How To Get Started With Live Betting at An Online Sportsbook
Live betting is a topic that I have covered previously in the article Sportsbooks That Offer Live Betting In Game. In that article, I recommended a number of different sites which offer in-play betting, and provided a quick introduction to the topic along with some tips to help you win more of your live bets.
But there is still more ground to be covered. Live betting is really just coming into its own nowadays. More and more sportsbooks are offering it, and it’s becoming ever more popular by the day. With so many opportunities out there, it is well worth exploring some other facets of the topic. So in this article, I want to tell you more about the types of in-play bets you can place, and walk you through how you can get started.
*If you want to know which sportsbooks offer live in game betting, – check out my top list.
What Is Live Betting?
First of all, if you have not already read the article I just linked to, I suggest going back and doing so. But in case you choose not to do so right now, I want to briefly go over what live betting is.
Live betting is precisely what you probably have guessed from the name; it simply refers to placing a wager while a match is in progress. “In-play betting” is another name for the exact same thing.
Placing live bets really is no more complicated than placing any other type of wager. The basic steps are more or less the same. But live betting introduces new opportunities and challenges to the betting process.
Advantages of Live Betting
Odds may change, offering better values. The odds change leading up to a match, but the odds on live bets continue to fluctuate as a match unfolds. Sometimes those changing odds can result in some great values since bookmakers do not have as much time to run their analysis. Like you, they are rapidly making decisions from moment to moment.
There are more types of bets you can place. When you are wagering on live matches, you can place most traditional types of bets, but there are also a number of other wager types which are introduced that are unique to in-play betting. That just means more fun ways to make money!
You can use information revealed by events in the field to make betting decisions. There are situations where it is really hard to make a solid prediction about a match or a race leading up to the event. But once you actually have a chance to see the participants on the field or the track, you finally may have the information you need to make an informed wager.
Live betting can help you to hedge your bets or minimize your losses.
What if you place a wager leading up to a match only for the match to start out a lot differently than you expected? The player you backed is losing, and you are now confident that the other player will win. With in-play betting, you can place a wager on the other player to offset your original bet. You can use this to minimize your loss, break even, or maybe even make a small net profit. Be careful with this though as it can be easy to be tempted into constantly reversing your bets. Always have a concrete reason for doing so!
React to qualitative factors. Some things which take place during a match are impossible to quantify. You might see an MMA fighter who looks like he’s being crushed by his opponent, but something in his eyes tells you that he’s holding back on purpose, that he is wearing out his opponent, that he is going to clobber him at the end of the match. Or you might see a football team which looks like it is winning, but you can see the fatigue on the field and know that things are about to go downhill. Live betting is an amazing chance to capitalize on these observations and make some cash. To some extent, you can do that with traditional betting as well (after observing a team fatiguing over the course of a season for example), but usually not nearly so directly.
Live betting is exciting. Finally, one more awesome advantage of live betting is that it is just ridiculously entertaining! Watching a match live is always exciting, but you cannot beat the thrill of actively participating as the match unfolds. When you bet live, you are part of the action, not just a passive spectator!
Drawbacks of Live Betting
For the most part, in-play betting is advantageous and can greatly add to your fun (and hopefully your bottom line). But there are a few disadvantages worth mentioning briefly:
Live betting can be hard to manage from an executive standpoint. Every person has a different level at which they can efficiently accomplish tasks without making mistakes. If you have low executive function, you may struggle to manage live bets and may have a hard time not making mistakes. There is a lot to keep track of, and it is all happening very fast. This can be confusing and overwhelming.
You have no time to conduct a thorough analysis. Oftentimes when you go to place a live bet, you will have literally seconds to think about your decision. Sometimes, you may need to make it almost simultaneously. Naturally some punters are going to have an easier time with this than others. But even if you are a super fast thinker, it may have an adverse impact on your overall accuracy.
Some punters are easily overwhelmed emotionally. Have a hard time staying level-headed when you place your bets before a match? Placing wagers during a match can test your ability to keep your cool even more. You are right in the middle of the excitement, and if one of the teams involved in the match is one you are a major fan of, it can be even harder to rein in your emotions.
Betting in-play can be addictive. Finally, if you have a personality which is prone to addiction, you may find it hard to stop placing in-play bets and appropriately manage your money.
Types of Live Bets You Can make
Now that you know some of the advantages and minuses of live betting, let us check out some of the types of live wagers you can place.
Point spread bets
Parlays and teasers
Traditional prop bets
First of all, you can place most of the same traditional types of bets in-play that you can before a match begins. The one exception would be futures bets, which are not really applicable since the match is no longer in the future.
Bet on a team or player to win. This is the simplest and most straightforward type of bet you can place. While a match is in-play, simply try to pick the winner.
