Best Live Betting Sites 2023 – Compare In-Play Betting Sites Today
Welcome to our guide to live betting sites. In this article we will reveal the best sites for betting on live events, how live odds work, the differences between in-play betting on different sports and even some betting tips. Let’s kick off with our ten favourite sites for live betting.
Best Live Betting Sites UK
Top 10 Live Betting Sites
You’ve seen our list of favourite sites. Here is a little more information about them.
- 888Sport – Our favourite site for in-play
- Betfred – ‘Bonus King’ delivers
- 10bet – Huge range of in-play markets
- BoyleSports – Generous in-play odds
- Fitzdares – Horse racing live betting experts
- Quinnbet – Irish in-play specialists
- Fansbet – Great for football live betting
- Spreadex – Spread betting live
- BetUK – New name excels at in-play
- VirginBet – Famous brand turns to betting
What is in-Play Betting
In-play betting is a type of betting that takes place on live events. There was a time when you could only bet on an event up to the point it started. At that moment, the market would be closed and all you could do was cross your fingers and hope that you’d got lucky with your bet.
When live sports betting was introduced, this situation changed. The pre-event betting markets on an event are now immediately turned live once the action starts. This give punters the ability to manage any bets they have already placed, often with the aid of a Cash Out facility, or place bets while the event takes places.
This is obviously very useful for punters and has created an exciting betting environment. Being able to place bets while watching an event, adds a new dimension and has even resulted in specialist markets and bet types appearing on sports betting sites, that aren’t available pre-event.
Reviewing the Top Live Betting Sites
In this section we’re going to go into a little more detail in regards to the top five online betting sites for in-play action. Here are our reviews.
1. 888Sport – Our favourite site for in-play
888Sport was founded in 2008 and they have subsequently built one of the most impressive gaming platforms around. The live section is as comprehensive as you’d expect. Something that we like, which is missing at competitors, is that along with the normal sports tabs, there’s also a featured in-play event right at the top of the screen.
Odds are generous, lots of events are covered live, with plenty of markets. There’s also live streaming, tips, mobile apps and a wide range of promotions. All in all, 888Sport have both a great live and overall product. That’s why they’re our number one recommendation.
What We Like
- Our number one pick for in-play action
- Featured live event highlighted
- Live streaming and mobile apps
- Useful tips site
What We Don’t Like
2. Betfred – ‘Bonus King’ delivers
Betfred, dubbed ‘The Bonus King’ are one of the most well-established betting brands in the UK. As you’d expect they offer the complete package for betting, with a sportsbook, casino, poker, lottery and bingo all available. It’s with the sportsbook where Betfred have made their name, along with their fondness for generosity when it comes to bonuses. There’s a big welcome bonus on offer, followed by lots of regular promotions, of which some are in-play specific.
When it comes to the live section, there’s plenty of different sports, events and markets on offer. It’s not as well laid out as is the case at other sites, as Betfred’s overall site design is a little dated. The odds are competitive though, live streaming and there’s a graphical representation of how non-streamed events are going, along with latest scores and stats.
What We Like
- Known as ‘Bonus King’ for a reason
- In-play specific promos
- Large live streaming service
- Neat graphical representation of live action
What We Don’t Like
3. 10bet – Huge range of in-play markets
The first thing that strikes you when you look at their monochrome site is how clear, crisp and easy to digest it is. Other sites can overwhelm you with colours, flashing images and too many ads, but 10bet’s stripped down approach makes a nice change. Their live section is packed with different sports and events, with each entry showing you exactly how many markets are available and a link to the relevant stats page.
Compared to other sites, the live odds are updated frequently and seamlessly. There’s lots of unique promotions available, some of which are topical and change from week to week. Amongst the offers are ones specifically designed to be used when having a bet in-play. 10bet have steadily grown into a major player, but one drawback is that they have yet to commit to providing live streaming.
What We Like
- Excel at live football
- Games feature 100+ live markets
- Live odds frequently updated
- Lots of unique promos
What We Don’t Like
4. BoyleSports – Generous in-play odds
This Irish bookie are a very good option for anyone looking to bet live. A small version of their in-play section is displayed prominently in the centre of their home page and can be expanded to show the full range of sports and contests covered. Along with the range of sports, a nice touch is that there is also a tab for betting on events that are currently being streamed live.
The live odds are very competitive. BoyleSports also has some nice offers for regular users, though they do tend to be focused on horse racing. That said, if you’re a fan of live acca betting, then a BoyleSports account is a must have. They offer acca insurance, an acca boost deal and an acca loyalty deal when you get a free acca for every five that you place.
What We Like
- Extremely generous live odds
- Nice range of horse racing bonuses
- Mobile app makes betting live a breeze
- Excellent collection of acca deals
What We Don’t Like
5. Fitzdares – Luxury live experience
If you appreciate a little luxury in your life, then Fitzdares could be the site for you. With a private members club specialising in betting, based in Mayfair, this is not the typical business model for a bookie. In 2018 a Fitzdares app was launched, which along with the website, provides access to their betting product for non-club members.
