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Live Sports Betting Strategy: Top Strategies for In-Play Betting

Dave Kuzio
Editor
Fact checked by: Mike McKean
Publish Date: 31.01.2024

Gone are the days when bets had to be wagered prior to a game starting. Live betting now provides you the opportunity to wager as the action unfolds, so we put together a comprehensive live betting strategy guide for you.

Betting in play has never been more available than it is now. Dozens of online bookmakers have live betting functionality for numerous sports, like football, tennis, American football, basketball, cricket, and more. Here, we will present some tips to make your betting experience more enjoyable as you explore the world of live online betting.

What is Live Betting?

Firstly, let’s make it clear what live betting is. Rather than needing to place your bet before the game starts, as you previously would’ve had to when pre-match betting was the main form of betting, live betting allows you to wager even after the game has commenced or even about to end. This leads to very dynamic betting scenarios, which will naturally require different betting tactics from those you would use with pre-match bets.

Smart vs. Risky Live Betting Strategy

You want to ensure that your live betting experience remains fun but responsible at the same time. Picking up and maintaining bad habits can be detrimental to your experience and your finances overall. Therefore, we have created the following table to suggest some of the things you should avoid during different types of typical betting scenarios and ways you can start to formulate the best live betting strategy to suit you:

🧐Situation Risky Strategy Smart Strategy
Recovering from a LossChasing losses with bigger and riskier bets can lead to bad betting habits and accumulate your losses further.Accept a loss as a loss, and bet with the same precautions as you normally would.
Staying Up to Date on a MatchNot knowing what’s happening leaves you in the dark about your live bets.Taking advantage of livestream or live stats via a bookmaker to get a grasp of the ongoings for a more informed bet.
Assessing your Ongoing Wins or LossesBlindly accepting your bet as win or lose at the end of a match without considering your potential winnings at different time points in the game.Using partial, full or auto cashout features to lock in as many winnings as possible throughout the course of the game to avoid leaving with nothing in return.
Preparing for a BetWildly punting on a side without considering how their games usually pan out.Doing statistical research before, during and after a match. Knowing that a side tends to perform better after 30 minutes, for example, is a useful piece of insight.

How to Create the Best Live Betting Strategy

As seen, there are numerous beneficial actions that many customers use today to tailor for themselves the best live betting strategy, which we explore more in detail below. Building a winning live betting strategy takes time, but by considering these basic points, you’ll be off to a good start.

📺 Watch the Game Live

Any live sports betting strategy is of course improved by watching the game live. Simply checking the live score on your phone might not tell you the true tale of what is happening. By watching the game as it plays out, you can better grasp how a team performs and make a better prediction of what could happen next. Conveniently, there are tons of betting sites with live streaming that come equipped with live stats and sometimes even audio commentaries, which means that you can watch and bet at the same time on the same platform and not get distracted between monitoring multiple screens. 

🧑‍🎓 Research Statistics

This is a great indicator to identify who is getting the lion’s share of the play and see how things like possession or fouls increase per team as time goes on. Statistics can help you form a better overall judgement for your stake. You can take a deep dive into statistics from the in-play data centre to inform your betting strategy. For instance, in soccer, look at things like the number of fouls a team commits, which player receives the most red and yellow cards, and how often a team usually scores in the first or second half of matches. This information will help you create live-in-play bets that are likely to come to fruition, and it’s applicable to every sport.

💲Look for the Good Value Odds

If a team that has been dominant all season finds itself surprisingly behind early on, you’ll notice that the odds you’ll be offered for the favourites to win will have increased. Assuming you’re confident that they’ll turn their fortunes around in this game, you can wager on boosted odds for a potentially increased return on your stake than you’d have been presented with at the start of the game. The key thing to remember with live betting is that odds are subject to change throughout the game. You should stay logged into your betting account so you can act on changes in the odds, and also to ensure you can cash out at the optimal time, as explained below.

💸 Make Use of Cash Out

Anybody who’s been betting for a while will tell you that cashing out is part and parcel of a live sports betting strategy. If things aren’t going the way you thought they might, and you want to cut your losses for a reduced return, opting to cash out can at least give you something back in return without losing your entire stake. Betting sites with cash out functions are a firm favourite among live bettors, and some sites even have the option for partial cash out so that you can safeguard part of your bet while sitting on the rest to see how it plays out. There is even auto cashout on some sites, in case you have to step out during a live match. 

⚽ Explore Player-Specific Markets

Perhaps a player has become motivated all of a sudden because of an unjust refereeing decision, or you can see that they’re on thin ice regarding giving away fouls. Whatever the sport, you can choose to wager on the next scorer, the time or method of the next score, punishments handed to a specific player, or countless other individual markets that you feel might be likely in the immediate future.

These tips can go a long way to effectively utilising the in-play betting features an online bookmaker offers for the best live betting strategy. Promotional bonuses, like money back on draws, could also affect your thinking for potential bets, so make sure to check the promotions page on the sports bookmaker’s website.

