Live betting is a growing type of betting which a growing number of punters are choosing to bet on. On this page, we’re going to take a deep dive into this form of betting, taking a look at how it works, how you can do it, the various live betting sites that you have available to you, and even some tips and strategies for live betting. So if you’re looking to learn more about live betting, you’re in the right place.➡️
Best live betting sites
What is live betting?
Live betting, also known as in-play betting in Australia, is a form of betting in which you punt on an event which has already started. Unlike in traditional betting, in which the odds are set prior to the beginning of an event and you have to place your bet before it stars, live betting takes place entirely after the beginning of a game, race or event.
Live betting hasn’t traditionally been as common as regular betting, but it is growing in popularity. There are an increasing number of live betting sites, and depending on which bookmaker you’re punting with you can find anything from cricket live betting and AFL live betting, to live horse racing betting sites and live esports betting sites.
Exactly how live betting works, of course, depends on the specific event on which you’re betting, and in the next section we’ll go into more detail about exactly how live betting works for various different sports.
How does in-play betting work?
How exactly live betting works depends on what event you’re betting on. In this section, we’ll run through how it works for both sports and racing, to clarify the different types of live betting which is available.
Sports In-Play Betting
Many live betting agencies offer in-play betting odds for a variety of odds, meaning that you can watch a game unfold before you decide who to bet on. Unlike prior to a game beginning, when odds are generally relatively stable, in live betting the odds will fluctuate very quickly depending on the game situation.
To use a game of AFL as an example, once the ball is bounced the pre-game odds will be removed, and you’ll need to go into the live betting section of a live betting site to find odds for the game. If it’s tipped to be a close game but one team gets out to a 12-0 lead, for example, their odds will likely shorten compared to the pre-game odds.
The longer the game goes on, the more that individual plays will affect the game. For example, if there are only a couple of minutes left and the scores are level, if a team kicks a goal it clearly makes it substantially more likely that they will win the game, whereas a goal early in the game doesn’t necessarily mean the same.
As these odds rapidly fluctuate, if you see a trend unfolding or have an inclination that something might happen throughout the course of the game, you can potentially capitalise on the live betting odds, which are usually dictated largely by scores and momentum.
Racing In-Play Betting
Live betting on racing is something which is a product of the era of technology, in which the advent of betting apps and highly functional sports betting sites means that bookmakers can create odds which change rapidly, and give punters the chance to bet on them at a moment’s notice.
Evidently, racing events don’t typically go for nearly as long as sports events, so the live betting is a little different. When the race jumps, each horse will have live betting odds which fluctuate based on how the race is unfolding for them. For example, if a horse misses the jump and ends up having to play catch-up just to get to the back of the field, that horse’s live odds will likely be longer than their pre-jump odds.
In contrast, if a horse likes to lead, has comfortably got to the front of the field and isn’t having much pressure put on it by the horses behind, then this is a situation in which that runner’s odds might shorten compared to the pre-event odds.
It’s worth noting that for horse racing live betting – as for sports betting – the margins are greater for the bookmakers. What this means is a little complicated, but basically; if you take the odds as a percentage likelihood of something happening, in which $2 means there is theoretically a 50% chance of that outcome occurring, then these percentages would add up to 100% if all were fair.
Of course, all is not fair because the bookmakers need to make money or they’d go out of business, but just how much above 100% they go depends on the bookmakers and the market. With live betting, that number generally gets even higher, meaning that, for example, a runner that was at $2 pre-jump which has settled exactly where it was expected to might only be $1.80 when live betting.
Which sites offer live betting?
In Australia, there are plenty of betting sites that still don’t offer live betting. However, there are a growing number that do. At BettingTop10, we have a list of the top bookmakers in Australia, and we’ve listed those from that list which do offer in-play markets to save you from trawling through them all. As you’ll likely notice, by and large these are the bigger betting sites, though there are a couple of exceptions to that rule.
The live betting part of PlayUp’s site is located at the top of the home page, alongside the ‘Home’, ‘Racing’ and ‘Sports’ tab. By clicking on the ‘Live Betting’ tab, you’ll be taken to a page with live events for which there are markets listed, and the head-to-head odds immediately accessible. Further odds can be found by clicking on the link for the game. You can also toggle between different sports at the top of the page.
To place a bet, click on the market on which you want to bet. At that point, you’ll be prompted to call the following number: 1800 888 001. Once speaking to the operator, confirm the bet you wish to place and tell them your stake, and your bet will be placed.
Bet365 has one of the most comprehensive live betting platforms in Australia. To access it, head to the Bet365 website and click on the ‘In-Play’ tab at the top of the page. Once you do this, you’ll be greeted with a veritable smorgasbord of live betting options. The most popular live betting markets will be displayed outright on the page, while above those there are also tabs to toggle through to each different sport for which there are currently live markets.
