The Most Important Sportsbook Rules for Beginners

For many people starting the sports betting journey can be an unpleasant experience for those who start betting without knowing the most basic rules that sportsbooks impose on their customers. Once you choose the perfect sportsbook to register at, when you make your first deposit, and claim your welcome bonus, you enter the world of sports betting, the industry that has unique rules and conditions.

In this article, we will try to write down all the important rules that you should be aware of when betting at an online sportsbook. We will explain what will happen if your bet gets postponed, and what procedural policies online sportsbooks follow, and what are the most important rules that you can find in Terms and Conditions of almost every sportsbook.  

Rules regarding your wagers

Many times bettors don’t read the fine print regarding some rule that is implied by the sportsbook, and then problems arise. You should need to know that sportsbooks have a unique set of rules for every sport, and it is important to learn in which sports overtime counts, or what will happen if some player forfeits the game. Here are some of the most important rules:

sportsbook rules

The odds and lines attached to the specific events can change 

The sportsbooks offer the bettors many lines and odds, but the bottom line for the sportsbooks is to make the profit. The sportsbooks make the profit by charging a bettor for placing a wager. This charge is called Vigorish (Vig, Juice, Margin), and if you want to know more about Vig, you can read our article on that subject here. Still, if sportsbooks determine that there is a hard action on only one outcome of the game, they will start to move odds and the lines, to make bettors find the value in the opposite result.

Also, sometimes sportsbooks make mistakes, and the lines or the odds offered are not correct. In that case, when it is clear that error has been made, the sportsbook can (and always will) void all the wagers, and all the money that is wagered on that event will be credited accordingly, which means that the stakes will be returned to the players.  

The Sportsbooks have the Right to Accept, Limit or Refuse your Wagers

This is easy to understand rule, but sometimes bettors forget it. The sportsbooks can do anything they want with your wagers, especially if they have a suspicion that you are engaging in fraudulent behavior. Also, some sportsbooks do not accept bettors who practice Arbitrage betting, so if they determine that you are Arbing at their website, they will limit or suspend your account.  

Procedural Terms and Conditions

rules on sports betting

Except for those rules about odds, lines, and limitations of your wagers, sportsbooks have set of rules that every bettor should know. Knowing these rules, you will protect yourself and evade doing something that is prohibited.  

Underage Betting is Illegal

This is self-explanatory. Underage people are not allowed to gamble. How old you need to be in order to gamble we already explained in our article, which article you can read here.

Verification Before First Withdrawal

In 99% of cases, the sportsbook will ask you to verify your identity before they allow withdrawal. For years, that is standard procedure, and in the past few years, many sportsbooks implemented KYC (Know Your Customer) procedure. That way, sportsbooks ensure that they are giving money to the right person and protect themselves from any legal actions.

 Customers Personal and Financial Data is Safe

The sportsbooks store client’s personal and financial data on external servers, and in any case, they will not share your details with anybody. Still, it is important to know that you shouldn’t share your personal account details with anybody, as sportsbooks will not be responsible if you give your log in details to anybody.    


In the end, it is essential always to read Terms and Conditions, as every sports betting site has a different set of rules. These general rules we talked about apply at all sportsbooks, but many other specific rules can be different depending on the particular online operator.   


What to do if you don’t understand some rules?

If you have a hard time understanding any of the rules from the Terms and Conditions page on your favorite sportsbook, you have two possible solutions. First, you should check the FAQ page and see if there is an answer to your question. If you can’t find the right answer, you should contact the customer service and ask them for clarification.

Can sportsbooks ban you for winning?

Yes. In general, sportsbooks love to make money, and if you make a constant profit, the sportsbooks will not be happy. Some sportsbooks will limit the maximum amount of your stakes, while some books will permanently suspend your account. Still, if you are following all the rules, there are slim chances for that. Ultimately, you should try to find the sportsbook that accepts winners.   

How to win a Parlay bet?

There are a lot of strategies on the internet, but we think that the best way to win parlay bet is to use betting systems. Betting systems (Trixie, Yankee, Goliath, etc.) are similar but different types of parlay bets. Some of these are described in our betting systems guide, so if you want to learn more about the best betting systems, you should read that article.