Live Betting Explained: How to Place a Live Bet

Live betting has become increasingly popular among punters in the UK, but how does it work? In this guide, we cover everything from how to place a live bet, the pros and cons and betting strategies.

How to place a live bet
Written by Steven Hubbard
Verified by BettingLounge team
Last updated 21/05/2024

Live Betting in the UK

Live in-play betting has been around for a while now, with sports fans often placing wagers on a big match or the top game of the day to make the action a little bit more exciting to watch.

Indeed, some research has suggested that almost half of all the sports bets now being placed are on live in-play action rather than before the event has underway. But how exactly do you place a live bet?

How to Place Live Bets: A Step-By-Step Guide

For those who are new to placing a live in-play bet, follow our easy guide to get up and running:

  • 1

    Choose an Online Bookmaker

    Countless betting sites provide live in-play betting markets, so the choice is vast. We have chosen 10 of the best live betting sites to use, so select the one that suits you best to get started.

  • 2

    Sign Up

    If you do not already have an account, you need to register for one. Signing up for a live betting account is usually quick and easy, with the verification often automatic. Remember that most of the top UK online bookmakers have welcome bonuses, too.

  • 3

    Download the App

    An optional step for placing a live in-play bet is downloading their mobile sports betting apps. Nowadays, most of the top online bookmakers in the UK have an app that can be downloaded for iOS or Android. This might be the fastest way to place a live in-play bet on the big game, so it is worth considering getting apps.

  • 4

    Make a Deposit

    Adding funds is the next step before placing a live bet. The cashier will likely have plenty of online payment methods like PayPal and debit cards. Some UK online betting sites even accept cryptocurrency deposits or pay by phone bill.

  • 5

    Browse Markets

    Once an account is up and running and funded, it is time to pick out a live bet. Search through the options - the live in-play bets are typically found on their tab or page - then decide which bet to make and how much to stake on it. Obviously, the higher the stake, the more potential profit - but the higher the loss can be.

    betfred live betting
  • 6

    Place The Live Bet

    This works slightly differently at each online betting site, but usually, it is a case of tapping or clicking on a selection and then tapping or clicking again to confirm it. If the odds change while placing a live bet, the site will ask the user if they want to proceed with the wager or if they prefer to cancel it and choose another.

  • 7

    Check its Progress

    Most online bookmakers have a 'my bets' area or something similar. This is where customers can watch how all their live in-play bets are going. This is also where cash-out options for live in-play bets can be found.

  • 8

    Watch the Match Live

    At many leading UK live betting sites, it is now possible to keep up with the action via live sports streaming. Often, the streams are free to watch, so sports fans can view the action and see if their wager will win.

    Betfred live streaming
  • 9

    Withdraw Winnings

    Those who are fortunate enough to have picked out a winner can now take out the cash they have earned. Head to the cashier to withdraw and pick from the many online payment methods offered, e-wallets will often be the fastest.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Live Betting

As with anything in life, there are pros and cons to live in-play betting when compared to placing a wager ahead of a sporting event getting underway.

  • Live in-play betting can provide a better way to back some bets. For example, if a Premier League team is a heavy favourite to win a game but makes a slow start and goes on to concede a first goal, their odds will rise greatly, but they might still have a good chance to win.

  • Hedging possibilities can come into play when betting live and in play, which is a major positive. While cashing out is always an option, those who have backed a team to win can bet against them and potentially lock in some profit if they have taken an early lead.

  • Live in-play betting can help sports fans qualify for free bets. Many betting sites have free bets for grabs if live in-play qualifiers are placed on a game or match. 

  • Among the negatives is the fact that odds can move extremely quickly, so it is not always easy to tell whether or not a bet is good value.

  • Live in-play betting arguably relies more on instinct and gut feel than pre-match sports bets. While placing a bet before the start of a game gives people the chance to weigh up many factors, including the team news, pitch condition and head-to-head records, the live sport will always be unpredictable, and it can be almost impossible to guess what will happen next.

Naturally, having a live bet on a top sporting event makes it much more exciting to watch. However, remember that live in-play sports betting can be addictive for some people over time.

Best Live Betting Strategies

There are never any guarantees regarding gambling, which also goes for live in-play bets. But there are still some top live betting strategies that can be well worth keeping in mind.

Timing is everything when it comes to betting in-play on sporting action. Odds change quickly, and it will only take a small shift in a live price to take it from a good value bet to a bad one. Therefore, Keeping a close eye on how the odds are shifting is a must - time the bet right. 

Shopping around for the top live odds is worthwhile, but there is not always enough time to do so. Therefore, using a live sports betting site or app known for having high in-play odds is wise.

Using data and statistics comes into play for live betting, just as it does for pre-match wagers. Most of the top UK live betting sites provide their customers with up-to-date info for matches to help them decide where they want to spend their money during a sporting event.

Watching live sports streams is also a very good idea when betting in-play on a game. Many leading UK bookmakers have a lot of live sports streams these days, and it is even possible to watch them on a mobile device like a tablet computer or a smartphone. Many sports streams are even free to watch, while some require a bet to be placed on the action to view them.

Using cash out is also a highly recommended live betting strategy. While not everyone is a fan of cashing out a bet - it results in a lower profit for a wager if it would have gone on to win - this provides a way to lock in some guaranteed winnings while the action is ongoing. Some sites even have a partial cash-out option, so there can be a lot of flexibility when betting in-play.

Steven is an experienced iGaming content writer who has been working in the industry since 2018. He is passionate about sports betting and enjoys writing about all aspects of the industry, including bookmaker reviews, betting tips and strategies, and news and analysis. If you have any questions about online gambling in the UK, please don't hesitate to contact him.