Push Betting Term Meaning

If you’ve been around the online gambling scene for a while, you’re probably already familiar with the term ‘push’. Its meaning is consistent across casino and sports betting in that it refers to a tied bet and the bettor receives their stake back.

The majority of betting markets can be seen as win or lose. For instance, if you bet on Roger Federer to win the US Open, he will either win the tournament (which means your bet wins) or he won’t (which means your bet loses). 

For a bet such as this, there is no possibility of a ‘pushed’ bet. Certain points spread betting markets are open to a pushed bet, however,  if the totals are whole numbers. For example:

MatchTotal runs Odds 
Toronto Blue Jays vs  Over 10 1.90
New York Yankees Under 10 2.00
Chicago White Sox vs  Over 9 2.05
Boston Red Sox Under 9 1.83

In these matches, if the total number of runs scored is bang on the line (e.g 10 runs for the Blue Jays vs Yankees), then the bet is a push and your initial stake is returned to your account.

A pushed bet is often met with mixed feelings; generally related to how the scoring went in the game. If you bet on over 10 runs in the Blue Jays’ game and the score was 6 - 4 at the bottom of the 5th, you’d be rather disappointed if no more runs were scored in the remaining four innings. 

On the other hand, if heading into the bottom of the 9th and the score is 5 - 1, it looks unlikely that your over 10 bet will win. Then a grand slam is scored on the last out and the scores are tied at 5 - 5. You have now salvaged your stake back thanks to the push.

How bookmakers avoid pushed bets

A fair betting market will appeal to all customers. Some punters will see the value in betting ‘under’ and others are tempted by the odds for betting ‘over’. If balanced out correctly, the bookmaker will lock in a profit regardless of the result. 

This changes when there is no winner - the bookie doesn’t make a cent.

To avoid this happening, the hook was introduced. This is the 0.5 points/runs that are used, so the above markets with a hook could be:

MatchTotal Runs Odds 
Toronto Blue Jays vs  Over 9.5 1.90
New York Yankees Under 9.5 2.00
Chicago White Sox vs  Over 8.5 2.05
Boston Red Sox Under 8.5 1.83

As scoring half a point is not possible, the push has been removed from the choice of potential outcomes and it’s now a bet that you can only win or lose.

Push FAQ

What is a push in gambling?

A push is a consistent term in casino and sports betting, referring to a tied bet where the bettor receives their stake back.