Betting Glossary

Here’s a sports betting glossary of the common terms and definitions used in betting:

Accumulator – Also known as a Parlay or multiple. A multiple bet where two or more bets are chosen and all these selections must win for the accumulator to payout.


Action – A bet/wager.


Added Game – A game that is not part of Las Vegas regular posted as an accommodation to customers.


Advantage – Also known as the edge or juice. It is a bookmaker’s commission.


Ante Post –  A bet that is placed in advance predicting the outcome of a future event.  Also known as Futures.


Arbitrage – Where a variation in odds available allows a bettor to back both sides and guarantee a win.


ATS – ‘Against the Spread’ – taking points rather than betting with the spread and laying points.


Backed – A bet selection that is proving very popular with much betting support.


Bad beat – losing under exceptional circumstances.


Banker – Highly expected to win – the favourite amongst all of the favourites.


Bank roll – How much credit there is in a bettor’s sportsbook account.


Bar Price – The odds of selections at their last quoted price.


Beard – Someone who places bets in order to hide the true identity of the true bettor.


Betting line – a priced wager of any kind. Essentially, a betting opportunity.


Bettor – someone that makes a bet.


Book – An establishment that accepts bets.


Bookmaker/Bookie – The person that creates odds for people to bet on.


Bonus – Rewards granted by bookmakers/sportsbooks for bettors/members.


BR – Abbreviation for a bankroll.


Bridge Jumper – A bettor that specializes in large show bets on odds-on favourites.


Buck – A bet of $100.


Burlington Bertie – The price of 100-30.


Buying Points – A bettor pays to receive half a point or more in his favor on a spread game. AKA Moving line.


Buy Price – In Spread or Index betting, the higher figure quoted by an Index Bookmaker.


Canadian Line – A combination point spread and money line in ice hockey.


Chalk – The favourite.


Chalk Player – A bettor that wagers on favourites most of the time.


Churn – the effect of betting and re-betting money.


Circled Game – A game where the bookmaker limits the max bet.


Closing Line – The final list of point spreads offered before the game.


Combo bet – Selecting any number of teams/horses to finish first and second in either order.


Cover – To bet the spread by the required number of points.


Dime bet – a $1000 wager.


Dime Line – a betting line where the juice is 10%.


Dollar bet – a $100 wager.


Double – A bet on 2 separate events or two parts of the same event.


Drift – odds that have lengthened


East Coast Line – Mainly used in (ice) hockey, which has a split-goal line.


Edge – A bookmaker’s commission. Also known as Advantage, vigorish and juice.


Even money – A 1.1 odds bet.


Event – Another term for a race, tournament, match or any betting contest.


Exacta – A selection of two horses to come 1st and in 2nd in a race in exact order.


Exotic Wager – Any other action bet aside from a straight bet or parlay.


Exposure – the amount of money the bookmaker actually stands to lose on a game.


Extension – the amount of money the bookmaker potentially will lose on a game.


favourite – the likely and anticipated winner of a game/race.


Figure – the amount owed to or by a bookie.


Filly – A female horse that is 4 years old or under.


Final four – The remaining four college teams from an original field of 64.


Firing – the act of betting large amounts.


First Half bet – a bet solely for the outcome of the first half of a game.


Fixed game – A game in which at least one of the competitors/teams wilfully manipulates the outcome of the game.


Fixed odds – If the odds are fixed when you make your bet, the odds remain the same until the settlement of the bet.


Flag – 23 bets; a Yankee plus 6 single stakes about bets in pairs on 4 selections in different events.


Flash – change of odds information on tote board.


Flea – a low-wagering bettor that continually requests bonuses.


Fold – an indication of the number of selections in an accumulator (e.g. 6-fold – 6 selections).


Forecast – Also known as a Perfecta or Exacta. It means wagering on what selection finishes 1st and 2nd for a particular event. Forecasts can be straight, reversed or permed.


Form – the previous placing/results of a team/competitor. For example, the previous six-match form of English soccer side Manchester United could be win, win, draw, lose, lose, lose.


Full cover – All the doubles, trebles and accumulators involved in a given number of selections.


Future / Ante post. A bet on the outcome of a major event.


Grand Salami – The total number of goals scored in a complete day of hockey matches.


