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Sports betting glossary
Sports betting glossary
Note: Different countries may
use different terms for how to bet and also for the types of
Sportsbook or Sports book (US) = Bookmaker or Bookies (UK)
- Accumulator -
(Also, Parlay) A multiple bet. A kind of
'let-it-ride' bet. Making simultaneous selections on two or
more games with the intent of pressing the winnings of the
first win on the bet of the following game selected, and so
on. All the selections made must win for you to win the
- Action - A bet or
wager of any kind is deemed Action if valid. Different rules
apply in different sports in determining if a bet is action
or no action (e.g. baseball bets are action when the game
gets beyond 4½ innings).
- Ajax - UK slang
term for 'Betting Tax'.
- All-In - With
all-in betting there are no refunds given for scratched
or withdrawn competitors or teams in an event where a bet is
placed. Should an event be cancelled then the amount bet
will be refunded.
- All Up - (Also,
Accumulator) This involves picking the winners of more
than one event. A single wager amount is placed on more than
one outcome, whereby the stake and winnings of the first
selection will be rolled over into the second selection and
- Ante Post - (Also,
Futures) Bets placed in advance predicting the
outcome of a future event. Ante-post prices are those on
major sporting events, usually prior to the day of the event
itself. In return for the chance of better odds, punters
risk the fact that stakes are not returned if their
selection pulls out or is cancelled.
- Arbitrage - Where a
variation in odds available allows a punter to back both
sides and guarantee a win.
- Backed - A 'backed'
team is one on which lots of bets have been placed.
- Banker - Highly
expected to win. The strongest in a multiple selection in a
parlay or accumulator. In permutation bets the banker is a
selection that must win to guarantee any returns.
- Bar Price - Refers
to the odds of the selections at the last quoted price and
bigger. The bar price is the minimum odds for any of those
selections not quoted. For example, in a large field, the
Serie A outright markets may read Juventus 3/1, AC Milan
7/2, Inter Milan 4/1, Lazio 5/1, 8/1 Bar - meaning every
other side is quoted at 8/1 or bigger.
- Beard (US) - A
friend or acquaintance or other contact who is used to
placing bets so that the bookmakers will not know the
identity of the actual bettor. Many top handicappers and
persons occupying sensitive positions use this method of
- Beef - A dispute or
claim involving a player and his bookmaker or a casino
dealer. A dispute over the outcome of a bet. A problematic
situation involving a bet.
- Beeswax - UK slang
term for betting tax. Also known as 'Bees' or 'Ajax'.
- Betting Tax
- Tax on a Bookmaker's turnover. In the UK this is a 'Duty'
levied on every Pound wagered. Common methods of recouping
this by the punter are to deduct tax from returns (winnings)
or to pay tax with the stake/wager. In the latter case, no
tax is deducted from the punter's winnings.
- Bettor (US) -
Someone who places or has a bet. A 'Punter' in the UK.
- Book - A
bookmaker's tally of amounts bet on each competitor, and
odds necessary to assure him of profit. Running a 'book' is
the act of quoting odds and accepting bets on an event and
the person doing it is called the 'Bookmaker'.
- Bookie - (U.K.)
Short for bookmaker. The person or shop who accepts bets.
- Bookmaker - Person
who is licensed to accept bets on the result of an event
based on their provision of odds to the customer. (Sportsbook
- Bottle - UK slang,
odds of 2 to 1.
- Bridge-Jumper (US)
- Bettor who specializes in large show bets on odd-on
- Buck (US) - A bet
of US$ 100 (also known as a 'dollar bet').
- Burlington Bertie -
The price of 100-30.
- Buy Price - In
Spread or Index betting, the higher figure quoted by an
- Buy the Rack (US) -
Purchase every possible daily-double or other combination
Canadian - Also
known as a Super Yankee. A Canadian is a combination bet
consisting of 26 bets with 5 selections in different events.
The combination bet is made up of 10 doubles, 10 trebles,
five 4-folds and one 5-fold.
- Carpet - UK slang
for Odds of 3 to 1 (also known as 'Tres' or 'Gimmel').
- Century - GBP£ 100
(also known as a 'Ton').
- Chalk - The favored
- Chalk Player -
Bettor on favourites.
