The biennial test series between Australia and England is cricket's greatest rivalry. Want to get in on the action? We’ve curated a list of the best UK bookies so you can compare, sign up and bet on The Ashes in no time!
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Passions always run high during the Ashes, whether you’re backing England, the Aussies or just the outcomes of your bets. Speaking of which, the UK’s best bookies offer a wide array of ways to have a flutter on the Ashes. Here are some of them.
There can be two variations on this market: betting on the winner of the series (England, Australia or a Draw), and betting on who will actually take the Ashes home (where you can only pick England or Australia, as a Draw will see the previous winners retain the Ashes).
If you feel like a true cricketing clairvoyant, you can try predicting how many matches each team will win during the series. The odds will be longer, and the returns very appealing.
Top Run-scorer and Top Wicket-taker
Which bowler will prove to be the most lethal assassin of the match? Which batsman will stand firm in the face of the onslaught and rack up the most runs? These betting markets let you have your say, and put your money where your mouth is.
This classic cricket market lets you bet on how many runs will be scored in a particular innings. This tends to be an over/under bet, so you’ll wager on whether the runs will exceed a certain stated number.
Method of Dismissal
If live betting is your preferred way to bet on the Ashes, you can take advantage of this betting market, where you bet on how the next batsman will be dismissed. Caught? Run out? Stumped? Your guess is as good as any.
This is an appealingly simple betting market. You’ll simply wager on whether the match will see a century or a half-century scored.
How many runs will be scored in a set number of overs? Who’ll hit the first six? How many wickets will a particular bowler take? These are some of the other prop bets commonly available during the Ashes.
Didn’t manage to place your bets before play commenced? Not a problem. The best UK bookmakers will run a number of live, in-play betting markets, meaning you can get in on the action at any point in the innings. A lot of seasoned bettors actively prefer to bet in-play, because of the potential for more lucrative odds. Say Australia are the hot favourites going into a match, but one of their top batsmen is suddenly caught. The odds on Australia will lengthen, meaning that if they do go on to win, you’ll get a better payout than if you’d bet on the shorter, pre-match odds.
Many top UK betting sites give you the option to “cash out”, which means bailing out on your wager before the outcome is even known. Say you’ve bet on a certain number of runs being scored in a particular innings, but it doesn’t look likely to happen. By cashing out, you can exit the bet and collect a return calculated according to your original stake and the live odds at that moment. Cutting your losses this way certainly makes for an attractive alternative to coming away from a bet in the red.
Accumulator, or acca, bets are more and more popular with bettors, and with good reason. With an acca, you’ll combine different individual bets on one slip. The odds will all be multiplied together to work out your winnings if they all come good, meaning you’ll get a better return than if you’d kept them as separate bets.
The downside is that the acca only wins if all your selections win. On the plus side, many top bookmakers offer acca insurance. With this option, you’ll get your original stake back in the form of free bets if your acca loses out by one selection.
Boost Your Bankroll
A good welcome bonus will be top of most punters’ wish-lists when choosing a betting site. Look out for these favourites.
Matched Deposit Bonuses
As the name implies, the bookmaker will match your first deposit up to a certain limit. For example, “100% up to £150” means the bookie will match 100% of your first deposit up to £150. Transfer £40 to your account, and you’ll be given another £40 to bet with. Remember to check the all-important terms and conditions to see what wagering and minimum odds requirements are attached.
Who doesn’t like a free bet? Many top bookies will offer these to new members, providing you make a first bet on qualifying odds. A common example is being handed £10 in free bets if you make a qualifying bet of £10. Again, check those Tcs and Cs so you’re clear on wagering requirements, time limits and other stipulations.
Take Advantage of Promos
Welcome bonuses aren’t the be-all and end-all. The top UK betting sites will also keep you sweet with regular promos over time. These can include the following perks.
