This page contains a description of all the betting terms to help American punters get started on their online betting journey or to enhance their understanding of the variety and depth of betting options out there.

Simply tap the relevant letter below to narrow down your search, or utilize the search bar if you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Accumulator bet: Typically known as parlay betting in the USA, an accumulator is a single bet that links multiple selections. All of these must be correct in order for the bet to be successful.

Across The Board: A form of horse racing bet which succeeds should the horse win, place, and show.

Action: A live betting option or betting terminology for the total amount wagered on an event.

Added Game: This is a game added later than the main lists. This often happens when college football games are in high demand, or as a result of postponement.

AET odds: Extra time odds for soccer games. Typically, a live betting option.

Alphabet: This is a complex form of system betting which utilizes six selections with a total number of bets of 26. These selections include two “Patent” bets, a six-fold accumulator, and a “Yankee” bet. Definitions of these betting terms and meanings can also be found on this page.

Alternate Lines: Odds lines lower or higher than the standard money lines, for example, on point spread and game total markets in high scoring games like football or baseball.

American Odds1: Put simply, this is the kind of odds you will most likely find on American bookmakers. It is easily recognizable by the use of the negative sign for favorite and plus sign for markets below evens. American odds tell you how much you would receive if you bet $100. So, $100 bet on +100 is $100 profit plus your stake (50% implied probability). Negative numbers tell you how much you would need to bet to receive $100. So, -200 odds would mean you’d need to bet $200 to win $100 (implied probability 66.7%).

Ante-post: Another term for a type of futures betting used commonly on international (particularly) European dog and horse racing markets. This betting terminology refers to betting before the runners in a race are confirmed.

Arbitrage: This is a betting strategy where the bettor places wagers on all available markets on an event across multiple bookmakers in order to mathematically ensure a profit regardless of the result.

Asian Corners: A type of soccer spread betting market where teams are handicapped according to their perceived abilities. As the name would suggest, it is the number of corners that are handicapped under the terms of a bet.

Asian Goal Line: This is largely as explained in the sports betting definitions immediately above. It is a handicap market where the team viewed as likely to score more in a soccer game is handicapped, so the stronger team must score more goals in order to win under these betting terms.

Asian Handicap: In a betting glossary, this is an umbrella term which encompasses Asian goal line and Asian corners. They all come from a popular form of handicap betting in Asia, where soccer teams are handicapped in order to level the odds between teams perceived as mismatched. The difference in these betting terms and normal handicap markets is that Asian handicaps can include the likes of quarter or half points of whatever variable is being wagered on.

ATS: In betting words, these are referred to as “against the spread odds”, which create a handicap aimed at creating an even playing field across mismatched teams.

Back: Among vital sports gambling terms and phrases, to back a bet means placing a wager on something to happen. Let's say you “back” the Buffalo Bills to win the Superbowl, you are putting your money on them to win. What you back defines the terms of a bet.

Backdoor cover: When a score covers the spread without impacting the winner of the game.
Example: Cleveland Browns are a -10 favorite against the Baltimore Ravens. Browns are up 38 – 27. A late touchdown from the Ravens takes the score to 38-33, meaning they don’t win but would provide backdoor cover for those backing the Baltimore Ravens.

Bad Beat: A bet that loses after being on the verge of winning.

Banker: A bet you consider to be very likely to win — alternative betting jargon for a heavy favorite.

Bankroll: Broadly speaking in betting terms, the bankroll is the amount set aside for betting. Bankroll management is vital to safe and successful betting.

Bar Price: In horse and greyhound racing, these are runners that don’t yet have a price.

Beard: This is when a person bets on behalf of another to maintain their anonymity.

Best Odds Guaranteed: A promotion which ensures you will receive the best price on horse racing betting markets, even if the odds change from when you placed your bets.

Bet: There’s no simpler betting words than the “bet” itself. A sports bet is where you wager money on a prediction on some kind of variable of a sporting event.

Bet Builder: A newer addition to the betting glossary, a bet builder is a tool which allows you to create your own same game parlays from a variety of combinations.

Bet Calculator: One of the most versatile betting terms. A betting calculator is a tool that can be used to calculate returns, give implied probabilities or convert between odd types. It’s important if you’re used to American odds but are using a European site with decimal/fractional odds.

Bet Slip: Whether it’s on a physical piece of paper given to you by a bookie, or what you see on your computer screen, the sports betting definition of bet slip remains the same. It’s where all your betting information is stored, including your stake, selections, and potential returns.

