Live Betting Tips: The Essential Guide

live betting

In-play or live betting takes gambling on football to a more dynamic and pro-active level.

This guide will show you how to make a success of betting live.

If you have previous experience of football market betting, you will have discovered already that success doesn’t rely on betting systems and strategies alone.

You need to develop the right personal strengths to ensure your financial rewards.

Live betting can be both a compelling and a profitable activity for anyone who is a real fan of sports, if you prepare well.

To begin, you will need to methodically study the available strategies.

Then you can consider your own betting plan and your own targets.

Take notes of the strategies that appeal to you or those you would like to test out.

With practice, you can develop confidence at live betting and focus on a selection of strategies that suit you.

But before you scale up to a larger bank, you need to establish a consistency that is based on solid betting discipline.

Note: This guide refers only to football betting, but the knowledge you will gain here can be applied to any betting sport.

Live Football Betting

Modern technology has revolutionized the way it is now possible to bet.

With smart phone, tablet, or laptop it is now easy to monitor live matches from almost anywhere.

But, most of all, this technology has enlivened betting by enabling it to continue ‘in real time’ as a match unfolds.

Betting on live matches introduces new scope and much wider opportunities for the football gambler, whether you are placing single bets, or trading with multiple betting offers.

By the way

In the football betting guide I cover all the following most successful strategies for live football betting.


Live TV games are a perfect opportunity for bookmakers to hard sell their services.

Notice how their active screen adverts reflect action in the match:

“0-0 at the 70th minute! 0-0 at the 70th minute!” or “Quick… Lay the draw in-play now!”.

Their sales teams are experts at influencing us with calls to action.

Their messages flash in-play when we are most emotionally involved.

Naturally, we want to participate and take advantage.

We’re shown an opportunity to respond immediately, make a quick profit, and beat the bookies’ odds.

But it’s all too easy to get carried away by such messages that target emotions rather than common sense.

The truth is that bookies always stand to win from our betting, whereas thoughtless betting sets us up to lose.

So, remember that bookmakers always want to encourage us to bet.

And as the number of bookmakers, exchanges, and markets increase, so does the clamour for our money.

There are many advantages to live betting, but there are also risks and traps to be aware of when using bookmakers and betting exchanges.

Let me show you first the main advantages:

Edging With “Cash Out”  

One of the big pluses that live betting now brings is the ability to easily hedge bets to guarantee a profit whatever the outcome of the game.

At Bet365

At Betfair

A perfect example for such edging is the memorable game in the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying round between Germany and Sweden.

Germany’s half time position of a 3-0 lead reduced their odds to just 1.05 to win the match.

germany sweden half time

Anyone backing Germany ahead of the game would have congratulated themselves at gaining such easy money… but then everything changed.

Sweden revived and scored goal after goal.

And the final result turned from a certain Germany win into a 4-4 draw.

germany sweden

Imagine the disappointment of all those who lost their stakes as “the impossible” occurred before their eyes.

Yet, placing a simple bookmaker’s edge at half time could have ensured up to 98% return of profit for those who backed Arsenal ahead of the match.

Several bookmakers and exchanges allow early closing out of bets.

Betfair enable cashing out your winnings any time before the end of a game.

Bet365 also allow you a full or partial early cash out of your bets.

Cashing your bets out in this way stops you worrying about unexpected events.

Closing a bet early can protect your winnings, or minimize your losses, and enable you to just enjoy the match.

Live Betting Odds: Bigger Moves in Odds Mean Bigger Profit

live betting odds

Live matches mean odds are constantly changing.

This simple fact is one of the strongest appeals of in-play betting.

Every important event on the pitch can influence the betting market.

Goals scored, sendings off, injuries, or just run of play, can all result in changing odds and significant betting opportunities.

Here is an example for a match where home team odds are priced at 1.90 before kickoff.

When the home team take a lead, odds on their winning fall to 1.3.

