Sports Betting Terms Explained

Sports Betting glossary / terms explained

Betting on sports is a pastime that has been around for centuries but has recently enjoyed a resurgence in popularity. The start-up process is easy for beginners, and they can start placing bets immediately after signing up for a sportsbook.

However, before making any wagers, understanding the betting terminology is essential so that beginners know what type of bets to place, how much they can win/lose from a particular wager, and gain a fundamental understanding of gambling.

Betting terms are the language of sports gambling, and before visiting a bookmaker's website, proper research and a good knowledge of these terms are essential to becoming a successful bettor.

Timing a bet correctly, combined with an understanding of the chosen sports and the odds associated with them, will increase the chances of winning and maximize returns. An example of this is waiting for a team to be announced to see if the top goalscorer is playing before placing a bet. This sports betting primer is an excellent foundation for bettors to fine-tune their wagering skills.

We have explained everything in simple terms, so bettors can easily understand and make sense of the gambling jargon commonly used in sportsbooks.

Betting Terms And Explanations:

Accumulator: A bet consisting of two or more selections, and each wager must win (or push) to create a winning ticket.

Against the Spread: Refers to the outcome of an event/game which takes the point spread into account.

All-In: A wager in sports betting that includes several events, all that must be won. Alternate Lines: Odds greater than or less than the main posted line.

American Odds: Odds Centered around winning or wagering $100 on a given bet. The odds are represented by a plus (+) and minus (-) sign to indicate the favorite and underdog.

Arbitrage Betting: A strategy covering all possible outcomes of a single game.

Asian Handicap: This starts at 0.25 goals and can go as high as 2.0 goals. Because a draw/tie option is not available, these are two-way bets.

Backdoor Cover: When a score helps bettors cover a spread bet but does not affect the game's winner.

Bad Beat: When a wager is on the verge of winning but becomes a losing ticket.

Banker: In any bet, the banker is the selection that is most likely to win. It is the most dependable leg of a multiple bet and has the highest strike rate.

Bankroll: Money set aside or placed into an account for betting.

Bar Price: A price quoted for contestants in any race or contest that aren't quoted individually because they're further out in the market

Beard: An individual/ entity who places bets for professional bettors for them to remain anonymous to bookmakers.

Bet Limit: A sportsbook's maximum amount will allow its customers to bet on a specific game or event.

Betting Exchange: A middleman who is not a sportsbook nor a bettor.

Betting Tax: this is a tax on the gambler when they make a bet.

Betting Unit: A measurement of the size of a bet.

Bonus: This refers to the loyalty points earned with each bet.

Bookmaker / Bookie: A licensed individual who establishes and accepts daily betting odds.

Bottle: It is UK slang, meaning odds of 2 to 1.

Canadian Line: In hockey betting, it combines a spread and a money line.

Cap: When a sportsbook restricts the number of betting rounds.

Carpet: For odds 3 to 1. Also known as Tres or Gimmel.

Century: A UK slang term for a $100 wager.

Chalk: Another term for favorite.

Chalk Player: A player who places most of his bets on favorites.

Chase: When a bettor keeps placing more bets in the hope of recovering their losses.

Circled Game: A game where the maximum action or bet is limited.

Closing Line: The final betting odds are posted before the competition begins. Closing line value refers to the value of a bet relative to where the line closes.

Combination Bet: Choosing any number of teams or horses to finish first and second, in either order.

Contrarian: A player who bets on the opposite side of a lopsided game.

Correlated Parlay: A type of wager in which the first and second bets are closely related. Hence, if the first bet wins, the chances of the second winning largely increase.

Cover The Spread: Any wager in which the favorite wins and the final score exceeds the point spread bet.

Decimal Odds: A number representing the amount a bettor wins for every $1 wagered. If a bettor places $100 on decimal odds of 4.00, they will receive a total payout of $400 (4.00x 100)

Dime: A $1,000 bet.

Dime Line: A betting line with a 10-cent straddle, particularly used in baseball.

Dog: Underdog, or the team that is not favored to win the game or event.

Dog Player: A player who mainly wagers on underdogs.

Double: This is a bet placed on two specific events or two parts of the same event. A parlay (or accumulator) requires both events to win.

Double Chance: A bet on two possible outcomes of a sports event out of three.

Each Way: This is a wager on a team or individual to win and/or place.

Early Cash Out: Allows bettors to close outstanding bets early to cut losses or lock in a win

eCOGRA: An abbreviation of e-Commerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance. eCOGRA is an independent organization that audits online casinos.

Edge: The advantage a bookmaker has on the player.

Even Money: A bet with odds of 1-1.

Exotic Wager: Almost any wager other than a straight bet. This can be a parlay, combination, or even teaser bet.

Expected Value: The average amount a bettor can win on any hand.

Favorite: A team or individual with the most money invested in it. The most likely winner of the event or game. Field: This refers to all the players or competitors in an event, or it could refer to the odds offered on all the other non-listed players or teams combined.

Fixed Odds: When a bet is placed and accepted by a bookmaker, the line becomes fixed odds.

Flat Betting: When a player bets the same amount on each hand.