Betting Exchange: Less an addition to betting terms and more a whole new way to bet. The betting exchange allows you to wager against other users instead of a bookmaker. Betfair is a very popular betting exchange in the United States.

Betting Limits: Maximum betting limits refer to how much you can wager on a single market and/or event, while minimum betting limits are the lowest bet bookies will accept. In addition, you can create your own betting limits on many bookmakers to control the amount you are gambling in order to aid in betting responsibly.

Betting Market: The market is what defines the terms of a bet. For instance, backing the Nets to beat the 76ers is a betting market. Do note that as far as meanings go, a betting market can refer to both individual markets and betting strategy. So, the above example could also be correctly considered under NBA betting markets.

Betting Odds2: One of the most important betting terms to understand, betting odds are a representation of the implied probability of a potential outcome on a sports event. They can also tell you your returns, and come in the form of fractional, decimal, and American odds. All these sports gambling terms and phrases are different ways of expressing the same thing: returns and probability.

Betting Ring: In betting jargon, the betting ring is where bookmakers operate and take bets at a racecourse.

Betting Strategy: Any plan that a bettor might have to gamble more successfully.

Booking Points: A form of soccer betting markets based on the number of red and yellow penalty cards (a form of punishment for rule breaking in soccer) given in a game. Each card is given points, and you can bet on whether the total booking points will be over or under the amount set by the bookmaker.
Example: You bet on booking points to be over 40 points. 10 points are assigned to a yellow card, 25 points to a red card. Two yellow cards and a red card are awarded, and your wager is a winner.

Bookmakers: An organization that accepts your bets and provides the odds for which you may bet against. DraftKings, BetMGM and FanDuel are all examples of bookmakers.

Both Teams to Score: In low-scoring games such as hockey, you can often simply bet on whether both teams will score by the end of regulation play.

Both Teams to Score & Win: Some betting terms are exactly what they sound like. Here, you need each team to score and for the team you have backed to win for your bet to be successful.

Canadian: Also known as the “Super Yankee”, this type of bet consists of 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five 4-folds, and a 5-fold across five events.

Cash Back Bonus: Receive your bet back as cash if it loses. One of the more generous sports betting definitions as a refund offer would typically be provided as a free bet.

Cash Bonus: Exactly what it sounds like, this is any bonus provided in cash that you can withdraw immediately without wagering requirements.

Cash Out: One of the most important modern betting terms to understand. To cash out is to settle your bet before the competition ends at a lower level of compensation. Additional relevant sports gambling phrases include partial cash out, where only part of your bet is cashed out; and automatic cash outs, where you have chosen to cash out when the return offer hits a certain level.
Example: You have backed the Philadelphia Eagles to beat the San Francisco 49ers. There’s 12 minutes to go and the Eagles are leading by three points. Your full return would be $23.50, but you can cash out now for $14.00.

CFP: The College Football Playoffs to determine the NCAA Football National Champion.

Chalk: Most often used in horse racing, this is an alternative betting jargon for a favorite. A Chalk bettor is someone who typically bets on favorites.

Circled Game: A fixture with low fixed maximum bet amounts.

Clean Sheet: When a team does not concede a goal or point, it is considered a clean sheet. This is also a potential betting market.

Closing line: Betting words that simply mean the final odds posted before an event begins.

Combine: Fitness tests used by scouts to evaluate amateur athletes. A vital part of the NFL Draft.

Commission: The amount a betting exchange takes from winning wagers in fees. Sometimes used as another word for vig.

Corners Match Bet: In soccer, you can bet on all kinds of things, even which team will have the most corners as that’s the terms of a bet with the corner match market.

Correct Score Betting: These betting terms might be simple, but the prediction is not. This requires you to get the score exactly correct. Better suited to low-scoring games like hockey and soccer unless you want amazingly long odds.

Covering the Spread: When a favorite both wins and the final score exceeds the points spread, this is known as covering the spread.
Example: Let’s say, the Bengals were -12 favorites up against the Bills. The final score is 27-10, meaning they won and covered the spread.

Cryptocurrency Betting Sites3: We’ll have betting terms explained in two parts here. Cryptocurrencies are a form of decentralized digital currency. Any site which accepts them is a cryptocurrency betting site. They are legal in most states where gambling is generally legal.

