What is live or in-play betting?


4 min read

Increasing in popularity over recent years, live betting — also known as in-play or in-running betting — is a type of sports wagering where bets are placed after the game has already started. These bets will continue throughout the duration of the game, hence its name, live betting. This is different than traditional pre-game betting, where you place a bet prior to kickoff. Overall, live betting is more dynamic and interactive, with some saying it’s much more exciting. You’ll get to wager on various markets while the game clock is running.

Before you go and hop on the next live betting event you can find, there are a few things you should know. If you’re a beginner to online betting and sports wagering, you should probably avoid live betting until you have a better understanding of how odds work. In live bets, the odds are constantly updated based on the events of the game. This means bettors will have to react quickly, which is no easy task if you’re still an amateur.

What are the common types of live bets?

There are several different types of live bets and below, we’ll discuss five of the most common ones.

  • 1. Updated point spreads: As the game goes on, point spreads can be adjusted based on the current score and how each team is performing. This allows bettors to wager on the adjusted point spreads, generating new betting opportunities.
  • 2. Updated totals: Like updated point spreads, the total points expected for the game can be adjusted in live betting. Bettors can wager whether the combined final score will be over or under the updated total.
  • 3. Moneyline bets: During live betting, odds for certain moneyline bets will change throughout the game. Again, this creates new opportunities for wagers if you’re able to act quickly.
  • 4. Prop bets: Prop bets are popular with live betting, since these propositions are based on certain events during the game. Some live betting prop bets include which team will score next and even betting on the outcome of a specific play or drive.
  • 5. Partial game bets: As their name suggests, partial game bets are wagers placed on the outcome of individual quarters or halves of the game. Partial bets can be entertaining if the game is a blowout, keeping you engaged since there’s something else to look forward to.

Can I access live betting on my mobile device?

Yes, you can access live betting on your smartphone or other mobile device. Most of the reputable online sportsbooks will have live betting, allowing you to wager wherever you are.

How frequently are live betting odds updated?

The frequency that live betting odds are updated largely depends on the sportsbook or online betting site. Typically, odds are updated within seconds so bettors have access to the most current information. If you’re participating in live betting, you’ll want to pay close attention to the odds, as they will be updated frequently throughout the game — especially when something occurs in the game that can affect the outcome.

Are there betting limits for live betting?

Again, this also depends on the sportsbook or online betting site you are using. Some places will impose lower limits for live betting when compared to pre-game wagers. Typically, live betting is considered riskier due to constantly changing odds, so it’s best to check the policies with your specific sportsbook.

Are you allowed to cash out live bets early?

Some sportsbooks or online betting sites will allow you to cash out live bets before the game has ended. This can be to your advantage if you want to secure a profit or minimize potential losses based on how the game is going. But not all sportsbooks will allow a cash-out option, so again, check the specific terms and conditions at yours sportsbook before placing a live bet.

Am I allowed to combine live bets with pre-game bets?

Some sportsbooks will allow you to combine live bets with pre-game bets, but this is typically done into a single parlay or accumulator. Other sportsbooks will restrict this option, so if you want to combine live bets with pre-game bets, check with your particular sportsbook to see if it’s allowed.

What are the pros and cons of live betting?

As you can tell, live betting is very different than pre-game betting and can be very dynamic and evolving throughout the game. Here are some pros and cons of live betting, so you can decide whether it’s the right option for you.


  • Extra betting opportunities
  • Possible value bets
  • You can make informed decisions based on what’s happening in the game
  • Hedge your bets if you placed a pre-game bet that looks to be a loss
  • More exciting and engaging, since it’s live


  • Need to make decisions quickly
  • Odds are constantly fluctuating
  • You have limited time for research
  • Increased possibility for impulsive betting
  • Can be difficult to manage your bankroll – please gamble responsibly!

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