Next Big Thing – Second screen betting

Looking to add some extra competitive sparkle to tonight's match? Join the world of live 'in-play' tablet gaming...

Great, so now I can lose twice as much money at the bookies...

No, you oaf. 'Second screen' doesn't mean playing two one-arm bandits, Vegas-style. It's combining the worlds of tablets like the iPad 2 and live or 'in-play' betting, to transform Bolton vs Blackburn into a genuinely thrilling game. Buzzsports' ZonePlay is a tablet-specific website – and soon to be app – that updates with the game in real-time, so you can predict what's going to happen next according to the live odds from the comfort of your sofa.

'What happens next'? Sounds a bit Question of Sport for my liking...

Fear not, there's absolutely no staged banter with orange TV presenters. Instead, you just prod the area of the pitch where you think the next break in play will happen. So, say you've spotted Fernando Torres receiving a pass in tonight's Champions League game – just press 'wide' behind the goal he's aiming at, and a few seconds later you'll be revelling in a tidy profit.

A tidy profit, or another week of cream cheese Ryvitas for dinner...

The snack of kings, no less. But there's no need to bet real cash on Zoneplay if you're worried about your losing streak; a 'Freeplay' mode lets you stake points on the outcomes of the game, and gives you a live league table of how your friends are doing. And if you don't like the art of pig bladder hoofing, Zoneplay will be coming to tennis, cricket and rugby soon too. There's no end of potential for tablet-based one-upmanship. And unlike fantasy football, you don't have to wait nine months to find out if you've won either.

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