How Does Live Betting Work (And Where to Play)

Updated: 38633 Betting

How Does Live Betting Work (And Where to Play)

The opportunity for live betting online in the US has now added a new dimension to my sports wagers. I can watch and bet on the game while it is happening.

How does live betting work?

Live betting works by being able to place a wager even while the event is taking place. Betting odds are continuously updated as the action ebbs and flows and wagers made available to bet. You can follow the action and follow the team or player in supremacy or back against the crowd for better odds.

Live betting is also known as 'In-Play Betting' or 'In-Running Betting.'

Here I delve into this fast-paced and exciting approach to betting on sport following this list of online sportsbooks offering live betting and which states they are available in.

Live betting in the US remains limited but growing at pace. Not all sportsbooks have the capability, technology, or resources to manage live betting across all sports. It is widely available throughout Europe and has been for many years, so expect those books with links and support from European companies to lead the line in introducing live betting across more sports and markets.

An in Depth Look at How Live Betting Works and How to Play

There are few more exciting prospects than having placed a wager on your favorite team and watching the action unfold. 

With the addition of Live Betting, you can adjust your position during the game, increasing profits, locking them in, or if things are going against you, limit your losses.

Live betting works in just the same way as regular wagering but at a much faster pace, especially in sports such as Tennis or Basketball.

Live Betting

Fantastic sports excitement being able to watch and bet in-play on your favorite game.

Even with football or baseball in-play, wagering opportunities abound with opportunities to predict what will happen in the next play. Will the next down result in a 1st Down, will there be a rush or throw. The opportunities are limitless.

As the next score is made, the lines will change based on renewed probabilities either produced by live traders or computerized algorithms. The new odds will be displayed, and you will be able to make a new prediction on the outcome of the game with the new live betting odds available.

Why is there a delay when I try to place a Live bet?

When wagering with betting sites in-play, there will be a slight delay before the wager is accepted. This delay can be anything from one to nine seconds. Nine seconds can feel like a lifetime during in-play betting! 

The delay is purposeful and happens for a reason.

Remember, when watching live sport on TV it is not actually live. There will be a delay of a few seconds up to even a minute on what is happening. The score may have changed in real-time while you are watching a play building. That score is going to change the market odds and the wager value you want to place.

As close as possible, you are betting on what the situation of play is. Some sports take a little longer to update the current status than others, and people at an event can gain a massive advantage over others that are not. That includes an enormous advantage over the book.

Not only is this an advantage over the book but also an advantage over you as a bettor. You may be betting against something that has already happened, especially in fast-paced sports like tennis or basketball, where scores can change rapidly.

A basketball team may score a couple of quick baskets in real-time. The sportsbook may still be unaware and have not updated odds. The delay allows a small window of time for consideration of the correct score data before updating the live betting odds.

There is quite a famous live betting strategy known as 'Court-Siding.' Many people take advantage of knowing the result or current state of play before the sportsbook does. 

They can move very quickly to gain favorable odds. I'll add more details about 'court-siding' before the end of this article if you are interested.

On What Sports Can I bet 'In-Play'?

With the growth of online sports betting, the range of sports available to wager on is growing. So are the live betting opportunities. The following sports are available to bet on in-play with at least one online sportsbook.

What Sports are Available for Live Betting Online?
Football Basketball
Tennis Hockey
Soccer Golf
Rugby Union Cricket
Motor Racing Darts

Which Sports are Best for Live Betting?

The best sports for live betting depend on your interest, knowledge, and expertise. You should never make a wager on a sport or an event of which you have no experience. If you were to do that, you may as well hit a land-based casino and throw it all on red. Only make live wagers when you have some insight or knowledge of the teams or players participating in the event.

Some bettors will prefer slower-paced sports for betting in-play, while others excel and get excitement from the speed of faster events. The quicker the score or lead changes in a game, the more betting opportunities will be made available. Decisions and wagers have less time for consideration. Slower sports like baseball or golf allow much more time to consider your options before committing to a live bet.

Fast Medium Slow
Tennis Soccer Football
Basketball Rugby Union Golf
Ice Hockey

What is the best way to learn live betting strategies?

