Betting Terminology: Understand betting terms with BettingOnline

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Betting Terminology – Understanding the Important Betting Terms

Betting Glossary

Sometimes the world of betting is a little difficult to understand. It seems to have a language of its own, that can alienate newcomers. In this betting glossary, we take a look at some of the most common – and tricky – words so you can find out what they mean. Be in the know with our top betting glossary.


Accumulator: Where you combine more than one bet and must win them all in order to be successful

Against the Spread: Attempting to find which team will cover the spread and not win the match

All in: When you bet all of your bankroll on one betting slip

All Out: The last-ditch bid for a team to score in the final minutes or the final sprint of a horse to win the race.

Angles: Attempting to predict the outcome of a match based on previous results.

Ante-Post Betting: Any bet that is placed before an event begins.

Apprentice: A new and inexperienced jockey that gains a weight allowance over the older, more experienced ones.

Arber: A bettor who is after even the smallest profit – usually taking advantage of different odds in different bookmakers and betting on all outcomes.

Arbitrage: Gaining a profit by backing all possible outcomes.

Asian Handicap: Popular in Asia – a favourite is given a handicap and the underdog is given a head start to even up the bet.


Bags: Abbreviation of Bookmakers’ Afternoon Greyhound Service

Banker: A bet that is considered to be a certain winner.

Bankroll: The amount of money you have that’s available to bet with.

Bar: 50/1 or higher odds for a horse that hasn’t been mentioned in the betting forecast

Betting Exchange: A website platform that lets bettors back and lay bets against each other. It takes a profit from getting a small commission from the winner.

Bismarck: An overrated horse. A horse considered favourite but is probably going to lose.

Blinkers/Blinders: Applied to a horse’s head to restrict its vision.

Blanket Finish: When 2 horses finish a race in a very short distance.

Bookmaker: A company that allows you to place bets on sporting events and non-sporting events.


Canadian: A 5 selection multiple bet which is placed on doubles, trebles, fourfolds and a fivefold.

Chalk Player: A punter who always backs the favourite to win.

Chasing:  A bet that is placed with the purpose of recovering lost bets.

Circled Game: A game that is equal and both teams have an equal chance of winning.

Clerk of the Sales: The official whose job it is to weight a jockey at the end of the race.

Co-Favourite: A joint-favourite – where 2 or more competitors have been given the same odds.

Correct Score: A type of bet that requires you to predict the correct score of a match out of a possible 20 or more different outcomes.

Covering the Spread: The same as betting against the spread and winning.


Dam: A female horse

Dead-Heat: when it’s so close that even a photo-finish cannot separate the 2 winners.

Dog Player: A punter who likes to back the underdog.

Double: A multiple bet that consists of 2 selections.

Double Chance:  Placing a single bet on 2 different outcomes of an event – normally in a football match.

Drifter: When the odds on a horse or team increase as more bettors start backing it.

Ducking: When bookies offer shorter odds on a horse or a team in order to avoid bigger liabilities.

Dutching: Betting on more than one winner in an event – but not all – to make a profit regardless of the final winner.

Double Result: A result of a bet that depends on the outcome of 2 different time periods of a game  – i.e. full-time and half-time in a football match.


Edge: The bettor’s advantage

Each-way: Betting on the same horse to win and to place to increase your chance of winning.

Exacta: A double or multiple bet which includes predicting the first 2 horses to finish in a race in the right order.

Exotic: Another word used to describe bets other than ordinary, straight or parlay bets.

Exposure: The amount of money that any bookmaker can afford to lose in a game.


Favourite: The person/horse/team that is expected to win and has the lowest given odds.

First Goalscorer: A bet placed on the person expected to score the first goal in a match.

First Half Bet: A bet that is placed on the half time result of a game.

Fold: The number of selections made in an accumulator bet – fourfold being four bets etc.

Furlong: The standard unit of distance in horse racing – around 200m. One-eighth of a mile.


GamCare: A Responsible Gambling site that offers advice and help with problem gambling.

Goal Line: This offers whole goals which increase the risk of an under/over because it allows for the score to be exactly on the goal number specified. The odds are reflected in the additional risk factor.

Goliath: This is where you have 247 bets that involve 8 selections within different events. This bet should include the following: 28 doubles; 56 trebles; 70 fourfolds; 56 fivefolds; 28 sixfolds; 8 sevenfolds plus one accumulator bet. At least 2 of these must be successful bets in order to get any return.


Half-time Bet: A bet placed on the result at half-time

Handicap: A system where a weaker team starts at an advantage or a stronger team starts at a disadvantage. In football, a weaker team may start with a 2.5 goal advantage, which means the stronger team needs to win by 3 clear goals to win in the bet. This improves the odds and prices.

Handicapper: The person who studies then rates the bets in order to place a wager.

Hedging: Betting on several different outcomes to either guarantee a win or cut down the chance of a loss.