Gross win – a win before expenses.


Half a dollar – $50.


Half time bet – a bet placed only on the second half of a game.


Handicap / Spread. A bet where the favored side has points deducted and the underdog points added to even up the bet.


Handicapper – Someone that studies and wagers on sporting events.


Handle – Total amount of bets taken.


Hang Cheng – The Asian equivalent of a point spread.


Hedging – Placing bets on the opposite side in order to cut losses or guarantee a minimum amount of winnings.


Heinz – A multiple bet –  57 bets involving 6 selections in different events (15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15×4 folds).


Hold – The percentage the house/sportsbook wins.


Hook – Half a point added to football and basketball betting lines.


Hot game – A game that has had many wagers on one side by handicappers.


House – The slang term for the bookmaker, sportsbook or betting establishment that offers betting lines.


Index Betting – AKA spread betting.


In the money – A horse that finished first, second or third.


Joint favourite(s) – 2 competitors who have equal lowest pricing.


Juice – Also known as the Edge and vigorish, a bookmaker’s commission.


Lay a bet – An acceptance of a bet by a bettor to the bookie.


Lay a price – betting the favourite by laying money odds.


Laying the points – Betting the favourite by giving up points.


Layoff bet – A wager made by one bookmaker with another to help balance his action and reduces his risk on one side or one horse.


Lengthen – the movement by the linemaker of odds so that they are made longer.


Limit – the maximum amount a bookmaker will permit a bettor to wager on certain odds.


Line – Also known as betting line. The betting proposition on a game and/or payoff odds on the bet.


Listed Pitchers – A baseball bet on the pitchers that will take part in the game.


Lock – also known as banker. A certain winner.


Long odds – Odds over 1000.


Long shot – a team/competitor that is a far outsider and large underdog.


Lucky 15 – 15 bets involving 4 selections in different events (I.e. 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 fourfold).


Lucky 31 – 31 bets consisting of 5 selections in different events (I.e. 5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfold plus 1 five-fold).


Lucky 63 – 63 bets of 6 selections in different events (I.e. 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-fold, 6 five-folds, and 1 six-fold).


Mare – A (female) horse that is five years old or over.


Margin – The amount a competitor in an event finishes in front of another competitor.


Middle – To win on both sides of the same contest; by backing the underdog at one point spread and then the favourite at a different point and winning both sides.


Money line – Odds that represent what amount has to be wagered or what can be won. For example, if there is a minus sign (-) next to an amount, you have to wager that amount to win $100. If there is a plus sign (+) next to an amount, you will receive that amount for every $100 wagered.


Move the line – Also known as buying points. A bettor pays to receive half a point more in his favor on a spread point game.


Multiples – Also known as Accumulator. A multiple bet where two or more bets are chosen and all these selections must win for a payout.


NAP – A best bet of the day tip by a newspaper.


Neutral Site – An arena, stadium or pitch where neither side has home advantage.


Nickel – $500.


Nickel Line – A betting line where the juice or bookmakers edge is 5%.


No Action – A bet where no money is lost, or won.


Odds – the bookmaker’s opinion of the chance of a team or competitor winning. It is adjusted to include a profit, otherwise known as the bookmaker’s edge.


Odds against – Where the odds are greater than evens.


Odds compiler – Also known as a bookmaker. Someone that decides the price and odds of a team/competitor.


Odds on – This has a minus sign and is worked out in reverse. It is the amount a bettor has to wager to win $100.


Odds maker – a bookmaker. Someone that decides the price and odds of a team/competitor.


Off the board – This is the term for a game that a bookmaker refuses to accept any bets.


One – $100.


Out – a term for an illegal bookmaker.


Overlay – When the odds on a proposition are in favor of the bettor rather than the house.


Over – A wager on whether the combined amount of points/goals by both teams in one match will be over the priced amount.


Over-under – the opportunity to bet on the combined amount of points/goals both teams will score in the match. A bettor can choose over or under the priced amount.


Parlay – Also known as an accumulator or multiple bet. A multiple bet where two or more bets are chosen and all these selections must win for the accumulator to payout.


Past Post – to make a bet after the event has actually started.  Like in-play.


Patent – 7 bets with 3 selections in different events, i.e. a single on each selection, plus 3 doubles, and 1 treble.


