Everything you need to know about In-Play betting

Since the creation of the Betfair Exchange, In-Play betting has become very popular for both the casual punter and those that like to study how an event is going once live and bet on it accordingly. Here we explain how it all works...

  • Everything explained in our beginners guide to in-play betting

  • What in-play betting means and how it can work for you

  • How to secure a profit using an in-play market

What is In-Play?

Sometimes referred to as in-running, In-Play betting is a form of wagering that takes place after an event has started and up to its conclusion, thus meaning the betting odds are constantly changing.

It is very popular in sporting events that take quite a bit of time to play out, like a football or tennis match, a game of cricket, and events that can take days to conclude, like a golf tournament for example.

In-Play betting is also popular among horse racing punters, especially those who know a horse's running style or can very quickly assess how a horse race might pan out because of the way it has started.

What are the advantages of In-Play betting?

To the punter, undoubtedly the biggest advantage to In-Play betting is being able to watch how an event is going and assess the chances of certain aspects happening before you place your bet.

We can arm ourselves with as many stats and trends as possible before an event starts in order to form an opinion on what to bet on, but as soon as that game of football or cricket match commences it may go completely against how we expected it to go.

In-Play betting allows you to place further bets in a market once you've assessed how that event is going, and for the more serious punter In-Play betting on the Betfair Exchange allows you to trade your position on a selection to a profit.

How do I find In-Play markets

On both the Sportsbook and Exchange home page, either on a desktop browser or Betfair app you will see an In-Play tab to the left of the Sports bar menu which is situated towards the top of your screen (see below image for Exchange on desktop browser).


Clicking on the In-Play tab will take you to a new page that will show all the events that are currently In-Play followed by a list of events that are soon due to go In-Play.

Once you're on an event page a green tick box to the left of the words In-Play will also indicate that the event has In-Play betting markets available (see below image).

A grey tick box to the left of the words Going In-Play indicates the event is not yet available to bet on In-Play but it will be once the event starts.


How do I place a bet In-Play?

You place bets on In-Play markets in exactly the same way as you do on a betting market that isn't In-Play.

If you're new to Betfair then please read How to place a bet on the Betfair Sportsbook and How to place a bet on the Betfair Exchange for detailed instructions on how to place bets on both a desktop browser and the Betfair app.

The key thing to remember when placing a bet on an In-Play market is that the odds are constantly changing because the event is currently being played, and such things like an attacking phase of play in a football match, or a golfer making a birdie in a golf tournament means the odds will change.

Using In-Play markets to secure profits

As mentioned earlier, one of the big advantages of In-Play betting markets is that you can use them to lock in a profit on a bet that you placed earlier that is now in a strong position.

A golf tournament is a great example, and as you can see from the below image we've had £10 on Wyndham Clark to win the event which means we stand to profit by £790 should he win (indicated by the green £790 under his name), while a win for any other player means we will lose our £10 stake.


After three rounds Clark is at the top of the leaderboard, but we are not fully confident that he can go on to win the tournament, so at this stage we want to ensure a profit regardless of which golfer goes on to win.

We do this buy laying Clark at his current Lay odds of 3.259/4, which effectively means by sacrificing some of our potential £790 profit we're backing every other golfer in the tournament to win.

When you click on the 3.259/4 Lay odds on Clark your betslip will appear, and in the Stake box you just type in the amount of money you would like returned to you should any golfer other than Clark win the tournament.

If we type £200 into that Stake box it means we are guaranteed to be returned £200 whoever wins (£190 profit plus our £10 stake), but also notice that the amount we stand to profit should Clark win has now reduced to £350 (see below image).


So by backing Wyndham Clark to win the golf tournament at odds of 80.079/1 before the event started we have used the In-Play market after three rounds to Lay him at odds of 3.259/4, thus ensuring a very nice profit regardless of which golfer wins after the final round.

Now read more Betfair Education articles here.

Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.

Discover the latest articles