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3 Wagers to Consider for Your Live Betting Strategy

An effective in-play betting strategy takes some research and familiarising yourself with an online betting platform to understand its features and how it functions. In-game markets are vast and differ between sports, but generally, some types of bets cross over between an array of sports. Here are some markets you could consider as part of your live betting strategy:

🏀Next Goalscorer (Ideal for team sports)It can sometimes be difficult to predict who is going to take centre stage before any football, basketball, American football, or rugby game, for example. However, within your live sports betting strategy, you might want to consider who puts points on the board next. Especially as you watch the game, you can see who the chances are falling to, who looks out of sorts as they attempt to score, and the likelihood of a chance appearing. Identifying who you believe is the biggest threat to the opposition’s defence based on how the game is shaping up means you have some insight into proceedings.
⏱️ Half-Time Markets (Don’t just bet on the full-time whistle)You can place bets that will be finalised at half-time in advance of a game starting, of course, but the availability for betting as half-time approaches in the game you’re watching is there. For instance, if you’re unable to watch the second half of a match because of a prior engagement and want to see if your bet comes in, you can choose to do so if you wish. We wouldn’t recommend this tactic to chase your losses, however, as this can become unhealthy, but it serves as an interesting option for those who’ve decided they will bet in play anyway and can see the momentum build in a team just before the break.
👆Over/Under Bets (Focus on the total points scored in a game)It’s easier to understand how many goals a contest might have if we watch it for ourselves. Live viewing is a useful component of live betting generally, but predicting how many goals, touchdowns, tries, or points a game will have is easier to assess if you’re seeing it for yourself. Let’s say you’re watching a football game, and it’s a frantic affair that’s non-stop end-to-end action: it would be reasonable to assume the chances will continue to come and the goals might start flowing. Conversely, if the opportunities to score aren’t materialising, betting on the under market could make sense.

Bet Safely: Responsible Gambling is a Priority When Live Betting

The common denominator to any successful betting strategy is responsible gambling. Additional markets and features found in live betting markets can improve the betting experience, but this is only the case if you know how to control your gambling.

If you feel like live betting is beginning to affect you in any way negatively, step back from it, seek out the help that’s available, and take back control of your betting habits. The best live betting sites hosted by the most reputable bookmakers will have responsible gambling tools listed on their website to help anyone who might benefit from setting daily, weekly, or monthly deposit limits and restrict how frequently and how much you bet. Remember that the best live betting strategies always puts you before your bets.

The Final Word on Live Betting: Great Fun for Responsible Gamblers

Pre-game bets might make sense depending on the odds you are presented with before it starts, but, should you decide to use live betting features, an informed live betting strategy could help boost your bankroll. The odds will change depending on what happens, and every minor occurrence could change those odds and your thinking towards what might happen next.

Remember to bear in mind the research you’ve done before the event, watch and understand the flow of the game you’re betting on, examine the markets that are listed on the bookmaker’s platform, explore whether cashing out is available, and don’t chase your losses. If you take these tips into consideration, you should have a better experience when you bet live.

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Live Betting Strategies FAQ

🤔 What is the most profitable live betting strategy?

Many gamblers believe that hedging bets is the best way to ensure that you make some winnings from your stake, even if this doesn’t result in big winnings. We don’t encourage you to chase losses and would certainly warn against it if it develops into a problematic issue. However, placing a small amount of money on a bet that could at least return your stake might make sense if your larger winnings don’t come to fruition.

📺 Can you make money with an in-play betting strategy?

Live betting options can certainly present many opportunities to make cash winnings. Advanced bets can also return winnings, but the event might be proceeding differently from what you imagined before it commenced, which is why live betting may hold an advantage. Bear in mind that the odds change frequently during live betting, so you need to ensure that you watch a reliable and up-to-date stream of the event to stay in line with those odds changes.

What is the easiest live betting strategy?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to live betting that works for everybody. Some people don’t like betting on certain markets, while others do. A lot of it is down to preference. However, key components of strong live betting strategies include managing your budget well, staying informed on the live action, exploring the markets that exist, using cash-out functions, and realising if you are in control of your betting or not.

🎲 What is ‘3-way’ in live betting?

The terminology changes from country to country, but a 3-way listing usually includes three outcomes: Team A winning, Team B winning, or the game ending in a draw. The odds of a draw vary between sports, e.g., a draw is much more likely to occur in soccer than in American football or basketball. You can bet on the final outcome of a game, or even the half-time result, from one of these three scenarios occurring.

🏆 Is live betting the best way to bet?

Live betting is a useful chance for bettors to win money that was previously unavailable. Whether it is better or not depends on your style of wagering and whether you can watch the event. Live betting is particularly interesting if you are able to stream the game live and offers more insight than pre-game predictions would.