of the match in a particular instance of time, as well as the amount of money already put on every one of the teams. As mentioned above, experienced players rarely bet on a match where one team is heavily predisposed to win. Instead, much higher odds are put on the relatively unpredictable options listed above, such as man of the match and score prediction.

Newcomers often erroneously feel that they can predict these options easily and thus end up placing bets on them. However, the truth is that the chances of someone predicting these things correctly are very slim. Thus, the bookies usually earn a lot of profit from such bets. Matches between equally matched teams tend to oscillate back and forth in favour of both the teams, and thus the rates vary accordingly as well.

A general rule of thumb that everybody in the business almost universally agrees with is that winning small is far better than losing big. You must learn to control your ego and emotions, and never bet more than you can afford to.