Sports betting terms and glossary for new sports bettors.

Sports Betting Terms And Glossary

While most sports betting enthusiasts interested in earning some cash on the side have a firm grasp of their betting terminology, many new punters have trouble understanding all of the terms related to sports betting. Once you begin exploring the world of sports gambling, you’ll soon realise how exhausting, time-consuming, and tedious it can be to learn all about it. 

However, you can take a shortcut and quickly get ahead by learning the most important terms and phrases to help you to better understand the terms and conditions of each bet you place. 

Sports betting terms can be daunting and confusing. What makes it even worse is that the more you bet, the more terms you will encounter. You’ll want to learn all of the terms you can to make smarter bets. This guide will provide you with the most valuable insights about top sports betting terms, along with a glossary to help each new sports bettor

This guide will share a comprehensive and accurate list of terms to improve your betting IQ, regardless of where you reside or place your bets. We will discuss the terms, why they are relevant, and list the absolutely essential terms to know.

These details are all just slang that helps you to better understand when to place your bets, how to look at the odds and every other detail you’ll need to grasp.

The biggest reason for every new sports bettor to have their own sports wagering glossary is that they can easily use it as a reference tool when they encounter unfamiliar phrases or words while placing bets

Top sports betting terms and glossary for 2022 and beyond

With this complete list of sports betting terms, you’ll have the most accurate, relevant, and up-to-date glossary dictionary that allows you to discover the best betting opportunities and place your bets when it most matters. 

Acca insurance – a bookmaker promotion for sports such as football that offers insurance for bettors who place accumulator bets. Basically, it’s a form of an insurance policy for bettors that ensures that when all but one bet wins and the other loses, you’ll receive a return in the form of cash, bonuses, or free bets, instead of losing 100% of your stake.

Accumulator – this term refers to making accumulated wagers consisting of two or more selections. To create a winning ticket, each side must either push or win. Each of the selections made must be correct for the bet to win.

American odds – based on a unit of 100, American odds refer to the alternatives to fraction or decimal odds. A positive or plus (+) sign represents the underdogs, and a negative or minus (-) sign indicates the favourites. In straight betting terms, American odds are only relevant to US bettors. When it comes to other countries, bettors use decimal and fractional betting odds.

Ante-post – also known as futures, ante-post bets are among the most common wagers in sports betting. They fall into the category of risky wagers that bettors usually place in advance of an event that has yet to take place. Offered well in advance, ante-post odds allow bettors to win months ahead of the next event and also receive a better price. However, bettors must also face the risk of losing their selection due to a variety of factors.

Arbitrage – arbitrage is a betting strategy that allows bettors to take advantage of minor discrepancies between the odds at various bookies. Since different bookmakers offer different odds, this strategy allows you to place your wager on both sides of an event, at different bookmakers, to ensure a win regardless of the outcome.

Asian goal line – this sports betting term refers to predicting the number of goals that will be scored in a particular football game. It offers half,quarter and full goal options as well as the option to receive a stake refund.

Asian handicap – this term is often used interchangeably with the term spread betting. Both options include betting from a quarter to multiple goals. Even though this term is mostly linked to soccer, it isn’t exclusive to soccer. It is important to understand that the Asian handicap doesn’t allow for ties.

Backdoor cover – a wager placed on a sporting event with an already decided outcome. Even though the odds of the underdog winning are astronomical, it is still possible for them to score enough points in the late game to cover the spread.

Bad beat – refers to situations when your bet loses despite the odds working in your favour due to a late score in a sporting event with an already decided outcome.

Banker – banker bets are considered safe and are used to build parlays. Professional bettors use bankers as the bedrock for placing multiple safe wagers, along with a few riskier bets.

Bankroll – this refers to a sum of money set aside for betting purposes. Bankroll is a term that bettors use when they reserve some money to place bets. It can either be money deposited into an account or set aside to be used for betting. A bettor’s bankroll either decreases with each loss or increases with each winning wager.

Bar – this term refers to the lowest odds of individual sports or clubs winning the final game and taking the victory in all sports competitions with more than two teams or sportsmen participating.