Dead Heat: More horse betting lingo explained. If runners finish at the exact same time, you have a dead heat. And for bonus betting terms and meaning, dead heat betting would mean you’d get your winning cut by as many runners were in the finish.
Example: If there was a dead heat between two runners, you’d get 50% of your returns. If there were three, you’d get 33.3% of your returns.

Decimal Odds: An alternative odds format to American odds that's popular in Europe.
Example: 2.6 would have an implied probability of 38.5%, This would convert to +160 in American odds.

Deposit Methods: Also known as payment methods, these refer to how you add funds to your account in order to place a bet. Examples include Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, American Express, and bank wire.

Double: A simple parlay bet featuring two different selections.

Double Action: A bet where a second wager is automatically placed should the first one be successful.

Double Chance: More sports betting definitions focused on the three-way money markets. Let’s say there are three possibilities: Team A wins, Team B wins, or it ends in a draw. The terms of a bet with double chance simply allows you to pick two or three options, with you being a winner in the event of either being successful.

Double-Header: Sometimes two games are played back-to-back, often in the case of a previous game cancellation. This is quite common in baseball.

Draw: Simple betting terminology meaning a final score that ends with a tie and no winner.

Draw No Bet: The meaning behind draw no bet is simple. If a game ends in a draw, you get your stake back, like the wager was never placed. This reduces the number of moneyline markets from three to two, and can thus often provide more generous odds.

Drift: The amount the money line moves after initially being posted.

Dutching: A type of horse betting strategy where the stake is split across several selections on the same event, so an equal profit is made no matter the outcome. Horse/greyhound racing is where you’d most likely hear this betting terminology thanks to its multiple participants.

Each-Way: More racing sports betting definitions here. Each-way is a common racing bet where you back a runner across two bets: one to win and another to place. These terms of a bet can also be seen commonly in golf markets.

Edge: Broadly speaking, an edge in betting is an advantage. More specifically, the betting terminology “edge” can also mean the house edge, which is the percentage above 100% when you add up the implied probability of all possible markets on an event. This is also known as the vig.

Enhanced odds: A form of promotions where bookmakers offer you an improvement on your standard odds. Put simply, this type of bonus improves your returns, and you may even be able to choose the enhanced odds market yourself. There are alternative betting terms for this offer, including odds boost and bet boost.

Esports: An umbrella term meaning a multiplayer video game which is played competitively for sport. Popular examples include FIFA, Call of Duty and Counter-Strike.

European Handicap: The difference in the meaning between sports gambling terms and phrases Asian and European handicap is that the latter only deals in whole numbers. It also allows for the option of a draw.

Even Money: A bet which returns the exact amount of the original bet. In American odds, this would require +100 odds.
Example: If you bet $10 at +100 odds, you’d get $10 back in profit alongside your stake.

E-wallet: PayPal, Skrill and NETELLER are all forms of e-wallets. An e-wallet is an online software which allows for the fast transaction of funds online, frequently used by sports betting sites.

Exotic bet: Any kind of bet outside your usual points spread, moneylines and so on. Commonly known as specials of prop bets.

Exposure: The amount a bookmaker could lose at an event. This has an impact on both odds and betting limits, but is not among betting terms especially relevant to your betting strategies.

Fantasy Betting4: This is a form of betting where you don’t bet on the outcome of an individual sporting event. Instead, you create a fantasy sports team which accumulates points depending on the performance of players chosen based on various statistics. FanDuel and DraftKings are two of the most popular fantasy betting options in the US and indeed, the world.

Favorite (Fav): A common betting terminology meaning the selection considered most likely to win, with the shortest odds.

Fees: Any amount that you are charged for depositing or withdrawing funds can be considered a fee as per the understanding of general betting terms and meaning.

Final Four: The final four teams in any tournament could use these betting terms, although it most prominently means the last teams remaining in the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.

First Quarter Bet: In sports where play is split into quarters — such as is the case with the NBA — you can bet on the results of individual quarter as though they were a game within a game. Half and 3rd quarter bets work the same, which is why there’s no need for explaining these additional betting terms.

First Scorer: Available on many sports, the terms of a bet called first scorer is always the same. You bet on who will score first in any kind of competition — from the Premier League to the NHL, with plenty more possibilities in between. There’s also last and anytime scorer markets, where you can bet on who will score last or indeed, any time during a game.

