Live sports betting, sometimes called “in-play betting,” is a way to make betting on sports more immediate. This type of wager requires bettors keep up with the game and make quick wager decisions based on in-game events. Along with mobile gambling, in-play wagers represent one of the fastest-growing styles of play in the Web-based gaming industry.

How does live betting (aka “in-play betting”) work?

Think of a standard sports bet – you place a wager on an event or an outcome before it takes place and wait to see if your bet pays off. Live betting turns this process on its ear – whether you’re laying wagers “in-running” (for horse races) or watching a game unfold through a live stream at your favorite online sportsbook, you’ll be asked to bet in a dynamic environment that’s as different from traditional sportsbook betting as you can get.

If live betting sounds exciting, you may be wondering what the downside is – before we get into a discussion about the advantages of placing live bets, let’s talk about why you may not want to try this style of wagering out. If you prefer a slower pace, stick to traditional bets. If you don’t respond well to pressure, in-play wagers will probably be too nerve-racking for you.

Why you should try live betting online

If, on the other hand, you’re the type of person who’s first in line at the latest roller coaster, or if you consider yourself a statistic junkie and you have an awesome understanding of a sport, in-play wagers are perfect for you.

High-energy bets – Let’s call a spade a spade – live-play wagering is more exciting. In-play gambling doesn’t come with the same wait-times you’ll find in traditional betting. New bets can be placed at pretty much any moment during a match. The added drama that this creates makes it a completely different animal from standard sports betting.

Reduced risk – Think of it this way – if you place a wager well before a contest starts, you are putting your bet at risk in a way that in-play bettors aren’t. Think of all the unknowns that go into a potential outcome – what if a star player is injured in the hours before a game? What if you’re betting on an outdoor match like a baseball or cricket game and the weather declines suddenly? Betting live mitigates all these risks.

Game streaming – Live bets require access to a broadcast of the game. To make life easier for in-play bettors, live betting books host live streams of matches from all over the world. The best sportsbooks broadcast every single match in their live play library in a stream to their customers, at no cost.

What sports are available for “in-play” wagers?

Obviously, every sportsbook offering this style of wagering has a slightly different list of games available for instant wagering. I’ll show you a list of games available at a couple of popular instant-play books. Here’s a representative list of the kinds of contests bettors are able to lay live wagers on:

>> NFL
>> NCAA Football
>> Canadian Football League
>> NBA
>> NCAA Basketball
>> International Basketball
>> MLB
>> NHL
>> European/International Hockey
>> All Major European and American Soccer Leagues
>> ATP / WTP Tennis
>> PGA / WPGA Golf
>> Cricket

Sports betting strategy for live betting

If you’re new to live betting, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your basic sports betting strategy. The tips below aren’t exactly advanced – but they’re perfect for people who want to “hit the ground running” at an in-play sportsbook.

Learn to deal with player ejections – This tip has more to do with soccer and basketball than any other sports. That’s because basketball and soccer players tend to get tossed the most often out of any sport, and those ejections seem to have a greater impact in these sports than any other.

When a player is DQ’d or kicked off the court or field, you should probably react as a bettor. This is particularly true when betting the over/under, since in both sports, the team with a player ejected tends to become more defensively-minded. In both games, the team with the lead after a major ejection is likely to win, particularly if the game is in its late stages.

Become a weathermanOutdoor sporting events are affected by weather to various degrees. It may not seem like many sports actually take place outside, but think about it – baseball, soccer, cricket, and even F1 racing are all heavily impacted by various trends in the weather, whether its rain, wind, ice, snow, or plain old darkness. The unpredictable qualities of nature can make the live bettor’s life difficult, so learning to gauge how a particular weather event will affect your bets is crucial to long-term in-play strategy.

Lose your “instincts” – In-play betting is a complex matter, especially for people switching from traditional wagers to live ones. Even more than a standard sports bettor, you need to learn to ignore your prejudices about teams and athletes. It’s nice to bring your instincts to live wagering books, because you’ll quickly learn just how wrong you are. If anything, live wagers are a crucible for melting away bad betting habits and preconceived notions about performances and odds.

Watch the game tempo – My favorite thing about live play betting is the way the tempo (or “flow”) of a game affects my bets and my mood. With instant sports wagers, I really feel like the decisions I make impact my bottom line.

What’s next for the future of “in-play” betting?

Is in-play wagering going to be the next big thing in online gambling? That’s unlikely – after all, how many millions of people are lining up to play mobile slot games and the like? I think live betting is a powerful tool for sports bettors, but one that’s often misused and misunderstood. Using the advice above, go ahead and try a live betting sportsbook today. If nothing else, it’ll make you a better fan and a better researcher.