Once upon a time, as soon as an event began, the sportsbooks would stop accepting bets on the contest. But those were the old days before the super-fast Internet and smart mobile devices. Now, there is a way to not only to place wagers after a contest has begun, but also to bet throughout the game. Welcome to the world of live betting!
Live betting is a type of gambling that allows the bettor to watch a game and make bets on upcoming plays of a wide range of varieties all while the action takes place. For instance, during a football game, one may bet on who will commit the next penalty or which team will kick the subsequent field goal. There are also bets on the outcome of the game with odds that move in response to what is taking place on the field.
So, a team may have been favored to win before the game began, but now that they are down fourteen points, they have become the underdog. You can now bet on that team to finish the game as the winner and receive more valuable odds than you would have been able to before the game started.
Live betting is the future of gambling. It offers a more interactive experience while watching sports. Some websites even provide a live stream of the game as well as the betting interface where the picks and odds are always changing and adjusting in real-time. It’s a thrilling and immersive experience.
This guide has been written to help you learn the basics of live betting. We will provide the best online live betting bookmakers as well as critical factors and tips to consider before you begin. Once you complete this guide, you will have a solid foundation on which to start your new favorite form of betting.
Be warned though, once you experience live betting, it can be hard to go back to traditional wagers. Nothing else offers the fast-paced excitement that this form of gambling can in the sports betting world.
The Best Sites for Live Betting
We recommend the following list of websites as the best live betting options right now:
Our List of the Best Live Betting Sites for 2018
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The recommended websites above have all been vetted by our experts. When determining which bookmakers will make the cut for our list, we have two primary goals in mind: 1) to only provide the safest websites to our customers, and 2) to ensure our customers will only receive the most favourable customer experience available.
Within those two goals, there are many factors that we consider. We will go more in-depth into what these elements are in the very next section. One thing to keep in mind is that where you decide to place your bets is equally as important as which picks you choose to make. After all, having the right picks doesn’t do us much good if the website is a scam and we can never cash out!
Below are some links to specific sections of this guide. We recommend you read them all, but if you just need a refresher and you’d like to skip ahead, here are some jump links:
Critical Factors for Live Betting Sites
As we previously mentioned, safety and excellent customer experience are our primary concerns when compiling our list of recommended live betting sportsbooks, but you may be wondering what additional considerations go into our process.
We know that approaching online bookmakers can be intimidating to the novice sports bettor. As with all things on the Internet, there are a plethora of scam sites out there all trying to deceive you and steal your money. Then other places just want in on the profitability of online gambling but aren’t equipped to offer customers the experience they deserve. Either they are poorly designed, unresponsive or slow to pay out money on withdrawals.
Once a website has proven to be acceptable regarding safety and customer experience, we dig a little deeper. We make sure their odds are competitive and fair. Plus, we verify that they offer plenty of betting options. Variety is the spice of life, after all.
This is why we’ve chosen to put our expertise to use and vet as many online sportsbooks as possible for you. We have taken all of the risks so that you may avoid them. If you choose any of the bookmakers on our list of recommended websites, you can rest assured that they have passed the test for all of the following issues.
History and Reputation
The first research that we do when judging a website is to look into a site’s past. Before we recommend a website to our customers, we ensure that they don’t have a bad reputation with players that have used their services in the past. We read reviews and examine blacklists to make sure that the website has no history of scams or unethical behavior.
They must have a proven track record of satisfied customers, fair odds and responsive customer service. A website with a sketchy past claiming to have reformed is not going to find their way on our list. History repeats itself, so we do not take chances with negative pasts.
The sites on our lists are also graded on ease of use and website quality. We don’t want to be sending you to some unprofessional, poorly designed sportsbook that’s difficult to navigate. Things like broken links or the inability to find the bets we want can be incredibly frustrating. Plus, they can cost a gamer the opportunity to place their bets in time.
Even with live betting where the betting options won’t be pulled off the board when a game starts, time is of the essence. The odds are always in flux with the live action, so if we are too late, we may not get the odds that we want. The slightest difference in the odds can be the difference between winning and losing.
We also consider the ease with which a patron may sign up, deposit and withdraw money. The entire process from start to finish should be logical, straightforward and free of any headaches. In the case that there are any hiccups, customer service must be simple to find and responsive. We will discuss this more next.
We have already done the research and verified these websites have responsive, easy to locate customer service departments, but before you sign up, we suggest you do the same. The first thing you want to make sure of is that the customer service section is easy to find. It should be clearly labeled with a link to a dedicated customer service page.