Losing a bet doesn’t have to sting, thanks to money-back offers. With this promo, you’ll get your initial wager back as free bet credits if you do happen to lose. Bear in mind there’ll be a maximum cap on how much can be returned, though.
Big sporting events like the Ashes and the Cricket World Cup will often inspire bookies to artificially enhance odds in your favour. This means you don’t always have to bet on longshot outcomes to get big rewards.
These days, you don’t have to compromise on your preferred banking method. The top UK betting sites will lay out a lot of options, including:
Signing up for a Neteller account gives you the choice of e-wallet and prepaid card options on one simple platform, meaning you can manage and use your funds easily in a way that suits your betting habits best.
Paysafecard's prepaid card and PIN system mean you can make deposits without sharing any personal information or sensitive banking details. Plus, with these prepaid cards only available in brick-and-mortar stores, it makes budgeting a little easier.
Skrill is renowned for its speed, simplicity as well as its excellent security features.
Place Your Bets on the Go
Betting on your smartphone or tablet is ideal if you’re on the move or just want to wager while lounging around at home. The top UK bookies have mobile-optimised sites which you can access using your device’s web browser. Many sites also have their own native apps which you can download, giving you instant access to betting markets and also providing push notifications on the latest promos and bonuses.
The Ashes Series Betting Tips
Research is key whenever you’re betting on any sport. With the Ashes, you’ll want to consider the venues hosting this year’s tournament. Different pitches will suit different players’ skillsets – for example, the Pavilion End at Lord’s is generally seen as well-suited to seam bowlers. So, it pays to look at whether a pitch brings out players’ strengths as bowlers and batsmen.
Consider the general team form in the run up to the Ashes. Any recent injuries? Bear in mind as well that teams playing at home tend to have an advantage (just consider the 5-0 thrashing England received when touring Australia for the 2013-14 Ashes). For any Test series like the Ashes, the weather can be crucial – especially if you’re making a bet on who the eventual winner will be. Is there a chance of rain forcing a draw?
Other Major Cricket Tournaments
The Ashes may be massive, but there are plenty of other big cricket competitions to bet on, including:
The Cricket World Cup, the One Day International contest which takes place every four years for both the men’s and women’s game
The T20 World Cup, the premier Twenty20 clash which takes place for the men’s and women’s game every two years
The Asia Cup, which takes place for the men’s and women’s game every two years and involves the One Day International and Twenty20 formats
The History of the Ashes
The origin of the Ashes is a cherished part of cricketing lore. It was in 1882 that the England team suffered their first Test defeat on home soil at the hands of Australia, inspiring a mock-obituary in a newspaper saying that English cricket had “died” and been cremated, with the “ashes taken to Australia”. England vowed to regain those ashes during their next Australian tour, where they were gifted the iconic terracotta urn containing the symbolic ashes of English cricket.
England dominated the competition during its first decade, but Australia has long since enjoyed long periods of supremacy – notably from the late 80s to the early Noughties. This spell was broken in 2005, when England defied the odds with one of the most stunning turnarounds in cricket history, winning back the Ashes for the first time since 1987. It was a joyous moment for England fans – and for anyone who bet on Kevin Pietersen making his maiden Test century.
Ready to Bet on the Ashes?
It’s hard not to get swept up in Ashes fever, so have a browse of our top-rated UK betting sites, pick the site you like the look of, and place your wagers today!
At Compare.bet, we only recommend sites that are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. This ensure your personal details will be kept secure, and the sites abide by fair play standards.
You’ll find plenty of tips online whenever the Ashes roll around, but take them with a pinch of salt. Remember, there are no sure things in betting, and doing your own research can help you make the best-informed choices.
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Daniel is the editor-in-chief at Compare.bet. He has half a decade of experience writing on topics including sports betting, online casino and the NBA. Daniel also covers Premier League football for The Warm-Up and has interviewed Louis Saha, Richard Dunne and Gary Pallister. In his spare time, Daniel enjoys film photography and making Spotify playlists.