The odds here are terrific, and there are also a huge number of markets – often over 100 for individual live sporting events in popular leagues. When you click on a market, a betslip will pop up with the market you’re betting on, the odds (which can constantly update), and a code which you will quote to the operator.
To speak to an operator, you can click ‘Call’ on your computer, which will then make a call via your computer using your microphone, or if you’re on the app the call button will automatically ring Bet365’s live betting operators.
The process for live betting with TopSport is similar to the above betting sites, though it’s not quite as comprehensive. To access TopSport’s live markets, head to the home page and click the ‘In-Play’ tab at the top of the page. This will take you through to a list of current events which there are live markets for. ‘Any sport’ will be the tab on this page automatically selected, though you can also toggle through to individual sports.
The current head-to-head and line odds for in-play events will be displayed on these pages, as well as the score and the time left in the game. You can click on individual games to get more markets for each of these events, too, though typically there aren’t all that many markets for each game.
I also found it a little confusing to use at first because there is no indication of how many markets there are available for each event, so it looks as though there are no additional markets to be found. It was only upon clicking on a random bit of space on the block for each game that I opened up new markets.
To place a bet, click on the market you wish to bet on. This will bring up a banner which tells you to call TopSport on their live betting number, which is 1800 8677 7678 (1800 TOPSPORT). Unlike some other live betting sites, there is no code given to you, so you do have to explain what you wish to bet on rather than just providing the stake.
Finally, to Unibet Australia. This live betting platform is very much in line with the rest of Unibet’s offerings – there are a great range of websites and the odds are really good, but the way it is laid out on the website is enough to drive you insane.
Rather than simply having a tab at the top of the page for ‘Live’ or ‘In-play’ markets, you have to first click through to ‘Sports’. There, you’ll find a tab which says ‘Live Betting’. This might seem relatively minor but if you don’t know where to find it, you’ll probably assume Unibet Australia doesn’t offer in-play markets since it’s not on the home page.
Once you do find it, however, there are a plethora of markets at your disposal. At the time of writing, for example, there are live odds for basketball, ice hockey, esports, soccer, table tennis and tennis, with upwards of 100 different markets for individual events. The odds are also really good, so if these are the things that are important to you then you’ll no doubt enjoy Unibet Australia’s live betting platform.
To place a bet, the process is nearly identical to that of TopSport. Simply click on the market on wish you want to bet, and a pop up banner will appear saying ‘This event has started. Phone 13 PUNT (13 7868) to place a bet’. Again, you’ll have to outline what you wish to bet on, as you aren’t given a code with this bookmaker.
How can I place a live bet?
Placing a live bet in Australia isn’t quite as simple as placing a bet on an event prior to it starting. The reason for this is, presumably, that live betting is by nature a very impulsive way to bet, requiring the punter to make split second decisions and place bets without too much consideration a lot of the time. This obviously makes it difficult and something which is easy to lose money quickly doing it, so there are regulations which have been put in place to limit its potential detrimental impact.
Live betting in Australia isn’t available online, so you can’t just open up your betting app or desktop site and place a live bet. Instead, you’ll have to call up a number for each betting site, and then state the stake you would like to bet as well as the market. This is a little more cumbersome than pre-game betting, but does provide an important barrier for at-risk punters.
Live betting odds will typically be in their own section of a betting site. Take a look at the Playup screenshot below for an example of where to find it.
If you click on the live betting odds you’ll be prompted to call a particular number and given a code. When you call that number, repeat the code and the operator will automatically have the info about your bet. After that, all you need to do is tell them the stake to confirm. Exactly how this process works, however, can vary across different live betting sites.
One thing that I’ve found useful with some live betting sites is that for racing, the odds come up on the race page rather than the live betting page. This is handy because the race only goes for anywhere from a couple of minutes to less than a minute, so you don’t have a lot of time to toggle around. By keeping the live odds on the race page you can quickly and easily access them.
What can I place a live bet on?
There are a lot of different events on which you can place a live bet in Australia. Exactly what a particular live betting site offers, however, will vary across different bookmakers. Some have a huge range and offer live odds on virtually every major sport and race event, while others only have a very limited selection.
Within individual events, the number of live betting markets there are also varies a lot across different bookmakers. Some will stick to the basics, only really offering head to head and maybe line betting. Others will have over/under points total, individual quarter or half markets, player to score next, team to score next and a whole lot more.
Some examples of leagues and sports for which you will commonly find live betting odds in Australia include:
- International and domestic cricket
What makes a good live betting site?
Though not all betting sites offer in-play betting markets, there are plenty that do. Typically, new betting sites don’t offer it, but the bigger ones often do. Among those, however, there is quite a bit of variance in terms of how good the live betting offering is. In my view, there are a couple of factors which influence whether a live betting site is a good one or not.
