Best UK bookmakers for In-Play betting

Who are the best bookmakers for In-play betting in the UK?

One of the biggest and most popular modern innovations in sports betting is the introduction of ‘Inplay Betting’.

Live betting, or in-play betting, gives punters the chance to stay up to date with a sporting event, place a bet after the event has started, and cash-out (or in) a bet before the end of an event.

It has proved to be extremely lucrative and bookmakers are constantly trying to outdo one and another by improving, or adding, live betting features and increasing the number of available in-play markets.

In this piece, we will explain to you exactly what live betting is and give our opinion on who we think are the best bookmakers for live betting.

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In-Play Betting Explained

For those of you who do not know what live betting is, it is basically the process of placing or settling a bet during the duration of a sporting event.

Sometimes known as in-play betting, punters do not need to place a bet on an event before the start and then wait until the end to collect their winnings or berate themselves on another losing bet.

Instead, they can see how the action is going, study statistics, and look out for changes to factors which may affect the outcome before parting with their cash. It gives punters the upper hand, as they will be able to place a bet with more knowledge of the event than they had before it started.

They can also settle their bet before the event has finished, even if it isn’t an actual winner.

This feature, known mainly as cash-out but also as cash-in at some bookmakers, allows punters to take an amount the sportsbook is offering. This amount will be determined according to how well, or poorly, their bet is going.

So, if all selections in an accumulator bet are winning, the punter can take a percentage of the possible winnings instead of waiting until the end of the event.

In-play features provide a different dimension to sports betting, putting the customer at the heart of the action. The old days of placing a bet before an event and then checking the results later are long gone.

Now, punters can place multiple bets on several different outcomes throughout the duration of an event and then settle the bet before it has even been resulted. There are markets available in-play that aren’t necessarily available before the event has started, such as who will win the next point in tennis or next player to hit a 180 in darts.

Odds fluctuation also makes it possible to increase the amount of profit a bet will pay, if the favoured selection gets off to a bad start.

This more interactive form of betting is proving to as popular as ever and extremely lucrative, with a younger audience being attracted to sports betting. In fact, most bookmakers now dedicate a lot of their time promoting the in-play features they offer and indulging in a little one-upmanship over their rivals.

Live Betting Features

Live betting itself is a feature which is made up of several other features, which all come together to provide an exciting and entertaining addition to sports betting.

Many different bookmakers will offer some, or all, of these features, whilst others may come up with their own unique in-play markets as a way of beating the competition.

The quality and number of in-play features offered by an online bookmaker will determine whether customers return to the site or go elsewhere.

These features are explained below.


Cash-out is probably the most popular in-play feature, because it allows punters to lose less money, or sometimes make a small profit, if their bet isn’t coming in.

Most bookmakers offer cash-out on single and multiple bets in a wide-range of different sports. The site will tell you which events include cash-out with a symbol representing this feature. This can be anything from the letters ‘CO’ to a circular arrow.

When betting on an event which includes the cash-out feature, you will be able to keep an eye on the action as it happens and cash-out at any time during the event.

So, if we say you placed a 5-team football accumulator that will possibly pay 100 for a 1 stake. All five teams are winning with ten minutes left, and your cash-out value is 78.

If you choose to take this amount, you will be 77 in profit and won’t have to worry that an opposition team will equalise in stoppage time. Whereas if you choose to let the bet run and it wins, you will win 100, but if it doesn’t win you will receive 0.

It works well for losing bets as well, because it sometimes allows the punter to make less of a loss. Let’s say you placed a 20 bet on two football teams to win. One of them is 2-0 up with a few minutes remaining, but the other is drawing 1-1.

The online bookmaker may offer you 10 as a cash-out value. This is a loss of 10 but a gain of 5 compared with what you would lose if the matches end the same way. Obviously, this has its drawbacks. The team drawing 1-1 may score a winner after you hit cash-out and you’ve made a loss instead of what would have been a healthy profit.

Originally unique to football markets, cash-out is now widely available on bets covering many different sports and markets.

Partial Cash-Out

As the name suggests, this is similar to the above cash-out feature but allows the customer to take a percentage of their possible winnings whilst letting their bet run with the remainder.

This can mean a customer effectively winning twice with the same bet.

How it works is that your original stake is split into percentages. Most bookmakers who offer this facility, such as Coral, allow you to partially cash-out a minimum of 10%. Whichever percentage you partially cash-out will be taken from the original stake and the site will calculate your new potential winnings and a new cash-out or partial cash-out value.

So, here’s an example using a stake of 10 on an event with a total potential pay out of 100.

