What is a push in betting?

Push is a standard gambling term that signifies a situation where a bet neither wins nor loses. In other words, the bet results in ‘no action.’

The term originated in casino blackjack years ago, where dealers would literally push players’ bets back to them when a tie occurred. Dealers have adopted a new method of indicating a tie bet, but the term push is still common to this day both in land-based casinos and when you play at NJ online casino sites.

Push in blackjack

A blackjack push is when the player and the dealer have the same hand value. In line with the standard rules of blackjack, this can only occur with point totals between 17 and 21. This is because the dealer would have to take another card with a hand of 16 or lower. Also, any point total over 21 is a bust (loss).

When a push is determined, the player gets their wager back. If you had doubled down on your original bet, your extra wager would be returned to you as well.

Push in sports betting

Nowadays, a push is also common in sports betting, mainly when betting on the spread or handicaps (European betting term).

In most sports events, there are more than two outcomes on a specific market – win, draw, or lose. Spread betting eliminates the draw outcome by setting a score line above and below which teams will either win or lose. However, if the final result is right on the score line, the bet is treated as if it was never placed, and the stake is refunded.

Imagine an NFL match between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals where the bookmaker writes up odds on a 10 point spread with the Rams as favorites and the Bengals as the underdogs.

A bet on the Bengals wins if the team wins outright, draws, or loses by no more than 9 points. In this case, the opposing bet loses.

A bet on the Rams wins if the team wins by 11 points or more. In this case, the opposing bet loses.

The third outcome is when the Bengals lose by exactly 10 points, which is the same as the Rams winning by the same number of points. Here, the bet is a “push.”


Naturally, players aim to win their bets outright and earn a profit. However, even though you don’t win any money on a push, it is effectively better than a loss. You may have wasted time betting on the game, but at least you get your stake back and can use it to place wagers again.

Casino games are primarily chance-based. Besides blackjack, this outcome is usually non-existent at the casino. On the other hand, a push bet happens in various sports such as American football, basketball, hockey, and baseball.