The Benefits of Betting In-Play

Racing is a fast-paced game. One event can change the entire complexion of a race instantly.

With in-play betting, you can act on these moments and Back or Lay bet from the start to the winning post. 

It’s an exciting and potentially rewarding betting experience for Betfair punters. And it’s available on a wide range of thoroughbred and harness racing markets on the Exchange.

So what makes Betfair betting in-play a good proposition? Find out more below.

With In-play betting, you can Back or Lay a horse from the start of a race to the winning post, exclusive to Betfair.


Betting markets change regularly before a race – but it is unusual for prices to zigzag across all runners before the jump.

In-play betting is different. Punters will find Exchange odds wildly fluctuate as soon as the starter presses the button. Runners are jostling for position. Not everything goes according to plan.

Opportunities continue to appear as the race goes on. What if a favourite is stuck in a bad position mid-race? Has the leader run the race too fast? Will the back-markers mistime their finish?

The odds will continue to change rapidly in a way that is near-impossible to predict and unlike anything available in ante-post Exchange markets.

You could finally get the odds you want about a runner you like. It’s all part of the high-stakes excitement of betting in-play

In-play Betting - the Benefits

  • You can Back and Lay from the start to the winning post – exclusive to Betfair.
  • There are no limits as to how big you want to bet, or when you bet, during in-play.
  • The odds move fast! Take advantage and Back when you see bigger odds for a runner you like. Or Lay when you think a runner is under pressure.
  • You can trade on your “position” during the race. Is there a favourite who will lead, but might struggle to finish off?


There are incredible in-play moments happening on Betfair almost every day. The slightest shift in momentum can cause a sudden turn in price. And it’s happening in real time!

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples from major Group 1 races over the years, with in-play betting graphs – to show you just how much the market moves …

2007 Melbourne Cup: What Happened In-Play on Betfair?

Here is the 2007 Melbourne Cup replay, showing Betfair’s in-play betting fluctuations against the real-time footage …

In-Play Betting: Statistics

  • Accounts for approximately 15% of the money traded on Australian racing.
  • There was $255,036 wagered in-play on Betfair in the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
  • Furthermore, the winner Protectionist (who was priced at $8.00 SP) traded as high as $15.00 in-play on Betfair.
  • Admire Rakti (who was priced at $10.50 SP) traded as high as $18.00 in-play in the 2014 Caulfield Cup.

2015 Flight Stakes: What Happened In-Play on Betfair?

The 2015 Flight Stakes at Randwick was another great example of impressive in-play fluctuations. Speak Fondly fought bravely to win over Honesta. The winner was also the market favourite, starting pre-race at $2.54 on Betfair SP.

But during the run, things happened and caused the Exchange in-play markets to change dramatically.

Speak Fondly broke well and moved straight up into second place early, with Honesta perched in midfield.

Honesta posed a threat as the race approached the home straight. She wouldn’t go away from Speak Fondly, and looked like snatching the win, trading as low as $3.03 (despite starting at a Betfair SP of $13.61).

As Honesta’s price crashed in, Speak Fondly drifted right out to $10.96! But the favourite rallied under pressure and roared back into $1.41 just before the winning post.

Take a look at how this race unfolded with our in-play betting graphic below …


Whether you are prepared and know what to look for during the race or just starting out, in-play betting presents huge opportunities for the punter. You could Back or Lay runners at prices that you’ll never find before the start. The key is to act fast, but the potential is endless. So, what are you waiting for?

Click here for today’s thoroughbred and harness racing markets.

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