Live betting, which is sometimes referred to as in-play betting, involves real-time wagering on an ongoing sporting event, greatly heightening the overall betting experience. In this article, we provide a list of what we think are the best live betting sites in the UK, along with top features to be found and a few useful tips.
Best Betting Sites We Recommend For Live Betting
18+ New customers only. Opt in, and bet £10 on football markets (odds 2.00+). No cash out. Get 6x£5 football free bets at specified odds for set markets, which expire after 7 days. Offer valid from 12:00 UK Time on 25/08/2023. Card payments only. Click for full T&Cs. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
18+ UK only. Deposit and place a £10 cash bet on a double or a treble or accumulated odds of 2/1 or greater and get a £20 sports bonus (no wagering requirements) to use on Accas plus £10 Casino Bonus to use on slots (no wagering requirements). Applies to first cash bet only. Sports Bonus credited to use on multiples (min. 4 selections, min odds per selection 1.5).Casino Bonus to be used on any casino slot. Cashed out, Void or ‘Draw No Bet’ wagers do not qualify for this promotion. Bonus credited by midday the day after bet settlement. 7-day bonus expiry. Available once per customer. Full T&C's apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
18+ New players only | Available until 23:59 GMT 31.12.2025 Each challenge has its own TCs. Eligible Bets must be placed for each respective Challenge during the Promotional Period including the following: ACCA, Football, In-Play, and Casino. Each challenge has its own set of TCs and can only be completed 1x. Available to claim: 20 Free Spins, £10 Free Bet, 50% Back up Free Bet up to £20, £10 Casino Bonus when you wager £50+. If all are completed you will receive Max £20 Free Bet to be used on any sport. Full T&Cs apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
18+ Opt-in required. New customers, Deposit & Place a Bet within 7 days, and settle a £10 minimum bet at odds of 4/5 (1.8) or greater, to be credited with 3x £10 free bets: 1 x £10 Horse racing, 1 x £10 Free Bet Builder and 1 x £10 Football. Stake not returned. Free bets expire in 7 days. Full T&Cs apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
18+ New customers only. Min. deposit of £10. Qualifying real money bet of £10. Min odds greater than or equal to 1.5 required. E/W bets excluded. Offer awarded immediately but could be issued the next working day in exceptional circumstances such as technical fault. Full T&Cs apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
18+ New UK customers only. Register using the promo code WELCOME40, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets and £10 in Free Spins (50x20p) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Free Bet stakes are not included in any returns. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
To use the Live Streaming service you will need to be logged in and have a funded account or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours. Registration Required. #ad
18+ New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. £20 in FREE Bets (FB) as £10 in sports bets & a £10 casino bonus (CB). Min Deposit £10. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. FB applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. FB 7-day expiry. 1 FB offer per customer, household & IP address only. Account & Payment restrictions. 14 days to accept £10 CB, then active for 3 days. CB 5x wagering & max redeemable £100. Game restrictions apply. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. 30 days to qualify. Full T&Cs apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
18+ Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football or Horse Racing multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 50 Bonus Spins credited on placement of qualifying Acca bet.50x bonus wagering applies as do weighting requirements, bonus Spins only available on selected games and expires 7 days after being awarded. Debit card deposits only (exclusions apply). Full T&Cs apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
18+ New UK players only | Min deposit req. £10 | Certain deposit methods excluded | Place 1 sport bet (3+ selections) | Excl Horse Racing | Min stake £10 | Max stake £20 | Min Odds 2/1 (3.0) | Max FreeBet £20 for football only | FreeBet valid for 7 days | FreeBet stake not returned | Full T&Cs apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
18+ New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Code: PLAY10; 1x per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager deposit & bonus 8x; Max qualifying bet stake=initial bonus; valid 60 days; Min odds 4/5 singles, 2/5 per acca leg; Some bet types excluded; Full T&Cs apply. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org #ad
What Is Live Betting?
Quite simply, live betting is the process of wagering on a sporting event while that event is taking place, the idea being that the situation can change at any point. Naturally, this means that the odds will fluctuate in and out of your favour – but that just makes everything even more exciting.