- Circled Game - A
game where the maximum bet is limited. The sportsbook or
bookmaker puts a limit on the amount of action they are
prepared to take on the game. This is most often due to
doubts about key players, in games that feature key
injuries, inclement weather, or unsubstantiated rumors
regarding a team. Most bookies 'Circle' all Ivy League
- Closing Line - The
final list of point spreads offered before game time.
- Combination Bet -
Selecting any number of teams/horses to finish first and
second in either order.
- Cover - To bet the
spread by the required number of points.
- Credit Betting -
Betting using credit with a bookmaker.
- Dead Hit -
Finishing equal. Both win.
- Deposit Betting -
Betting with money deposited in advance with a bookmaker.
- Dime bet - A $1000
- Dividend - The
agreed payout or return on any bet.
- Dog (US) - The
underdog in any betting proposition.
- Dog Player (US) - A
bettor who mainly wagers on the underdog.
- Dollar Bet - A $100
- Double(s) - A twin
bet on two separate specified events or two parts of the
same event. A form of parlay or accumulator.
- Double Carpet - UK
slang for Odds of 33 to 1, based on 'Carpet'.
- Double or Nothing -
An even-money bet, a bet that pays off exactly the amount
- Draw - Where
competitors in an event finish evenly. Where there is a draw
and this is not offered as a betting option, the return will
be divided by the number of joint winners. Note that some
sports have processes such as extra-time or play-offs to
determine an event winner that are included as part of the
bet where others are not. This may affect some bets and you
should always be sure how an event would be decided in this
- Drift - Odds that
'Lengthen', are said to have drifted, or be 'On the Drift'.
- Each Way - UK term
for betting on a team or individual to win and/or 'Place'.
The bet is automatically split into two, 50:50 and the odds
for each bet are different. If your selection wins, the
Place bet wins automatically. Therefore, you could win
either both bets or Place only.
- Even Money - A 1:1
odds bet. A $1 stake would return $2 dividend ($1 win plus
- The team or individual the sportsbooks rate most likely to
win that contest or event. Typically it has the most money
bet on it.
- Field - 1) All the
individual competitors in an event. 2) Odds offered on non
listed (outsiders) players or teams collectively called the
- Fixed Game - A game
in which one or more participants willfully manipulate the
final outcome of a game.
- Fixed Odds - Your
dividend is fixed at the odds when you placed your bet. No
matter how much the odds fluctuate the odds at the time you
placed your bet are fixed and written on the ticket. Your
dividend for winning is paid at the value stated on your
ticket, no matter what happens after you have placed your
- Flag - A bet
consisting of 23 bets (a 'Yankee' plus 6 'Single Stakes
About' bets in pairs) on 4 selections in different event.
- Flash (US) - Change
of odds information on tote board.
- Flea - An annoying
person who wants something for nothing. One who expects to
be comped for a small wager.
- Fold - When
preceded by a number, a fold indicates the number of
selections in an accumulator (e.g. 5-Fold = 5 selections).
- Forecast - A wager
that involves correctly predicting the 1st and 2nd for a
particular event. This bet can be straight, reversed or
permed. (USA, Perfecta or Exacta).
- Full Cover - All
the doubles, trebles and accumulators involved in a given
number of selections.
- Futures - (Also,
Ante Post) Bets placed in advance predicting the outcome
of a future event.
- Goliath - A goliath
is a multiple bet consisting of 247 bets involving 8
selections in different events. The multiple bet breakdown
is 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70x4-folds, 56x5-folds,
28x6-folds, 8x7-folds and one 8-fold.
- Grand - GBP£ 1,000
(also known as a Big'un).
- Grand Salami - A
slang word for the over/under total for the combined score
of all the hockey contests on the schedule for that day.
- Grand Slam - The
four major tennis tournaments Wimbledon, Australian Open,
French Open, U.S. Open. Also the four major golf tournaments
The Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, PGA Championship
(Professional Golf Association). Also in baseball, a homerun
with the bases loaded, scoring four runs.
- Handicap - Spread.
- Hang Cheng - The
Asian equivalent for 'Point Spread'.
- Heinz - A Heinz is
a multiple bet consisting of 57 bets involving 6 selections
in different events. The multiple bet breakdown is 15
doubles, 20 trebles, 15x4-folds, 6x5-folds and one 6-fold.
- Home Field Advantage
- Edge the home team is expected to have as a result of
familiarity with the playing area, favorable demographics
and effect of travel on the visiting team.
- Hoops - Slang word
used to indicate the game of basketball.
