Sports Betting Lingo: A-to-Z

K

A

Accountant:
A nickname for a “Bookmaker”.

Accumulator:
A type of bet whereby if the first bet wins, the winnings become the bet on the second bet; and so on (also known as a “Parlay”, “All Up” or “Multiples”). All the selections (at least two) made must win for the bettor to win the accumulator.
Example:
One match might only provide odds of 1.20 (1/5) on the favorite to win which would not yield much winnings. However by creating an accumulator bet with the favorites from three matches, the bettor is able to increase his odds significantly. While a winning US$10 bet would have earned US$12 at odds of 1.20 (1/5) previously, it could be worth as much as US$200 or more as an accumulator bet.

Across the Board:
A method of wagering equal stakes on a horse to win, place, and show.

Action:
1) A bet or wager of any kind that is valid. Different rules apply in different sports in determining if a bet is action or no action (e.g. baseball bets are action when the game goes beyond 4½ innings).
2) A baseball wager where no pitcher is specified.

Added Game:
A game not part of the regular rotation in Las Vegas that has been posted as an accommodation to customers.

Against The Spread (ATS):
A method of taking points rather than betting with the spread. Also known as laying points.

Agent:
A middleman that places customers into a sportsbook for a commission.

Ajax:
A UK slang term for betting tax (also known as “Bees” or “Beeswax”).

All Up:
A type of bet whereby if the first bet wins, the winnings become the bet on the second bet; and so on (also known as a “Parlay”, “Accumulator” or “Multiples”). All the selections (at least two) made must win for the bettor to win the all up bet.

All-In Betting:
A type of betting whereby no refunds are given for scratched or withdrawn competitors/teams in an event where a bet is placed. In the case of an event being cancelled then the bet amount will be refunded.

Alpo:
The underdog (also known as “Bow-Wow”, “Dog”, “Puppy” or “The Short”).

Also Ran:
Any selection that does not finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th in a race or event.

Angles:
Using key factors/insights from previous events to predict the results of future events.

Ante-Post:
Refers to the betting odds offered a day before an event like a horse race. In return for the chance at better odds, bettors understand that their stakes will not be returned if their selection withdraws or does not race/participate.

Any To Come (ATC):
Describes when all or a part of the winnings from one wager are automatically reinvested into a subsequent bet.

Arbitrage:
A betting method in which bettors guarantee a “sure bet” by betting on opposing sides of a game at two or more bookmakers. Since it is well known that bookmakers each have unique odds, it is possible to bet on one competitor/team at Bookmaker A and bet on the second competitor/team at Bookmaker B (and bring in a third bookmaker to cover the draw).
Example:
At Bookmaker A the odds for Competitor/Team A are 2.05 and 1.90 for Competitor/Team B. At Bookmaker B the odds for Competitor/Team A are 1.90 and 2.05 for Competitor/Team B. By putting US$100 on Competitor/Team A at Bookmaker A and $100 on Competitor/Team B at Bookmaker B, it is possible to guarantee a profit of US$5 regardless of the outcome.

Asian Handicap:
Refers to spread betting in soccer. Asian handicap (also known as “Hang Cheng”) removes the possibility of a draw result which increases the chances of a bettor turning a profit significantly. There are only two outcomes with an Asian handicap, a “home” or “away” win with a possible “push” for money back on a draw depending on the handicap. The handicap is a virtual goal head start and can increase in increments of ¼ e.g. ¼ goal, ½ goal, ¾ goal, 1 goal, 1¼ goal etc.
Example:
When the underdog receives a ½ goal handicap, it means that you are betting for it to start with a pretend half goal. Say for instance Manchester United and Arsenal are playing (Arsenal has the handicap of ½) and you bet on Manchester United to win. Depending on the final score, the bet outcome is as such:
Manchester United vs. Arsenal:
0-0 = lose
1-0 = win
0-1 = lose
2-1= win
3-2 = win

B

B.M.:
An abbreviation for a “Bookmaker”.

B.R.:
An abbreviation for “Bankroll”.

Back Door Cover:
When a team losing the game scores meaningless points to cover the spread.

Backed:
A team that has had many bets placed on it to win.

Backer:
An individual behind the scenes who supplies a bookmaker with cash.

Bad Beat:
A wager that loses unexpectedly, e.g. when unwanted points are scored against your wager in the dying seconds of an event or your horse loses by a nose after leading the entire way.

Bail Out:
Trying to recover your losses with one bet.

Banker:
A bet placed on almost sure to win favorites and is, therefore, expected to bring a certain profit. In system bets, a “Banker” is a selection that must win in order to guarantee a return.
Example:
A bettor believes the home team will win in a match between Chelsea and Tottenham. As a “Banker” bet, the bettor places US$500 on Chelsea at odds of 1.25 (1/4). If Chelsea wins the game, the bettor will receive a return of US$625 making a profit of US$125.

Bar:
The participants in a race that have not been quoted with a price during the early betting stages.
Example:

In a large field, the Serie A outright markets may read Juventus 4.00 (3/1), AC Milan 4.50 (7/2), Inter Milan 5.00 (4/1), Lazio 6.00 (5/1), Bar 9.00 (8/1). “Bar” in this case would mean every other team is quoted at 9.00 (8/1) or higher.

Beard:
A friend or acquaintance who places bets to conceal the true identity of the real bettor.

Beef:
A claim or dispute with a bookie over the outcome of a bet.

Beeswax:
A UK slang for betting tax (also known as “Bees” or “Ajax”).

Bet the Limit:
To bet the maximum amount allowed by a bookmaker on a particular event/race.

