Skip to content Skip to footer

Common Sportsbooks Rules

If you’re going to start playing with some real scratch on one of these sportsbooks, you’re going to want to get familiar with the do’s and dont’s of sports betting. In this case, we’re not referring to suggestions or strategies on how best to put your money down, but more so about strict rules and guidelines that most sports betting sites share when it comes to online wagering.

It’s already tough enough to win a bet, can you imagine not being able to acquire your winnings on a successful wager because you didn’t follow the rules and/or regulations? Not a fun time. That’s why we want to make sure all bettors are aware of the restrictions they might come across when betting online.

We’ll fill you in on things like standard terms and conditions, when and why bets may be voided, and other such rules and regulations.

The rules are simple enough, and for those that are more complex, we’ll do our best here at Sports Betting Focus to break it down in a way that everyone can understand. While there is a well-earned stigma surrounding illegal gambling, sports betting sites are not bookies, they’re legitimate, legal businesses that follow rules of fair play. Most of their rules are often used to boost customer satisfaction, not to pull a fast one.

All sportsbooks are unique, so we’ve made sure to put together a relevant list of rules that are more than likely to be in effect at whichever sports betting site you use to place your bets on things like NFL games or the NBA games.

When can a bet be voided?

Sportsbooks can void bets at their discretion, but it’s very rare that this will have an ill effect on the bettor. Sometimes when a bet is voided it’s because the sportsbook made a mistake too big to let go on the lines but it’s exceedingly rare. More often, bets are rendered void by the sportsbooks because of some unforeseen circumstances such as:

  • A game or event called off due to weather or an emergency situation
  • In UFC, if a fight is judged to be a No Contest or NC
  • When an event is rescheduled to a different date than the listed one
  • When an event has a change of venue to a different venue than the listed one
  • If a player retires during the first set of a tennis match
  • An MLB game that is called due to weather before the completion of five innings
  • All MLB bets on games where the listed starting pitcher does not end up starting
  • NBA and NFL bets when a game is called with over 5 minutes remaining
  • NBA bets if a game is not completed within 24 hours of the listed start time
  • NFL bets if a game is not completed in the same week as the listed start time

    Are odds and lines subject to change?

    Yes, odds and lines are subject to change up until the start of the game and even after the game’s gotten going if you’re dealing with a sportsbook that’s offering live-betting. They continually update the lines based on how a variety of factors are developing before and/or during the event. For example, if Patrick Mahomes was ruled out of a game for the Kansas City Chiefs, you’d likely see the Chiefs’ odds to win explode as they go from favorite to underdog.

    Can I bet on a game that’s already started?

    Yes, if you bet with a sportsbook that offers live betting and live odds. Some Vegas odds and sports betting sites close their lines and odds right when the game starts or a couple of minutes before, but live betting features are very common nowadays. The lines and odds change every few seconds once an event has started, however, so you have to be quick about it.

    Can I get out of a bet early?

    Yes, if you bet with a sportsbook that offers a cash-out feature. Most self-respecting sportsbooks offer this feature at least up until the event has started, which is when they lock. However, more and more sportsbooks are offering live in-play cash-out based on how well your wager is doing at any given moment during the event. If you feel as though your bet was a mistake and your cash out is still close to your initial, you may want to cash out early. This is also quite common with futures bets as well because of their long-term nature.

    What are some common terms and conditions for sportsbooks?

    One you will find in every North American sportsbook is an age requirement of at least 18 years to create an account. Once you’ve made your deposit, you’re free to start using that money for bets right away, though there are often limits or prohibitions on third-party deposits. Obviously, you can’t wager more than you’ve got in your account, and nearly all withdrawals will be verified. Sportsbooks also ‘reserve the right’ to restrict, accept, limit, or refuse any wager, though the second option is the one they go with 99 percent of the time.

Leave a comment

The information found on is strictly for entertainment purposes. We are not a sportsbook and do not take any wagers. We do not endorse illegal online gambling. Please check the online gambling regulations in your jurisdiction before placing any wagers with the betting sites advertised on, as they do vary. Our site should not be used by any individuals under the age of 18. For more information please visit our responsible online gambling page. Terms & Conditions apply to all bonus offers displayed. Please visit sportsbook operators for details.

© All Rights Reserved.