Flea: A player who is not particularly active but regularly applies for bonuses and participation in loyalty programs.

Fold: Refers to the number of selections in an accumulator or parlay (i.e., a 3-fold means having three selections).

Fractional Odds: The ratio of the amount (profit) won to the stake. For example, if bettors place a $1 bet on one team to beat another at 4/1, it will pay out $5 if successful ($4 profit plus their $1 stake).

Full Cover: A bet that includes doubles, trebles, and accumulators for several selections.

Future Bets: A bet on the outcome of an event in the future.

GamCare: A standard that evaluates the safeguards put in place by gambling companies to protect people from gambling-related harm.

Goliath: A multiple large bet involving 247 total wagers on eight different events.

Grand Salami: The over/under total of all the hockey games for a given day/night.

Grand Slam: This is for either the tennis or golf major tournaments. It also applies to the six nations rugby championship.The bettor bets on a player or a team winning all the relevant tournaments or games.

Grid: A table that shows the various wagers available in an online sportsbook.

Handicap Betting: A bookmaker sets the betting odds to level the playing field.

Handicapper: A bettor who studies matchups before placing a wager.

Hang Cheng: The Asian equivalent of a point spread.

Hedging: This wager entails betting on the opposite side of an original bet to ensure a guaranteed return.

Heinz: A multiple bet with 57 wagers spread across six different events.

Hold: A bettor is only breaking even on a series of bets.

Implied Probability: Converting traditional odds to a percentage.

In and Out Teaser: When a bettor selects the favorite, underdog, over/under of the same game.

Index Betting: Known as Spread Betting.

Joint Favorites: Where both teams are favorites and have the same odds.

Juice: Commission charged by a bookmaker.

Kelly Criterion: A formula to decide how much money bettors should allocate to each investment.

Laying The Points: this is atype of spread bet.

Laying the Price: A moneyline bet on the favorite in a moneyline event.

Layoff: When bookmaker bets on another sportsbook to reduce risk on a certain match.

Lengthening Odds: When lines become longer in the days leading up to an event. It increases the player's payoff.

Limit: The maximum amount a sportsbook will allow bettors to wager before changing the odds or adding points.

Lines: Betting odds posted by a bookmaker.

Live Betting: Gambling that occurs after the game has begun. Aka. In-Game betting.

Long Odds: Odds higher than 10 to 1.

Longshot: The team or player with 'long odds' on them. They would be considered an underdog with a slim chance of winning.

Martingale System: A betting system where after each loss, the previous bet is doubled, and after each win, the bet is reduced to a single unit.

Matched Bet: Canceling the risk on the 'back' bet at the online bookies by betting against yourself at the same odds.

Micro-betting: A form of live wagering where a bettor places bets on smaller parts of a specific match unrelated to the final score, and that will settle very quickly.

Middle/Middling: When a bettor bets on the underdog against one point spread and the favorite against another point spread and wins on both sides.

Moneyline Bet: A straight-up bet in which bettors must predict the winner outright.

Moving The Line: The bettor pays an additional charge for an extra half-point or more in their favor on a point spread game.

Multiples: This is the same as an accumulator.

Nickel: A $500 wager.

Nickel Line: A slang term where the juice is 5%.

No Limit: When a game has no limit on the bet size.

Novelty Bet: A special betting option. Player compositions and teams are the most common novelty bets.

Odds: Betting lines set by a bookmaker on a variety of events.

Odds Against: When the odds exceed a total of evens (for example, 7 to 2).

Odds-On: When the odds are less than evens (1 to 1).

Outlaw Line: This is the first line in sports betting. This overnight line is only available to some bettors.

Outsiders: Bettors that are unlikely to win.

Over/Under: A wager in which the player bets on whether the total number of points scored by the teams will be greater than or less than the number specified.

Parlay: A multiple event in which all individual bets must win for the bet to pay off.

Payout: The money a bettor receives after winning.

Permutation Betting: A method of betting on every possible outcome.

Picks: Betting choices provided by an expert.

Player Props: Wagers that bettors can place based on a specific player's performance in a game.

Pleaser: A bet that allows the player to move the line in favor of the sportsbook for better-than-normal odds.

Point Spread: A bet on the margin of victory in a sporting event.

Prop Bet / Proposition Bet: A wager placed on the occurrence or non-occurrence of an event that does not directly affect the game's outcome.

Puck Line: A bet based on the number of goals scored and not wins and losses.

Punter: This is another name for a bettor.

Push: Any wager where the final result is a tie.

Reduced Juice: A lower commission.

Return: The total amount of money generated by a successful wager. Losing bets result in a negative return.

ROI: A measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment. For example, a bet of $100 at odds of 1.3 would return $130, and the profit is $30. This represents a 30% ROI.

Round Robin: A wager that consists of 10 separate wagers from 6different events.

Shortening Odds: When the odds of an event are reduced due to excessive betting.

Single: A bet on one selection to win a single race or event.

Smart Money: How the insiders are betting on a specific event or game.

Sports betting app: An application you can download to your mobile device tailored to make mobile wagering as easy as possible. Most online sportsbooks offer these apps for their customers, but not all of them.

