Your Comprehensive Guide to In-Play Betting

Samu-Ville Lampiranta
By Samu-Ville Lampiranta
Sports & Casino Expert
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Updated Jan 18, 2023
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Read time 8 min

Many punters swear by in-play betting, and it’s no wonder why. These fast-paced bets require immaculate timing skills if you want to benefit from them to the fullest, but even beginners can easily get the hang of live betting. 

In this article, we’ll be focusing on: 

  • What in-play betting is 
  • The difference between pre-match and in-play bets
  • The most popular in-play betting sports 
  • How to benefit from in-play odds

Read on and soon you’ll know all the essentials of in-play betting. 

What Is In-play betting? 

Shortly, in-play betting means betting after the match has already started. Some of the best in play betting sites offer video streams in addition to the odds, so you can bet while you’re watching the match. 

While in-play betting can make watching your favorite team’s endeavors more exciting, there are other benefits as well. If something surprising happens at the beginning of the match, like the underdog scoring a goal in the first minute, you’ll probably get better odds for the favorite to win.

Difference Between Pre-match and In-play odds 

The most significant difference between the pre-match and in-play betting is, of course, the timing of the bet: pre-match bets are placed before the match starts, while in-play bets are done when the match is underway. But the timing can affect the odds, so in practice, the difference between these bet types is bigger than it might at first seem. 

When the ball is in play, betting becomes more time sensitive. The odds then go up and down based on the current state of the match. For example, a corner kick might drop the odds for the attacking team’s win even if they are the underdog. 

However, one thing to keep in mind is that the number of betting markets on offer tends to be smaller in in-play betting. So, if you are looking to bet on some niche markets, such as player specials, you might want to check out the pre-match odds first. 

Best Sports For In-play betting 

You can find in-play odds for many sports, like football, basketball, and tennis. If you want to see what’s being offered right now, simply pick one of the best in-play betting sites and check out the live betting section. In-play markets are available for virtually all football leagues and tournaments, from the World Cup to the EPL to the smaller national leagues.  

Football

Soccer, AKA football, is the most popular sport in the world, and it’s the number one sport in betting as well. Football season is always on in some parts of the world, so you’ll find in-play odds for football matches every day throughout the year. 

Basketball

Another popular choice with live punters is basketball. Basketball is fast and scores can sway from one side to the other in a heartbeat, so you’ll need to be quick. 

Tennis

In-play tennis betting markets offer something that the pre-match markets don’t, as you can bet on the winner of the next point. There are some additional markets as well, like whether there will be a deuce in the next game. Of course, you can also bet on the winner of the match or the next set.

Most Popular In-play Bet Types

The most popular in-play betting markets are more or less identical to the most popular pre-match betting markets. The good old 1X2 is arguably the most common one, but you can also bet on handicaps and correct scores, to name a few. 

Some pre-match markets are not available when betting on live matches, but this depends on the sport. If you are just about to make your first live bet, in-play football betting might be a good way to go. Football live betting offers almost all the same markets you can bet on in pre-match betting as well.  

How To Benefit From In-play Odds 

Benefiting from in-play odds can be tricky, but one thing is certain: timing is essential. One of the most common ways of getting the most out of live odds is when the underdog scores first. For example, let’s say you’re betting on a Champions League match between Real Madrid and Malmö. 

Real Madrid is the heavy favorite, but if Malmö scores a lucky goal at the beginning of the match, you’ll have better odds for Madrid to eventually win. Some odds will, of course, plummet; for example, the odds for both teams to score would, in this case, be turned upside down. 

All in all, to benefit the most from in-play odds, you’ll need to know what is going on. If you’re not there watching the match from the rafters, you should at least watch it on  TV or follow a live stream. 

Should You Try In-play Betting? 

If you are into betting in general, you might also want to try in-play betting. Placing the bets is just as easy, and you’ll find live betting options available on all the best in-play betting sites. Live betting can make watching your favorite team’s matches more fun, and in the best-case scenario, you’ll also benefit from better odds than when betting pre-match. 

One way to get familiar with in-play betting is to divide your betting budget into two: one part for pre-match betting and the other for live betting. This way you can place the regular pre-match bets, and safeguard your initial stakes with live bets.

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Samu-Ville Lampiranta
Samu-Ville Lampiranta
Sports & Casino Expert

Samu-Ville knows the ins and outs of online gambling having worked in the industry since 2013 in various roles from customer support agent to content writer and manager. He knows how to look at casinos and sports betting sites from both sides of the fence, and uses his experience to give his articles a unique view from the inside.