Abandoned football match betting rules – explained action

Abandoned Football Match Betting Rules – Explained

By Dan Tracey - Jan 13th 2023

Picture the scene. You’ve just backed Tottenham to get the better of Arsenal in the Premier League. Harry Kane has scored a brace to edge Spurs closer to victory and there are just seconds between the end of the game and three massive points for the white half of North London.

That is until the ground is plunged into darkness. Floodlight failure means the game cannot be completed and with the match having to be abandoned, it means not only heartbreak for Tottenham supporters but those who punted on success for Antonio Conte’s men.

Because even though Kane’s two goals put Tottenham 2-0 ahead, the lack of light has done Arsenal a huge favour and with the game being abandoned at such a late stage, it means this certain defeat is not lodged in the history books.

Fade Into Black

Of course, this is not the only reason that a match could be abandoned. It could also be because of a biblical level downpour. One that has converted the field of play into something that resembles a swimming pool.

If The Pitch Resembles This, It Is Game Over

If the ball is suddenly submerged under inches of rainwater, then the officials will have no other choice but to call a halt to the game and order each of the 22 players back into their respective dressing rooms.

While the reasons do not stop there either. An abandonment could be enforced because of crowd safety issues, a medical emergency either in the stands or on the pitch or in the rarest of cases, a lack of players on the pitch.

Now that the lie of the land has been set out, we can run through the abandoned football match betting rules and if you were banking on the Tottenham win in the scenario above, what a halt in activity would mean for you.

Ultimately the betting of an abandoned match is likely to fall into one of four categories:


If the match outcome that you backed was only part of a single bet, the bet will simply be declared null and void. Like all other scenario where are a bet is voided, your stake money is returned by the bookmaker. A simple case of nothing ventured, nothing gained.

An Abandoned Single Means Your Bet Is Voided


While if you were to place a double bet this is where things get slightly more interesting. Because if one of the two matches is completed as usual, it will soon be declared as either a winning or losing selection.

Should the second of your two selections suffer the fate of abandonment, the double portion of your bet will revert to a single. If the first half of the bet comes good, you will at least earn some winnings for your efforts. If it fails to get over the line, the bookmaker will then come out on top.


The same principle as the double example will come in to effect for the treble. The only difference is that your original three selections, will be treated as a double instead. As long as the other two completed matches come good, your winnings will be lesser but welcomed all the same.


As before, any abandoned matches are discounted from any betting multiples. In this instance though a five-fold accumulator with one match being abandoned, is subsequently treated as a four-fold instead.

One important thing to remember is that once a game is unable to be completed, it is not kept open in terms of rescheduling. This means that if you backed Tottenham to beat Arsenal as the final leg of your five-fold and it does not play to the final whistle, what happens in the future is irrelevant.

For example, a Tottenham versus Arsenal game that could not be completed until January does not keep the accumulator (or ACCA as some people call it) alive until their rescheduled fixture in February. The five-fold is not left waiting for a month.

This means even if Tottenham were to win at the second time of asking, it is immaterial in terms of the accumulator that was originally placed and at best, all you can collect is the winnings of your newly formed four-fold.

Bet In-Play

While there also some other examples where abandoned matches can have an effect on whether a bet is settled or not and this can be a key factor when placing wagers within the many in-play tips and markets that are currently on offer.

Assuming you placed a bet on the Manchester derby and backed Erling Haaland to break the deadlock. Unsurprisingly, the Norwegian hitman has done exactly that, and your hunch has been rewarded seconds later.

Should one of our reasons for abandonment than come about, this would not hamper your collection of winnings in any way. Your bet has already been declared a winner and if the money has safely been deposited, there is nothing that your bookmaker can do about it.

Another aspect to consider is the 24-hour window that most bookmakers attach to any abandoned matches. In some instances, if a game was to succumb to floodlight failure, the two teams will look to return to the field of play as soon as possible.

Complete Darkness Leads To Match Abandoned

Depending on the amount of time that was recorded before the lights when out and the competition that the two teams are playing in, the clock could be paused before resumption and as long as the game is completed within 24 hours, the bet is still open.

Not Over Yet

This kind of example is usually found within Spanish football and if Barcelona were leading Real Betis by a goal to nil with just 10 minutes left to go, the remaining time would then be contested instead of replaying the game itself.

Which means if you were to back Xavi’s men to victory on your original coupon and then managed to finally get over the line within the allotted additional timeframe, the bet would be declared as a winner in the usual fashion.

At the same time, the bookmakers may also offer you the power to make your own decision. You can either leave the bet open or declare it void yourself, as although Barcelona may go on to win the match, Real Betis could still find a late equaliser themselves.

Therefore, you can either get your stake back and rue your slight misfortune or take the risk and perhaps risk it all in dramatic circumstances. Now you know the rules when it comes to abandoned matches, it is time to play the game.

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