This is an increasingly popular form of betting. Also known as ‘live’ betting or ‘in-running’ betting, it allows you to bet on sporting events as they occur, during the actual flow of the game.
With more and more sport being shown live on TV, and real-time streaming of events over the internet, numerous sports are open to this exciting form of betting.
Online betting is where in-play betting comes into its own. As well as betting on the result of the event, you can bet as the odds change according to what takes place during the game, such as who will win the next set in a tennis match, or score the next goal at football.
You can compare odds on different bookies’ platforms by having different sites open at the same time, and switching between them. Some bookies are quicker to update their odds than others!
One of the great advantages of in-play betting is that it allows you to take advantage of the unexpected.
Take the example of a football match with a Premier League team is playing a lower league minnow in the early rounds of a cup competition: in such a situation, it is surprisingly common for the underdog to score the first goal.
Say Arsenal are playing Bristol Rovers. Arsenal are obviously the overwhelming favourite – the bookies believe they are bound to win, and their pre-match odds are 1.15 (3/20).
But the odds don’t take into account that Arsenal are ‘resting’ their star players for the next league game against a more equal opponent. Combine that with the Bristol Rovers playing the most exciting match for years, with its players and fans keyed up for the big game, and you get the classic set-up for an upset, or at least, the unexpected.
If Bristol Rovers score first, the odds on Arsenal winning will suddenly increase. They might go from 1.15 to 1.8. The market will still expect them to win, but they now have to score two goals to win.
Betting in-play, you can now get very good odds on the result. If you bet Arsenal to win at 1.8, when they go on to score, the odds will come down again. You can then either ‘cash-out’ the bet for a profit, or sit tight and await the inevitable victory.
In-play betting is also useful where a bet starts to go wrong. If it looks as though the team/player/horse you have backed is not going to win (or the score won’t be Over 2.5 goals, or whatever the bet was), you can ‘hedge’ your bet to limit your losses.