How to Bet on Cricket – A Comprehensive Guide

By James Langley on

CompareBet has pulled out the stops with this comprehensive cricket betting guide, helping beginners and experts enhance their enjoyment of the popular sport. 

Punters have numerous cricket betting choices nowadays, from the Ashes to the modern success of the Indian Premier League and T20 cricket. The IPL, in particular, is a significant example of the sport’s growing popularity, hitting an $8.4 billion valuation in 2022. 

If you’re wondering how to bet on cricket, our detailed guide will explain everything you need to know to get started. We’ll cover the basic rules, formats, prestigious competitions, betting markets, and essential cricket betting tips. After reading, head to our best free bets sites page to choose a recommended bookie, claim the welcome bonus, and get started. 

Basics of Cricket

Understanding the Basics of Cricket

The introduction of new formats alongside the established Test cricket in the late 20th century is a key factor behind the sport’s recent popularity surge. ODI and T20 rules limit games to a maximum of a day, making it easier for fans to enjoy the game and broadcasters to stream it. A key step for learning how to bet on cricket is understanding the three main formats: 

  • Test Cricket – The most prestigious and historic format is Test cricket. These games can last up to five days, with each team playing two innings. Typically, each innings finishes when the batting team are all-out and can easily feature over 100 overs, which designate each six-ball series of deliveries from a bowler. The team with the most runs wins, although if all four innings cannot be completed due to the five-day time constraint, the test goes down as a draw. 
  • One Day International – One Day International is a limited-overs cricket format played over several hours. The Cricket World Cup is the most prestigious ODI competition, pitting the best international cricket teams against each other. The format is more fast-paced than Tests, with each team bowling 50 overs during the day. 
  • Twenty20 – T20 cricket is the most explosive and dynamic format, limiting teams to 20 overs each. The England and Wales Cricket Board devised the rules in 2003, paving the way for a dramatic increase in cricket popularity among spectators and broadcasters due to the quicker match timespans. Bookies offer extensive markets on competitions like the IPL, and the gameplay can also suit exciting props more as players are generally expected to bat and bowl with more aggression and immediacy. 

Rules of Cricket

Cricket rules revolve around the wickets — the three stumps on either side of a cricket green with two bails balanced on top. Bowling teams try to hit the wickets with the ball, while the batsmen stand in front and protect the wickets by hitting the ball away. Batting teams can automatically score a four or a six by hitting the ball out of the boundary lines or score one run each time the two batters swap sides. But they must be careful because the fielding team can run a batsman out by hitting the stumps before they get inside their ‘crease’ (their area by the wickets). 

Check below for a list of key terminology to help you understand the fundamentals: 

  • Over – A series of six legal deliveries by one specific bowler 
  • Innings – Each team’s turn to bat or bowl. Innings are either decided by a set number of overs (ODI and T20) or when all batsmen are out. 
  • Wickets Taken – This is a key piece of terminology for cricket betting. It refers to the number of players a bowler has got a player out, either by bowling, catching, or hitting the stumps before a batsman completes a run. 
  • LBW – Leg Before Wicket is a key rule to understand. The umpire uses this if a batsman uses their leg to block a bowl that would have otherwise hit the wicket. 

Reading Cricket Odds

Reading the odds is a crucial part of this cricket betting guide. Let’s use a theoretical example with odds on the next Ashes test: 

  • Australia 8/13
  • England 5/2
  • Draw 9/2 

Smaller fractions indicate larger favourites or more probable scenarios. Australia are, therefore, the clear favourite. You can use the B / (A + B) x 100 formula to get a precise implied probability percentage from cricket betting odds. For example, Australia’s percentage chance of winning would be 61.9% – 13/(8+13) x 100 = 61.9. 

Calculating your potential payout is another key aspect of learning how to bet on cricket. Doing so is relatively straightforward: imagine the second number is your stake, with the first number being the amount of profit. So, Australia’s 8/13 odds would pay out £8 for a £13 stake if guessed correctly. On the other hand, a £2 stake on England to win would pay £5.

Choose a Bookmaker

Getting Started with Cricket Betting

Once you’ve understood the basics of how to bet on cricket, it’s time to choose a bookmaker, register, and claim a welcome bonus. Check below for the main steps: 

Finding a Sports Betting Site 

Selecting the best cricket betting site is a key prerequisite to placing a wager. CompareBet experts consistently weigh up and review platforms to give our readers the best recommendations. We consider cricket betting odds coverage, live betting software, ongoing promotions, and other key characteristics. Head to our best betting sites page to compare options and read reviews. 

Sign Up & Deposit 

After choosing a betting site, you must sign up and deposit. Debit cards are great for beginners as they don’t require any extra accounts. Alternatively, e-wallets can deliver speedier transactions requiring less personal information and increased budgeting possibilities. Prepaid cards are great for budgeting, while Open Banking offers streamlined bank payments. 

Betting Offers 

Taking advantage of welcome bonuses is a key cricket betting strategy, with many platforms offering free bets and other promotions. Check our best online betting bonuses to compare the options available. We offer commentary on the type of bonus, wagering requirements, minimum odds, and more. As a result, you can choose the exact bonus that works for you.

