Best live betting sites for UK punters in May 2023 | The Sun
LIVE betting, also known as in-play, is now one of the most popular forms of sports wagering available online.
The ability to bet on sporting events that have already started is both entertaining and potentially rewarding, and live betting is available at all of the leading bookies in the UK. On this page, we will count down the best live betting sites, while also explaining exactly how this type of bet works.
Top 10 best UK in-play betting sites
- William Hill
How did we score live betting sites?
Given the fact that live betting is offered by all of the top bookies in the UK, it is often difficult for punters to decide who to place such wagers with. When ranking live betting sites, we consider the following factors, among others:
Sports coverage – Bookies must accept live bets on a range of sports. While football, tennis, basketball and cricket are among the sports that will appeal the most to punters in the UK, it is nice to find in-play markets on everything from eSports and golf to table tennis and volleyball. It is only really horse racing and greyhounds that are usually not available for live bets.
Odds – Ultimately, it is the odds offered by bookies that will determine how much punters make from winning live bets. Available to view in a range of formats, including fractional and decimal, live odds are constantly changing. In many cases, red and green icons demonstrate when odds have fallen and grown, respectively.
Promotions – Whether they are specific to live betting or more generic, promotions make wagering on in-play markets more attractive. Free bets, enhanced winnings and acca insurance are the promos that help punters to maximise winnings and minimise losses. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before signing up, including minimum odds, wagering requirements and eligible markets.
Additional Features – There are a number of features that can assist those placing live bets too. Of course, live streaming makes it possible to follow the progress of your picks. Meanwhile, cash out means that punters can settle bets early, whether it be to cut your losses or lock-in a profit.
Usability – Some live betting platforms can be overwhelming due to the amount of information on display. However, leading bookies in this area ensure that punters can easily access their preferred markets, before viewing odds and backing their favourites.
Mobile Options – As with other forms of betting, live markets and features must be accessible on mobile devices. Whether on smartphone or tablet, most betting sites are fully functional when opened via mobile browsers. Some bookies go one step further by developing dedicated betting apps. Apps are generally available on iOS and Android, offering enhanced usability and speed.
What is live betting?
Live betting makes it possible for punters to wager on sports fixtures that have already started. As soon as the action begins, odds update regularly, based on what occurs on the pitch, court or track. As such, you can wait until you have a better understanding of how the players/teams involved are performing before backing your favourite.
This is compared to pre-match markets, where bets must be confirmed shortly before the start time. Many of the same markets are available, with live betting also coming with some additional options. Punters who place live bets at the right time often reap the rewards, for example, shortly before a goal is scored in football or a tennis player breaks the serve of their opponent.
Live betting markets are often suspended at this point, ensuring that bets cannot be placed until the dust has settled. Bets can be placed right up until the event is over, adding a huge amount of excitement.
Eurovision fans, head over here if you're looking for Eurovision betting sites.
Pre match betting vs live match betting?
One of the main things for punters to consider is whether to place a pre-match or in-play bet. There is no correct answer. However, there are some key differences between the two. Firstly, with pre-match markets, odds are set in stone. Punters know exactly what price they are taking advantage of.
This is compared to live betting, where odds are constantly changing. Some feel that finding value is easier when it comes to live betting markets. However, by the time you have entered your stake, the price may have changed or the market may have been suspended. Both pre-match and live bets can be cashed out early using the relevant feature, with promotions also being available to punters placing both types of bet.
A closer look at our favourite live betting sites
bet365 is the preferred bookie for many in the UK when it comes to live betting. Thousands of daily in-play are found, including those surrounding football, tennis, basketball and cricket. Odds are competitive across the board, with live streaming and cash out features being available too.
bet365 sign up
Bet £10 & Get £30 in Free Bets
New Customers only. Bet £10* & Get £30* in Free Bets. Sign up, deposit between £5* and £10* to your account and bet365 will give you three times that value in Free Bets when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs and time limits & exclusions apply.
- Appealing live betting odds
- Live streaming on many sports
- Range of eligible promotions
- Easy-to-use in-play platform
- Emphasis on live football betting
Founded in 2012 , BetUK is another of the leading online bookies for live betting. With £30 in free bets being available to new customers, in-play markets are available on football, tennis, basketball, eSports and many other sports. There are also daily specials, with odds at BetUK regularly being among the best around. The live betting site is easy to use, with green and red icons indicating any price changes.
Get £30 in free bets when you bet £10.
18+. Full T&Cs apply.
- Thousands of daily live markets
- Excellent option for handicap bets
- Competitive odds
- Expert betting tips available
- Only horse racing live streaming
Selecting the “In-Play” option at BetVictor opens a host of opportunities for punters. With live streaming being available on many different sports, in-play bets can be placed on everything from football and tennis to handball and eSports. Useful statistics are also available on selected events, with in-play betting being available on desktop and mobile.
