Betting Intelligence Guides

Know The House Rules Of Player Props (When Is It Action, Voided)

Sportsbooks have varying rules when it comes to player props and you’ll want to make sure you know the fine print before locking in your wagers. If the player you’re betting on just plays the game as per usual, then you really don’t have anything to worry about. The challenge enters the equation when a player becomes inactive, plays just a minute or too and then goes out with injury, or is inserted off the bench instead of as a starter. For those types of scenarios, each book has different rules. 

We’re going to walk you through the different types of scenarios, so that you can better protect yourself.

Player Prop Research: Know the House Rules Before You Bet
House Rules Of Player Props


The main challenges with player prop betting in football arise when a player doesn’t get into the game. Let’s say you’re doing some deep dives and want to bet under 1.5 receptions for a third-string tight end. Or let’s say that a player was questionable all week long but is officially active for the game, but the coach still keeps them on the sidelines to protect them. 

If a player is inactive, your bet is canceled and your stake will be refunded. That’s generally uniform across the board at every sportsbook. If a player is active but does not play a single snap or a single second in the game, that’s where you’ll have to double-check the rules. Some books will still consider this as action while others will refund. Some books also require a player to make at least one appearance in the game for a snap, so that the bet is action. 

If you’re betting unders, bet them at the book that has the loosest policies because they might help you. If you’re betting overs, bet at the books with the strictest policies, so that you’re protected.


There are loads of player props in baseball from total bases to RBI’s to runs to hits and much more. If you dig around, you’re probably going to find some great value – especially if you rely on the Outlier app for the latest trends.

With baseball, there tends to be a couple of dynamics to keep in mind. For one, player props might or might not include listed pitchers. In other words, if you bet Bryce Harper over 0.5 bases and originally, he was set to face Jacob deGrom, some books will void your bet if deGrom is now scratched and someone else starts the contest. 

The other situation to keep in mind that a game has to go a certain length for it to be action (it might be five innings, it might be 8.5 innings). If the game is rain delayed or shortened, bets might be voided. 


Similar to football, the rules for basketball player props tend to vary by the book. A simple example is FanDuel where they’ll require a player to take the court for the bet to be action. In other words, if you bet on Kyle Lowry to have a Double Double but the team decides the coaching staff later decides that they want to delegate Lowry’s minutes elsewhere, your bet will not be action at FanDuel. At other sportsbooks, as long as he’s active, your bet is good to go.

Understanding the differences here should impact your strategy. If you’re betting ‘No’ on a prop like this, then you’d rather the sportsbook have looser player prop policies because then you are in even better shape if he’s active but doesn’t play. If you’re betting on overs or a player to achieve different stats, you want the extra protection to make sure that he does, in fact, hit the court and plays.


Although most player prop betting focuses on the performance of individual athletes in the major North American sports, it’s worth adding tennis into the mix here. It’s somewhat related and you want to keep a similar mindset of double-checking the rules.

With tennis, you might bet on a player to win the match, to win a certain amount of games or to cover a game spread.  When this happens, you’ll want to know the rules as to what happens if a player retires. Mid-match injuries are more frequent than you might think in tennis and you want to be prepared if the match you bet on doesn’t reach it’s conclusion due to injury.

Very generally speaking, most sportsbooks will void almost all bets if the first set isn’t finished. A bet that might not be voided is one that involves an over-under that was already decided. For example, if the over-under for the first set was 9.5 but the match ended at 6-6 in the first set. 

Rules can change overtime but one outlier tends to be DraftKings. Their matchups are action after the first ball whereas other books will void a bet if a player retires in the first set. 

One last point: in terms of futures, bets are usually action regardless. If you bet on Novak Djokovic to win Wimbledon and he withdraws, you’re probably going to lose your bet. Some sportsbooks will refund the wager, though. If you’re worried about a player’s status, wait as close to the tournament as possible before betting.


The main key with soccer player props is to check what your sportsbook says about a player starting versus coming in off the bench. You’re going to find different rules because some sportsbooks say that bets are action as long as a player gets in the game at any point and some books will say that the player prop is only action if the player starts at the beginning of the game.

Let’s say you’re hedging a bet with on Kylian Mbappe to score. Let’s say you’re doing this because one sportsbook gave you an odds boost on him to score and you’re just going to hedge on the other side to lock in a profit. When you bet on him not to score, you have to double-check what the sportsbook rules are. If the first book says he has to start but the second book says he merely has to play a minute for the bet to be action, you could be in a scenario where one book’s bet is live and the others is going to be voided. For example, let’s say he doesn’t start, so your boosted bet is not action but then he comes off the bench in the 50th minute, so the other bet is action.

