How Common Are Hat-Tricks In Football?

hat-trickWhenever you look for a bookmaker that you might fancy placing a bet with, one of the chief things that you’ll likely do is keep an offer out for the sort of offers that they might present you with on a regular basis. One of the popular ones involves paying you out additional amounts of money if a player that you’ve bet on to score a goal goes on to score a hat-trick during the match.

It’s understandably an appealing bet, given that it means that you’ll be paid out more without actually having to place a bet specifically on them scoring a hat-trick or committing any more money than your original stake. Bookmakers, though, aren’t stupid. They know that’s not in their interests to promise a pay out that will cost them huge amounts of money, so how often does it actually happen?

Hat-Tricks In The Premier League

2009-2010 14 Jermain Defoe (x2), Yossi Benayoun, Fernando Torres, Robbie Keane, Aruna Dindane, Wayne Rooney (x2), Carlos Tevez (x2), Darren Bent, Frank Lampard, Salomon Kalou, Didier Drogba
2010-2011 17 Didier Drogba, Theo Walcott, Andy Carroll, Dimitar Berbatov (x3), Kevin Nolan, Mario Balotelli, Leon Best, Robin van Persie, Carlos Tevez, Louis Saha, Dirk Kuyt, Wayne Rooney, Maxi Rodriguez (x2), Somen Tchoyi
2011-2012 19 Edin Džeko, Wayne Rooney, Demba Ba (x2), Frank Lampard, Andrew Johnson, Robin van Persie (x2), Yakubu, Dimitar Berbatov, Clint Dempsey, Peter Odemwingie, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Steven Gerrard, Carlos Tevez, Luis Suarez, Fernando Torres
2012-2013 13 Robin van Persie (x2), Luis Suarez (x2), Jordi Gomez, Santi Cazorla, Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Shinji Kagawa, Christian Benteke, Daniel Sturridge, Kevin Nolan, Romelu Lukaku
2013-2014 8 Luis Suarez (x3), Adam Johnson, Samuel Eto’o, Eden Hazard, André Schurrle, Yaya Touré
2014-2015 10 Diego Costa, Sergio Agüero (x2), Charlie Austin, Jonathan Walters, Harry Kane, Christian Benteke, Yannick Bolasie, Sadio Mané, Theo Walcott
2015-2016 14 Callum Wilson, Steven Naismith, Alexis Sanchez, Sergio Agüero (x2), Raheem Sterling, Georginio Wijnaldum, Harry Kane, Arouna Koné, Riyad Mahrez, Jermaine Defoe, Andy Carroll, Sadio Mané, Olivier Giroud
2016-2017 11 Romelu Lukaku (x2), Alexis Sanchez, Jamie Vardy, Salomón Rondón, Andre Gray, Harry Kane (x4), Joshua King
2017-2018 10 Sergio Agüero (x3), Alvaro Morata, Callum Wilson, Wayne Rooney, Harry Kane (x2), Aaron Ramsey, Mohamed Salah
2018-2019 11 Sergio Agüero (x3), Eden Hazard, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, Gerard Deulofeu, Raheem Sterling, Lucas Moura, Ayoze Pérez

As we are an English site, the most obvious place to start is by looking at the Premier League. We’re also going to try to make sure that we avoid getting caught up in any anomalies by looking at ten seasons.

The table above shows the information on hat-tricks for the ten seasons that range from 2009-2010 to 2018-2019:

Players Often Score More Than One Hat-Trick

There are a number of things that we can pick up on immediately after viewing the information above. The first is that it’s actually quite rare for players to only score one hat-trick. Across the ten seasons there were 127 hat-tricks scored. Here’s the list of players that scored them:

