If you’ve already read our page on the Cash Out feature then you’ll know that we consider it to be one of the biggest changes made to the betting industry in recent years. However, even that seems like small fry when compared to the revolutionary feature that is betting live in-play. That was the thing that took online betting from a fad through to being a verifiable difference make in the market. In-play betting has gone from being an experiment to being big business, with no bookie worth their salt neglecting to include it in their list of options for bettors.
Obviously not everyone is a seasoned punter and therefore might not have any idea what exactly live betting is, or how you go about betting in-play. That’s entirely fair, with the online betting industry moving at quite a pace nowadays. Thankfully you don’t need to be a professional gambler to understand how it works or why it might be useful for you, you just need to read this page. We’ll let you know what it is, how it works and the ways in which you can take advantage of it when it comes to betting on the Cheltenham Festival.
Betfair Comprehesive & Professional In Play Feature
You will not beat Betfair for live betting, especially on horse racing. They not only offer more live markets than pretty much anyone else, with strong depth and good in play odds, they also live stream all races if you've bet just £1 win of 50p each-way.
Combined with the high value long terms racing promotions such as free bets for winners, and alongside other leading features such as cash out on live racing, there are few others who can compete. Betfair also have an exchange allowing you to lay bets as well as back them live in play.
What is Live Betting
Traditional betting offered a number of different options to the bettor, including ante-post bets that you place ahead of time and bets that a made in the immediate run-up to an event. The problem from a bookmaker’s point of view is that events can last quite a long time, so straight forward win/loss bets aren’t that interesting. In a perfect world a bookie would love it if you could place bets on everything from the number of times a referee blows his whilst in a football match through to whether or not a tennis player is going to throw their racket at the floor.
Thankfully for them, we now live in that perfect world. Alternately called in-play betting, in-running betting or live betting depending on the bookmaker or person talking about the feature, this way of betting allows punters to place a myriad of bets not only before an event takes place but also as it’s on-going. It allows bettors to react to what they’re seeing in front of them, shifting their bets according to the information available at that exact moment. Though it’s ideal for sports such as football, cricket, tennis and rugby, where events are constantly developing and changing, it is also a handy thing for horse racing in certain circumstances.
How Does In Play Betting Work?
The reality of the situation is that bookies like to make money. There’s no getting around that, so it’s best just to accept it as part of the situation. They’re businesses, after all, and it’s not as if we, the punters, aren’t trying to make money at their expense. For that reason in-play betting normally has a mark-up that puts the odds in the favour of the bookmaker up to the tune of about 125% for some markets. The beauty of betting live, of course, is that anything can happen and it’s by expecting the unexpected that you put yourself in a good situation to take advantage.
The beauty of live betting is that it’s so fluid. The market responds to every little nuance of an event, so odds can jump up and down accordingly. Let’s stay away from talking about horse racing specifically for a minute and have a look at tennis. Imagine you’re watching Andy Murray play an unseeded player at Wimbledon. At the start of the match Murray is the 1/15 favourite, but as the games roll by he finds himself two sets down. Suddenly he’s opened up to being 15/1 to win, which stretches to 25/1 when he loses the first four games of the third set.
In the example above you might be thinking, “I’ve seen Murray play these matches before. His number one attribute is his mental resilience. As I’ve been watching the games I’ve noticed that he’s hitting the ball quite well, playing with intelligence and moving around the court better as the match is wearing on. His opposite number is tiring, too, so I think this could go to five sets”. From gleaning information in front of you you’ve figured out that it there might well be an opening in the market. That’s where the fluid nature of in-play betting works in your favour.
Obviously it is, quite literally, a gamble. You might be right in our example in thinking that Murray’s going to get back into the game and he could do exactly that. On the other hand, he might have lost his rhythm, have an injury you don’t know about or had an argument with Kim in the morning and then go on to lose. The good news is that if you’re right you’ve won at odds that weren’t available before the match started.
One other thing that would fit into the ‘what you need to know’ category is about whether or not the betting is actually live. The reality is that it’s not 100% live, with the betting market needing to have a slight delay in order for the millions of calculations to take place in order to present with the ever changing odds. Given that television broadcasts can actually have a slight delay to them, the delay of in-play betting is intended to stop anyone watching an event in-person taking advantage of this.
Markets are sometimes stopped briefly whilst an event is taking place. Imagine you’re watching a football match, for example, and a penalty is awarded. You’ll be unable to place an in-play bet on a penalty being scored or missed during this time. Equally there’s often a slight delay between you placing a bet and it being accepted. Again, this is normal and is just to stop anyone taking advantage of a situation the bookmakers don’t know about or the like.
In Play Betting With Live Streaming & Cash Out
We’ve covered both Live Streaming and Cashing Out in other articles, so won’t go over the same ground here. It’s silly to talk about in-play betting and not at least mention them both, however. That’s because they are two parts of the industry that developed alongside live betting and work hand-in-hand with it. Clearly you’ll be at a slight disadvantage with your in-play wagers if you can’t actually watch what’s going on, for example.
When it comes to your Cash Out options, this is an area of online betting that sits in tandem with the in-play market. If the odds didn’t shift according to the action that’s taking place then you wouldn’t know whether or not taking the Cash Out offer is a good idea. If you think about that bet on Murray to win, what are the in-play betting odds saying? If they’re long on him being victorious in the match then you’ll be able to figure out whether or not your Cash Out offer is a fair one.
How To Live Bet At Cheltenham
There are a myriad of things that can change the odds of a race as it taking place. Has the leader fallen at a fence? Has a saddle slipped, leaving a jockey struggling for balance? Is there a riderless horse causing mayhem for the others in the race? Those of you that have done some research ahead of time will be well placed to consider these things and then react accordingly, taking advantage of ever changing prices as you do.
If you have done your homework and know that a horse loves being the front runner and rarely lets a lead slip, for example, then you can bet on them in-play once they’ve got their nose in front. If, on the other hand, you know that a certain horse has taken the lead a number of times in its career before falling away as the race wears on then you’ll know to steer clear or perhaps bet on the horse running in second. As far as betting live is concerned, it’s worth find out about betting on the Exchange to see if you can Lay or Back or horse that you’ve already bet on ante-post in order to guarantee yourself a profit.
In-play betting gives punters that like to place ante-post bets a second bite at the cherry. Say you’ve placed an ante-post bet on a horse to win and its fallen at the first hurdle, you can use the live betting market to give yourself another bit of interest for the race. You can also keep an eye on how the race is running in comparison to other races of the day. Are the horses running a bit slower than previous events? If so it’s likely to be the field rather than the going, so you can get in in-play bet on a horse that you know is a good sprinter. Knowing your horses, jockeys and courses is the best way to take advantage of live betting.
Please note that not all betting sites offer live in play cash out on racing. Many will only let you bet up until the start of the race. The likes of Betfair will allow you to place bets in play up to a certain point in the race. Choose the right bookie if you want to bet live in play on Cheltenham races.