Fixed Odds: This means that the terms of a bet, your odds and potential returns are set from the moment of your wager. In other words, your bet is stuck at those odds even if they improve closer to the event.

Fold: Another word for selection in parlay betting.

Forecast Betting: Racing fans will find this betting lingo explained most useful. In this type of bet, you back who will come in both first and second place in a race.

Form: More general than most betting terms, the form of a team or athlete generally refers to the quality of their recent performances.
Example: The exceptional form of star quarterback Patrick Mahomes was integral to the Kansas City Chiefs 2023 Super Bowl victory.

Fractional Odds: This is the most popular way of articulating odds on European betting sites and can occasionally be seen on American sites as well. Fractional odds are an example of betting terms also regularly used in everyday life. If we were to ask for ½ an orange, you’d probably know how much we wanted.
Example: Odds of 1/3 is the American odds equivalent of 75%, with decimal odds of 1.33. The implied probability would be 75%. The sports betting terms and meaning of all odds types are simply different ways of expressing the same probability and returns.

Free Bet: A common type of bonus where you receive money you can use to bet without having to stake your own. The difference between this and free cash is that with the latter, you may withdraw right away, but the betting terms of a free bet means you’ll have to meet additional terms such as a rollover requirement before withdrawal.
Example: BetMGM are offering 100% back on your first deposit in free bets up to $1000.

Futures Bet: The betting terms and meaning behind futures betting is quite open. This is any sort of wager placed on an event in the future. Betting on the NBA Finals, for instance, is a common futures betting market.

GameSense: An organization which advises on how to bet responsibly and provides support for those with gambling addictions. They are broadly accessible and have been adopted by BetMGM.

Goalscorer: In hockey, any player who scores goals (that is, hits the back of the net by passing the goal line for a point), is a goal scorer. Relevant markets include first goalscorer, any time goal scorer, and first team to score. These are also common markets, usually advertised with the same betting terminology, for soccer.

Goliath: Of all the betting lingo explained which reflects a large multiple bet, the Goliath is one which truly lives up to the name. 247 bets are taken over eight selections. The bet includes 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 4-folds, 56 5-folds, 28 6-folds, 8 7-folds, and an additional single parlay bet.

Graded Bet: A bet is considered graded when it is officially marked as a winner by the bookmaker once a game is over. It is the official call of the bookmaker.

Grand Salami: We know you’ll want this betting terminology explained — how could you resist with a name like that? The Grand Salami is an over/under market on the total goals/points/runs from an entire league.

Half Time Result: Betting terms relevant for all kinds of sports now. Half time result markets see you back who you think will be winning at the end of the first half in all kinds of sports.

Half Time Score: The terms of a bet for half time score requires you to predict the exact scoreline at half time.

Half Time/Full Time: This is a double type of market but the betting words are easy to understand. You must predict both a winner at full time and also the leader at half time, with both needing to be correct to enjoy any returns.

Half With Most Points: More sports gambling terms and phrases relevant to many popular American sports. Half with most points markets ask you to predict which half will see the highest number of points from all competitors. It does not typically require you to back any to win and is great for high-scoring games like the NBA and MLB.

Handle: The total amount a bookmaker will accept on a single market.

Hart Trophy: A great futures market, the Hart trophy is awarded to the most outstanding player in the regular NHL season.

Hedging: When you place multiple bets in order to reduce your risk, it is often known as “hedging your bets”.

Heinz: Another example of sports betting definitions referring to a system bet. 57 bets are required here, including 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-leg parlays, six 5-leg parlays and a 6-legged parlay.

Home Field Advantage: The concept that a team playing at home has an advantage based on familiar surroundings, less travel, and fan support.

Hook: The half point added to game total odds and points spreads so that a draw result is not possible.

If Bet: This betting jargon refers to a betting strategy where a second bet will be placed only if the first is successful.

Implied Probability: All odds are a reflection of implied probability. Indeed, this is the case whether we are using American, Decimal or Fractional odds.
Example: -200, 1.5 and ½ all reflect an implied probability of 50%.

Joint Favorites: When there are two favorites considered equally likely to win a contest. Such betting terms are most likely in events with multiple participants.

Juice: The cut a sportsbook takes for accepting your bet, commonly taken from the points spread.

Lay: You can consider “Lay” betting to be the opposite in meaning to “Back” betting. It is where you bet on something not to happen. For instance, you could bet on the Detroit Tigers not to win against the New York Yankees. It is common on betting exchanges.