A pre-match back bet for €100 can be now closed with a lay bet for a definite profit, or for a free bet:

Odds difference: 1.90 – 1.30 = 0.60

Value of free bet: €100 x 0.60 = €60 (pre commission)

So your alternatives are to leave the free bet for a home win at a value of €60; or cash out this value (manually, or automatically with trading software or Betfair cash out).

Manual cash out:

Value of free bet / Current odds: €60 / 1.3 = €46.15 (pre commission).

Adding this value to your original lay stake makes a lay bet of €146.15 at 1.30.

So, the home side 1-0 goal can give you a profit guarantee of about 40% of your stake, or a free bet on a home team win gives a profit of 60% of your initial stake.

Note: Betfair graphs offer valuable real-time stats.

You can watch the odds change in response to action on the pitch.

A good example was the following match: Liverpool VS Arsenal

  • Bet on Liverpool at 2.0 before the match startsliverpool arsenal
  • Cash out when Liverpool take the lead (1-0)liverpool first goal
  • Secure a guaranteed profit of nearly 60% of your initial stake

Finding a Value Bet

Betting odds are not always as you’d expect.

Spotting inconsistent pricing in a football match, whether too high or too low, is when you can take advantage.

It is remarkable how often gamblers overreact to in-play events, by piling on money or offering new odds that later they regret.

Check out the graphs of the odds market after a suspension due to a significant match event.

Often it presents some unusual opportunities.

Generally, the market will correct itself and stabilize very quickly.

But if you are quick, you can make some easy profits.

Choice of Markets

choice of markets

There are many different live markets now listed, which creates plenty of ways for you to bet and make some money.

It also gives you the opportunity to test out different approaches and schemes.

Match odds markets (betting on win or lose) are the most heavily followed and attract the most matched money at betting exchanges.

But this sometimes results in very short odds, which you may find unattractive.

Alternative markets include:

  • Half Time
  • Correct Score
  • Under/Over Goals

Correct score markets in particular offer good value.

A bet on a couple of score results can return good profits.

Markets in Under/Over Goals are also increasingly gaining in popularity.

Choosing a strategy that involves a combination of these markets covers plenty of opportunities while evenly spreading the risk.

On the other hand you must avoid the following dangers:

Hardware or Software Failure

Suffering from some technical failure can feel like a disaster, especially if it happens when you are in the middle of betting or it leaves you unable to close open bets.

Such problems could include:

  • Losing internet access
  • A bookmaker’s website going offline
  • Computer failure
  • Electricity outage

Not every problem is immediately solvable, but you can take basic precautions by having some backup systems available.

Opening accounts with several bookmakers or exchanges will give you more betting options.

Ensure you have access to both a laptop and a smartphone.

Make sure you know the phone number to reach your accounts and that you can use a smartphone for login.

“Market Suspended”

market suspended

The term above is one that no sports gambler likes to see, but you’re sure to encounter it sometime once you start betting live.

A market suspension means a bookmaker halts coverage of a match or particular market, and all betting is stopped even though previously marked as in-play.

The cause may be that the bookmaker has lost communications, or some other technical issue makes it impossible to operate the market properly.

Will you get your money back if you placed a bet before the suspension?

Unfortunately, no.

The bookmaker won’t distinguish between trading and betting, and once placed your stake will not be returned.

This is a harsh reality you just have to face.

Though those who have suffered a market suspension always harbour the feeling it’s not fair.

Illiquid Markets

illiquid markets

It’s the end of the week and up to one hundred football matches are about to go in-play.

Saturday afternoon is the major time for live football betting, and exchanges such as Betfair run many small markets on most games in addition to win–lose.

But imagine, after careful preparation of a small market bet you can’t get it matched on your market.

Betting interest is focused on the major markets and there are no funds to match your bet.

Once the bet has been placed you may have to accept a loss, and perhaps agree to uncomfortable odds.

