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Sportsbook Rules

Sportsbook Rules

Eric Kithinji
Eric Kithinji
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5 Min
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Rules Around Odds And Prices
Sportsbooks’ Terms And Conditions
Tax Responsibility For Winnings

Rules are pretty much common in our everyday lives, and we sure do follow them to the letter. Before you dive into the world of sports betting, you must familiarize yourself with some key rules.

This will help you avoid any unnecessary problems with a sportsbook, as well as allow you to gamble with a calm mind.

You may think that you know most, if not all, of the rules, but you’d be surprised at how many rules bettors take for granted. Bets have been voided and accounts have been closed because of minor assumptions, and we definitely don’t want you to end up in such a situation.

Since we’ve been betting for years, we know the ins and outs of the sports betting world and will guide you accordingly.

So if you want to err on the side of caution, here are some general rules that you need to keep in mind as you place your sports bets.

Rules Involving Odds And Lines

Regarding sports betting odds and lines, here are some rules that you should always keep in mind:

Games Must Be Played On The Scheduled Date

One of the most important factors that sportsbooks and oddsmakers take into account when setting odds is the scheduled date. If something happens and the game needs to be postponed, then they’ll need to re-evaluate their odds.

Because of this, the sportsbook will refund your wager, but you can still bet on the game once a future date has been set and the sportsbook has recalculated their odds.

Odds And Prices Can Change At Any Moment

Odds are always subject to change. One reason why sportsbooks state this rule is that there are so many different events to bet on, and sometimes mistakes can be made.

If a clear and obvious error happens after you place a bet, the book will void that bet so that it can correct the mistake. But the sportsbook will never penalize you for their own errors, so you’ll always get your money back in such scenarios.

Bets On The Next Event Are Treated As A Push If There Is No Such Next Event

For example, let’s say that you place the following Super Bowl bet: the 10th scoring play will be a touchdown. If there is no 10th scoring play, all bets on that specific index will be no-actioned—which means, they will be treated as a push.

So in our example, any bettors who placed a wager on the 10th scoring play will all get their money back.

Restriction From Betting On Both The Moneyline And The Point Spread Of The Same Event

You won’t be able to place individual moneyline and point spread bets if they are based on the same game. This is because sportsbooks prohibit correlated plays where one bet’s outcome affects the outcome of a different wager.

For this reason, you also won’t be able to put a moneyline and a point spread bet on the same game into one parlay.

Wagers Need To Be Placed Before An Event Starts

Pre-game bets need to be placed and accepted before the commencement of an event. Of course, live bets exist, but this rule doesn’t focus on that.

If you somehow manage to place a pre-game bet after an event has started, the sportsbook will definitely void your wager.

Significant Odds Changes Will Lead To Your Wager Being Rejected

When odds, especially for live events, change significantly from the time that you selected a bet to the time that you’re going to confirm the bet, the book will either reject the bet or notify you of the change so that you can reconfirm your bet.

Results Become Official After A Stated Time Of Play

For example, the outcome of an MLB game will be considered official after 5 innings of play. So if something drastic happens and the game is subsequently canceled, the book will consider the score if 5 or more innings have been played.

So if the game gets canceled during the 6th inning, the book will determine the winner by using the score of the last full inning and will thus use that as the official score to settle bets on that game.

All other sports have a point in which results are considered official, although that tends to change from one sportsbook to the next.

Rules Involving Terms And Conditions

On the other end of the spectrum, here are the general rules involving terms and conditions and one’s participation:

All Bettors Have To Be Of Legal Age

Depending on the state that you are in, you’ll need to meet the minimum age required to register on a sportsbook. Most states require users to be at least 21 years old, though a few have set the age limit to 18 years.

You Have To Verify Your Identity Before Making A Withdrawal

Many sportsbooks will make you verify your identity as soon as you register on their site, and those that don’t will require that you verify your identity before you make a withdrawal.

Sportsbooks have to do this to ensure that they are sending the money to the right person, and verification also assures them that their customers aren’t participating in any crooked or fraudulent activities.

You Can Only Have One Account On A Sportsbook

Though you have the freedom of signing up on as many sportsbooks as you want, you can only hold a single account per sportsbook.

Sportsbooks implement this rule to protect themselves since users can create multiple accounts with the aim of taking advantage of bonus offers. Other users can also use extra accounts to place multiple unfair bets that disadvantage the sportsbook.

If you’re found creating more than one account, the sportsbook can even ban you from their site. So always stick to one account per site.

Tax Responsibilities Are Your Own, Not The Sportsbooks’

A sportsbook will not pay for your taxes. It is your sole duty to report your sports betting finances and transactions to the relevant authorities.

You Can Only Bet What Is In Your Account

No sportsbook will offer you credit to place your wager. So you need to know that every bet that you place needs to be funded by your account balance. So if you have nothing in your account, then you can’t place a wager.

Once You Confirm A Bet, You Can’t Cancel It!

There is a reason why you should always go through your bet slip before placing a wager. This is because once you place a bet, you won’t be able to cancel it. Mistakes are bound to happen, and that is why we always suggest that you refrain from betting when you are in a hurry.

User Accounts Are Private And Confidential

Sportsbooks will never share your information, so you shouldn’t worry about a sportsbook selling your private info to potential advertisers or other third parties.

Deposits Via Third Parties Aren’t Allowed

Most sportsbooks will prevent you from depositing via third parties since many issues can arise from this. Because sportsbooks want to protect themselves, they’ll always require that all deposits come from your own means and accounts.

If You Disclose Your Account Info, The Sportsbook Cannot Be Held Responsible

If you give your password away, or if you lose your account details needlessly, the sportsbook cannot be blamed for your actions.

So you must always use a strong password that no one else knows about. Enabling two-factor authentication will also protect your account from unauthorized logins.

A Sportsbook Can Accept, Refuse, Or Limit A Bet At Any Time

When a sportsbook is suspicious of your motives, they can stop you from accessing their services at any time. Of course, this is self-explanatory since most sportsbooks do this to protect themselves and their business.

You Can Place Bets As Soon As You Deposit Funds

Once you have successfully deposited funds into your account, you can begin placing bets immediately!

Thirsty For More Betting Knowledge? Check Our Gambling Education Hub.

About the author

Placed his first sports wager shortly after high school, and has been involved in this whirlwind of the industry since then. Fan of most of the major ...

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