Sports betting terms often change from one country to the next. For instance, Australian bookmakers are called “sportsbooks” in the United States. This does no harm if you keep your terminology correct, so I’ve put together this bookmaker glossary to give you a firm grounding in the language of sports wagers.
Accumulator – Multiple bet. For the better to win, all outcomes must be chosen correctly. Is known as a parlay in some countries.
Action – A valid bet or wager. In many casino games, simply a term for the amount of money wagered.
Ajax – UK reference to a “betting tax”.
All-Up – The same as an accumulator.
Ante Post – Wager made in advance of a future event. These are placed prior to the day of the event and involve better odds. The downside is any selections which are canceled or pull out are simply lost stakes. Term for any bet made more than a day prior to the post.
Arbitrage – When a variation in the odds between two bookies allows a person to bet both sides and have a sure win.
Asian Handicap – One of the teams is given a head start. This eliminates the draw as a possibility.
Backed – The team or person on which most bets are placed.
Beard – A US term for a colleague who bets on behalf of another person. This usually happens when a handicapper or someone else in a sensitive position doesn’t want a bookie to know they are betting on a game.
Beef – A dispute on the outcome of wagers between a punter and a bookmaker.
Better – American term for bettor or punter.
Betslip – The form for your bet selections.
Betting W/O – Shorthand for “betting without the favourite”.
BIR – Acronym meaning “betting in running”.
Bookies – Short for bookmaking business or bookmaker.
Bookmaker – A casino’s sports betting operation, which sets point spreads and moneylines for betting.
Card Index – The amount of cards shown by a referee during a single football game. A red card is worth 25 points, a yellow card is worth 10, and two yellows (equaling one red) is worth 35 points.
Cookies – Small packets of data stored on your computer about the sites you visit. These packets aid in helping your browser to pull up sites faster, but can cause error’s when those same websites are updated with new data.
Cover – To beat the spread by enough points to win the bet.
Dead Hit – Finishing equal.
Distance Special – In horse racing, a bet offered on a horse winning by a certain distance.
Dogs – Term for greyhound racing.
Favourite – The horse with the shortest price in the field. In team sports or singles sports, the favourite has the shortest price of the two competing sides.
Flexi Betting – Taking exotics bets, such as Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, First 4, Doubles, Trebles, or Quaddies in as many combinations and with bets as large as you like.
Goliath – A goliath bet includes 8 selections and 247 bets.
Line Bet – One side of the wager is given a head start, so odds aren’t required. For instance, if Manchester United is a +1 favourite, ManU must win by 2 to cover the wager. Also called a moneyline bet in the United States.
Live Betting – Betting on an event as it transpires. Called betting on the run, too.
Margin Betting – Choosing the eventual margin between two team.
MLB – Major League Baseball, an American sport.
MVP – Most Valuable Player. Who will be voted MVP is sometimes a wager.
NBA – National Basketball Association.
NCAA – National Collegiate Athletic Association, which organizes and polices college sports in the USA.
NFL – National Football League, an American sport.
NHL – National Hockey League, a Canadian sport with teams also in the USA.
Non-Runner – If your choice didn’t run in the race, you get your money back. If you made an “all in bet”, you do lose your stake in these cases.
Oddsmaker – A person who sets the odds for the bookies. Most major bookmakers use odds set in Las Vegas.
One on One – The same as head-to-head.
Payout – The amount a punter is paid if they win.
Pick3 – Also known as a treble.
Pick6 – Also known as a Super 6.
Place Only – This wager hits if the horse you chose finished in the money.
Punter – Bettor.
Quaddie – Pick the winner of the four consecutive races. Those who do this get a big payday, but it’s hard to do.
Scorecast – The punter chooses who’s going to score first and who is going to win (and by how much).
Single – A single wager on one solitary selection.
Stake – The amount you wish to bet.
Superfecta – Another name for “First Four”.
Tote – The name for the TABs or tote board.
Treble – Picking the winners on 3 consecutive races.
Trifecta – Wagering on three selections to win 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in a race, but also in a particular orer.
Trots – Term for Australian harness racing.
Win-Draw-Win – References the three outcomes of a sports future, including home win, draw, and away win.