This is not a situation you want, so always take the precaution of checking how much money is being matched on your chosen market before a game kicks off.

Ideally, at least €10.000 should be shown as matched on the market you select if you want to be sure of sufficient in-play market liquidity.

Usually, match odds markets will meet this test.

But, some less-frequented lower divisions or lesser European football leagues may present some risk.

This is particularly so on days when there are many alternative markets in play.

No Cash Out Available

Today, it’s easy to hedge bets on all the big football markets.

Markets in all the top competitions that involve major leagues, Championship cups, and similar European and international tournaments provide ways to cash out bets in play – including some offers that are free.

But don’t assume this is the case in markets for every league and football cup.

If you’ve bet on a lower league match and an expected hedging opportunity occurs, you could discover that facilities for your planned cash out are just not available.

In this case, you will simply have to hope the state of play doesn’t change and your bet can survive to end of play.

So, always check if the market you choose enables hedging.

Timing it Right

This particular problem is more fundamental than technical.

You’ve finished researching your market… you’ve worked out your plan… you’ve decided on the best odds… now you only need to complete matching your bet.

But time is against you.

The final seconds tick down.

And up comes the notice on-screen.


If you already have experience of live betting, you’ll know this happens all too often.

There will be many occasions when you are denied a matching bet by the last second.

The best way to look at this is to consider it might have prevented you from losing, just as it has also removed your chances of winning (though it can be hard to think this way).

Above all, don’t allow such disappointments to disturb your betting plan.

Extended Suspensions

Manchester United trail 0-1 to Middlesbrough at 67th minute in the Premier League.

manchester united trailing

After the Middlesbrough´s goal, the Red Devils appear revived, the Smoggies looke tired, and an equalizer is on the cards.

The in-play strategy must be to back a draw and hedge for profit.

The draw could offer good value as the odds move.

So, you need to act quickly.

But in-play betting is temporarily suspended.

If it isn’t lifted soon, Manchester United could equalize before you place your hedge.

“Manchester United 2 : Middlesbrough 1”

manchester united comeback

Manchester United have scored twice in just 60 seconds while the market was suspended!

Result: You’ve lost your hedge.

Situations like this can sometimes occur.

Betting is suspended after a goal or other major event and this prevents you from closing a bet.

But complaining how unfair this seems won’t change the result.

Out of Left Field

Unpredictable and irregular events are one of the hazards of football.

Errors that seem to challenge the rules of the game will always occur because referees, as well as players, are only human.

Disallowing sound goals, awarding penalties for no good reason, and issuing controversial red cards, are just a few of the situations that often arise to frustrate both spectators and gamblers.

No matter how well you prepare scenarios for your bet strategy, the unexpected can still knock your plan off course and lose you money.

You may find such events distressing but – on the other side of the coin – they can also present betting opportunities.

Just remember to always stay positive and disciplined, and accept the unpredictable as an unavoidable part of the beautiful game.


It´s time to learn the essential qualities and routines you need to establish to enable you to manage any live betting situation.

Preparation and Analysis

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

These wise words are those of Alexander Graham Bell.

His constant diligence led to the invention of the telephone, the creation of the Bell Telephone Company, and ultimately the formation of AT&T, the world’s largest telecommunications provider of internet and cable TV.

Careful preparation not only leads to discovery but also to successful implementation.

Failure to fully prepare is arguably why so many people don’t secure long term profits from football betting.

Online access to football markets via bookmakers and betting exchanges easily tempts people into betting on any match available.

In fact, most gamblers probably view betting more as entertainment than a source of regular income.

There is certainly fun in challenging the odds while following the beautiful sport.

But it’s the random placing of bets on almost any match, whether out of “gut feeling” or simply boredom, that ensures bookmakers stay profitable while punters lose their cash.

If you’re keen to take betting seriously, then you need to imitate those who bet on live football online as their daily occupation.

There are plenty of memoirs you can read about the lives of professional gamblers.