Next, an excellent customer service section should contain a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. This page should answer common questions and generally make life easier for their customers.
Lastly, and most importantly, there must be several options available for a consumer to use to communicate with the customer service department. At the bare minimum, there should be a telephone number and an email address. If there is also an option to live chat with a customer service rep via instant messaging, that scores even higher. The more ways to get your problems resolved, the better.
Few things land a website on the blacklist quicker than slow withdrawal speeds. It is unacceptable to make a player wait weeks to receive their money when they are waiting to cash out. We understand if there’s no way to receive the funds immediately, although many sites are beginning to offer this option, but, you should be able to receive your money within a few days.
For these reasons, we heavily weigh withdrawal speeds when ranking our sites.
Live Betting Options Available
When we talk about live betting options, we are talking about two separate issues. First, we want a wide variety of sports, events and leagues available to bet on. You should be able to wager on whichever game you are the most knowledgeable about. Secondly, there needs to be lots of wager types and betting options within each individual contest.
Once you are locked in on a game and making your picks, it’s more fun if there are many different aspects of the game you can wager on. We look for bookmakers that offer lots of fun props in addition to half-time bets, full-game bets and play-by-play bets. Things like, “who will score the next goal/touchdown/run,” or “which team will be penalized next” allow you more control to execute your predictions.
Plus, handicappers that are able to develop a niche or specialty are typically the most successful. So, for example, if your unique skill is being able to predict who will commit the next foul in a basketball game, then that needs to be an option available to you throughout the game.
Live betting was created as a result of faster Internet speeds, growing technology, and ever-increasing connectivity. Before the Internet evolved into the immense, influential and accessible tool that it is today, gambling on live games in real-time wouldn’t be possible.
Now, most people access the Internet via their mobile devices, both smartphones and tablets. Part of our grading criteria is a sportsbooks compatibility with mobile devices.
Not only does this offer previously unprecedented convenience, but it allows you to make any sports viewing experience more exciting and intense! We don’t just want to offer websites that require you to be seated at home on a laptop or desktop computer. You should be able to make your picks in the palm of your hands, whenever you please.
Odds Being Offered
A smart sports bettor will always shop around for the most favorable lines relative to the picks they plan to make. The slightest margin of difference in the odds can make a loser a winner. It can also affect the value of a payout on a winning bet.
It may seem like a negligible difference when making any individual bet, but over the long run, those slight margins add up to significant amounts of money. Gambling is all about math, and even a fraction of a percentage advantage can be all you need to turn a profit instead of losing your bankroll.
Live Betting Promotions
There is no shortage of sportsbook options online vying for your patronage. When companies have to compete for your business, it’s always a positive. In order to stand out from each other, they offer various rewards and promotions for signing up and utilizing their platform for live betting.
Live betting bookmakers will offer things like free bets or the option to match a percentage of your first deposit. These bonuses give you the opportunity to take some chances and make some risk-free gambles that you may otherwise be wary of trying.
Loyalty/ VIP Rewards
Similar to sign-up bonuses, we also look into the loyalty or VIP programs sites will employ to keep their customers. Before signing up with a sportsbook, research what they are willing to offer for your loyalty. Some websites will provide rewards programs like cash back on a percentage of your losses, or chances to win drawings and raffles.
All things being equal between two competing sportsbooks, a robust loyalty program may sway your decision one way or another. We always want to be appreciated by companies we are doing business with, so this is yet another factor we consider when recommending bookmakers to our readers.
Live Betting Explained
Live betting is a type of sports gambling that allows a bettor to make picks on a sporting event that is currently in play. This form of wagering is also often referred to as in-game betting. It’s a much more interactive form of sports betting and allows the gambler to choose from a wide range of ever-changing bets with odds that continuously adjust to the real-time action.
Some of the bets which are offered are of the more traditional variety. There are options to bet on the half-time or full-time results, similar to the traditional pre-contest bookmakers. The difference is that as the action unfolds, the odds move to reflect current developments.
For example, if a team was a -300 favorite going into a game, but they are losing by a significant margin after the first quarter, they may be offered at -150, or even +120 at that point in the game. This provides a tremendous opportunity to the player able to diagnose momentum accurately. If you know of a team that starts slow but finishes tough, you may be better served placing your bet once they get behind in order to grab a better line than you would before the contest.
Then, there are the prop bets that really make live betting special. The average game offers dozens, if not hundreds, of various bets on every in-game possibility. You can bet on the next player to score, the next to commit a foul, how many points will be scored in a quarter or half and nearly every other possibility you may imagine.
