Draws, Ties and Tiebreakers in Sports

Draws, Ties and Tiebreakers in Sports

- October 24, 2016

When it comes to betting on major sports games, it is helpful to know what kinds of outcomes can happen on the field or on the court. There are times when two of the best teams are pitted together, and the game results in a tie or a draw. Here we will look at what happens when there is a draw or a tie in popular sports events.

A sports betting glossary would generally define a draw or a tie as a point in a competition where the results are inconclusive. The term “draw” is typically used in the UK, Ireland and Australia. The term “tie” is typically used in the US. Not all games allow a draw or a tie. Sports that do allow these also have different ways to address a draw or a tie.

How are Ties and Draws in Sports Typically Resolved?

When a competition reaches a point of a tie or draw, there are usually a few ways to resolve the matter:

  • A game may continue on in extra time or overtime.
  • A game may enter a sudden death round.
  • A different measure will be used to determine a winner besides team scores. For example, an aggregate point difference might be used.
  • A penalty shootout occurs.
  • A rematch may occur at a later date to determine who the winner is.

There are, of course, other ways of breaking a tie or a draw. Some games even use the “toss coin” method. Whatever the means, part of the excitement of watching and betting on all sports games is to see how a tiebreaker will unfold.


A draw in soccer is a natural part of the game. Soccer fans often enjoy draws because draws represent a fair result of what has happened on the field in a span of 90 minutes. If both teams have scored an equal number of goals within this time, the game is counted as a draw. It doesn’t matter what the score is, as long as it’s the same. It can be 0-0, 2-2, 4-4 and so on.

If you are a soccer fan or bettor, then draws affect your strategy because every match has three – instead of two – likely outcomes: a win either way or a draw. The odds given for betting on a draw are usually fairly generous with online sports bookmakers like Sports Bet and Bet 365 Sports.

There are instances where a draw cannot be allowed as the outcome of a game. In eliminations stages of a tournament, a winner must be crowned in order to determine which team moves forward. In this case, two periods of extra time are played. A penalty shootout is also used to determine which team progresses to the next stage. For elimination stages, you can wager on your preferred winning team by signing up for Sports Bet.

Draw betting in soccer can be challenging, but if you have researched all the team records and  the great soccer players on the field, then the outcome can be satisfying. Even better odds can be obtained by taking advantage of the in-play betting market. A goal scored early in the game (usually within the first ten minutes) will greatly increase the in-play odds for a draw.

American Football

Tie games used to be common in the National Football League through the 1960s. This changed, however, with the introduction of the sudden death overtime which was first applied in 1974 and has transformed NFL betting trends ever since.

In NFL tournaments like the all-city Super Bowl, if the team having first possession in overtime scores a field goal, the opposing team then receives the ball and has the chance to tie the game again with a field goal, or win the game win a touchdown. If the overtime ends with the scores still tied, then the game ends in a tie. The only exception to this are playoffs where additional overtimes are played until a winner comes out on top.

When submitting wagers using American football betting sites, you must keep in mind that the half-time (2nd half) betting includes any overtime scores. Fourth Quarter betting, on the other hand, does not include overtime scores. Check out Bet 365 Sports online for the latest NFL offers.


When signing up for the best baseball betting sites, remember that ties are uncommon in baseball, since the game requires extra innings until one team has the lead. If the game is tied at the end of the ninth inning – which is nominally the last in a game – then it continues on and on until one team scores a run over the other. Specifically, the visiting team wins if it scores more runs during the top of an extra inning, while the home team scores a winning run at the bottom. This is called the home field advantage.

Whether you like to go baseball betting for profit or fun, it is always exciting to see how long the game can stretch until a team grabs the win. One of the longest matches in Major League Baseball was Brooklyn Robins vs. Boston Braves that happened on May 1, 1920. The game went on for up to 26 innings in a span of 3 hours and 50 minutes.

