My In-Play Acca Betting Guide
Someone once said to me down my local: “In a bet, there is a fool and a thief.” I never really gave to much thought at the time – too busy watching the live Sky game with money on, most likely – but I’ve since considered it to be very true.
The ‘fool’ can be seen as the casual punter who knows the odds are against him winning money in the long term, while the ‘thief’ is the bookie, who knows they have the edge and will make a profit regardless over time as that’s the nature of betting, right?
But it doesn’t have to be like that, trust me, and in this little guide, which will concentrate on in-play betting, and in particular how we go about placing those accumulator bets (let’s call them accas from now on) that we all love as it’s a surefire way of making big money from a small stake.
Well, that’s the theory.
So what is in-play betting exactly?
Apologies if I’m preaching to the converted here but we’re not all betting experts, and even the concept of in-play betting might be a foreign concept to some. If that applies to you, do read on. If not, you can always race ahead to the bits of advice that I think will help all of us get more out of our in-play accumulator (sorry, accas) betting.
There was a time when virtually all football bets were placed pre-match, so before the opening whistle, but that was in those dark days of no internet (I shudder to think back) and now it has been flipped on its head. Ask any bookie these days and they’ll tell you that the majority of bets – in the region of 70 per cent is a fair estimate – are placed after kick off. The definition of an in-play bet.
So what are the advantages of in-play betting?
1. It makes watching the game far more enjoyable.
The slogan ‘It matters more when there’s money on it’ was once regularly bandied about by one popular betting company and while it kind of sounds a bit irresponsible in these times of more responsible gambling – ‘when the fun stops, stop’ is now more apt – it’s absolutely bang on.
2. It takes out a lot of the guesswork.
It’s one thing doing all your homework before the game in terms of weighing up current form, head-to-heads, team news etc (all important mind, and I’ll show you why in a bit), but it can all go out of the window in the first five minutes of any game. For example, the United goalie gets hit on the head and is carried off with concussion or the team you were going to back go behind early. By waiting to place your bets (not just accas), you can bet on what is happening in real time and that is simply more accurate.
3. You can be more flexible over which team(s) to include in your accas.
We all have preconceived ideas over the outcome of certain matches and I for one have a good idea of which teams are going in my accas as soon as one round of matches is out of the way. But a degree of patience is no bad thing with betting and by keeping one eye on a match once it has started – or two matches if you’re split screening or just listening to the TV pundits – you can get a better idea of how the match is going to pan out – and react to it according.
Hopefully that’s enough to convince you that in-play is the way to go if you’re serious about making money, although that’s not to say those cheeky pre-match accas should be dispensed entirely. No, no, no…
That’s not the purpose of this article at all, rather to help you make better decisions when it comes to placing your footy accas in-play and not to mention keeping a close eye on your bankroll.
So what’s a bankroll?
Essentially this is the amount of money that you have put aside for your betting and can be either a daily, weekly or monthly figure.
Only you will know how much you can afford to lose and that is absolutely the key here as you don’t want to blow this and start eating away at the money for bills etc.
Most bettors lose too much as they simply bet too much and chase any losses. Don’t let that apply to you. Either choose a certain amount for each acca bet (say £10) and stick to that, or try a compound staking plan. How that works is that you stake a fixed percentage of your bankroll (say 5%) on each bet. If you win and your bankroll swells as a result, your next stake will naturally be higher. This way you gradually increase your stake as you win, leading to your bankroll growing faster.
In-play betting markets – it’s not all about the 1X2
There are literally hundreds of potential in-play markets to choose from when placing our accas and it would be foolish to ignore these and just stick to either home, draw or away.
Granted it’s easier to have an opinion about the outcome of the game as opposed to the total number of corners or yellow cards shown at the end of the 90 minutes, but why limit yourself when you increase your chances of landing that acca?
Here’s a few ‘alternative’ markets that have worked well for me down the years.
Double Chance – as it suggests you can perm any two of three outcomes – either home (win) and draw, away and draw or home and away – to double your chances of winning, albeit at shorter odds.