The practice that most stands out for those engaged with live football is the time spent in match research and analysis before making any bets.

Typically, a true professional could spend 7 hours a day carefully studying the stats of matches of interest.

And that’s before settling down to the afternoon’s real business of putting that information to work.

Professionals understand that the quality of their results depends on the preparation they’ve put in beforehand.

Live betting can be pursued in two main ways:

  1. Opening bets before play begins and closing them during progress of the match.
  2. Opening bets during live play in response to match action, for example, laying the draw or laying the weaker team after they have scored.

Whichever approach you are using, you will be hoping most of all to see the welcome sight of your market “greening up”.

“Green up” is a trading software feature and is the same as using Betfair´s cash-out.

It signals permission to place both a back bet and a lay on the same selection.

The next sections of this guide will show you the all-important “Do´s and Don´ts” you should follow when preparing yourself to bet on live football markets.

This is what you should do:


Your ability to maintain self-discipline is the most fundamental factor in determining whether you will succeed in live football betting.

Choosing strategies that appear profitable might seem more important, but if you are unable to stay disciplined in all you do, then you will not make money in the long term.

In the professional gambler guide, you will receive important lessons on best practice, which can have a real impact on your bank balance.

Consider what you might achieve if you always follow sound decision-making regardless of the situation you face.

Self-discipline is a quality that enables you to act whatever emotional stresses you may be feeling.

It is the most significant requirement for achievement in any personal endeavour, and without it you will find it hard to succeed.

So, what does self-discipline mean in practice?

Disciplined Football Betting

Betting on live football markets can expose you to many hazards and traps, which will lead you into making losses unless you are alert and prepared.

It may seem an overworked cliché, but if you want to take betting seriously then you should regard it as your own business.

To prepare you for this, you need to become organized, create predictable procedures, and develop self-assurance in all you do.

Becoming Organized

  • Consider your current betting portfolio and the strategies you like best.
  • Analyze which strategies bring the best return and which result in reducing your bank balance.
  • Start to keep data on all your bets. By recording past performance you will be able to think through reasons for successes and failures.
  • Decide what times you can devote to live betting on matches.
  • Determine the amount of time you should spend on match researching and analysis.
  • Create a set of rules you intend to follow as an aid to firmly establishing your self-discipline.

These can be printed and displayed prominently on a wall beside your workspace.

Fallback Planning

  • Do you know how you would proceed if the internet goes down, you have no electricity, or the Betfair website fails while you have bets left unmatched?
  • How will you react when a bet goes against you?
  • Are you prepared to accept losses?
  • Do you have a minimum profit target for your bets?
  • Have you decided which markets and matches you should engage in?

Knowing in advance how to respond when events don’t plan out will help avoid panic and the risk of making things worse.

Planning Ahead

Advanced planning ensures you are prepared whether things go well or go badly.

You will feel more confident, and you won´t become confused if you have already thought ahead.

  • Be sure you know when your matches are being played.
  • List all the matches you may be interested in to help you prepare your research, select the best candidates, and not miss any available betting opportunities during the day.
  • Consider your profit-taking strategies ahead to make decisions easier when not all goes to plan.

Keeping Records

It’s natural for us to be focused on what lies ahead rather than dwell on the past.

But making the effort to keep good records of all your previous betting will help you greatly in future decision-making.

Keeping such data will enable reflection on how your betting has developed.

It will immediately show you the strategies that have done well and those that have held you back.

Checking back on past records also helps when you wish to consider a new strategy or make changes to your current approach.

Importantly, your data records will also flag up teams or competitions that you should avoid investing in again with your time and money.

Fixing Your Live Betting Rules 

As mentioned above, creating a set of rules to follow should be part of your organizational plan.

This is one of the most important principles for making your work efficient and helping you avoid the traps of bad practice.

Approach this by considering every facet of your betting activity.

Draw up each strategy you intend to implement, and list the procedures to apply in various scenarios.