Wager Types

Cricket Wager Types

Examining the available betting markets is a key part of this cricket betting guide. Punters can choose from various wager types, including: 

  • Match Result – A straightforward prediction on the winner of a match or test. 
  • Top Batsman – A wager on the batsman with the highest number of runs. 
  • Top Bowler – A guess on who the bowler with the most wickets will be. 
  • Match Totals – Cricket match totals allow bettors to predict the total number of runs, wickets, boundary hits, and more.
  • Team Totals – Similar to match totals, but involving each team’s statistics.
  • Method of Dismissal – A bet on how a particular batter will be dismissed, such as caught, bowled, leg before wicket, run out, or stumped.
  • Tournament or Series Winner – An outright bet on the winner of a tournament like the Cricket World Cup or series like the Ashes. 
  • Individual Player Markets – Leading bookmakers also offer various individual player markets relating to runs, wickets, catches, boundary hits, and other statistics. 
Top Events

Top Cricket Events to Bet On

Learning how to bet on cricket is impossible without a keen grasp of the most popular cricket betting events. Here are our favourites: 

  • ICC Cricket World Cup – Established in 1975, the ICC Cricket World Cup is an ODI tournament featuring the world’s top teams. It’s held every four years, with England winning the 2019 edition after an extraordinary finish versus New Zealand. 
  • The Ashes – The Ashes stages the world’s oldest and most prestigious cricket rivalry, with England and Australia playing a test biennially to see who will hold the legendary ashes contained in the terracotta urn. 
  • Indian Premier League – The Indian Premier League is cricket’s top T20 league, reaching a $8.4 billion valuation in 2022. Ten teams compete in a round-robin group and playoffs between March and May every year. 
  • Women’s Cricket World Cup – The Women’s Cricket World Cup is older than the men’s equivalent, with the inaugural edition happening in 1973. It uses the same ODI rules and has been dominated by Australia, who have seven titles to date. 
  • ICC T20 World Cup – Launched in 2007, the ICC T20 World Cup is a biennial international cricket competition using Twenty20 rules. 
  • The Hundred – The Hundred is one of the newest cricket betting opportunities, launching in 2021. It features a unique 100-ball format and eight teams on the men’s and women’s sides. 
  • Vitality Blast – Also known as the T20 Blast, the Vitality Blast is a T20 tournament involving first-class counties from England and Wales. Eighteen teams compete in a group stage, followed by a knockout round. 
  • More International Cricket – Top-rated cricket betting sites also provide odds on other international T20 leagues like the Caribbean Premier League, Pakistan Super League, and Big Bash League.  

Cricket Betting Strategy

Our cricket betting guide wouldn’t be complete without some key tactics you can use to optimise your wagers and financial control. Check below for the lowdown: 

  • Setting a budget and bankroll management – Responsibly managing your bankroll is key to ensuring longevity and a responsible approach to cricket betting. Alongside keeping you safe from overspending, it will also force you to make more tactical and carefully thought-out decisions. 
  • Analysing team and player performance – Using statistical analysis on teams and players will help you make more accurate cricket wagers. Consider each player’s recent form. Is a particular batsman on a streak? Does a bowler perform particularly well against a certain team? Does a team go for more boundary shots at a specific ground? All these factors can influence your predictions for the better, so don’t shy away from meticulous research. 
  • The importance of weather and pitch conditions – Never discount the weather while betting on cricket. Even minute changes in humidity and wind can make a huge difference, influencing how bowlers and batsmen go about their approach. 
  • Comparing odds and finding the best value – Head to our cricket betting section and use our odds comparison tables to find the best value across several leading UK bookmakers. Pay special attention to potentially underpriced markets where you think you could take advantage.
Live Betting

Live Cricket Betting

Cricket is particularly well suited to live betting, especially Test matches. Our recommended bookmakers all have dedicated live betting sections where you can find all the live cricket odds currently available. 

One of the main advantages of in-play cricket betting is your ability to react to events as they happen. This makes it far easier to predict the total number of runs or wickets taken by a team, for example, and will also influence your prediction on the final result.

Nevertheless, you’ll have to settle for slightly worse odds for live betting, especially on scenarios that are now more likely to happen. It can also be easier to make rash decisions in the spur of the moment, so don’t get carried away. 

Watching the game is the most effective way to optimise your live cricket betting decisions, especially coupled with sustained statistical analysis on a separate screen. Expert bettors use the breaks between innings to assess their wagers and make alterations while the action is paused. Cricket rewards momentum more than many other sports, so bear this in mind when betting on the batting or fielding team. 

Responsible Gambling

Our cricket betting guide wouldn’t be complete without considering responsible gambling. We cannot overstate the importance of keeping safe while betting. Otherwise, it’s a slippery slope to addiction. Ensure you set budgets and time limits on your betting, while also taking regular week or month-long breaks. 

If you’re unable to stop, you could be addicted. Similarly, something needs to change if you’re being increasingly secretive about your betting habit. Head to our responsible gambling page to learn vital tips on staying safe. External organisations like GamCare and BeGambleAware are also packed with indispensable resources. 

Compare & Sign Up!

Compare Cricket Betting Sites and Sign Up

Now you’ve finished learning how to bet on cricket, you’re ready to get started. Check out our best betting sites page to compare bookmakers before registering with your chosen platform and claiming the welcome bonus.


Is cricket betting safe?

Yes. Cricket betting is 100% safe on our recommended and UKGC-licensed bookmakers

Can I use free bets on cricket?

Yes. Bookmakers offer a range of free bet promotions that can regularly be used on cricket. 

Do cricket betting sites have fast withdrawals?

Yes. Top cricket betting sites like Paddy Power offer instant withdrawals via Open Banking and e-wallets.

Can I cash out cricket bets early?

Yes. Most bookies offer cash out on cricket bets.

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James is a betting and casino expert at who specialises in writing and editing in-depth guides and reviews. As well as producing copy for the site, James is instrumental in making tweaks that keep our pages at the cutting edge of gambling comparison.