Can you cancel a bet before a game starts is a question we often get asked but, sadly, the answer is much more likely to be no than yes.
The desire to cancel a bet is something that most of us will have experienced as gamblers but cancelling a bet before a game starts is much harder to do than you might think. Firstly, many bookmakers state that once a bet is placed you can’t cancel or amend a bet in any way.
Secondly, even if you’ve placed your bet with a bookmaker that will consider cancelling a bet, your chances of cancelling it are extremely limited. This may be because the reason you want to cancel it is not one that bookmakers will consider, or because there isn’t time to cancel it before the game starts.
Reasons Why You Might Want To Cancel A Bet Before A Game Starts
The most likely reason that a bookmaker may consider cancelling a bet for you is if you’ve made a genuine mistake, and they can see this by your previous betting patterns.
For example, if you normally bet £10 on all your selections and you’ve accidentally placed a bet of £1,000, a bookmaker may (but still only may) consider cancelling your bet. If you’ve placed a bet on a market you didn’t mean to, you may also have a very small chance of cancelling your bet or having it amended to the correct market – but this is still only a small chance.
If you want to cancel a bet before a game starts because you’ve backed Liverpool to win an EFL Cup match and you’ve just seen that Jurgen Klopp has fielded the reserves – forget it! Equally, if a key player gets injured in the warm-up – you’ve got no chance.
Why Won’t Bookmakers Cancel Bets Before A Game Starts?
Bookmakers don’t like to cancel or amend any bets, mainly because encouraging punters to try and do so would increase the demand on their support networks. The additional demand would make queue times longer, or they would have to employ more support staff, costing money and reducing profits.
Equally, while some punters want to cancel a bet because they’ve made a genuine mistake, most punters want to cancel bets because an event has made their bet unappealing.
When events such as strange team selection or injuries occur, the bookmakers also change the odds to reflect this. So, while you might have backed Liverpool at even-money (2.00), bookmakers won’t cancel that bet if they have pushed out Liverpool’s odds to 6/4 (2.50). If they did cancel bets in this situation, every punter would want to cancel bets when the odds of any of their selections had drifted.
Reasons Why You Might Be Able To Cancel A Bet Before A Game
As we mentioned earlier, if you make a genuine mistake when placing a bet, you may be able to cancel or amend your bet if you act quickly. But the only scenarios we think offer you a chance of cancelling your bet, is if you’ve made a mistake by betting much more than your normal bets or you’ve had a bet on the wrong market.
In these instances, we advise you to contact your bookmaker as soon as possible, if their terms and conditions suggest you might be able to cancel a bet.
How Do I Contact My Bookie To Cancel A Bet Before A Game?
If you think there’s a chance that your bookmaker might cancel a bet before a game, get in touch with their support team as soon as you realise you’ve made a mistake. The live agents you speak to will have access to your account and will be able to analyse whether you have a case.
However, inexperienced support staff may have to ask a superior for permission to cancel your bet, so make sure you give them as much time as possible.
But at the end of the day, don’t be surprised if bookmakers don’t cancel your bet, regardless of the reason why you want to cancel it.
What Do I Do If I Can’t Cancel A Bet Before A Game?
In many instances when you place a bet you’d like to cancel, you’ll have to take the consequences squarely on the chin and hope you get lucky. However, if your bookmaker offers a cashout feature, there is a chance that your mistake could easily be rectified.
I once made a terrible mistake. I’d just won £200 on my previous bet and I went to have £20 on my next tip. However, after placing the bet, I looked in horror at my balance as it was £220 lighter. I checked my bet and saw that I’d staked £220. After a moment of initial panic, I checked the cashout feature and, luckily, I could cash out my £220 stake – so I did.
The problem with cashout features is cashout offers fluctuate as the odds change. If the odds of your selection drift, cashout offers tend to be lower than your original stake. However, if the odds have contracted, you may be offered more than your original stake. That’s why it’s a good idea to check the cashout offer as soon as possible.
If the odds have drifted, you’ll need to make a decision whether to forfeit the difference between your stake and the cashout offer for the sake of getting most of your stake back.
Can I Cancel A Bet Before A Game On The Betting Exchanges?
Betting exchanges such as Betfair refuse to cancel any bet at any time, which is mainly because all exchange bets have been taken by another exchange punter. If you’ve had a back bet, someone else has laid it, and vice-versa.
In this situation, what you have the option to do is either lay your back bet or back your lay bet. But again, you may have to take back less than your original stake if the odds have moved in an unfavourable direction.
Whether you’re lucky enough to be able to cancel a bet or not, you also need to ask yourself what caused you to make the mistake in the first place.
Why Did You Want To Cancel A Bet?
If you want to cancel a bet for some reason, you need to ask yourself why you made a mistake? Were you rushing to chase losses? Are you the type of gambler that bets impulsively rather than pragmatically?
If you’ve answered yes to either of those questions, are you losing money regularly that you don’t want and can’t afford to? If so, it’s time to change your bad gambling habits.
How Do I Become A Good Gambler?
There are two main categories of gamblers, those that do it for fun and those that gamble using a system that is designed to make long-term profits. Gambling for fun is okay, providing you’re not losing money you can’t afford to. But ask yourself are you really having fun losing money or just telling yourself you are?
While taking a pragmatic approach to gambling may seem a bit boring, we’re sure you’ll find making money in the long-term a lot more fun than trying to get rich quick but losing.
But it’s not easy to acquire the skills to become a professional gambler, as it requires a lot of hard work. Luckily, all the professional tipsters at Betting Gods are already doing that hard work. So, if you’ve not got the time to study the form and pick winning bets, we advise you to follow the advice of professional tipsters that do.
If you’d like to receive some daily free tips from a random selection of our tipsters, send us your email address and we’ll email you some tips every morning. This is a great way to get to know our tipsters, who also offer affordable monthly subscriptions that will give you access to all their tips. We’ll also offer you advice about staking and betting bank management.
Here at Betting Gods, we have professional tipsters that provide tips for football, UK and Irish horse racing, US horse racing, golf, tennis, cricket, ice hockey, basketball, and even eSports. So, drop us your email and start cutting out those costly mistakes.
We hope that’s answered your question, can you cancel a bet before a game starts.