Both the website and app are stylishly designed. The live section is very clear and uncluttered, which is in contrast to the over busy in-play sections of many bookies. They feature a good range of sports. Away from the live section, horse racing is their speciality, with live streaming available and a great range of offers. We’re fascinated as to how this unique brand will grow in the future.
What We Like
- Luxury betting product
- Very clear live section
- Superb app
- Essential for horse racing fans
What We Don’t Like
Ranking the Best In-Play Betting Sites
Having seen our rankings and reviews of online sports bookmakers you might be wondering how we came to our conclusions. Here are some of the criteria that we used when ranking in-play betting sites.
This is the core product that a live betting site is judged upon. We look for sites that turn a very high percentage of their pre-event markets in-play. Then we also expect to see markets that are exclusive for the in-play audience. An example comes from live football betting, where you can bet on whether goals will be scored within certain time periods of the match.
Sone online bookies will provide the best odds pre-event, only for the prices to be far less impressive when the event turns live. We obviously prefer there to be little to no difference between pre-event and live odds. There are also some bookies that are only competitive for one or two sports, so some consistency across different sports is required.
A generous sign-up offer is a great way to get your live in play betting account off to a flying start. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better when it comes to welcome offers, so we check the terms and conditions to ensure that the requirements of the offer are not too stringent. Promotions and bonuses for existing users like Money Back deals are also important. Of course, we are on the lookout for regular offers which can be applied to live sport betting.
Online bookmakers all always looking to provide extra features for their users. There are certain features which are especially useful when it comes to in-play gambling. The most obvious is a real-time Cash Out facility, which sees the bookmaker providing you with an offer based on the bets you have placed, which you can accept during the live event. Bet Builder allows you to group together different bets from the same event, with some bookies providing this service in-play. Then there is live streaming, which goes hand-in-hand with live odds betting.
Site Design & Mobile
When you’re betting in-play, you often have to make decisions fast. You don’t want to be using a website where the live section is difficult to navigate around and bets take a long time to be confirmed. Site design and the streamlined betting experience is important enough when using a computer, but if you’re using a mobile device it’s even more important. We like bookies to provide the option of dedicated live betting apps for both iOS and Android devices.
Safety & Security
This is not the more glamorous or exciting of the criteria that we’ve explored, but it’s certainly very important. When you’re trusting your money, payment and personal details to a betting site, you want to know that it’s safe. All of our recommended bookies are fully licensed by gaming authorities that ensure that they comply with their safety measures. In addition, the sites we favour use the latest security technology and software, for your peace of mind.
How Live Betting Odds are Calculated
Calculating live betting odds may seem complicated, but in truth it’s fairly straightforward for bookmakers. A trader will price up the markets pre-event, based on the perceived likelihood of each selection in the market winning.
Once the market goes live they will be managed by a live trader. For a fast moving sport like football, the bulk of the work will be done by a computer algorithm. So for example, if a football team that are the favourites go 1-0 up after 20 minutes, the algorithm will know what the price should be, based on the pre-match odds. While the team are 1-0 up and the minutes tick away, the algorithm will continue to automatically adjust the prices.
Where the trader in charge of that live market earns their money, is by making their own small adjustments. So if a team were heavily pushing for a goal, or they simply think that the odds are wrong, they might make an adjustment to the price.
With slower moving sports, a trader might take charge of things, without the need of an algorithm to help. A good example is with cricket betting live, especially in the case of test matches.
Most Popular Live Betting Sports
Which sports will UK punters expect to see featured in live sections? In our opinion, these are the best sports for betting on in-play:
- Boxing / UFC
- Rugby Union / Rugby League
- Basketball / NBA
- American Football / NFL
Live Football Betting
Football is the most popular sport to bet on for punters. It’s the biggest sport in the world and played right across the planet. Consequently, there are a huge amount of games played and tons of football betting sites out there online. Even when the majority of European leagues come to an end over the summer, there are parts of the world where their competitions are in full swing, creating lots of football live betting opportunities.
With football being such a fast-paced game, there are lots of betting opportunities when a match is in-play. It only takes a goal or a sending off to change the entire complexion of the match, with the market often reacting wildly to the events on the field.
One of the best things about live in play betting on football is the depth of markets available. You can bet on the result, goals, goalscorers, corners, bookings and much more, all while watching the match.
Live Cricket Betting
Cricket live betting is big business with bookies. The many different versions of the sport create a packed schedule of games, both domestically and internationally.
Test match cricket is tailor made for in-play markets. Played over five days, there can be big swings in terms of which team has the advantage, which creates lots of situations where bettors can take advantage. Live betting on cricket test matches
Then there’s the limited overs game in all its forms, which can be fast and action packed. This form of cricket is becoming more and more popular, with the T20 game featuring major tournaments such as the IPL. Live cricket betting is on the up.
