If you are new to the betting scene, maybe you will need to know all the different betting terms that bookmakers offer. On this page we want to collect and explain all of sports betting terms and the appropriate sports betting words or phrases for the gambling acronyms. If we miss a term, please send it to us, and we will add it to the list!
The following is a list of common sports betting terms.
Accumulator – It’s a multiple, parlay or combo bet. A bet that requires several different selections all to win.
Action – Any kind of bet.
Ante Post – Bets placed in advance, predicting the outcome of a future event. It is also possible to place some football bets weeks, months and sometimes years in advance. When you bet on the premiership or world cup winner. Such bets are called “ante post” bets. If the selection becomes a “non-runner” the bet is lost.
Arbitrage (or sure bet) – It’s an investment without any risk. Arbitration happens because of the big variety of bookmakers and their different odds. A bet that locks in a guaranteed profit, whatever the outcome.
Asian Handicap – It’s a special type of handicap betting popular in the Far East and commonly used in football betting. Asian Handicap betting reduces the possible number of outcomes from three to two by eliminating the draw.
ATS (against the Spread) – A bet where you try to determine which team will cover the spread, not necessarily which team will win.
Banker – The banker is a selection that must win to guarantee any returns in a multiple selection in a parlay or accumulator.
Back – To bet or wager. For example, if you bet on Liverpool to beat Stoke City, you are backing Liverpool.
Bet (punt, stake, wager) – A gamble on the outcome of an event.
Bettor (US) – Someone who places or has a bet. A “Punter” in the UK.
Betting exchange – A service that provides a marketplace in which odds are set. Clients can back a bet at the available odds, or lay a bet and play the role of the bookmaker.
Book – Short for sportsbook or bookmaker, a person or establishment that takes bets from customers.
Bookie – A person who accepts bets illegally and charges vig.
Bottle – UK slang, odds 2/1.
Buck – A $100 wager.
Buying points – A player pays an additional price to receive half a point or more in his favor on a pointspread game.
Canadian – A bet on five selections covering doubles, trebles, fourfolds and a fivefold (total 26 bets). Also known as a Super Yankee.
Chalk – The favorite in the game.
Chalk Player – Chalk bettors typically bet the favorite.
Chasing – Betting to recover losses by doubling stakes.
Cover – To bet the spread by the required number of points, if such occurs, you have covered the spread.
Dime – A $1000 wager. If you bet five dimes, that means a $5,000 wager.
Dog – Short for underdog.
Dollar Bet or Buck – A $100 wager. If you bet “three dollars,” that means a $300 wager.
Double – A twin bet on two separate events or two parts of the same event. A form of parlay or accumulator.
Double Chance – When a single price is offered on a win or draw. If the backed team wins or draws, the bet wins.
Draw no Bet – A popular bet type on outcomes where a draw is a possibility, like soccer fixtures. The bet wins if your selected team wins, and if the game is a draw your bet is refunded.
Drift – When the price of a selection moves out (gets bigger).
Each Way – UK term for betting on a horse to win and/or place. An each-way bet is when you have the same amount on the horse for a win and for a place.
European Handicap – A wager where a whole number of points or goals is added to the underdog and accordingly subtracted from the favourite.
Even Money – Wager in which a bettor risks the same amount as they stand to win (2.00 decimal odds)
Exacta – A bet placed that requires the first two finishing horses to be named in the correct order.
Exotic – Any bet other than a straight bet or parley – also called a prop or proposition.
Fade – Bet against a particular person
Favorite – The team or individual the bookies rate most likely to win an event.
Fixed Game – A game in which one or more participants willfully manipulate the final outcome of a game.
Fixed Odds – A form of wagering where the punter knows the exact odds he/she will receive when they place a bet. The odds are fixed once the wager has been placed.
Fold – Indicates the number of selections in a multi bet. A 4-fold multi bet is based on the outcome of four events.
Furlong – Standard distance unit in racing. A furlong is equal to 200m and there are eight furlongs in a mile.
Full Cover – All the doubles, trebles and accumulators involved in a given number of selections.
Grand Salami – The grand total of goals scored in all the hockey games of the day. It can be wagered to go Over/Under.
Handicap (Spread) – A system used by bookmakers to make a one sided event become a more attractive betting proposition to the punter.
Handicapper – A person who studies sports and trying to predict the winners of an event.
Handicapping – The attempt to predict the outcome of sporting events.
Hang Cheng – The Asian equivalent for ‘Point Spread’.
Hedging – The covering of a bet with a second bet that guarantee winnings or cut losses. It’s typically done with futures bets.
Heinz – A bet on six selections covering doubles, trebles, fourfolds, fivefolds and a sixfold. A Heinz consists of 57 bets.
Hook – A half-point. If a team is a 7.5-point favorite, it is said to be “laying seven and a hook.”
Hoops – Slang word used to indicate the game of basketball.
IBAS – Independent Arbitration Betting Service. A service that settles betting disputes between bookmakers and punters.
In play (live) – Betting on a fixture that has already commenced.
