Betting Terms & Definitions (A-Z) – October 2021

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Viewed and reviewed by: Wayne L. Winston

On this page you'll find a full list of betting terms along with a basic definition to help you on your betting journey. Tap each letter to go to those corresponding terms, or use the search bar if you already have a betting term in mind. 

 

A

Accumulator – Accumulator betting is a single bet made up of multiple selections. All selections must win for the bet to be successful.

Acca Insurance – This type of promotion is only available for accumulator bets. This sees your stake returned if your bet loses by a single selection.

Alphabet – A type of system bet which consists of six selections. Those six selections consist of two Patent bets, one Yankee bet and 1 sixfold accumulator. The total number of bets is 26.

Arbitrage – When you back all possible outcomes on an event, backing odds from different bookmakers to mathematically guarantee a profit. Bear in mind that it comes with significant risks.

American Odds – A type of odds favoured by American bookmakers and often seen on American sports. The odds for the favourite are indicated by a minus sign, while the odds for the underdogs are indicated by a plus sign.

Example: The minus sign is how much you would need to bet to win $100. So, if you had a -500 odds, you would need to bet $500 to win $100. This has an implied probability of 83.3%. The plus sign is how much you would win for every $100 staked. So, at +500, you would get $500 if you were to bet $100. It had an implied probability of 16.7%.

Ante-Post – Bets placed before the market on horse and greyhound racing has opened. It is generally available at least a day before the event.

Asian Goal Line – A type of betting that predicts the number of goals scored in a football match. The key difference between this and the standard over and under markets is that half and quarter goal markets are also available.

Example: With an over 2.5 market, 2 or fewer goals would see you lose, 3 or more would see you win. 

Asian Handicap – A type of handicap betting popular in Asia. This type of betting aims to level the playing field in games with mismatched teams. Teams are thus handicapped based on their perceived abilities.

B

Back – Also known as to bet or wager, this term simply means you are betting on a specific outcome to come true.  For example, a “backed” horse is one on which the bet has been placed.

Banker – A bet which is believed to be a heavy favourite to win. Do remember, though, that there is no such thing as a sure thing.

Bar Price – Refers to the minimum odds for any runners in a race that have not been quoted with a price during early betting shows.

Beard – An interesting term meaning when someone bets on somebody else's behalf to conceal their identity.

Bet – A prediction of an outcome with a stake attached to its success or failure. Money is almost always the stake in legitimate betting.

Bet Slip – When you place a bet, all the information about that bet is stored here. This should automatically calculate the returns of all your selections.

Best Odds Guaranteed – This means you will get the best price from when you place the bet to the time the race starts, even if those odds change for the better. It is generally associated with horse racing.

Bet Calculator – A tool you can use to quickly calculate your bet returns. It can also be used in some instances to convert between odds types and provide implied probabilities.

Bet Builder- Another tool, this time one provided by a bookmaker which allows you to build your own bets using a wide variety of market combinations. Now quite common amongst top operators.

Betting Exchange – Unlike traditional operators where you bet against the house, a betting exchange sees you bet against, and have odds dictated by, the bets of other users.

Example: Betfair Exchange, Matchbook and Smarkets are all betting exchanges.

Betting Market – Refers to any and all types of bets. It is used interchangeably to mean individual bets as well as betting categories.

Example: “The Over/Under betting markets” or “The first goal scorer markets see Ronaldo as the favourite”.

Betting Odds – An expression of the implied probability of an outcome, according to the bookmaker in question. Also known as 'prices', they are also used to calculate bet returns.

Betting Ring – The main area at a racecourse where the bookmakers operate. This is true for both horse and greyhound racing.

Betting Limits – The maximum or minimum amount you are allowed to bet. Generally, is at the discretion of the bookmaker.

Bismarck – Quite a lesser-known phrase, this refers to when the bookmaker expects the favourite to lose. You will often see high limits and generous promotions to encourage bets in the direction of the favourite in this case.

Bookmakers – The operator who your bets are set against, they provide the markets and odds for you to choose from. It’s also where you get your money if you are successful. Also referred to as 'bookies' for short.

Example: bet365, William Hill and Ladbrokes are all bookmakers.