This way, you won’t be fazed when situations change during play.

Establish a personal right and wrong list, such as:

  • Avoid alcohol while betting!
  • Ignore the Bulgarian second league!
  • Always cash out for profit when your target is reached.

What else can you include?

Note anything that experience proves loses you money on football markets.

State your rules for money management clearly so you never ignore them.

Finally, print out your trading rules and stick them conspicuously in front of your betting seat.

This will help you maintain betting discipline, and perhaps offer up explanations for any major losses you might have suffered.

Training Your Mind 

If you think of the discipline exercised by the mind in the form of a bodily muscle, then the more training it receives the stronger it will get.

Of course, you can’t build muscles instantly, they take time to develop.

So it is with the development of self-discipline, which won’t be achieved overnight.

However, your progress will be determined by how much you want to achieve success.

What should you do to begin developing your own self-discipline?

How about starting your day an hour earlier than usual?

This would certainly require discipline, and would offer you more time to devote to your betting research.

But if you think this asks too much, there are many other ways of developing self-discipline.

It simply requires determining what you should do and then actually doing it, no matter what distractions or temptations you face.

You have heard people say “rules are made to be broken”.

Others insist that risk is all part of the fun.

But this is generally the thinking that separates the losers from the winners.

When you let go of your discipline to take a wild bet – just for the hell of it – you will know the reason why it went badly.

For a professional gambler, the rules are always “stick to your discipline”.

Whether it’s pennies or thousands you’re betting, as your self-discipline increases you will notice the improvement in results.

Betting Station Setup

betting station setup

An effectively prepared workspace will help you perform at your best.

Online betting requires organization of hardware, software, and communication media so that you can monitor live football and react efficiently to events.

Below, you will find advice and information on some of the items you will need or will find helpful in improving your live betting performance.

Desktop Computer or Laptop With Internet Connection

This item itself seems obvious.

But it is also essential to ensure your computer is fast, and able to multi-task without affecting performance.

Remember that your browser will often be displaying many open tabs, and you may also be running trading market software.

You need confidence your computer won’t crash or freeze when you’re actively placing or cashing bets out.

It is highly recommended to have a backup facility in case your primary computer fails.

Running two computers can also help you conduct your research while simultaneously watching matches online.

Smartphone/Tablet With Separate Internet And Bookmaker App

A working smartphone is another essential backup to have when you are betting.

With an independent internet connection, it offers an alternative for closing bets if laptop or electricity fail.

It will also enable you to bet when attending a live match, or if you are on the move.

Trading Software

Although a betting exchange like Betfair offers its own online betting platform, you can improve your experience and performance with a growing choice of alternative software trading products.

One of the best software packages available is Advanced Cymatic Trader.

It is fully integrated with Betfair trading and offers all you could want to fully manage in-play market trades.

With Advanced Cymatic Trader you choose from five different trading modes:

  • Ladder
  • Grid
  • Excel
  • Automated trading bot
  • Multi-market

The Multi-market layout is particularly helpful for simultaneous trading on several markets.

And features such as Place in Queue and a resizeable match viewing screen all help to improve live trading.

To learn how to use this trading software, an online user guide and many video tutorials are available at

Live Betting Sites

live betting sites

live betting sites 1

While dedicated trading software can speed up your trading, it doesn’t offer everything a gambler needs to know.

This is why live betting sites are so popular.

The real-time football data available at live betting sites keep you abreast of the action across tens of different leagues.

This makes it possible to compare the best live match and market opportunities to bet on, and decide your favourites.

Choosing which live score site is best means testing the speed of updates on latest match goals, penalties, sendings off, etc.

Lost seconds can be crucial in placing bets or hedges.

One highly recommended site is

It is easy to use and only requires selection of the matches in which you are interested.

If live goal scoring isn’t sufficient information, shots on target are a further popular information source that help you decide which games deserve your attention.

