How to Place Bets In-Play?

bet in-play

In-Play betting is no longer a niche concept, with millions of betting customers now placing live wagers across a wide range of sports every week. Indeed, bookmakers such as bet365 report that they regularly see more bets placed on In-Play markets than pre-match, with customers waiting for kick-off before deciding which way to bet.

In this article, we look at why you should consider betting In-Play, the pitfalls associated with this type of wagering and new initiatives that accompany this type of punting such as Cash Out and Live Streaming.

What is In-Play Betting?

Let’s start with the basics. When you bet In-Play, you are betting on a sporting event that is currently taking place. It could be the first minute of a football match, it could be a punt at half-time or it could be a bet struck in the closing stages before the final whistle is blown.

Most bookmakers now offer In-Play betting and you will notice that the odds are constantly changing in accordance with what is happening on the field of play. Operators will provide details on the event in question, including the scoreline, the time elapsed along with the key stats for the match so you can get a full understanding of what’s happening.

How Do I Bet In-Play?

You must firstly have an online betting account. Once this is funded and you have an available balance, then you’re in a position to place an In-Play bet. It’s a simple case of choosing the sporting event where you want to place a bet and then looking at the available markets.

Let’s say you are betting on a football match between Wolves and Liverpool. The game has just kicked off and you can expect to find the below markets available:

  • Full Time Result
  • Double Chance
  • Half Time Result
  • 1st Goal
  • Match Goals
  • Alternative Match Goals
  • First Half Goals
  • Match Corners
As you can see, many of these markets are the same as pre-match, with Full Time Result remaining available until the game is no longer competitive from that angle, with the same applying to Double Chance.

Betting on the 1st Goal can be fun and this is clearly a specialised In-Play betting market which is settled as soon as the ball hits the net for the first time. After that, many bookies will then open a 2nd Goal market and this will continue after every goal has been scored.

When you place an In-Play bet, your wager is generally subjected to a five second delay before the bet is completed. This is simply down to the fact that a bookmaker wants to make sure that a goal hasn’t just been scored and customers are looking to claim an advantage by placing a bet accordingly.

Why Should I Bet In-Play?

Quite simply, In-Play betting tends to offer more excitement than betting on pre-match markets. The action is taking place while the live odds are constantly changing and it can be a real rollercoaster experience when it comes to choosing a market or price before going ahead and confirming your bet.

In-Play betting is also advantageous because customers can assess what’s happening on the field of play before going ahead with their sports wagers. While you might form an initial assumption of how the match might pan out, nothing beats the chance to see the early stages of the game to see how each team might be lining up.

It might be that you notice a particular player is being targeted with crosses and corners, while there might be a team who are in the ascendancy and looking as though they could take the lead at any stage. In-Play betting offers you that flexibility to wait until after kick-off and then judge the game for yourself before deciding where to wager.

Can I Make Money Betting In-Play?

The short answer is yes. While bookmakers bet to more competitive margins when it comes to pre-match, they are often left exposed by customers who are able to observe a particular football match and bet according to their own judgement.

You need to remember that a bookmaker odds doesn’t just come down to the probability of each team winning or each player scoring. It also amounts to the liability that has been built up over time, with the weight of money from customers sending a price going shorter or longer according to popularity.

Naturally, there are some markets which are more profitable than others. While it might be fun to bet on a goal to be scored in the next five minutes or a corner to be awarded in the next minute, these are often random outcomes and we’d recommend considering markets where you can weigh up the odds and bet with an informed opinion.

The appearance of Cash Out means that you have an alternative method of landing a profit, while this facility can also be used to eliminate major losses when you realise that your In-Play bet isn’t working out as you thought it might.

Customers who are ultimately able to maximise their potential winnings and reduce losses are in the best position to make money from their online bets.

Which Are the Best Bookmakers for In-Play Betting?

As mentioned, there are many bookies who now provide In-Play betting to customers and it’s often difficult to decide where to place your money, especially as all of them now offer a first-class live wagering service.

We would recommend you try out different bookmakers and assess the overall quality of their service. It can be tricky to compare odds although perhaps half-time at football matches gives you the perfect opportunity and see the latest prices about the team you want to back.

Bet365 provide a good starting point for customers wanting to bet In-Play. They offer the biggest range of live markets out of any operator and they also provide punters with a range of Cash Out options including Partial Cash Out and Auto Cash Out.

Ideally, you would want the chance to also have live streaming readily available, with some bookmakers offering live betting when it comes to top football leagues such as the Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga.

Cashing Out For a Profit

While many In-Play betting markets are settled quickly, there is also the chance to enjoy Cash Out when you bet In-Play, with bookmakers offering you the opportunity to claim a profit before your bet is even settled. That means you can sometimes profit from a bet that ends up being settled as a loser.

For example, let’s say you back Wolves at 2/1 (3.00) to beat Liverpool for a stake of £50 after the match has kicked off. That means you stand to get a return of £150 should Wanderers win the game.

Let’s say Wolves score before half-time and the bookmaker now offers you a Cash Out value of £100. This would then give you a chance to claim a £50 profit considering that you originally staked £50 and are now being offered £100. Do you take the Cash Out value or do you stay in the bet where you could stand to enjoy a return of £150?

Cash Out is a great innovation as it provides customers with a choice when it comes to In-Play bets, although it’s a judgement call as to whether the Cash Out offer represents value or whether it’s better to remain in the bet In-Play and hope that you either get a higher Cash Out value or alternatively just hope that your bet wins come the final whistle.

Consider Partial Cash Out or Auto Cash Out

If you’re often stuck in an In-Play quandary with your live bets, wondering whether to Cash Out or stay in the original wager, the good news is that an increasing number of bookmakers now offer customers the chance to enjoy Partial Cash Out or Auto Cash Out.

It means that you can have your cake and eat it when it comes to betting In-Play, with Partial Cash Out meaning that you can often take a profit out of the original bet and still have a part of your stake remaining on your selection in the hope that this still wins.

Similarly, we can also experience Auto Cash Out with a bookmaker such as bet365 and that means that you can set a parameter for when the Cash Out is triggered so you don’t have to worry about doing this manually, especially if you just want to enjoy watching the football and not have to constantly monitor the prices.

Enjoy Live Streaming When You Bet In-Play

You might not be aware but many bookmakers now have live streaming available on their website. Customers are able to sign into their account and enjoy watching thousands of sporting events every year, with football, tennis and basketball among the sports which are enjoyed by punters on a daily basis.

Several bookies now have Live Streaming available and this is best enjoyed when you’re looking to have a bet In-Play. We always recommend that if you’re betting In-Play, you should ideally be watching the game in question as you can be certain that a bookmaker offering odds will have live pictures available.

Live Streaming can be enjoyed through a range of devices including mobile which means you can bet and watch while you’re on the move, with most bookies putting the live streams as part of their In-Play service so you can see the events where live pictures accompany the updating odds.


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