What is Live In-Play Betting?

Golf BettingOne of the biggest changes to the betting industry over the past couple of decades has been the creation of in-play betting. This has completely revolutionised the way that people can bet, and many have been taking advantage of this.

Gone are the days when betting was over from the moment an event started. Thanks to in-play betting, punters are able to place a bet while the game is taking place, and this is on many of the markets that were available pre-game, and also some that are specifically created for when the game begins.

The change has been huge for the industry and has completely shifted the way in which some people bet. Here’s all you need to know about in-play betting, whether you are already involved and want to learn more or if you’ve always fancied trying it out and think now is the time.

The Basics of In-Play Betting

question marks overlapping on different coloured post it notesIf you’ve never placed a bet in-play before, then this way of betting is very similar to regular wagers, with a couple of small differences. First of all, the odds will change at a rapid rate, depending on what is happening in the game, so you need to make sure you have your eye on these.

Secondly, when a big event happens in the game, the markets will all suspend, and you will not be able to bet. For example, for a goal in football, the markets will be suspended offline for a few seconds and then return with new odds and, if needed, new betting markets ready for you to use.

You can add an in-play bet to others if you want to create a multiple, and these can be either other in-play games or those that haven’t yet started. However, most people use in-play betting to place single wagers on one event.

The main benefit of betting in-play is that you can watch part of the game before you bet. This means, rather than looking at past form, matches against other opponents, and sometimes things that happened a long time ago, you get a real-time look at what is happening in the game.

On top of this, you can also re-invest in a game, if you have seen your bet lose early, you can try out further betting markets that are only available in-play, or you can wait for bigger odds on a selection as the game develops.

In-Play Betting Markets

in play betting example

The number of betting markets that can be used in-play has increased rapidly as the popularity of in-play betting has also grown. There are two different types of betting markets, those that turn in-play and are also available before the game begins, as well as those that are specifically created for in-play betting only.

Pre-game markets such as who will win the game, correct score betting, stats betting around goals, cards and corners, and much more are all turned in-play when the kick off takes place. New markets, mainly based around what will happen next, are what you can expect to see added to them. For example, who will score the next goal, who will win the next 10 minutes, when will the next goal be scored, and more.

One of the great aspects of in-play betting is that whatever your thoughts are on the game while you are watching, you can put them into a bet. It doesn’t have to be something you could bet on prior too. For example, if you see a team on top, playing well, and think they can score the next goal, then you can bet on that. It doesn’t have to be the first goal or involve them winning, there is simply a ‘who will score next’ betting market for this type of scenario.

What Sports Can You Bet In-Play?

in play betting example tennis

Many sports are available for you to bet on in-play, and within these sports, some are better than others or have a different purpose. For example, horse racing is incredibly popular for pre-race betting, one of the most popular betting sports, but because most races are over quickly, it doesn’t convert well to in-play betting, very few operators have this available, and if they do, only for selected races.

However, something such as football, cricket, basketball or ice hockey lasts a lot longer and does convert well into in-play betting. You can watch the flow of the game with these sports and work out what you think is happening, who is on top, and where you want to bet.

When betting on these sports, decisions still need to be made quickly, at every instance other than the breaks, because these are fast-moving, and the odds could change dramatically if one major incident happens.

Alternatively, we also have other sports where the breaks are much longer, so these go in-play, but also have big breaks where people can take their time and consider any bets they want to place. For example, golf events that are played across four days go in-play at the start and remain there until the end, but at the end of each round, there’s a big gap for betting. The same can be said about darts, snooker and cricket, all heightening their appeal to those who want to bet in-play.

The sports covered, and what leagues and events are part of that coverage, continues to grow, and this is expected to keep moving forward while ever more and more people turn to in-play betting. As long as demand is there, bookmakers will keep investing and improving what is on offer.

The In-Play Time Delay

man pressing a stopwatch timeIf you’ve never placed an in-play bet before, then it is important to understand the time delay in place with your bets. When you choose a selection and add to your betslip, there is still the chance that the odds could change before you put the bet on. This is more likely to happen with in-play bets compared to pre-match wagers simply because of the fast pace and chance of something happening in game.

