Bet In-Play / Live Betting Strategy Guide

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When the ball is kicked off, tipped, or pitched for the first time, all ordinary bets are locked in place, unable to be changed. Until a few decades ago, there was nothing else to be done, but see how the game played out. Now though, there is the wonder of live betting, also known as in-play or in-running betting. Live betting allows you to place a bet during any game or any match at any time. Combined with the miracle of the world-wide-web, you got a gambler’s dream scenario. Adapt to the action as it unfolds in front of your eyes.

Live betting has really thrown a wrench in our perspective of sports betting, as it’s revolutionizing the industry. Bet on a game while it is taking place, anytime and anywhere. However, it is a new concept for many, as we often hear around the hallways. Although the category includes many of the same bets, you already might know, the way we approach them is pretty different from the original method.

You might have heard something about it and want to know more, so we've created this page where we will address everything from the small nuances in the way the bets are structured, to how we should address strategy and bankroll management. For all of you to whom this applies, this explanation/guide is specially meant for you. By the end of this article, you will be an equipped expert ready to get in on the action and hopefully prove your knowledge and make some money.

What is live betting?

To avoid confusion, we need to target the elephant in the room; maybe you haven’t heard of live betting, it goes by many names: in-progress, in-game, or in-running betting or wagering. Some sportsbooks might even give their own spin to it, just to add to the novelty of it and make their live betting section seem even more unique. No worries though, it all comes down to the same thing — betting while the game is on.

Depending on what sport you are betting on, when and how you can bet varies greatly. With some live sports wagers, you can place between the periods, quarters, or halves of the game. Other sports have some bets that are offered after every single point or play. The choice is nearly limitless, only depending on the technology and rules of the game. When online sportsbooks were allowed in the US, most of them took the opportunity to bring over their live betting technology with them. Traditionally, ordinary bookmakers and casinos have a hard time updating the odds during a competition; therefore, they decided to limit the range of bets on offer. Online sportsbooks and casinos don’t have these limitations.

They all own or make use of proprietary software that makes sure the odds are reasonably adjusted to the state of the game. Due to this software, live betting synchronizes seamlessly with the action, never missing a beat in updating your odds or accepting your wagers. Allowing online sportsbooks in the US is already fabulous, but the addition of live betting makes it even more amazing. You, as a bettor, should be thrilled with this technology, as it gives you so many fresh new options. You also don’t ever run the risk of your bet changing before you can get it in, because you never have to wait.

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What live bets you might find

The assortment of live bets in your sportsbook of choice is heavily dependent on the sport and what your sportsbook chooses to offer. It takes hard work and effort to update live bets continually, so online sportsbooks are picky about which ones to submit to the public. The sheer amount of wagers can quickly overrun them. We’ll show you a list of all the live bets out there, but don’t expect to find them at all US sportsbooks.

  • Standard betting

All of the bets you would normally see before a match will likewise be accessible during the game. The exception made by live betting is that the odds will represent the current state of the game, not just prior to it. To show you what we mean by that, we’ll share a random case of this. We’ll use the moneyline, one of the more famous bets, here. 

Let’s say you are going to place a live bet during a football game. Before the game starts, the Philadelphia Eagles are favored to win at -200. During the game, their star quarterback makes a nasty spill and has to leave with an injury. The Eagles are so shocked by this that they immediately give up a touchdown. After this, the Eagles are not the favorites to win anymore and are probably the underdogs at this point. 

Do you think the -200 odds are still offered?

The answer is, of course not, nobody in his right mind would bet on the Eagles winning in these circumstances. With live betting, you will notice a sharp increase or decrease in odds, depending on the state of the game. For our example, the odds might change to something like +150, giving you a much better price to bet on the Eagles, and a valuable opportunity to bet if you see the Eagles comeing back and taking home the win!

Besides the moneyline bet, you will find other ‘standard’ bets in the live bet section as well. Over/under bets, scorecast, or spread betting.

  • Prop betting

Prop bets are the exotic element of the online betting market in the States. Luckily, these exciting and fun wagers are also in the live betting format. Like we explain in our regular betting strategy guide article (find in the menu above), prop bets can be either based on luck or skill. A prop bet based on chance would be how many downs happen in a game, while the skill-based prop bets revolve more around specific player stat numbers or the occurrence of a random event.

Live prop bet odds fluctuate heavily during a game, and there is some serious value to be found in them! Especially when you are dealing with slow-starting teams/players or teams that hit the ground running. Immediately the odds for prop bets will be adjusted after the first wave of events. To explain this concept a little, let’s look at an example:

A basketball match between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors offers an assortment of prop bets. One of them is that Ben Simmons will score at least 20 points, regardless of the outcome of the game. During the first two quarters, Simmons only scores 4 points, making the odds of this prop bet skyrocket. If you take the bet at this point, during half time, your payout is going to be nuts if he does end up scoring 20 points. This bet gets riskier and riskier the longer you wait, as the chances of this happening drop dramatically. Sometimes though, this bet offers up opportunities to win big while the pre-game prop bets offered significantly less value.

In-play betting allows you to turn your pre-game bets into parlays if you ever desire to do so. Let’s say your original bets' preferred outcome seems to become more likely during a match; you then might want to add an additional bet onto your original to capitalize on your correct prediction. Parlays are even offered in brand new sections, where your original bet was not involved with, to spice up your action even more.

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The Best reasons to Start Betting Live

It seems clear now that we are hyped about live betting, but we want to clear up what the main reasons for that hype are. You can find the beauty of in-game betting in many things. While regular betting constrains you with deadlines and tension to predict an event while it’s not even started yet, live betting opens up a whole new avenue where you can predict based on what is happening while you're following a game. It gets people more involved with the sport that they are betting on; games are more than just statistics now. If you pay close attention to what is happening on the screen, you can predict more accurately what might happen next, and doesn’t that make watching a sport much more fun?

