Betting Glossary A-Z
Acca/Accumulator – This is a single bet that features a number of selections that must all be successful for your accumulator to land. Most commonly placed on football, e.g. 5x match winner bets or 6x both teams to score etc. The odds are multiplied together to deliver greater returns than if you had a flutter on all of the picks as single bets.
Against the Spread – Usually found in American sports like basketball and American Football, this is essentially handicap betting in backing one team to beat the ‘+’ or ‘-‘ points spread.
Ante Post – In horse racing, bookmakers will often produce odds for major races taking place in the future, e.g. next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup or Grand National winner. Betting here, rather than waiting for the actual markets to open, is considered ante post wagering.
Anytime Goalscorer – Here you are simply betting on a player to score a goal at any point in the match (although usually the first 90 minutes in cup matches where extra time is a possibility). This is a football bet of course, although ‘Anytime Try Scorer’ and ‘Anytime Touchdown Scorer’ variants are often available in rugby and American football.
Asian Handicap – A unique type of bet which effectively gives a team a hypothetical headstart or deficit. Similar to the standard Handicap but here quarter and half numbers are also offered, e.g. +1.25 or -1.50. This can be an excellent way to eke out additional profit from events considered to be one-sided in nature, for instance a cup tie pitting a Premier League side against a non-league outfit.
Backed In – If a horse is really fancied after a strong showing in the paddock, or the domino effect of plenty of money being placed on race day, then we would describe that steed as being ‘backed in’. Odds can change quite rapidly on race day, and hefty price movements are not uncommon.
Bar – When horse racing betting odds are produced, you will find those towards the top of the market will have their prices explicitly displayed. For the horses lower in the field, you will see ‘25/1 bar’ or similar: this means all of these runners are priced at 25/1 or higher.
Banker – An informal term for a bet that the punter thinks cannot fail: “Chelsea to beat Hull is a banker this weekend”. Said banker bets are typically placed in accumulators.
Best Odds Guaranteed – A handy innovation in horse racing that dictates that punters will receive the very best price on a horse regardless of any late movements in the market.
Betting Exchange – With traditional sports betting you are wagering against a bookmaker, who offers odds based upon their own in-house compilers. A betting exchange is simple peer-to-peer betting, i.e. you take the odds – or supply your own – of/to fellow punters. The most widely-used betting exchange is that of Betfair, and the main advantage of betting in this way is that you will typically get better prices for your selections (individuals don’t have profit margins to think of!).
Bookie – Simply a colloquial term for bookmaker.
BTTS – This is an abbreviation for Both Teams to Score, a football coupon in which you are betting on both teams to find the net….or not to score, if you prefer.
Canadian – A Canadian, or Super Yankee as it often known, is a form of accumulator bet where you are wagering on multiple outcomes. In total you are betting on five outcomes and placing 26 bets: 10x doubles, 10x trebles, 5x four-folds and 1x five-leg accumulator. For a Canadian to yield profit, two of the five selections must land.
Cash Out – A relatively modern phenomenon, many online bookmakers will offer you a ‘cash out’ value to settle your bet(s) early. This could be a figure greater than your stake when the bet is going well, and lower when it doesn’t look likely to land.
Chalk – A simple moniker describing the favourite in a betting market.
Combination Bet – A collective term for bets like the Canadian explained above, where the punter wages on a number of selections in a combination of multiples.
Correct Score – A popular bet where you are simply betting on the final result of an event. This high risk/high reward coupon is most commonly-placed on football matches, although correct score markets are open for snooker, darts, rugby and a selection of other sports.
Double – One bet that features two selections. The odds are multiplied together to ensure a greater reward although both must land for the double to be a winner. An example would be Manchester United to beat West Brom & Arsenal to beat Stoke.
Double Chance – This is a market where you are betting on two allied outcomes. These are home win or away win, home win or draw and away win or draw. You would place a Double Chance wager when you slightly fancy a selection but aren’t sure if they will win or draw. Most commonly found in football betting, but can be placed in any sport where the draw is a possible outcome.
Draw No Bet – The premise here is simple: if you place a Draw No Bet wager on Team A to beat Team B, your bet will win if Team A triumphs and your stake will be refunded if the match ends in a draw.
Drift – This is betting parlance typically found in horse racing, where the price of a horse ‘drifts’ from a shorter price to a longer one based on a variety of factors. So, if a horse called Three-Legged Wonder drifts in price their odds may increase from 3/1 to 15/4, and that could be based on erratic behaviour in the parade ring, market movements on other horses or any other variable.
Dutching – This is a technique of minimising your risk somewhat by placing two bets on the same event. So if you wanted to place a Correct Score wager, you might Dutch 2-0 and 3-0 at odds of 5/1 and 7/1 respectively in the knowledge that if either lands you will trouser a profit.