Beard – a beard is a bet runner who offers the service of placing bets for professional bettors who want to hide their identity from bookmakers.

Bet slip – bet slips are wagering tickets that display your wagers’ information, including stakes, odds, and markets. A bet slip allows you to check every detail and your estimated payout before you place a wager.

Betting ring – refers to a group or syndicate of professional bettors who operate in an organised manner.

Betting unit – this term is used to measure the size of a given wager and commonly refers to the percentage of a bankroll that a bettor is willing to wager.

Bismarck – refers to an unexpected win for bookmakers. Bookmakers offer higher odds when they are confident that a team will win or lose. It is best to place small amounts of money on Bismarck bets.

Bonus – a bonus refers to a promotion or special deal offered by a bookmaker where bettors receive access to bonus cash or free bet. Sportsbooks offer this to attract more customers to their subscriptions.

Booking points – the term booking points refers to points awarded based on the number of red or yellow cards drawn in a football game.

Bookmakers – bookies, also called bookmakers or linemakers, are in charge of setting prices in a sportsbook.

Bottle – this term describes a player pulling out of a tackle during the game.

Canadian – a Canadian or a Canadian line refers to creating combinations of against-the-spread and moneyline wagers in a betting line. This term is mostly used in ice hockey.

Carpet – a British expression used to describe 3/1 odds in the betting ring. If the odds are 33/1, that is known as a double carpet.

Cash-out – being paid for a bet before the outcome of the event is decided.

Chalk – a popular term among US bettors, chalk refers to placing wagers on favourites with the majority of bettors.

Clean sheet – when a bettor wagers on which team won’t score any goals during the game, it is known as a clean sheet bet. This is generally a term used in soccer.

Closing line – a closing line is the term used for situations when bookies post the final odds before all betting lines close.

Corners bet – punters either predict the number of teams to take corners or how many corners will be taken in a game.

Correct score – a correct score is a bet used by bettors to forecast the exact score at the end of a match. It is considered a risky wager.

Dead-heat betting – if a race has two or more runners, dead heat is a bet placed on a tie between the runners.

Decimal odds – this term refers to wagering on smaller odds representing the favourites.

Depositmaking a deposit refers to providing funds for your sports betting account online. Depending on the sportsbook that you choose, there are different deposit methods available. Certain sportsbooks offer deposit bonuses as an incentive.

Double chance – if a wager offers you better chances of winning from a single match, that is known as a double chance bet. Bettors use a double chance bet to cover two of the possible three outcomes by placing just one bet instead of three.

Double pop/double up – also known as a double bet, this term refers to a wager where a bet is twice the size of a bettor’s usual wager. Draw – also called a push, this term represents any game that results in a tie. The original wagers are returned.

Drift – when betting odds are gradually and steadily growing higher after the opening moneyline is posted, it’s known as a drifting moneyline.

Dutching – bettors often share the risk of losing by creating more than one ticket for a sports event and wagering on several runners. This betting technique allows bettors to back more than one outcome in the same event.

E-wallet – e-wallets are used for ensuring personal security while participating in sports betting online. They offer a secure, reliable, and fast way to fund your online betting account and get withdrawals on demand.

Each-way – each-way wagers describe situations where bookies offer wagers to lift some of the risks for bettors. An each-way bet involves two wagers: a place bet and a win bet.

Early cash-out – also known as the buy-out, the early cash-out option allows punters to seal their outstanding wagers early to either lock in a win or cut their losses.

Edge – edge is a term used by punters to describe the advantage that the casino or the gambler has on winning a wager.

Enhanced odds – when a sportsbook or casino provides a bonus to a bettor, bumping up the betting odds, that is known as a bet with enhanced odds. Enhanced odds are usually part of a regular bonus, a loyalty program, or a signup offer.

E-sports – any sort of competitive video gaming between teams or individuals can be referred to as e-sports. Bettors can place wagers on e-sports exactly as they bet on regular sports. 

European handicap – similar to Asian handicap, European handicap is a wager on the number of goals or points being subtracted from the favourite or added to the underdog.

