Home What is in-play betting and is it for me?

What is in-play betting and is it for me?

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Simply put, in-play betting involves betting on a sporting event when the event is live. This can mean betting on a football game, tennis game or basketball game while it’s going on. All exchanges allow you to lay in-play bets, so matching a bet in-play is the same as matching a bet pre-match. Here’s everything you need to know about in-play betting before you get started.

How does in-play betting work?

Betting exchanges have started to introduce in-play betting, which has given bettors a platform to apply trading techniques to lock in profit – and thus reduce risk on a market – in a similar way as a stock trader would on the stock exchange.

Betting in-play allows you to react to sporting events in real-time, with goals, points, tactical changes and injuries all affecting the odds. In-Play trading increases the potential of you finding extra value in the market, as you can react to the volatility after the event has already started. If you would like to try in-play betting for yourself, visit BoyleSports, who have a fantastic range of markets to choose from.

Advantages of in-play betting

In-play opens up a whole new world of betting options, as it provides players with a host of advantages when compared to pre-game only. With in-play, you can trade on the many live situational factors which impact odds movement, which in turn creates several additional betting strategies for you to implement.

Odds in a given market fluctuate as the event draws closer. The main factors driving odds movement are:

  • New information
  • Market confidence
  • Money
  • Situational factors once the event has started

In-Play betting tips

Place in-Play bets during the half-time break

The best time to utilise in-play is during the half-time break when the odds will generally not move as much. However, as the odds are fairly static, if there are no close matches you won’t have as many in-play options as you might otherwise have during the break period. Overall, it is safer to place a bet during this time, even with a poorer match.

Calculators at the ready

If half-time isn’t suitable for you timing-wise, you can check in on the odds from the bookie and the exchange from time to time during the game to see if there are any other close matches. Have a calculator tool at hand to help you enter the odds in.

Be sure to wait until the in-play delay is done and the bet confirmation is shown – then simply lay the bet. Sometimes, if the odds of your selection happen to change as you are placing the bet, the bookie will cancel the bet – which will then see the player lose their money if the confirmation has already gone through.

If there are no close matches, your best bet is to wait until the half-time break, where all the odds changes will slow down. From there, you can try and find a close game during the break in play – and make that match your sole focus.

What else should you consider before you play?

The first thing to always watch out for is the volatility of the odds, as the clock is always ticking once the action gets underway. This means that there is very little point in backing foregone conclusions unless you are willing to bet very big. In addition, be aware of the two very different strategies that seasoned punters will tend to implement.

The more cautious players will spread their funds across a range of bets that are highly likely to come in. Although the wins will be very small, the incremental gains can add up rather considerably over a long period of time.

The second camp, however, takes a very different approach indeed. These players will attempt to get a line on a set of long odds that they think the bookmakers have over-valued, as the rewards can be sizable if their initial hunch is correct.


The key to betting on anything is to fully understand what you are getting yourself into and to be shrewd with how you play. In-Play can be exciting, and at times aggravating, which is why it has proven to be such a big hit in the sports betting world so far.



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