  • Win more often with more wagers!

When live betting entered the scene, the range of bets got significantly more extensive. More bets mean more chances to win for you. Many sports have a very one-dimensional approach to their betting system. Winning or losing, how many yards, amount of fouls, regular betting has a lot. With the implementation of these new in-game bets, you get to take a look at more bets and judge them on their viability to make profits. Plain and simple, see more bets, see more value. Your favorite sport now expanded to a whole new world.

  • Sportsbooks make odds, but people betting changes them

We all know how the system works; complex algorithmic systems calculate the odds of an event happening based on countless variables. Online sportsbooks make use of the best of the best in software to source odds for their website optimally. But this is not all, as there is a second factor in play that is also highly influential. Yes, that’s right, bettors themselves change the odds. 

Luckily for you, the majority of people base their betting strategy on their feelings. When odds come roll fresh out of the system onto the sportsbook, they are usually fair and correct, after which they change based on the number of people betting against or with these odds. Now, here is where the ingenuity of the online sportsbooks come in; they base their line on both algorithms and experience. When they see betting going one way, they move the line, so the other side of the bet becomes more attractive. This cat-and-mouse game is something you can take advantage of by stepping in at the right moment and snatching the value away when you see it!

  • Instantaneous Results

Instant gratification also makes in-game wagers an enticing option. Obviously, you’ll know the result a lot sooner if you’re betting on the outcome of the next drive versus placing money on a Sunday NFL game mid-week. If you’re comfortable with a fair amount of risk and are equipped to make quick handicapping decisions, you can go from identifying a valuable prop to profiting substantially within seconds. In-game bets are typically graded and paid out incredibly quickly. The fastest sites will deposit your winnings into your account within minutes. After all, they want you back in on the action ASAP!

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How to Get Started with Live Betting, Strategies and Bankroll Management

Online live betting is much faster than pre-match betting. That is why you have to adjust your strategy. If you already know well about which match you are going to bet on, start with some research. So go into the statistics, and you already have a picture of what the competition will look like. You may discover that a team often gets going a little later and only knows how to put pressure on in the second half. Handy to keep in mind if you are going to bet live on a game.

There are multiple things to keep in mind before you truly get going with live betting, more stuff than we can name, but at least we can share with you the absolutely vital elements to make live betting as comfortable as regular betting.

  • Learn the basics

If you are yet to place your first regular bet, live betting is probably not the place you want to start. Get to know the entire field first and start with some basic traditional bets before you start betting while the play is happening. Live betting won’t leave the industry anytime soon, so you can always come back to it whenever you are ready.
You are bound to make many mistakes if your first experience with betting is in this category - that's our honest advice.

  • Place a pre-game bet first

If you are opting for a live wager, make sure to have a bet going on already. This strategy forces you to study beforehand what the teams will look like and what could be considered as bad or good odds. Evaluating these and noting them way before the match starts prepares you optimally for live betting. Once the action gets going, any odds that are rapidly changing will seem familiar to you, and it becomes a logical decision when you should step in. Sure, there are many different variables, and you have to keep them all in mind, but you can trust us when we say that your preparation will be an absolute game-changer.

  • Control that bankroll

Nearly all our articles have some sort of reference to bankroll management. It’s such a big deal since many bettors seem to neglect it, and it is hard to define what is proper bankroll management. With online live betting, the seriousness of maintaining your bankroll should be even more significant. 

The essentials are relatively simple — set a limit for the maximum amount you can spend on each bet. We recommend this amount to be a percentage of your bankroll, for example; spending 2% of your bankroll would be a reasonable amount at any given time. Similarly, 1% bets of your bankroll would be conservative and anything above 2% risky. We base our recommendation on years of experience, but you can play with it yourself to see what works for you. 

When you picked a game to bet live on, and you have been getting ready for it for a while already, we understand you might get caught up in the emotions of the game. Feelings can lead to irrational decisions; before you know it, you are wagering more than what your bankroll management allows. Make sure to always stick to your bankroll management, and never break the bank, to assure yourself a long and happy betting career!

  • Get to know the markets

Although we make it sound like the two are reasonably similar, traditional pre-game betting and live in-play betting use radically different approaches to the sports. Even their interface can look different. We recommend you to observe how the lines change, how quickly they change, what lines stop being offered, and which come online at certain times. As a result, you will feel more comfortable with the new interface, and it’s changing nature. Next time, when you play for real, you won’t have any problem placing a bet on that juicy looking odd.

In-Play Betting FAQ

  • What is live betting?

    Live betting is a way to bet on sports games while they are happening. In contrast to the usual pre-game standard bets, that close when the starting whistle blows, live betting occurs throughout the match.
  • Some live bets are locked away, and I cannot wager on them, why?

    Sometimes, the online sportsbooks need a little more time before they activate a bet. They will already show you the current odds, but they are not ready to be bet on. Once the online bookmakers are satisfied with the fairness of the bet, they will turn it on for you.
  • How do I know when a line is better than usual?

    Great question, we cannot tell you for each line what the best scenario is, unfortunately. What you can do is watch a few games and see between what values the line fluctuates. After a while, you will start to see a general picture and can identify right away if the line is a gainer or a drainer.
  • Which sports have the live betting feature?

    Luckily, in West Virginia, all the major sports feature the live betting format with some minor sports even having the revolutionary new technology in their arsenal. Most likely, you will find some live bets in your game of choice.
  • Are there exclusive bonuses for winning in-play bets?

    In-play bets work just as much towards your VIP-program or loyalty program at your online sportsbook. Some bonuses and promotions might be offered exclusively for in-play betting, but usually, they will be hard to find.