This is similar to the wager type above, but points are added or subtracted to try and even the chances of either outcome. This helps to adjust the odds so that you can bet profitably on the favorite. It can also be used to improve your chances of winning with the underdog (though you will win less money if that actually happens).
These are accumulator bets where you are making several selections at once and linking them all together so that you need to win them all to win the overall bet. These types of wagers are hard to win if you place them before a match, and they can be very hard to win during a match as well. If you do win an accumulator bet, you can take home quite a big payout.
There is a whole category of exotic bets which you can place for any sport. Many of these exotic wagers are also available in-play. For example, if you are watching a horse race, you could place a superfecta wager while the horses are running.
There are a lot of different types of over/under bets (also known as totals bets). You could bet that the total goals scored by a team will be over or under a certain amount, or that a team will win a game by a point margin over or under a particular amount pre-determined by the sportsbook.
There are a huge range of proposition bets which are available both in-play and before a match begins.
Bets Specific to In-Play Wagering
Now, let’s take a look at some of the special types of wagers which are specific to in-play betting.
Next team to score/next player to score
Time next goal will be scored
Next player to get a yellow card/red card (soccer. Oops. I mean football)
Next player to serve (tennis)
Which bowler is going to take the upcoming wicket (cricket)
How the next drive will end in NFL
Before a match takes place, you can wager on the first player or team to score, but live betting allows you to continue after the first score to wager on the next team or player to score.
Not only can you bet on who will score the next goal, but you can even bet on when it will take place. This might take the form of an over/under bet.
Which player will be booked next during a football match? This would be a tough bet to win in most cases, but it could pay well.
Which player will serve next in a tennis match? This is self-explanatory.
This is also self-explanatory.
Options might include a field goal, a turnover or a touchdown, with odds for each outcome.
This list can go on and on. There are dozens of possibilities for every sport you can name, which is one of the reasons live betting is so spectacularly exciting!
How to Start Up With Live Betting – Make Your First “Live” Bet Online
Here are the steps:
- Find a sportsbook (or several) which offers live betting and sign up.
- Find a way to stream matches live.
- Start following the sport(s) you want to bet on live closely.
- Develop strategies which will help you win.
- Come up with a money management strategy.
- Stream the match and fill out your betting slips.
- Enjoy your winnings!
Let’s break it down.
Find a sportsbook (or several) which offers live betting and sign up.
Best Live Betting Sportsbooks (a Top 3)
If you click through to this article, you can read up on each of these sites in detail. We have selected them because they offer a wide selection of in-play betting markets and wager types along with awesome bonuses and promotions.
While you can get started with just one online sportsbook, I strongly suggest that you pick several. Why? This will give you the opportunity to shop around for the best odds. Just as this is important when you are betting before a match, it also can boost your profit margin when you are betting live. It will also widen your access to markets and bet types.
Find a way to stream matches live.
Your next priority is going to be to search for a place where you can live stream the matches, games and races that you are interested in wagering on live.
Where can you do this? You have a couple of options. The first is to watch matches on television. You will need to look up the sport you are interested in and find out who owns the TV broadcasting rights. If you have access to that channel, then you are all set.
What if you do not? Fortunately for you, many sports betting sites actually provide their own live streams. These streams are typically made available to punters who are placing a minimum bet on the events in question. In most cases, that means betting only a few dollars (or even just a dollar). In some cases, you may not need to place a wager at all; simply having an account with a positive balance may be enough.
Here are a couple of recommended betting sites which provide live streaming:
If there is one sportsbook online which is ridiculously comprehensive in terms of the benefits it offers, it is Bovada. This sportsbook provides live streams of numerous events in horse racing, greyhound racing, tennis, football, hockey, volleyball, basketball, badminton, and more. In fact, each year, Bovada streams more than 100,000 events.
In order to watch the live streams hosted by Bovada, you need to have a registered account, and you need to be logged in. Your account needs to have a positive balance, or you need to have placed a wager sometime within the past 24 hours. Most sports are free to stream, but for horse racing, you need to place a wager of 0.50 win or 0.25 each-way. The rules are complicated for greyhound streaming, but the betting requirements are again minimal.
BetOnline reports that they stream more than 2,000 events every week. This includes sports like football, basketball, darts, snooker, rugby, badminton, ice hockey, tennis, and horse racing.
For horse and greyhound racing, you need to place a minimum bet of $1.00 to access the live stream. For all other sports, live streaming is free so long as there is money in your account. You can locate a live stream by scrolling to the event you are interested in and looking for the green play icon. Live streaming begins two minutes ahead of the event. You can run the live stream on any type of device, be it a laptop, desktop, smartphone, or tablet.
Additional Live Streaming Tips
What is important to look for in a live stream? Well, for starters, free is obviously good. But you also should make sure that the stream is reliable and fast. If it is lagging even half a second behind, that can result in you losing money unnecessarily. And if the stream were to crash, that could mean disaster.
