What is an in-play market?

A betting exchange gives you the opportunity to place bets while an event is taking place. This is known as an in-play or in-running market. Particularly suited to live televised events, the odds available for in-play markets change to reflect the changing course of the event, letting you constantly revise and improve your position.

At the start of an event for which an in-play market is available, a betting exchange cancels any unmatched bets and opens the in-play market. You can place bets on the in-play market from the start to the finish of the event.

As the event unfolds, you can take advantage of the changing circumstances in the event and place bets to offset any previous bets that you now feel are mistakes. For example, a team that you backed before the kick-off may lose a key player through injury and you therefore improve your position by placing a covering bet to reduce your potential losses.

The dynamic nature of in-play markets provides new ways to find good value odds. As prices change in response to changing circumstances, you have the opportunity to judge whether changes that affect the odds will affect the event outcome. For example, you think that a favourite team will win but the pre-match odds are not attractive and you therefore wait to place an in-play bet. The favourite fails to score early and the price improves as a consequence. You do not feel that this setback will alter the eventual outcome and so place a bet at the better price.

You can also look for value in an in-play market by interpreting a situation in the opposite way to the majority of other punters. For example, if a horse performs extremely well in the early stages of a race, the rush to back the horse may be such that the price collapses, and it becomes a value lay.

There are two types of in-play markets: managed and unmanaged.

In a managed in-play market, a time delay is applied following a dramatic change in market conditions such as the scoring of goal. During the timeout period, no users can place a bet. The time delay gives users the opportunity to cancel or edit unmatched bets.

In an unmanaged in-play market, no time delay is applied following a change in market conditions. Unmanaged markets give users who are quick to react the opportunity to profit from a change in circumstances in the event. For example, the opportunity to place a value bet after a horse falls.

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