Texas Sports Betting

Legal Texas sports betting could be coming soon. Texas made history in 2023 when, for the first time, the Texas House passed an online sports betting bill, although the bill failed to make it through the Senate.

Right now, 2025 is the earliest that online sports betting legislation could be introduced. In the meantime, those in Texas can legally make picks at social sportsbooks like Fliff where you can play for free and even have chances to redeem winnings for cash prizes. 

Here at PlayTexas we’ll keep you up to date regarding any new developments regarding Texas sports betting. Read on for all the latest plus information about current sports betting options in Texas.  

Legal sports betting in Texas

Latest updates

Updated June 12, 2024

Current Texas sports betting options

While real money online sports betting isn’t available yet in Texas, there are legal play-for-fun online sites that invite you to make picks and even offer ways to redeem cash prizes. For example, the Fliff social sportsbook offers ways to pick games with no purchase necessary.

Users at Fliff can either engage in Social Play using Fliff Coins or Promotional Play that uses Fliff Cash. You can receive Fliff Coins for free when signing up and in other ways, and can even purchase them although there is no obligation to do so. Meanwhile, you cannot purchase Fliff Cash, but you can receive it as a bonus when purchasing Fliff Coins and in other ways.

You can then make picks using either, and in the case of Fliff Cash you can later redeem your winnings for cash prizes. At Fliff, you can make picks in games from many different sports, including football, baseball, basketballhockey, soccer, golf, tennis, MMA and many others.

Fliff is legal to play in Texas and most other US states, as are the other “pick’em”-style fantasy sites listed above. Click through our links to ensure you receive the sign-up bonus for each.

Potential Texas online sportsbooks

Should Texas legalize online sports betting, you can expect many current operators to be eager and ready to launch their sites in the country’s second-most populous state (behind California). Online sports betting sites likely to launch in Texas would include the following:

  • Caesars Sportsbook: Already available in many states, the Caesars Sportsbook offers wagering on dozens of sports and leagues, a great live betting platform, and lots of same game parlay boosts and other offers. Users also get to participate in the world-famous Caesars Rewards loyalty program.
  • BetMGM Sportsbook: The self-proclaimed “King of Sportsbooks” is also live in many states and would surely be popular in Texas with its excellent market coverage, frequent bonuses and promos, and its own loyalty program.
  • BetRivers Sportsbook: Bettors in states with BetRivers have found it a great sports betting site as well with all the major sports covered (and many minor ones), live streaming of select events, and popular sections like “Prop Central” and “House Specials.”

Popular teams for betting in Texas

Texas is the second-most populous state in the US and is home to roughly 30 million people. It’s no surprise that many major sports teams call the state home. With several cities whose populations exceed 1 million, there are multiple loyal fanbases to which teams can sell tickets and merchandise. With that in mind, here is a rundown of the the most popular Texas teams for sports bettors.

NFL

Football is king in Texas, but to be fair, the actual favorite of many Texans is high school football. No state allows betting on high school sports, so anyone who’d want to wager on the Friday night lights will be out of luck. However, there are two NFL teams in the state:

  • Dallas Cowboys: AT&T Stadium, 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, TX 76011
  • Houston Texans: NRG Stadium, NRG Parkway, Houston, TX 77054

NBA

Texas hosts three NBA teams. All three have brought home championships to their respective cities, although not as recently as their fans would like. Still, there’s no denying that Texas is a major spot for NBA teams:

  • Dallas Mavericks: American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Park Lane, Dallas, TX 75219
  • Houston Rockets: Toyota Center, 1510 Polk St., Houston, TX 77003
  • San Antonio Spurs: AT&T Center, 1 AT&T Center Parkway, San Antonio, TX 78219

MLB

Texas is home to two Major League Baseball teams and several minor-league affiliates. Both MLB teams have experienced postseason success very recently. The Houston Astros have won two World Series (2017, 2022), while the Texas Rangers won their first title in 2023. Both baseball teams are big draws in the state:

  • Houston Astros: Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford St., Houston, TX 77002
  • Texas Rangers: Globe Life Field, 734 Stadium Drive, Arlington, TX 76011

NHL

Texas is not known for its cold weather or hockey tradition. However, Texas currently has one NHL franchise, and there is talk that a second team might be moving to the state sometime soon. The Arizona Coyotes have been a contender to relocate to Texas in the near future, and Houston has emerged as one of the most likely destinations for the “Yotes” to reappear. Right now, though, the Dallas Stars are the state’s only current NHL franchise.

  • Dallas Stars: American Airlines Center, 2500 Victory Park Lane, Dallas, TX 75219

MLS

Like many US states, soccer enjoys an ardent following in Texas. In fact, Texas is one of only a small number of states that have multiple Major League Soccer franchises:

  • Austin FC: Q2 Stadium, 10414 Mc Kalla Place, Austin, TX 78758
  • FC Dallas: Toyota Stadium, 9200 World Cup Way, Frisco, TX 75033
  • Houston Dynamo FC: PNC Stadium, 2200 Texas Ave., Houston, TX 77003

NCAA

It’s no surprise that a big state like Texas has plenty of NCAA teams. In fact, in line with its population, Texas has more Division I NCAA schools than any other state besides California. There are 25 colleges and universities that play at the highest level of competition, to say nothing of the many Division II and Division III institutions around the state. Here are the Division I schools in Texas:

  • Abilene Christian University, Abilene
  • Baylor University, Waco
  • Houston Christian University, Houston
  • Lamar University, Beaumont
  • Prairie View A&M University, Prairie View
  • Rice University, Houston
  • Sam Houston State University, Huntsville
  • Southern Methodist University, Dallas
  • Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches
  • Tarleton State University, Stephenville
  • Texas A&M University, College Station
  • Texas A&M University-Commerce, Commerce
  • Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi
  • Texas Christian University, Fort Worth
  • Texas Southern University, Houston
  • Texas State University, San Marcos
  • Texas Tech University, Lubbock
  • University of Houston, Houston
  • University of North Texas, Denton
  • University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington
  • University of Texas at Austin, Austin
  • University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso
  • University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio
  • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg
  • University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio

Types of sports bets in Texas

When and if real money sports betting debuts in Texas, the new sites will run lots of promotions and feature loyalty rewards programs to attract new sign-ups. Online sportsbooks often offer bonus bets and other incentives as they compete for customers. 