Payout – Also known as winnings or return. How much a bettor receives from the bookmaker after winning a bet.


Perfecta – AKA forecast or exacta. A selection of two horses to come 1st and in 2nd in a race in exact order.


Picks – a selection of bets usually chosen by an expert or knowledgeable person.


Pick ‘em – AKA pick. When neither team is favoured.


Place – to wager on the team/competitor/horse to finish in the top two, three, four or five in an event/tournament.


Point Spread – AKA handicap. The points given to the underdog to level the odds with the favourite.


Postponed – When an event is cancelled and rescheduled for a later date.


Press – the betting of an unusually large amount.


Price – AKA the odds. A price to reflect the chances of that particular team/contestant winning or placing in an event field.


Prop – A prop is short for proposition bet, which are odds set by the bookmaker on unique and various topics.


Puckline – Giving odds of a goal spread instead of using a Canadian line, which uses both a goal spread and money line.


Punter – Someone who places a bet.


Return – Your total winnings on a bet.


Reverse – When a bettor asks for a second exacta wager but this time having the two horses in reverse place order to that of the first exacta.


Round Robin – A number of parlays. A three-team round robin consists of one three-team parlay and three two-team parlays.


Run down – All the betting information and lines for a specific, date, time, etc.


Run line – Refers to baseball when a spread is used instead of a money line.


Runner – AKA a beard. This is a person that places bets on behalf of someone else in an effort to disguise the identity of the true punter.


Scalper – Someone who attempts to profit from the differences in odds from different books by betting both sides of the same game at different prices.


Scratch – When a horse is withdrawn from the race before it starts. All bets on this horse are then refunded.


Sharp –  Professional gambler.


Shorten –  The opposite of lengthen. See lengthen.


Side – To win one side and tie the other.


Single – Also known as a straight bet. Refers to a singular bet on one team, competitor or horse.


Single Stakes About (SSA) – A bet consisting of 2 bets on two selections (1 single on each selection any to come 1 single on the other selection reversed).


Special bet – Also known as a proposition bet -Odds set by the bookmaker on unique and various topics.


Sportsbook – The website that accepts bets.


Spread – Also known as a point spread. Referring to the points given to the underdog to level the odds with the favourite.


Stake – A wager.


Steam – refers to heavy movement on a betting line, which is usually caused by many people betting on it.


Store – Somewhere you can place a bet.


Straight bet – This is the name of a bet on just one team, competitor or horse.


Sucker bet – refers to a betting line that has a large house edge.


Super Heinz – 120 bets – 7 selections in different events consisting of 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds and 1 seven-fold.


Super Yankee – Another term for a Canadian. A Super Yankee is a Yankee type bet with five selections instead of four.


Tapped – to go bust.


Thick ‘un – A large bet.


Tie – A bet where no money is lost or won because the teams/competitors score and finishing place were equal to the number of points in the given line.


Tips – The selections and predictions of competitor’s performance for an event from an expert or observer.


Tipster – A person who offers tips.


Total – A sports bet for the combined amount of goals, points or runs scored by all teams in a game or event. The bettor will wager on whether the total amount will be over or under a priced amount


Trifecta – A horse racing bet on three horses to finish in the top 3 in one exact order.


Trebles – A form of parlay or accumulator, this is a triple bet on three events.


Trixie – 4 bets involving 3 selections in different events, i.e. 3 doubles plus 1 treble.


True Odds – The actual odds of something happening (as opposed to what bookmakers have offered).


Two Ball Betting – (Golf)  Predicting which player from a group of two will shoot the lowest score over 18 holes.


Three ball betting – (Golf)  Predicting which player from a group of three will shoot the lowest score over 18 holes.


Under – This refers to a Total bet, where the bettor wagers on whether the total amount of goals/points will be under a certain priced figure.


Underdog – An outsider, the person or team that is the least likely to win.


Underlay – When the odds favour the house.


Union Jack – A bet consisting of 8 trebles on 9 selections A to I.


Win Only – A bet on a competitor/team to win an event. This is also known as a straight bet or ‘Money Line’ betting.



Yankee – A bet of four selections, combining them into six doubles, four trebles and one fourfold.

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