Heinz: 57 bets with 6 different selections in different events. This should include 15 doubles; 20 trebles; 15 fourfolds; 6 fivefolds plus one accumulator bet. AT least 2 out of these selections need to be correct in order to get any return.

Hook: An extra half a point added to betting lines in sports such as football or basketball.


IBAS: Independent Betting Arbitration Service. A service that is created to help settle disputes between bettors and bookmakers.


Lay: Accepting a bet for a win. If you lay a bet then you are effectively betting on it to lose as you will have to pay out if it wins.

Lengthen: If a bookie isn’t seeing much in terms of activity for what should be a popular bet, it might lengthen/increase the odds in order to make the bet more attractive.

Line: The points or odds spread in a specific event or game.

Lock: An outcome or winner that is almost guaranteed. Mostly used in American betting.

Longshot: A player, team, horse that is probably not going to win.

Lucky 15: This consists of 15 bets that should include 4 selections in different events. This should include 4 singles; 6 doubles; 4 trebles and a fourfold. If only one of your selections is successful, returns will be paid to double the odds. However, should all 4 of your selections win; you’ll get a 10% added bonus. You can also get Lucky 31s and Lucky 63s.




Match Betting: The most common type of bet. You can bet on either team to win or a draw.

Monkey: Slang for £500

Multiples: Another way to say accumulators. These involve making more than one selection. You can have doubles, trebles and more. All of your selections in your multiple must be successful in order for you to win.


Nap: The tipsters best bet of that day.

No Action: A bet where you neither win nor lose any money.

Non Runner: In horse racing, if you bet on a horse that never even makes it into the starting line-up then it’s called a non-runner. Most bookmakers will offer you your stake back in this case, as long as your bet isn’t an ante-post wager.

Number Spread: An index that is based around the number of goals, runs and points scored in a match or event.


Odds: Also known as the price. This is the return that you will get on your wager.

Odds on: This is a bet where the odds are less than evens.

Odds Against: A bet where the odds are greater than evens.

Outright Bet: A straightforward bet. You can place your bet on a match-winner, cup winner, tournament winner, race winner or more. It is just a single wager on one selection from an event to win.

Outsider: The choice least likely to win.

Over: In total goals betting you can bet on over/under a certain goal score – usually 2.5 goals. If you bet on Over, you are putting your money on at least 3 goals being scored in a game.

Over-round: A betting book should theoretically add up to 100%. However, with a bookmaker’s profit margin included, the figure is normally above 100%. This is classed as an ‘over-round’.


Parlay: Another term for accumulator used mainly in America

Patent: Consists of 7 bets that involve 3 selections in different events. These bets should include 1 single per selection; 3 doubles plu 1 treble. For a guaranteed return, you need just 1 successful selection.

Point Spread: The scoring differential between two teams or opponents as predicted by the sportsbook.

Pony: Slang term for £25.

Price: Another name for betting odds.

Punter: The person who places a bet.


Round Robin: a 3 selection punt that consists of 10 bets: these include 3 doubles; 1 treble alongside 3 up and down single stake bets about pairs.

Runner: A person who places bets on another person’s behalf.


Scout: Someone who waits it out for an unusually strong bet.

Sharp: Professional gambler.

Singles: The simplest bet. Only backing one outcome in order to see a return on your wager.

Special Bets: These bets can include aspects like: the number of free-kicks in a game; the number of corners; the time of the first goal. These are bets that are different from the norm and are generally only found in certain bookmakers.

Spread Betting: This is where you back a team to cover a spread. It is similar to a handicap, as effectively you are stating that a team will lose by no more than 2 points, or will win by 4 clear points.

Super Heinz: This consists of 120 bets that involve 7 selections from different events. This should include 21 doubles; 35 trebles; 35 fourfolds; 21 fivefolds; 7 sixfolds plus 1 accumulator. In order to see a return, at least 2 or more of your selections need to be successful.

Super Yankee: Another term for a Canadian (see above).


Tic-Tac: The signals that bookmakers use to communicate on a racecourse.

Trebles: A bet which consists of 3 selections in different events. These must all be successful to see a return on your wager.

Trixie: This consists of 4 bets that involves 3 selections from different events. It should include 3 doubles and 1 treble. To see a return, a minimum of 2 of these bets need to be successful.


Under: This is when you decide to bet on ‘Under’ a fixed amount of goals being scored in a match (usually 2.5). This means that in order to win. There needs to be 2 or fewer goals scored in that match.

Underdog: The team or player that people expect to lose.


Value Bet: If you work out that the odds are higher than the percentage chance of the player or team winning then this is a value bet. If you believe a football team has a 50% chance of winning and the odds of the team winning are greater than evens, then this is deemed to be a value bet.


Wise Guy: Someone who is knowledgeable about betting or handicapping.


Yankee: This consists of 11 bets that involve 4 selections in different events. This should include: 6 doubles; 4 trebles plus one accumulator. In order to get a return, at least 2 of your selections have to be successful.