Expected value – bettors use the term expected value when placing a wager that can be estimated or calculated. It refers to the amount a punter can win.

Exposure – the amount of cash a bookie or bettor is willing to lose on any given bet.

Favourite – considered one of the most used terms in sports betting, it refers to the individual or team with the best chances of winning. A favourite is the opposite of an underdog.

Fees – sports betting fees are best described as taxes on legal sports betting. Fees are funds that sportsbooks transfer to sports governing institutions.

Field – if a betting market offers multiple selections, this term is used to collectively describe the offer.

First corner – if a bettor places a wager on the first team that shoots the right number of corners, they win.

First half – if a team or individual is ahead during the first half of a game or event, bettors who placed a wager under said terms win the bet.

Fixed odds – the wager stays the same regardless of when a bettor decides to bet. The closing line also remains the same after placing a wager.

Fold – bettors use this term when referring to a single wager, placed on several selections they choose. However, the problem with fold bets is that every single selection must win for a wager to be successful.

Forecast betting – a wagering scenario in which a bettor selects two participants in a particular match or game and tries to forecast the specific order in which the participants will finish. This term is mostly used in race-based sports betting.

Form – form is used to describe betting on an individual or team, based on their most recent results.

Fractional odds – bettors are often required to calculate probabilities of wagers coming in, and fractional odds is the term often used in racebooks as one of the three main formats used for presenting odds in the UK.

Free bet – free bets refer to betting bonuses that bettors receive as an incentive for being loyal or making a deposit. A free bet gives you a fixed amount of money that you can use to make wagers. The money you receive isn’t redeemable for cash.

Full-time result – refers to placing wagers on either the away team, the home team, or a draw. If a bettor wins, the winnings are paid according to the odds presented by the bookie.

GamCare – the term GamCare is used as an independent quality standard in sports betting that assesses the measures used by sportsbooks to ensure that bettors are protected from any betting-related harm.

Goalscorer – placing a goalscorer wager refers to a betting technique that bettors use to bet on the number of goals in the game. If the match ends without any goals, you lose the bet.

Goliath – placing a Goliath bet includes making a large selection of wagers in one bet. It is the most massive bet in sports betting and includes 1 eight-fold accumulator, 8 seven-fold accumulators, 28 six-fold accumulators, 56 five-fold accumulators, 70 four-fold accumulators, 56 trebles, and 28 doubles.

Half-time result – a type of wager placed either in the first or the second half of a match or event. You can place a wager as a live bet once the second half begins or during intermission.  

Half-time line – whenever a match or event goes into half-time, bookies will offer lines for the second half.

Hedging – hedging is a term many professional bettors use to describe their betting strategy. Hedging bets means placing wagers on the opposite side of the initial bet to ensure the punter wins.

Heinz – a Heinz wager is a term used by professional bettors to describe placing a massive wager that involves making 57 bets and 6 selections in one bet.

IBAS – IBAS stands for the Independent Betting Adjudication Service and refers to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service. This service is approved by the Gambling Commission and provides impartial and informed adjudications on disputes between bettors and licensed gambling operations.

Implied probability – when a punter tries to guess a particular outcome, they look for the odds on that outcome. A bookie provides the odds to help bettors forecast the theoretical likelihood of an outcome.

Joint-favourites – a joint-favourite bet is when you place a wager on two or more teams or individuals with equal chances of winning.

Jolly – jolly bets are wagers placed on favourites.

Lay – when a bookmaker accepts a wager, that is known as laying bets to punters.

Lengthen – when the odds laid by bookies are getting higher, that is known as lengthening. Bookies lengthen the odds when they expect a team or individual to win or lose.

Limit – bookies always set the minimum and maximum limit that each bettor can stake on any bet. 

Line movement – each bet has two sides. When one side is doing better than the other, bookies face the risk of losing. They move the line to entice bettors to invest more on the other side to mitigate the risk.

Linemaker/oddsmaker – a person who makes the odds for sportsbooks is referred to as the linemaker/oddsmaker.

