Live Betting and In-Play Betting

Live betting and in-play betting

If you look back on the traditions of betting on sport then bets always took place before the event. That was until the late 1990s when some bookmakers started taking bets over the phone during matches. Fast-forward 20 years and live betting / in-play betting is a key feature for bettors of every level.

You may have heard of it, but never used it. Well, in this article we will discuss it in full and talk about why you should pay close attention to live betting.

What is in-play betting?

Betting live or in-play, both are used depending on the bookmaker, are bets that are placed after an event has started and right up to its conclusion. This means you are betting on the game as it is happening live and you can use the dynamics and variables that you have seen during the event so far to help influence your strategy. It is extremely popular in most sports including the likes of ice-hockey, baseball, football and soccer.

In-Play betting removes some of the importance of studying form and statistics pre-event and lets you make an educated decision based on the action unfolding in front of you.

How do I bet in-play?

If you have never bet in-play before, it may seem like a daunting proposition. But worry not, we’re on hand to guide you step-by-step through what is a very simple process. Most sportsbooks that offer in-play markets will have an in-play tab or section that you can click which will showcase all the live events that you can currently bet on. If you know exactly what event you want to bet on then you can also locate that specific game through a search feature or via the menu to discover the in-play options.

Timing is key to in-play betting, so you will want to make sure you know exactly when to place your bet. Take too much time and the score may have changed which means the odds will also adapt to reflect this change. Once you have decided to place your bet, there is usually a very small delay of a second or two for the bet to be processed while the platform checks for key events such as if a goal, touchdown or home run hasn’t taken place that very second. The beauty of live betting is that odds can change in an instant as key actions happen on the pitch and it is your job to make the most of them.

What markets are available in-play?

When looking at your options for live and in-play bets, there will be many markets you are familiar with, some you are not so familiar with, and there may even be some that aren’t available that you were initially looking for. There are thousands of markets available in-play and you will continually find new and exciting markets to enjoy depending on which sport you are betting on. We are going to take a look at some of the most common markets that are used across a broad range of sports.

Match Winner

Match winner bets are popular both before the match and in-play. You simply select who you think will come out victorious and if you are correct your bet pays out

Next team to score

Next team to score allows you to pick which team you think will get the next goal during a game. It could be late on in a game with loads of goals scored already, or early on and still a tentative goalless match. This market allows you to bet on the next team to score through the entire duration of the game.

Next scorer

Just like the next team to score market, but instead you are selecting an individual player to get the next goal. Obviously, this is quite hard to predict so the odds on this market are likely to be high.

Correct Score

The correct score market allows you to choose what you think the final score will be right up until the last minute. The longer the game goes on, the shorter the odds will become for the current score line so timing is crucial in order for you to both win and collect a decent amount of profit.

Total Goals

The total goals in-play market enables you to predict the overall number of goals scored without having to select the exact correct score. The score might be 3-3 and you think there is going to be another goal but you can’t predict which way, you can simply select seven total goals and place your bet and you are a winner either way if someone else scores.

In-Play Market Suspensions

We have touched on this already very briefly, but it is worth addressing further because you will regularly see that an in-play market is suspended. This usually happens when a significant action has taken place during the event and the markets have been suspended to allow the bookmaker to reflect this action in their odds. It can happen several times throughout a game as a goal is scored, a penalty is awarded or a whole host of other game outcome changing events. The odds will be updated as quickly as possible with the revised and refreshed odds back live within a matter of moments for you to continue your betting. So, don’t be alarmed if your match states ‘bet suspended’, it should be live and back with you very shortly.

Features of In-Play Betting

As the popularity of live betting has soared, sportsbooks have looked at how they can alter their platforms to accommodate the change in demand. In-play betting has changed the dynamics completely and helped revolutionize sports betting. Not only can you bet in-play but you can now also watch the action live, cash out your bet early and follow live stats and graphics that keep you right up to date with the state of play.

Live Streaming

One of the biggest positives that has come out of in-play betting is the development of live streaming. Live streaming and in-play betting go hand in hand and they now sit at the forefront of the sports betting industry. Many leading bookmakers will allow you to stream thousands of sporting events every year via their betting platform as long as you meet the criteria, which is usually based around if you have either placed a bet on the event or have money in your account to bet with. Live streaming also allows you to watch the action unfold on your mobile phone and place bets on the go.

