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What Happens if a Game is Cancelled in a Parlay

Cancellations are unpredictable scenarios where a game needs to be done on a future date due to various circumstances. Can a canceled game make you lose your parlay bets?

We address this concern by explaining the mechanics of parlays and game cancellation in sports betting.

Game Cancellation Effect on Parlays

Game cancellation

What happens to canceled parlay legs? One, it will not cancel your entire parlay bet. However, it will affect the wager’s payout.

For readers new to sports betting and wondering why people are concerned about game cancellations, parlays are unique bets made of several wagers. These wagers include money line, spread, totals (over/under), futures, and props. Traditional parlay bets consist of bets from several games. Should any of these legs lose or do not come true, you lose your entire parlay. Having more legs in your parlay increases the risk of losing everything. The great risk behind these wagers is why parlays pay more. 

Why would any bettor think of having three or more legs when just a two-team parlay already has a decent payout? How does a parlay payout of 11 to 1 or 180 to 1 sound? As you keep adding legs to your parlay, you get a substantial return on your stake due to the risk of losing just one leg. You can already see why bettors unfamiliar with parlay are likely to panic if they catch wind of canceled games.

Finally, we address the effect of a canceled game by illustrating a parlay bet with NFL money line bets and a $200 stake:

NFL Team Moneyline Odds
Buffalo Bills -170
Chicago Bears +210
New York Giants +320
New York Jets -140
Tennessee Titans +420
San Francisco 49ers -190
Total Payout $56,271.28
6-Team Parlay Payout

Let us say the Jets game was canceled due to massive rainfall and heavy winds. Your parlay bet will now look like this:

NFL Team Moneyline Odds
Buffalo Bills -170
Chicago Bears +210
New York Giants +320
Tennessee Titans +420
San Francisco 49ers -190
Total Payout $32,824.91
5-Team Parlay Payout

Due to the game cancelation, your parlay will have a lower payout based on the remaining legs. This scenario is a missed opportunity since the Jets are poised to win that game. On the other hand, you can still win your parlay with a sizable payout of $32824.91. If you want to see how a canceled game affects your bet, look for a parlay calculator to know the payout of the remaining legs of your wager.

Cancellation For Same Game Parlays

While regular parlays only allow you to add wagers from different matches, same-game parlays let you build your bet from one event. As the name implies, you can include money lines, props, futures, and spreads from a single match that qualifies for a same-game parlay promotion. This promotion is available on major UK and US sports betting sites such as FanDuel, DraftKings, and Bet365. Look for the SGP symbol or same-game parlay tab to see which games qualify for this feature.  

Same-game parlays are most affected by cancellations since nearly all of their wagers are from the exact match. Three outcomes can occur during a canceled game. If you have at least two legs from a different game, your parlay will still be active with a payout based on the remaining wagers. The parlay will turn into a straight bet if you have only one leg from another game.

What will happen to your parlay if every leg comes from a single game that was just canceled? Should this happen, your parlay will be voided, and you will receive a refund of your stake. Your parlay wager is simply in a state where no one is the winner or loser, which nulls any money line wager. A canceled game also voids props, spreads, and totals since there is no means to see the outcome results, such as the total score of the match.

While a canceled game resulting in voided parlays can be disappointing, you will still receive your stake back, so you can make another parlay bet on the next rescheduled match. The next game can be in your favor if your backed team will be playing on their home court instead of the opposing team’s court.

What Happens to Free Bets Used for Cancelled Parlays?

Every sports bet affected by a canceled match qualifies for a refund. This situation also includes parlays if every leg is affected. The only exception to this rule is parlays made with free bets.

Free bets are sports betting bonuses that let you make wagers with in-house credit. This credit can turn into actual cash if you complete its wagering requirement. Unfortunately, this situation is an anomaly for most sports betting sites. In most cases, you will not receive a refund on your free bet in case of canceled parlays bets. This situation is not due to the lack of empathy among online bookies but the platform lacking any means of giving back your free bet.

Fortunately, most reliable sports betting sites such as BetWay or BetMGM are reasonable in this situation. You could contact their customer service chat support or hotline to ask for compensation on your free bet if your parlay bet was affected by a canceled game.

Canceled games will only reduce the payout of your parlay bet by removing one or more of its canceled parlay legs. If your parlay were completely voided, where every leg is affected, you would receive a refund of your stake.

This article was published on October 8, 2022, and last updated on October 5, 2022.

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