In-Play Betting Explained

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Author: Alan Thompson

Published: 14:00 18/12/2014

Punters spend hours trawling over stats and form to come up with what they think is a great value bet, only to be undone by the late withdrawal of pace setting horse or a key player in a team event, things that basically make their efforts redundant. However, these days there is a new breed of punter who again uses stats and research but applies them to a sporting event once it has started. Things like the pace of a horse race, or the number of shots on goal all of a sudden are known FACTS rather than pre event assumptions.

Now that most people have incredibly fast and reliable internet connectivity, in-play betting has exploded into a new exciting way for punters to get involved and also a new revenue stream for the bookmaking industry. Even if the event isn’t available on traditional TV, In-play punters can be provided with live streaming pictures of the event, so they can see the action unfold and also “real time” stats, the combination of this information enables the punter to make informed betting decisions.

Many of the Bookmakers have also now identified that they can use in-play betting offers (which we can alert you to on as a good way to retain their customers. One of the biggest and best in-play bookmakers is Bet365, not only do they offer a huge number of live streaming events but also a vast array of real time stats to support the event (see below).

bet365 has over 70 In-Play markets and provides real time stats to help you live betting experience

They also offer excellent in-play promotions one of their popular in-play offers is to allow punters an in-play wager to the same amount as their first pre-event bet – So if you stake £50 on a football match odds market before the event starts they will give you a FREE £50 in-play bet and of course if you read this article you now know that this means GUARANTEED money by converting their offers into real cash!

Despite having all this technology, the ability to bet in-play and multiple 24 hour sports channels to watch the sport unfold “live” - one thing that is critical is to understand when a broadcaster says a game is “live” you need to understand what that means, you have to understand that some people will be ahead of you. What I mean by that is that the pictures you are seeing on your TV are delayed by many seconds to what the people actually at the event are seeing.

This obviously is more of a problem if you are using a betting exchange for your in-play betting, as what it means is, you are betting against people who know a goal has been scored or a set point has been won much faster than you – this puts you at a HUGE betting disadvantage. However, as long as you understand where you are in the chain of information (people betting at the event are obviously at the top of the chain) then you can alter your betting decisions appropriately.

For example, if you like betting on Tennis while watching it at home via your Sky or cable connection, you wouldn’t want to be backing point for point as the people betting at the event court-side” will know who has won that point long before you will. If betting in-play on tennis is something you do, then I would recommend reading a book called Game, Set and Ca$h by Brad Hutchins which explains all about what you are up against in-play tennis betting on the betting exchanges. This sort of advantage isn’t unique to tennis either, it happens in all sports, where large volumes are traded in-play.

Despite this disadvantage it is still perfectly possible to make consistent profits on the exchanges watching your sport via satellite TV and enjoying your betting, you just need to adjust your strategies to cover a longer period of time. Make no mistake though the people at the top of the information chain are of course going to be difficult to beat!

The beauty of betting in play is that for once the punter knows exactly how the odds will move, lets take a football match as an example....

As soon as a football match starts we know that the odds on the under goals markets will continue to fall until such a time that a goal is scored. We know this because in football the game is played over a fixed time frame (90 minutes). So as the time erodes the “probability” that a high number of goals will be scored is constantly reducing.

Here is an example of how the odds change over time in the popular over / under 2.5 goals market (this would be for a game ending 0-0):

Here is an example of how In-Play odds on there being Under 2.5 Goals will changes as a football match progresses

As you can see once the game starts, time starts to erode and therefore chances of their being three goals in the game decreases (i.e. the odds decrease), on a very steep decline before settling for a period just after half time. Having this sort of information on how the market will react over time enables in-play punters the chance to identify value in their betting.

Of course there are many other factors that would have an impact on this market (other than goals) things like shots on or off target and sending offs but understanding how a market will react over time is a huge advantage to producing a consistent in-play profit.

If “in-play” betting is something that interests you then I would definitely use our links to get an exchange betting account and if you don’t have one a Bet365 account using our links to ensure you get your signup offers. Then make sure you bookmark the betting academy page, follow us on Twitter or signup to our newsletter as this is going to be the place for you - we intend (over time) to produce many articles with more detailed analysis of market moves, using the stats supplied by Bet365 and advanced trading techniques to improve your chances of winning when betting in-play.

Read about bet365 welcome offer and how to claim free bets and bonuses on bet365