Where conventional punting asks you to place a bet well before a match starts, the rise of online gambling has led to betting ‘In Play’ which allows you to place and ‘cash-out’ bets after an event has begun.
Betting ‘In Play’ allows you to view the event live through online streaming or television, so you can take advantage of the real-world events that can affect the odds of a punt. For example: Is a player seemingly off form? Is a team deploying unconventional tactics? Is a runner off to a poor start but with lots left in the tank?
In-Play allows you to change your mind and take advantage of adjusted odds and this gives you an informed ‘edge’ when placing your stake. However, fluctuating odds are a double-edged sword which will require restraint so you don’t get swept up in the moment and make bets that don’t pay out, or lose nerve and cash out too early.
How Does Betting In-Play Work?
Each site offering In-Play betting will have a different process for registration and handling events, but once you have signed up, you’ll deal with a roughly similar situation.
After registering with a site that offers In-Play betting, you decide to take a stake on a forthcoming match between Leeds and Arsenal. You’ve been following the news recently and you know that – due to number of injuries and issues outside of the pitch – it will be likely that the outcome of the match will be hard to predict.
You have a number of different options available to you, such as the overall match results, the over and under numbers and specifics on corners and cards.
However, you decide to keep things simple and plan to bet on the goals scored.
So, the match starts and you immediately see Leeds take the lion’s share possession, benefitting from a new signing they have added to the team. You also know that Arsenal’s defence has recently been shoddy and, as Leeds start to press, you place two bets. The first is at 6/1 that Leeds scores the first goal. The second, that the game will conclude with a 1:0 victory to Leeds at 20/1 odds with the added option of a cash out. As you place the bets, you watch the odds diminish as Leeds continue to push and finally score!
This nets you a nice pay-out, but you begin to see Arsenal come back and play more aggressively. You realise that Leeds are about to be out-played and you choose to cut and run and ‘cash out’ of your chosen bet – returning a fraction of your stake.
It was a solid choice as, within minutes, Arsenal have scored – equalising before going on to win 2:1.
The Advantages of Betting In-Play
There is a definite benefit for the internet savvy: When you are making an In-Play bet through a site, you will often be able to stream the match live and watch an on-site representation of the statistical information and data. It is vitally important that you are comfortable making sense of this information and navigating the site. It’s also important to remember that betting can be suspended at the bookmaker’s discretion. In the example given above, once Leeds had scored there would have been an opportunity for the site to temporarily prevent bets being made while they work out new odds. This will present you with a situation where you often have no more than eight seconds to make a decision and/or reassess your betting. It’s important that you are able to make these count.
There is an added chance to ‘beat the bookie’: Conventionally, bookies will adjust their odds to factor in any losses that they may take. This becomes exponentially more difficult for them when calculating odds on the fly at live events. While they will still cover themselves, this will give you a definite edge when compared to standard punting if you strategise correctly.
You can use calculators and other online resources: While sites will provide you with information and, often, visuals about the match being played, there are a wealth of resources online that allow you to access in-depth analysis of the match. A quick Google search will let you access sites that give you play-by-play information alongside long-term statistical information about the team you’re taking a punt on.
Tips to Follow when Betting In-Play
Only bet with your bankroll: Any disciplined punter will have a bankroll set aside that they can afford to lose. Betting In-Play is inarguably exciting and it’s important to make sure that you don’t book too much of your bankroll on what appears to be a fleeting opportunity. For example: If you continuously take on more In-Play bets, a simple percentage increase stake over time will eat away at your ability to place other bets or cover losses.
Do your research beforehand: While In-Play allows you a chance to view the event or match ‘as is’ it’s critically important to make sure that you fully commit to carrying out your research beforehand. This should revolve around when teams have historically scored, what conditions they perform best in and if either side possesses the home-team advantage or if a rivalry is at play.
Patience and strategy: While you may have all the information in the world at hand, choosing the right moment to make your decision is a learned skill that all punters need when going ‘In Play’.
Remember that odds can as easily fluctuate up as well as down, and the ‘Cash Out’ option available on most sites will allow you to recoup some of your stake.
Get a sense of the event: Realistically, one of the greatest skills you can cultivate is the ability to quickly gauge which way the event is going to play out and what the tempo is going to be. For punters and bookies, the halfway point of any event or match will normally be where the bookies have a breather to re-evaluate their odds. Use this to take stock of how the first half went and lay on your stake. And always remember, the longer a match continues the better odds you are going to get.