At some point, your cash-out value may be 20 so you partially cash-out 50% to receive 10 back. This means you have broken even regardless of the result. But, it also means that your original stake is now halved, as is the amount you could potentially win.

So, you 10 stake becomes 5 and your potential winnings of 100 becomes 50.

Meaning that your overall potential winnings have lowered from 100 to 60.

It is possible to cash out again, as many times as you would like until your stake is at 10% of the original stake you placed. In this case, that would be 1.

This feature is ever-growing in popularity and more bookmakers are offering it.

Quick Bet

A quick bet was introduced by online bookmakers to allow punters to place bets in less time, meaning they can pick a selection and place a bet on it without the need to navigate through several pages.

Some bookmakers allow its users to simply click on the outcome they want to bet on and a quick bet slip will pop up on the screen. The punter then selects an amount and clicks on place bet.

This is especially useful in live betting as it prevents having to select your desired bets, then go to a separate page to place the bet.

In that few seconds, or possibly minutes, it may take for the site to navigate away from the betting markets page to the slip, a goal may have been scored or something else happened to change the odds or make the bet not worth placing.

With quick bet, the bet is placed pretty much instantaneously, although some sites do have a countdown clock which is usually around 3-5 seconds.

Live Streaming

This is a fantastic feature for live betting, which allows the customer to watch the football match or horse race they are betting on as it happens.

Many online bookmakers offer this feature to all customers who meet a certain wagering amount. Once that amount has been wagered on a sporting event, the customer will be able to live stream the action through the sportsbook when signed in to their account.

Being able to watch the event live can give you a better feel of what the possible outcome will be. It allows you to see every action as it happens and make a better judgement before placing an in-play bet or cashing out a bet you placed earlier.

Some punters will place a bet on a sporting event just to take advantage of the live streaming feature.

Live Scores

This feature gives a list of the latest scores in pretty much every sporting event as it happens, so you can stay up to date with how your bet is going throughout.

Most bookmakers will have a section on their website for in-play betting, where they will have a list of live scores and ever-changing live betting odds. The customer can visit this page, watch the scores change as goals go in or points are scored, and then place an in-play bet accordingly.

Live Statistics

Another feature of live betting which comes in useful is live statistics, which can usually be found by clicking on a certain sporting event from the live scores page.

A customer can click on an event of their choice, whether it’s football, tennis, or even darts, and see in-depth statistics for it.

So, with football, you will be able to see the live score, possession stats, shots on goal, yellow and red cards, corners, etc. With darts, you will see number of 180’s, leg and set score, and three-dart averages.

Basically, any statistics that show how the event is going and give indicators as to the possible outcome will be shown here.

This will allow you to make a more informed choice when placing an in-play bet or cashing out a bet you placed earlier.

How Does Live Betting Work?

An online bookmaker will have set odds, or fixed odds, for each possible outcome of a sporting event before the action gets underway. With live betting, these odds will fluctuate depending on what happens during the event.

They will be lengthened if the selection is doing poorly, or lowered if they are doing well.

For example, a tennis player may be a red-hot favourite before a match but lose the first two sets. All of a sudden, their chances of winning do not look so good and the in-play betting odds will reflect this.

The player may have been as low as 1/5 before the match but, at 2-0 down in a first to three encounter, could now be something like 10/1 or even higher. This provides massive profit potential compared with the pre-match odds, but requires a bit of nerve to now place a bet on the player coming back.

In saying that, some punters do bet like this and can be quids-in by placing a bet on the pre-match favourite at greater odds after their poor start. If the player then stages a comeback and wins, the profit is higher than it would have been.

All online bookmakers will have different in-play betting odds or cash-out values, which are worked out using a complex computer algorithm.

This algorithm will take into account the current score of the event, all possible outcomes, past outcomes of similar events, and other determining factors. Then, it will update the betting odds or cash-out value several times during an event.

After a significant event which may alter the chances of each possible outcome, such as a goal or sending off in football, in-play betting and cash-out will be temporarily suspended.

You will see a message on screen indicating that betting isn’t currently available, and this allows the algorithm to catch up and offer the latest odds and cash-out values.

Once all the defining factors have been determined, the new odds and new cash-out values will be shown, and the customer can go back to enjoying the full in-play service.

Betting being suspended can be frustrating but, unfortunately, it’s a necessary part of in-play betting. It takes a few seconds for the computer algorithm to calculate all possible outcomes etc.

If in-play betting is suspended for an increased amount of time, which we have found to be the case at some online bookmakers, you may contact the sites customer service team and put in a complaint. Although, there will probably be small print somewhere to cover the betting company in these cases.

