Football betting has changed dramatically over the years, and the service on offer now is far superior to anything we have had in the past. The number of markets available and the different ways in which punters can bet is great for those who want to find something different, whether that’s by adding value to a bet or by betting on an outcome that doesn’t involve picking the winner.
The half-time-full-time betting market, often referred to as HT/FT betting for short, is not something new, it is actually one of the oldest betting markets and was a real staple for punters back in the 1990s when football betting was starting to evolve properly, though still in its infancy. It was one of the earliest ways, alongside betting on a correct score, where punters could add value to their betting and find a bigger priced selection to go with.
How Does a HT/FT Bet Work?
This market centres around picking a team to win, but that than picking a team to win the game, you have to choose two different selections, one to be the winner at half-time and one to be the winner at full-time. This is where the HT/FT name comes from.
Rather than just having the three possible outcomes that we have with the regular match-winner market, there are a total of nine different outcomes here, and these are listed below:
- HT Result – FT Result
- Home Win – Home Win
- Home Win – Draw
- Home Win – Away Win
- Draw – Home Win
- Draw – Draw
- Draw – Away Win
- Away Win – Away Win
- Away Win – Draw
- Away Win – Home Win
With each of these, you have three options for the winner of the game at half-time and then three options for the winner of the game at full-time. You can combine these in any way you like and can choose all three options and match them together, there are no rules around what you pick.
Essentially, this makes the bet a double on the same game. The first part of the bet is to pick the half-time winner, and the second part of the bet is to pick the full-time winner.
Adding Value Using the HT/FT Market
There are two ways in which punters use this market. The first is to add value to selections you think will win, so for example, if you think the home team will win the game, rather than backing them to do so, use this market and back them to be ahead at half time and ahead at full time.
This is great for when you are backing teams that you think will dominate the game or when you are backing a team that is known for having a quick start and one that likes to score early goals. Rather than just backing them to win on the regular three-way betting market, this is a way in which you can add value and get a bigger price on your bet when you think a first-half goal is going to come.
Secondly, for really big prices, try and go with a game that will change, so you are backing different selections at half-time and full-time. The smallest way to do this is to back a draw, followed by someone winning, for example, draw at half time and away win at full time.
For bigger prices, go with a goal in the first half but then a draw at the end, so a home win at half time, followed by a draw at full time. Lastly, the biggest prices on this market will be found when you back a complete turnaround, so a home win at half time, with an away win at full time.
The Difficulty of Getting Things Right on the HT/FT Betting Market
Of course, when you are betting on this market, you are always going to get a better price than when you bet on the win market. But with this bigger price comes a bigger risk, as you have to get more than just the game winner right.
This market is not the easiest to predict because you have to get the half-time result correct. This is after just 45 minutes of football, so a shorter timeframe in which you have to get the right outcome. It is possible for a team to completely dominate a game and win comfortably but not be winning at half time. We’ve all seen this in the past, where a team has dominated but failed to score, and then when they have eventually scored in the second half, they’ve gone on to add two or three more to it.
For this reason, the half-time, the full-time betting market isn’t usually one for big stakes or for bets such as accumulators. The market itself is the added risk to your betting, so you don’t need to add anything else to that, as it will only make things even harder to get right.
One Bet, One Stake, Two Selections
To round off this article, it is important to note how this bet is constructed and what you are actually doing when you place this bet. The bet is just one single bet, with one stake on it, but there are two separate selections as part of the bet. Firstly, the half-time result, and then secondly, the full-time result.
This is where the additional risk comes from because you are essentially placing a double on the game, and this is why the bet has bigger odds because you are betting on more than one thing to come right. The more complex you make your double, such as the home team winning at half-time and the away team winning at full-time, the bigger the odds. Picks, where you are backing a team to dominate, get ahead and stay ahead, are shorter odds but still bigger than the win market, as you are adding risk by selecting the half-time winner as well as the full-time winner.
Of course since online betting became a thing you can now bet on all sorts of differnt HT/FT connotations. One of the most popular after the straight result is to bet on the correct score at half-time and full-time. This provides larger odds than betting on the correct score alone but it of course requires a double prediction and so is harder to win.
Other variants include both teams to score in the first or second half or both, over / under goals in each half, half with the most goals, exact goals, odd/even, etc. Effectively many of the bets you can place on the full-time result can also be placed at HT/FT.