What is in-play sports betting?

Lewis Watson

How Anyone with in-depth Knowledge of a Sport, Team, or Player can Win MORE while Risking LESS against the Bookmaker

The betting world is forever changing; evolving; expanding. With these changes come innovative ideas that change the face of the gambling industry forever: betting in-play on sporting events was one such idea. 

Betting used to be strictly limited to something that was only available ‘before the start of an event’. Odds compilers would set the price of players, teams, horses, outcomes etc. allowing the customer to place a wager on the event before it started. Now punters can wait for a game to begin an then place their bet and still have the pre-event betting option available.

'Being able to react to what is happening in the event allows for more intelligent betting strategies'

This has significant advantages for the customer. Being able to react to what is happening in the event allows for more intelligent betting strategies, rather than going off a hunch before the start. Think about a boxing fight. Often, boxing cards involve fights between a well-known boxer and one who has been brought in (usually from abroad) to challenge the ‘home’ fighter. In these instances, they will tend to start out as a heavy underdog; however, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a boxing expert, then you can gauge the skillset of the fighter within the first couple of rounds, and then place a bet on the outcomes of the fight. 

Now, of course, the bookies aren’t stupid. They will react in tandem with the viewing public and adjust the odds through their algorithms suitably, but if you can get a head start on the bookmakers, then you set yourself up for a big chance of making a good profit.

'This in-play option also allows you to change your mind on an event based on what you are watching'

This in-play option also allows you to change your mind on an event based on what you are watching. Say, for example, you are watching a Premier League match between Man City and Huddersfield. Pre-match, you backed Huddersfield to win at a great price thinking they could produce an upset, however, with City scoring an early goal you quickly change your mind. City’s price would have shortened considerably in this time, but despite this, placing a large stake on City to win could effectively recoup the money lost from your pre-match bet on Huddersfield.

This approach of chasing a bet is pervasive in in-play betting, allowing the customer to change their mind based on how events unfold in play.

This can also be reversed. For example, say you have the firm conviction that the underdogs will cause an upset regardless of who scores first. Waiting until they go a goal down will see the price to skyrocket from the 3/1 pre-match price to 8/1. It’s a risky strategy, but for customers who pay close attention to trends and stats, it’s an approach that can pay off.

'Knowing when sides tend to score most of their goals can also prove a huge benefit to in-play betting'

Knowing when sides tend to score most of their goals can also prove a huge benefit to in-play betting. If you are convinced that one of the sides will change tactics, or personnel in the second half, betting on them in-play at half-time will secure you much better odds than at the start of the match; providing you have seen enough to have an inkling they will go onto win the game.

In-play markets are reactionary; odds are easily altered and swung based on form, injury, scoreline within the boundaries of a sporting fixture. If you can find an edge in knowledge it is much easier to gain profit in-play than pre-match.

Take a sending off for example. In football, this can heavily swing the tide of who is favourite to win the fixture. However, holding your nerve in this situation can allow you to make a big profit at a great price. Say the heavy favourites have a player sent off in the first half. You would then be able to receive a much better price for the favourite to prevail; with the punter weighing up whether the dismissal will have that greater impact on their chances of victory.

In-play betting also allows hundreds of more markets to become available to the customer, which weren’t possible pre-match. Take tennis, for example. Pre-match, we would be able to bet on your typical markets: match winner, set 1 winner; set 2 winner; set 3 winner; handicaps; most aces etc. Now with in-play betting at our fingertips, we can bet on the outcomes of the next point; next game; next set; next ace; next double fault.

In conclusion, In-play sports betting offers is a fantastic opportunity for customers to use their knowledge to their advantage and place bets on what they are witnessing – it also allows bookmakers to take in a considerable amount of bets otherwise unavailable.

'The introduction of in-play betting has also allowed cashing out a bet early to become an option'

The introduction of in-play betting has also allowed cashing out a bet early to become an option. This enables the player to receive their winnings early – at a reduced price – if they feel the tide is turning and their bet won’t continue to be a winner by the end of the match. The option has benefits to the player and the bookmaker; however, it’s a stick or twist scenario that can often leave you ruing your decision. If you were set to receive £45 off your bet, but you can cash out for £30 with ten minutes to go, it’s a perfectly reasonable option for someone who wants to enjoy the last minutes of the fixture without worrying about the last-minute equaliser!

In-play betting has opened up a plethora of betting avenues for the punter and the bookmaker; more can be won, more can be lost, but more importantly, more options can be wagered. With an increase in reactive markets, punters with an eye for sport and the knowledge to back it up can receive better, and more frequent returns on their gambling investments.

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