Betting Exchange:
Operating almost the same as a stock market, a betting exchange allows you to trade your bets. Rather than betting against the bookmaker, you bet against fellow players, with the betting exchange acting only as an intermediary. You can place a “back” bet – betting on something happening or a “lay” bet – betting against something happening. Betting exchanges offer many advantages to conventional bookmakers, such as no-limit betting and very sharp odds.
Example:
You place a US$100 “back” bet on Borussia Dortmund to win the German Bundesliga at odds of 4.00 (3/1) before the season starts and then place a US$120 “lay” bet on Borussia Dortmund at odds of 3.00 (2/1), risking US$360, after they have won a few games in a row.
Should Borussia Dortmund win the title you will earn US$400-US$360 = US$40 and if they fail to win the title, you will earn US$120-US$100 = US$20.

Betting Markets:
Online bookmakers offer a large selection of betting markets on every single event, often giving their customers a choice of more than 100 betting options.

Betting Ring:
A syndicate of big money sports bettors who place large bets.

Betting Tax:
Tax on a bookmaker’s turnover. In the UK this is a “duty” charged by Customs and Excise at the rate of 6.75 pence on every pound wagered. Common methods of recouping this are to deduct the tax from winnings or allow the bettor to pay the tax with his stake. In the case of paying the tax with one’s stake, there will not be any tax deducted from winnings.

Bettor:
A person who bets (also known as a “punter” in the UK).

Big Dime:
A US$10,000 wager.

Big Nickel:
A US$5,000 wager.

Blind Bet:
To avoid lower odds on his selection, a racetrack bookmaker will blind bet to draw other bookmakers’ attention away from his sizable betting on one horse.

Board:
The complete schedule of games on any given day.

Book:
An establishment that accepts bets on the outcome of sporting events.

Bookie:
A person who accepts bets. Also known as a “Bookmaker”.

Bookmaker:
A person or company who accepts bets from the public, usually on racing or sports events (also known as a “Bookie” or “Sportsbook”).

Bottle:
UK slang for 3.00 (2/1) odds.

Bottom Line:
The amount of money owed to a bookmaker by a bettor.

Bow-Wow:
An underdog (also known as “Alpo”, “Dog”, “Puppy” or “The Short”).

Breakage:
The difference between true pari-mutuel odds and the lesser, rounded amounts given to winning bettors. The substantial difference goes to the racetracks and controlling state authorities.

Bridge-Jumper:
Bettor who specializes in large show bets on favorites with low odds.

Buck:
A US$100 wager (also known as a “Dollar Bet”, “C-Note”, “Franklin” or “One Dollar”).

Bundle:
A large bankroll.

Burlington Bertie:
Odds of 4.33 (100/30) (also known as “Scruffy and Dirty”).

Bust:
Player who goes broke.

Buy Points:
When a bettor pays an additional fee to receive half a point or more in his favor on a point spread game (also known as “Move the Line”).

Buy Price:
In spread or index betting, this is the higher figure quoted by a bookmaker.

Buy the Rack:
Purchasing every possible “Daily Double” or other combination ticket.

C

C of E:
Slang for UK Customs and Excise.

C-Note:
A US$100 wager (also known as a “Dollar Bet”, “Buck”, “Franklin” or “One Dollar”).

Canadian:
A multiple bet consisting of 26 bets (10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 4-folds and 1 5-fold) with 5 selections in different events (also known as a “Super Yankee”).

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

Carpet:
UK slang for odds of 4.00 (3/1) (also known as “tres” or “gimmel”).

Carpet Joint:
US slang for a luxury gambling casino.

Century:
A £100 wager (also known as a “ton”).

Chalk:
The favored team, athlete or horse.

Chalk Eater:
A person who bets only on favorites (also known as a “Chalk Player”).

Chalk Player:
A person who bets only on favorites (also known as a “Chalk Eater”).

Churn:
The act of re-betting money any winnings.

Circle/Circled Game:
A game where the maximum bet is limited by the bookmaker because the game features key injuries, inclement weather, or unsubstantiated rumors regarding a team. These games cannot be included in parlays or teasers.

Client:
A person who purchases betting information from a tipster or tout.

Clocker:
A person who times the workouts (normally of horses and greyhounds), usually for betting information.

Clone Joint:
A sportsbook that moves its lines to conform with other sportsbooks.

Close/Closing Line:
Known as the final line, the close/closing line refers to the betting line before a bookmaker sets the odds for an event.

Co-Favorites:
When three or more competitors share the status as favorite (have the lowest odds).

Combination:
1) An “Across the Board” bet in which a single pari-mutuel ticket is issued.
2) Selecting any number of teams/horses to finish first and second in either order.

Combination Tricast:
Commonly used in horse and greyhound racing, it refers to a bettor correctly picking the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in a race in any order (also known as a “Trifecta Box”).

Consolation Double:
Money that is set aside to pay those who bought daily double tickets pairing the winner of the 1st race with the horse in the 2nd race that gets scratched.

Correlated Parlay:
A bet that if one bet wins, it increases the odds of the other bet winning.
Example:
If you win a first half bet and a second half bet, you are obviously going to win the bet for the outcome of the game.

Cover:
Beating the spread by a required number of points. Also know as “cover the spread”.

Credit Betting:
Using credit at a bookmaker to bet.

D

Daily Double:
A form of pari-mutuel betting in which the bettor makes a combination bet on two horses in two races. If the bettor wins on the 1st race, his winnings become his stake on the 2nd race.

Data Mining:
Searching through a large volume of statistics to find profitable situations to bet on in the future.

Dead Heat:
Where two or more competitors finish tied. For non-pari-mutuel betting purposes in a dead heat, full odds are paid to half the stake (one third if a triple dead heat, etc.).

Degenerate:
A compulsive bettor.

Dime:
A US$1,000 wager (also known as a “Dime Bet”).

Dime Line:
A slang term for a ten cent money line. This equates to the commission (“Juice”, “Vigorish” or “Vig”) of a bookmaker being 10%.

Dividend:
The agreed payout or return on a bet.

Dog:
The underdog in a betting proposition (also known as “Alpo”, “Bow-Wow”, “Puppy” or “The Short”).