The first of these is how many different markets there are. Some live betting sites only offer a very select few options to bet on. They’ll have head-to-head odds on major events, maybe a line betting option, but not a whole lot else. In contrast, the best live betting sites will have a huge selection, enabling you to bet on individual quarters, halves, next scores and a whole lot more. Below, a screenshot from Unibet shows how many markets they have for some current in-play events, with over 100 for a current NBA game.
The second factor which dictates how good a live betting site is relates to the odds. As mentioned earlier in this page, the odds do deteriorate a little bit after an event has started, with the margins for bookmakers higher. However, just how significant this change is depends on the betting site. Some offer really poor odds, to the point where it’s hard to justify in-play betting in Australia. In contrast, other betting sites have a much less drastic change from pre-event odds to in-play odds.
Live betting vs pre-game betting
Pre-game betting is, historically, far and away the most common way to place a bet on sports or racing. That certainly hasn’t changed, but live betting in Australia is becoming increasingly popular. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the advantages of each type of bet.
Advantages of live betting
- Ability to watch an event unfold before betting – This is far and away the most significant advantage that live betting has over pre-game betting. When placing a live bet, you get to watch an event unfold, taking in what’s going on and hopefully using it to your advantage to place an informed bet. Of course, the bookmakers are doing the same thing and the odds are rapidly adjusting to match the event situation. There can, however, be situations where you can take advantage of the fact that you’re able to watch what’s happening before placing a bet.
- Capitalising on rapidly changing odds – The odds can change super quickly in live betting, so for punters betting on it, being responsive is relatively important. But while the rapidly changing odds can be a source of frustration at times, you can also use them to your benefit.
One example is the NBA; if a team gets a good start over another team, the odds for the losing team typically blow out to significantly higher than they were pre-game. This might not seem like a good time to bet on the losing team, but very commonly that team will make some sort of a comeback and make the game closer. They might not win, but often the odds you can get when they’re getting blown out will eventually come back in significantly later in the game, and if you get on them when they’re at their peak you can sometimes get some good value.
Advantages of pre-game betting
- Ability to take your time before you bet – One of the biggest advantages of pre-game betting is that you get to take a lot more time before you make a betting decision. Unlike with in-play betting, where things change rapidly and you have to make decisions on your feet, when betting on an event before it starts you have as much time as you need to do your research, and ultimately make a more informed decision.
- Better selection of markets – As mentioned earlier on this page, there are generally a lot more markets for pre-game betting. Of course, this depends on the live betting site and some live betting sites have more live betting odds than others, but typically these sites also have a lot more pre-game markets than other sites, too, so there’s still quite a significant reduction in markets once the game starts.
For example, as someone who likes to bet on player props, the selection of live betting markets sometimes doesn’t offer a lot for me. Rarely, if ever, will you find live betting markets on individual player performance; instead, you’re likely to have to bet on more basic markets like head-to-head or line betting.
- Superior odds – This was another factor that was mentioned earlier in this page, and which is unequivocally one of the greatest advantages of pre-game betting. When you’re betting on an event before it starts, the odds are quite a lot better than once the event starts, even for the same market. For example, for line bets, in which the odds for each team should be roughly even, where you might gets odds of $1.90 or more before the event, once it starts these can drop quite a few cents for the same market. This means your return on investment is lower and you need to win a greater percentage of bets in order to break even or make a profit.
The best sports to bet live in Australia
There are a lot of different sports on which you can live bet in Australia, and which is the best sport for you to live bet on likely depends on which sports you like and tend to typically bet on. For me, however, while I do have my own preferences, the best sports to live bet on overall are those for which there are the most markets and the best odds; after all, this gives you a greater choice of what to bet on, and reduces your chance of losing, at least a little.
The AFL and NRL are good examples. As the pre-eminent football codes in the country, particularly the AFL, there are generally plenty of pre-game markets for games in these leagues, and this translates to a better selection of in-play markets, too.
The same goes for the NBA. This is an increasingly popular league in Australia and there is no shortage of markets for this league, and once game starts there are still plenty of betting options. Attached below is a screenshot from one of the best live betting in Australia sites, Bet365, for a live NBA game, providing an example of just how many things there are to bet on for games which have already begun. In total, for the game which that screenshot relates to, there are 130 live betting markets available at the time of writing.
Cash out live betting sites
Cash out is a feature which exists only on some betting sites, but which I think can be crucial for live betting. For those who don’t know, this feature enables you to ‘cash out’ on a bet which you’ve placed, taking a portion of your potential winnings while the bet is in play based on the live odds.
