Why are Bets Made Void?

various void stampsIt would help if you didn’t come across this too often as a punter, but sometimes you will find yourself having a bet void. This means the selected wager is not valid, and if you are betting as a single on it, then you will simply receive your stake back.

The reasons for your bet being void are varied, even though they all have the same outcome. From non-runners, which covers all sports, not just horse racing, through to unusual betting patterns and errors made by the bookmaker, here we are going to look at the reasons why bets are made void.


Horse Non RunnerThis is the most common reason for a bet being made void that you will come across, and it can affect everyone. When you think of a non-runner, you may think of horse racing, but this can be used across all sports.

For example, if you bet on a player to score first in a football game and they are on the bench, so don’t get involved, then they will be declared a non-runner and your bet will be made void. This is the same across all sports when you are backing individuals who could be a non-runner, meaning you do not get a fair chance for your bet to be a winner.

Many will have heard of non-runners, but don’t think you won’t be affected if you don’t bet on horse racing, as non-runners can be declared in any sport where you can back individuals.

Postponed or Abandoned Game

event postponed sign

If the event you are betting on either doesn’t begin or gets abandoned part way through, and no winner is declared, this is another reason a bet is made void. In terms of events not starting, this could be things such as games called off due to bad weather, travel issues for teams or something else, these will all be classed as void bets.

There is another issue that comes under this umbrella, and that is an abandoned game. This is when the event starts but fails to finish for whatever reason. It could be a football game called off due to bad weather or a power cut at the stadium, or sports such as golf where the event is over a number of days, and weather hits after the event has started.

It is worth looking at the betting rules for your sport regarding abandoned games, as these will guide you. For example, in some cases, there may be a specific point in the match that needs to be reached for the result to stand, so look out for this, so you are knowledgeable on the subject.

Rule Change

rules and regulationsThis is quite rare to see but still worth talking about as it may affect some people. Here, what we have is a void bet due to a rule change within the game you have bet on. The best example for this would be something such as cricket, and a game being cut from 50 overs per side down to 15 overs. This is a significant rule change to the game that could greatly impact the outcome.

There is a good chance you won’t agree with this, especially if you are benefitting from it with a winning bet, but bookmakers do have the right to change things if they believe the game has been considerably affected.

Look out in the rules of the sport for those you are betting on to try and find anything you can about this, so you know the boundaries on your bet and what may be declared void because of a rule change.

Bookmaker Error

conflicting road signs concept for palpable errorDuring your time betting, you may have heard of a palpable error in the past, and this is what is known as a bookmaker error. Basically, this is when the bookmaker has made a mistake while pricing up a market. The key to this is how other bookmakers have priced up the market, and if their price stands out, so it is clearly wrong.

For example, if every bookmaker is offering 6/4 on a football team to win a game at the weekend and one bookmaker is offering 6/1, this can be claimed as a palpable error. When things like this happen, bookmakers will sometimes void the bet that you have placed. There is a possibility that they will settle the bet at the correct odds rather than the wrong odds you were given, so again, this is something to check out in the betting rules with your bookmaker.

Again, you may not agree with this, but more often than not, when you compare the price you have taken to what is available from other bookmakers, you will find that the error is apparent.

Suspicious Betting

suspicious stampThis is rarely seen but is something that bookmakers will use if they feel they need to. Suspicious betting could cover either just you solely or a large number of people if many are placing the same bet, which will trigger the bookmaker to look at it.

The big thing here is that you could, of course, be completely innocent in this. You are either placing bets in good faith or being dragged into something because other people are betting on the same outcome, and you just happen to have also chosen that. You are more than welcome to state your case as to why your bet should stand, but if the bookmaker has already gone to the lengths where they are voiding your bet due to patterns, you will need a strong case.

Can Punters Do Anything?

Void BetslipThere may be an option to appeal to what has happened, and this will be especially useful if you are involved in suspicious betting, rule changes or bookmaker error cases. First port of call should be to speak to your bookmaker and get a complete understanding of what has happened and why. Then when you have this information, you can state your case, explaining what you have done and why you think your bet should stand.

You may be granted that, but there is also the chance you will receive some kind of consolation. Bookmakers are often on the front foot in terms of giving out free bets and various other promotions to their players when they void bets in order to try and cut back on the bad feeling.

If you don’t have any luck, you can take it to an independent betting body such as IBAS. Here you will be able to state your case, as will the bookmaker, and an independent body will take a look at your claim.