- IBF - International
- In and Out Teaser
(See also "Teaser" below) - An "in and out teaser" is
when the player picks the favorite, underdog, over and under
of the same game. For example: NY +3 1/2, Dallas -3 1/2. An
in and out teaser would have a player take both NY and
Dallas, and tease both, to increase the odds of winning the
wager. So, if you teased both teams by 7 points, you would
have: NY +10 1/2, Dallas +3 1/2. So long as the spread is
covered, your wager will be a win.
- Index Betting -
- In The Red - Odds
- Joint Favorites -
When a sportsbook or bookmaker cannot split two teams for
favoritism, they may both be joint favorites.
- Jolly - Bookmakers
slang for 'Favorite/Favourite'.
- Juice - The
bookmaker's commission, also known as vigorish or vig.
- Kite - UK slang for
a cheque ('Check' in the US).
- Lay a Bet - A
bookie accepting a bet.
- Layer - Another
term for Bookie.
- Layoff - A
bookmaker's bet with another bookmaker made in order to help
equalize the excess action he has accepted from his
- LBO - Acronym for
'Licensed Betting Office' in the UK.
- Lengthen - The
opposite of 'Shorten'. Referred to odds getting longer, that
is, more attractive to the bettor.
- Lines - Odds
offered to the punter.
- Linemaker - One who
compiles or sets the original or subsequent betting lines.
- Lock - (As in
'Banker') US term for an almost certain winner. Easy winner.
- Long Odds -
Generally greater than 10:1.
- Lucky 15 - A Lucky
15 consists of 15 bets involving 4 selections in different
events, i.e. 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and 1
fourfold. As a consolation if you only have one winner it
will be paid at double the odds. If you get all four
winners, a 10% bonus will be added to your returns.
- Lucky 31 - A Lucky
31 consists of 31 bets involving 5 selections in different
events, i.e. 5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-folds
plus 1 five-fold. . As a consolation if you only have one
winner it will be paid at double the odds. If you get all
five winners, a 20% bonus will be added to your returns.
- Lucky 63 - A Lucky
63 consists of 63 bets involving 6 selections in different
events, i.e. 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15
four-folds, 6 five-folds and 1 six-fold. As a consolation if
you only have one winner it will be paid at double the odds.
If you get all six winners, a 25% bonus will be added to
- Margin - The amount
a competitor in an event finishes in front of another
- MLB - Major League
- Money Line - (Also,
Action Line or Spread Betting) The amount that must be
wagered to win $100, or the amount won for a $100 wager.
- Multiples - See 'Accumulator'.
- MVP - Most Valuable
- Nap - A newspaper
corrospondents best bet of the day. Reputed to stand for
- NBA - National
- NCAA - National
Collegiate Athletic Association.
- NFL - National
- NHL - National
- Nickel - A $500
- Odds - The
sportsbook's or bookmaker's view of the chance of a
competitor winning (adjusted to include a profit).
- Odds-against -
Where the odds are greater than evens (e.g. 5 to 2).
- Odds Compiler -
Same as 'Oddsmaker' below.
- Odds-on - An
Odds-on bet has a Minus sign in front and is worked out
in reverse. It is the amount you wager to win $100. In the
U.K. it is a bet on odds below evens 1:1. In Europe, it is a
bet on odds below 2:1.
- Oddsmaker - A
person who sets the betting odds. (Sportsbooks or Bookies
don't set the odds. Most major sportsbooks use odds set by
Las Vegas oddsmakers.)
- Off the Board (US)
- A game or event on which the sporstbook will not accept
- Outsiders - Those
contestants that are not expected to win. The opposite to
the favorite, usually offered at lengthy odds.
- Over/Under - A bet
on whether the total points or goals scored by the two teams
will be over or under a specified number.
- Parlay - (Also,
Accumulator) A multiple bet. A kind of 'let-it-ride'
bet. Making simultaneous selections on two or more games
with the intent of pressing the winnings of the first win on
the bet of the following game selected, and so on. All the
selections made must win for you to win the parlay.
- Patent - A Patent
consists of 7 bets involving 3 selections in different
events, i.e. a single on each selection, plus 3 doubles and
- Permutations - To
'perm' selections. For example, if you have made 3
selections (A, B and C) you can 'perm' all the possible
doubles. In this case all the doubles possible are AB, AC,
and BC; a total of 3 individual bets, or lines. Similarly,
if you have made 4 selections (A, B, C and D) you can also
'perm' all the possible doubles from these four. Now the
doubles are AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, CD; a total of 6 individual
bets, or lines.