Lengthen: If odds have been lengthened, they will provide larger returns.

Line: Common US term for the odds posted by the bookie.

Live Betting: Some betting terms do exactly what they sound like — and in this case, live betting is where you bet on a sporting event as it happens.

Livestreaming: Top bookmakers are able to offer you the ability to watch your favorite sports as well as bet on them, and this is done by streaming an event live. Do note this is less likely on sports like American football, which have exclusive television deals.

Lock: If something is a “lock”, it is said to be a sure thing. Remember, in sports betting, there’s no such thing.

Long-Shot: A pick that is viewed to be very unlikely to win. This should come with long odds.

Loyalty Program: Alternative sports gambling terms and phrases for this include VIP program. This is a kind of promotion that provides progressive rewards for long term use of a sportsbook.

Lucky 15: A kind of system bet with 15 bets across four selection in different events. It consists of four singles, six doubles, four trebles, and a single parlay bet.

Lucky 31: Another type of system bet for our sports betting definitions. This includes 31 bets on five selections across multiple events. It consists of five single, 10 double, 10 treble wagers, alongside five 4-leg parlays and one 5-leg parlay.

Lucky 63: The final of our betting terms “lucky” system bets, this requires a whopping 63 bets with six selections in different events. These incorporate six singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-leg parlays, six 5-leg parlays, and a single 6-leg parlay.

March Madness5: Every year, three weeks between March and April play host to the NCAA college basketball National Championship known as March Madness.

Masters Tournament: Golf betting fans should rejoice at this point of our betting glossary. The first of the four major Grand Slam golf tournaments takes place in Georgia around mid-April each year and offers some fabulous betting markets.

Maximum Bet: The most a bookmaker will allow you to wager on a single bet.
Example: The maximum you can bet at DraftKings on a single tennis wager is $150,000.

Minimum Bet: The lowest a bookmaker will allow you to wager on a single bet.

MLB: Acronym for Major League Baseball — the top-ranked baseball league in the world, largely based in the USA and Canada.

MLS: Acronym for Major League Soccer — the top soccer league in North America.

Mobile App: Broadly speaking, a mobile app is a kind of software which runs on a mobile device. In betting jargon, it refers to mobile software designed to provide that operator’s most optimal mobile betting experience.

Mobile Betting: If you’re making sports bets on a mobile device — whether via browser or mobile app — you’re mobile betting.

Mobile Bonus: This is a kind of promotion exclusive to those betting on mobile.

Moneyline Betting: The most common terms of a bet. Moneyline betting is where you bet for one team or participant to beat another in a sporting event. Draws may also be offered as part of a moneyline bet.

MVP: Another great futures betting option, the MVP is the most valuable player of a time over a particular season or playoffs. The most famous sporting MVP in the USA is Tom Brady, who won the honor four times for his Super Bowl performances.

NASCAR: Acronym for Stock Car Auto Racing, and a fantastic racing betting market option.

NBA: Acronym for National Basketball Association, the top-ranked basketball league in the world.

NCAA: The governing body for all college sports in the United States.

NHL: Acronym for National Hockey League, the top-ranked hockey league worldwide.

Nap of the Day: Of all the betting terms explained, this is one that may sound among the most unusual, but all it means is a tipster’s pick for the strongest value bet on the day. Whether you agree with their assessment is up to you.

No Action: A market cancelled by the bookmaker with stakes returned to bettors.

No Deposit Free Bet: A couple of key betting terms combined here, as no deposit free bets offer exactly what’s advertised. It’s a free bet you can get without the need to deposit anything. However, in many instances, the amount offered will either be small or the terms and conditions limiting.

Non-Runner: Another example of racing betting jargon, a non-runner is a greyhound or horse that cannot run that day for whatever reason. Good sportsbooks should offer refunds to anyone who has backed a non-runner.

Odds: Whether it’s American, Decimal or Fraction odds, these betting terms are all a way of expressing the probability of that market being successful, and your potential returns.

Odds-Against: Betting terminology simply meaning odds greater than evens.
Example: Any market above +100 falls under odds-against sports betting definitions.

Odds-On: Betting words simply meaning odds less than evens.
Example: Any market below+100 falls under odds-on in the betting glossary.

Oddsmaker: The betting terms and meaning of oddsmaker can essentially be understood as a bookmaker on traditional sports betting site. It refers to, in other words, whoever sets the odds. In the case of a betting exchange, they would not be oddsmakers, as those odds are dictated by the users of the site.