Dog Player:
A bettor who mainly wagers on the underdog.

Dollar Bet:
A US$100 wager (also known as a “Buck”, “C-Note”, “Franklin” or “One Dollar”).

Double Action:
An “if bet” that is processed when the preceding bet wins, ties or gets canceled.

Double Bet:
A bet that is twice the size of one’s usual bet (also known as “Double Pop” or “Doubling Up”).

Double Carpet:
UK slang for odds of 34.00 (33/1).

Double Chance:
A bet that allows you to win the same amount of money if your team wins or if they tie, which means that only a loss will result in a losing bet.

Double or Nothing:
An even-money bet such as odds of 2.00 (evens) whereby the bet will pay out exactly the amount wagered.

Double Sawbuck:
A US$20 wager.

Double Stakes About (DSA):
Investing the returns from the 1st winning selection at double the original stake on the 2nd selection. (Note: you can also have Triple SA, Quadruple SA etc.).

Double/Double Betting:
The simplest of all accumulators as it consists of just 2 selections, both of which need to be guessed correctly in order to qualify for a return.
Example:
A bettor stakes US$50 on a double bet consisting of selections with odds of 1.50 (1/2) and 1.40 (2/5). If both selections win, he will earn US$50 x 1.50 x 1.40 = US$105. If either selection or both of them lose, the bet is a losing one.

Doubling-Up:
Also known as the Martingale method, doubling-up is when a bettor doubles the size of his previous bet hoping to win back the money lost and make a profit.

Draw:
Where competitors in an event finish tied (also known as a “Jerk” or “Push”).

Draw No Bet:
A bet whereby bettors will get their stake back if the game ends up as a draw. This is particularly popular with soccer match bets.

Drift:
When the odds on a competitor are “lengthen”, they are said to have “drifted” or be “on the drift”.

Dry:
A bettor who has gone broke.

Dual Forecast:
A tote bet operating in races of 3 or more declared runners in which the bettor has to pick the first two to finish in either order.

Due For:
Referring to a competitor/team that is considered to be overdue for a win or loss in their next contest or sports event.

Dutch/Dutching:
A betting method used to cover several contenders in an event, making sure each and every one of those bets guarantees the same profit, while eliminating major underdogs. This ensures the same profit regardless of which bet wins, obviously provided one of the backed competitors/teams does win the event. This kind of strategy is usually used in horse race betting but can also be applied to soccer outright bets where a bettor can cover several teams and still win a nice profit.
Example:
You want to place an outright bet on the winner of French Ligue 1. Odds on winners are as follows: PSG 3.00 (2/1), Lyon 3.50 (5/2), Marseille 5.00 (4/1) and Lille 6.50 (11/2). Now you need to calculate how much needs to be staked on every market to win US$1,028.

PSG needs to be backed with US$342, Lyon with US$293, Marseille with US$205 and Lille with US$158. You do not like how PSG looks this season and decide to place bets on every other team but the Saints. This means that your profit will be US$1,028 – US$656 (US$293+US$205+US$158) = US$372 if Lyon, Marseille or Lille win the title. You will obviously lose all your money if PSG wins.

E

Each-Way:
A bet that is offered by bookmakers and refers to two separate bets on the same stake; a win and a place bet. This is most commonly used in horse-racing when the bettor bets on the horse to win, or place (usual top 3). If the horse places, then the odds will be fractionally lower compared to the win.
Example:
A single each way bet of US$5 would cost the bettor US$10 as the bet consists of two separate bets. One would be for the win, and the other for the place. If the horse’s odds were 11.00 (10/1) and it won, the bettor would win US$50 and marginally less for a place (less for 3rd than for 2nd). The bettor will also get their stake back if the bet won, but not if it placed.

Early Money:
Bets that come in as soon as the betting lines are made available to the public.

Earn:
The total amount won by a bookmaker divided by the total amount booked (also known as the “Practical Hold Percentage”).

East Coast Line:
A split goal line that is mainly used in ice hockey. It requires the favorite to beat two lines for the wager to win.
Example:

The Detroit Red Wings are favored over the Vancouver Canucks (1-1.5) as opposed to a spread plus money line (-0.5, 1.55). In this example, the favored Red Wings would have to win by 2 goals in order for a bet on them to win. On the other side of the line, the Canucks only have to get within a goal in order for a bet on them to win. With this type of line, a “push” is a possible outcome, which would return the stake to the bettor.

Edge:
A person’s advantage when it comes to sports betting.

European Handicap:
Differing from Asian handicap, there are no void bets or stakes refunded with European handicap bets.

Evens/Even Money:
A 2.00 (evens) odds bet. A US$1 stake would return US$2 dividend (also known as “scotch” or “levels”).

Exacta:
A bet commonly used in horse-racing in which the bettor must correctly pick which two horses will finish in first and second place in exact order (also known as a “Perfecta”).

Exacta Box:
A bet commonly used in horse-racing in which the bettor must correctly pick which two horses will finish in first and second place in any order (also known as a “Quinella” or “Perfecta Box”).

Exotic Wager:
Any wager other than a straight bet or parlay (also known as a “Prop” or “Proposition Bet”).

Exposure:
The maximum amount of money a sportsbook stands to lose on a game.

Extension:
The amount of money the house theoretically will risk losing on a game or a race.

F

Fade:
A wager against a particular person.

Fast Company:
Smart bettors.

Fat:
A person with plenty of money.

Favorite:
The competitor/team considered most likely to win and therefore has the shortest or lowest odds (also known as the “jolly” or “sponk”).

Field:
1) All the individual competitors/teams in an event.
2) Odds offered on non-listed competitors or teams are collectively called “the Field”.

Fifty Cents:
A US$50 wager.

Figure:
The amount owed to or by a bookmaker.

Firing:
Wagering large sums of money.

First Half Bet:
A bet placed only on the first half of a game.

Fixed Game:
A game in which one or more participants willfully manipulates the final outcome of a game.