Booking Points – A type of market based on how many red and yellow cards are shown during a game. Usually a football-based market.

Example: Sky gives 10 points for each yellow card and 25 points for a red card. So, if you had a plus 30 booking points market, one of each would be enough for you to win.

Both Teams to Score – This market sees you win if both teams score by the end of 90 minutes. The winner of the game is irrelevant to this market.

Both Teams To Score & Win – A common double bet. Here, you would need both teams to score and for the team you have backed to win the game for your bet to be successful. Naturally, it offers more generous odds than either market would individually,

Bottle – UK slang for odds of 2/1.

C

Cash Back Bonus – Any kind of promotion where you receive your money back. Usually, this occurs as part of a risk-free bet, where all or part of your stake will be returned if lost.

Cash Bonus – A cash bonus is any bonus amount which is received as cash, as opposed to as a free bet. The practical outcome of this is that you can withdraw these funds right away.

Canadian – Also known as a Super Yankee, this is also a type of system bet. It consists of 26 bets across five different events. More specifically, it is made up of 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 4-folds and one 5-fold.

Carpet – UK slang for odds of 3/1.

Cryptocurrency Betting Sites – Any betting site which accepts cryptocurrency as a form of payment. Bitcoin betting sites are most common. These may reduce your ability to utilise promotions, however.

Correct Score Betting – A market where you win by predicting the correct score exactly. There is no margin for error, meaning generally long odds.

Corners Match Bet – Betting on which team will have the most corners. A really interesting football market for multiples or if you do not want to back a team to win.

Cash Out – A real-time tool which allows you to cash out a bet before that market has ended. Partial cash outs, where you only cash out a percentage of your bet, and automatic cash outs, where your bet is cashed out when the offer hits a certain amount, are also available.

Chalk – An American term for a favourite on a sporting event. It comes from horse racing, where it is most likely to be heard and used.

Clean Sheet – When a football team does not concede any goals, this is regularly referred to as a clean sheet. You can bet on whether or not this will happen on most bookmakers.

D

Deposit methods – The way in which you add funds to your betting account, for the purpose of betting. Fees and transaction times are also important considerations.

Examples: Common deposit methods include bank transfer, debit card and e-wallets. Most are instant and incur no additional fees.

Decimal Odds: An odds format that is common in European markets, although not quite as popular as fractional odds.

Example: 1.2 suggests an implied probability of 83.3%. This means it is another method of expressing the same odds as our American odds example (see above).

Double - A bet consisting of two different selections. Both of these must be correct for the bet to be successful.

Draw No Bet – If you back a team to win under draw no bet market rules, then your stake will be returned if the game ends in a draw. Because this reduces the potential markets (usually) from three to two, it does come with the cost of shorter odds.

Double Chance – In a three-way market, your options are for the home team to win, the away team to win, or the match to end in a draw. A double chance bet means you get to pick two out of these three possibilities, winning if either prediction comes true.

Dead Heat Betting – If a horse racing event ends with two or more horses finishing at exactly the same time, this is known as a dead heat. It can also apply to other sporting markets, and if a dead heat provides two winners, you would receive a 50% cut of your potential winnings.

Drift – When the price of a selection lengthens (increases).

Example: The horses' odds drifted upwards as the race went on.

Dutching – This is where you back up a bet on the favourite with one on the second favourite (see Dutching Calculator for practical use). Because of its multi-participants, this is commonly used on racing markets.

E

Each-Way – Another common horse racing term. An each-way bet consists of two wagers – the first is for the selection to win, and the second is for the selection to place. What consists of a “place” depends on the size of the event, with up to five places seen in bigger races. Each-way is also a common golf term.

Edge – A slang term meaning an advantage. For instance, the bookmaker’s edge is commonly stated when referring to how far the odds favour them (see also: the overround).

Esports: Any kind of sport which utilises video games, now very common among most mainstream bookmakers.

Examples: Counter-Strike, Dota 2 and League of Legends are a few of the most popular and profitable esports in the world.

Enhanced Odds – One of our favourite promotions. Enhanced odds are where the bookmaker provides improved odds (meaning a greater return) on selected markets. In some instances, you get to choose markets to have their odds enhanced.