BetVictor sign up
Bet £10 get £40
18+| Opt-in, bet £10+ at odds 2.00+ within 7 days. No cash-out. Get 3x £10 Free Bets on selected events. Plus a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, and wager 20x to withdraw a max £250. 7-day expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply.
- Excellent sports coverage
- Live streaming service
- Mobile betting app
- Hugely experienced bookie
- Small number of ongoing promotions
With live streaming, a free bet club, attractive odds and excellent sports coverage, it is no surprise that Betway appeals to many looking to place in-play bets. The Betway “In-Play” platform is also easy to use, with match winner, over/under and handicaps being among the most common markets.
Betway sign up
Deposit £5 at Betway
- Appealing live betting prices
- Live streaming available
- Regular free bets
- Dedicated eSports page
- Not as many sports as some other bookies
Rhino is another leading live betting site. Selecting the “Live Now” button unveils a large number of markets, centring around football, tennis, cricket, basketball and other sports. There is a complete schedule for visitors to use, and it is easy to see price changes at all times. Many fixtures can be streamed live on desktop and mobile too.
Rhino.bet sign up
Bet £25 and get £10
18+ only. New customers only. Place a minimum £25 bet on any selection with minimum odds of evens (2) and receive a £10 free bet upon bet settlement. Use promo code b25g10fb. Free bets are awarded as free bet credits. Full Terms & Conditions apply.
Promo code: b25g10fb
- Large number of live sports
- Live streaming available
- Top in-play odds
- Excellent usability
- Website is a little outdated
In-play odds at Unibet are refreshed in accordance with sports action, with cash out being available on most markets. Meanwhile, the “Bet Boost” feature makes the bookie an appealing option for punters in the UK. You can bet on everything from the number of corners in a football match to the eSports team to record the next map win.
Unibet sign up
Get money back betting offers at Unibet
- Cash out available on most live markets
- Daily bet boosts
- Excellent variety of in-play markets
- Modern sportsbook design
- Mobile betting site is difficult to use
William Hill sign up
Bet £10 get £30
18+ New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply. T&Cs
As one of the world’s best-known bookmakers, you would expect William Hill to score well when it comes to live betting. This is certainly the case, with competitive odds, live streaming and generous promotions being found. You can even filter events by whether they are available to stream live.
- Experienced bookie
- Range of live sports
- Appealing in-play odds
- Realistic bonus terms and conditions
- No live streaming on mobile app
If you wish to place live football, tennis, golf, cricket and basketball bets, then Spreadex is worth considering. Here, punters can look forward to taking advantage of leading odds, a rewarding free bet welcome offer, live streaming and an efficient mobile app.
Spreadex sign up
Get £40 in bet bonuses
18+ begambleaware.org. Spread betting losses can exceed deposit. Join and place a £10 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater. Qualifying bet cannot be placed in-play or cashed out early. Free bet stakes not included in any winnings from the free fixed odds bets. Free bets expire in 28 days if unused. Full T&Cs apply
- Excellent sports coverage
- Mobile app on iOS and Android
- Cash out feature
- Most ongoing promotions surround horse racing
A large number of live sports are found at kwiff, a relatively new bookmaker that is best-known for its “supercharged” odds. All ongoing in-play events are easy to follow, with the “old school” design appealing to many.
kwiff sign up
Bet £10 get £20
18+ only | 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 credited within 48 hours. More T&Cs apply.
- Range of live sports
- Easy-to-use sportsbook site
- Cash out available on most in-play markets
- Daily price boosts
- No live streaming
Top live betting features we love
As we have already mentioned, there are certain features that can be used when placing live bets. Below, we have taken a closer look at the most commonly-used features:
Live streaming – The ability to watch sports fixtures live on desktop or mobile. Many bookies now offer live streaming, with a funded account or small bet being needed to access broadcasts. Football, tennis, cricket, basketball and eSports are among the sports covered, with commentary accompanying selected streams.
Early cash outs – Many use the cash out feature as part of their betting strategy. Whether it be full, partial or auto cash out, this feature makes it possible to settle your bet early. For example, as soon as you reach a specific amount of profit, you may wish to cash out. Alternatively, when things do not go to plan, cash out to ensure that you have funds remaining afterwards.
Enhanced odds – While being more commonly associated with pre-match betting, live markets will also receive boosted odds from time to time.
Fast deposits – Given that live odds fluctuate almost by the minute, punters have to be quick in order to take advantage of the best prices. If you do not already have funds in your account, fast deposits are hugely beneficial. Here, deposits can be processed in just a few clicks, with no additional information being required.