On The Nose: To bet on the nose in horse racing means you are backing your selection to win the race, without any back-up selections.

Outlay: You’ll find some betting lingo explained the same way as others. Outlay is an alternative way of saying the stake amount — in other words, how much you’re betting.

Outsider: Any pick considered very unlikely to win by bookmakers can be considered an outsider.

Over/Under: This is among the vital betting terms to understand to make the most of your markets. Over/Under markets are any which you predict whether a variable of a game will be over/under a specific amount.
Example: BetMGM offer an over/under market on 198.5 total points scored. The odds are 1.30 for over, and 3.40 for under.

Overround: Also known as house edge or the vig, the overround is the amount above 100% of all odds converted to implied probabilities. The lower, the better.

Own Goal: In sports like soccer, it’s possible for a team to accidentally score against themselves by inadvertently putting the ball into their own net. This is known as an own goal, and it makes an excellent prop bet thanks to its unusual terms.

PASPA6: Acronym for the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. This essentially outlawed sports betting nationwide, until it was overturned by a Supreme Court ruling in 2018. That allowed individual states to decide whether to make gambling (all kinds) legal, which is why there’s so much difference in the legal status of betting online across different parts of the country. And because PASPA was so recently overturned, that’s also why we’re optimistic we’ll see even more US states join the legal jurisdictions in the near future.

Parlay: The most common of the betting terms (for American bookmakers, at least), parlays are singular bets consisting of multiple wagers made of “Legs”. All must win for the bet to be successful.
Example: In a 4-leg parlay, you back the San Francisco Giants to beat the Detroit Tigers, the Chicago Bulls to beat Miami Heat, Nikola Vucevic to score the first field goal in that contest, and Aston Villa to beat Newcastle in the Premier League. If the first three predictions are correct but the fourth fails, you lose the entirety of your returns.

Patent: A system bet with seven bets of equal cost placed on three different selections, including a single on each, three doubles, and one treble.

Payout: There’ are few betting terms more important than this. The payout is the amount of money you receive if your bet is successful.

Permutations: Permutations are any system bets requiring a specific order of combinations to utilize their strategic benefits.
Example: Canadian and Heinz bets are both examples of system bets.

PGA Championship: The second major Grand Slam tournament held in late May in the United States.

Pick’em: Under sports betting definitions, pick’em odds are where the odds are exactly the same on both sides.
Example: If both teams had -110 odds, it’s a pick ‘em wager.

Place Betting: Our betting glossary is full of racing phrases, and place betting is among them. This is a type of bet where your selection must finish in one of several top positions to be successful, with three to five being common amounts. A better chance to win for shorter odds.

Placepot: Few sports betting definitions represent an extravaganza like this. In this special horse racing market, you pick a placed horse across six racers for extended sports betting fun.

Pool: This betting terminology refers to a whole new way of betting. Pool betting is where all participants pay a fixed amount into a “pool” and then the money is paid out evenly to the winners.

Post Time: The scheduled start of a race. It may also be said the racers are “at the post” when they are ready to race.

Price: This betting jargon is simply odds by another name.

Promo Code: All promotions must be activated and some use a promo code — a code you typically enter during registration to activate a specific bonus.

Promotions: Also known as a betting bonus, promotions are among broad betting terms because all it means is some kind of offer from the bookmaker which adds value to the user experience. It could be free bets, free cash, insurance offers, tournaments and more. It covers anything the bookmaker thinks may be generous enough to offer.

Prop Bet: Betting terminology for any kind of bet outside the normal betting lines. For instance, a market where you bet on how a fighter in an MMA contest might lose would be a prop bet.

Puck Line: This is an example of sports specific betting terms. The puck line is the points spread in hockey.

Punters: There are few betting words closer to our hearts. Punters is an affectionate word for anyone who likes to bet on sporting events.

Push: If a moneyline bet does not offer draw markets and the result is a tie, the bet would be graded as a push. Under the terms of a bet like this, you would get your stake refunded.

Racing Card: A source of information for a day at the races. Usually found online alongside the relevant markets.

Reality Checks: A responsible gaming tool. Reality checks are pop ups which tell you how long you’ve been gambling in an attempt to make problem gamblers recognize when they’ve been playing for too long.

