Sports betting has long been limited to Nevada, with all the best sportsbooks clustered in Las Vegas. However, after PASPA was overturned in 2018, many states launched their own sports betting products. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these are for players aged 21+, so young adult bettors may feel left in the lurch.
But that’s not the case! Offshore, there are several reputable under 21 sports betting sites that you can sign up with today, and all of them accept players at 18 and up. While there are a couple of caveats and best practices to understand, we cover these below, so you can make an informed bet about which book to join. We’re calling your number and jamming the line so you can take it to the house – and all the way to the bank!
Is Online Sports Betting Legal For Players Under 21
Yes, it is! But with most states setting their sports wagering ages at 21+, how is online sports betting legal for younger players? It’s simple: Offshore sportsbooks accept members starting at just 18 years old, and because these under 21 gambling sites are located outside US jurisdiction, they are safe and legal for 18-20-year-old players to use.
A few 18+ online gambling states, like Montana, have made domestic online sports betting accessible to 18 and up players, but most states – even those with lottery-run sportsbooks – have kept their legal ages of participation to 21-plus. But again, those laws apply only to US operators on US soil. Sportsbooks located overseas have age laws in line with their countries of operation, which is almost universally 18. And because there are no federal laws that bar US players from accessing these services, you’re in the clear.
Please note: The state of Washington has specific laws against online gambling, including sports betting. These laws are historically unenforced, but we suggest abiding by them and proceeding only at your own risk if you wish to take a bet on – and place a bet with – any offshore sportsbook while under 21 years of age.
Sports Betting Markets For Under 21 Players
There are dozens of sports you can bet on when you gamble with a reputable offshore site like those listed here. For younger players without access to domestic options, this is particularly valuable, because it gives you several years to refine your game before heading to Vegas and letting it ride.
Offshore books also have more international sports support than domestic books, and the under 21 crowd’s sporting tastes definitely go beyond the borders of America. 18 and over Super Bowl betting, international basketball, and soccer are three of the most popular markets for younger players, and you’ll find all that and more at any site listed here. The sports and leagues on tap include – but are not limited to – the following.
- Football (NFL, NCAAF, XFL)
- Basketball (NBA, WNBA, NCAAM, NCAAW)
- Hockey (NHL, international)
- Baseball (MLB, NCAA, international)
- Soccer (MLS, Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, etc.)
- Rugby (multiple international leagues)
- Cricket (Indian Premier League, etc.)
- Tennis (ATP, WTA)
- Golf (PGA, LPGA, European Tour)
- MMA (UFC, Bellator, etc.)
- Boxing (WBA, WBC, IBF, WBO)
- Wrestling (WWE, etc.)
- Auto Racing (NASCAR, Formula 1, etc.)
- Virtual Sports (randomized simulated games)
- eSports (League of Legends, Fortnite, CS:GO, etc.)
- Politics (Trump odds, election odds)
- Entertainment (The Voice, DWTS, awards shows, etc.)
- + More!
Bet Types At Under 21 Online Sportsbooks
When you bet online, you might be under 21, but you don’t have to sit at the kid’s table. This is full-on sports betting, with all the action you’d find at the best Las Vegas sports betting lounges.
Here are the wager types you can expect for all the sports on the big board, and we explain how each one works. If you’re an 18+ beginner, you won’t be a noob for much longer!
Straight bets simply require you to pick the winner. The moneyline sets the bet’s prices and shows which club is favored and which is the underdog. These are the most straightforward wager types in all of sports betting, which is why under 21 beginners should start here.
Spread betting is a way for bookmakers to handicap the action and make a lopsided game more compelling on both sides. (Books want even money on both sides of a wager so they can “take the middle” as their fee, aka the “vig”) In spread betting, the favorite will have to win by a certain number of points in order for your bet to pay out, while the underdog can lose by a certain number of points and still win the wager.
Totals betting requires you to simply choose whether or not any two teams competing against each other will combine to score more than (“over”) or fewer than (“under”) the point total set by your sportsbook. Totals are commonly called over/under bets for this reason.