Live betting – live betting or in-play wagering is a form of sports betting offered once a match or sporting event begins. Totals, moneylines, and spreads are adjusted and laid out as a game plays out.

Long-shot – when a punter places a bet on an underdog, that is known as a long-shot bet. Even though the odds are high and the bet offers high rewards, there is a small chance of success. 

Loyalty program – many online sportsbooks offer loyalty rewards to bettors who continue placing wagers with the same betting website. These are usually special promotions or bonuses provided to loyal bettors that consistently place their bets with a specific betting site. The more they wager, the higher the return. Sports betting websites offer customers an array of loyalty rewards, including cash back, points of value, free bets, better odds, and more. High-rollers or high-paying customers can even have the advantage of scoring big on the best bets over other punters on the same site.

Lucky 15 – a lucky 15 wager includes 15 bets of the same value on selections in four sporting events: one four-fold accumulator, four trebles, six doubles, and four singles.

Lucky 31 – this term is similar to a Canadian wager, except it includes singles. A lucky 31 wager includes 31 bets placed on five selections in different matches, including one five-fold accumulator, five four-fold accumulators, 10 trebles, 10 doubles, and five singles. One or more selections must win for a wager to be successful.

Lucky 63 – just like lucky 15 and lucky 31, a lucky 63 wager refers to placing 63 bets over 6 separate selections, with an increased chance of winning.

Margin – this term refers to two different things: the oddsmakers commission on a game and a point spread. 

Middle – punters use this term when a point spread goes up or down before a sporting event. It is a term also used for cashing tickets on both sides of a wagering option.

Minimum bet – a minimum bet in sports betting for any match or sporting event is the lowest possible amount a bettor can place on a given wager.

Mobile betting – a form of betting for modern-day bettors who prefer placing bets online using their mobile devices. 

Moneyline – considered the most popular type of bet in sports betting, moneyline wagers are simple and usually refer to single bets placed on which team or individual is expected to win or lose.

Monkey – a monkey bet is a slang term for a five hundred pounds sterling (£500 GBP) wager.

Multi-goal betting – when a punter places a wager on predicting the total number of goals in a game, that is known as multi-goal betting. 

Nap – similar to a lock bet, a nap bet offers a bettor the best chance to win on any event or match.

Newbie – newbies are bettors who are new to sports betting looking for the best options for getting started. The best bets for newbies are moneyline wagers. A newbie simply places a moneyline wager by betting on who they think will win in a sporting event.

No deposit free bet – certain online sportsbooks don’t require new members to place a deposit to win bonuses. They even toss in free bets as an additional incentive for signing up.

Non-runner – a non-runner is a term commonly used in various sporting events to describe the terms of a wager. If a selection that a bet was placed for doesn’t run in a sporting event, the stake is returned to the punter.

Odds – the odds represent the balance of advantage on a wager. They determine the chance of winning and help calculate the risk and the reward for punters. Odds are also betting lines set by bookies on many sporting events.

Oddsmaker – same as the linemaker, the oddsmaker is a person who creates and sets the odds for bookies.

Off the board – the term used to describe wagers that have yet to be posted. Off the board (OTB) events are sporting events for which wagers are no longer accepted due to drastic changes that affect the odds. Bookies continue to accept wagers in some situations but place the odds on OTB.

On the nose – when a bettor places a wager on win only. In on-the-nose bets, all stakes are placed on the winning outcome.

Opening line – the opening line on a sporting event refers to the initial odds. The line can go up or down, depending on which of the two sides is receiving the most bets. In scenarios where unforeseen changes occur in a sporting event, the opening line changes along the way.

Outlay – the term used to describe the player’s costs for wagers.

Outsider – every wager a punter puts on a betting selection with a low chance of winning is referred to as an outsider bet.

Over/under – a bet on how many points or goals will be scored in a sporting event. The bookmaker lays a total, and punters bet on whether the actual outcome will be over or under.

Overround – when the betting markets work to the advantage of bookmakers rather than the punters, that is known as overround.

Parlay – parley is almost the same thing as a multibet. A parlay bet is when a bettor creates a combination of wagers into a single bet.