  • Sergio Agüero (10)
  • Harry Kane (8)
  • Luis Suarez (6)
  • Robin van Persie (5)
  • Wayne Rooney (5)
  • Dimitar Berbatov (4)
  • Carlos Tevez (4)
  • Jermaine Defoe (3)
  • Theo Walcott (3)
  • Romelu Lukaku (3)
  • Fernando Torres (2)
  • Frank Lampard (2)
  • Didier Drogba (2)
  • Andy Carroll (2)
  • Kevin Nolan (2)
  • Maxi Rodriguez (2)
  • Demba Ba (2)
  • Christian Benteke (2)
  • Eden Hazard (2)
  • Sadio Mané (2)
  • Callum Wilson (2)
  • Raheem Sterling (2)
  • Alexis Sanchez (2)
  • Mohamed Salah (2)
  • Robbie Keane (1)
  • Aruna Dindane (1)
  • Darren Bent (1)
  • Salomon Kalou (1)
  • Mario Balotelli (1)
  • Yossi Benayoun (1)
  • Leon Best (1)
  • Louis Saha (1)
  • Dirk Kuyt (1)
  • Somen Tchoyi (1)
  • Edin Džeko (1)
  • Yakubu (1)
  • Clint Dempsey (1)
  • Peter Odemwingie (1)
  • Pavel Pogrebnyak (1)
  • Steven Gerrard (1)
  • Jordi Gomez (1)
  • Santi Cazorla (1)
  • Gareth Bale (1)
  • Shinji Kagawa (1)
  • Daniel Sturridge (1)
  • Adam Johnson (1)
  • Samuel Eto’o (1)
  • André Schurrle (1)
  • Yaya Touré (1)
  • Diego Costa (1)
  • Charlie Austin (1)
  • Jonathan Walters (1)
  • Yannick Bolasie (1)
  • Steven Naismith (1)
  • Georginio Wijnaldum (1)
  • Arouna Koné (1)
  • Riyad Mahrez (1)
  • Olivier Giroud (1)
  • Jamie Vardy (1)
  • Salomón Rondón (1)
  • Andre Gray (1)
  • Joshua King (1)
  • Alvaro Morata (1)
  • Aaron Ramsey (1)
  • Roberto Firmino (1)
  • Diogo Jota (1)
  • Gerard Deulofeu (1)
  • Lucas Moura (1)
  • Ayoze Pérez (1)

sergio agueroOf the 127 hat-tricks scored across the ten seasons, 79 of them were scored by people who had more than one to their name. That’s an interesting anomaly and suggests that scoring hat-tricks is as much about confidence as it is about ability.

If a player believes that they’ve got the ability to score a hat-trick because they’ve got the muscle memory to do so, there’s an increased chance that they’ll do so in the future.

Of course, there are plenty of players on the list that haven’t scored more than one hat-trick, so just because a player has done it once doesn’t mean that they won’t necessarily do it again.

That being said, if you know anything about football then it’s reasonably easy to see the players that are more likely to score hat-tricks than others. There’s no surprise to see names like Harry Kane, Sergio Agüero and Mohamed Salah in the list of people who’ve scored more than one hat-trick, for example, because anyone that has watched football knows that they’re players with a killer instinct in front of goal.

Where Players Are From Plays A Part

english footballFrom the beginning of the Premier League to the end of the 2018-2019 season, there have been 324 hat-tricks scored in the Premier League. Of those, 146 of them were scored by English players.

There’s an extend to which that’s somewhat obvious, given that the Premier League is the English top-flight and is therefore more likely to have players from England than any other country playing in it. Yet it’s also worth bearing in mind that it has become more and more common for foreign players to ply their trade in the Premier League as the years have passed.

There’s still an extent to which it’s slightly surprising that the different is so vast between England and other nations. The next closest is the Netherlands, which is responsible for providing the goalscorer of a hat-trick on 18 different occasions. The drop off from 146 to 18 is huge.

What’s The Answer To The Question?

hat trickThe original question posed in the article, then, was how common hat-tricks are in football. Using the Premier League as the bench-mark for the rest of Europe, which might be cheating to some extent but it’s what we’re doing anyway, you can see that there have been 127 hat-tricks across 3800 games.

That means that there is a 3.34% chance of a hat-trick being scored in a game.

It’s quite long odds when you think about it! No wonder that the bookmakers are willing to make an offer that promises you more money if a player scores a hat-trick - they don’t think it’s very likely to happen.

