Common Sportsbook Rules

Bettors should be aware of these common sportsbook rules.

Key Points

– All sportsbooks have certain rules, many of which are shared by other betting sites.

– Bettors should be aware of common sportsbook rules.

Common Sportsbook Rules

Sports betting can be intimidating. No matter your level of experience, you know how to read lines and odds. You have a sportsbook – maybe even more than one – where you place your bets.

What you might not know is that your sportsbook – or sportsbooks – have certain rules and regulations. Some of these common sportsbook rules are found at most betting operations in the industry. Others are sportsbook specific.

Regardless, bettors should be aware of the rules of their sportsbook. The last thing a bettor would want is to break a simple rule and lose out on a great win.

Keep in mind that sportsbooks are legitimate businesses. In order for them to succeed, they must play by the rules of their industry. They also have to take care of their customers otherwise they will fail. 

Most bettors are probably already aware of the more common sportsbook rules. These rules can vary depending on the sportsbook but, for the most part, they are in place at any sportsbook that takes bets.


Common Sportsbook Rules – Odds & Lines

All prices and their corresponding odds are subject to change. Duh! Of course, odds and lines change, but it is simple to overlook this rule. Remember, bookies are people too and mistakes are made.

If there is a clear error made in a posted line, the wager can be voided and treated as “no action.” Bets will be returned. Sportsbooks make mistakes sometimes and bettors should be aware that they can void a bet. 

All games must be played on their scheduled dates. If a game is postponed and rescheduled, a new set of lines and odds will be set for the new game. The circumstances of the rescheduled game will be different; therefore, oddsmakers will set new lines and odds.

All bets must be placed and accepted prior to a game’s start. All bettors know this, but just in case…if you don’t place your bet before a game has started, it’s not valid. If a bet was accepted after the start, sportsbooks can void the bet.

More Rules Concerning Odds & Lines

Sportsbooks will not accept a wager on the moneyline and on the point spread for the same game. That includes individual bets that are part of the same parlay.

When the result of one bet affects another, multiple wagers will not be accepted. There is simply too much risk involved for sportsbooks.

There is also risk when odds change significantly between the time a bet is submitted and the time it is confirmed. If this happens, a bettor will be given the opportunity to confirm the bet but with new odds. Again, sportsbooks have to protect themselves and they do make mistakes or have technical issues at times.

When betting MLB run lines, remember that games are final after five innings. Sometimes, they are final after 4.5 innings (if the home team is ahead). Games that are called due to weather, for example, are official. All bets can be graded. This is among the most common sportsbooks rules and bettors should know that.

Common Sportsbook Rules – Terms & Conditions

Some common sportsbook rules are not directly related to betting. For example, bettors have to be 18 years old to sign up for a betting account. This is true for all sportsbooks.

Bettors cannot begin betting until they successfully deposit funds into their accounts. Among common sportsbook rules are those concerning deposits. A bettor cannot use a third-party to deposit funds into an account. Also, bettors cannot wager more than what is in their betting account. A sportsbook is not the stock market.

Bettors cannot set up multiple accounts at the same sportsbook. Betting sites do this to guard against fraud. Most sportsbooks will not even allow the setup of another account. 

Before withdrawing funds from a sportsbook, the bettor will have to prove his or her identity. Again, sportsbooks take precautions in order to protect themselves from fraud. They want to ensure that money is going to the rightful owner. That, of course, will keep bettors coming back for more. 

Among de facto common sportsbook rules is the idea that every betting account is secure and private. Sportsbooks go to a lot of trouble to make sure everything a bettor does on their site is anonymous. Bookies do not divulge any personal or financial information about their customers.

Common Sportsbook Rules

Betting Limits & More

Common sportsbook rules include those related to rejecting bets and setting limits on wagers. Any bet can be voided if a sportsbook thinks the bettor is acting dishonestly. As mentioned previously, odds can change drastically in a matter of seconds. Sportsbooks always retain the right to reject a bet.

Sportsbooks can also set a maximum amount to accept on any bet. This has always been true and bookies do it to reduce their risk. Taking too many huge bets at once and then being unable to pay winners is the last thing a sportsbook wants.

If you use multiple sportsbooks to shop lines, you will find that books set limits on bets. There will be a max bet as well as a maximum amount that a bettor can win on a single event. Many sportsbooks limit winnings to $100K on a single bet, whether that is an individual bet or a parlay of some sort. 

One of the common sportsbook rules that all bettors should know is that once you tap the screen or click the mouse to confirm a bet, you can’t take it back. Bettors cannot change a bet once they have confirmed it. This is why bettors need to be absolutely sure of a wager before betting.

Some sportsbooks will let bettors cash out early on a wager. If you placed a $50 bet on an NFL game on Wednesday, the sportsbook might allow you to cash out on Thursday or Friday. It might be for the entire $50, but it might not. That’s the only way to “cancel” a bet.