What is in-play Betting?

You may have heard people talking about live, in-running or In-Play betting before. But what's this all about and why should you sit up and take notice of it. Here's everything you wanted to know about In-play betting but were afraid to ask.

What is In-Play?

In-Play is betting that takes place after an event has started and up to its conclusion. Obvious examples are a football or cricket match or a horse race. Other bookmakers sometimes call it live betting whereas on Betfair it has also been known as in-running betting in the past.

Here's a video that explains it all...

What are the main advantages of In-Play to the punter?

The first is that In-Play betting allows you to assess what's going on before placing your bet. All the research and reading of stats in the world can only get you so far and sometimes it's preferable to just watch the action for a bit before deciding who your money is on.

The second is that In-Play betting allows you to trade your position and if you get it right, will allow you to achieve a green book, where you win on all outcomes, or at least don't lose on any. For example, if you've backed Manchester United to beat Chelsea and United go a goal up, you may decide you want to lay off your stake at a shorter price, just to be sure.

How do I know if a particular event will be offered In-Play?

Check Betfair's brand new In-Play Homepage that will tell you all the upcoming events that will be going In-Play that day.

If an event is offered In-Play does that mean that all the markets on it will automatically be In-Play?

No. Match odds (or winner market as the case may be) will always be In-Play on those events but as regards the other markets, you'll have to check the 'grey text' (the information on the right hand side of the market) to see if the other individual markets also go In-Play.

In football for example whereas the likes of match odds, under/over 2.5 goals and correct score all go In-Play, other markets such as first goalscorer and corners odds markets don't.

If you want to know if a market is currently In-Play, look out for the green tick just under the name of the event. If it's there, the market is In-Play.

Does Betfair ever suspend an In-Play market before the end of the event?

The main sport where that would happen is football where the markets are actively managed by Betfair. For almost all matches, all In-Play markets are suspended when there's a red card, a penalty or a goal to protect users who have left prices up. In the case of a red card or a goal, all bets currently up are cancelled and then the markets are re-opened. If a penalty is awarded the markets will be suspended but if it's missed they will be re-opened without the bets being cancelled. If the penalty is scored, it will be obviously be treated like any other goal (see above).

Betfair sometimes offers football matches In-Play which aren't actively managed, meaning that the markets aren't suspended at any time and it is the customer's responsibility to monitor their own bets. A good example of this are matches from The Championship, Serie B and the Scottish Premier League which aren't shown on UK TV channels.

For most other sports the markets remain open until the end of the match, contest or race with a few notable exceptions. An example of this would be betting on who is going to win the first set in a tennis match - the market would be suspended at the end of the first set rather than at the end of the match.

What's the advantage of betting In-Play on Betfair as opposed to doing so with another bookie?

For starters you almost always get better odds In-Play on Betfair than you would with another bookie, same as you do with pre-match odds. In addition to that, you can trade your position by backing and laying In-Play on Betfair and see what your profit and loss is on the market; it's not only easier to guarantee a profit on Betfair than on other betting sites, it's also a lot clearer to see what your exact position on the market is.

You can also check the InPlay page on the Betfair Sportsbook

I want to bet In-Play but I'm not always in front of the TV so I can't see what's going on. What do you suggest?

You can watch hundreds of live events every week straight from your computer via Betfair Live Video, which is absolutely free as long as you have some money in your Betfair account.

For example, we offer live streaming of between 800 and 1300 football matches a week and that number will rise even further in the last third of the season. You'd have to have every TV channel in the world at home to be able to have access to as many matches as that!

I want to bet In-Play but I could do with some tips and advice. Where should I go?

You can find all manner of articles including tips, betting news and advice on In-Play betting strategies on http://betting.betfair.com/. Keep an eye on the specially dedicated In-Play section.