Cash Out

Cash outs are another great feature that has come out of the development of in-play betting. The cash out feature allows you the opportunity to cash out on a current bet before the final outcome has been decided. This gives you the flexibility to either secure a percentage of your winnings or cut your losses if your bet looks set to lose. For example, if you have backed the Maple Leafs to win with a C$10 bet at 1/1 then that will secure you a C$20 return, however, if they are 3-1 up in the 3rd period but you feel it is a vulnerable lead, the sportsbook may offer you a cash out option of C$16 and that means you can guarantee yourself the C$16 rather than take the risk trying to win the full C$20.

Follow the Action through Visualisations

Many bookmakers will offer you the opportunity to follow the action through live visualisation graphics as well as displays of facts and figures. So, even if you can’t watch the action live, you can follow all the key events to get an understanding of the feel of the game. These graphics can be extremely detailed. For example, when watching soccer games there will be an image of the pitch that updates and shows you the area of the pitch the ball is in and who is attacking at any one specific moment in time.

In-Play Betting Tips

So, you have got to grips with what in-play betting is, how you can get involved, what markets you might expect to see, and the key features that have come off the back of its introduction. Now you’re equipped with the information and you’re ready to get betting. Well, almost. Let’s take a look at some key tips to bear in mind when placing bets in-play and how you can get the most value from your in-play betting strategy.

Back the favourite who is not currently winning

Backing the favourite who is currently not winning will give you the opportunity to take advantage of favourable odds for a team or individual who is still likely to find their way back into the match. It might be that they have conceded early, but the game has plenty of time left for the momentum to swing, or it could be a tie late on in the game and their class finally shines through. There is good value in backing the favourite when they are not in front.

Bet against the momentum

Getting to grips with and understanding the games momentum is crucial for live betting. For example, team A may score early and their confidence in the game continues to grow which will increase their likelihood of winning. The opposite could be said for Team B. They’ve lost an early goal and may have lost a player to injury or suspension, and their in-play odds will start to fall. Backing losing favourites or the next goal scorer will allow you to secure the strongest possible live betting odds.

Hedge your bets

When you hedge your bets, you bet on a different outcome to the one you originally bet on to ensure that you are guaranteed at least some level of profit or reduce any potential loss. So, let’s look at an example of ice-hockey. You have placed a pre-match bet on Team A to win and into the final period it is finely poised, but Team B looks the more likely victor, so you decide to place an in-play bet on Team B and it will minimize the loss on your pre-match bet. Having the option to change your strategy midgame really can help you to maximize your profits, if done correctly.

Make the most of cash out

As we previously touched on, the vast majority of sportsbooks nowadays offer the cash out feature. Utilizing this correctly can prove to be extremely profitable. Whether that is in the short-term when cashing out on your current bet, or in the long-term and cashing out to save potential losses, it is a crucial feature that should be included in your live betting strategy.

Bet on substitutes as any time scorers

Betting on the substitute to be an anytime scorer is a great value option for those who have done their research. There may be a star player on the bench or a player in fine form who you are confident will be introduced at some stage. This will make their odds favourable as an anytime scorer and so you can utilize these markets to your advantage.


Live and in-play markets are a key aspect of betting in the modern world. A huge majority of bookmakers now offer extensive in-play markets for their customers as they realize the importance as well as the advantages that bettors can take from them. In this article you have hopefully grasped the basics in understanding how in-play betting works, the markets you have available to you, the key features to utilize while live betting, what to look out for, as well as a range of useful tips that you can use in your betting strategy.

Live Betting - FAQ

Can you place bets during an event?

Yes! Live and in-play betting allows punters to continue the fun while an event is taking place with a huge range of exciting markets available that can be bet on quickly.

What is an in-play bet?

In-play (or live) betting is betting while the event is taking place. For example, you can bet on a huge range of outcomes for an ice-hockey match throughout the duration and right up until the final whistle. When live betting, the odds are changing in real-time, as the event unfolds.

Where can I bet in-play?

Nearly all bookmakers now offer the opportunity for bettors to place their bets in-play. You will be able to locate the ‘in-play’ tab on their homepage and this will display the current available markets for you to bet on at that moment in time.