- Picks - Betting
selections, usually by an expert.
- PK or Pick - Evenly
- Place - Finish in the top
three, top four and sometimes also top five in a competition
or event. A Place bet will win if the selection you bet on
is among those placed. Different sportsbooks have different
Place terms and you should check their rules before placing
- Point Spread -
(Also, Handicap) The points allocated to the
'underdog' to level the odds with the 'favorite/favourite'.
- Price - The odds.
- Pucks - A slang
word used to indicate the game of hockey.
- Punter - Bettor.
- Push - A game that
is tied when the point spread is factored in.
- Return - Your total
winnings on a bet.
- Round Robin - A bet
consisting of 10 bets (3 pairs of 'Single Stakes About' bets
plus 3 doubles and 1 treble) involving three selections in
different events. (US, A series of three or more teams into
- Scalper - One who
attempts to profit from the differences in odds from book to
book by betting both sides of the same game at different
- Shorten - The
opposite of 'Lengthen'. Referred to odds getting shorter,
that is, less attractive to the bettor.
- Shut Out (US) -
What happens to a bettor who gets on the betting line to
late and is still waiting in line when the window closes.
Also, in sports betting, when the losing team do not score.
- Single - A Straight
bet on one selection to win one race or event, also known as
a straight-up bet.
- Single Stakes About
(or SSA) - A bet consisting of 2 bets on two
selections (1 single on each selection any to come 1 single
on the other selection reversed).
- Sportsbook - The
person, shop or website who accepts bets.
- Spread - Point
- Spread Betting -
(Also, Action Line or Money Line) The amount
that must be wagered to win $100, or the amount won for a
$100 wager. A bet is won or lost according to whether you
correctly predict the result of an event (also known as
'action line' or 'money line'). Returns or losses are
calculated in proportion to how right or wrong the bettor
is, and can lead to huge returns or losses.
- Stanley Cup -
Championship of Hockey.
- Steam - When a
betting line starts to move quite rapidly, usually caused by
many bettors betting on it.
- Store (US) - A
sportsbook or a bookie.
- Super Bowl - NFL
- Super Heinz - A
Super Heinz consists of 120 bets involving 7 selections in
different events, i.e. 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35
four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds and 1 seven-fold.
- 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.
- System - A method
of betting, usually mathematically based, used by a punter
or bettor to try to get an advantage.
- Teaser (See also "In
and Out Teaser" above) - A bet on two or more teams
where the bettor can add or subtract points from the spread
to make their bets stronger in return for reduced odds. All
results must match the selections to win the teaser.
- Thick'un - A big
- Tie - A push,
stand-off or a draw.
- Tips - Picks. The
selections and predictions of competitors performance for an
event from an expert or observer.
- Totals - Sports bet
on whether the combined number of points or goals scored by
the two teams will be over/under a given mark.
- Tote - Short for
Totalisator. A system introduced to Britain in 1929 to offer
pool betting on racecourses.
- Trebles - A triple
bet on three events. A form of parlay or accumulator.
- Trixie - A Trixie
consists of 4 bets involving 3 selections in different
events, i.e. 3 doubles plus 1 treble.
- True Odds - The
real odds of something happening as opposed to what the
- Two and Three Balls
Betting - A golfing bet that involves predicting which
player from either a group of two or three will shoot the
lowest score over 18 holes.
- Underdog - The team
that receives a point start in a handicap.
- Union Jack - A bet
consisting of 8 trebles on 9 selections A to I: ABC, DEF,
GHI, ADG, BEH, CFI, AEI, and CEG.
- Value - Getting the
best odds on a wager.
- Vigorish or Vig. -
The commission paid to the bookmaker.
- VS - Versus,
- WBA - World Boxing
- WBC - World Boxing
- Welsh/Welch - To
fail to pay a gambling bet.
- Win Only - Betting
on a competitor to win an event. Also known as 'Straight
Out' or 'Money Line' betting.
- Wise Guy - A
knowledgeable handicapper or bettor.
- WNBA - Womens
National Basketball Association.
- World Series -
Championship of Major League Baseball (MLB). The final seven
games of the baseball playoffs between the two league
champions to determine the world champion.
- Yankee - The term
used for a bet that consists of four selections, combining
them into six doubles, four trebles and one fourfold - i.e.