Wide variety of betting markets – While this is not a specific feature, punters will want to have a variety of options when it comes to placing live bets. For example, with football matches from the Premier League, 200+ in-play markets are common.
Odd update pauses – Markets are often suspended after key incidents take place. Meanwhile, there are also pauses whilst bookies update their live odds. While this works in favour of bookies, it is also a time that punters can use to access their options.
Bonuses – Deposit bonuses, free bets, acca insurance and enhanced winnings are just a taster of the promotions awaiting those placing live bets online today. When the T&Cs are realistic, be sure to take full advantage.
What are the best sports to bet on in-play?
The vast majority of sports now come with both pre-match and in-play markets. However, due to their format, horse racing and greyhounds in-play options will not be available. Those wishing to place live bets still have a host of opportunities, with football, tennis, cricket, basketball and eSports being the most common.
Here, hundreds of different markets are found, including the next team to score in football, total runs in basketball, eSports map winner and the next player to break serve in tennis. The exact number of sports that come with live markets will vary between bookies. However, many betting sites feature 30+ live sports.
How to place a live bet
Thanks to the usability and efficiency of online bookies, placing live bets is quick and simple. For punters in the UK, the following is a step-by-step guide to follow:
- Login to your betting account.
- Select the “Live” or “In-Play” button.
- Browse live betting markets.
- Keep a close eye on the odds.
- When the time is right, add selections to your bet slip by clicking/tapping on the relevant team or player.
- Enter your stake.
- When the market is not suspended or the price has not changed, confirm your bet by selecting “Place Bets”.
What are the most popular in-play bets?
When it comes to placing in-play bets, there are some markets that stand out in particular. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular live bets, which are available on a host of sports:
Match results – Due to its simplicity, the most common live bet is to wager on the final of a particular event. For example, Manchester City to beat Liverpool in the Premier League, Novak Djokovic to get the better of Daniil Medvedev or Cloud9 to beat 100 Thieves in an eSports match.
Spread/Handicap – When there is a clear favourite and underdog, spread and handicap bets are likely to appeal. Here, bookies introduce a deficit and surplus, respectively, in order to level the playing field. An example of a live handicap bet would be to back Chelsea to beat Everton at -2.5 goals.
Over/Under – This type of live bet is available on many different sports. Punters can bet on the total number of goals in football, games in a tennis match, points in basketball and much more.
Tips for in-play betting
Like any form of gambling, live betting comes with no guarantee that punters will win. However, those following the tips below will give themselves the best possible chance of beating the bookies:
- Stick to sports that you follow closely and have a good understanding of the players involved.
- Monitor the odds closely, keeping a close eye out for value bets.
- Watch live streams of events where possible.
- Stick to your budget at all times, regardless of how attractive the odds appear to be.
- Use the cash out feature to your advantage.
What to avoid when betting in-play?
Many punters keep a close eye on in-play odds. However, it is important to only consider placing live bets on sports that you already follow. For example, if you are a football fan, you may find attractive odds surrounding tennis. However, there will often be a factor that you are not aware of, which is why the odds are what they are. Elsewhere, it is important to never go beyond your budget, which should be a small proportion of your disposable income.
How are odds calculated for live betting?
A number of factors are considered by bookies when calculating live betting odds. As with pre-match markets, recent form, head-to-head records and motivation for victory are considered. Meanwhile, in-game incidents also have an impact. For example, in-play football odds will change after a goal is scored, a player is red-carded or a key player goes off injured.
On top of this, the time remaining in the event is also used, with shorter odds often being found in the closing stages, where the winner is normally easier to predict. Remember that live markets are around 5 seconds behind, giving bookies time to react to incidents.
Which UK betting sites have live betting?
The vast majority of betting sites in the UK feature in-play markets. As such, punters have a large number of bookies to choose between. Some will sign up on multiple sites, ensuring that they always take advantage of nothing but the very best prices. Doing so also makes it possible to claim multiple welcome bonuses and free bets.
Is live betting safe?
As with any form of betting, it is important to only register with online bookies who are safe and trustworthy. In the UK, this means that they must be licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission. Meanwhile, a number of other tools are used to protect customers and their details. These include Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption and firewalls. All of our recommended live betting sites are 100% safe.
Remember to gamble responsibly
A responsible gambler is someone who:
- Establishes time and monetary limits before playing
- Only gambles with money they can afford to lose
- Never chase their losses
- Doesn’t gamble if they’re upset, angry, or depressed
- Gamcare – www.gamcare.org.uk
- Gamble Aware – www.begambleaware.org
For help with a gambling problem, call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 or go to www.gamstop.co.uk to be excluded from all UK-regulated gambling websites.
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