What is In-Play Betting?

For most punters, betting on a sports game or match means placing a wager days or even weeks before the event. In most cases, the sooner you make your prediction, the better the odds. As the event gets closer the odds tend to shift making it not worth your while. This is not the only way to bet on sport though. Live, or in-play betting, gives you the opportunity to put money on the action as the game unfolds, right until the final whistle blows.

The Basics Explained

While it takes a lot of research and skill to predict how a team will perform on game day, there are so many factors to consider, and the slightest change in circumstances can affect the outcome. It is in these cases that many punters wish they could place a wager at half time or somewhere during the first quarter. Live sports betting gives you the freedom to do just this. Instead of the markets opening up before the event, bookmakers only start opening markets once the starting whistle has blown.

While the odds start out fairly even, they rapidly shift depending on what is happening in a game. In general, they are updated every 10 minutes, or whenever there is a major shift in the action. With football for example, they would immediately shift as soon as a corner is awarded, a penalty is awarded, a red card is given or when a goal is scored.

The Benefits of In-Play Betting

With pre-match online sports betting, the chances of finding really appealing odds are quite slim. With major games the bookmakers have done so much research that you would struggle to back a team at prices higher than 1.60 or 1.70. Since there is always a chance of being wrong, the risk versus reward status is just not worth it. However, if you wait till the game starts and go with in-play wagering, you might just find the perfect opportunity and the right value too.

Let’s look at a simple example. Let’s say there is an upcoming rugby match between Ireland and Scotland. You are not sure who will win but you think Scotland have the edge. The bookmakers have posted odds of 1.60 on Scotland and 1.90 on Ireland. Again, the risk is simply not worth the reward, so you decide to go with in-play betting. In the first five minutes, Ireland scores a try and converts. Suddenly the odds shift and now Scotland is priced at 2.50. Ireland is then awarded a penalty and get another try before the first half. The score line is 17-0, and now Scotland are priced at 6.00 or even 8.00.

Implementing Strategies

If you are still confident that Scotland can come back and win it, you can place a live fixed odds wager of $50 at a price of 8.00. In the second half, Scotland come out all fired up and score an early try. The price shifts, but your wager is secured. If the team does manage to claw their way back and win the game, you will be paid out a healthy $400 for your efforts, which is far more than you could have ever expected before the match started.

Live sports betting is riskier but offers the chance to get higher odds. It can be useful with teams and individuals who are known for performing better in the second half or coming back from a deficit. This style of wagering is particularly popular with 5-day cricket, where the action shifts all the time, but it can be found in many other sports too, and is just as rewarding.