Bettors will also discover a huge variety of wagers available at the sites. If you are new to sports betting, you might find some betting terms and wagers that don’t immediately make sense. The first thing to discuss is the most basic type of wager, moneylines, because their odds format is important to understand for pretty much any bet you place. After that, we’ll go over some additional bets.

Moneyline bets

Moneyline bets are simply wagers on which side you expect to win the game, regardless of the final score. However, moneyline bets might initially seem intimidating because of the standard format for the odds.

Moneyline odds use a three-digit number for each team (e.g., -110, +130). This is called the “American” odds format and is quite common in sports betting. It’s important to understand because sportsbooks use it for almost every wager as a method to display their payout ratios for each bet.

Other types of sports bets

Here are some other common types of sports bets that you’ll find in Texas if sports betting ever comes to the state:

  • Point spreads — Point spreads, or spread bets, take the eventual margin of victory into account. The sportsbook provides an estimated margin, and bettors wager whether the favorite will exceed that margin or the underdog will do better than the estimate. Generally speaking, point spreads pay out at odds of -110 on either side, though the numbers may move a little.
  • Totals — You may also see these appear as over/under bets. The sportsbook estimates how many total points the two sides will combine to score, and bettors can wager on whether the actual total will be over or under the estimate. Colloquially, “taking the over” or “taking the under” can be a way to estimate the chance of an event occurring repeatedly, such as the number of times Shaq will refer to the fact that Charles Barkley never won a championship during a broadcast.
  • Futures — Futures wagers are bets about events that occur at the end of a season of play or high-profile tournament. Often, a futures bettor is wagering on the eventual champion team or an individual award winner from that season. Futures usually appear as a long series of moneylines. Most of the time, every wager will be an underdog because even the favorites are less likely to win than the field. Futures are the dominant type of wager for golf odds, and they are quite common for March Madness odds, too.
  • Propositions — Proposition wagers, or “prop bets,” are wagers about smaller events within a game. Most fun betting stories are about prop bets, since the descriptions of the terms are so colorful. You could even argue that kids daring one another on the playground is a form of prop betting. Prop bets in sports betting tend to be about statistical achievements of individuals or teams or the result of a partial period of play, rather than the entire game.
  • Parlays — These are combination wagers that fold several different single bets into one conglomerate wager. Each constituent part of the parlay is a “leg.” Parlay bets are high-risk, high-reward bets because of their one inflexible rule: You must be correct about every single leg in order to win anything. Even a single miss is enough to lose the entire bet. As the number of legs increases, so do the risks and the payout potential. Successful parlays with many legs can yield outsized wins, but realize that many other parlays failed in order to generate that payout.
  • Live betting — A live bet takes place after the game has commenced and usually asks short-term questions about smaller chunks of the contest. In fact, many live bets are on the outcome of individual plays. You may also see pregame wagers like spreads and moneylines carried forward into the game, but understand that these will be new bets that are taking the progress of the game into account. Because live wagering is so fast-paced, it is almost exclusively available online. Be sure to review an online sportsbook’s live betting options and the rules for in-game wagering. 

Texas Sports Betting FAQ

If sports betting were to be legalized in Texas, it will almost certainly be available online. Texas’ immense area means that millions of Texans would not be able to visit sportsbooks in person with any kind of regularity. Since physical books would likely only be in the cities, online sports betting would be the only way to include small-town Texas sports bettors.

No. You would be able to place a wager if you are in the state’s borders, but it will not be necessary to show that your residence is in Texas. However, be prepared for each online sportsbook to demand that you verify your physical location in Texas, as interstate sports betting remains illegal on the federal level, and would likely be illegal on the state level, too.

The Texas Lottery, most likely. The lottery commission is one of the only gambling-related entities in the state, and it has the most experience with betting, for whatever that’s worth. It is possible, however, that new sports betting legislation could also allow for the creation of a genuine gambling commission or some hybrid regulation utilizing both the Texas Lottery and a new sports betting regulator.

It’s impossible to say. In-state college teams are a frequent target for lawmakers looking for concessions or other restrictions on a new sports betting market. A limitation or ban on betting on the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, or any other school in Texas would certainly not be a unique stance for a state to adopt.

Almost certainly. If sports betting comes to Texas, it’s quite likely that DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook would be a part of it. Both companies already serve Texans as DFS providers and wouldn’t want to turn their backs on the second-largest state in the nation. As well, they are both members of the Texas Sports Betting Alliance, which has a major hand in crafting Texas online sports betting legislation.

Given that there is little in the way of retail Texas casinos, racetracks and sports arenas would likely be chosen for retail sportsbooks, should they become legal.

You do have to pay federal income taxes on gambling winnings in Texas, such as when you win money playing the Texas Lottery. If and when sports betting becomes legal in Texas, sports betting winnings will also be subject to federal income tax. The good news is Texas has no state income tax, so unlike in many states gambling winnings aren’t subject to state income tax.