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Betfair are a relatively new kid on the block when it comes to British sports betting sites, with the Betfair Exchange opening in June 2000 and the Sportsbook following in May 2012. However, in a short space of time, they have proved themselves to be more than equal to their more established rivals and are now one of the heavyweights of the British betting landscape.

We’ll just be concentrating on the standard Sportsbook in this article, and one thing we have noticed is that there seems to be a real effort on Betfair’s part to show that their Sportsbook is just as much of a priority, particularly when it comes to the user-friendliness of the site, new and existing customer offers and of course the Betfair in play feature.

In this guide we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the Betfair in play offering, including the range of sports and different markets available, in play betting features available to punters such as live streaming and cash out, as well as any in play offers and how to claim them in the UK.

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What is Betfair in play betting?

In play betting is a relatively new concept that began in the late 1990’s with bookmakers taking bets over the phone once a sporting event had already begun. The thinking was, and still is today, that if a punter places a bet which then looks doomed from an early stage then they will invariably lose interest, but in play betting is a way to keep them engaged with brand new opportunities throughout.

In play betting also means that you can have a more immersive experience whether you are watching a particular sporting event or not. Once an event has begun you immediately have access to more information than you had at the beginning, and betting opportunities will arise that weren’t there before. For example, when you are having a live bet with Betfair in play horse racing, it’s the perfect opportunity to bet on a horse in play that might be fourth or fifth, but you can see they are in a favourable position and making good progress through the field.

When you click on the in play button at the top of the Betfair home screen you are presented with an easy to navigate page showing all the sports that are currently available for a live wager at the top of the page, with an appropriate symbol to make them easier to find.

Betfair in play home page

The selection of in play sports is excellent, with the big hitters of football, golf, tennis and racing sitting alongside more niche sports such as volleyball, handball and ice hockey. The E-Sports boom is also reflected by a good number of in play markets. And with football being far and away the most popular sport to bet on in play, the most high profile matches going on at that time will always take centre stage.

Golf is also a great sport to bet on in play with Betfair because most tournaments last four days and 72 holes, giving you plenty of opportunities to bet on markets like a player to hit the fairway with their tee shot or both players to hit the green on a particular Par 3 hole. Also if your pre-tournament selection bombs on the first day you can just pick another one while the tournament is going on for a renewed interest!

Betfair in play golf

Once you click on a particular sport you will be able to see all the different events that are going on at that time, and when you click on a particular match or tournament you will see all the different markets that are available to bet on at the top of the screen. You can then filter your markets accordingly, either by viewing all of them, the most popular ones, or specific prices.

There’s also an animated graphic on the left-hand side showing what is happening in real time, with a wealth of useful information such as the score, time elapsed and all the statistics you need to make an informed in play betting decision.

And for some sports you will even be able to watch the event itself, but remember that often you need to have had a bet on the event or at least deposited some money in your account to access the stream.

Betfair in play tennis match

Once you have found a particular market, placing a bet is the same as when you have a pre-match punt. Simply click on the bet you wish to make and set the stake, but remember that you need to be quick as the Betfair in play odds change constantly to reflect what is happening in a particular match and the bets being placed elsewhere.

We should also say at this stage that Betfair have their own tips & strategy site where you can find expert opinions on sporting events, Betfair in play strategy, Betfair in play trading advice, as well as betting guides if there’s a particular element of the site or betting in general that you are unsure of.

How to place a Betfair in play bet

Having a bet in play with Betfair is plain sailing, so here’s our step by step guide to placing a live bet through the Betfair in play betting feature.

Step 1

Head to the Betfair website on your desktop or mobile device, or download the Betfair app on your Apple or Android phone. If you already have a betting account you can just input your email and password on the top right of the screen, but if not just click on the “Join Now” button right next door to register and claim your introductory free bet offer.

Betfair home page log in section

Step 2

Registering an account is a straightforward process made easier by the fact that most of the information you need to input is all on one page. The usual details are required such as your name, address, date of birth, password and the answer to a specific security question.

We also like the fact that you don’t need to create a username that will invariably be forgotten, with your email acting as the first part of your login details, and another plus point is that straight off the bat you are encouraged to set a deposit limit to encourage you to gamble responsibly.

Betfair Registration Page

Step 3

Next up you need to make a deposit, which you can do by clicking the deposit button at the top right-hand side of the screen. There are an impressive amount of deposit methods open to you, including debit card, bank transfer, Paypal, Paysafecard, Skrill, Neteller and Web Money. However, don’t forget you can’t make any deposits by credit card, even through PayPal. And thanks to Betfair’s recent merger with Paddy Power you can now top up your account by cash in any Paddy Power branch.

Betfair deposit button

Step 4

Now that you have funded your account you just need to click or tap ‘In Play” on the top left-hand corner of the website or app and you will find all the sports you can bet on in play at the top of the screen. And right below that will be whatever the most popular live market is at the time.