Even if you’re not hedging the bet, you still want to know the rules. If you’re betting on a player to get over 1.5 shots and he’s surprisingly not in the starting lineup, that directly impacts your chances of winning. At that point, you’d rather the book give you a push. However, if he still ends up playing in the game later, that can put you in a spot where the bet is a go but you’d rather not be holding that ticket since he’s not playing the full game.

House Rules For Parlays

When it comes to parlays, almost all sportsbooks across the board will simply drop down the bet by one leg if the wager is a push. For example, if you had a three-team parlay and your player prop is a push, then the wager now becomes a two-team parlay and the odds of the payout are simply removed.

The main issue is that this doesn’t add clarity to the situation if the bet is deemed action or not. Again, you have to see what they stipulate for the individual wager as to whether it’s a go or not. If it is not action, then that’s the case where the parlay drops down by one.

Rules For Same-Game Parlays

The general rule of thumb for same-game parlays is that if you have a player prop in there and the player is scratched or doesn’t play, then your entire same-game parlay is voided. This can work for or against you. If you were going to lose your same-game parlay and one wager has no voided the entire ticket, that has just saved you a bit of money. On the other hand, if the opposite happens and it costs you a win, you’re likely to be frustrated. At any rate, these are generally the rules. Don’t be surprised if in the future, these mimic regular parlays and the payout is simply dropped by one selection in the case of a push.

Delays & Resumption Of Games

One element that you’ll want to be aware of is what happens to your player prop wagers if a game is delayed or postponed? We’ve seen football games get moved from a Monday to a Tuesday if something wacky has happened in the forecast. Or if there’s another situation that arises that forces a stoppage,  your bet will be in limbo.

Typically, your sportsbook will have rules on delays that will answer these questions. Some sportsbooks will state that if a game is continued within 48 hours, then the bet is still live. Other sportsbooks might extend the window to a full week. And while it’s uncommon, there are some books who will simply say that suspended games will not carry over for wagering purposes, so all undecided bets will push. 

Check For Sportsbook Forgiveness

One of the biggest trends nowadays is for bettors to complain about getting screwed on a player prop if the player they bet on gets hurt early on. For example, if you bet on Kyler Murray over 250.0 passing yards and he breaks his thumb on the first throw of the game, it’s a bad beat. Many players will head over to Twitter to vent and ask for sportsbook forgiveness and to be fair, it sometimes works.

You might see sportsbooks like PointsBet whip out their Karma Kommittee to void a bad beat. DraftKings will often tweet out that bets are void too. It’s worth keeping an eye on because the sportsbook may either do this automatically for everyone or keep the onus on you to contact them to get the refund.

Don’t go crying to the sportsbook to get a refund on these bad beats all the time. While these suck, they’re part of the game.

It’s Hard For Sportsbooks To Keep Everyone Happy

Many players don’t bother to dig into these rules and are often surprised later on when they’ve been stung by a loss. That’s why you’ll often hear players complain on Twitter. While it would be nice for books to refund everyone’s wagers on a bad beat, just remember that books have two sides to these bets and while some bettors end up unhappy, others are more than satisfied. The challenge is that the unhappy losers (not meant to be derogatory but simply denoting the bettors that lost) tend to be quite vocal while the winners move on with their lives.

For every better that took Murray over 250.5 passing yards and lost when he injured himself on the first play of the game, there’s a player who had under and is perfectly happy with their winning bet. If a sportsbook goes to refund the losers, they have to claw back from the winners and that’s not fair.

Your best bet is to simply know the rules and to understand the potential outcomes. As long as there are no surprises, then everyone tends to accept the end result a lot better.

Use The Rules To Your Advantage

One of the best things you can do as a customer betting player props is to have account at all of the sportsbooks. That way, you can use the rules to your advantage. 

Let’s say that an NFL player is questionable to play and you want to bet under on their props. Well, you’d rather bet those at a sportsbook that is loose with its policy rather than one that is strict. In other words, you’d rather bet it at a book that says the player merely has to officially be active rather than at a book that says the player has to play a certain amount of time or plays. Remember, you have the under, so the less stats that player collects, the better. That means any situation that helps you limit the player’s activity and actual time in-game, the better.

On the other hand, if you had the over on this type of prop, you’d rather more protections. The last thing you want is to have over a player’s goals in soccer, to see him start the game on the sidelines as the coaching staff decides to use him sparingly, then see him come on in the 60th minute for your bet to be live. 

The same goes for baseball props where you’re betting overs on batters. If you can bet a book where a pitching change doesn’t impact your wager, that’s great because if an ace gets pulled and replaced with a worse starter, you’d love your over bets even more. If you’re betting a book with stricter rules, your bets would be void.

It’s annoying to read all of the fine print but if it’s going to win you dollars, it makes sense to spend the extra time understanding all of the scenarios at all of the sportsbooks you’re betting at.

Outlier Team
April 1, 2023
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