European Handicap – Another type of handicap betting, similar in concept to Asian handicap betting. The key difference here is the option of a draw.

Exposure – This is the term for the amount of money that a bookmaker may lose on an event. You may not think this would be overly relevant to you, but it could mean lower betting limits.

Expected Goals – A metric used to assess whether a given shot will result in a goal based on a range of factors, including historical data.

E-wallet – A deposit method that allows you to quickly deposit and withdraw funds online. They are especially beneficial for fast withdrawals.

Examples: PayPal, NETELLER and Skrill are all very popular e-wallets.

F

Favourite (Fav) - Also known as the ‘jolly'. The selection considered most likely to win an event and which therefore has the lowest odds.

Fees – A fee, generally, is an amount you are to be charged. In the context of betting, it usually refers to banking fees, such as a charge for withdrawing with a specific payment option.

Fixed Odds – These are the odds you get from a bookmaker at that given time. It means that you are stuck at that price, even if they change closer to the event.

First Corner – A market where you bet on which team will get the first corner. Great for making the opening minutes of a football match more interesting.

First Half Bet - A bet placed solely on the first half of an event. Any market could theoretically apply. See section ‘H’ for some examples of these markets.

Form – The recent performances of a team, player, horse, or whatever is relevant for that particular sport. Calculated through statistical data from recent events.

Example: “With three wins in a row under their belt, Arsenal have displayed excellent form.”

Fold – An indicator of the size of an accumulator. For instance, 5-fold means 5 selections.

Forecast Betting - A bet that involves correctly predicting the 1st and 2nd place for a particular event. Regularly seen and used on horse or greyhound racing.

Fractional Odds – The most popular kind of odds, available on almost all European betting sites. If not immediately available, the option to switch to fractional odds is available on many sites should you find them easier to work with.

Example: Odds of 1/5 have the same probability as 1.2 decimal and -500 American, at 83.3%. Once again, they are all different means of expressing the same things.

Free Bet – Any bet which you can place without needing to place your own stakes. The winnings you receive will almost certainly not include the stake, and will likely be subject to additional terms, such as wagering requirements.

Example: Coral is offering a “Bet £5 Get £25 In Free Bets” offer.

Full-Time Result – Generally utilised as a part of team sports, Full Time Result (or 1X2) allows you to pick who you think will win at the end of the full-time play, or if it will end in a draw. It is the most popular kind of sporting market.

G

GamCare - The largest provider of support for problem gamblers in Great Britain. Their contact details are readily available on the responsible gaming sections of a huge number of betting sites.

Goalscorer – There are several different goalscorer markets. These include First Goalscorer, where you bet on which who will score first, Anytime Goalscorer, where you back a player to score at any point during the game, First Team to Score, where you select which team you think will score the first goal, and more.

Goliath - A bet consisting of 247 bets involving 8 selections in separate events. The bet includes 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 4-folds, 56 5-folds, 28 6-folds, 8 7-folds and an accumulator. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful for a return.

H

Half Time Result – Select who you think will be the winner (or if you think the result will be a draw) at the end of the first half. What happens after has no impact on this market.

Half Time Full Time – This bet requires you to correctly predict the result at the end of the first half, as well as full-time result. Both must be correct to be successful.

Half Time Score – A market where you need to correctly predict the exact score at the end of the first half to end up with a successful bet.

Half With Most Goals – Instead of betting on a team, here you will be betting on which half of the game will have the most goals. An interesting market which does not require you to back a team, but rather predict the kind of game it will be.

Hedging – Placing multiple bets to minimise your risk of losing. “Hedging your bets” is now a common term often heard outside the world of gambling.

Heinz - A system bet consisting of 57 bets involving 6 selections in separate events. The bet includes 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 4-folds, 6 5-folds and 1 6-fold.

I

IBAS – This acronym stands for the Independent Betting Adjudication Service, who are there to help resolve disputes between yourself and the bookmaker should there be no way of settling it otherwise.

Implied Probability – We have brought this up when talking about odds before. The implied probability is how likely the bookmaker thinks that prediction is to come true.

Example: 100/1 has an implied probability of 1%, which would mean the operator thinks the chances of that event coming true to be extremely low.