Patent – bettors often use different methods of making multiple bets on several selections. A patent bet is a wager that involves putting seven bets on three different selections in different sporting events.

Payout – the amount of cash a punter wins on a wager + the original stake.

Permutations – permutation betting is a method of wagering that bettors use when making different betting combinations to cover multiple betting selections and increase their chances of winning.

Place betting – a form of wagering in horse and dog racing events with 7, 8, and more runners, where bettors place a bet on a dog or horse to finish the race in a certain position (first, second, or third). Bookies don’t offer placing bets in racing events with fewer than 5 runners.

Placepot – placepot betting refers to placing a wager on the placepot wagering pool in horse racing, where bettors must first opt-in for one horse in each of the first 6 races to place a bet on. If a bettor wants to add more horses, that increases the cost of the bet.

Pony – British slang for a sum of £25.

Pool – a pool bet is a gambling method in which all of the stakes are based on the outcome of a particular match, game, or sporting event. The return on the stakes goes to one or several bettors according to the terms agreed in advance.

Power ranking/rating – a calculation of the team’s rating compared to the other team in the same division or league. The higher the rating, the higher the odds.

Price – a figure decided based on potential rewards and odds. A price is the cost of making a particular wager.

Promotions – betting promotions or offerings are terms used to describe a special deal, promotion, or bonus that betting sites offer to both loyal and new customers.

Puck line – a puck line bet is a type of wager that a punter places on either a favourite or an underdog. A favourite must score the number of goals set by the wager, or an underdog must stay within the set number of goals so that the bettor can collect a winning ticket.

Punter – a punter or bettor is a person who places a wager with a bookmaker.

Push – a push bet is a wager where a bettor places his bet on a tie. If the favourite wins by that exact point spread, the bettor gets a refund.

Racing card – a race card is a programme list that provides punters with important betting information about the races to help them place informed bets.

Real-time odds – real-time odds are used to display the odds in live sports betting. The odds tend to change quickly in live betting. Each time a sportsbook changes its line, a bettor receives an update.

Referral bonus – some sportsbooks and betting sites offer referral bonuses to loyal bettors who refer their friends to the betting service. A referral bonus can be a special promotion, cash back, or free bets.

Request a bet – some sportsbooks offer a feature that allows bettors to create their tickets and then request a price.

Return – when you win a wager, the return is the term used to refer to the sum of money that you receive.

Round Robin – Round Robin is another term for a parlay bet. It is determined by several different wagers in a bet and allows a punter to make ten bets from three selections.

Rule 4 – a general rule of sports gambling used to explain the reduction of rewards when a horse that a bettor has backed has placed or wins the race.

Run line – also called a handicap or point spread pricing, a run line is a bet used to refer to against-the-spread wagers in baseball. 

Runner – a person or middle man who places bets for bettors who can’t make the trek.

Score – score is the term used in sports betting to refer to a particular score that a team or individual has achieved in a particular sporting event.

Scorecast – a type of wager where a bettor can combine the correct outcome and the first goalscorer bets into one ticket.

Special bets – a term used to refer to different wagering markets with different betting options from standard betting lines such as parlays and moneylines. Special bets are similar to exotic and prop wagers, with the difference of being added to competition beyond the more common spread betting, game total, and moneyline options.

Sportsbook – also called a store, a sportsbook is a certified and licensed gambling service that offers sports betting options.

Spread – spread betting is when a bettor places a wager against or for the spread bet by the sportsbook. Spread is also used to refer to betting odds or lines used to set the betting margin between an underdog and the favourite.

Square – a slang term used for a person who is new to sports betting. It is also used to refer to bettors who generally lose. 

Stake – a stake is any amount of cash that a punter is willing to bet. 

Steam – since odds can change quickly and are generally affected by many different factors, the steam term is used to address odds that change quickly due to syndicates and sharp bettors placing massive bets. 

Straight bet – a straight bet is a betting method where a bettor places a single bet on multiple wagering options, such as game total, spread, or moneyline.

Sucker bet – slang used for a bad betting decision or a wager that works in favour of the bookmaker.