Select the sport you wish to bet on and then the specific event you are interested in and you’ll see all the available markets and their corresponding odds. Don’t worry if a market says “Susp”, that just means there’s an odds change on the way which should appear without too much of a delay.

When something takes your fancy just click on the price to add the wager to your betslip, input your stake and then confirm the bet. And if you’re looking to create a multiple bet then just repeat the process with all your different selections and then you will be presented with a list of multiple bets for you to add your desired stake.

Betfair in play bet slip


How to claim a Betfair in play offer

There are no offers specifically for Betfair live in play betting but you can take advantage of a number of new and existing customer deals to boost your betting balance for some Betfair bet in play action! Just be sure to regularly click on the promotions button at the top of the home page.

And the good news is that new Betfair Sportsbook customers have the choice of two introductory offers. The first is a simple risk-free bet of up to £20 which will be refunded in cash if it’s a loser. And the second is if you place five wagers of £10 or more you will get a £20 free bet, effectively making this a ‘Bet 50, Get 10’ deal. And the best thing about that offer is that you can repeat the trick five different times, up to a maximum of £100 in free bets.

Betfair Intro Offer
Betfair Intro Offer

Just be aware that you can only choose from one of these introductory offers, using code ZSKAKH for the £20 risk-free bet and ZBBC01 for the ‘Bet 50, Get 10’ deal.

Another way to boost your balance is through the refer a friend scheme, where you can earn £10 in cash on five separate occasions for every friend you refer who stakes a minimum of £10 in 60 days. And if all that wasn’t enough, Betfair also have a “Daily Rewards” offer which changes each day, but usually is a variation on the deal seen below.

Betfair Daily Rewards

Betfair in play offer key terms

The most important thing to remember is that you should always check the terms and conditions for any specific offer that you are taking up, so you are absolutely sure of all the details of the bonus. And don’t presume that two free bets offers on two different sites will have exactly the same wagering requirements.

Within those T&Cs there are some common terms that you are going to come across and it’s important you are familiar with them so you know what the requirements are to receive the offer and what the restrictions are when it comes to your winnings.

  • Risk-free Bet: This one is as simple as it sounds in that when you place your first bet you can relax because if it’s a loser your stake will be refunded in cash or free bets. Just make sure you’re aware of the maximum bet you are allowed to place.
  • Minimum Stake: When it comes to introductory offers in particular, you will always have to bet a certain amount for your first bet in order to qualify, and this will often be different depending on which betting sites you visit. For instance Betfair’s “Get up to £100 in free bets” introductory offer requires you to wager a minimum amount of £10 at a time.
  • Time Periods: A lot of the free bets that you earn through an introductory offer are only available for a limited amount of time,  including at Betfair, where you are required to use your free bets within 30 days of receiving them.
  • Payment Method Restrictions: Betfair’s introductory offers are only available if you have deposited by debit card, Paypal or Apple Pay, which is a quite common restriction across the board. So bear that in mind if you’re a big fan of E-wallets such as Neteller or Skrill.
  • Qualifying Bets: There will often be rules regarding the type of bet that you can place to qualify for an in play offer or when you are trying to meet some wagering requirements. This often means that your bets need to be placed on certain types of markets and you need to adhere to a certain level of minimum odds. For example, in order to claim your free bet introductory offer at Betfair your single or combined bet must not be any lower than 1/2.
  • Wagering Requirements: Many bonus offers have wagering requirements in place which need to be met before you can withdraw the money you have won. For example, a free bet offer might have a 2x wagering requirement which means you will have to bet the winnings from your bet two more times before it becomes withdrawable.
  • Winnings Restrictions: One thing that is uniform across almost all of the major betting sites is that the amount of your free bet is not included in any potential winnings. So if you have a free £10 bet and you place it on a market at 2/1, if it wins you will only receive your £20 profit and not the original £10 free bet.

Betfair in play football

Football is the most popular sport to bet on in play and the Betfair in play football offering reflects this, thanks to the range of matches and markets that are available to punters.

When you click on football in the in play section you will be met with the most important matches that are taking place at that particular time. And a nice touch that you don’t always see on other sites is the ability to change the main markets on that page, saving you valuable time as often you won’t have to click through to each individual football match to place a bet.

Betfair in play football 2 Betfair in play football 1

When you click on a Betfair in play football match there will always be a good number of in play markets to wager on. For the more obscure games there may only be 10 markets to pick from but when it comes to the more high profile events you could be looking at up to 70 markets covering everything you could possibly want to bet on in play.

For most football matches, there will also be a visualizer built-in to the in play betting page that provides you with running commentary on the game, as well as up-to-date statistics. And you will also have the option to live stream certain games.