J

Joint-Favourites – A favourite is a team or competitor that is considered as most likely to win. The joint-favourite is where there are two who seem equally likely to win.

Jolly – This is a slang term for “favourite”. Once again, this is the selection considered most likely to win with the lowest odds.

L

Lay – You will find this phrase most commonly on betting exchanges. When you lay a bet, it means that you are betting against someone else winning.

Lengthen – When odds are lengthened it means they have gotten larger. To be clear, by larger we mean that you will get higher returns the more the odds lengthen.

Live Betting – Any form of betting that is happening on events as they are occurring. Live betting odds often change as the relevant sporting event unfolds.

Live Streaming – Many betting sites provide the opportunity to watch the event you are betting on as it happens by means of 'live-streams'. In some instances, you will only be able to use a live stream if you have placed a bet.

Long-Shot – A term used to refer to a pick that is believed to be extremely unlikely to win. It may also be known as an outsider.

Loyalty Programme – Any kind of promotion which rewards long-term use of the site can be considered a loyalty programme. These may also be known as VIP programmes.

Lucky 15 - A bet consisting of 15 bets involving 4 selections in separate events. The bet includes 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 4-fold.

Lucky 31 - A bet consisting of 31 bets involving 5 selections in separate events. The bet includes 5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 4-folds and 1 5-fold.

Lucky 63 - A bet consisting of 63 bets involving 6 selections in separate events. The bet includes 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 4-folds, 6 5-folds and 1 6-fold.

M

Minimum Bet – This is the lowest amount the bookmaker will allow you to bet. It can be different depending on the sport or event.

Mobile App – An application you can download and use on your phone or mobile device. In the context of betting, many operators have apps to provide the best mobile betting experience they possibly can.

Mobile Betting – Any kind of betting done on mobile can be considered mobile betting, whether through an app or simply a mobile desktop version of the site.

Mobile Bonus – While promotions generally are available across desktop and mobile, sometimes bookmakers try to encourage mobile use by having promotions exclusive to those betting on mobile. Hence, a mobile bonus.

Money Line – An American term referring to Full-Time Result betting. It is named as such based on the plus and minus “lines” on American Odds.

Monkey – British slang referring to £500.

Multi-Goal Betting – This type of betting sees you select between a range of possible final goal amounts.

Example: You could back a 2-4 goal market in a football game. If the total number of goals falls in this range, your bet is a winner; if it is under 2 or more than 4, your bet loses.

N

Nap - The selection that a tipster nominates as their strongest bet of the day. Do note that this may not necessarily always be the best advice.

No Deposit Free Bet – This is a free bet you can get without ever having to make a deposit, usually rewarded after registration. Remember that you will almost certainly have to deposit something to take out your winnings as part of the terms and conditions.

Non-Runner – Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. This is a term for when a greyhound or horse cannot run that day. If you have backed a non-runner, you should be able to expect a refund from decent bookmakers.

O

Odds – The probability of that market being successful, according to the bookmaker. It is also reflective of the return you can expect.

Odds-Against - Where the odds of a selection are greater than even money (e.g. 5/2).

Oddsmaker – This is the person or persons who set/s the odds. Keep in mind, though, that this is often based on betting trends and competition, rather than simply an individual's opinion.

Odds-On - Where the odds of a selection are less than even money (e.g. 4/5).

On The Nose – A horse-racing term where you bet on that horse “To Win” only, without any other selections or to place.

Outlay – Another term for the stake, referring to the amount of money invested on that particular bet.

Outsider - Another term for a long shot. Once again, it’s a selection that is considered to be very unlikely to win.

Over/Under – Any market where the goal is to predict whether the number of an instance will be above or below a certain amount. Common over/under examples include corners, cards and goals.

Example: You could bet on overall goals to be over 2.5. If the overall goals were three, that would mean the bet was a winner.

Overround – A term used to describe a bookmaker's inbuilt profit margin on any of its betting markets. The amount above 100% for all possible markets is the overround - the lower, the better.

Own Goal – In football, when a team accidentally scores against their own team, it is known as an own goal. It happens more frequently than you may imagine, meaning this is a fairly common betting market.

