How does in-play betting work action

How Does In-Play Betting Work

By Dan Tracey - Oct 19th 2022

In the days before technology and betting created such a symbiotic relationship, the experience of placing a football wager was far different. Not only would you have to enter a physical shop made of bricks and mortar, but you also were required to place all your faith in one particular outcome before kick-off.

If you thought that Tottenham were going to get the better of Arsenal or Liverpool would do the same against Everton, the bet you made was the bet that was in place until the final whistle was blown by the referee.

A decision that had to be locked in beforhand and if the result went against you, there was little you could do apart from bemoan your fortunes while also vowing that next weekend would deliver a winner.

Soccer Betting Has Changed Considerably In The Past Decade

However, the advances in technology have thrust sports betting to the top of the table and one of the more recent positive steps that has been made, is the arrival of in-play betting – something that has changed the landscape considerably.


In short, in-play betting is where you can place a wager as the match develops and in doing so, such a move can also minimise the level of risk involved to prospective punters. Which also means the balance of power is titled closer in your favour.

While for those asking the question, how does in play betting work? We are now going to explain the concept in more detail.

Take the win draw win market and a fixture between Brighton and Nottingham Forest at The Amex.

Before the game gets underway, the pre-match odds are as follows:

Brighton 1.40
Draw 4.75
Nottingham Forest 8.00

A set of odds that lean heavily towards the Seagulls swooping towards another three points and if they were to score the opening goal, those odds would shorten even further.

Let’s assume that Danny Welbeck has just put the hosts ahead with a neat finish inside the Nottingham Forest box. Not only would that have given the South Coast outfit an advantage, but with in-play it would offer one to you as well.

If Roberto De Zerbi’s men got into the interval at 1-0 up, the in-play odds would then look something like this:

Brighton 1.11
Draw 7.50
Nottingham Forest 19.00

As you can see, there has been a considerable swing towards a Brighton win, and this comes with them currently possessing a goal head start over their opponents. While it is a head start that my entice you to place an in-play bet.

The odds may have lessened as far as backing Brighton are concerned. With a goal lead and home advantage backing Brighton during the match than opposed to before, is a far less risky proposition than it once was.


While using in-play odds can also lead to a profitable strategy and that is if you are prepared to hold your nerve and be patient. In this instance, if Brighton were to hold on and you backed the odds at the interval, that is an 11% return on investment.

Of course, a Premier League game like any other can have plenty of ebb and flow and Brighton could just as easily net a second goal with 25 minutes remaining. Should that be the case, the odds will change to something like this:

Brighton 1.01
Draw 26.00
Nottingham Forest 41.00

Betting In-Play In The Second Half Can Lessen Your Risk

Here there has been even further movement in the direction of Brighton and if you wanted to compound the bankroll you already have, you could place £100 on a home win and earn a relatively risk-free £1 for your troubles.

Whether you would want to place such a top-heavy bet is something that can be argued, but if you were looking for a daily return on investment, in-play wagers are a quick way to build profits in the short to medium term.

Although the risk is a hefty one due to the stake involved, it would take something drastic for Brighton not to secure victory after going 2-0 up with 20 minutes to go and if you can hold your nerve for that amount of time, a winning bet will then be yours.

Like most aspects of football betting, something of a balancing act is going to be required. Yes, the likelihood of 1.01 bet getting over the line is rather high but at the same time, there is always that small possibility that Forest make a remarkable comeback and cost you a lot of money.

Which is why timing is the key principle when it comes to in-play betting and if we revert back to the prices that were on offer at half time, a 11% return for 45 minutes work is a more tempting offer than a 1% return for 20.

Leave the market open for too long and the prices on offer will decrease too far. Place a bet with the majority of the game remaining and the balance between risk and reward is one that is far more palatable.


However, there can also be another twist in the tale, and this comes in Nottingham Forest being just as capable of making that same comeback that we mentioned above. If we remind ourselves of the in play odds at the interval, they looked as follows:

Brighton 1.11
Draw 7.50
Nottingham Forest 19.00

A Late Goal Can Change Everything

The statistics could suggest that Brighton’s goal came against the run of play and that Forest still have a chance of earning at least a point. The 4.75 starting odds of a stalemate have now lengthened to 8.00 since going a goal behind.

However, this is not necessarily a bad thing and if you were bold enough to back the draw at the interval, all it takes is a Forest equaliser to make a considerable amount of profit and more that you would have been offered before kick-off.

A last-minute goal by Brennan Johnson causes pandemonium in the away end and the same in living rooms up and down the country as your in-play hunch of a draw has come good.
Despair for Brighton and their supporters. A delight for those who backed Forest to leave The Amex with a point and huge reward for those who tried the luck with an in play bet.

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