As with all things in the online betting industry, there are a multitude of rules and regulations that you need to be aware of before placing your bets. Whilst this article is based on general betting rules, they should apply to the majority of sports. If you are uncertain or need to know more sport specific betting rules, then we suggest that you contact your bookmaker prior to placing your bets.

A final word of warning is that some bookmakers may differ from others in terms of their rules for each section. For example, max/min pay outs on bets will often range massively from bookmaker to bookmaker, as highlighted in the next section. Again, if you want to know more then we highly advise you get in contact with your bookmaker prior to placing your bets.

See also: Casino rules

Maximum Bet & Maximum Pay Outs

With any bet that you place you will have to adhere to a maximum stake that you are allowed to place on each bet. The bet will work in coherence to the maximum pay out, so they will only allow you to stake as much as the maximum potential pay out will allow. Generally these days most betting online bookmakers will highlight the maximum stake from their betting slip, so you can see exactly how much you can wager on a specific result.

The reason that stakes and pay outs will range from each betting market is usually down to the number of bets that have been taken for a specific market at a specific price. This is essentially how pricing works for bookmakers and if they see a lot of money coming in for one specific bet at a certain price, they will reduce the odds to limit their pay out.

As a punter you don’t need to worry about that too much, but you do need to be aware what the limits are.

If we use bet365 as an example, they tend to have some of the highest limits in the industry, mainly because of the volume of bets that they take each day. But, they still have strict limits on the maximum you can win both per bet and in a 24-hour period. The limits will also depend on where you are located in the world; for example, in horse racing the maximum you can win in a 24 hour period for punters in Australia is £1,000,000 whilst the amount is just £100,000 for punters in New Zealand.

If we switch our focus briefly to soccer then this is very much determined on the league or competition that you are betting on. Major European leagues such as the Premier League and FA Cup will allow you to win up to £2,000,000 whilst lesser leagues such as Austrian Bundesliga and the Belgian Pro League have limits of just £50,000. The reasoning behind this is again, the number of bets that are placed, with the later seeing much fewer bets placed over the same time period.

Also bear in mind that a lot of bookmakers will have a cap on the most you can win within 24 hours as well as single bets. So you may have several bets throughout one day and find yourself reaching the maximum payout limit as a cumulative number, even though you are well within the maximum sake for a potential bet.

Postponed & Abandoned Events

If a match that you have bet on becomes abandoned after it’s started then there are a few scenarios to consider. First off, if you have placed a wager on that match and the market has been settled prior to the abandonment of the said match, bets will remain and be paid out accordingly. If your bet hasn’t been settled upon abandonment then the bet will become void and your money returned. For example, if you place a bet on the first goalscorer market and the game get abandoned after a goal has been scored with the market being settled, then these bets will remain. If you placed it on the match result then the bet will be void and your stake returned.

Things work slightly differently if your event has been postponed. If the event has been postponed and no play has been had, then all bets will be voided and returned. However, this will not apply if the game gets rearranged with 7 days where bets will remain and carry over. If that game is postponed for TV coverage (i.e. moved from a Saturday to a Monday night) then all bets will remain and carry over. 

Regular Time Only

A lot of people get confused in sports that included added or injury time within the game as to whether bets still count for this period. Well, we can tell you that this is still classed as regular time and all bets will count, even if the allotted time has passed.

Some markets will include extra time with the bet, but these will be clearly highlighted. For example, you might bet on one team to qualify over 2 legs where extra time may be needed to be played. If this is the case then your bet will include outside of regular time for both extra time and if needed, penalties.

Own Goals

Own goals can be a contentious area for bookmakers, but actually it’s quite a simple procedure. Some markets will include own goals in the overall settlement of the market, whilst others do not. For example, if you were to bet on the Both Teams To Score market and an own goal was scored, then this would count towards your bet for one of your teams to have scored. However, if you have placed a wager on a market such as the first player to score market, then own goals will not count towards your bet.

Here is a list of markets that either do or do not include own goals in the bet:

  • First/last player to score – does not count own goals
  • Correct score – does count own goals
  • Scorecast – If only own goals are scored then bets will be settled as singles on the correct score market
  • Team first/last goalscorer – Own goals do not count
  • Players to score at any time – Own goals do not count
  • Wincast – if only own goals are scored then bets will be settled as singles on the full time result market
  • Timecast – if only own goals are scored then bets will become void
  • Top Goalscorer – own goals do not count

Dead Heats

Dead heats are much more common in some sports that others, but a common rule is applied to all scenarios. A dead heat will occur when two or more selections tie in an event, with no separation between the two.

What happens in the event of a dead heat is that your stake will get split up and divided between the number of selections that are involved in the dead heat. For example, in horse racing if two horses are declared to be in a dead heat for first place then half of your stake will go on the odds that originally backed it for and the other half is lost. Please be aware that in all scenarios with a dead heat it is your stake that is reduced and not your odds.

Let’s run through a quick example. You back a horse at 10/1 to win the race with a stake of £10. The horse finishes in a dead heat for 1st place with one other horse. Because there are only two horses involved in the dead heat your stake will be halved, meaning that you actual stake will be that of £5 (the other £5 being lost), winning you £55 including your original stake.

Let’s say that you placed exactly the same bet on a race and 4 horses were declared to be in a dead heat. This means that your original stake is now divided by 4, resulting in £2.50 being paid at odds of 10/1. This would return £27.50, which includes your original stake returned.