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In Play Betting

Over a decade ago, the world's first betting exchange Betfair changed the way we bet forever with the introduction of in play betting.

While the last decade has seen every bookmaker on the planet quick to follow in Betfair's footsteps, in play betting has now gone to the next level with punters everywhere able to enjoy the thrill and intrigue of live betting without risking a penny, via the be Live app.

What You Will Find In This In Play Betting Guide

live betting app


What Is Live Betting On Sports?

Live betting involves placing bets while an event is being played. While it is often referred to as live betting, many punters also know it as 'in play betting' and 'betting in-running'.

So How Does Live Betting Work?

The fundamentals are really quite simple. Let's say a Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham is about to begin. You see that your bookmaker of choice will be offering you odds for live football bets in the 1X2 match result market.

The match begins and after ten minutes of play Arsenal go up 1-0. After a moment or two, the 1X2 match result markets reset and take into account the time remaining in the match and the current scoreline.

Arsenal are now firm favourites to win the match with the odds for a drawn match now at 6.00. After a few moments consideration you decide to back the draw. You believe Tottenham are sure to score at least once and that the odds for the draw are a value bet.

You enter your stake, confirm your live bet and you're in. You have now placed a live bet on the match.

The video below offers a detailed explanation of in play betting at bet365.

Learn more about live betting at bet365

Live Betting strategies

The most appropriate in play betting strategy depends upon your level of experience. There is no use being new to live betting and attempting to execute a nuanced and complicated trading strategy. You are sure to fail. And by fail, we mean lose money.

Allow yourself to develop a live betting strategy and philosophy as you develop your in play betting experience. If you're just beginning we would advise you place only single bets during this time. Most of all, watch and learn.

Understand Value

First, understand the concept of value. If you are asking yourself “what is value?” then it's a good thing you are reading this article. A value bet is one where the likelihood of an outcome occurring is greater than the likelihood reflected in the odds.

Maintain Discipline

Second, only place value bets and maintain discipline. Developing discipline in this regard is crucial, even more so when it comes to in play betting. There are many punters who are talented when it comes to identifying value bets in play. But many have poor discipline and as a result, continually lose money simply due to their inability to control their emotions in the heat of the moment.

Keep A Record

Third, keep a record of all your live bets. If you're not doing this then you're only going to lose money betting in play. Keeping such records of your in play betting will help you see when and where you displayed poor discipline and your emotions got the best of you.

Use Multiple Bookmakers

Fourth, trade bookmakers against one another. This can take some organising when betting live, but betting on an event in play with two or more bookmakers, is a great way of improving your in play betting returns. Play bookmakers against one another and bet with the one offering the bigger odds each and every time.

Understand Trading Dynamics

Fifth, understand the fundamentals of backing and laying. The modern era of in play betting has made the need to back and lay (unless you're wagering on a betting exchange) redundant. It is however still well worth your time to educate yourself on the dynamics of backing and laying.

Understand How Match Events Impact Odds

Sixth, understand how the events in the match you are betting on impact live betting odds. Yes, you understand how to bet on football pre-match. But do you know how events such as cards, injuries, goals and other match events impact in play odds? And by how much? Regardless of whether you're placing live football bets, or any betting in play on any other sport, understanding how odds will be impacted is something that can only be acquired through hard earned experience.

How To Hack Live Betting

The best way to hack live betting is to understand the fundamentals of successful betting including an understanding of value, applying discipline, keeping a record of your live bets, using multiple bookmakers, understanding the dynamics of trading and most of all, understanding how events impact live odds.


What Are Live Betting Tips?

Another way to hack live betting is to follow in play tips from profitable tipsters. And a great way to improve your live betting skills is to exercise them without fear of losing money.

You can now practise implementing your own in play betting strategy via the new live betting app, be Live. You can literally post in play football tips while events are in play, competing with some of the sharpest live betting minds in the business. And if you're not in the mood to bet in play yourself, simply follow the tipsters you want to follow, any time, anywhere. Be Live is the first live betting app to offer in play betting tips. It's taking online tipping to another level.

Placing In Play Tips

When it comes to placing in play tips with be Live, it's easy. Firstly, select the market you want to place a tip on, then the outcome you want to back and what stake you want to place. The odds for every market and outcome are updated in real time direct from bet365.

There's no need to keep records of your in play tips as every tip you place via the be Live live betting app is recorded, giving you the chance to review your performance as well as the performance of tipsters you have been following.

There is also a weekly competition with the best tipsters on be Live sharing in total prizes worth €225. That's right, each week you can make your claim for a share in €225.

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Which In Play Betting Tipster Should You Follow Via be Live?

Finding and following profitable live tipsters is easy. Search and review tipster stats to see which tipsters have a talent for identifying value bets in play. Create a list of your preferred tipsters and follow their in play football tips in real time, placing bets with your preferred bookmaker.

There's plenty of value to be had. Most bookmakers are still cautious when it comes to live betting markets. They will often only offer odds on the most basic markets, with the odds usually diminished in terms of commission (at least as compared to pre-match odds). Why do they do this? Because they don't trust their own odds when it comes to live betting. They feel vulnerable to sharper betting minds and so protect their liabilities through limited markets and poor value odds.

While this may sound pessimistic, it's actually great news for cunning in play tipsters and for those who follow their in play football tips. Despite the obstacles placed before them, numerous in play tipsters on be Live continue to post.

Download The be Live App Now

The be Live app is the next stage of online tipping. Sure, pre-match tipping was fun. But placing in play tips is what many of us have been waiting for. The be Live app is available for iOS users

Download the be Live app Now

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What Sports Can You Bet On?