Live Betting vs Pre-Match Betting
Pre-match betting involves betting on predetermined odds before an event begins, whereas live betting takes place while the action is actually happening. While both are achieved in much the same way, there are a few subtle differences between the two from both the punter’s and bookmaker’s point of view. For instance, pre-determined odds are compiled from statistics from previous events and recorded form, whereas live odds are based on actual events and real-time occurrences.
Likewise, when making their picks, punters normally use harvested data and statistics to make their selections. But, when betting in-play, you'll have to act quickly, with have far less time to think and plan; unless your strategy includes making planned contingency bets if certain events occur.
Best Live Betting Sites Reviewed – Some of Our Favourites
Here are our top 5 picks for in-play betting which we felt required a review to highlight the features worth noting.
When it comes to sports, bet365 are almost unrivalled. Featuring one of the most comprehensive sports offerings around, the world’s biggest online bookmaker pulls no punches when it comes to live in-play betting. Bettors can bet in-play on just about anything you can think, of and stream most of it too. And, if things are going badly, you can always cash out early. If you're looking to bet in-play at bet365, make sure not to miss out on the bet365 in-play offer!
William Hill do not disappoint when it comes to live betting facilities. Customers here can enjoy a huge amount of in-play betting markets, a very good quality of odds and, of course, the famous William Hill TV, which is great for live streaming horse racing and greyhounds. If you do decide to stay for a while and watch the event you have had a punt on, then know that William Hill offer their customers fantastic cash out options if things look as though they are about to go against you.
Despite Paddy Power positioning themselves as something of a cheeky menace, their sportsbook product is anything but naughty. This extends to their live betting offering, which looks and feels very good indeed. The platform is extremely well-designed for speedy in-play betting, and comes complete with live streaming and a cash out feature, as well as endless betting options for many events.
Many bookmakers offer live betting, but when it comes to a quality in-play betting experience, Ladbrokes are miles ahead of most of the competition. Again, like their GVC partners directly above, they are one of the oldest operators around – quite frankly, they’re mega. And it shows, because live bettors at Ladbrokes are very well taken care of. Cash out? Check. Live Streaming? Check. Huge range of markets? You betcha. Ladbrokes' in-play betting services are top-notch.
The Unibet in-play betting section is highly comprehensive, featuring hundreds of live betting opportunities and sports markets from all over the world. The design is both visually satisfying and user-friendly, making the whole process of betting in-play really very simple. There are, of course, cash out options and live streaming services available too.
Top Features in Live Betting Sites
Maybe the most obviously important feature in live betting sites is the availability to follow live events on the site itself. This could be done via live streaming the event, elaborate visualisations which inform the customer what is going on, as well as notifications whenever there are important changes, such as goals during a match.
One of the most exciting factors in betting in general is the risk of betting on the underdog. Most established betting sites offer the opportunity to cash out any winnings/losses before the event is over. This allows you to tap out of a bet while you are ahead, or before things go further south. In the latter case, you also get the chance to bet on the opposing outcome to make up for any losses.
Betting sites also recognise the perceived opportunities in live betting, with some even offering enhanced odds if you choose to place in-play bets. These may come in the form of money back offers, specific promotions for those playing on mobile, accumulator bonuses, and many others. There are also bets that may only be placed while events are ongoing, such as betting that a goal or point will be scored within a particular time frame (for example, within the next 10 minutes). These are most commonly known as pulse bets.
Naturally, live betting is not a simple task for betting sites. Consequently, some may decide to offer it on a only few particular sports, on the most popular tournaments, or maybe not at all. The betting sites with the best in-play betting capabilities will be able to offer a vast number of sports as well as depth of coverage of particular countries, sometimes as far as the youth leagues.
In live betting, time is of the essence, so customers want to ensure they spend the least time possible waiting for the betting site to process any payments, especially deposits. Here we feel the need to point out the importance of having your account details in order and verified so that any transactions may be done without any time-consuming checks.
With so many sporting events going on at the same time, you may even decide to place live bets on more than one event at a go. This is why it's important to have easy access to in-play bets, which is often facilitated by a clear design and site layout. Some sites have dedicated pages for in-play bets, while others have the option of pinning live bets to the side of the screen so that they are easily located.
One would always hope not to encounter any issues when betting; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Given odds are changing on the go, customers will surely be hoping to find the quickest and best help available whenever they encounter an issue. In-play betting sites have invested heavily in live chats and quality customer support so that customers feel they can find the help they need, when they need it, and in the easiest of ways.
