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Live Betting

The first thing I would say about live betting in running is that usually you can get higher odds (but not necessarily better odds in terms of value) on an outcome you had predicted before kick-off.

For instance, Manchester United will play at home against Sunderland and are approximately 1.40 (2/5)  to win the match. These are not too high odds even if the outcome was only ever going to go one way. However, if you delay placing your bet in the hope that that is no goal for the first half an hour or so then you will get higher odds on your winning selection but if you can see that Man United are dominating early on the do not wait too long to place your bet as if United score first then it would be pointless backing them at odds so slim you could be forgiven for thinking they were not even there! Also, there is always the off chance that Sunderland could sneak the first goal early on and if so then the odds on United winning will have swung in your favour and you will get a lot more bang for your buck if they go on and win the game. Likewise, perhaps a more secure bet would be to lay Sunderland and if you do so after they have just scored the first goal of the game then you will be laying them at much shorter odds.

This is a market in which you need to be very careful however. It is quite easy to get carried away with all of the live betting in-play markets available and the occasional great odds on the table will mean nothing if you are throwing your money away on other worthless bets. Live Betting in-running can also make a game more interesting but if you are a professional punter than value must preceded excitement.

By trading on an exchange (like Betfair) you can effectively guaranteeing that you make a profit or that you break even if you ‘close or limit’ your unsettled winning position/bet. And this is possible thanks to live betting in-play betting.

Trading involves backing or laying a selection (usually before a game starts) and subsequently backing or laying the same selection when the odds change to guarantee that you do not make a loss.

Trading does not have to happen during a live event as there may be other factors or reasons for odds changing on an event but live betting in-play betting lends itself more to the possibility of trading.

Let’s take Manchester United vs Sunderland again as an example, this time Man United playing away from home. We believe that Manchester United will score first which would provide a good opportunity for trading the event. We back Manchester United at 1.9 (9/10) at €100 with a potential profit of €90. As predicted Manchester United score first and the odds of a United win drops to 1.45 (9/20). We are now in a position to trade on the event. We have 2 options now to guarantee a profit or to ensure no loss.

  1. To ensure no loss (the free bet technique) we need to lay Man United at 1.45 also for €100. This means if Man United win the game we will still win €45 (our liability is €45. €90 profit from the win -€45 = €45). At the same time this will ensure that we break even if United lose or draw (as we will win back our €100 on the lay). This is often known as the free bet technique for obvious reasons. This is a great way to place a risk free bet but you will only make a profit if the team you originally backed will go on to win the game which is fine if you are confident of this but how can you guarantee a profit?
  2. Once Man United score and their odds drop to 1.45 we can use the payout function in the betslip (on Betfair) to automatically calculate what is known as our ‘green book’. Simply click on the ‘your payout‘ link on the betslip. Ensure the ‘your payout’ option is selected and not ‘your liability’. Then the maximum payout might be set. To work out our maximum payout amount we add the total stake (€100) and our potential profit (€90) which gives us €190. We then click ok and this automatically calculates the amount we need to lay at 1.45 (approx. €131) in order to create our level green book. This guarantees us a profit of around €31 regardless of the final score. This is commonly known as greening up

Whichever of the two options you use is your choice but you may find the former less complicated and it may be less likely that you will make a costly mistake.

It is important to keep your discipline when betting especially when we consider betting in running. The above example on trading is a good example of a disciplined and well thought out strategy and use of the live betting facility. However, it is very easy to get carried away. For instance, you may have placed a bet on a football team to win prior to the match and if there has not been a goal by the 75th or 80th minute you may be tempted to put an additional live betting in-play bet on your team to win at much better odds. However, you must consider how well the team is playing. Is it likely that your team will score? If not, then both of your bets are losing bets. Also, you must consider the tempo of the game and the tactics being used by both teams. Your team may have most of the possession and have the most shots on goal but are hey leaving themselves open to the counter attack? Is it not just as likely that the other team will score? Is there a better bet (such as laying) that you can place so as to minimise or eradicate the loss of your bet that you placed before the game? You need to be disciplined and if you genuinely cannot see a good bet then you should not place a bet just for the sake of it as it will most likely be a losing bet and if you had backed a team before the game then it may be best to see that bet out and who knows it could be a winner. If there is no way that you can see a winner in your earlier bet then you should consider trading.

One very important thing you must remember if you place a bet on live betting sites on the exchange is to ensure your bet has been matched. If it has not been matched shortly after your bet is placed then you should consider retracting the bet as it will leave you open if the market changes. If the market changes your offer could be easy money for someone else so be careful.


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