P

Parlay – Another term for an accumulator. Both are single bets with multiple selections that all have to be correct for the bet to be successful.

Patent - A bet consisting of 7 bets involving 3 selections in separate events. The bet includes a single on each selection, 3 doubles and 1 treble.

Payout – The amount of money you receive if your bet is successful. This includes both the stake and the winnings.

Permutations – This is any kind of system bet which requires you to place a series of wagers in a distinct order and combinations to cover the markets in a strategic way. Lucky 15s or Goliath bets are examples.

Pool – A form of gambling where you pay a fixed amount into a pool, after which the money is divided equally between everyone who made the correct prediction. There are no odds involved, so this is a very unique way of betting.

Price – Another term for betting odds.

Promotions – An offer from the operator which provides some kind of bonus to the user, often through the latter completing some kind of set criteria. There’s a huge number of promotions variations usually available across different bookmakers.

Examples: Free bets, welcome offers, Acca insurance, enhanced odds, and Best Odds Guaranteed are all promotions.

Promo Code – A code you must enter, often during registration, to opt into a particular promotion. Not entering the promo code could leave you missing out on the offer in question.

Punter – Another word for someone who is a betting customer of that site. A general slang term for people who enjoy betting.

Place betting – This is a popular horse-racing bet where your horse doesn’t need to win but can come up other top positions for the bet to be successful. The amount of places goes up to five in big races, and this is a great market to combine with others.

Placepot - A bet whereby you are required to pick a placed horse in the first 6 races of a meeting.

Pony – British slang for £25.

R

Racing Card – This is where all the information for that day's races are stored. Online sites will generally have their version of these cards available alongside the markets.

Return – Another term for your winnings or payout. Put simply, the amount of money you get if you win.

Request a bet - These days, plenty of bookmakers allow you to request a bet through Twitter if it is not available on the site. If they accept, they will provide you odds, which you can then see if you choose to accept them.

Referral Bonus – Any kind of bonus you get for referring other people to a betting site is known as a referral bonus. It would generally be a free bet or occasionally cash bonus; that said, the details are entirely down to the bookmaker.

Round Robin – This is where you combine a series of accumulator bets. Generally, it consists of several smaller accas instead of one big one. A nice mix of parlay and system betting.

Runner – A competitor in a race, usually referring to horse or greyhound racing.

Rule 4 – This is a general rule for horse racing, consistent across bookmakers. Rule 4 refers to the reduction in winnings to take into consideration any non-runners in the race.

S

Scorecast – One of the most popular kinds of double bet, the scorecast bet is where you try to predict both a goalscorer and the final score. It works so well because it allows you to build a coherent picture of the game.

Stake – This is another term for the amount you are betting on that particular selection. If someone said the stakes were high, for instance, it would mean you had put a large bet on.

Super Heinz – As the name suggests, this is even bigger than a regular Heinz bet. The Super Heinz consists of 120 bet and seven selections. This breaks down into 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfold bets, 21 fivefold bets, 7 sixfold bets and a single sevenfold bet.

Spread Betting – A type of unit-based over/under betting that is popular in America. Do keep in mind that it has the potential for greater wins or losses than typical betting.

Example: If the spread was 2.9 – 3.1 goals and you bought at £10, you would get £10 for each goal (the unit in this case) above 3 goals. You would lose £10 for every goal under 3. This would be reversed if you decided to sell, losing £10 with every goal above 3 scored.

Special Bets – A broad term for any kind of bet that is not part of the usual betting line up. It could be the method of the fight ending in an MMA market, for instance.

System Bets - Put simply, this is a combination of betting picks crafted to cover as many markets as effectively as possible. There are several system bet examples in this glossary.

T

Terms And Conditions – An online document which breaks down the rules of that particular subject, promotion, or indeed the site in general. They are a big part of the quality of any bookmaker, and should be read carefully by all punters.

The Gambler's Fallacy - The mistaken belief that something is less likely or more likely to happen based on past results. Almost a kind of superstition.

Tic-Tac - The sign language which UK bookmakers use to communicate with each other on-course. Not much of an issue is online gaming.