Index Betting – check Money Line
Jolly – Another name given to the ‘favourite’.
Juice – The bookmaker’s commission, standard is 10 percent.
Lay – When a bookmaker accepts bets it is often said that they lay a bet. You can lay yourself on Betting Exchanges.
Limit – The maximum bet taken by a bookmaker.
Line – The current odds or point spread on a particular event.
Long odds – Refers to high odds on an outcome.
Margin – The amount a competitor in an event finishes in front of another competitor. In basketball an example margin is 7 points.
Money Line – A bet in which your team only needs to win. The point spread is replaced by odds.
Monkey – Term used by bookmakers for £500.
Multiples – See “Accumulator”.
Nap – A tipster’s best bet of the day.
Nickel – A $500 wager. If you bet a nickel, that means a $500 wager.
Non-Runner – A horse that was originally declared to run but is no longer participating.
Odds – Also referred to as the price. The returns a bookmaker offers for a selection to win.
Oddsmaker – A person who creates odds on sporting events. Bookies or Sportsbooks don’t set the odds. Most major bookmakers use odds set by Las Vegas oddsmakers.
Over/Under – A bet on how many goals/points/tries there will be in the fixture. In match Celtics-Lakers over/under is 200 points, we win bet, if we bet on over 200 points if game ends 101-100 by one point and lose that game ends 99-100.
Out of the money – A horse that finishes worse than third.
Parlay – The US term for an accumulator. A bet with two or more teams where all the teams must win for the bettor to be successful.
Permutations – It is possible to perm bets or selections (e.g. on four selections all the possible doubles could be permed making 6 bets).
Pick ’em – A game where neither team is favored.
Picks – Betting selections, usually by an expert.
Place – Finish in the top three, top four and sometimes also top five in a competition or event.
Point spread – The number of points by which the supposed better team is favored over the underdog.
Pony – A slang term used by bookmakers for £25.
Price – Betting or gambling odds or pointspread.
Puppy – Underdog
Punt (wager, stake, bet) – A gamble on the outcome of an event.
Punter or Bettor – The individual who puts on a bet.
Push – Another term for a draw or tie, neither side wins and all money is returned to the bettors.
ROI – Return On Investment.
Round Robin – A series of parlays. A three-team round robin consists of one three-team parlay, three two-team parlays and three singles.
Runner – Somebody who places bets for another person.
Scalper – Someone who attempts to profit from differences in odds from book to book by staking both sides of the same event at different prices.
Shortstop – A small bettor.
Sides – The names of the two teams playing.
Single handicap and Split handicap – A split handicap, double handicap, or quarter goal handicap takes your wager and splits it into two bets. These handicaps end in 0.75 or 1.25 while single handicap ends with in whole or half number 0.5, 1, 1.5 etc.
Single or Straight Bet – A bet on just one team.
SP (Starting Price) – The Starting Prices are the odds of each selection on a horse/greyhound race as declared by the on-course market at the time of the start of the race.
Sports betting – A form of betting that entails placing a wager on the outcome of a sporting event. The primary intent is to win additional money.
Sportsbook (bookmaker) – The person, shop or website who accepts bets.
Super Heinz – A Super Heinz consists of 120 bets involving 7 selections in different events. The bet includes 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfolds, 21 fivefolds, 7 sixfolds and an accumulator.
Super Yankee – Alternative name for a multiple bet known as Canadian, a Super Yankee is a Yankee type bet with five selections instead of four.
Syndicate – Group of gamblers who pool all of their efforts together in an attempt to beat bookmakers.
System – A method of betting, usually mathematically based, used by a punter or bettor to try to get an advantage.
Steam – When a betting line starts to move quite rapidly. Heavy action on one side.
Teaser – A wager combining two or more games together and giving the player a fixed number of additional points in his favor.
Tips – Picks.
Tipster – Bettor
Tissue – A betting forecast designed to predict the odds of each runner in an event.
Total – The perceived expected point, run or goal total in a game. Bettors can bet over or under.
Tote – Betting system that settles bets based on dividends rather than set prices.
Tout (service) – A person (or group of people) who either sells or gives away picks on games or events.
Treble – A Treble consists of 1 bet involving 3 selections in different events. All must be successful to get a return. A form of parlay or accumulator.
Tricast – A wager/bet picking the first three finishers in exact order.
Trifecta – A bet placed on the Tote that requires the first three finishing horses to be named in the correct order.
Trixie – A bet on three selection which covers the three doubles and the one treble. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return.
Underdog – The team perceived to be most likely to lose. Also known as the “dog”.
Value – Getting the best odds on a wager.
Value Bet – If you believe the odds taken are better than the mathematical chance which the team involved has of pulling off the outcome, then you have a value bet.
Vigorish – See Juice
Walkover – A race where there is only one runner left after a number of non runners.
Wise guy – A well-informed or knowledgeable and successful handicapper.
Yankee – A bet on four selections that covers the six doubles, four trebles and one fourfold. A Yankee consists 11 total bets.