Draw No Bet – take the draw out of equation altogether. If the game ends in a stalemate, your bet will continue to run on your remaining selections. So a five-team acca becomes a four-fold, and so on. I find it a nice insurance to have on my side when including underdogs at bigger prices.
Half-Time Result – fancy a team to be leading at the break? Bet on this rather than the full-time result and you won’t wait so long to be paid out either. Just remember draws are far more likely here.
1st Goal – bet on the team you think will score first. Once a goal has been scored you can usually bet on Next Goal’, based on how the game is playing out.
Match Goals – this is the exact same over/under 2.5 goals market that is so popular pre-match. If I fancy a scrappy low-scoring affair, I’ll consider going under 1.5, and over 3.5 if I expect a goal-fest
Both teams to score – either a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. A great bet for neutrals or when you just don’t have a strong opinion on the match result. Warning – it’s not as easy to predict as you might think.
That’s just scraping the service and I suggest you check out all the in-play markets available at bet365 – as they tend to be right up there in terms of numbers – the next time you’re logged in and adding teams to your in-play acca bet slip.
How to we go about placing those in-play accas – you may well ask?
It’s not rocket science and you’ll soon get the hang of it once you start betting and getting familiar with bookmaker sites and how they work. That’s in the plural as I do recommend you use more than one bookie for your accas – either pre-match or in-play – as prices do vary and it pays to shop around for value.
That said, you can only use one bookie at a time for any accas – obviously – and for the sake of providing some examples, I’m going to start with bet365 as they do most things well and I frequently use them. They also offer a tasty ‘Euro Soccer Bonus’, which can be as high as 70% for pre-match accas on selected leagues.
Here’s the official blurb on that…
Applies to pre-match accumulators of 3+ selections on the standard Full Time Result or Result/Both Teams To Score markets only. Bonus percentage is dependent on number of selections. Bonus capped at £100k and applied to returns. Bet restrictions and T&Cs apply. New and eligible customers only.
Okay, let me take your hand (gently) and show you how to place an acca with the Stoke-based firm.
1. Go to their website and login.
2. Click on the In-play button at the top of the screen.
3. Soccer (which they insist on calling football) is shown as default and the list of current matches that are in-play is underneath, with Fulltime Result prices displayed in yellow – Match Goals and Asians are available via a drop down list.
4. Either click on the price you want to add it to the bet slip or click on the team names to bring up all the in-play markets for that game. Take your pick of the odds.
5. It’s here that you will see a handy graphic showing which team are currently attacking. Swipe to the right for more game stats.
6. Okay, so you’ve clicked on all the prices and added these to the Bet Slip – you may well have to click on Accept Changes at the bottom of the screen as prices are changing all the time, especially in-play.
7. Hit Place Bet and you’re done.
William Hill is another bookie I use a lot as there is nearly always the option to Boost the odds on my acca. Let me show you how.
1. Go to their site/app and login.
2. Click on the In-play button to the left of Popular.
3. This will bring up the list of matches in-play. They were a pretty uninspiring bunch when grabbing these screenshots but you get the gist hopefully.
4. Click on the match odds you want to bet on to add to the Betslip – you will see this pop up at the bottom of the screen.
5. Click on Betslip and Boost your odds – you’d be daft not to – before scrolling down past all your selections and hitting Place Bet.
Got the hang of it? Practice makes perfect of course but just for good measure here’s one more example, BetVictor.
1. Load up their website, login and top up your balance if needs be.
2. Click on the IN-PLAY button halfway down the screen.
3. This will load up the current list of matches that are currently in-play – sounds familiar? – and you can either click on the match prices to the right of the team names, or click on the three dots to bring up more markets.
4. Once your first selection has been added to the Betslip, you will have the option to ‘Quick Bet’ the single. Click on ADD TO BETSLIP.
5. Once all your selections have been added to the Betslip, you may have to click on ACCEPT CHANGES due to a price change.