Timecast Betting – One more interesting double here. Timecast betting is when you bet on both the goalscorer and time of that goal; you'll be able to find some incredibly precise and potentially long odds market here.

Tote - The organisation in the UK set up to operate pool-betting on all racecourses. Once owned by Betfred, it now has its own dedicated site.

To Win To Nil – A bet placed on a team to win and not to concede a goal.

To Score In Both Halves – A bet placed on a team to score in the first and second half.

To Win Either Half – A bet placed on a team to win either half of the match.

To Win Both Halves – A bet placed on a team to win both the first and second half.

To Win From Behind – A bet placed on a team to win after trailing by at least a goal at some stage.

Treble – A bet consisting of 3 selections. All must win for the bet to be successful.

Tricast – A bet which involves correctly predicting the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in a racing event.

Trixie – A bet consisting of 4 bets involving 3 selections in separate events. The bet includes 3 doubles and 1 treble.

U

UK Gambling Commission – In the United Kingdom, the UK Gambling Commission is the key regulatory body for all casinos and sportsbooks. They are the relevant licence UK players will want to look out for to see if an operator is legitimate.

V

Virtual Sports – This is a version of popular sports - for example, F1 racing or tennis - that is rendered virtually. You can bet on these virtual sports just as you would on their traditional, real-life counterparts.

Value Bet – A term used to describe a bet where you think you have the edge on the bookmaker. The most common type of value bet would be on where you believe they have predicted the game probabilities wrong to a large degree.

Vig – This is an American term for overround. It can also refer to any fees charged.

W

Wagering Requirement – A vital part of any promotion’s terms and conditions. The wagering requirement is the amount that the bonus needs to be played for any winning from a free bet to be paid out.

Example: If your free bet was £5, and it had a 5x wagering requirement, you would need to bet £25 to withdraw any winnings from your free bet.

Welcome Offer – Broadly speaking, this refers to any kind of promotions that is only offered to new players. It is often where you find the most generous promotions.

Wincast Betting – Similar to a scorecast bet, but a little bit easier. A wincast bet sees you pick an anytime goalscorer and back a team to win, as opposed to the exact score.

Winning Margin – This is the margin by which one team triumphs over another.

Example: If Leeds Rhinos were to beat Bradford Bulls 28-24, the winning margin would be four points.

Withdrawals – The process by which you take money out of your account registered on a betting site. A withdrawal method is the option with which you choose to use to do this, and on many bookmakers, it will need to be the same as the deposit method used (where applicable). Withdrawals tend to take quite a bit longer than deposits and can come with fees.

Y

Yankee - A bet consisting of 11 bets involving 4 selections in separate events. The bet includes 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 4-fold.

 

What Should I Do If I Come Across Betting Terms I Don’t Understand?

We have done absolutely everything we can to make this as comprehensive a look at all of the key betting terms out there. This betting glossary can generally be used as a reference point to keep you out of any confusion surrounding betting terminology - be it football terms, horse-racing terms or any other general betting terms. But you never know - perhaps a site has their own way of phrasing things we have not seen. If that is the case, and you are unsure of what something means, don’t just leave it and hope for the best. Our advice is to contact customer service and get everything cleared up from the site themselves.

Looking to bet on golf? Check out our separate guide to the most important golf terms.

Betting Terms Explained

When it comes to the betting world, there are a whole range of betting terms that punters may come across and therefore need to learn. Understanding what these betting terminologies mean is not only important in improving your general knowledge when it comes to betting, but it should also help you make better betting decisions.

Above you'll find our betting glossary filtered in alphabetical order. Any betting terms that we've created a full guide for on site will be highlighted in blue.

We will continue to update the page with new betting terminologies so if you come across a term or phrase that isn't included on this page, then feel free to contact us and let us know.

 

The Punters Page Final Say

The reason we suggest going to customer service if you are unsure about anything is that knowledge is power when it come to betting. The more betting terms you know, the smarter bets you can make. And that’s not just when it comes to form or teams, but actually the betting process itself – and there’s no better way of increasing your betting IQ than by wrapping your head around the correct betting terminology. It really opens your eyes to just how deep and varied the betting world is, and having that understanding means you have more tools at your disposal and more opportunities to locate and take advantage of the markets that are right for you.