Betting Rules For Matches Abandoned, Postponed or Not Played as Listed

sport cancelledIt is not out of the realms of the possible that a match might be abandoned, or not played at the listed time and date. The question is, what happens to your bet in such an instance? The answer is complicated, depending on the type of bet placed and what has happened.

If a game is unplayed or postponed, for example, then bets will be made void unless it takes place within five days of the original scheduled time.

If it is abandoned, bets will be void unless they have already been settled. There is an exception for some leagues (e.g. South American matches), with bets settled depending on what was happening at the time of abandonment.

Cases where a match is not played as listed will be treated differently depending on what has happened. If, for example, the venue has changed, the likelihood is that bets will still stand. The only time that this is not the case is if the home team and away team’s designations have been reversed, in which case bets will be made void.

Should a match be played without the standard format of halves being in play, such as using three or for periods of play, any ‘half’ related markets will be made void. If a match is played before its advertised start time, bets will remain in place as long as they were placed before the new kick-off time.

How Bookies Treat Postponed Matches

event postponed sign

As a supporter, there are few things as frustrating as sitting down to watch a match only to find out that it has been postponed. You might have organised a day of watching the football with your mates, say, or simply be enjoying some richly deserved You Time, only for the game that you were planning on watching to not be taking place.

There are all sort of reasons why this might happen, such as supporters protesting against the club’s owners and therefore breaking in to the football ground and staying a sit-in. It might be that it is weather related, with fog or a heavy snow making play prohibitive.  There could be a situation where too many players are sent off. The reason will help to explain what happens next.

Matches that are postponed are treated as non-runners as far as most bookmakers are concerned, with a grace period of five days being put in place for the match to be played. If that happens then any bets placed on it will stand unless the are cancelled by mutual consent between the bookies and the punter.

Bookmakers also have a rule in place for what happens if a match takes place before the planned kick-off time, like a Christopher Nolan film. In that case, bets will be treated as normal as long as they are placed before the new kick-off time rather than after it, but that’s a series of time-travelling conundrums too complex for here.

How Abandoned & Interrupted Matches are Treated

Matches getting postponed is one thing, but they can also be interrupted or even abandoned altogether. Bookmakers being the belt and britches types they are obviously tend to have rules in place for just such a scenario. If a match is abandoned before the 90 minutes of the game have been played, any bets placed on it will be made void.

The exception to this is any bets that have already been settled. If you placed a First Goalscorer wager, for example, and a goal has been scored in the game that isn’t an own goal, you will either be paid out on that if it was scored by your selection or you will lose the bet if it wasn’t.

There is an exception to the ‘match abandoned’ rules, which is if the game is being played in South America. Presumably because there is often some sort of reason for a match to be abandoned in South America, bookies choose to settle Full-Time Result bets and Double Chance wagers, whether placed ante-post or In Play, according to the result as it is at the time that the match is abandoned. Even that depends on the relevant league allowing the match result to stand, though, so if your wager is a winner then you’ll want to hope that the authorities don’t suddenly wade in and start declaring the entire event null and void.

Matches that get interrupted for some reason, such as spectators running onto the pitch or players quite rightly choosing to walk off because someone has been racially abused, bets will stand provided the match is resumed from the point of interruption and played to completion within 48 hours of the original kick-off time. If the match is resumed but isn’t completed within 48 hours of the scheduled kick-off time then bets will be made void unless they have already been decided. Equally, a match that is interrupted and then replayed in full will see all bets that haven’t all ready been settled made void and the stakes returned.

What if a Match isn’t Played as Listed?

wooden blocks with question marks on

Sometimes, a match will take place that doesn’t happen as its been listed. This might be because the venue has changed, for example, with a ground that neither of the participating teams plays at being used instead. In such an instance, any bets placed will stand, as long as the home team keeps their designation as the home team.

If, for some reason, the home team and the away team have their designations reversed, perhaps because the match is played at the home of the side that was the away team originally, then the bets placed on the game will be made void and you will need to place new wagers accordingly.

The exception to this is when a match is played at a neutral venue, in which case bets will stand irrespective of which team is listed as the home one. There might be some instances where a match is played in a non-standard format. It might be that it is played in three or four periods, for example, perhaps because of extreme heat and the need to take drinks breaks.

If this happens then many bets, such as those played on goalscorers, will remain in place, but any wagers placed on what happens in a ‘Half’ will be made void. A good example of this would be a bet on the Half-Time/Full-Time market, which will be cancelled.