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.