Referral Bonus: Often known by other betting terms like refer a friend bonus, the concept is simple. You get a bonus amount for referring a friend to the site, usually in the form of a free bet, although cash is also possible.

Request a Bet: A type of promotion where you ask the bookmaker through Twitter for a market not currently available on their site.

Return: Additional proxy sports gambling terms and phrases here. Return is another word for payouts or winnings. In other words, the amount of cash you get if you win.

Responsible Gaming: A general term which means to bet safely, both in terms of your financial risk and to avoid psychological dependency. To help ensure users are betting responsibly, quality bookmakers will often provide tools to assist with this pursuit including betting limits, account suspension, reality checks and more. There is also often advice to help you recognize if you are betting responsibly, and links to external organizations which help with gambling addiction.

Round Robin: A type of tournament where every competitor plays against each other once and the winner is determined by points. Relevant to many popular American sports.

Rule 4: The rule referring to the reduction of winning to account for any non-runners.

Run Line: Sports specific betting lingo explained here. The run line is the points spread pricing on baseball.

Runner: This simply means a participant in a race, such as a horse or greyhound.

Self-Exclusion: This is a type of self-imposed account suspension where you are unable to access or use a betting site for a set period. It is a responsible gaming tool, aimed at helping people step away from gambling temporarily when they need to. They might also permanently exclude themselves from a site.

Sharp: A professional sports gambler.

Special Bets: We think all bets are special but for this betting glossary, they are defined as any bet not typically part of the betting markets for that kind of event.

Sportsbook: The sports betting operator through which you are able to place your bets. A sportsbook can be both retail and online. Often, it is both.

Spread Betting: A form of unit-based over/under betting common from US bookmakers. Each unit above or below your prediction can create greater wins or losses.
Example: Let’s say the spread on a hockey game was 2.9 – 3.1 goals. You bought for $5. This means that you would win $5 for every goal above three but would lose $5 for every goal under three at the end of the regular time. The potential for losses is far greater in higher scoring sports like baseball.

Stake: A simple term meaning the amount you are betting.

Staking Method: Your preferred way of staking. For instance, you could have limits on each bet, or use a percentage of your bankroll.

Stanley Cup Trophy: The award to the winner of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and a major futures market.

Steam: Betting terminology meaning odds which change quickly, often due to lots of betting action in one direction.

Straight Bet: The simplest of betting terms, a straight bet is a single wager, no systems attached.

Super Heinz: We’ve already discussed the regular Heinz in our look at sports betting definitions. The Super Heinz is an even bigger system bet than that. It consists of an astounding 120 bets across 21 doubles, 35 trebles and four folds, 21 five folds, 7 six folds and one single sevenfold parlay bet.

Syndicate: By sports betting definitions, a syndicate is a group of bettors who bet on events together. Their combined wager can even move moneylines to their advantage.

System Bets: There’s many specific forms of betting terminology explained on this page covering specific system bets, but more broadly, it is any combination of betting tips crafted with a specific strategy in mind. They are crafted for the best chances of return.

Teaser odds: When you have some betting terms explained, you learn more about how bookies work. For instance, teaser odds are when bookmakers move a line to entice bettors.

Ted Lindsay Award: An award for the best NHL player voted on by activate hockey players and an available futures market.

Terms and Conditions: This is where the rules of a betting site or promotion are broken down by the bookmaker. They can make or break the quality of any sports betting experience, and we advise you to read them carefully.

The Gambler’s Fallacy7: An interesting piece of betting terminology meaning the belief that the probability of an outcome is influenced by past events.
Example: Someone might make a racing selection based on a lucky number they’ve had success with before.

Ticket: A receipt confirming your bet has been made. It is proof of purchase, if you will.

Tip: Broadly speaking, the betting terms and meaning of a tip is any piece of advice given to suggest the outcome of an event. A tipster is someone who offers this advice.

To Score in Both Halves: Backing a team to score in both halves of a game.

To Win Both Halves: Your pick here would need to win both the first and second half via points for your bet to be successful.

To Win Either Half: If your selection is ahead at the end of either half of the game, your bet is a winner according to the terms of a bet here.

To Win from Behind: An interesting market which requires you pick to first be trailing behind on points and then win the game following a comeback.
Example: If the Chicago Blackhawks conceded a goal to the Philadelphia Flyers early on, but then ended up winning the game, they would make a successful to win from behind pick.

To Win to Nil: A market backing both a team to win and not to concede a goal. Typically found in soccer.

