Beginner’s Guide to Beach Volleyball Betting

A volleyball in the sand as the sun sets.

While beach volleyball may seem like a modern sport to many, it definitely isn’t a new kid on the block. It’s been around since the 1920s, when it became a popular recreational activity at Californian beach clubs. Its fast, exciting format and gorgeous beach settings meant the sport quickly gathered a following that grew to such an extent it was made an official Olympic sport in 1996. So, if you’re already a fan of the sport, or you’re looking for a new and exciting area of online sports betting as a hobby, you can use our guide that includes different types of bets and tips on how to get started betting on beach volleyball.

A male beach volleyball player attempts to hit the ball over the net while an opponent tries to block the ball.

How the game is played

While your success in sports betting will always come down to luck, there is some skill involved in placing informed wagers, and to do this effectively, it helps to know the basics of how the game is played. So, let’s get started with the basics of beach volleyball.

Courts and equipment

Games are played on sand-based courts, either on a beach or an area set up to resemble a beach setting. The court is 52ft 6in long and 26ft 3in wide, while the net must be either 8ft high for the men’s game, or 7ft 4in for women’s competitions. The ball weighs between 9oz and 10oz, with a circumference of 26in to 26¾in.

Players and positions

Each side fields two players – a blocker who guards the net and attempts to outplay opponents with quicker reflexes and a longer reach, and a defender who covers the rest of the court to keep rallies alive. But keep in mind that players can perform in both roles depending on whether a player is guarding the right side or left side of the court.

Points are scored by hitting the ball over the net so it lands in the opposition’s half, or by stopping the opposition from returning the ball.

Play starts with one team hitting the ball over the net and a rally continues until one of the teams is unable to return the ball over the net. In which case, the opposition team gets a point.

Three sets are played in each game, and the first team to put 21 points on the board, with a clear two-point lead, in the first two sets, and 15 points in the third set, wins the game. To win a match, one of the teams must have a two-set lead over the opposition.

Types of volleyball shots

There are three types of shots in beach volleyball after the serve. A “roll” shot is when a player loops the ball over the net and over an opponent’s block with plenty of topspin. This gives it a sharp, downward trajectory, which means a defender has just a fraction of a second to react and keep the rally alive.

A “cut” shot is when the ball is hit across the court into the sand, close to the net in the opposition’s half. This makes it hard for the defender to read the shot and return the ball. Finally, a “pokey” involves the use of a player’s knuckles to hit the ball into open spaces on the court. The ball may only be touched two successive times if the first touch is an attempted block.  

Players lose points for stepping over the end line while serving, touching the ball more than three times before hitting the ball over the net into the opposition’s half, and when the ball bounces out of the court after hitting a player.


There are a number of online betting opportunities with competitions held throughout the year, overseen by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). These include the Continental Tour, the National Championship and World Tour (a series of competitions played annually in different countries with a prize pool of about $10 million,) the biennial NORCECA Championships (which brings together around 40 countries, including the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Cuba) and the Olympic Games every four years. 

Types of beach volleyball bets

Beach volleyball betting gives you plenty of different ways to get a stake in a game. These are the most common.

  • The outcome. There are no draws in beach volleyball, so this is the simplest bet you can place on either Team A to win or Team B.
  • Final score. This is one of the most popular betting types since there can only be four possible final scores in beach volleyball, with each match being the best of three games: 2-0, 2-1, 0-2 or 1-2.
  • Set wins. Bettors can pick which team will win each specific set.
  • Understanding handicaps and spreads. In beach volleyball, there are typically two spread bets: the set spread and the points spread. In order to offer the best beach volleyball betting odds, bookmakers will introduce handicaps in which the team that is the favorite to win is given a handicap. The opposing team, the underdog, is given an advantage. So, Team A might have a handicap of -1.5 sets, and Team B an advantage of +1.5 sets. If you placed a wager on Team A, then the team would have to win the match 3-1 or 3-0 to cover the handicap.  
  • Futures and outrights. Bettors can place wagers on which teams will win major competitions. Typically, the odds on these bets are generous, particularly if bets are placed well in advance of a tournament. 
  • Live betting. This is when bets are placed on various aspects of a match while play is in progress. Most of the bets we’ve just explained are available for live betting, in addition to other special bets called “Next to” bets, which allow bettors to place wagers on the next thing that is going to happen in a match.

4 factors to keep in mind when betting on beach volleyball

A professional woman volleyball player prepares to serve the ball.

When deciding how to bet on sports like beach volleyball, doing your homework can help to increase your chances of success. These include:

  1. Players’ injuries and illnesses, which can happen often in such a fast-paced sport.
  1. Quality of sand and weather conditions. Often, athletic performance can be affected by sand density, and things like wind, heat and rain.
  1. Tournament schedules. Several matches can be played in quick succession, and in such a physically taxing sport, a team’s performance may be affected by their championship draw and how many matches they have to play as they advance through a tournament.
  1. Team dynamics. Beach volleyball players who have competed together often over some time typically have stronger in-play dynamics, which can be to their advantage.

Bet on beach volleyball with Borgata Online

Now that you have more of an understanding about how to wager on this exciting sport, it’s time to choose where to place your bet. You can’t go wrong with the best online sportsbook – Borgata Online – where you’ll be able to bet on beach volleyball and explore a variety of sports betting lines across many sports. No matter what your gambling tastes may be, you can find something to enjoy when you register with us. And with one of the best sports betting apps at your fingertips, you’ll be able to place your wagers, wherever you are!