“Action” vs. “No Action” Bets Explained

Online sports betting will launch in Ohio on Jan. 1, 2023. This page will be updated with the latest news, odds and promos once Ohio sportsbooks are live.

You hear a lot of terms when you first get involved in sports betting, and many of them can be confusing. Two of the most common, and essential, terms in sports betting are “action” and “no action.”

So what’s the difference? Below we dive into a short guide on sports betting action in Ohio and everything you need to know about it.

What does “action” and “no action” mean?

In the simplest terms, action can refer to both a specific bet as well as your overall betting volume. No action, on the other hand, is a bet you made that ends without a win or a loss.

Let’s dive deeper into what it means to have action. When you place a wager on a sporting event, you create a monetary interest in the outcome, and that, essentially, means you have action.

If you’re a sports bettor who likes to place a lot of wagers, then you might find yourself referred to as an “action junkie,” which just means you place a lot of bets.

Another way to use the term is when referring to all of the betting options during a particular day. People often inquire about what the action looks like. This is just another way of asking what games are on the schedule and what other bettors may be wagering on.

The more you immerse yourself in the hobby, the more accustomed you will become to hearing the term in a variety of contexts.

“No action”: How it applies to your betting

In many ways, “no action” is very similar to a push in the fact that your wager is no longer open and the sportsbook will return your initial stake to you.

When a sportsbook grades a bet as “no action,” it means that it has canceled all wagers for that bet. There are no winners. There are no losers.

A bet could end up as no action for many reasons. There are various rules for action/no action for different sports, and each sportsbook has its own terms and conditions that outline all of them.

We can’t stress enough the importance of reading through those terms and conditions to get a better understanding of how your chosen sportsbook operates and how it determines its action and no-action decisions for each sport.

In most cases, no action is usually due to a game cancellation or a team removing a player from the active roster before the start of a game. In other instances, a bet may not have qualified as action due to an incomplete game. Or the bet itself may no longer be valid due to unforeseen circumstances. Weather conditions, injuries and more all can have an influence on whether a wager is graded as an action bet or a no action bet.

Sports more likely to see “no action” bets

Baseball, tennis and MMA are the three sports that most often have no action decisions, though all sports are susceptible to having such events occur.

In baseball betting, it is often due to the fact that the pitching rotation changes or because the weather causes a game cancellation. You can, however, negate the possibility of no action because of the pitching rotation by choosing to allow the bet to continue no matter who ends up starting.

When betting on tennis, weather-related issues are also a big part of why bets get no action, though most sportsbooks are going to allow the bet to stand as long as the delayed or rescheduled matches still take place.

Tennis has a pretty distinct aspect to it that allows players to “retire” during matches, which can be due to multiple reasons such as injuries or fatigue. At the vast majority of sportsbooks, this would constitute no action because the match did not go to completion.

For MMA, it isn’t uncommon for the lineup of fights to change due to various circumstances. When fighters back out of a scheduled bout, that’s going to be no action. However, if an event is rescheduled between the same fighters and not canceled outright, it is quite likely that your MMA bet will stand, and you will find out the result when the fight takes place.

“No action” for player props and futures

Here’s where it is really important to be aware of your sportsbook’s rules when it comes to action and no action. Some of them can leave you in a bit of a lurch if you’re not prepared.

For example, there are some sportsbooks that will cancel a bet for a player prop if that player does not start or if the player does not get into the game at any point. Others, however, will still grade your bet as long as the player is still on the active roster, regardless of playing status for the game.

So, if you’re thinking of betting on a player prop and the athlete you are wagering on is a game-time decision, then you may want to avoid wagering. In some cases, you would still take a loss even if that player does not even suit up for the game. It absolutely would be no fun to lose a bet even before the national anthem starts playing.

Where can I find the terms and conditions?

Each Ohio sports betting site will offer you its terms and conditions to read when you are setting up your account — in fact, you have to accept them before you can finish registering.

Not everyone takes the time to peruse the terms and conditions before moving forward with their registration, and that’s OK. Every sportsbook will also make its terms and conditions available on its website for you to access whenever you like.

You can often find them under the “legal” or “general betting rules” header, depending on the sportsbook. If you can’t find them, you can do a search or reach out to customer service to find the link.