Sports Betting Terms: A Glossary For Sports Bettors

Learn the meaning of common betting terms

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q s s t u v w x y z
  • Accumulator

    A series of bets on multiple outcomes, all outcomes must be successful for the Punter to win the bet.

  • Asian Handicap

    Two-way market that uses a point/goal Handicap to alter perceived bias between two competing teams and also eliminates the possibility of a draw.

  • Arbitrage

    A technique where a bettor places a wager on each possible outcome with various sportsbooks.

  • Beard

    Third-party bettor used to conceal the true identity of the real bettor.

  • Bet

    A term that describes the main action of the betting process.

  • Betting exchange

    A betting site that doesn’t accept bets, but instead matches backers (those betting on odds) with layers (those offering the odds) taking a commission on the winning bets.

  • Betting strategy

    A systemic approach to placing bets designed to generate an edge for the bettor over the bookmaker or house.

  • Bookie

    Slang term meaning bookmaker.

  • Bookmaker

    Person or establishment that takes bets from customers.

  • Canadian Line

    Sometimes used in hockey, this is a combination of the money line and point spread.

  • Chalk

    The option in any given betting market considered most likely to win as measured by the implied probability of the odds.

  • Closing line

    The last available odds offered before a market closes. Bettors who "beat the closing line" have placed a bet offering a superior return to the final odds offered; consistently beating the closing line is a sign of a successful bettor.

  • Commission

    The cost of placing a bet calculated by summing the implied probability and subtracting from 100, the measure of a fair market. In relation to Exchange betting, commission is the charge applied to winning bets, applied as a %.

  • Clean sheet

    Clean sheet means that a team have not conceded any goals.

  • Decimal odds

    An odds expression (sometimes referred to as European odds) where the odds are shown in decimal format.

  • Dime

    Betting shorthand for $1,000.

  • Dog

    Abbreviation of underdog; the selection perceived by the market as least likely to win.

  • Edge

    Betting advantage either gained by consistently exploiting a bookmaker’s margins or derived from proprietary knowledge.

  • Exotic

    Any bet other than a straight bet or a Multiple.

  • Favourite

    The selection that the markets sees as the most probable winner of a given event.

  • First half bet

    A wager that only applies to the first half of a sporting event.

  • Futures

    Betting on something weeks or months in advance.

  • Gubbed

    A situation when a bookmaker limits your betting account.

  • Half time bet

    A bet on the result of the first half of a game only.

  • Handicap

    A numerical figure set by the bookmaker to counter the perceived bias in abilities of opponents - this provides more balanced odds.

  • Handicapper

    A person trying to predict the winners of an event.

  • Head to head

    Type of bet in which you predict which one of the two players or teams proposed by the bookmakers, will score more points or assists in a single game. Another definition of Head to Head (H2H) is the history of direct games between two teams or players that is often taken into consideration in the punter’s analysis of the event.

  • Handle

    The amount of money taken by a book on an event or the total amount of money wagered.

  • In-play betting/Live betting

    Betting on an event that is in progress. Regular betting markets close once the event starts, in-betting odds reflect the progress of the event in real time.

  • Juice

    The commission the bookie or bookmaker takes. Standard is 10 percent.

  • Jolly

    British slang term for favourite.

  • Layoff

    Money bet by a sportsbook with another sportsbook or bookmaker to reduce that book's liability.

  • Limit

    Maximum bet amount allowed.

  • Line

    Another word for odds

  • Live-betting

    Betting on an event that is in progress. Regular betting markets close once the event starts, live-betting odds reflect the progress of the event in real time.

  • Margin

    The implied cost of placing a bet set by the bookmaker

  • Money Line

    A bet on the outcome of a match/game. One of three basic bet types.

  • NBA

    National Basketball Association. Both the name of the organisation as well as the premier competition for men’s basketball teams from the United States and Canada that is widely considered as the most prestigious and popular basketball league in the world.

  • NFL

    National Football League. Both the name of the highest professional American football league and of the organisation that supervises it.

  • NHL

    National Hockey League (NHL) - is the name of the American-Canadian organisation and the competition that it governs. The NHL is considered to be the most renowned hockey league in the world.

  • Nickel

    US punters term for a bet in which you stake $500.

  • No action

    A bet which for whatever reason is voided, resulting in no win/loss.

  • Novelty bet

    A bet on an event which cannot be easily assessed in common handicapping terms, and is offered for its novelty value (e.g. Presidential elections, Winner of a reality TV show).

  • Odds

    A numerical representation of winning chances.

  • Over

    Bet on whether the total of any given variable will be over the mark set by a bookmaker.

  • Overtime

    Sports/betting slang. The end of the regulation time (extra time).

  • Overlay

    Betting slang. The situation when oddsmakers give the wrong odds to the event.

  • Parlay

    Where more than one bet is combined, the odds accumulated and success is dependent on all selections winning.

  • Payout

    The return on a winning bet.

  • Push

    When the contest ends with no winner or loser for betting purposes and stakes are refunded.

  • Quarter bet

    A bet on the outcome of one specific quarter of a game only.

  • Reduced Juice (US)

    American betting term. A reduced bookmaker's commission aka betting margin.

  • Reload bonus

    A bonus that re-applies when account holders deposit fresh funds.

  • Rollover

    Rollover is a bonus requirement where you have to place bets with a certain stake and odds in order to utilize your bonus money.

  • Round Robin

    A specific type of Multiple bet combining three selections in a 10 combination bet; three doubles, one treble and three up-and-down single stakes about pairs.

  • Scalping

    Exploiting price/bonus discrepancies between various bookmakers for profit.

  • Sharp

    A sophisticated or professional bettor.

  • Sportsbook (US)

    American term for a bookmaker.

  • Spread

    The predicted scoring differential between two opponents as quoted by a sportsbook.

  • Stake

    The amount of money a bettor risks on a specific bet.

  • Stake

    The amount of money a bettor risks on a specific bet.

  • Tip

    A betting prediction provided by someone with perceived knowledge of the event/competitors.

  • Tipster

    Someone who provides tips.

  • Tout

    Someone who sells betting tips.

  • Under

    Bet on whether the total of any given variable will be under the mark set by the bookmaker.

  • Underdog

    Team perceived to be least likely to win.

  • Vigorish (US)

    American betting term. Another name for bookmaker's margin, like "juice".

  • Wager

    A form of placing money on odds offered by a bookmaker.

  • Welcome bonus

    A bonus you receive after registration.

  • Welsher

    A betting slang term. A person which has a debt at the bookmaker and is unable to pay it off on time.

  • Welsher

    A betting slang term. A person which has a debt at the bookmaker and is unable to pay it off on time.

  • X

    A sign that indicates the result of the match as a draw.

  • Yield

    A betting term. Also known as ROI, a way to describe the success rate and therefore the level of a particular tipster.

  • Zoo

    A betting slang term. A combo bet (accumulator) in which there are selections from multiple disciplines of sport and competitions.