Live betting is a fantastic feature which not only gives punters more chance of winning, and making a profit on their stake, but also gives them the chance of betting on markets that are only available during the event. Such as, a tennis player hitting an ace or winning the next game in a set.

Some sites also allow customers to watch the sporting event they have bet on as it happens.

New bookies with great In-Play

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Criteria for Determining Best Bookies for In-Play Betting

At BookmakerAdvisor we are always looking to provide customers with all the information required so that they select the best bookmaker for their requirements.

For in-play, or live betting, we take an in-depth look at all the features offered and how good they are at specific sites.

For example, we are more likely to recommend a bookmaker who provides in-play betting, cash-out, and live streaming on every football match kicking off at 3 o’clock on a Saturday than we are to recommend one who only provide in-play betting with no live streaming or cash-out features.

The functionality and usability of a site also comes into play.

We look at page loading speeds, time it takes to place a bet, ease of navigation around the site, and things such as pop-up quick slip etc.

After we have taking all of these things into consideration, we can provide you with a complete guide to the best online bookmakers out there for in-play sports betting.

In-Play Football Betting

Here is an updated list, for 2018, of the best online bookmakers who provide live betting, or in-play, features. We have split this into sections, with the best bookies for the main sporting markets.

Football is the main sport when it comes to in-play betting. Most punters will sit glued to their phone or other electronic device during a Saturday afternoon, checking their bets and looking for a cash-out value they would be happy with.

Most bookmakers offer in-play features for several different football markets, including match result, both teams to score, over/under number of goals, correct score, and combinations of these markets.

Many bookies will also provide incentives or bonuses aimed at increasing the number of people who bet on football in-play.

For example, Sky Bet usually give customers a free in-play bet for a certain selected match if they place a bet of the same value, or double that value before the match kicks-off.

So, customers who bet 10 before the match will be given a free bet of 5 to use in-play. This can give punters an excellent chance of making a profit, even if their original bet ends up losing.

Betfred is another bookmaker who look to gain in-play punters through incentives, and they choose different markets to make themselves stand out from the crowd.

One such offer is for the in-play next goal scorer market. If the player you back does score the next goal, your bet not only wins but also has the potential of a price boost if the player scores again. Odds will be doubled if they score a second and trebled for a third.

Here is a list of the bookmakers we feel provide the best in-play features for football betting.


Best bookies for Football In-Play Betting

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In-Play Horse Racing Betting

Betting in-play on a horse race isn’t as popular as football, but many bookmakers do offer live betting markets for the ‘sport of kings’.

There are several mitigating factors which can alter the outcome of a horse race. A horse can fall, pull-up, refuse to race, or unseat the rider. In big national hunt races, such as the Grand National, a loose horse can cause havoc by getting in the way of the leaders.

Whilst most casual gamblers will leave in-play, or in-running, horse racing betting alone, there are plenty of people who make great profit from doing so.

For that reason, a lot of fixed-odds bookmakers do not offer in-running markets, although some do. So, sites like the Betfair Exchange provide what is somewhat of a unique service and also give customers an incentive to try it out.

Their most recent offer was a free £20 bet on the exchange for new customers.

While it may not be for everyone, in-running betting can be a way of making a profit without the horse you back needing to win.

Here is our list of bookmakers who provide top notch in-running horse racing markets and features.

Best bookies for Horse Racing In-Play Betting

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In-Play Tennis Betting

Live tennis betting is becoming increasingly popular, especially because the pre-match odds don’t usually provide much profit potential.

Being able to bet on whether a player will hit an ace next, win the next game or set, or by how many points or games, makes tennis betting a much more attractive proposition.

Most tennis markets, at the majority of fixed-odds online bookmakers, now feature in-play or cash-out.

As tennis is often played at breakneck speed, betting odds will change quickly, and customers must be on the ball to take full advantage. They must also find a betting site who offer a fast service, with instant quick bets, and great usability.

Here is our up-to-date list of the best online bookmakers for in-play tennis betting.

Best bookies for Tennis In-Play Betting

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3 latest reviews

Absolutel joke, don’t use this betting site. Website only works on WiFi no 3G/4G. Customer service is a joke.
Absolutel joke, don’t use this betting site. Website only works on WiFi no 3G/4G. Customer service is a joke.
Disgusting service. Logged on, deposited money, then received a notification that my account was suspended due to not verifying my age.As I had not placed any bets, I asked for my money back, which they declined.Disgrace of a company, happy to take money before age verification, but won\'t repay.Currently in contact to get this money back. Do not bet with these criminals.
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