Ice Hockey

In ice hockey, if the score between the two teams is even after three periods, the game will either end in a tie or overtime will be played. In most North American leagues, the regular season tiebreaker is five minutes long.

In the National Hockey League, overtime is also used in the event of an even score. The team with the most scores is awarded two points, while the losing team is awarded one point. If no team is able to score during the overtime period in the NHL, the game turns to penalty shootouts. If the score is still even after the penalty shootouts, then the game enters sudden death. Remember that when betting on ice hockey, overtime scores and shootouts are included in all game period bets.


Fans who like to bet on boxing online or in person know that a draw is a common outcome of a match. In boxing, there are three judges. If a fight goes all the way without a knockout in 12 rounds, then it’s up to the judges to decide who wins.

Here is how the decision goes: If all three judges choose Boxer A as the winner, then this is called a unanimous decision. If two judges choose Boxer A, while one judge chooses Boxer B, the Boxer A wins in split decision. If two judges vote for Boxer A and one judge votes for a tie, then Boxer A wins via majority decision. If one judge votes Boxer A, another judge votes Boxer B and the last judge votes a tie, then the result is a draw. There may also be cases where all three judges vote a tie, which also results in a draw.

Depending on which of the latest boxing betting websites you choose, there are times when a draw is offered as an option and times where it is not. If the draw option is offered and the match ends in a draw, the bets on the draw will be paid. All the other wagers on either of the two boxers will be settled as losses.


In professional tennis tournaments, a tiebreaker rule applies in order to determine a winner. When both players have reached a score of 6-6 in a set, they enter a match tiebreaker wherein the first player to reach at least seven points with a difference of two over the opponent wins the match.

This rule however, does not apply to the 5th set of the matches at the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. This means that the number of games in the 5th match can be virtually unlimited. At the Wimbledon Championships of 2010, John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut after a total of 8 hours and 11 minutes, with an incredible 70-68 score.


In order to make money out of cricket betting, you have to know the varying outcomes that can happen in the game. Cricket has both a tie and a draw – these two things are distinct from one another. A draw is a game with an inconclusive result. This happens when the time allotted for the game expires and neither team have completed their innings. A draw is relatively common in test matches. A game can also be called “non-result” if it is incomplete, meaning it was unable to continue due to weather or other factors. If a match is declared a “no-result”, then all match bets void and the money will be refunded.

A tie, on the other hand, is a cricket game with an identical result. This means that both teams have scored exactly the same number of runs after all their innings have been completed. This is a rare occurrence in test matches and has only happened twice in history. In the event of this uncommon outcome, bookies for cricket betting like Ladbrokes Sports will deem all bets void and your money will be refunded.

Rugby League

In premier Australasian rugby league competitions, draws are possible but are first subject to the golden point overtime.

If the scores are even at the end of the 80-minute mark, a 10-minute overtime is played. Any score – whether it be try, penalty or field goal – that is made during this overtime will secure the win for one team. If neither team is able to score in the overtime, the game ends at a draw and each of the teams receive one competition point.

In matters of rugby league championship betting, scores made during a golden point overtime will be counted as part of the 80-minute play. Visit the Ladbrokes Sports website for your next rugby league wagers.

So there you have it! There are the draws, ties and tiebreakers of some of the most popular sports today. If you want to see the latest events to bet on, check out our world sporting event calendar of 2016. We have a great line-up of all the matches and games you would love to watch and wager on.

Brodey Sheppard

Brodey Sheppard

Brodey Sheppard’s interest in keeping up with the ‘bleeding edge’ of technology has kept him working in the digital marketing industry for over six years. Aside from searching for opportunities to increase his online marketing knowledge, Sam also scours the Internet for useful bonuses and coupon codes that he can use to fuel his love for photography. During his free time, he watches professional photo retouching tutorials in between streaming his favourite TV shows. Fun fact: Sam has never met a cupcake he didn't like.