What does “No Action” Mean in Sports Betting?

“No Action” means the sportsbook will not grade the bet, that it will neither win nor lose, and that the sportsbook will refund the player’s original bet amount or stake. The sportsbook treats this situation just like a push. It will not grade the wager.

Unforeseen interruptions to a game, such as weather or scheduling changes, are the most common reasons why a sportsbook will consider your bet “No Action”.


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What does “Action” Mean for Players?

“Action” means you have a bet, stake, or risk on a particular game, event, or futures market. Some bettors will use the term even more broadly. For example, they might say they have “Action” this weekend, meaning they’ve placed a wager in general.

In its most simplest form, having “Action” means you have placed a bet. Wanting “Action” in sports betting means you’re looking for something to bet on.

What does “Action” Mean for Sportsbooks?

Sports betting sites take a finer line on the meaning of action. To them, the term “Action” means more than just taking a bet on a game. A sportsbook will apply the term “Action” to every betting market it offers for a particular game, from point spread to prop bet, if the game meets the minimum length of play requirement and house rules.

Minimum Game Play

Sportsbooks require certain conditions before allowing action on a particular betting market.

For example, in order for there to be “Action” on a baseball game moneyline, at least 5 innings must be played. Football game bets have action if and only if 55 minutes of play have elapsed, unless the officials declare a result beforehand. Basketball game bets have action if and only if 43 minutes of play have passed, regardless of whether or not a third-party has decided the outcome.

If the elapsed game time doesn’t meet or exceed the sportsbook’s minimum length of play requirements, all game bets will be “No Action”.

Player Prop Action

Suppose a quarterback has a 1.5 over/under line for Touchdowns thrown. Most often, sportsbooks set prop lines for starting players or scheduled baseball pitchers. In order for the bet to have “Action”, the player must take the field. If the player winds up benched due to injury before the game, the sportsbook will label all the player’s props “No Action”.

A sportsbook can also determine a season performance prop bet to be “No Action”. An injured player who never plays their first game, or a player who quits the team, are the most common reasons for this outcome.

Without having rules for when a bet has “Action”, sportsbooks would be opening themselves up to substantial risk.

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What does “No Action” Mean in Sports Betting?

“No Action” means the sportsbook will not grade the bet, that it will neither win nor lose, and that the sportsbook will refund the player’s original bet amount or stake. The end result is just like a push in sports betting: you’ll get your money back. Always review your sportsbook’s house rules to understand what causes a bet to be “No Action”.

Game Bet “No Action”

The following are the most common reasons for a game bet having “No Action”:

  • Weather delays, postponements, or cancellations.
  • The sportsbook’s minimum elapsed time, innings for baseball, sets for tennis, or completed rounds for combat sports has not been met.
  • League officials cancel, postpone, or reschedule the game, match, or tournament.

Prop Bet “No Action”

The following are the most common reasons for a player prop bet having “No Action”:

  • Player injured before game.
  • Player game time doesn’t meet minimum standards to grade the wager.
  • Player absence from the competition.

Futures Bet “No Action”

Though less common, the following are the reasons for a futures bet to have “No Action”:

  • Championship event cancelled.
  • Regular season or playoffs cancelled.
  • Player, staff, or other league employees strike or a labor dispute occurs.
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Minimum Play

The following table contains common lengths of play in order for a wager to have “Action”. Always review your sportsbook’s house rules to know how length of play might impact your wager.

Minimum Length of Play for Wagering Action
Sport Minimum
Baseball5 Innings or if home team is leading after 4.5 innings
Football55 minutes of play, unless an official result is declared by league officials
NBA43 minutes of play
NCAA Basketball35 minutes of play
WNBA, NBA Summer League, European35 minutes of play
NHL55 minutes of play
International Hockey60 minutes of play
GolfAll players must haved played at least 1 round and an official result is declared by league officials
Motor RacingBets will be graded based on podium placings released by governing body officials
Soccer90 minutes of play plus injury time for 3-way, goal line, and goal totals
Boxing and Combat SportsThe bout is official when the bell rings signifying the start of the opening round
TennisAt least one complete set
All Other SportsConclusion of scheduled length of play or time limit
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Cons of a No Action Bet

Like a push, you might be happy to get your money back opposed suffering a loss. However, there’s an opportunity cost to locking up a part of your bankroll on a “No Action” bet.

For example, you place a $10 moneyline bet on the New York Yankees to win their next game. Let’s also suppose that game is 2 days away. The sportsbook locks up your bet amount, or stake, while you wait for the game result. The players take the field and last until the 4th inning, when the umpires cancel the game due to heavy storms. The sportsbook refunds your $10 and you live to fight another day. Sounds decent, right?