As the demand for in play betting grew, bookmakers made more and more sports available for in play betting. Sure, they began with live football betting, tennis and basketball. But now you can bet in play on a diverse range of sports.

For example, bet365 offer in play betting on pretty much every sport you can imagine: football, tennis, basketball, Australian rules, rugby league, horse racing, American football, baseball, bandy, bowls, boxing, cricket, cycling, darts, esports, floorball, skiing, futsal, handball, hockey, ice hockey, golf, greyhound racing,  netball, rugby union, ski jumping, snooker, table tennis, volleyball, water polo and even biathlon.

What's The Best Sport For Live Betting?

The most popular. Why? For one thing, bookmakers will offer a wider range of live betting markets for the most popular sports, and in particular, the most popular tournaments and leagues within that sport.

Secondly, the most popular leagues and tournaments will more often than not offer live betting odds. So while a bookmaker may offer you odds for live football bets on an obscure league, they are likely to be inferior to the live odds you may get on the English Premier League for instance.

With this in mind, and depending upon your area of expertise, we would recommend focusing on the following sports: football, tennis, basketball, American football, cricket, ice hockey and horse racing. 

How Are Live Betting Odds Calculated?

The simple answer would be to say, the same way that pre-match odds are calculated, in that they reflect the probability of a certain outcome occurring. In all seriousness, this is a fair answer, but perhaps not a particularly helpful one.

The main difference between pre-match odds and in play odds is that pre-match odds are fairly stable, outside of significant injury news etc.

In play odds on the other hand are always in flux. Movements will sometimes be slight, while at other times, the odds will shift violently.

Regardless of which sport it is you're betting on, live betting odds are calculated by considering the following:

(Depending upon the sport, other elements may be included such as red cards in live football betting, time outs remaining in an American football game and so on.)

Live odds are composed of each of these three elements and can be calculated either using previous live match data or purely on mathematical grounds.

So for example, Manchester City begin a match at home with Liverpool at odds of 2.00. They currently lead 1-0 with 45 minutes remaining in the match. Ignore the team names, this is essentially a football match with a home team leading 1-0 with 45 minutes remaining having begun the match at odds of 2.00. Unless there are injury concerns, the live football betting odds for Manchester City winning this match will be the same as any other team entertaining that same scenario. This, essentially, is how live odds are calculated.

How To Beat In Play Betting

The best way to beat in play betting is to understand how live betting odds are calculated – a combination of pre-match odds, time remaining in the match and the current scoreline – and develop an in play betting model that determines odds at a greater accuracy and in so doing, identifying value in play betting opportunities.


Which Bookmakers Offer In Play Betting?

At one time, there were only a few brave and lonely bookmakers offering live betting. But now, it's difficult to find a bookmaker that does not offer live betting. In fact, we can't think of a single bookmaker that does not currently offer live betting on a range of markets, sports and leagues.

In fact every bookmaker on the bettingexpert list of reviewed bookmakers offers live betting. Which then leads us to our next question.

Which Bookmakers Would We Recommend For Live Betting?

In our opinion there are a great number of bookmakers that offer customers in play betting across numerous markets. Below are our top five bookmakers for in play betting.


in play bettingBet365 are possibly the best when it comes to in play betting. Not only do they offer cash out (read more here) but bet365 offer one of the deepest range of live betting markets available, especially when it comes to major football leagues such as the Premier League and Champions League. The number of in play odds and markets truly is remarkable. If you're new to live betting, bet365 are a great place to start.

Bet in play at bet365

Betfair Sportsbook

in play bettingIt should be no surprise to anybody that the inventors of in play betting offer one of the best in play betting platforms currently available. As with bet365, they also offer cash out giving you greater control and flexibility over your betting. Again, if you're looking for a bookmaker to begin your live betting journey, Betfair Sportsbook gets our recommendation.

Bet in play at Betfair Sportsbook


in play bettingAs one of the best (if not the best) betting exchanges in the world, Matchbook is certainly worth taking your interest. While not a bookmaker but a betting exchange, Matchbook is a superb place to trade and bet live on a great number of markets. This is especially true if you're a fan of American sports as Matchbook generally exceeds Betfair exchange for liquidity on leagues such as the NFL, MLB and NBA. We thoroughly recommend Matchbook for your in play betting.

Bet in play at Matchbook

William Hill

in play bettingWilliam Hill might be one of the most traditional bookmakers in the United Kingdom, but they were quick to move when the in play betting revolution began. Now William Hill offers customers a great range of live betting odds on a breadth of markets that is without doubt one of the most diverse in the betting industry. If you haven't already signed up with William Hill, we recommend you do.

Bet in play at William Hill


in play bettingOur top five wouldn't be complete without Unibet, a bookmaker on the cutting edge offering customers an excellent range of live betting markets and odds. To put it bluntly, Unibet are, in our option, often underestimated in comparison to bookmakers of a greater reputation and legacy. But don't be confused, Unibet will continue to be one of the best bookmakers in online betting and as a result they receive our recommendation for your in play wagering.

Bet in play at Unibet

Download the be Live App Now

If you thought betting tips were limited to pre-match odds and markets, think again. With the be Live app, betting tips have entered the age of in play betting. With the be Live app you can post live betting tips, follow the in play tips of other users and compete with some of the best in play tipsters in sports betting, all on your iPhone.

The be Live app is free. Download it now and step into the future of betting tips.

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Download the be Live app Now