Last Updated on September 25, 2022
Fact checked by: Jesse M Cox
A duck is the term used when a batsman is dismissed during a game of cricket, having scored no runs at all. The term ‘duck’ is thought to be a reference to the fact that the figure for zero, 0, resembles the shape of an egg, and the longer version of the phrase is actually ‘out for a duck’s egg’.
There are few things worse for a batsman than being out for a duck, but there are certain types of duck which are even more unimpressive than the standard duck. If a batsman is out from the very first ball of an innings then they are said to have scored a golden duck, and a diamond duck is awarded for the extremely rare cases of a batsman being given out without actually having faced a delivery.
A royal duck, which is known as a platinum duck in some parts of the world, is used when a batsman is given out following the first ball of the first innings of a match.
There are two good reasons why betting on a royal duck is extremely risky. The first reason is that the name given for a duck of this kind differs in different parts of the world, since cricket is a genuinely global sport. Any bettor who does choose to place a bet on the likelihood of a royal duck occurring should first make sure that the bookmaker they are betting with uses the phrase to mean exactly the same as they do.
Aside from this, betting on royal ducks is risky because of the simple fact that they are difficult to predict and extremely rare. Some players have a slight habit of scoring golden ducks, such as Muttiah Muralitharan, but this habit itself would make it highly unlikely, if not completely impossible, that they would be sent out to face the first ball of any match. The sheer range of in-play betting offered by every form of cricket, from next dismissal to number of no balls, makes betting on the chance of a royal duck really not worth risking.