Treble: A parlay consisting of three selections. All must be correct for you to see returns.

Tricast: A racing bet where you must correctly pick all top three places.

Trixie: A system bet which included 4 bets with 3 selections on separate events. It must include a trio of doubles and a treble.

Underdog: The team posted with a positive number in American odds is an underdog. It means they are viewed as being less than likely to win.

U.S Open: The third of the four major Grand Slam tournaments played throughout the United States. Also, the fourth and final of the Grand Slam tennis tournaments. No need for two betting terms here, as they both go by U.S, Open.

Value Bet: Some betting lingo explained is simpler than it may initially appear. For instance, all value bet means is a bet where you think the bookmaker have gotten their probabilities wrong and thus, you have the edge on the bookie.

Vezina Trophy: An award given to the most valuable goaltender in the NHL. A fantastic prop bet market.

Vig: The vig is the statistical edge bookmakers have over the punters. This is because when you calculate all possible into implied probabilities and add them up, they will come to a number above 100%. This number is the vig and the higher it is, the better the advantage the bookmaker has over its bettors.
Example: In the game between the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, BetMGM offered moneyline odds of 2.80 on the Bulls, and 1.45 on Miami Heat. This converts to 35.7% implied probability that the Chicago Bulls will win, and 69% implied probability Miami Heat will win. If you add them together, you get 104.7%, meaning there’s a 4.7% vig. In other words, were the same amount bet on both teams, the bookie would enjoy a 4.7% profit.

Vince Lombardi Trophy: An award given to the winner of the Super Bowl each year.

Virtual Sports: One of the most futuristic sports betting terms. Virtual sports are, as the name suggests, a virtual version of your favorite events. The terms of a bet remain largely the same as their traditional counterparts.

Wagering Requirement: If you’ve not had this betting lingo explained, it is vital to understand for the use of terms and conditions. It is the amount your bonus must be played through before winning can be withdrawn.
Example: You get a 100% matched free bet on a $20 deposit. It comes with a 3x wagering requirement, meaning $60 must be played through before any winnings from your $20 free bet can be released.

Welcome Offer: Any sort of promotion only available to newcomers.

Winning Margin: These betting terms simply mean the margin, or the number of points or goals, one team scores over another. This can be used as a basis for over/under markets.

Withdrawal Process: This encompasses all the relevant elements needed to receive your winnings, such as practical steps, withdrawal methods, fees and transaction times.

Yankee: An 11-bet strong system bet which includes 4 selections on different events. It consists of 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 4-leg parlay bet.

With over 200 betting terms explained for American readers, we’ve done everything we can to make this page as comprehensive as possible. Nonetheless, betting markets are a huge, ever-evolving enterprise, so if there’s something missing, feel free to contact us and let us know.

It's also possible that some unusual betting terms may not be here because they are specific terms for that site. This can happen when a betting site wishes to brand something they offer, so they give it a unique title. If this is the case, we recommend you contact their customer service team.

This betting glossary aims to lift the veil of mystery which separates the average bettor from your expert punters. After all, knowledge is the foundation of a strong betting strategy, so understanding the key terminology provides a powerful yet easy leap forward in your mastery of betting markets.

1 Sohail, S. (2020). How Do Odds Work in Betting? [online] Investopedia. Available at:

2 Betting odds explained: guide to how betting odds work. (2020). The Telegraph. [online] 20 Nov. Available at:

3 Ashford, K. (2020). What Is Cryptocurrency? [online] Forbes Advisor. Available at:

4 DraftKings – Daily Fantasy Sports for Cash. (n.d.). How to Play Daily Fantasy Sports | DraftKings. [online] Available at: [Accessed 14 Apr. 2023].

5 (n.d.). NCAA bracket for March Madness | [online] Available at:

6 Perez, A.J. (n.d.). What it means: Supreme Court strikes down PASPA law that limited sports betting. [online] USA TODAY. Available at:

7 Farmer, G.D., Warren, P.A. and Hahn, U. (2017). Who ‘believes’ in the Gambler’s Fallacy and why?. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 146(1), pp.63–76. doi:

WRITTEN BY Ben Gibson View all posts by Ben Gibson

Ben has been writing professionally for over a decade. His articles are a great outlet for his inexhaustible supply of sporting facts and enthusiasm. He resides in Yorkshire, where his work is powered by the ever-present sound of a kettle.

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