Each Way – An each way punt is one where you place two bets: one on a selection to win their event and another for them to finish in the requisite number of places. These are most common in horse racing and golf betting, and the best example would be the Grand National: if the bookmakers are offering six places, then we would land a big return should Three-Legged Wonder win the race, and a slightly reduced profit should he finish anywhere from second to sixth.
Evens – Evens, or 2.00 as it is published in European betting, is a price given to a selection where the bookies feel there is a 50/50 chance of it occurring. So, if Arsenal are evens to beat West Ham, if you place a £10 bet you would win £20 in return. It’s called Evens because it is neither an odds-on selection nor an odds-against.
Favourite – This term refers to the selection that the bookmakers think is most likely to occur, and as such prices at the shortest odds. Arsenal would be favourites to beat Accrington Stanley for example, while in horse racing the favourite is listed at the head of the betting market.
First Goalscorer – A popular football market where you are simply betting on the player you think will score the first goal in a specified game. The odds available here are more generous than the Anytime Goalscorer market.
Fixed Odds – These are priced offered by bookmakers at the time of bet placement, and will not change further down the line like Best Odds Guaranteed payouts might.
Fold – When you place an accumulator it is described as an ‘X-fold’ based on the number of selections it contains. So, if your acca features five picks then it is known as a five-fold, and so on.
Forecast – If you are feeling particularly confident about a particular race then placing a forecast is one method with which to cash in. Here you have to correctly predict the first and second placed horses in the right order.
Form – The formbook is one of the most commonly-used weapons in a punter’s armoury. Used in all sports but most prolifically in horse racing, the form guide helps to identify horses/players/teams to follow when they are in good form, and those to avoid who are not.
GamCare – This is a national organisation that offers a wealth of information and statistics on gambling in the UK, and can be a valuable resource if you think you or a loved one is lapsing into problem gambling habits.
Going – This refers to the nature of the track ahead of a horse race. The going can be good (perfect for racing), soft (slightly spongy) or heavy (essentially waterlogged and muddy), and this will impact upon which horses run a good race.
Goliath – This is another form of combination bet, and as the name suggests it’s a biggie. Here you are picking eight selections and placing a whopping 247 bets accordingly: 28x doubles, 56x trebles, 70x four-folds, 56x five-folds, 8x seven-folds and a single eight-fold accumulator. Here, you need a minimum of two selections to get a return.
Half Time/Full Time – Here’s a popular bet in football: simply betting on who you think will be leading at half time (or the draw), and then who you think will be leading at full time (or again, the draw).
Handicap (betting) – Similar to Asian handicaps, here a deficit or headstart is given to a team and punters must bet around that. For instance, if you bet on Tottenham to beat Everton with a -1 handicap, then they will need to win by two clear goals in order to clear that hypothetical obstacle.
Handicap (horse racing) – To produce a more even race (in theory), horses can be handicapped with extra weights added to the saddle. A heavily-handicapped horse is naturally less likely to run well given the artificial weight on his or her back.
Hedging – Like Dutching, this is a way of minimising your risk on an event. So you could back an outsider before a match kicks off, and then if they go a goal up then bet on the favourite in-play and what will now be a more generous price. At this point you have two options – home win or away win – to make a profit rather than just one.
Heinz – Another form of combination bet, a Heinz features six selections and requires 57 bets: 15x doubles, 20x trebles, 15x four-folds, 6x five-folds and a single six-fold.
IBAS – IBAS, or the Independent Betting Arbitration Service, acts as a middle-man between punter and bookmaker when there are disputes over bet settlement and any other issues arising.
Lay – When a bookmaker accepts a bet from a punter they are said to ‘lay’ it, although for most individuals the term lay is most widely used in conjunction with betting exchanges, e.g. you could lay Andy Murray to win the French Open tennis (basically meaning you don’t think he will lift the trophy, and are essentially betting on all other players in the field).
Lengthen – A market drift occurs naturally due to a number of bets being placed on other selections, so in a horse race a runner’s price will drift if the other horses are more widely fancied. The idea of odds lengthening is similar but is actually the bookmakers’ own work, either to stimulate interest among bettors or to bring their prices into line with a competitor’s.
Line – The line dictates where bets will fall. So for example, in the Over/Under Goals market in football the line will normally be 2.5, however this can shift up – or on very rare occasions down – depending on the teams involved. If the bookies suspect a goal-fest is in the offing, the line may move to 3.5 or even 4.5.
Lucky 15 – The combination bet type that requires four selections. The difference here compared to other combi bets is that singles are included; so, for a Lucky 15, you will place 15 bets made up of 4x singles, 6x doubles, 4x trebles and 1x four-fold.
Match Betting – The most common form of betting around, here you are simply betting one team or player to beat another. You don’t care about the exact details, as long as your pick gets the win!
Monkey – This is cockney rhyming slang for £500, and is still commonly used by on-course bookmakers at horse racing and greyhound events.