However, to protect you and the bookmaker, when you actually place the bet and press confirm, there is a time delay of a few seconds added before the bet is confirmed as being on. This is usually around three seconds but varies depending on the bookmaker.

The reason this is in place is to protect bookmakers from something known in the industry as courtsiding. This is when people are at an event, and those watching from home, including bookmakers, are seeing the action slightly delayed. Those at the event can have bets ready to go, then when they see something happen, they can place the bet. No one knows this has happened away from the event because people are watching slightly delayed pictures. Even if this is just two or three seconds, it can make a huge difference to bets.

The process is also there to protect you from placing a bet and seeing it lose immediately after. This is a risk with in-play betting that you have to factor in when placing bets, but if you are two or three seconds behind, this will prevent you from falling foul straight away.

So, if you’ve never placed an in-play bet before, and you see this small-time delay while you are betting for the first time, then this is why bookmakers do that.

Live Streaming In-Play Events

live streaming

A big reason why in-play betting has seen such a rapid rise over the years is because it has been joined by an increase in live streaming of events via bookmaker websites. These two go hand in hand for bookmakers, people are more likely to use the in-play betting markets if live streaming is available, so to grow in-play, growth in live streaming was also needed.

If an event is being live-streamed by a bookmaker, then they will almost certainly offer in-play betting alongside that. Although there may be a separate live streaming section of the website with some bookmakers, if you head into the in-play section and choose a game, if streaming is available, then you will be able to watch it, alongside checking out the live markets. This gives punters everything they need on one screen.

Of course, there are various TV deals and rights in place that prevent bookmakers from showing everything to their players, and this may result in the minor games being the only ones that are shown. However, in terms of an experience for the user, the fact that those who want to bet in-play can find games to do that while also being able to stream them live means that bookmakers have an incredibly strong grip on this service.

When Should You Place an In-Play Bet?

man holding question mark signs up

One of the biggest conundrums for those betting in-play is not just about what they are going to bet on, but it also covers when they are going to place the bet. The reason for this is the changes that involve the odds on offer and the fact that one big event in the game could change them considerably.

This is all a fine balance, and if you are new to in-play betting, one of the first rules you need to understand is that you will get this wrong sometimes, and you could be proven wrong almost instantly.

For example, you could bet on a team to win, and two minutes later, they could concede a goal. Instantly, you’ve got a bet that is struggling but also one that offers much lower value because the odds have changed a lot after they conceded to reflect their chances. Of course, this could work the opposite way, you could bet on a team before they score, which means a great chance of winning the game and also, their odds will have decreased a lot.

In terms of the time you bet, with in-play wagers, the stakes are higher because you have to factor in what could happen in the game, as well as what could happen to the betting odds. Many people will see in-play betting as a game where they wait out to get better value, and knowing when to jump in, is part of the excitement.

It’s another thing for punters to consider and another decision to make. You won’t always get it right, but when you do, you can instantly put yourself in a great position, sometimes just a few minutes after placing the bet.

Tips for In-Play Betting

goal football shot on target

To round off, for those who are looking to learn more about in-play betting or for those who are looking to try it for the first time, here are our key tips for in-play betting.

  • Take note of the markets and look for new opportunities. For example, bets such as who will score next and who will win the next 10 minutes are all brand new to some people but fit perfectly with thoughts while watching a live game so that they could be used by many people
  • Be prepared to get things wrong. In-play betting is often very fast-paced, with odds changes regularly and also the chance of a big incident happening in the game straight after your bet. You won’t get it right every time, as you have even more to think about than you do with regular pre-match betting
  • Look out for events you can watch live. Without this, you are guessing, making it harder for yourself to get a winner. Bookmakers offer many live streams, and other games can be viewed on TV or even in person. Try to put things in your favour by having everything in front of you so that you can make the best possible betting decision
  • Don’t be afraid to really break the game down into small sections. With pre-match betting, this is tough, but thanks to the in-play markets, you could, if you wanted to, bet on 10-minute segments, or the next big event to happen, eg a goal. This can be a real positive when you are looking for momentum and who is on top and then betting on them.