Best In-Play Betting Sites

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What to Consider When Choosing an In-Running Betting Site

In-running betting, also known as in-play betting, gives gamblers the chance to take advantage of developments as they happen. Snatching long odds at the opportune moment, hedging difficult outcomes and making snap judgements on changes in momentum and strategy are all part of betting in play; that's why it's one of the most exciting elements of online betting. Though, choosing where you place your bets is a decision that shouldn't be made in the heat of the moment.

Events

In-running betting is increasingly common, but don't assume that a site will offer it on every race, sport, event or tournament.

Most sites will have a dedicated in-play or in-running betting tab on their homepage, and a quick glance can give a good idea of the range of events available. During major tournaments, you'll find most good betting sites have a well-populated in-play area, but the quiet spells can sometimes tell you more.

If you find a site that offers a range of intriguing and obscure events, you can be much more confident that they'll cover any area. You might even discover a productive new event in which to apply your in-play betting strategy.

Markets

A good in-play betting strategy also requires a wide range of markets to explore. After all, horse racing may be primarily about picking a winner, but watching most other sports isn't just about judging a final outcome, it's about finding value even when the outcome is painfully obvious. For example, a good football in-play betting site will offer markets like total corners, time of next goal, next goalscorer and number of cards shown: all of which can be used to net a profit when the result is beyond doubt.

It's also a good idea to assess how well markets can be combined for the purposes of hedging or arbitrage. For example, can you back a player to score and guarantee a profit or minimise potential losses by backing under 0.5 goals in the remainder of a game? Finding a selection of markets that interact well can even be more useful than a wide selection of unconnected markets.

Value

As in-play odds change frequently, accurately judging value can be tough. There are, however, a number of key indicators to help you:

  • Price adjustments. How quickly and accurately odds are adjusted to reflect in-game developments and, crucially, how long markets are blocked out when a major event occurs can make or break a strategy. Sites that make quick adjustments, and lock players out of markets less frequently, enable much more efficient in-play betting.
  • Accumulators. Stacking outcomes during events is an excellent way to boost value, particularly if you can see several outcomes are very likely.
  • Cash out. Cashing out means closing a bet early in exchange for a sum offered by the betting site, based on the latest developments. It's useful for cutting losses, taking a profit in a precarious situation, or hedging/arbitrage strategies. Some sites offer more nuanced versions of the feature. bet365, for example, offers Partial Cash Out, which lets you can cash out a proportion of your bet, leaving the remainder to ride.
  • Special offers. As in-play betting is a competitive area, many online betting sites run special offers and bonuses. Some may give free bets when you place a pre-match bet, others may run money-back offers, so it's a good idea to shop around.

Stats and Streaming

In-running betting is all about the excitement of a game, of spotting an opportunity and acting on it. The best in-running betting sites will maximise that experience by giving you the tools to help you bet.

A good selection of live statistics, displayed in a clear fashion, can give surprisingly profitable insights. For more direct tips, however, you may also want to look for sites with live commentary. Some sites even have specialist radio shows, like William Hill's In-Play Radio.

Finally, for strategies based on instinct and spotting shifts in momentum, seek out a site that offers live streaming on a wide range of events. Most top betting sites will have coverage of major sports, but it can be worth digging deeper to find the ones that others may overlook.


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