Prop bets, short for proposition bets, are wagers you make about the in-game statistical performances of players (player props) or teams (team props) within a game, outside of the final score. These can include any number of events, and the bigger the game, the more props there are. Most props come in the form of over/under bets or yes/no bets, and you can bet on things like how many TDs a QB will throw, how many strikeouts a pitcher will rack up, how many assists a point guard will deliver, and more.
Specials bets comprise anything that doesn’t fall into the above categories. Online under 21 sportsbooks offer all kinds of wacky specials. You can find lines on the next player to be arrested or suspended, the next major athlete signing for a given sponsor, and so on. Anything sports-related but “off-the-field” is usually considered a special, and most of these are exclusive to offshore books.
Best Sportsbook Deposit Methods For Under 21 Players
Without a doubt, Bitcoin (BTC) is the best way to fund your online sportsbook account, regardless of how old you are. Of course, BTC is especially popular among the younger generation, which means that most under 21 bettors probably already have some of the stuff. They call it “hodling,” or so we hear.
At any rate, if you’re hodling coin, you can use it to bet online. Bitcoin deposits come with no added fees, have high limits, earn players the best bonuses, and more.
Other sportsbook banking options include the following, all of which come with fees and many of which take several days to process (which isn’t the best option when you want to bet on tonight’s big game):
- American Express
- Bank wires
- Cashier’s checks
- Money orders
- Peer-to-peer transfer services
Fastest Payouts At Online Sportsbooks
The fastest payout at any online betting site is Bitcoin. In fact, BTC offers the only same-day withdrawal option available in the offshore sports betting market, and the transaction is entirely digital. This not only fits the modern youth lifestyle to a T (or a BTC), but Bitcoin (and other supported cryptocurrencies like Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash) allows you to maximize your data security and privacy. You have your whole life in front of you – now is not the time to have your identity stolen!
Though BTC is the recommended withdrawal option for under 21 players, you must deposit in Bitcoin to be paid out in Bitcoin. Otherwise, you’ll be limited to more expensive, slower methods like bank wires, money orders, and courier checks. Who wants to wait a week to get paid?
Under 21 Sportsbook Bonus Options
Online sportsbooks dish out the bonuses like Russell Westbrook dishes out the dimes. Every site offers new member bonuses for first-time depositors, and these can add several hundred dollars to your bankroll. Many sites also offer reload sportsbook bonuses whenever you make fresh deposits. Just be aware that bonuses come with rollover requirements, which you’ll need to meet before you can withdraw any winnings.
Here’s how rollover works: Let’s say you sign up at Bovada's online sportsbook and accept their 50% deposit match bonus. If you put $100 into your account, Bovada will kick in another $50, for a total of $150. In order to claim winnings on this deposit, you will have to meet the site’s 5X rollover requirement, wagering a total of $150 x 5 ($750) before you can withdraw.
If you bet regularly, meeting rollover is easy enough, but for infrequent bettors or single-event gamblers, it makes sense to bypass such bonuses. And remember, all sportsbook deposits have a mandatory 1X rollover, bonus or not.
Live Sports Betting
If you’re under 21, you’re probably used to the streaming economy, where you can watch anything and everything at the press of a button. Unfortunately, live sports are still a network TV mainstay, and streaming options are limited.
That said, live betting – which you can view as streaming sports betting because the odds change in real time while the games are being played – is available at all the best betting sites.
Unlike traditional wagering where betting is closed at tipoff, kickoff, or faceoff, in-game wagering lets you bet on odds that shift by the second to reflect the ebb and flow of each game. This is the most immersive way to wager, and offshore books have more live sports betting than even the biggest Sin City casinos.
Mobile Sports Betting
No player under 21 would give two seconds of thought to an online sportsbook that didn’t support 18 and up mobile betting. Heck, most players of all ages demand the feature for the sheer convenience factor. So just as under 21 online casinos and poker sites offer web-based mobile apps, the sportsbooks are no exception. With mobile sports betting, you can bet no matter where you are: at the club, at your friend’s house, at the tailgate party and countless other places.
All that said, you will not find any official sports betting apps from the brands we recommend, as Apple and Google policies prevent their US storefronts (App Store, Google Play) from carrying any offshore gambling products.