Fixed Odds:
Placing bets on pre-determined odds, meaning that you know exactly how much you stand to earn at the time of placing a bet. Regardless of how much the odds fluctuate after you have placed your bet, your potential returns will not change.
Example:
A bettor bets US$100 on a market at odds of 2.00 (evens) and a bookmaker accepts his bet. Before the game starts, the odds on the same market drop to 1.70 (7/10); however the bettor still stands to receive US$200 if his bet wins.

Flag:
A bet consisting of 23 bets (a “Yankee” plus 6 “Single Stakes About” bets in pairs) on 4 selections in different event.

Flash:
The change of odds information on a tote board.

Flea:
An annoying bettor who wants something for nothing such as being comped for a small wager.

Fold:
When preceded by a number, a fold indicates the number of selections in an accumulator (e.g. 5-Fold = 5 selections).

Forecast:
A wager that involves correctly predicting the 1st and 2nd place finish for a particular event. This bet can be straight, reversed or permed.

Form:
What performance is to be expected according to how a competitor/team looks on paper.

Form Player:
A bettor who makes selections from past-performance records.

Franklin:
A US$100 wager (also known as a “Dollar Bet”, “C-Note”, “Buck” or “One Dollar”).

French Odds:
Expression of odds as 17.66 (100/6), 13.50 (100/8), etc. The name goes back to the days when the French had a “metric” money system while UK still used 1 pound of 240 old pence.

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

Furlong:
In horse racing, a unit of distance equal to 1/8 of a mile or 220 yards.

Futures:
Odds posted in advance on the winners of various major events including the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup, and the NBA Championship.

G

G-Note:
A US$1,000 wager.

Get Down/Getting Down:
Making a bet.

Going Down:
Losing a wager or series of wagers.

Goliath:
A multiple consisting of 247 bets (28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 4-folds, 56 5-folds, 28 6-folds, 8 7-folds and 1 8-fold) involving 8 selections in different events.

Grand:
A £1,000 wager (also known as a “big ‘un”).

Grand Salami:
The grand total of goals scored in all the ice hockey games of the day.

Gross Win:
Winnings before expenses are taken into consideration.

H

Half a Buck:
A US$50 wager (also known as a “Half-a-Dollar”).

Half Time Bet:
A bet placed only on the second half of a game.

Half-A-Dollar:
A US$50 wager (also known as a “Half a Buck”).

Handicap:
A method used by bookmakers to make a one-sided event become a more attractive betting proposition. Teams are awarded a number of points as a “head start”.

Handicapper:
A person who studies factors such as statistics, injuries, weather and news to predict the outcome of events.

Handicapping:
Attempting to predict the outcome of sporting events.

Handle:
The total amount of money bet on an event or group of events.

Hang Cheng:
A bet where returns on a team winning or drawing are determined by part-goal handicaps (also known as “Asian handicap”).

Hedge/Hedging:
Placing wagers on the opposite side in order to cut losses or guarantee a minimum amount of winnings (also known as a “Lay-Off Bet”).

Heinz:
A multiple bet consisting of 57 bets (15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 4-folds, 6 5-folds and 1 6-fold) involving 6 horses in different races.

Hold:
The percentage the house wins.

Holding Your Own:
Breaking even on a wager or series of wagers.

Hook:
The half point in point spreads such as 6.5, same as “6 and a hook”.

Hooked:
Losing a bet by exactly a half point.

Hot Game:
A game that is drawing a lot of action on one side from knowledgeable handicappers.

Hot Tip:
Information the bookmaker is not yet made aware of.

House:
A casino or gambling facility.

I

If Bet:
A bet that is placed only if a certain outcome of a previous bet comes true.

In the Money:
Describes the horses in a race that finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd (and sometimes 4th) or the horses on which money will be paid to bettors, depending on the place terms.

In the Red:
Owing money to someone.

In-Play Betting:
Live match betting in which it is possible to bet on the outcome or elements of a match while it is still “in play”.
Example:
For a soccer game, it would be possible mid game to place bets on factors such as who will be awarded the next corner or which player will score the next goal. The odds change during the game depending on the performance and positioning of the team and players.

Index Betting:
A type of betting that allows bettors to predict the outcome of a game or match, and then “back” their decision against the point spread of a bookmaker (also known as “Spread Betting”).

J

Jerk:
Also known as a “Draw”, “Push” or “Tie”.

Joint Favorites:
When bookmakers cannot choose a favorite among two competitors/teams, both are made joint favorites.

Jolly:
The favorite in an event.

Juice:
Refers to the commission that a bookmaker takes for each losing bet (also known as “Vigorish” or the “Take”).
Example:
If a bookmaker has a commission of 5% for each wager, a bettor would need to bet US$105 for a stake of US$100.

L

Lay a Bet:
The accepting of a bet by a bookie.

Layer:
A bookmaker or one who “lays” odds.

Laying the Points:
Wagering on a favorite and thereby laying (giving) points or odds to the opposing side.

Laying the Price:
Wagering on a favorite by laying money odds.

Layoff:
Money bet by a house, with another bookmaker, to reduce it’s liability.

LBO:
Acronym for “Licensed Betting Office” in the UK.

Lengthen:
The opposite of “Shorten”, which means that odds get longer; that is, more attractive for the bettor.

Limit:
The maximum amount a bookmaker will allow you to bet before he changes the odds and/or the points.

Line:
The current odds or point spread of a particular event.

Linemaker:
The person who establishes the original and subsequent betting lines (also known as the “Oddsmaker”).

Lines:
The various odds offered to a bettor.

Listed Pitchers:
A baseball bet which will be placed only if both of the pitchers scheduled to start a game actually start. If they do not, the bet is cancelled.

Live One:
A bettor with money.

Lock:
An almost guaranteed winner.

Long Odds:
Odds such as 101.00 (100/1) offered against a competitor unlikely to win.

