How can we help you?

1 - 11. General Smarkets betting rules

1.   Introduction

1.1   Smarkets takes every effort to ensure that betting is carried out in a fair and secure manner.

1.2   Smarkets reserves the right to amend these rules from time to time. The rules in force at the time you place your bet will apply to that bet.

1.3   Smarkets does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions with regard to event and market data.

1.4   Unmatched bets are active immediately without delay before and during the event.

1.5   Bets are matched in price-time priority. Bets with a better price will be matched first. If the price is equal, bets will be matched in the order they were received by the Smarkets exchange.

1.6   Further to Section 5 of the General Terms, these rules form part of the Terms and Conditions applicable to your use of the Smarkets service. To the extent of any inconsistency or conflict between these rules and the General Terms, the General Terms will take precedence.

1.7   Bets on certain sports and markets may not be offered in all jurisdictions.

2.   Customer responsibility

2.1   It is the customer's responsibility to have read and accepted Smarkets Betting Rules prior to placing any bet, and be fully aware of any specific rules affecting any market they wish to bet on.  The customer should contact if he or she has any questions or concerns.

3.   Customer queries

3.1   Customers are encouraged to contact if he or she has concerns or questions regarding the betting rules or the settlement of any Smarkets contract.

3.2   If a customer has a complaint, a customer may follow the complaints process set out in condition 13 of the General Terms.

4.   Settlement rules

4.1   Smarkets will make every effort to ensure bets are settled as quickly as possible after the outcome has been determined.

4.2   Where possible, Smarkets will rely on the official result published by the event's governing body on the day the event concludes. Any subsequent amendment to this official result at a later date will not alter the settlement of relevant markets.

4.3   If no official result is available from a governing body, Smarkets will use information from independent sources to determine the result.

4.4   In the event of uncertainty surrounding a result, Smarkets reserves the right to delay settlement until the uncertainty can be resolved to Smarkets’s satisfaction. If uncertainty regarding settlement cannot be resolved to Smarkets’s satisfaction, Smarkets reserves the right to void the market.

4.5   SBK reserves the right to void or resettle markets should new information become available, such as due to disqualification, cheating or rules violations.

4.6   Smarkets reserves the right to reverse the settlement of any market if the market is settled incorrectly in error (technical or human).

4.7   If Smarkets resettles a market due to an error, this may lead to amendments being made to a customer’s balance to reflect the changes in market settlement.

5.   Voiding bets rules

5.1   To ensure integrity and fairness for all customers, Smarkets reserves the right to void bets where suspected fraudulent or other prohibited activity has occurred. Smarkets also reserves the right to void bets which were clearly placed in error, or in the unlikely event of a technical error.

5.2   Smarkets reserves the right to recover funds that were disbursed in error.

6.   Exceptional circumstances

These rules apply unless superseded by sports specific betting rules.

6.1   Abandonment

  • If the event does not conclude within 36 hours of the scheduled start time, all bets are voided.

6.2   Cancellations

  • If the event is cancelled, all bets are voided.

6.3   Postponements

  • If an event's start time is postponed more than 36 hours from the original scheduled time, all bets are voided.

6.4   Change of Opponents

  • If there is a change in opponents for an event, all bets are voided.

6.5   Change of Venue

  • If there is a change in venue, all bets are voided.

6.6   Periods of Time

  • If the length of the event is modified, all bets are voided.

6.7   Dead Heat

  • In the event that there are more winners than expected, the winnings will be split proportionately.

6.8   Change of Surface

  • If there is a change in surface all bets will stand.

7.   Dead heat rules

7.1   A dead heat is defined as an event in which there are two or more joint winning contracts.

7.2   In the case of a dead heat, the winnings made and losses incurred by users are split according to the number of competitors. The formula for this, along with relevant examples, are given below:

'For' bets are decided using this equation:

Return = (Backer’s stake * (number of expected winners/number of actual winners)) * original odds.

For instance, if the user placed a for order of £20 on a horse at odds of 4.0 which then finished first in a dead heat with two other runners, their bet would be divided as follows:

(£20 * (1 / 3)) * 4 = £26.67

Profit/loss = return - backer’s stake = £6.67

'Against' bets are worked out like this:

Return = ((1 - (expected number of winners / number of actual winners) * original odds) / (original odds - 1)) * original liability

For instance if a user placed a sell order on the same event for £20 at odds of 4.0, their return would be calculated as follows:

(1 - (1 / 3) * 4.0 / (4.0 - 1)) * 60 = ((0.6667 * 4) / 3) = £53.33

Profit/loss = return - original liability = £53.33 - £60 = -£6.67

7.3   In the event of a dead heat in a multi-winner market, only contracts that are tied past the last winning position will be affected. Any winning contracts will then be divided by the number of places remaining.

For example, in a top three horse racing market if the first three horses were involved in a dead heat for first place then all three would be declared winners and no dead heat calculations would apply.

If two horses tied for 3rd after the first two horses had past the post, then dead heat rules would apply to the 3rd and 4th horses only, with them sharing the final winning position.

8.   In-play betting rules

8.1   General

8.1.1  We attempt to halt markets and cancel bets at the start and end of an event. However, we cannot always guarantee that a market will be halted and bets cancelled exactly at the start of an event. Therefore it is important that users manage their bets at all times.

8.1.2  In the event that a market is not halted at the start of the event, all bets matched after the off will be voided if the market is not turned in-play at any point while the event is ongoing. For horse racing, the start of the event will be considered as the official off time, and for scouted football matches (those managed by our Instant Match system), the start time will be deemed to be the time the scout sends the kick off notification to us. For all other events, the start time will be deemed to be the scheduled start time. Where there is no officially scheduled start time, we will use all available information to determine an accurate start time.

