Virginia Sports Betting Rules
Sports are, by nature, unpredictable. But that unpredictability is a big part of the thrill of watching them and the challenge of betting on them. Anything can, and will, happen.
Much like each sport has its own rules for any situation that may occur, sportsbooks have rules, terms and conditions to handle all the different possible outcomes. Legal online sportsbooks in Virginia must publish these rules to sports betting so you know what you’re getting into before you bet.
You should always read all the terms and conditions for every bet you make and familiarize yourself with each sportsbook’s rules for betting on any sport you want to bet on. Do that, and nothing will surprise you. In the meantime, you can use the following list of common rules for betting on sports to improve your understanding of how Virginia sportsbooks handle most of the unpredictable things that can, and will, happen.
1. Sportsbooks can void lines
Sportsbooks make mistakes, but as long as they catch them ahead of time, they can void any bets made on lines that were clearly posted in error.
If you bet on one of these mistakes, you’ll get your money back and can bet again at the newly posted and presumably correct line. What this rule doesn’t make clear is what a sportsbook will do with pregame bets made on a line posted in error once a game has already begun.
Most sportsbooks post a “palp” rule that allows them to void any bets on a line considered a palpable error. However, sportsbooks in some states have honored winning bets that were considered palpable errors to avoid public backlash.
2. Schedule changes void bets
If a game is postponed, rescheduled or canceled, for any reason, sportsbooks will void all bets on that game.
A change in scheduling may impact what oddsmakers think about the game. In voiding all bets, sportsbooks reserve the right to change the various lines ahead of the game’s new start time.
You get your money back and can bank it or bet on the new lines if you so choose.
3. Pregame bets placed after a game starts are void
If you’re somehow able to place a bet on a pregame line after the game starts, that bet will be voided. Virginia online sportsbooks will allow you to bet on a whole new set of live betting lines once a game starts.
However, if they somehow make the mistake of allowing you to bet on a pregame line once the game is underway, they’ll ultimately void the bet and give you your money back. All bets are time-stamped, so it won’t take the sportsbook too long to figure out the error.
4. Totals are a push when the line is hit
Sportsbooks set a totals line, and you can bet whether the total combined score in a game will land over or under that line. When it lands right on the line, it’s a push and all bets are returned. That’s why so many totals lines include a half point, avoiding the possibility of a push.
5. You can’t bet moneyline, point spread and totals combinations for the same game
For the most part, you need to choose between moneyline, point spread and totals bets for the same game. Multiple bets where the outcomes impact one another are called correlated plays, and they are not allowed. Most sportsbooks do this in an effort to limit their exposure on the game.
Some sportsbook do allow a limited number of same-game parlays.
6. Injuries don’t void futures
Sportsbooks post futures involving individual player and team performances. Injuries are a reality in sports. They can have a major impact on individual player and team performance.
However, oddsmakers don’t consider injuries when first setting futures lines, and you won’t get your money back if an injury spoils your chances of winning a futures bet.
7. Bets aren’t settled until the result is official
Sportsbooks don’t pay out winning bets or return bets that are a push or voided until the result is official. That means the league has deemed the final score to be the final result, or it has officially postponed or canceled the game.
8. Baseball scores can be deemed the official result after just five innings
In most sports, if a game is canceled midway through, all bets are off. In Major League Baseball, a game is considered an official result after just five innings, and perhaps as little as four and a half if the home team leads.
That’s because inclement weather can force cancellations of baseball games, but not in other major sports. Once a result is deemed official, sportsbooks will use it to settle all bets as normal.
9. Risk-free bets are not the same as free bets
Virginia online sportsbooks may offer you a risk-free bet. It’s important to remember that this is different from a free bet. With free bets, sportsbooks give you bonus money you can use to bet for free.
With risk-free bets, you have to use your own money. If you win a risk-free bet, you’ll be paid as normal. If you lose a risk-free bet, the sportsbook will refund you in site credit in the amount you bet. You can then use that site credit to place other bets.
10. Virginia online sportsbooks and apps allow out-of-state withdrawals
While you can’t make a bet with a Virginia online sportsbook or sportsbook app unless you’re inside state lines, you don’t have to wait there to collect your winnings. That’s because they allow out-of-state banking.
In other words, you can withdraw any money in your account using the same method you used to deposit the funds from anywhere inside the country. If that method is not available for any reason, you can request the sportsbook mail a physical check to your address. It should be there within about a week.
11. Live bets on the “next” thing to happen push if the game ends
Live betting often involves betting on the next score. If you bet on which team will score next and the game ends, the bet is considered a push and you get your money back.
12. Live bets can be rejected if a line moves while you’re betting it
The process of making a live bet can take just seconds. You click on a line you like, enter how much you want to bet and confirm the bet. If the odds change significantly between when you clicked on the line and when you confirmed the bet, sportsbooks reserve the right to reject the bet.
You’ll keep the money you intended to bet and can consider betting it at the newly posted odds. Just don’t take too long in doing it, as the odds might change again.
More Sports Betting Guides and Articles
Basic Virginia sports betting rules
- You must be 21 or older to bet on sports in Virginia.
- You must be inside state lines to place bets on sports with Virginia online sportsbooks and sportsbook apps.
- Betting on college games involving Virginia schools is banned.
- Sportsbooks must post the true odds of winning a bet, the total amount wagered and payout amounts, and explain how the odds are calculated for each bet (rule under consideration).
- Sportsbooks must offer self-exclusion programs letting players ban themselves from betting on sports in the case of addiction or heavy losses (specifics under consideration).
- Sports betting operators are prohibited from targeting minors and must submit all advertising, marketing and promotional materials for regulatory approval (specifics under consideration).
- Betting on the Olympics is banned (rule under consideration).
- Sportsbooks reserve the right to accept, limit or refuse any bet.
- Sportsbooks can set maximum bet limits.
- Bets cannot be canceled once confirmed.
- Sportsbooks can set maximum payout amounts.
- Players are responsible for reporting winnings as taxable income.
- Players are allowed only one account per sportsbook per person.