Live Golf Betting
Like test cricket, golf is a sport where the action stretches over days. Golf live betting can feature big movement in the markets. A player can be leading and a hot favourite, only for it to all go quickly wrong at one tricky hole.
The various tours, such as the PGA Tour and European Tour create a very busy regular schedule for golf betting live. Then there are the Majors – The Masters, US PGA Championship, US Open and The Open – which along with the Ryder Cup, are huge sporting events.
When it comes to live betting golf is a sport that works perfectly. You can play the long game at a relatively sedate pace, by betting on a tournament winner over four days. Or you can bet on individual holes and other markets, which come to a conclusion much quicker. Overall, live golf betting is one of the biggest attractions in any in-play section.
Live Tennis Betting
Tennis live betting is another staple of any good in-play section. Like golf, tennis has an almost year round schedule, with the ATP and the WTA constantly hosting tournaments.
The focus of the wider sporting world turns to tennis for their Grand Slam events, the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open, which are huge for live tennis betting. Other big events are the Davis Cup, The Billie Jean King Cup and the Olympics tennis competitions.
When betting tennis live there are lots of fast-moving markets available. These range from betting on the match result, to sets and even points. So there are a great deal of betting options in terms of markets and at what type of speed you want to operate at.
Live Snooker Betting
If you like to be able to take your time and be considered, then live snooker betting could be for you. It’s generally a slow paced game, with games that can run into hours of play.
Even a short game of snooker, such as the best of seven or nine frames, can easily run to a couple of hours. Longer games at tournaments like the World Championships can take several hours, split across a couple of days. With players taking their time between shots, live snooker betting gives you the opportunity to consider all the angles, just as closely as the players.
Yet while snooker can be a slow game, there are plenty of markets which you can bet on in-play, which will be settled relatively quickly, such as individual frame betting. There’s also a very busy schedule. As one tournament concludes, another starts the next week, providing regular action for snooker live betting fans.
In-Play Betting on Racing
It might surprise you to learn that there are in-play markets available for both racing and greyhound betting. With these sort of events often being over very quickly, you might think that it would be impossible for a trader to keep on top of a rapidly changing market and you’d actually be right.
For ‘in-running’ betting, as it is known, is only available at betting exchanges. It’s up to the punters to to either back horses/dogs they think will win, or lay them if they don’t. There’s no trader managing the market, as all the betting takes place between the users and the exchange just takes a percentage from every winning bet.
Horse Racing Live Betting
For many years horse racing was the lifeblood of bookies, before the internet allowed them to expand their horizons and diversify. It remains extremely important to online sportsbook platforms and betting exchanges allow live horse racing betting.
Being able to offer live horse race betting is a key differential between betting exchanges and bookies. This facility is used not just by punters, but also bookies themselves, who are looking to manage their positions.
There’s a busy schedule seven days a week, almost every day of the year, with horse racing betting sites peppered with big events. Live betting horse racing is popular at exchanges for those big races like the Grand National and Derby that really capture the imagination of the public.
Live Greyhound Betting
Greyhound live betting is also available on exchanges. Though not as popular with gamblers as horse racing, there is still a busy schedule of races every day, for fans of live greyhound betting to enjoy.
Greyhound races can be very short and over in a matter of seconds, so time can be of the essence when trading in-play. This situation creates opportunities for profit, should traders post ill-considered lay bets in the heat of the moment.
The biggest event in the calendar in the Greyhound Derby. There are weeks of heats to whittle down the entrants to the six dogs that compete in the final, with greyhound live betting available throughout.
Live eSports Betting
A recent addition to in-play sections is eSports live betting. The rise of eSports has been rapid. Competitions between gamers have been going on in different forms for years, but the ability for players to compete online and then the development of live streaming of these events, saw the popularity of eSports suddenly rocket.
With so many people watching eSports, it was inevitable that bookies would take interest in these contests. Bookmakers even provide streaming of the events, which makes live eSports betting very easy for users.
Video game fans can now bet on the best players of titles such as Call of Duty, FIFA, Halo, League of Legends and many more. eSports live betting is already important to bookies and everything points to it becoming even bigger in future years.
Live Betting Apps
The modern bookmaker is dedicated to making the experience as convenient as possible for users. For most, that includes producing a live betting app that allows you to experience in-play action, no matter where you are.
You can view a bookmakers website on a mobile browser and most work pretty well. Yet a dedicated live betting app is more secure and bets tend to go through faster, which is crucial in an in-play environment.
All of the best betting apps offer in-play options as standard. We like bookies to produce live betting apps for both iOS and Android devices. Here are our current favourites.
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Live Betting Tips
If you’re new to the world of live betting sites, you might benefit from a little advice. Here are some live betting tips that should help you on your journey.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to live betting sites. As you’ll have learned, there’s plenty of great sites that offer live coverage for UK punters.
Betting live, adds an element of excitement when watching sports. There’s also plenty of opportunities to make a profit, with a high percentage of markets turned in-play. Any of the sites that we recommend are worth looking at, but for our money 888sport are leading the way.