Spot Play: A random manner of selecting bets.

Spread Betting: When a bet is won or lost based on whether the correct outcome was selected.

Square: An inexperienced player.

Steam: A situation in which betting lines move rapidly.

System: A mathematical betting method used by bettors to gain an advantage.

Teaser: A type of wager where several selections are made together.

Tips: A selection or prediction given by an expert.

Totals Bet: A wager placed on whether the total score of both teams will be greater than or less than a specific total.

Trebles: A triple wager or a bet on three events.

UK Gambling Commission: A government body that regulates gambling activities.

Underdog: The team that is least likely to win a particular event or contest.

Union Jack: A type of multiple bet that consists of 8 trebles spread across 9 selections.

Value: Finding the best odds on a selection.

Value Bet: Finding a bet at the best odds.

Vigorish: A commission charged by the bookmaker.

Void bet: This is a canceled bet.

Wager: This is another word for a bet.

Win Only: A bet on a team or competitor to win an event.

Wire-to-Wire: A wager on one team to win every quarter or both teams to lead one or more quarters.

Horse Racing Betting Terms

There are some differences between the terms regarding sports wagering and horse racing betting. Here are the most widely used terms from the horse race gambling scene.

Abandoned: A race that is canceled because a club did not receive enough nominations to hold it or because bad weather made racing on the track unsafe.

Across the Board: A wager placed on a horse to win, place, or show. Three bets rolled into one.

Added Weight: Racehorses carry extra weights to meet the minimum weight requirements assigned for a race.

All-Age Race: A race for two-year-olds and up.

All-Weather Race: Races that take place on an artificial surface.

Ante-Post Betting: Bets made in advance on the outcome of a future event. In exchange for the possibility of better odds, punters accept the risk that their stakes will not return if their selection withdraws or is canceled.

Baby Race: A race for two-year-olds.

Banker: A certain bet.

Bar: Refers to the odds of those runners in a race not quoted with a price during early betting shows. The bar price is the minimum odds for any selections not quoted.

Bridge Jumper: A bettor who places a large bet on a single horse, usually to show.

Canadian: A combination bet that consists of 26 bets with 5 selections in various events.

Card: Another term for fixture. Claiming Race: A type of race where the horses are sold at a fixed price.

Co-Favourite: When three or more competitors share the favorite status.

Daily Double: A bet in which the winner of two consecutive races, usually the first and second, is chosen.

Dead Heat: A tie between two or more horses when crossing the finish line.

Dividend: The amount that a winning bet or placed horse returns for every $1 bet.

Drifter: A horse whose value rises before the start of the race.

Dutch: Backing two or more horses in a race increases the bettor's chances of finding a winner but at shorter odds.

Each Way Bet: A UK term for betting on a horse to win and/or place.

Exacta: A bet on the first two finishers in a race in the exact order they finish.

False Favorite: A horse that is a favorite despite being outclassed by others.

Graded Race: A race where the best racehorses compete against one another. Group Race: An elite group of races.

Handicap Race: The weights to be carried are assigned by the track handicapper. Each horse is given a different weight to carry to ensure that the horses will run on a level playing field.

Handle: The total amount wagered on a single day, race, or season.

Listed Race: A race that takes place at a level just below Group level.

Maiden Race: A race for non-winners.

On The Nose: Betting on a horse to win only.

Purse: The total amount of money paid out to horse owners at a specific track over a given time.

Quinella: A wager where the first two finishers are picked in any order. A payout is made regardless of which of the two wins or runs second.

Reverse Exacta: A wager where bettors choose horses to finish first and second in any order.

Show Bet: Wager on a horse to finish in the money; third or better.

Starting Price: An estimation of odds available when the race begins.

Straight Bet: This is a bet based on a win only.

Super Heinz: An alternative to the seven-fold accumulator that pays out even if only two of your seven selections win.

Super Yankee: A bet with 5 selections instead of 4.

Superfecta: A wager on four horses crossing the finish line in the exact order chosen.

Tote: The organization that accepts bets and distributes dividends in proportion to the amount invested.

Trifecta: A bet on the first three finishers in the exact order.

Triple Crown: A series of horse races for three-year-olds.

Trixie: A bet made up of four bets on three different outcomes. The wager consists of three doubles and a treble. To get a return, at least two selections must be successful.

Yankee: A wager made up of 11 separate bets on four different events. The bet consists of four doubles, four trebles, and an accumulator. To win, at least two of your choices must be successful.

Some commonly asked questions (FAQ):

Why is understanding sports betting terms important?

With adequate knowledge of sports betting terms, bettors can adapt to any game situation and devise strategies to increase their chances of winning. Furthermore, it encourages bettors to wager on different sports, thus finding more value for each bet.

What are the most vital betting terms for beginners?

For novice bettors, the most critical betting terms are dealing with different bet types and formats, as to place a successful wager, you need to know what you are placing your money for. Also, every gambling term related to odds is a must-to-know.

Do sports betting and horse racing terms differ from each other?

Yes, they do. The terminology is a significant distinction between horse racing and other sports betting. For example, various betting formats are vastly different between these gambling activities; thus, knowing the full glossary for each is essential.