If you’re looking for a complete guide to live and in-play betting, you’re in the right place. We’ll explain what live betting is, how to do it, and more.
The Best Live Betting Sites and In-Play Betting Explained
Live betting: what it is and how to do it
In-play betting, or live betting, has become an integral part of betting sites in UK. It’s a popular way to place bets while an event is taking place, offering exciting opportunities based on what you’re seeing, as it happens.
In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about in-play betting and show you how to use it to your advantage – starting with where to find live betting opportunities, which you can see below.
The Top Betting Sites for Live and In-Play Betting
From football to horse racing, live betting has established itself as one of the key ingredients at all UK betting sites. And it’s easy to see why; it means more business for bookies, and gives you a chance to place bets during an match, race or event. It benefits everybody.
But the quality of in-play betting varies from one betting site to another. This can have a big impact on how easy it is for you to place live bets, and to make sense of the odds (which can change every second, in some circumstances).
Following years of research, MansionBet UK found the best betting sites for live betting:
10Bet Live Betting
10bet takes in-play betting seriously, allowing you to place bets through their desktop website or mobile app. Odds are updated frequently across hundreds of markets, and their ‘in-running betting’ feature makes it easier for you to follow the action, leading to more informed live betting. Bet in-play on the Premier League, NBA, F1, La Liga and loads more.
Bwin Live Betting
Bwin is a name which is synonymous with football, especially as they were Real Madrid’s shirt sponsors from 2007 – 2013. The site has a calendar of upcoming in-play betting events, including a breakdown by different sports, and another tab exclusively for those you can watch via live stream. Small red and green icons indicate, at a glance, whether odds are increasing or decreasing.
Mr Play Live Betting
At Mr. Play, you won’t just find mainstream sports like horse racing and football live betting, but also niche options such as volleyball, handball and snooker. This wide array of live betting markets means there’s always a betting opportunity at Mr. Play. The diversity of markets within each sport is respectable, too. For instance, with football live betting, you can expect to find markets such as next foul, next corner, and more.
888sport Live Betting
888 is one of the most famous betting brands in the UK, offering poker, casino, and sports betting. When it comes to live betting, 888sport is really clean and efficient. Click on the ‘Schedule’ tab for a huge list of everything that you can bet on live. For sports like football, helpful graphics will give you a quick reading of the match. It displays useful statistics like total shots, corners, and cards.
Coral Live Betting
Coral is famous for its ties to some of the UK’s biggest horse racing festivals, including Cheltenham Festival, so it’s vital that it has top-of-the-range in-play betting technology. In particular, horse racing requires odds to change by the second, as a slight stumble can entirely alter the likely outcome. The interface is easy to understand and odds are updated incredibly quickly, making Coral a leader in live betting.
Unibet Live Betting
Unibet make it their mission to provide some of the best live betting odds across all UK betting sites, which makes it a smart choice if you want consistently attractive odds. They’re also big on streaming, and the only requirement to tune in is that you have funds in your betting account and have placed a small wager on the event you want to watch. Football, table tennis, basketball and more are covered in Unibet’s in-play section.
How We Found the Best Live Betting Sites
Our team has years of experience in both playing at and reviewing online betting sites. We know what to look for, and what to avoid.
In order to find the best live betting sites, we look for a number of criteria, including:
- Consistently high odds
- Wide range of sports and markets
- User-intuitive layout
- In-play betting offers
- Live match stats
- Live streaming availability
- Speed of placing bets
- Quickly updated odds
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but should give you a flavour of what we look for. Only sites which tick all of these boxes feature at the top of our recommended live betting sites list. We also review these sites on a regular basis, removing any which no longer fit our strict criteria.
What is Live Betting?
In-play betting is a way to place bets after an event has started. You can watch a match or event live on TV (or live streamed via the betting site), and decide to place a bet on the outcome while it’s taking place. Odds change frequently, and this can create some big chances for you which you can’t get pre-match. Read on to find out more.
Why choose live betting?
Live betting is mutually beneficial for both you and the betting site. Betting sites are always looking for ways to offer more markets and more betting opportunities. By allowing you to bet after the event has already started, they massively increase the opportunity for incoming bets.
But it’s also a huge opportunity for you, as you no longer have to get your bets on before a match begins. This means you don’t have to stick to a strict schedule, and potentially miss out on a cool bet by a few seconds.
You can also adjust your bets based on what you see in front of your eyes. Perhaps you’re watching a top Premier League clash between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. City are hot favourites, but you spot something which makes you think Tottenham could win, like a shaky start by one of City’s defenders, or simply the atmosphere of the crowd. This could allow you to use information, which wasn’t available pre-match, to make informed football live betting.
