In-Play Review


In-Play betting is betting while a sports event is taking place. This type of betting is also known as in-running or live betting. The odds change as the action takes place and are adjusted in line with the score. In-Play betting begins at the start of a match or fixture and continues until its conclusion. This type of betting replaces pre-match betting, which is suspended once the event starts. The cash-out option allows customers to trade a position to ensure a known profit or limit the loss. Bookmakers live stream some events while others provide a graphical picture of the action.

In-Play Betting Markets

The biggest domestic match of the season in Europe is the final of the Champions League. Bookmakers offer up to 400 pre-match markets and about 100 In-Play. Odds are updated as the play develops, and the markets are suspended after a goal. Some bookmakers offer live streaming and all provide some graphical representation of the progress of play. The best In-Play interfaces offer detailed match statistics which are updated during the match. The main match data is for attacks, corners, bookings and possession. However, bookmakers are not responsible for their accuracy.

Match Result

The most popular In-Play bet is the match result. This is a three-way market, and the potential outcomes are Home Win, Draw and Away Win. The odds are quoted for the outcome after 90 minutes, and extra time and penalties do not count. In a Cup match, bookmakers quote the odds for the team to qualify or lift the trophy. This is a two-market, and the options are Team 1 and Team 2. In this market, extra time and penalties do count. The most significant event in a football match is a goal. Betting is immediately suspended but soon reappears.


Many In-Play betting sports have a scoring system based on totals. In football, it’s the total number of goals; in tennis, it’s the points; and in other sports, points are the deciding factor. A popular horse racing bet is the winning distances for a meeting expressed in lengths. Points betting can be over/under, odd or even or bands of totals. The most popular In-Play total’s bet is over or under 2.5 goals in a football match. Shots on and off target are a good guide to totals betting. In tennis, the server has a significant advantage, and that is reflected in the odds for the total number of points won by each player.


Handicap In-Play betting is popular when there is a big favourite and big outsider. The purpose of handicap odds is to attract two-way betting in uncompetitive markets. For example, if a football team is quoted at 1/2 (1.5) to win the match, the handicap line would be minus one. This market is a three-way as the tie is one of the potential outcomes. If the line is one goal and the favourites win by one goal, the outcome is a handicap tie. Asian handicaps are quoted in half or quarter goals which eliminate the tie. These markets are a more accurate reflection of the relative ability of the teams.

Cash-Out of an In-Play Bet

Bookmakers are always looking to innovate, and one of the more recent developments is cash out betting. Pre-match and earlier In-Play bets can be closed before expiry to guarantee a profit or limit a loss. Bookmakers offer bettors a cash-out return based on the original odds, stake and current odds. There are then three options: full cash-out, partial cash-out and no cash-out. Cash-out betting is suspended immediately after a goal but is available again in a short space of time.


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