Super Heinz – another variety of the Heinz wager that allows punters to make several selections and combine a total of 120 separate wagers in a single bet. Professional bettors use a super Heinz wager to double the number of wagers included in its counterpart.

Super Yankee – consists of 26 wagers on all given combinations from 5 different selections in separate sporting events from double upwards.

Superfecta – a type of bet in Canada and the USA, used to refer to parimutuel wagering in which the punter must choose the first four finishers of a race and guess the correct finishing sequence to win.

System bets – a system bet is when a punter places a wager on a certain minimum number of selections that they expect to win. If a bettor is using a 4/6 system, they expect that a minimum of 4 picks out of 6 will be successful.

Tapped out – a bettor taps out when they run out of money or change their mind about placing a bet.

Teaser – a point spread bet consisting of multiple selections where the punter can work the spread for each separate selection to make the odds more favourable. 

Tic-tac – also called a non-hyphenated or tick-tack bet, a tic-tac is a betting method used by traditional sportsbooks when referring to the odds of certain horse races.

Tilt – in this case, bettors are either over-cautious or hyper-aggressive. Being on tilt usually means that a bettor is either confused or frustrated and prone to adopting bad betting strategies to keep betting.

Timecast – this term is used for a double wager, meaning that both parts of a single bet need to be successful if a bettor wants to win on their stake.

Timecast betting – a bettor places a wager on a goalscorer by guessing a window of time for that goal to be scored in. Timecast bets usually include higher odds.

TKO – TKO stands for a technical knockout and is a term used in boxing and UFC betting. Even if a fighter is knocked down, they can continue the fight on the ground. For betting purposes, bettors can place wagers on groups of rounds or rounds where they expect a fighter to win by disqualification, TKO, or KO. 

Total – total or points total refers to the combined total points of both teams when the sporting event finishes. Bettors rely on the points total to make over/under wagers.

Tote – the tote bet is a wager in which a bettor backs a single horse to place in a horse race with minimal stakes of 50p. 

Tout – a tout is a person who offers picks of winners for the over/under and against the spread bets.

Treble – this type of wager happens when a bettor makes a bet combining three separate selections.

Trends – bettors rely on trends to guess future outcomes by gaining insights through analysing past statistics. 

Tricast – a bettor places a tricast wager when they attempt to guess the first, second, and third finisher in a particular sporting event, usually a race.

Trifecta – a Trifecta bet involves choosing three runners to finish the race first, second, and third, in that exact order.

Trixie – Trixie betting is when a bettor places four wagers on three selections in separate sporting events.

True odds – the odds that bettors would have to get for betting the same wager over the long term.

Under – opposite of over, under is a sports betting term used to refer to under bets that bettors make when they think there will be fewer points, runs, or goals than the total outcome listed.

Underdog/dog – in a betting market, an underdog is the selection with the smallest chance of winning. 

Uniforms/Zebras – uniforms or zebras are referees in American football.

Value bet – a value bet is a wager with a higher chance of winning than the odds suggest.

Vig – vig or vigorish is another term used for juice and refers to the commission on wagers charged by bookmakers, sportsbooks, or casinos.

Wager – a bet that bettors place on any sporting event at a racebook, casino, or sportsbook.

Welch – when a bettor refuses to pay a wager, they are called a welch.

Win both halves – when a bettor places a bet on a team to win both halves, it means that the selected team must win in both halves of the sporting event.

Win either half – a wager that requires a bettor to place a bet on a team that they think will outscore the other side in at least one half of a sporting event.

Win from behind – a wager that requires a punter to accurately guess whether a team will win a game or come back from behind. 

Wincast betting – a wincast wager is a double bet that bettors place on two separate sporting events during one game, trying to guess a potential outcome and goalscorer.

Winning margin – a wager placed by bettors trying to guess the exact difference in goals between the losing and the winning teams.

Withdrawals – a withdrawal or cash out is a request placed by bettors when they want to cash in their ticket.

Yankee – a Yankee wager includes placing 11 bets on 4 selections in different sporting events.