Here you are going to learn a no-risk strategy to live betting to become used to how the odds and markets change and bets can be won and lost. 

I would recommend some practice before committing real cash to live betting online. It can take a while to become accustomed to the pace at which the odds change and how quickly you need to come to a decision. 

Try the following approach before wagering for real. 

Known as 'paper-trialing,' you will need only a pen and paper and no money.

Open one of our recommended live betting online sportsbooks from the section above. Grab one of those welcome offers while you are there, by clicking a link.

You will need to do this while an event is taking place. Or, preferably, just before it is about to begin.

Find live betting on the main menu. Choose one of the slow-paced sports like football to begin with and watch the betting odds right at the point of the game beginning. Note how they change the moment the game is underway.

While you are watching, take a look at the markets on offer and choose one which you are interested in placing a wager.

Note the wager you would like to make, copy down the odds, and a stake you would usually bet. It may be the only wager you would want to make during the game, or you can continue to write down further bets as they come to mind during the game.

Notice how the odds on the betting lines can change considerably as events unfold.

At the end of the game, settle all of your bets. Marking the loss for the incorrect predictions and the profits on the winning ones. How did you get on?

I would recommend doing this several times to get a 'feel' for live betting. Things can move fast and get away from you. So some experience of the pace of live betting is hugely advantageous before committing real money. TRUST ME! You will lose much less when you start live betting for real!

Once you feel you have mastered the slower sports, have a go at tennis and basketball and notice the difference. I love basketball live betting. I love the sport anyway and how quickly games can change and sometimes it is easy to spot an excellent opportunity. A key player may come off and the balance of play sway. Live betting odds are generally just based on the score and the amount of time left. Consideration of the influence of players is not so crucial to the odds algorithms, but it is to us when betting. Keep this in mind.

Courtsiding [Tennis Live Betting]

I mentioned court siding earlier in the article. It is probably worth an article all of its own, but I will cover it briefly in this final section.

  • Court-siding is a live betting strategy undertaken by a crack team of live betting sports bettors. It is made up of
  • An organized team
  • Skilled and experienced operators
  • Lightning-fast communication
  • Courtside presence
  • Remote online gambling access

The most common place or sporting arena you will find 'court-siders' is tennis. It is for very good reason

Court-siders are not following a particular tournament. 

Court-siders do not follow specific players. 

Wagers are decided purely on the referee judging the match!

The court-siding team will be set up, one or more members at the tournament. More members remotely located with a good wi-fi signal and connected to a sportsbook offering live betting on tennis. Between them, there will be a constant cell connection. The court-sider will often have long hair [No. Really!] to hide the earpiece and microphone.

Why? Because in tennis, it is the referee who confirms the score by manually operated electronic technology. And some referees are slower than others in updating scores.

The referee's delay in updating the score allows the team member at the courtside to relay score information back to other members. The other web-connected members can now place bets on events which they already know the result or position before the market is suspended and odds updated. 


Live Betting Faqs

  • Can you parlay live bets?

    You can parlay live bets in certain circumstances. Sometimes a particular market may not be available to add to your card. In most cases, select the bets you want to add to your bet slip, and if a parlay is accepted, you will see the option to choose it.

  • Can you make money live betting?

    You certainly can make money from live betting, but as with all forms of gambling, it is entirely down to your success at predicting the outcome of the live betting markets.

    Always remember it is also possible to go broke betting, so only ever bet what you can comfortably afford to lose.

  • Can you bet on a football game after it starts?

    Betting on a football game after it starts is precisely what live betting is. It can provide you with the advantage to see how teams are set up, who has the early supremacy or scores, and bet accordingly. You will generally be able to bet on a football game until a few minutes of the end of the game. Live betting on football offers a considerable number of opportunities, including betting markets that are not available pre-match.

  • When does live betting start?

    Live betting becomes available; the very moment the event gets underway. If you are watching the betting screens at this point, you will notice them all close momentarily and then open again with new odds. At the moment live betting on an event is initiated, you may also see new markets appearing that are not available for wagering pre-game.

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