Long-shot:
A team, athlete or horse perceived to be unlikely to win.

Lucky 15:
Consists of 15 bets involving 4 selections in different events, e.g. 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and 1 4-fold. As a consolation if you only have one winner it will be paid at double the odds. If you get all four winners, a 10% bonus will be added to your returns (also known as a “Yap” or “Yankee Patent”).

Lucky 31:
Consists of 31 bets involving 5 selections in different events, e.g. 5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 4-folds plus 1 5-fold. As a consolation if you only have one winner it will be paid at double the odds. If you get all five winners, a 20% bonus will be added to your returns.

Lucky 63:
Consists of 63 bets involving 6 selections in different events, e.g. 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 4-folds, 6 5-folds and 1 6-fold. As a consolation if you only have one winner it will be paid at double the odds. If you get all six winners, a 25% bonus will be added to your returns.

M

Machines:
Pari-mutuel computers/calculators.

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

Martingale:
A method when a bettor doubles the size of his previous bet hoping to win back the money lost and make a profit (also known as “Doubling-Up”).

Matador:
A cover that occurs in the last moments of the game (also known as a “Back-Door-Cover”).

Middle:
Betting both sides of a game at different prices with the hope of winning both wagers.
Example:

If a bettor bet on Chicago (-4) and Los Angeles (+6), and Chicago won, 100 – 95, the bettor would win both bets, or “catch the middle”).

Middler:
A bettor who bets both sides of the game.

Minus Pools:
In pari-mutuel betting, a situation in which so much money is bet on a horse (usually to show) that the pool is insufficient, after “Take” and “Breakage”, to pay holders of winning tickets the legal minimum odds.

Money Back Bets:
Only offered on major events, these bets promise to refund your stake as a free bet if an event advertised in the offer actually happens. Only pre-match single bets qualify for refunds, provided they are placed on specified game markets.
Example:
A bookmaker promises to refund all losing 1st goalscorer, last goalscorer, correct score and scorecast singles on Bulgaria vs. England and Ireland vs. Slovakia matches if England or Ireland lead at half-time but fail to win their match. Another explanation is if you have placed a US$40 bet on Wayne Rooney to score the first goal for England but he fails to do so, you will get the US$40 back as a free bet if either England or Ireland indeed lead at half-time but fail to win their game.

Money Line:
A wager when there is not a point spread involved.

Monkey:
A £500 wager.

Morning Line:
A forecast of probable odds.

Move the Line:
A bettor that pays an additional fee to receive half a point or more in his favor on a point spread game (also known as “Buy Points”).

Multiples:
A type of bet whereby if the first bet wins, the winnings become the bet on the second bet; and so on (also known as a “Parlay”, “All Up” or “Accumulator”). All the selections (at least two) made must win for the bettor to win the multiples bet.

Mush:
A bettor who is bad luck.

Mush Artist:
A bettor who does not pay his debts (also known as a “Stiff”).

Mutuel Pool:
The total amount bet to win, place or show in a race. It can also be the total amount bet on a Daily Double, Exacta, Quinella, etc.

N

Newbie:
A person who is new to gambling or to forums. A rookie or “Square”.

Newspaper Line:
The lines which appear in various daily newspapers. Note that these lines are approximate and can be inaccurate and/or misleading.

Nickel:
A US$500 wager.

Nickel Line:
A sports wagering line where the “Juice” is 5%.

No Action:
A wager in which no money is lost nor won.

Novelty Betting:
Involves betting on events that have nothing to do with sports such as popular TV shows (Big Brother and X Factor), wagering on current affairs, as well as Royal Wedding specials and presidential elections.

O

Odds Compiler:
A person working for a bookmaker who sets the odds following research and his own feelings (also known as an “Oddsmaker”).

Odds Man:
At horse racing tracks where computers are not in use, an employee who calculates the changing of odds as betting progresses.

Odds-Against:
When the odds are greater than evens (e.g. 2.10 or 11/10).

Odds-On/Odds On Favorite:
When the odds are shorter than evens (e.g. 1.91 or 10/11).

Oddsmaker:
A person who creates odds on sporting events, but does not accept wagers (also known as an “Odds Compiler”).

Off Lines:
The amount the Las Vegas point spread differs from the lines of other sportsbetting sites, which have derived their data from various computer software systems.

Off the Board:
1) A game in which bookmakers are not accepting any more wagers. Bookmakers take a game “Off the Board” when they suspect the outcome of the game has been fixed, thus making sure they do not lose any more money on that particular match.
2) A horse so lightly bet that its pari-mutuel odds exceed 100.00 (99/1).

Off the Top:
The practice of subtracting a fixed “Take” percentage from the pari-mutuel pool before paying holders of winning tickets.

Off-Track:
Betting conducted away from the horse racetrack.

Official Line:
The line the bookmaker uses for betting purposes.

On the Nose:
A bet that a horse will win.

One Dollar:
A US$100 wager (also known as a “Dollar Bet”, “C-Note”, “Franklin” or “Buck”).

Opening Line:
The earliest line posted for a particular sporting event.

Out:
An illegal bookmaker.

Outlaw Line:
An early line which is not an official line. Oddsmakers will invite specially selected bettors to wager on the “Outlaw Line” before opening the line to the public. The oddsmakers respect these experts and use their input to create the final “Opening Line”. This process is called “ironing” or “flattening”, the line.

Outright Bet:
A bet placed on the outcome of an entire league or competition rather than on an individual game. Outright bets are usually placed before the season starts but are also available even during the course of the season.

Outsiders:
The competitors that are not expected to win. The opposite to the favorite, usually offered at lengthy odds.

Over:
A sports bet in which the bettor guesses that the combined point/goal total of two teams will be above a specified number.

Over/Under:
A bet on whether the combined total of the points/goals scored by the two teams will exceed or be less than a specified number (also known as “Total”).

Overbroke:
When the book results in a loss for the bookmaker.