But you do get refined web apps from each operator we recommend, all of which conform to fit your iPhones and Androids as if they were native gambling apps. There are never any downloads or updates to worry about, either. As long as you have an Internet connection, betting on your favorite sports is just a tap and a swipe away.
Under 21 Sports Betting FAQs
If you’re under 21 and just learning about sports betting, the first thing you need to understand is the American moneyline system. The moneyline is how bets are priced at all US-facing sportsbooks. (European and Asian markets use fractional odds and decimal odds.)
Each wager has a moneyline to price your risk vs. reward, and straight wagers use the moneyline to also show you which teams are favorites and which are underdogs (see above).
That isn’t an “and,” it’s a “plus,” and it can be referred to as a “positive moneyline.” Any moneyline with a positive number is representative of two things. First, it shows which half of the bet is the underdog. Second, it shows how much any such wager pays out on a $100 bet.
If your team is pulling +165 odds to win a given game, they’re the underdog, and a $100 bet on them would pay out $165. These are ratios, not minimums, and most offshore bookmakers will accept wagers of as little as $0.50, which is perfect for first-time 18 and up players.
The “minus” is the other part of the moneyline equation, and it represents the favorite half of the bet. It also shows how much money you must risk to win $100. For example, if your team is favored with -180 odds, you have to put up $180 to win $100. Again, these aren’t betting minimums, just betting ratios, and most books will take small bets of $0.50 to $1.00.
A “push” is a result where the outcome of a game hits the exact number indicated on a sportsbook’s spread bet line or totals line. If your team is favored by 7 points and then wins by exactly 7 points, this is a push, and all wagers are refunded.
Similarly, if a game’s over/under is 42 points and the final combined score is 42, the bet pushes and all wagers are negated.
This is not ideal for sportsbooks, which is why you’ll see so many point spreads and over/unders with half-point increments (as these prevent any possibility of a bet pushing).
Parlays are when you put multiple single wagers together on the same ticket. Essentially, you’re turning several bets into one huge bet, where all “legs” have to hit in order for the wager to be a winner. Parlays can be extremely valuable, as they pay out much better than the sum of their legs wagered individually.
However, for under 21 players just starting out, don’t be fooled by the allure. Parlays are difficult to win and require an advanced approach and lots of experience. Stick with single bets and work your way up.
Online sportsbooks work like domestic books. They are run by sophisticated software that allow for real time updates to odds and lines as new bets come in. For most game lines, computer modeling informs a human curator who posts the initial numbers, and then the algorithm adjusts those numbers as new wagers “move the line.”
Live betting is handled entirely by computer, as no human operator can crunch the numbers and update lines fast enough. Each site uses its own proprietary, fair-play certified live betting software, so you’ll want to browse sites to see which one best suits your style of play.
When you’re looking for what states have legalized sports betting, the list is pushing 20 now and is expected to be upwards of 40 within two years or so. Only three states currently have operational sportsbooks for under 18+ bettors:
- Rhode Island
Yes! Online, offshore books – if you go with an operator we recommend – are safe to use. They’re legal, they operate with integrity and have great customer service reputations, they pay out all winnings in a timely fashion, and they use state-of-the-art encryption to keep your bets and financial information private. There is literally no safer place to bet sports than at an offshore betting site.
No offshore sportsbooks accept PayPal gambling deposits, which is due to PayPal’s blacklisting of this segment of the global gambling industry. However, you don’t need PayPal (or Venmo) to fund your account, as Bitcoin and Zelle-to-Bitcoin have totally obviated PayPal.
Best of all, BTC doesn’t come with censorship policies about what you can and can’t use it for. So if you want to make an electronic transfer for sports betting, Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies are the way to go. PayPal is not your pal!
In most US states, to bet real money on sports domestically, yes. However, that’s why offshore betting sites accept players under 21, as this is an untapped market (and 18-20-year-olds are some of the most avid sports fans on the planet).
However, if your state has laws on its books mandating 21+ for sports betting, even though you’re using an offshore book, we suggest sticking to that age limit. We’ve never heard of anyone getting in trouble for betting at 18+ in such states, but proceed at your own risk.