The difference between live betting and regular (pre-match) betting
Pre-match bets must be placed before an event begins. This is the ‘traditional’ way of betting which has existed for decades, before the introduction of technology which opened up new options. But in-play betting takes place once the event has begun.
With live betting, odds change frequently, because new information is constantly emerging from the event. For example, if a tennis player wins a set, their odds will usually tumble. When placing in-play bets, be careful to make sure you know what the odds are before you hit confirm, as they could change in just a second or two.
‘Cash out’ is a feature which allows you to terminate your bet prematurely to lock in a fixed amount of money. If results are going your way, this means early profit. Or, if you sense you’re going to lose, you can cash out and limit your losses.
Luckily, cash out is available on live betting sites as well. You can either place a pre-match bet and cash out during the event, or you can place an in-play bet and then cash out whenever suits you – even within a few seconds, if you so choose.
Not all operators offer cash back, but it has become much more common and so all the top live betting sites do tend to do so. If you want to find the best live betting sites which have a cash out feature, check out the bookmakers we’ve linked to on this page.
How to use live betting on top sports
You can enjoy live betting on plenty of top sports. We’ve put together a brief guide to some of the best sports for in-play betting.
How to use live betting on football?
Football is one of the biggest markets for live betting. You can bet on big events like the next goal scorer or the final score while the match is underway, or you can place wagers on much smaller events, like which team will get the next corner or throw-in.
How to use live betting on horse racing?
You’ll need your trigger finger ready to be effective in the horse racing live betting market; odds change incredibly quickly. However, if you act fast, this can be a fantastic sport for in-play betting.
How to use live betting on golf?
Golf is a much slower-paced sport than horse racing or football, which makes it a great choice if you’re not comfortable with quick bets. You can study the state of play, see how golfers begin their rounds, and then adjust your in-play bets accordingly.
How to use live betting on cricket?
Similar to golf, cricket is one of the sports where in-play betting doesn’t require super speedy bets. You’ll find hundreds of live betting options for cricket including method of next dismissal, wicket in next over, score at next wicket and much more.
Live Betting Apps
Not only is live betting available on apps, but it’s easily the most common way to make use of in-play betting.
The beauty of live betting is that it allows you to place quick bets, on the move, wherever you are. You could be out with friends or family at a social event and be able to place your wager in just a few taps, without interfering with your schedule. In fact, you could be watching the match in question live with friends, and use your mobile to place a bet based on the conversations you’re having about the tactics and likely outcome.
Because in-play betting is so tightly linked to flexibility, live betting sites will almost always offer their services on both mobile browser and the betting sites’ apps. You simply log in using your existing account, click on the ‘In-play’ tab, and place your bets as you would in the usual way.
Our top 3 live betting sites
There are many UK betting sites which offer live betting options, but some have a much better product than others.
Based on our extensive research, here is our recommendation of the top three live betting sites available today:
How to place a live bet?
If you’ve never placed a live bet before, we have good news – it’s a really simple process. Regardless, you may be hesitant when placing your first in-play bet ever. So, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide explaining how to place a live bet:
- Log in and click on the ‘In-Play’ section
- Select the event you want to bet on
- View the markets and add the bet you want to place to your bet slip
- Insert the stake
- Before you click confirm, double check the odds. They may have changed just before you added the bet to your bet slip
- Click ‘Confirm’ to lock in your live bet
- If the site offers cash out, you can click the ‘Cash out’ button at any stage to lock in your funds and cancel the bet
You can place live bets on desktop, mobile browser or mobile app, giving you lots of flexibility. If the odds change between the time of you adding it to your bet slip and pressing ‘Confirm’, you’ll receive a pop-up message alerting you. There may also be an option you can tick to ‘Always accept price changes’. Although this makes live betting smoother, it also means you may accidentally place bets at smaller odds than anticipated. So, we recommend you refrain from this option until you’re comfortable with live betting.
How do live odds work?
Live odds are updated in real time while the event is taking place. This means they change very frequently. For sports like horse racing, live betting odds can change every second.
Is live betting better?
Many people prefer live betting to pre-match betting because it offers more flexibility, and potentially bigger odds. For example, if the underdogs in a football match go 1-0 down early on, their odds of winning will sky-rocket.
What sports are the best for live betting?
In-play betting is great for all types of sports. You can get fast-paced, rapidly changing odds on horse racing and football. Or you can make slower, measured choices on sports like cricket and golf.
Can I place live bets on mobile?
Yes, you can place live bets on your mobile via the browser or app. Mobile betting is the primary way most players use live betting, as it allows you to place wagers wherever you are with ease.
Do all betting sites offer in-play betting?
Not all betting sites currently have a live betting section, though nearly all of the best ones do. If you’re looking for a site with extensive live betting markets, you’ll find our top recommendations listed on this page.
- The Best Live Betting Sites and In-Play Betting Explained