If you are looking to increase the entertainment that you feel while watching sports, live betting may be your game. No matter how important an individual game is, you have the option to make every single play feel as intense as the fourth quarter of the championship.
Live betting is a relatively new addition to the sports gambling world. When it initially became available, only the most significant games and big leagues were available to participate in. Now, nearly every race and sporting event are offered to the public. Once you experience sports while live betting, watching a game without getting in on the action will never feel the same.
Live Betting Tips
Now that you’ve picked the site or sites that you feel comfortable using and you understand what live betting is, here are some beginners tips to help you find your footing and expand your knowledge. To have success sports betting, you must continually research, keep note of what bets you are winning and losing and cultivate your strategies.
Here are a few more things to keep in mind as you begin your new live sports betting hobby:
Only Bet Your Best Sports
If you are going to start live betting, your best bet is to exclusively wager on games or teams that you have an in-depth understanding of. The odds and action move fast when you are betting in-game, so it’s necessary to understand the strategies in play and how teams will respond to what is happening. That way, you can forecast what will happen next, allowing you to identify valuable lines.
Seek Out Value
It’s so easy to get swept up in the action of a live game which can lead you to make too many bets, including bad bets. You still need to be discerning when making your selections. Don’t just get caught up in attempting to predict what will happen next. Search out value. If you have a good feel for the momentum of the game, wait for the right moments to place your bets to maximize your chances of winning.
Only Bet Games You Will Watch
There are exceptions to this tip. It’s acceptable to log in and place a half-time or full-time bet on a sporting event that you’re unable to watch. But don’t make a habit of putting numerous wagers on a game that you won’t be observing.
Without watching, you can’t get a real feel for how the game is being played and what is going to happen next. Momentum plays such an essential role in sports, and there is valuable data you can only get from watching the action play out live.
Never Chase Your Losses
This advice applies to all types of gambling, but can be extra important as it pertains to live betting. There are so many opportunities to wager, and the action moves so quickly, that the potential to lose large sums of money is always present.
For this reason, never chase your losses. Gamblers will often start out cold, losing a string of bets in succession. Then they’ll feel “due,” which makes them place more massive bets in order to get themselves out of the slump. This is a trap and will lead to significant losses much more often than it will dig you out of a hole.
Never Get Over-Confident from Win Streaks
The inverse of chasing losses is feeling like you can’t lose and making big bets while you’re feeling “hot.” Successfull sports betting is heavily dependent upon being disciplined and logical with your actions. Feeling like you can’t miss and pressing your win streak is a fast way to give back all of your earnings. It doesn’t matter if you win a large percentage of your picks if you give back the money all at once when you’re feeling cocky.
Place a Pre-Game Bet First
It’s always a good strategy to place one bet before the game begins. This is because it encourages you to do some research ahead of time. You will go into the contest with an idea of what you expect to happen, which you can use to base the rest of your picks on.
If your picks prove to be off-point, you can change strategies and make up that money during the game. If you forecasted the game accurately, this gives you an opportunity to lean harder on that prediction and increase your earnings.
Bet Heavy Favorites That Fall Behind
A heavily favored team entering a game will not offer odds worth betting most of the time unless you have significant capital to risk. However, if you wait until that team trails behind, those odds will adjust to the score and you will be able to grab a more advantageous line. The oddsmakers are typically reasonably accurate with their picks, so despite the early setbacks, the initially favored team is still likely to pull it out.
Think New England versus the Atlanta Falcons in Superbowl 51. If you had the foresight to bet on the Patriots at halftime when they were down 25, the payout would have been enormous.
Live betting is the most interactive, immersive form of gambling currently available to sports gambling enthusiasts. It offers a litany of ever-changing odds and wagers adjusting in real-time to the action on the field of play. Not only does this make watching sports exponentially more exciting, but it also provides an educated bettor with more opportunity to apply their knowledge in creative ways and profit.
Before getting started, choose a trustworthy, reliable site that you can navigate with ease. Remember, where you place your bets is every bit as important as the picks themselves. The world of online sports betting is a vast and profitable industry, and with large sums of money comes lots of scammers looking to steal unsuspecting customers.
For this reason, check out the bookmakers that we have provided you in this guide. We have done the work for you so that you may get started quickly and without worry. The sportsbooks presented here are the best in the industry, vetted to ensure you have the best experience possible as you venture into the world of live betting.