8.1.3  If a market is not halted, with unmatched bets cancelled, at the start of an event but the market is halted to be turned in-play at a later point during the event, all bets matched after the official off time will stand. This rule applies for all events, except in the case of a scouted football match (managed by our Instant Match system), where a material event occurs in-play prior to the halting of the market.

In this case, bets matched after the start of the event but before the material event will stand, but those matched after the time of the material event, as reported by our scout, will be void. Material events are defined as goals, red cards or penalties.

8.1.4  In the event that a market is not halted and unmatched bets are not cancelled at the end of an event, we reserve the right to cancel any unmatched bets and/or void any bets matched after this time. Where official timings are not available, we will use all available information to determine an accurate time.

8.1.5  Betting after the outcome of an event is known is not permitted. We reserve the right to void bets where a user has obtained an unfair advantage by placing bets after an event has occurred in a match or game (for example, by placing bets immediately after a goal is scored in order to take advantage of the price as it was before the goal.)

8.2   Markets subject to an in-play betting delay

8.2.1   Bets submitted on an in-play market are subject to a four-second (horse racing & darts) or eight-second (all other events) betting delay before being placed into the market. The bet will also be unavailable to adjust or cancel until the expiration of this delay.

8.2.2   Markets subject to an in-play betting delay are not managed. This means that markets will not be halted when there is a material event (for example a goal, penalty or red card). It is therefore important that users manage their in-play bets at all times.

8.2.3   Any increase in the stake or odds will be subject to the delay.

8.2.4   Customers may be trading against API users, who are subject to different arrangements for in-play markets. The Smarkets API is made available to liquidity providers, among which is Hanson Applied Sciences Limited (a company in the same group as Smarkets).

8.3   Instant match rules

8.3.1   Whether a match is managed by "Instant Match" or not is indicated at the top of an event once it turns in-play.

8.3.2   Bets placed on markets where “Instant Match" rules apply will be submitted and placed into a market without being subject to an in-play betting delay.

8.3.3   Once matched, an executed bet will be subject to a confirmation period of between 8 and 14 seconds, as stated on the market. Bets which are subject to confirmation will be in a ‘Pending’ state on the bet slip. Once the bet is out of its pending period and is confirmed, this will be recorded on your account statement.

8.3.4   At the point in time a bet is matched, the price of the execution is fixed. In most cases such a bet will be subsequently confirmed after the pending period has elapsed, but if we receive information about a significant event in the match during this period (see sport specific rules for details) we will void this execution to give customers protection against those with faster feeds and advantageous information.

8.3.5   The system relies on external data fed by scouts at the ground. This means that in rare cases, material events may be missed or executions may be voided when a material event does not occur. In these cases, we reserve the right to void bets where an unfair advantage was gained in accordance with rule 8.1.5. We will not reinstate already voided bets, so it is important to make sure your bet is confirmed.

8.3.6   If the external feed from scouts is dropped or appears down or delayed, we may at our discretion revert the market to a non-managed state, and apply an in-play betting delay (see section 8.2).

8.3.7   Sport-specific logic is applied to manage the state of these Instant Match markets. See sport specific rules here.

9.   Miscellaneous rules

9.1   All information supplied by Smarkets is done in good faith. However, subject to condition 11.1 of the General Terms, Smarkets cannot accept liability for any errors or omissions in respect of any information, such as the posting of prices, runners, times, scores, or results.

9.2   Smarkets reserves the right to correct any clear errors and will take reasonable procedures to ensure markets are regulated with integrity and transparency.

9.3   Where new markets are created, any bets placed on said markets will be placed in accordance with the betting rules at the time.

9.4   Smarkets reserves the right to use its judgement should an incident that falls outside of these rules occur.

10.   Keep bets in-play rules

10.1   For markets that are scheduled to be turned in-play, a customer can request that an unmatched bet should not be cancelled when the market is turned in-play. This is done by selecting the 'Keep bets in-play’ option in the bet widget, and confirming that request. This means that the unmatched bet remains when other unmatched bets are cancelled at the start of the event.

10.2   The default setting will cancel unmatched bets when the market is halted. You will need to select every bet individually to keep bets in-play.

10.3   All unmatched bets will be cancelled when a non-runner is removed from a horse racing market if a reduction factor is applied.

10.4   When a material event (goal, penalty or red card for example) occurs in a live football match managed by Instant Match, other unmatched bets are cancelled before the market is reopened. However, bets selected to stay in-play with the 'Keep bets in-play option, will not be cancelled, and will remain in their original queue position.

10.5   If your bet is matched in-play and a material event occurs during the eight-second confirmation period, the bet will be voided and therefore will not remain when the market reopens.

11.   Trade out rules

11.1   The trade out button allows you to trade out of bets on an individual contract, and not the overall market.

11.2   If you make a trade out request, you will be notified if this has been successful or not.

11.3   Your request to trade out is not guaranteed to be accepted. For example, if the market is suspended or the odds move before your request has been processed.

11.4   If your trade out request is unsuccessful, a message will be shown which gives the reason why and a new trade out value may be offered to you.

Last modified: 8 April, 2024

Smarkets general betting rules (1-11) will apply unless superseded by the General Terms or sports specific betting rules.

Still not on Smarkets?

Trade sports, politics and current affairs with the best odds and industry-low commission. New users can use code COMMFREE to trade commission-free for 60 days. T&Cs apply.

Join Smarkets