Beyond making the basic bets on which team will win a match or by how much, many bookmakers offer a wide range of potential bets to the soccer punter. Virtually every aspect of a game can be bet on in several different ways. Below are a few of the broad categories of alternative bets that are available.
Goal betting is already very popular and can be done many different ways. One can bet on which team or which individual player will make the first goal or the last one. Bets can be made on which players will make goals during the match or which players will make goals in the first or second halves of the game. Other bets include which player will make the most goals during the match, the positions of the players that score, and how the first goal will be scored. If a team has a dominant striker, the bettor can make an informed bet on who will score goals during the match.
Card bets are wagers regarding yellow and red cards issued during the match. One can bet on which team or which individual players will receive yellow or red cards during the match. One can also bet on the total number of yellow or red cards to be issued during the match combined. If a team has one or two aggressive players with a record of getting in trouble, the punter can make an informed bet on which player is likely to receive a card in the match.
Halftime bets effectively turn one game into two by allowing the punter to make all the same bets one makes for a regular match, but reducing the applicable period of time to the first or second half of the game. Some teams are well known for starting off slowly and finally getting into stride in the second half, or starting off strongly and then losing the initiative. One can also bet on who will win over all in each half of a game. An informed bettor familiar with the tendencies of particular teams can make good money by betting on the results of half the game.
Other bets can be made on the shirt numbers of goal scorers (or card recipients), on the outcome of referee decisions, whether or not the game will go into overtime, the number of corners taken, and so on. These only include the bets that can be made within one game. If one looks beyond the individual match, a whole new range of bets become available, from how many goals will be scored by all teams on a particular day to which teams are likely to advance to the next round or be relegated.