Fortune favours fast fingers!
Sport is the greatest theatre. It can bring a level of uncertainty and unpredictability you won’t find anywhere else. Where the momentum swings like a pendulum, between heartbreak and glory, in a matter of seconds. Think of the ball that escaped Saints player Stephen Milne in the epic 2010 AFL Grand Final. Or the thunderous finish by Chautauqua in the 2017 T J Smith Stakes.
Moments like these have you wondering, ‘what are the odds of that happening?’
At Betfair, you can bet in-play on the outcome of a market as the event in question is happening – in real time. That means, you could’ve backed the “The Draw” to occur in the St Kilda v Collingwood Grand Final and Chautauqua to win at Randwick in the split-second that neither seemed possible. Conversely, you could’ve layed South Africa to win the 1999 Cricket World Cup semi final against Australia in the final over.
There are racing and sports markets with in-play odds you might never find in a pre-play market. All you need is speed and determination!
A note on in-play sports betting …
In 2015 the Federal Government prohibited Australian customers from betting online on any aspect of a sporting event after that event has begun. Therefore, customers cannot place bets in-play on sporting events via the Betfair App or on desktop. If customers wish to place an in-play bet on a sports market, they must call our telephone betting service on 132 BET (132 238).
There are two notable exceptions to this – online customers can bet in-play on the AFL Brownlow Medal and politics markets.
Wait for the green light.
In-play betting is no different to backing or laying on a market before the start time. Find the market you’d like to wager on and wait for the in-play status to appear. A market is turned in-play at either the event’s start time or the scheduled start time, depending on the rules specific to the sport. Look out for the green tick above the market selections on desktop, while on the App a green “In Play” tag will appear next to the race number in question when betting is turned live.
You can place back or lay bets at odds ranging from $1.01 to $1000.00 in-play. Trust us: those prices get matched, and they have occurred before! Where there is a sporting collapse or victory snatched from the jaws of defeat, the big (and small) odds are getting matched on the Betfair Exchange.
In-play betting provides an opportunity for punters to observe initial momentum and tactical arrangements of a race or sporting match before getting involved. The fast-paced nature of horse and harness racing appeals to punters looking for better odds and utilising their judgement of form and speed maps to claim unlikely sources of value.
For example, if you know a short-priced favourite is a backmarker who will finish strongly, you might find an opportunity to back at better odds in-play versus pre-play. It depends on the prevailing circumstances midrace, but it could lead to opportunities you will never find in relatively static pre-play markets.
While in-play sports betting is generally less volatile due to matches taking place over a longer period, punters may prefer it as they can weigh up their options with more confidence. It still can lend itself to abrupt changes in odds, which you’ll find in Twenty20 cricket, AFL or soccer, where a wicket or turnover can lead to major changes on the scoreboard, and markets will reflect those differing circumstances in a match.
A lesser known but key attraction of in-play betting is the opportunity for punters to combine back and lay bets in the pursuit of profit. With markets active right up to the final siren or winning post, punters can place multiple bets at any time on the same selection and improve their position. This is better known as trading, which we will now explore in the next series of How To articles.