Overlay:
When the odds of a proposition are in favor of the bettor not the house. Such as a horse whose odds are high in comparison to its perceived chances of winning the race.

Overround:
The profit margin in the bookmaker’s favor.

P

Parlay:
Also known as an “Accumulator”, “All Up” or “Multiples”, this is a bet on two or more teams or outcomes where the original stake and winnings are reinvested on the next wager. All selections must be correct for the parlay to win. In the event of a push or a game cancellation, the parlay reverts to the next lower number (e.g. a 4-team parlay becomes a 3-team parlay).

Parlay Cards:
Wagers on a minimum of three and up to 15 propositions.

Past-Post:
A bet made after the start of a game or horse race.

Patent:
A multiple bet consisting of 7 bets involving 3 selections in different events. A single on each selection, plus 3 doubles and 1 treble.

Penny Line:
A money line that is adjusted in increments of a penny.

Perfecta:
A bet commonly used in horse-racing in which the bettor must correctly pick the first and second place finishers in exact order (also known as a “Exacta”).

Perfecta Box:
A bet commonly used in horse-racing in which the bettor must correctly pick which two horses will finish in first and second place in any order (also known as a “Exacta Box”).

Permutations:
If you have made 3 selections (A, B and C) you can ‘perm’ all the possible doubles. In this case all the doubles possible are AB, AC, and BC; a total of 3 individual bets, or lines. Similarly, if you have made 4 selections (A, B, C and D) you can also ‘perm’ all the possible doubles from these four. Now the doubles are AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, CD; a total of 6 individual bets, or lines.

Pic Six:
A proposition which challenges the bettor to pick six winners of six successive races (also known as “pick six” or “five-ten”).

Pick ’em:
A game where neither team is favored.

Picks:
The selections chosen by an expert to bet on (also known as “tips”).

Piece-Meal:
Paying a bookmaker in installments.

Place:
1) The term used to describe a 2nd place finish.
2) Most commonly used in horse and greyhound racing and refers to a horse or greyhound “placing” in the top 3, 4 or sometimes 5 in a competition or race.

Player:
A bettor or punter.

Pleaser:
A bet on two or more teams where the line on each team is adjusted against the favor of the bettor but with a higher payout. Just like a parlay, all selections must be correct for the pleaser wager to win.

Point Spread:
Most common in basketball and football games, a point spread can be considered a handicap and refers to providing a team (underdog) with a head start.
Example:
Two NBA teams are playing with one being a large underdog. To make the bet more even, the bookmaker might require the favorite to win by more than 12 points for the game to be fair. If the final score is a 12 point difference then the bet would be considered a “push” and the stake would be returned.

Pony:
A £25 wager.

Pool:
The total amount bet to win, place or show, or in a daily double for a race.

Post Time:
Normally used in horse racing, it is the scheduled starting time of a race.

Power Ratings:
The strength of a team in comparison to another team.

Practical Hold Percentage:
The amount won by a bookmaker divided by the total amount wagered (also known as “Earn”).

Press:
Wagering a larger amount than usual.

Price:
The odds or line of a game.

Prop/Proposition Bet:
A special wager offered on unique and various events such as sporting events, politics, and trial outcomes. The wagers use the money line format and might include who scores the first touchdown in the Super Bowl, who will win the next presidential election, or whether or not someone on trial will be found guilty.

Puck Line:
Giving odds of a goal spread in ice hockey instead of using a Canadian Line where both a goal spread and money line are played.

Pucks:
A slang word used to indicate the game of ice hockey.

Punter:
The UK term for a bettor.

Pup Tenter:
A company that sets up shop for a season then disappears with bettors’ deposits.

Puppy:
The underdog (also known as “Alpo”, “Bow-Wow”, “Dog” or “The Short”).

Push:
When an event/race ends with no winner or loser for wagering purposes (also known as a “Jerk”, “Draw” or “Tie”).

Q

Quinella:
A bet commonly used in horse-racing in which the bettor must correctly pick which two horses will finish in first and second place in any order (also known as an “Exacta Box” or “Perfecta Box”).

R

Right Price:
Pari-mutuel odds high enough to warrant placing a bet on a specific competitor.

Ringer:
A horse or greyhound (usually a good runner replacing a poorer one) entered in a race under the poor runner’s name.

Risk:
The amount of money bet on a game or event.

Round Robin:
A bet consisting of 10 bets (3 pairs of “Single Stakes About” bets plus 3 doubles and 1 treble) involving 3 selections in different events.

Roundabout:
A bet consisting of 3 bets involving 3 selections in different events (also known as a “Rounder”).

Rounder:
A bet consisting of 3 bets involving 3 selections in different events (also known as a “Roundabout”).

Run Down:
All the lines for a specific date, sport, time, etc.

Run Line:
In baseball, the name of the spread used instead of the money line.

Runner:
1) In racing, a bookie’s employee who gathers information on the progress of betting elsewhere on the course.
2) Also known as a “Beard”, it relates to an individual who places bets for another.

S

Sawbuck:
A US$10 wager.

Sawdust Joint:
Non-luxury gambling club.

Scalper:
One who attempts to profit from the differences in odds from book to book by betting both sides of the same game at different prices (also known as an “Arbitrager”).

Scamdicapper:
A tipster or tout that gives outlandish promises about win percentages and expectations.

Score:
1) A £20 wager.
2) To win a race or a bet.

Scorecast Betting:
A type of accumulator bet in that the bettor needs to correctly predict the player to score the first goal in a match as well as the correct result of the same match in order to win the bet.
Example:
A bettor places a US$10 scorecast bet on Lionel Messi to score the first goal and Barcelona to win 3-0 at odds of 25.00 (24/1). If the Argentinian scores the first goal in Barca’s 3-0 win, the bettor will earn US$250. If Messi scores the first goal, but the game ends in any other result other than a 3-0 win for Barca, or if Barcelona wins 3-0 but someone else scores the first goal, the bet will be a losing one.

