Betting on the double chance market means betting on two different match outcomes with one bet.
Typically, this will be betting on a team to either win or draw the match.
You are effectively covering two of the three match scenarios with one wager.
Not all bookmakers will offer double chance on cricket, and you find that the odds are often very short on this market, particularly if one team is a heavy favourite.
Why is this? Well, if India are playing Afghanistan in a Test, it is fair to assume India will be heavy favourites.
If double chance betting was offered on this match and you wanted to cover an India win or a draw, then the odds are going to be even shorter to reflect this.
If you bet just on India, then the bookmakers have two ways to thwart your bet - the draw or the Afghanistan win. But if you take the draw as well, then only an unlikely Afghanistan win will save them from paying out.
Occasionally you will also be able to cover either team winning, leaving the draw as the only way to lose.
Often double chance won't be offered on both teams, and the market usually represents poor betting value.
Double chance betting in cricket is not something we would advise betting on regularly. But there will be circumstances where it is worth considering.
Test cricket is really the only format where draws occur. And we are referring to draws where one or both teams have not completed their innings by the scheduled end of play.
A tie - when both teams are exactly level after all sides have completed their innings - has happened just twice in Test history in over 2,000 Tests!
In 1997, almost half of all Tests played ended in a draw - 21 out of 44. That number has plummeted since - by 2016 only a sixth of Tests ended in a draw.
With tactics and techniques from the super-fast T20 format increasingly bullying their way past the slower way of play that defined Test cricket, draws are becoming increasingly rarer.
However, if you believe a surprise result or a draw is possible, then backing an outsider in the double chance market can be rewarding.
But before you place this wager, you must consider whether a draw could really happen. You must have a strong belief that circumstances could conspire to enable a draw to happen - otherwise the double chance wager doesn't make sense.
Similarly, if you don't fancy the outsider at all, then betting on the draw is going to be a much better wager.
The number one factor leading to a draw is surely the weather. If rain is forecast during a Test match, then it's possible delays will mean a side can't complete their innings and a draw could happen.
And remember, teams can avoid defeat in a deciding Test by avoiding getting all-out. The actual scores won't matter in this scenario.
Pitch conditions are another to consider. If they strongly favour batsman, then it's reasonable to assume bowlers will struggle. If the team is on the way to a big total with the loss of very few wickets, then the captain of the batting side will now have a dilemma.
If a captain decides to declare on a score - end the innings despite not all batsman being out - this is a calculated risk. They need to be confident they have a winning total that won't be surpassed.
And secondly, they need to give themselves enough time to bowl out the opposing team. If the team declare too late, then they can make it easier for their rivals to play out for a draw.
Here's an example. Team A are playing Team B in a best-of-three Test match. Team A are a far superior team and are the right favourites, but Team B are improving with some decent batsman. Team B have also gained a reputation for pulling off shock results against the game's big names.
For this argument, let's say all Tests will take place at the same cricket ground and wet pitch conditions are set to favour batsman. Much rain is forecast during the series.
The betting is like this. Team A 1.11 | Draw 11.00 | Team B 26.00
With all that we know, is there value in betting on Team B in the double chance market at 7.50?
Potentially. Bowlers could struggle and forecasts rain delays could lead to a disjointed game. We also know Team B has solid batters who have the talent to take a stand.
And the benefit of betting on a scenario like this where the odds are relatively big is that we don't need to stake much to take a stab at a decent payout.
We also can possibly take a good position early that we may be able to trade out during the match as the odds shift.
While double chance betting on cricket is not a market you will play on regularly, it's always worth learning about new ones.
Being a solid cricket bettor is knowing when to take a risk at a juicy price. Most cricket bettors will always want to play on the favourite and in most cases their odds will be shorter than they should be as a result.
The main criteria for betting on double chance is: 1) Can I truly see this team winning the match? 2) Is a draw a real runner?
Remember, you will get better odds on a draw than you will on double chance. So double chance betting doesn't make sense if the side you are covering has no chance of winning.
If you think they will play for a draw, then back the draw!
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