Live Betting - Winning with In-Running Sports Bets

Published: 06/09/2010

Anyone who has ever wagered on and then watched a sporting event has at sometime or other said, “I should have bet more” or “I should have bet less.” Now, thanks to the convergence of communications technologies, it is possible to augment wagers, to hedge or press bets, right in the midst of the action.

This new process is known as “live,” “in-running,” or “in-play” betting. It requires two channels for exchanging information: one for communicating with the bookmaker and another for watching the sporting event in progress. Initially, this meant actually being on the sidelines with a bookie near at hand or else sitting in a sportsbook while watching live broadcasts on television. But now, thanks to advances in Internet technology, sports can be viewed in real-time on computers and mobile devices via video streams and bets can be placed online.

That means betting on outcomes before events begin and waiting for results until they end is no longer the only way of wagering. Instead, bettors can identify trends while an event is underway and make bets accordingly. Almost all sports are eligible for in-play markets, the most popular being Football, Cricket, Golf, and Horse Racing.

One of the leading proponents of live betting is the online betting exchange known as Betfair. Unlike traditional sportbooks, Betfair sets no odds. Instead, they allow their members to back or lay odds against one another, extracting a small commission for the service. This creates many more markets than would ever be risked by a straightforward bookmaker. In the middle of a horse race for example, one member might see the #4 horse making a move and offer a wager on it to win. Another member can take up the bet by laying the horse to lose. If the #4 horse starts to fade, the original bettor can hedge by backing another horse ahead of the home stretch. It makes for some very exciting sport.

Another big backer of in-running betting is the Irish bookmaker called PaddyPower. There is a dedicated section on their web site showing all of the live betting opportunities currently available. On one particular afternoon, fifteen events were posted—five football matches (including a friendly), two golf tournaments, two tennis tournaments, a darts championship, three U.S. baseball games, one motor race, and a volleyball match. Many events can be viewed via PaddyPower’s live streaming, including basketball, rugby, live European football matches, and even snooker.

Other web sites, such as Bet365, offer lengthy calendars of upcoming events so that bettors can plan their viewing times. The types of wagers that can be made range from changing on odds on who will win the match to exotic bets on whether the next goal will be a header, if the next dart thrown will be a Treble 20, or which women’s volleyball team will score 10 points first.

Betfair and others offering live betting take care to caution bettors that there can be a 10~20 second delay in online images versus the live event. This is especially true of golf and tennis telecasts from halfway around the planet. Unlike cable television or satellite TV, the pictures and sound must pass through a complex network of connections between the source and the customers’ computer screens.

Anyone interested in live betting may wish to practice a bit make mock wagers while watching the web site results before leaping into the action. There is little time to think between offers sometimes, and it can take a while to become accustomed to in-running betting’s fast pace. Sports like football or cricket are easy to start with before progressing to darts. Live betting can also be a good way to use any free bets offered when signing up at a site. Wagering with the house’s money can make the learning curve a tad less steep.

Published on: 06/09/2010

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