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Glossary of betting terms

Abandoned: An event that is not concluded.

Accumulator: Also called “Parlay” in American sportsbetting, is a bet on multiple selections on two or more events. All the selections must win for the accumulator to win.

Action: A bet is considered "action" if it is considered valid. Different events have different rules to determine if a bet is considered “action”.

Agent: an intermediary between bookmaker and bettor who works on commission.

All in: A bet that stands regardless of whether your selection plays or not.

Ante-post: A bet that is placed on a future event.

Arbitrage: When a difference/variation in the odds available allows a punter to back both sides and guarantee a win.

Asian handicap: A kind of bet that is used to balance both teams and eliminate a draw from the game.

Backed: A selection is said to be backed when the bookie has taken a lot of money on it, thus causing a shortening of odds.

Banker: A team/side with high expectations to be won by the punter.

Bankroll: The funds available to the bettor.

Bet: Staking money on the outcome of a match or event.

Bettor: A person who places a bet.

Book: Bookmaker's tally of amounts bet on each selection at odds necessary to ensure a profit regardless of the final result.

Bookie: Another word for bookmaker.

Bookmaker: A person or company who takes bets on events or matches.

Chalk: Another word for favourite.

Circled: An event where betting is limited by the the bookmaker.

Cover: Beating the spread by the required number of points.

Credit betting: Betting with a bookmaker on credit.

Deposit betting: Betting with a bookmaker using previously deposited money.

Dime: American term for a $1,000 bet.

Dividend: The payout agreed on a bet.

Dog: American term that is short for underdog.

Draw: When both sides in an event finish evenly. If the draw was not offered as a betting option, usually the Dead Heat rule applies and the return will be divided by the number of joint winners.

Drift: When the odds of one outcome gets longer (lengthens) are said to be "on the drift" or "to have drifted".

Each way: A split wager for one bet to win and one bet to place.

Edge: To have an advantage.

Even money/Evens: A 1 to 1 bet.

Exotic wager: American term for any bet other than a straight bet.

Favourite: The team most likely to win (also the lowest paying bet).

Form: A factor used to rate how an individual, horse or team is currently performing.

Future: American term for ante-post.

Gamble: Another word for bet.

Grand: British term for a £1,000 bet.

Handicap: An advantage to the weak individual or team in one-sided events. Bookmakers use it to make of any event a more attractive betting proposition to the punters.

Handicapper: A person who analyses sport events predicting the outcomes.

Handle: American term to indicate the total amount of money taken in bets by a bookmaker over a given event or period of time.

Hang Cheng: This is a form of soccer betting popular in Asia where returns on a team winning are determined by part-goal handicaps.

Hedging: When a punter places a bet on the opposing outcome to his original selection in order to guarantee a winning or cut a loss.

Holding your own: To break even.

Hook: The half point in point spread.

Juice: American term for commission.

Laying a bet: A bookmaker or person on a betting exchange, accepting a bet.

Layoff: A bet made by a bookie with another bookie in order to relieve the excess action he has accepted from his customers.

Lay the points: A bet on the favourite in a point spread event.

Lay the price: A bet on the favourite in a money line event.

Lengthen: When a bookmaker increases the odds on a particular outcome to make them more attractive.

Limit: The maximum bet accepted by the bookmaker.

Linemaker: The person who compiles and sets the betting lines.

Lines: Another term to indicate the odds offered to the punter.

Lock: American term to indicate an easy or "guaranteed" winner.

Longshot: A selection that is very unlikely to win.

Middler: American term to indicate a bettor that places bets on both sides.

Money line: American term for a line offered without a handicap.

Odds: The return offered by the bookmaker on a selection to win.

Odds against: A price where the odds are greater than evens (fractional) or 2.00 (decimal).

Odds compiler: The person who compiles and sets the odds.

Odds on: A price where the odds are less than evens (fractional) or 2.00 (decimal).

Oddsmaker: Another word for odds compiler.

Off the board: American term to indicate an event on which a bookmaker will not accept bets.

Outsider: Another term for underdog.

Over/Under: A bet on whether the total points or goals scored will be over or under a specified number posted by the bookmaker.

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

Overlay: When the odds of a selection are high compared to its chance of winning.

Overround: Profit margin set by the bookmaker on every "book" he makes.

Parlay: American term for accumulator.

Permutation: Selection of all specific accumulators from a list of selected outcomes. For example, if you select 4 outcomes (a, b, c, d) you could perm all the possible doubles and trebles. Six

doubles bets: ab, ac, ad, bc, bd, cd. Four treble bets: abc, abd, acd, bcd.

Picks: Betting selections chosen by an expert.

Player: Another term for punter.

Point spread: The points allocated to the underdog to level the margin of the favourite in a mismatch.

Post time: Scheduled starting time of an event.

Post-up: American term for deposit betting.

Price: Another term to indicate the odds.

Proposition: A bet on a particular aspect of a game or on a non-sports event.

Punter: A person who places a bet.

Push: A game that is tied after the point spread is factored in.

Return: Total amount for a winning bet (stake+winnings).

Scalper: American term for a bettor who attempts to profit from the differences/variations in the odds from bookmaker to bookmaker by betting both sides of the game at different prices.

Sharp: A knowledgeable and smart bettor.

Shorten: Referred to the odds getting shorter. The opposite of "lengthen".

Single: A straight bet on one selection.

Soft line: A line that has been adjusted or moved as a result of action and does not reflect the true price.

Sportsbook: An American term for bookmaker.

Spread: Short for point spread.

Square: Unsophisticated bettor.

Stake: The amount of money bet.

Steam: Heavy one side action that causes a betting line to move quite rapidly.

Sure thing: A can't lose bet.

System: A method of betting used by a punter to try to get an advantage.

Take the price: A bet on the underdog in a money line event.

Take the points: A bet on the underdog in a point spread event.

Teaser: American term for a bet based on the point spread where the punter can adjust the line in his favour in return of reduced odds.

Tie: Another term for draw.

Tips: Betting selections chosen by an expert.

Totals: American term for over/under bets.

Tipster: A person who sells to punters his selections on sports events.

Tout: American term for tipster.

Underdog: The individual or team considered less likely to win.

Vig: Short for vigorish.

Vigorish: American term to indicate the bookmaker commission.

Void: A bet that has been cancelled and refunded.

Wager: American term for bet.

Wiseguy: A successful bettor that makes his living from betting.