For anyone that has followed live sport via their chosen betting app – especially football – there is always that moment of excitement/dread when the betting markets are suspended.
Sometimes, it’s nothing of note – just a bookmaker recalibrating their in-play odds, but often the humble punters know that something major has happened… either one of the teams has scored, or a player has been sent off.
But will the incident aid or hinder your bet?
Why Do Bookies Suspend Betting?
For newcomers, market suspension can be a confusing thing – all of the odds are either locked or drop off your screen entirely, and any cash out offers you previously had will now be rescinded… to be replaced by a better/worse amount depending on what has happened.
For the most part, the suspension of betting markets lasts for just a few seconds, although the introduction of VAR has actually made longer periods of freezing odds more common – after all, the bookies have to wait to see what the video officials are going to officially decide before they can act accordingly.
The rules apply to all sports – will a golfer sink a putt? Will a tennis player convert a break point? Will a basketball ace successful land their free throw? Betting markets will often be suspended until we find out.
Markets are also suspended to act against ‘courtsiders’ – that is, those who are watching a sports event in person, and who could place their bets ahead of the slight delay that the bookies find themselves wrestling with courtesy of their data suppliers.
Why Do Bookies Suspend Betting in Horse Racing?
Many of the reasons we have already touched upon in this article relate to horse racing as well.
The absolute vast majority of bookmakers offer live odds on horse races, but in some cases the action is over so quickly – think five-furlong sprints – that is just makes sense for them to suspend the market after the off… defeating courtsiders and those with a faster data feed.
Even longer distance steeplechases have noteworthy moments that require the in-play market to be suspended while the bookie quickly recalculates their odds – when a prominent runner falls or unseats their rider, for example, or when a favourite is pulled up.
Why Have My Ante Post Bets Been Suspended?
Often it’s time sensitive bets and markets that are subject to the suspended treatment.
However, that’s not to say that ante-post bets can’t be suspended too, and that’s especially the case in some football markets like league winner or even next manager to be sacked.
In the case of the former, it’s likely that the outright market will be suspended when games are going on – clearly, these can have an impact on the outright odds depending on the result.
As for the latter, these markets are based predominantly on information and rumour – a bookmaker will suspend their odds, and shorten the price of one or more contenders, when a trusted media outlet reports that X has been seen in Y and is expected to meet club officials for talks, etc.
As for ante post horse racing wagers, these markets can be suspended when it is revealed that a particular horse will or won’t be running in a particular race – the bookmakers’ trading team will have to recalculate their odds, and the market will be frozen until this is completed.
Why Has My Cash Out Been Suspended?
Let’s say you have backed Liverpool to win the Premier League title, or Honeysuckle to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
You’ll take the odds supplied on a given day, but you’ll note that the price can fluctuate based on a number of factors – if Manchester City lose a string of games, Liverpool’s odds to win the title will shorten. Likewise, if Honeysuckle runs well in a high-profile race ahead of the Festival, her Gold Cup odds may come in as well.
When those odds move, your cash out value will shift in line with the shortening or lengthening. This is the basic premise of the bookies’ cash out offer.
When the market has to be recalculated, your cash out offer will be suspended until the new odds have been published – at this point, the amount you can claim may have increased or decreased (or, in rare circumstances, it might actually stay the same).
The same principle applies if you have placed an accumulator on a set of live events. The continual changing of the in-play odds will see your cash out suspended and recalculated on a number of occasions in line with the action out on the pitch/court/track etc.
Can I Place a Bet When a Market Has Been Suspended?
When a market has been suspended, the odds will essentially disappear from your screen – or be ‘frozen’ so that you can’t click on them or add them to your betslip.
If you place a bet just before a market is suspended, and you get a receipt for that wager, then it will have been accepted – sometimes you can bet on a team to win and they go and score a goal just seconds later!