Scouts:
Bettors that wait for what they consider to be a sure win betting opportunity.

Scratch:
1) The withdrawal of a competitor.
2) To withdraw, cancel or call off a wager.

Scratch Sheet:
A daily publication that includes graded handicaps, tips and scratches.

Settler:
A bookmaker’s expert who calculates payouts.

Sharp:
A sophisticated or professional bettor (also known as a “Wise Guy”).

Shoo In:
1) A supposed guaranteed winner.
2) A fixed race.

Short Price:
A small pari-mutuel payout.

Shorten:
The opposite of “Lengthen”, which refers to odds getting shorter; that is, less attractive to the bettor.

Shortening the Odds:
A bookmaker reducing the odds offered in response to heavy betting.

Shortstop:
A small bettor.

Show:
The term used to describe a 3rd place finish.

Shut Out:
1) A bettor who gets into the betting line too late and is still waiting in line when the window closes.
2) When the losing team does not score.

Side:
Also known as “to catch a side”, this means to win one side of a bet and tie the other.

Single Action:
An “if bet” that becomes eligible only if the preceding bet wins.

Single Stakes About (SSA):
A bet consisting of two bets on 2 selections.

Single/Single Bet:
A “straight” bet on one selection to win a race or event.

Six-Dollar Combine:
An “Across the Board” bet in racing.

Smart Money:
The bets of insiders.

Soft Line:
A wagering line that is not current with the true posted line; that is, a line that has been adjusted, or moved, as a result of action, but does not reflect the true line as posted.

Sportsbook:
A person or company that accepts bets (also known as a “Bookmaker”).

Spot Play:
A bet in which the bettor risks money only on events that seem relatively worthwhile risks.

Spot Player:
A bettor who risks money only on events that seem relatively worthwhile risks.

Spread:
An abbreviated form of “Point Spread”.

Spread Betting:
A type of betting that allows bettors to predict the outcome of a game or match, and then “back” their decision against the point spread of a bookmaker (also known as “Index Betting”).

Spreads:
Also known as handicaps.

Square:
A novice or newbie when it comes to sports betting.

Stake:
The term for money used to wager on an event.

Starting Price:
Commonly used in horse and greyhound racing, and refers to the odds, or starting price, of the horse or greyhound at the start of the race.
Example:
For “Ante-Post”, the odds of a horse winning the race might have been 11.00 (10/1), but drifted to 9.00 (8/1) at the start of the race. Many bettors compare the ante-post and the starting price to see if perhaps insider information has lead to increased interest.

Steam:
When a line starts to move rapidly. Most “steam games” do not necessarily reflect objective circumstances, but are games that draw a mass of bettors for unexplained reasons.

Stiff:
Bettor who does not pay his debts (also known as a “Mush Artist”).

Stooper:
Those who make a living picking up discarded mutuel tickets at racetracks and cashing those that have been thrown away by mistake.

Store:
A bookie or sports betting establishment.

Straight/Straight Bet:
A wager on just one team, athlete or horse.

Straight Forecast:
A tote bet operating in races of 3 or more declared participants in which the bettor has to pick the first and second place finisher in the correct order.

Straight Tricast/Tricast Bet:
Commonly used in horse and greyhound racing, it refers to a bettor correctly picking the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in a race in exact order (also known as a “Trifecta” or “Triple”).

Straight-Up:
Winning a bet with no point spread involved.

Sucker Bet:
A bet with a large house edge such as parlays, teasers or exotics.

Super Heinz:
A Super Heinz consists of 120 bets involving 7 selections in different events, e.g. 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 4-folds, 21 5-folds, 7 6-folds and 1 7-fold.

Super Yankee:
Also known as a “Canadian”, a Super Yankee is a Yankee bet with 5 selections instead of 4.

Sure Thing:
A bet that is deemed to have very little chance of losing.

Syndicate:
Collection of bettors who pool all of their money and knowledge together in an attempt to beat the sportsbooks.

System Bet:
Similar to an accumulator bet as it is placed on a number of selections, but with the big difference being that not all selections need to be guessed correctly to qualify for a return. System bets are usually placed at longer odds and backed by big stakes so as to ensure nice profit even if a bettor has several losing selections. Popular system bets include Trixie, Yankee, Canadian, Heinz and Lucky 15, as well as different variations of the aforementioned bets. The process of calculating possible returns is not so difficult, but bettors may need the help of a betting calculator with more complicated system bets.

T

Take:
Money deducted from each pari-mutuel pool for track revenue and taxes.

Take Out:
The part of the pari-mutuel pools not returned as winnings; basically the sum of the “Take” and “Breakage”.

Taking the Points:
Betting on the underdog and its advantage in the point spread.

Taking the Price:
Betting the underdog and accepting money odds.

Taking/Taking the Odds:
Betting on the underdog.

Tapped Out:
Broke from gambling.

Teaser:
Similar to a parlay considering that all selections need to win in order to qualify for a return, a bookie determines which matches will be combined to create a teaser bet. The main thing that differentiates teasers from parlay bets is that bettors are allowed to move the line or the point spread in their favor, so as to increase their winning chances. By moving the point spread in his favor, the bettor will be forced to place his bet at lower odds than originally specified, but that is a risk most bettors are willing to take.
Example:
A bookmaker offers a teaser with 2 selections on a single game. New England is given +3.5 handicap against Green Bay, whereas the Over/Under line is set to 35.5 points. If you play the two bets together as a parlay, the odds will be around 2.60 (8/5), but if you play as a teaser, the odds become 2.00 (evens). As a teaser, you are given six points to adjust the spread; therefore if you bet on New England, they are now +9.5 (3.5+6) underdogs, but you can also use the six points to adjust the spread on Over/Under market. If you want to bet on over, the line will change to 29.5 (35.5-6).