Except you could have put the $10 to work elsewhere. Of course, you didn’t think the game would get stormed out. Now on top of that, you have to wait 24 hours for the refunded bet to settle in your account.

Herein lies the opportunity cost of a “No Action” bet. Maybe you missed out on a great opportunity to bet on the NFL, College Football, or a tennis match? Maybe you could have bet smaller amounts on a MMA fight or NBA game instead, potentially winning more money?

And, if bet a prop on a player that watched from the sidelines while their team rolled to victory, perhaps your $10 could have been better spent?

As you can see, a refund on a “No Action” bet isn’t always a win-win. Though “No Action” bets occur infrequently, you should always be aware of how they can result in missed opportunities and misused bankroll.


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FAQs

What does “No Action” mean in Sports Betting?

“No Action” means the sportsbook will not grade the bet, that it will neither win nor lose, and that the sportsbook will refund the player’s original bet amount or stake. The end result is just like a push in sports betting: you’ll get your money back. Always review your sportsbook’s house rules to understand what causes a bet to be “No Action”.

What are the most common reasons for a bet to be “No Action”?

Unforeseen interruptions to a game, such as weather or scheduling changes, are the most common reasons why a sportsbook will consider your bet “No Action”.

What does “Action” mean for sports betting players?

“Action” means you have a bet, stake, or risk on a particular game, event, or futures market. Some bettors will use the term even more broadly. For example, they might say they have “Action” this weekend, meaning they’ve placed a wager in general.

What does “Action” mean to a sportsbook?

To Sports betting sites, the term “Action” means more than just taking a bet on a game. Sports betting sites take a finer line on the meaning of action. To them, the term “Action” means more than just taking a bet on a game. A sportsbook will apply the term “Action” to every betting market it offers for a particular game, from point spread to prop bet, if the game meets the minimum length of play requirement and house rules.

What happens to my bet if the weather cancels the game?

If the elapsed game time doesn’t meet or exceed the sportsbook’s minimum length of play requirements, all game bets will be “No Action”.

What is the minimum number of innings before a MLB bet to has action?

The minimum length of play for a MLB bet to have action is 5 Innings or if the home team is leading after 4.5 innings.

What is the minimum length of play before a football bet to has action?

NFL or college football games commonly have action after 55 minutes of play, unless league officials other declare an official game result.

Sports Betting Lessons

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Sports Betting Resources

  • How to Read Sports Betting Odds – Our helpful tutorial explains what the numbers mean for point spread, moneyline, total, and Asian Handicap bets.
  • Sports Betting Questions and Answers – Common sports betting questions and answers, a simple quick reference for beginners.
  • Sports Betting vs Casino Gambling – Learn how sportsbooks and casinos make money, and the important differences between each business model.
  • How to Read NFL Odds – Short and sweet guide to NFL point spreads, totals, and moneylines. We’ve got live example bets from upcoming NFL matchups.
  • Point Spread Bet – Understanding the point spread is key to betting on football and basketball. Learn how the point spread bet works with our tutorial video and text.
  • Over-Under Total Bet – Bet over or under the sportsbook’s line. We explain how to place this bet with easy examples, a video, and text explainer.
  • Moneyline Bet – Whether it’s a 2-way or 3-way moneyline, we’ve got you covered. Moneylines are available for almost every major sport league, including football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, tennis, and combat sports.
  • Teaser Bet – A teaser is a modified parlay that lets you buy points to shift point spread and total lines in your favor. Our fun tutorial video and detailed text article explain how to place this bet.
  • If Bet Win-Only – Sequence multiple bets together in an if-then sequence. Your next bet only sees action if the previous one wins. Ideal for bettors with small bankrolls.
  • Futures Bet – We explain what a futures bet is, how it works, and when to bet on a future sporting event. Common futures bets include the winners of the Super Bowl, Final Four, Stanley Cup, World Series, and NBA Finals.
  • Parlay Bet – Combine multiple selections into one bet that returns a huge payout if all your selections were correct. We explain how parlay bets work and provide common parlay payout tables.
  • Progressive Parlay Bet – Also known as a “Close Call Parlay”, this parlay variant can win even if one or more of selections lose. Our article describes this bet in detail.
  • Parlay Card Betting – Parlay cards are issued by major sportsbooks midweek, allowing bettors to make multiple point spread, total, and prop bet selections that can return big payouts. Not to be confused with an “off the board” parlay!
  • Prop Bets – We explain what a prop bet is, how to place a prop bet, and provide an expansive list of sports leagues with plenty of props to bet on right now.