6. Click on PLACE BETS and quickly before the prices change again – an occupational hazard if you’re betting in-play.
7. Hope for the best 🙂
So the matches have progressed and things are going well, which brings me to on to…
Cashing out for a profit
To cash out or not to cash out? Or perhaps partially cash out? Just two of the questions that punters, not just in-play ones, have to wrestle with on a frequent basis. It’s the stuff of nightmares and I’ve heard many a horror story from fellow punters who have made the wrong decision. “I cashed out for £100 but could have won a couple of grand had I left my bet to ride”, and other stories of that ilk.
It’s all too easy to cash out these days while you’re bet is still running to ensure a profit and some bookmakers – bet365 for example – even have an Auto Cash Out option, meaning you create a request once you have placed your bet. If the Cash Out value reaches or exceeds the threshold you have set, you bet will automatically be settled and the funds added to your balance straight away.
Edit my inplay acca bet
Pretty much all bookies will let you either cash out or partially cash out but only bet365, as it stands currently, gives you the ability to add, swap or remove selections as well as increase your stake on unsettled bets – that applies to pre-match as well as in-play bets. Their Edit Bet feature is, according to their site, ‘offered when Cash Out is available for all unsettled selections and where the outcome of the bet has not already been determined.’
Gone are those days when we just slapped on our accas and hoped for the best sitting behind the sofa. Now we can pro-actively manage our liabilities whilst our bets are still running and it’s been a godsend at times, I can tell you.
That said, and especially if you’re waiting on just one result for your acca to cop, there’s a strong case for ignoring those tempting cash out values and heading over to Betfair Exchange. Here there are no bookmaker margins to contend with and you’ll more than likely get a fair price (by laying off) compared to your bet’s implied chances of winning. That’s my take anyway and it’s great that we as punters have the choice.
Doing your homework
I touched earlier on the importance of some pre-match research and it’s worth me banging on a bit more about that.
Choosing which games to bet on and include in our in-play accas doesn’t and shouldn’t be a haphazard thing. You might get lucky of course and the ten random games you choose at the spur of the moment might all cop. Good luck to you!
However, I’ve found it definitely helps sharpen the mind to do a little homework beforehand and here’s why:
1. It will stop you betting on unimportant games that don’t matter or on teams that don’t care. That might be a strange thing to say but towards the end of the season when promotion/playoff/relegation places have largely been decided, it goes without saying that some teams will be more motivated than others.
There are also plenty of ‘dead rubbers’ when it comes to the European competitions and they should generally be avoided.
2. It will help you spot any in-play opportunities to get over the odds (I.e. bigger odds than you might have got pre-match). For example, knowing which teams have the tendency to play their best football in the second half or have a good record of coming from behind to win, is useful information that you can use to your advantage.
Consider also that those teams that are more likely to win – based on form, class, more incentive, whatever – can easily go behind early and their odds will drift as a result. Over the full 90 minutes, however, class will generally show through and the better team will win. If only it was that easy.
3. You’ll be less inclined to punt teams that are weakened by injuries and suspensions. Clearly these sort of teams are less likely to win, altogether bookies aren’t daft and will usually factor these into the odds. Even so, you don’t want to throwing teams into your acca that are missing a top striker or have a reserve goalkeeper between the sticks.
It’s a no-brainer then to make yourself aware of team news that might effect the result of any match, and this is very easy to get hold of with starting XIs usually published an hour before kick off.
Post-bet analysis – where did it all go wrong?
Once my bets have been settled – win or lose – I like to take a little time out, preferably over a pint or just away from things, to determine whether I made the right decisions. I suggest you do the same and these are some of the questions you should be asking:
- Was adding Team A to your acca a wise choice in hindsight given they’ve been struggling to find the net of late?
- Should I have considered adding Team B given their current run of form and record away from home?
- Was it really such a good idea to up my stake and lose more than the usual tenner?
- Should I really be banking on all those heavy favourites? They can’t all win, can they?
Just don’t get too bogged down in at all and let any regrets spill over to the rest of our lives. It’s supposed to be a bit of fun after all.
Good luck with all your in-play accas in the future and here’s hoping my few choice words of wisdom help you make a few extra quid along the way – Jon.