Bookmakers generally do provide such data, but you can get overwhelmed by trying to rank targeted shots in matches you are following.

Fortunately, a site called has all the information for you in a simple format.

Not only can you check shots on target, but also possession, dominant attacks, corners, and other important data.

To use the site, click on “Today list”.

totalcorner today list

Then the “Customize view” option.

totalcorner customize view

Select the live stats you want to display and click on “save”.

Totalcorner shots on target

total corner final

You can also minimize clutter by deselecting matches you no longer want to follow.

Alternative Bookmaker Accounts  

When you’re serious about live football betting, maintaining access to online betting sites is vital.

Websites can always be subject to service interruption, so you need to prepare for this eventuality in advance.

It´s recommended, therefore, that you hold a registered account with at least one alternative bookmaker or betting exchange, in addition to Betfair.

This will give you peace of mind whenever you are concerned about online access.

And this is what you shouldn´t do:

Betting in a Hurry

Live betting is very different to traditional pre-match betting when you could place your bet and forget it until after the match.

Betting in-play requires dedicated time and attention throughout the period of play.

The lesson is:

If you find a good match bet, never just place the bet and leave it while you attend to other important parts of your life.

When you return, or check final scores, you’re likely to find that you missed the chance to cash out at a profit and instead have suffered a loss.

This will make you feel as frustrated as when you’ve just failed to place a good bet before the market suspends.

So, if you don’t have the time to fully monitor your bets, then simply do not bet.

You will save yourself money and disappointment.

Fun Bets

Having “a flutter” on big TV matches or when at a live game is really for the birds.

It may seem harmless sometimes to gamble randomly on any outcome (goals scored, first scorer, even a big accumulator) without proper consideration.

But this is how most unprofessional gamblers lose their money.

If you must engage in fun bets every now and then, make sure you’re not using your real betting bank, or you could lose it. Don’t mix fun bets with work!

Betting on Everything

Increasing exposure by betting on every match available is not the way to maximize profits.

If profits could be made by betting on everything then bookmakers wouldn’t exist.

So, don’t do it!

Quality is more important than quantity.

The best way to gain profits is to be selective and to bet only on good opportunities based on experience and knowledge.

Make sure you always know what you’re betting on by doing your research.

And don’t be scared of original thinking or going against the crowd, provided you analyze your selections intelligently.

Ignoring The Edge

When you are feeling confident because you’ve laid the draw and one team scores within the final five minutes, don’t ignore the chances of fate.

It’s still possible for you to get blown out.

But you do have the remedy to this in your hands.

Hedging is one of the great benefits provided by live football betting.

Take advantage of it whenever you see a risk.

It will protect you from disappointments and losing money.

Not Using a Trading Software

If you want to manage your betting effectively, don’t just rely on the website interface at Betfair or other sites.

You will find that using dedicated in-play software is faster and simpler once you become familiar with its operation.

Generally, such software will offer you several alternative ways to view your markets and trades.

The ladder view is particularly practical when trading.

It allows you to bet with a single click and simplifies control over hedging and profit margins, with your choice of greening out at selected odds.

Although the Betfair website includes Cash Out as a form of hedging, controls are limited, and it isn’t present in every market.

A variety of technical advances, combined with simplicity, make trading software a clear winner over websites when trying to quickly calculate stakes, odds, and profits.


Live betting has the potential to be both exhilarating and genuinely rewarding.

But you need to be aware of the pitfalls to avoid.

Putting in place sensible structures and resources can help overcome much of the stress you might otherwise face.

The guide above has pointed out most of these dangers for you.

So now you know how to avoid experiencing such difficult situations yourself.

Set your mind to adopting sensible procedures and developing good habits, and you will make progress.

Starting with small stakes and strong self-discipline you will learn how to make yourself a profit.

Then you can move on to bigger stakes.

Don´t try to move on too fast.

And don’t take unnecessary risks.

Pace yourself gradually for the long game.