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In-play betting is the act of placing a bet on an event after the sporting match/contest has already begun. In-play betting is also sometimes known as live betting or in-running betting and is most commonly associated with sports such as football, horse racing, cricket and rugby.
In-play offers a unique variation to the standard per-match betting as it allows the punter to follow some of the action prior to placing a bet if they are undecided before the match. Quite often, the odds reflect this as they swing as the game evolves to shorten on the side either performing much better or out in front.
In-play betting adds a new, interactive element to betting and has plenty of opportunities of its own. For example, in a Premier League match between Manchester City and Bournemouth, it is safe to say that City would be big pre-match favourites offering little value.
However, once the game kicked off, and if Bournemouth scored an early goal, the bettor could place an in-play bet on Manchester City to win the game, but the odds would offer much better value as City are a goal down.
This is the case for all sports on which bookmakers offer in-play markets and if a punter is unsure what to back prior to the start of the game, in-play betting allows the opportunity to make an informed decision based on early performance.
Five of Britain’s leading bookmakers, Bet365, Bwin, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and William Hill were among the first bookies to offer in-play betting and due to its popularity is a major contributor to the £14 billion annual revenue the UK betting industry makes.