Multiples – Any type of bet that has a number of allied selections, e.g. doubles, trebles or accumulators, are classed as a multiple.
NAP – If you follow tipsters on social media platforms or read a publication such as the Racing Post, you will often see reference to a NAP. This is that tipster’s best bet of the day, and usually refers to a particular horse (although it is becomingly an increasingly popular term in football tipping too).
Non-Runner – Occasionally a horse will be pulled out of a race by their trainer or owner at short notice. If you have bet on a race market then you might be entitled to a refund on your stake placed on a non-runner; if you have wagered on an ante post market then you almost certainly won’t.
Odds – Quite simply, these are the prices that a bookmaker is willing to offer on an occurrence happening. In the UK these are usually referred to as fractions, e.g. 2/1, 18/5, 2/5 etc. In Europe the system is exactly the same but with decimals, so Evens is 2.00, 3/1 is 4.00, 1/2 is 1.50 and so on.
Odds On/Odds Against – If the bookies think something is very likely to happen it will be prices as odds-on, i.e. anything below even money. For less likely happenings, these will be odds-against (a price higher than evens).
On the Nose – Classic informal horse racing chatter usually heard at an on-course bookmaker’s; ‘on the nose’ means betting a runner to win only (no each way bet).
Outright – Here we are betting on a long-range market, so examples would be backing Chelsea to win the Premier League title or Dustin Johnson to win The Open. The term ‘outright’ simply denotes betting on a tournament winner prior to a ball being kicked, hit or thrown.
Outsider – An outsider is somebody who features quite low in the bookmakers’ prices. That’s not to say they won’t win, it’s just that they are less-fancied than others in the market.
Over/Under – The most common form of Over/Under betting is goals in a football match. The bookie will set the line (usually 2.5) and you decide whether the end result will produce more or less goals than the line. This type of betting stretches to numerous sports, including tennis (total games/sets), cricket (total runs) and many more.
Over-Round – In an ideal world a bookmaker would offer a pure balanced book where the odds supplied would add up to 100%. But, this being the business world, the bookies need to make a profit, and so they will always build a margin into their prices that means the book will be somewhere around the 102% mark. This additional percentage over 100 is known as their over-round.
Parlay – This is simply an Americanisation for the word ‘accumulator’.
Patent – Load three selections into your betting slip and rather than taking a treble opt for a Patent, which is seven bets consisting of three singles, three doubles and a treble.
Placepot – Here you are looking to select six horses that finish in the places in half-a-dozen handpicked races.
Point Spread – In high scoring sports like rugby, basketball and American Football, bookies will offer a points spread based on the two teams. It is essentially a handicap bet where you are looking for one of the teams to clear their spread.
Pony – The cockney rhyming slang term for £25.
Punter – This is you: the brave, noble bettor, looking to slay the bookies in your quest for profit.
Round Robin – This is a unique bet type in which you place three or more two-team accumulators. So that would be three different selections but placed in 3x doubles, 1x treble and 6x singles.
Scout – The scout is a smart punter that waits for the right price to come along before taking the plunge. You will typically find scouts at horse racing meetings lurking around the on-course bookmaker stands.
Single – Quite simply a bet placed on its own. If it wins you trouser a profit….betting as it used to be.
Spread Betting – As mentioned in the Point Spread section above, here you are simply betting on one team to overcome the spread margin; it could be an underdog outperforming their point spread, or the favourite being even more dominant than expected.
Starting Price – This is the odds that a horse will start the race at once the bookmakers have closed their books.
Super Heinz – A standard Heinz bet features six selections, but its ‘super’ sibling requires seven: 21x doubles, 35x trebles, 35x four-folds, 21x five-folds, 7x six-folds and a single seven-fold.
Tic-Tac – Have you ever seen that unusual sign language that John McCririck and co use at horse racing meetings? That is a specialised skill known as Tic-Tac, and refers to the way which on-course bookmakers communicate with their runners when pricing up their horses compared to their competitors.
Tote – An independent betting firm, the Tote offers horse racing betting by dividing the amount of money they have taken on a specific horse between the number of people that have backed it, with the actual amount calculated proportionately by stake size.
Trebles – If you like the look of three bets then why not multiply them in a treble; the rewards are excellent compared to placing three single wagers, but remember that all three need to land for a treble to be successful.
Tricast – What a buzz of adrenaline a Trixie offers when you correctly predict the first three horses in a race home and in the exact order.
Trixie – Here we are placing four bets involving three different selections; three doubles and a treble. You’ll need two of your three picks to land.
Value Bet – Every bet you place should have some intrinsic value to it, but the idea here is that, based on a variety of factors, the odds taken are good value and perhaps should be shorter.
Yankee – This is another type of combination bet that features four selections and eleven bets: 6x doubles, 4x trebles and a four-fold.