Live betting is a situation where multiple devices can be quite handy. Have a mobile device and a laptop or desktop computer? Tune into the live stream on one device and open your betting interface on the other. That way you are not stuck switching back and forth.
You also probably will want to have some kind of backup option in case your preferred live stream fails. Have a second stream ready to go or already open on another screen. That way you will not miss a moment of the action.
Start following the sport(s) you want to bet on live closely.
Once you are set up with live streaming and you have registered and deposited money on a couple of sportsbooks, you are ready to take the next step toward profitable in-play betting.
Most guides at this point would just skip down to step #6. If you are not worried about winning or losing, you can too. But I am assuming that you are interested in becoming a profitable in-play bettor.
If that is the case, you should not jump right into placing live bets. Instead, you should start closely following and researching whichever sport(s) you are thinking of betting on. I suggest sticking with just one or two sports when you start out so you can really get in-depth.
To really become an expert, you need to not only look up statistics and reports on past matches, but start streaming and watching matches live and taking careful notes. This is helpful even with traditional betting, but it is a must with in-play betting.
While you are doing that, you can begin on the next step.
Develop strategies which will help you win.
It is not enough with sports betting to simply “go with your gut” and think that you will win. Look up the win/loss ratio of sharps that actually bet for a living, and you will see that it is very hard to win more bets than you lose. Even experts are generally happy with a win percentage of around 55%.
That means that without a sound strategy, you are not going to win more bets than you lose. There are just too many factors which make it challenging to predict outcomes accurately.
So you need a strategy if you do plan on winning reliably and making some serious money with sports betting.
How can you come up with one? Well, you have a couple of options. You can either look for a strategy developed by somebody else, or you can create a strategy yourself. Regardless of the approach you take, make sure that you take the time to test that strategy out with games that are in-play before you attempt to use your techniques with real money on the line.
If you already place traditional bets, you will probably find that some of the strategies you are using now are applicable to in-play betting, but they will need to be adapted to the new situation. Then again, you may find that starting from the ground up also provides you with solid techniques.
Come up with a money management strategy and think about how you will handle hedging.
Just as important as a betting strategy is a money management strategy. While this is true with traditional betting which takes place before a match, it is perhaps even more crucial when you are betting in-play. Why? Think how difficult it is to control your emotions and plan your bets even with traditional betting. When you are betting live, it will be even more difficult to keep track of your wagers and control yourself in the heat of the moment.
Live betting also presents additional temptations to break not only with your money management strategies, but your general betting strategies as well. Consider the earlier discussion on hedging. While live betting can be a useful tool for that application, if you struggle with second-guessing yourself, you might end up simply negating all of your potential wins by overusing it. In the process, you also may convolute your bets to the point where it is difficult to calculate your stakes and how your wins or losses might play out.
So set strict limits on the number of in-play bets that you will place simultaneously, both for a single event, and for multiple events which you may be wagering on at the same time.
Also ensure that within your betting plan, you come up with strict rules for hedging on your bets. A good rule of thumb is that if the original reason for your bet no longer exists, and there are no additional justifications which back it up as a smart wager, negating it with a counteracting wager may be wise. But simply feeling anxious is not a good reason to go reversing your wagers pell-mell.
How much money should you stake on your bets?
Obviously there is no single answer to this question, but I always advise punters to stick with some small percentage of their account, say 3%.
Should you vary the amount? That also is up for debate, but I suggest just sticking with the same flat percentage each time. That way the money you stake grows with your account, but your overall risk profile stays the same.
One thing to be extra cogent of with live betting is how many bets you are in simultaneously. It is easy to start stacking up bets, like first team to score and first player to score and so on. Just make sure you are aware of the overall risk of all your bets combined, and set a cap which will not drain your account. After all, if you lose first player to score and it turns out to be someone on the opposing team, you also lose first team to score.
Stream the match and fill out your betting slips.
Once you have completed the steps above and are ready to manage your money and strategically place your wagers, you are finally ready to start betting live! At this point, you can log into your betting account and open the live betting page. While you are watching the match, you will see the different in-play wagers which are available. Select the ones you are interested in and fill out and submit your betting slips as usual.
Enjoy your winnings!
If you developed working strategies and you implement them properly, over time you should end up with a net profit in your account. Slowly but surely, your balance will grow until you have a formidable bankroll. And all the while, you will be reveling in the thrill and excitement of in-play betting, taking an active role participating in the events that you already love to watch.
Conclusion: In-Play Betting Can Be Fun and Profitable … And It’s Easy to Get Started!
If you love placing traditional wagers on sports, you are going to have a blast with in-play betting. Getting started is as simple as signing up for an account on a site which offers live betting, finding a way to live stream matches, and placing your wagers on your online bet slips. Of course, if you want to win regularly, you will need a strategy and money management plan as well. But if you are willing to do that extra work, you will find that in-play betting can pay off handsomely!
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