For example, say you bet $10 on a team which is paying $2 to win an AFL game, meaning your potential winnings are $20. At half-time, they’re winning by five goals, and their live odds are significantly lower than $2. With some betting sites, you’ll be able to cash out on the bet, taking an amount which is determined by your potential payout and the live odds. Usually the cash out number isn’t quite as high as what it should be – again, this is to do with margins – but still, you might be able to take a $15 cash out at half-time, for example. If the team goes on to win, you’ll still only get $15 instead of $20 and so have made $5 profit instead of $10, but if the opponent comes back, you’ve made a $5 profit on what would otherwise have been a losing bet.
This can be particularly beneficial for live betting in Australia if you know what you’re doing. Earlier in the page, we talked about how drastically the live odds will change when one team jumps out to a lead early in a game. In basketball in particular, this can be a good time to place a bet on the losing team whose odds are significantly higher than they were previously, as often they’ll come back.
It’s quite common for the team which is losing early to make a comeback, get close to the lead but ultimately lose – perhaps because they spend so much energy coming back. With cash out, however, you can place a bet on a losing team when they are, for example, paying $6 to win and down significantly. If it was predicted to be a close game, and they come back to within a couple of points of the opposition, those odds may be down to $2.50 and you can cash out and make a bit of money, regardless of whether they ultimately win.
Cash out is a valuable feature for a number of reasons, as outlined above. It is, however, only available on a select few betting sites, and typically these are live sport betting sites, so make sure to keep an eye out for it.
📱Live betting apps
Betting apps have become increasingly popular in recent years, with the majority of major betting sites offering them as an alternative platform to desktop sites. There are still many betting sites that don’t have them, but typically live betting sport sites will. The reason for this is that, generally, the sites which offer in-play betting in Australia are the bigger bookmakers, and it’s quite rare for bigger bookies to not have an app.
Live betting apps make it even easier to place live bets. As mentioned earlier in the page, in order to place an in-play bet in Australia you need to call up the bookmaker and place it via the phone. Evidently, it’s easier to do this if you’re on your mobile betting app in the first place.
When live betting on a live betting app, you can simply click on the in-play market you want to bet on, and a number with a code will generally pop up to call and reference. In contrast, on the computer you have to pull your mobile out and manually type in the phone number shown to you on the desktop. This is a little more time-consuming, and as we’ve alluded to throughout this page, in live betting, time is pivotal.
Live betting strategies & tips
There are many different ways to live bet, and many different strategies that you can employ. In this section, we’ll take a look at a couple of the best strategies.
The Cash Out Method
This one was spoken about earlier in this page, and involves placing a live bet on a certain team and then cashing out before the end of the game. As we discussed, basketball is a great example because of the rapidly changing nature of the game.
Let’s look at an example. Team A and Team B are both paying $1.90 to win prior to the game, but after one quarter, Team A is winning 35-20. Their live odds will be significantly shorter than $1.90 now, while Team B might be paying closer to $4 or $5. Say you put $10 on Team B to win at $5, for a return of $50.
Now let’s imagine that in the third quarter, they’ve dwindled that lead down to a 65-62 margin, as often happens. At this point their odds might be $2.50, and you can cash out for $20, making a guaranteed profit of $10. Of course, if they win you’ll have lost out on extra cash, but they often won’t and this way you guarantee a small profit. If they never come back this method won’t work, and it also requires good timing, but it can be a good way to live bet.
Planning Your Bets
Planning your bet is another valuable piece of advice to follow when live betting. Live betting involves a lot of on-the-spot decision making, which often can be flawed. That’s why it can often be a good idea to pre-plan your strategy prior to an event.
For example, you might be confident that a certain team is going to win, but their odds are quite short before the game – too short to justify betting on them. You might also be confident that they won’t necessarily start the game off as dominantly as you expect them to finish it. With live betting, rather than placing a pre-game bet on the team, you can wait until partway through the match when their odds might be a little more juicy, and if you’re still confident they’ll win, place a live bet on the team in question.
In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about live betting.
What are the best live betting sites?
There are a number of betting sites which offer live betting, though as mentioned throughout this article, some of them have a relatively limited live play offering. There are plenty, however, which still offer a good range of in-play markets and decent odds. Among the best of them are Bet365 and PlayUp, and what’s more these sites also have great desktop sites and apps, and a wide range of payment methods. If, however, you’re not just after a live betting site, take a look at our list of all betting sites in Australia for more betting options.
Is live betting legal in Australia?
It isn’t legal to undertake live online betting in Australia, which is why you can’t place bets on a betting site or a betting app for events which have already started. However, you are able to place these bets if they’re done over the phone, which is why you’ll be prompted to call a particular number to place your live bet.
How can I watch live betting?
Many betting sites in Australia now offer live streaming as part of their range of services. Exactly what is shown depends on the betting site; some offer just a couple of relatively niche sports, others offer only racing, while others still have a really wide range of quality sports available to stream on their sites.
- Bettingtop10 Australia
- Live betting sites in Australia