5 Things Every Bettor Thinks When Placing An In-Play Bet

Betting, for the most part, had always been a fairly stable pursuit. By the 1990s, the bare basics - placing bets at odds of a bookmaker's determination - had largely been unchanged for over a century - so it's fair to say a paradigm shift was well overdue, even for US president election betting.

The the advancement of in-play betting was just the shake-up that betting needed. Starting as a telephone betting option in the 90s; in-play betting was a new, innovative practice that genuinely offered an entirely different experience to the user. Bettors could now place bets responsively to the action as it unfolded in front of them, utilising their own knowledge and expertise to help them towards a betting experience as different from pre-match betting as chess is from chequers. There might be a few similarities, but the differences are vast, and each will require a completely separate approach.

From its telephone-based start to being the cream of every bookmakers' online offering, in-play betting has proven it is no flash in the pan trend, but a service that bettors genuinely want and need. At Betting.co.uk, we discuss in-play betting fairly frequently as a result of its popularity, but we also wanted to take a look at the lighter side of live betting - and, in particular, the thoughts that go through the mind of any in-play bettor as they're on the brink of placing a bet...

#1 - "What if I'm wrong though?"

A fairly common thought with any kind of bet, but all the more so when you're betting in-play. You don't have the luxury of carefully going through the form book or consulting past results; if you spot an opportunity, you've got to move, now - which means you really have to be certain you're happy with your bet.

#2 - "If the odds could just stay still for just one second..." 

Yes, every in-play bettor behaves akin to a parent of a toddler when presented with ever-flickering odds: all we want is for things to settle down so we can just get what we need done. Alas, there is no nap time reprieve; the odds will keep jumping every few seconds, and all you can do is double-check they haven't dropped drastically by the time you've got your selection in the betting slip.

(Betting.co.uk tip: if the odds are behaving so erratically you're finding it tough to place a bet, consider waiting for half-time or a break in play - things should settle down just enough for you to bet. If you're trying to get tennis best odds when prices are particularly lively, wait for the players to sit down when changing ends; you should get a few seconds of respite in order to bet.)

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#3 - "Has it gone through? Has it gone through now? Has it actually gone through this time though?" 

In-play betting tends to have a delay of around five seconds or so, a span of time that sounds like absolutely nothing while you're sitting reading this with a cup of coffee in hand, but which can somehow last an entire lifetime when trying to place an in-play bet. The absolute apex of the "has it gone through?" experience is found when betting in-play on exchanges; not only is there the customary delay, but you then have to wait and see if your bet is matched. Few things in this world are less fun.

#4 - "I give up. It's never going to work." 

A short-lived thought that usually follows on the back of odds shifting and a bet that was in the middle of being processed being rejected. A moment when you decide you're done, you're not betting, and heck, maybe moving to a clearing in Norway and learning to whittle panpipes rather than sit watching a football match with a smartphone in hand is your actual calling.

Then you take a deep breath, refresh, and try again.

#5 - "Am I happy that the bet has placed because I wanted it to place, or just happy that I no longer have to try and actually place an in-play bet?"

A chicken-and-egg scenario, but we'd imagine the answer is a "a little bit of both".

It's usually at this point, with your in-play bet confirmed and an interesting-looking cashout value already displaying, that you may tell yourself you'll never do this again. In-play betting just isn't for you; everything moves too quickly and also somehow too slowly, you'll just sit back and enjoying the game; it's just not... hmm, that's the third time the goalkeeper has barely saved: wonder what the odds are on his team being the next to concede?

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