Other Top UK Bookies for in play betting

UK punters are certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to sports betting sites and all of the leading bookmakers also have excellent in play betting opportunities. The important thing to remember is that as a punter you need to make the most of that choice and not only take advantage of as many new customer offers as you can manage, but also find the in play offering you are most comfortable with.

And to help you make that decision, here is a selection of betting websites that have industry-leading in play features:


Top 10 Football Live Betting Sites

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10 Bookmaker that match your criteria...
#1 Rugby Union Bookmaker

Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets

  • Live football markets from hundreds of leagues
  • Live streaming available
  • Competitive odds
Join and place a £10 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater and get 2 x free £10 fixed odds bets plus 2 x free £5 Total Goals football spread bets. Full T&C’s apply. 18+ begambleaware

Bet £10 Get £10 Free Bet

  • Useful in-play football graphic
  • Clearly shows price changes
  • Easy to use sportsbook
Valid until further notice | New players after 31.03.2021 | Valid on first Sports bet | Min. dep. £10 req. | Min. £10 wag. on the first bet with min. total odds of 1/1 to qualify | Bet must be settled | Bonus Wag. req.1x on min. 2-fold Acca bets (min. 1/4 odds each selection) with min. final odds of 1/ 1| Virtual and cashed out bets do not qualify | One-time offer | Bonuses credited following working day | T&Cs apply | 18+ |

Bet £10 Get £20

  • Helpful football statistics available
  • 100+ live football markets
  • All major European leagues covered
New customers only. Minimum deposit and bet of £10, at odds of 1/5 per multi selection. Free bets paid out in the form of 4x £5 tokens, which are valid for 7 days. Stakes not returned and no cash outs are available.

Bet £10 Get £20 Free Bet

  • 150+ live markets on high profile matches
  • In-play football graphic and stats
  • Variety of handicap markets
*18+. New UK customers only. Min bet £10 to receive £20 Free Bet (settled 35 days from registration). Min odds of 3/5. Free Bet credited at qualifying bet settled within 35 days. Please gamble responsibly, • T&Cs apply

50% first deposit bonus up to £50

  • High Odds
  • Great User Experience
  • Amazing Daily Promotions
18+; New bettors get 50% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; See full terms; See full terms; Terms apply; 18+

Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets + 30 Free Spins

  • Large number of daily in-play football markets
  • Live streaming available
  • Daily price boosts
New UK & NI customers only. Promo code SPORTS60. Deposit and place first sports bet of £10+ in one transaction, at odds of Evens (2.0)+, settled within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £30 in Free Bets credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS validation may be required. Max 30 Free Spins on Blue Wizard at £0.10 per spin. 7-day expiry. Full T&Cs apply.

Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bet

  • Good number of football in-play markets
  • Generous welcome offer
  • Football-specific ongoing promotions
New customers only. Minimum deposit and bet of £10, at odds of 1/5 per multi selection. 10x wagering the winnings. Wagering occurs from rreal balance first. Wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only, wagering starts from real funds. Max conversion: £20. Valid for 7 days from issue. Excluded Skrill deposits. Full terms apply.

Bet £10 Get £10 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins

  • Convenient live betting schedule
  • Competitive odds
  • Acca boosts and cash out available
New UK customers only (registered after 15/04/21). No bonus code is required. Place your first bet of £10 or more on sports. The qualifying bet must contain minimum 3 legs at odds of 1.3 or greater per leg. Cashed out- or void bets do not count as a qualifying bet.

£25 Free Bet + 20 Free Spins

  • 150+ in-play market on major European matches
  • Large number of ongoing football promos
  • £10 free in-play bet offer
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (min 3 bets) Plus 20 Free Spins on Asgard Warriors. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 20 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only |

Treble The Odds On Your 1st Bet

  • Excellent live football coverage
  • Million Pound Picks game
  • Regularly updated live odds
New customers. Max £10. 200% Odds Boost Token. Keep it fun - set your deposit limit.T&Cs apply. 18+

Final word

The rise in popularity of in play betting has meant that online bookmakers have really had to raise their game or risk being left behind by punters hungry for user-friendly live betting opportunities.

Betfair bettors will have no such problem though as their in play offering certainly ticks all of the boxes, not only thanks to the range of sports available and the markets you can bet on, but the usability of the Betfair in play home page on desktop and mobile and the little touches that make it such a rewarding and immersive experience.


Does Betfair have competitive in play betting odds?

Can you make in play bets on Betfair through your mobile device?

What is the favoured type of in play betting market?

Can you live stream sporting events through Betfair?

Do you regularly get in play betting bonus offers at Betfair?

About Lee Bassin

Lee Bassin is a sports betting and strategy specialist with experience writing for a number of publications during a 20-year career. An expert in football and golf, Lee also has a passion for American sport, particularly the NBA and NFL.