That being said most goalscorer offers for hat-tricks pay out triple if your player scores a hat-trick, but they also usually pay out double if they score a brace, which obviously happens more often.

Should You Bet On It?

betfred football double delightDoes that stat mean that you might as well ignore offers like that? No at all, especially if they don’t cost you much money. What it does mean, though, is that you should think twice before intentionally plumping for a bet on a player scoring a hat-trick unless you have a reason to believe that there’s an increased chance that they’re likely to do it.

It’s certainly the case that some players really enjoy playing against certain teams, for example. Of the 11 hat-tricks that Sergio Agüero has scored at the time of writing, two have been against Chelsea and two against Newcastle, so if you knew that he was in fine goalscoring form before a match between either of those two sides then it might be worth a cheeky punt.

Equally, Luis Suarez scored six hat-tricks during his time playing for Liverpool. Three of them were against Norwich City. By the time that he’d done it twice, it might have been worth thinking about placing a bet on him to do it again the third time!

What About The Rest Of Europe?

real madrid champions league record winners

That’s a solid look at the Premier League, then, but what about where the rest of Europe is concerned?

Here’s a quick look at La Liga, the Bundesliga and Serie A across the same period. We’re not going to go into the same detail as far as the goal scorers are concerned, having made the point on that front in our look at the Premier League.

La Liga

SeasonNumber Of Hat-Tricks
2009-2010 8
2010-2011 14
2011-2012 23
2012-2013 11
2013-2014 17
2014-2015 21
2015-2016 24
2016-2017 10
2017-2018 18
2018-2019 11

Let’s start with Spain’s top division, then, where Lionel Messi has dominated proceedings on the goal scoring front for some time.

Bearing in mind that Spain also has 380 games in a season, that means that there were 145 hat-tricks, or two fewer than in the Premier League over the same period That works out as around 3.81%. What’s interesting to observe is that the Premier League’s tended to be more evenly spread than La Liga’s.

The Bundesliga

SeasonNumber Of Hat-Tricks
2009-2010 2
2010-2011 1
2011-2012 2
2012-2013 0
2013-2014 2
2014-2015 1
2015-2016 1
2016-2017 5
2017-2018 2
2018-2019 2

How about things in Germany? Do they tend to fit in with the pattern that we’ve already established? In the case of the German league, they only play 306 matches during a domestic campaign, so you’d expect the number of hat-tricks scored to be slightly lower.

As you can see, defences a lot more stingy in Germany! Across 3,060 games there were just 17 hat-tricks scored. That means that there is a 0.55% chance of a hat-trick being scored in a German match, so that’s probably one worth avoiding when it comes to the hat-trick betting market.

Serie A

SeasonNumber Of Hat-Tricks
2009-2010 8
2010-2011 13
2011-2012 12
2012-2013 16
2013-2014 11
2014-2015 6
2015-2016 4
2016-2017 18
2017-2018 16
2018-2019 5

Italy is notorious for having a solid defensive structure in place, so you’d expect for there to be even fewer hat-tricks to write about in Serie A than we had in the Bundesliga.

Above we look at that same ten season period. Things return to slightly closer to the mean with a trip to Italy, despite the nation having a reputation of being far stingier at the back than anywhere else. 109 hat-tricks were scored across 3800 games, for a percentage chance of 2.86% that there’ll be a hat-trick scored in a Serie A game.

Conclusion: Hat-Tricks Scored In Around 3% Of Games

3 percentIs there a satisfactory conclusion to be drawn? The only one that we can offer with any real sense of conviction is that you might want to think twice before betting on a hat-trick scored in a game in Germany. That said, you might also want to check out maths because we’ve had to rub our eyes several times to make sure that’s right!

Another thing worth bearing in mind is that there are more similarities between the Premier League and La Liga than the other two divisions that we’ve looked at here. They are the two most attacking divisions in Europe, so that’s hardly all that surprising, yet there’s still only around a 3% chance that you’ll actually see a hat-trick scored in either of them.