About In-Play Betting

Published: 28/06/2011

Watching a sporting event is always a bit more exciting when a stake is held in the outcome. That excitement is multiplied when it is possible to wager on actions occurring within the event as it is underway—the focus of “in-play betting.”

Also referred to as “in-running” or “live” betting, in-play wagering is now offered by dozens of betting shops and bookmakers online. Initially, this form of wagering was introduced only for the biggest sporting events, such as major tournaments or world championships that are televised live internationally. However, thanks to real-time streaming of video feeds over the Internet, more and more sports and races are being opened to this exciting betting option.

Consider, for example, the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals. If a punter liked the Boston Bruins to upset the favoured Vancouver Canucks to win the Stanley Cup, there were only a handful of possible bets available: an ante post wager prior to Game One, a straight bet on each of the seven matches as they were played, and over/under wagers on the puck line. Once the deciding Game Seven got under way, there was nothing to do but watch and wish one had wagered even more on the outcome, which the Bruins went on to win 4-0.

With in-running betting, the possibility of raising the stakes becomes possible. In the second period, with Boston leading 1-0, a wager on Boston to score again before the Canucks could find the net would have been a huge winner. A bet on the Bruins putting in a goal against an empty net in the third period would have been a big winner, too, as would a wager on forward Brad Marchand scoring a double.

There is much more to in-play betting than picking a winner. Bets can be made on almost every aspect of an event as it happens, from which team will draw the next penalty to who which goalie will get the next save.

In fact, in-play betting is especially advantageous to those who have backed the wrong side. A bettor who watches a favoured team get off to a poor start might find opportunities to place hedge bets during the match to limit losses. Indeed, hedging is the #1 use of in-play betting—to cover regular bets when they head south.

Online, the web sites of major bookmakers have established special sections just for in-play betting. The most common types of wagers available are bets by period, set or half, breaking the event down into smaller components. For team sports, bets on specific individuals are popular, such as who will score the next goal or make the basket. The possibilities are truly endless.

And where bookmakers or sports books do not provide all of the in-running markets one might desire, betting exchanges do. Their in-play sections allow subscribers to make up their own lines and offer any type of exotic wager they might like to other backers.

Winning consistently requires finding bookmakers who offer top odds. This can be accomplished by direct comparison, opening two different in-play betting web sites in separate windows while an event is being played and comparing the odds they offer as it progresses.

The downside of in-play betting, of course, is that it requires paying very close attention to the action. Unlike traditional wagers, which are deliberate choices based on carefully gleaned information, live bets demand spontaneity, an eye for opportunity, and a very different form of risk-taking. The big rewards to be reaped are not for the faint-hearted or casual observer.

Published on: 28/06/2011

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