Ten Cent Line:
This is the money line difference (10 cents) between what a players lays with the favorite, or takes back with the underdog (also known as a “Dime Line”).

The Short:
The underdog (also known as “Alpo”, “Bow-Wow”, “Dog” or “Puppy”).

Theoretical Hold Percentage:
The edge the bookmaker would have IF the odds guaranteed him a constant commission regardless of the outcome.

Thick ‘un:
A big bet such as one more than a £1,000.

Tic-Tac:
The code of hand signals by which UK on-track bookmakers’ employees relay information on current odds and betting around the racetrack.
Example:
“Top of the head”= 3.25 (9/4)
“Up the arm”= 2.38 (11/8)

Ticket:
A sports betting wager (also known as a “Bet”).

Ticketer:
A forger of bookmakers’ tickets.

Tiercé:
A French combination bet in which the bettor predicts the horses that will finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Tips:
The selections chosen by an expert to bet on (also known as “Picks”).

Tipster:
A person who gives or sells to bettors his estimate of likely winners of a race, game or event (also known as a “Tout”).

Toss Up:
A game where the line is close to pick ‘em; that is, a game where no team, or betting option, is a clear favorite.

Total:
The combined amount of runs, points or goals scored by both teams during the game, including overtime (also known as “Over/Under”).

Totalizator:
Automated pari-mutuel machine which records bets as soon as tickets are dispensed at betting windows.

Tote Board:
A racetrack information board that displays approximate odds, betting totals, payout prices and other information necessary for the bettor.

Tote Returns:
Returns from a tote pool (also known as a “Dividend”), which are calculated by taking the total stake in each pool (after the “Take” is deducted) and dividing it by the number of winning tickets.

Tote:
The Horse-race Totalizator Board otherwise known as “The Tote” is the only body in the UK set up to operate pool-betting at all racetracks. 

Pool-betting, also known as “pari-mutuel betting” is a system in which all bets of a particular type are put together in a pool. The “Juice” or “Vigorish” is removed and the payout odds are calculated by a pool shared among all winning bets.

Tout:
A person who gives or sells betting advice (also known as a “Tipster”).

Tout Service:
A business that gives or sells betting advice.

Treble:
A bet consisting of 3 selections, all of which must win for the wager to be successful.

Trifecta:
Commonly used in horse and greyhound racing, it refers to a bettor correctly picking the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in a race in exact order (also known as a “Tricast” or “Triple”).

Trifecta Box:
Commonly used in horse and greyhound racing, it refers to a bettor correctly picking the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in a race in any order (also known as a “Combination Tricast”).

Triple:
Commonly used in horse and greyhound racing, it refers to a bettor correctly picking the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in a race in exact order (also known as a “Trifecta” or “Tricast”).

Triple Sharp:
The sharpest of the “Sharp” (professional bettors/“Wise Guys”). ※ Note there is no such term as “Double Sharp”.

Trixie:
A multiple bet consisting of 4 bets (3 doubles and 1 treble) with 3 selections in different events.

Turf Accountant:
A UK term for a “Bookmaker”.

Tweeners:
A book that has all it’s odds in the middle of all other books.

Twenty Cent Line:
This is the money line difference (20 cents) between what a bettor lays with the favorite, or takes back with the underdog.

Two and Three Balls Betting:
A golfing bet that involves predicting which bettor from either a group of two or three will shoot the lowest score over 18 holes.

U

Under:
A wager in which the bettor guesses that the total points scored by two teams will be under a certain figure.

Underdog:
The team perceived to be most likely to lose (also known as “Alpo”, “Bow-Wow”, “Dog”, “Puppy” or “The Short”).

Underlay:
A situation in which the odds on a game favor the house, rather than the bettor.

Uniforms:
A term for referees and game officials (also known as “Zebras”).

Union Jack:
A bet consisting of 8 trebles on 9 selections A to I: ABC, DEF, GHI, ADG, BEH, CFI, AEI, and CEG.

V

Value/Value Bets:
Also known as an “Overlay”, value bets are wagers that are supposed to give bettors the best chance of profiting. Rather than just backing the favorites, many bettors try to find a match where they believe the bookmaker has made a mistake when quoting the odds and wager accordingly on such matches.

Vigorish:
The bookmaker’s commission (also known as “Vig” or “Juice”).

Void Bet:
Common in Asian handicap offerings, a void bet means that the bettor’s stake will be returned. Another situation is when a bettor is backing a player to score the first goal and the player doesn’t even make the starting line-up, or when the game a bet was placed on gets called off.

W

Wager:
To risk money on the outcome of an event (also known as a “Bet”).

Welsher:
A person who fails to pay a gambling bet.

Wheel:
A betting method in which a bettor places a wager on every possible combination bet featuring his favorite horse(s). Examples of such bets include Daily Double, Perfecta or Quinella.

Wheeling:
A betting method devised for the daily double bet in which the bettor backs one horse in the first race and every horse in the second race (also known as “baseball” or “locking”).

Wise Guy:
A well-informed bettor or handicapper (also known as a “Sharp”).

With the Field:
Having one horse grouped with all the other horses in an event. It can apply to forecast or double bets.

X

X:
A “draw” in match odds such as those associated with soccer and ice hockey.

Y

Yankee:
A multiple bet consisting of 11 bets (6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 4-fold) on 4 selections in different events.

Yankee Patent:
The same 11 bets as a “Yankee”, but with singles on each of the 4 selections as well, making 15 bets in all (also known as a “Lucky 15” or “Yap”).

Yap:
The same 11 bets as a “Yankee”, but with singles on each of the 4 selections as well, making 15 bets in all (also known as a “Lucky 15” or “Yankee Patent”).

Z

Zebras:
Referees (also known as “Uniforms”).

Summary
Article Name
Sports Betting Lingo: A-to-Z
Author
Description
Looking for gambling terminology? Visit here for a list of 400 different vocabulary including slang & jargon used in the bookmaker/sportsbook industry.

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