Another important feature of the best in-play betting sites would be how long it takes to update the live odds, especially after critical moments in the game being played. During these moments, certain betting markets are frozen, and all betting is suspended until the odds are updated accordingly. The shorter this processing time is, the better the live betting experience is for everyone.Just as an example, if a football team is given a penalty, a market is normally created to bet on whether the penalty will be scored, saved or off-target. The time frame for this to happen is very short, so betting sites will try to to get their odds out there as quickly as possible, thus giving the maximum time available to the customers to place their bets.
What Sports Can Punters Bet on In-Play?
At all the best betting sites in the UK, you will find that live betting markets are open on almost all of any sport you can think of. You can even find live and real-time in-play odds available for TV specials, such as Britain’s Got Talent final or the Eurovision Song Contest. It should go without saying, however, that more popular sports, such as football, tennis, golf, snooker and darts, will have more in-play betting opportunities than less mainstream events such as athletics or pool. On the whole, though, there is a strong chance that prices are available in-play on most of your favourite sports.
Placing a Live Bet
Placing a live bet is no more complicated than placing a bet before the event gets underway. The process might be a little different from your perspective, as you are being influenced by real-time events when betting in-play. Having said that, putting money behind your in-play choices is simple. Here’s a step-by-step guide to placing a live bet:
- Select the match you are interested in, and try to figure out how the match is playing out for the favourites and the underdogs. At this point, we suggest watching the match for a while so as not to make any rushed decisions.
- Choose which market you want to place a bet in – whether it is who will score next, which team will call the next time out, or how many corners there will be in the first half – there is always a variety to choose from.
- Add the bet to your bet slip and set a stake you are comfortable with – you will have to be quick here, as odds constantly fluctuate once a match has begun. If your bookie offers a bet builder, you can use this to combine a few different bets into one, thus multiplying all the odds and possibly tapping into an accumulator bonus. Remember never to gamble more than you can afford to lose.
- Keep your eyes on the match. If situation starts seeming too good to be true, or the probability of you winning the bet starts spiralling, you may use the Cash Out option to lock in your winnings/losses.
Winning or losing a live bet, particularly on something which happens frequently (such as point betting in tennis), might invite players to place frequent bets on the same match. Despite this not being necessarily wrong, remember that the beauty of sports lies in the fact that anything may happen at any time. Always be careful not to get carried away with frequent betting on the smallest details in a match.
Live Betting Tips
The key to live betting is paying attention. It might sound obvious, but always remain focused on the event that you (should be) watching. Look for trends in the players, such as playing poorly, playing well or falling foul to injuries that could hinder their performance. These could all be factors that could well influence the outcome of an event.
Remember, in-play betting is a speed game. You will need to think fast. To that end, why not prepare a few contingency bets in case something entirely possible occurs? Of course, you wouldn't put any money on these until the moment arrives (if it does at all), but it's not a bad idea to be prepared.
Of course, the key to preparation – and this counts for pre-match betting too – is to do your homework. Look into injuries and recent form, and do your research on when teams do well at certain times of the match, or which golfers are slow off the blocks on day one. Finally, remember that the favourites are the favourites for a reason.
The bookmakers are smart, and know how to offer the shortest prices on the best performers and the ones most likely to win. To that end, back the favourites if they fall behind. If Michael van Gerwen loses the first set in a game of darts, he will still more than likely win – depending on the opposition – by the end of the game. The same theory would, for example, apply to Rafa Nadal in a game of tennis, especially if he is playing on clay. This way, the odds on these otherwise short-priced favourites can drift a little bit, leaving some value for you to exploit.
Best Live Betting Sites FAQs
There are many reasons why in-play betting is worth your while as a punter. However, we’d single out the thrills involved, along with the potential value standing to be gained, as the two things that make it an unmissable experience.
You won’t find live betting on the horses or – for obvious reasons – the 100-metre sprint races and other fast races.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
In-play betting is the fastest growing way to bet. Why? Because it allows punters to place bets after an event has got underway, which is where the term ‘in-play' comes from. Not only that, but the thrills generated by live betting are also a whole new experience in comparison to pre-event betting, as great as the latter is. Don't just take our word for it – try it out and experience it yourself!