Sports Betting Terms & Glossary
Sports betting terms and gambling glossary – Learn everything about sports betting before your start wagering.
Why Is It Important to Know the Terminology of the Sports Betting Industry?
We’re sure that no sports bettor hasn’t at least once encountered a sports betting term, an expression, or an abbreviation that he didn’t know what it means. This is quite normal since the sports betting industry evolves every day. Since sports betting is an extensive discipline, we thought it is necessary to make a detailed and comprehensive sports betting glossary of terms, expressions, and abbreviations used daily among both bettors and within betting sites.
Help for Beginners and a Reminder for Experienced
We made this glossary to help beginners get used to the sports betting terminology more easily. Additionally, we wanted to help the more experienced players keep up with modern abbreviations and new expressions. These expressions appear in this exciting and dynamic industry daily. We arranged the terms in alphabetical order for better reference. All this to make it easier for you to understand and master everything.
Accumulator, Acca, or Combo Bet – This term is known to almost every person who has ever set foot in an online sportsbook, so it’s pretty logical to use it as a starting point of our glossary. Combo Bet is something that every person who starts to engage in sports betting encounters at the very beginning. Combo Bet is a ticket with more than one selection played. Although bets with two, three, or more selections all have their unique names, this is the group name for tickets with more than one match.
Action – Any bet you have placed in the betting jargon is called ‘action.’
Against The Spread or ATS – You will come across this term mainly on the betting sites based on American sports. This term represents a statistical category that shows how many matches, out of the total number of games played, a team managed to beat the handicap that bookmakers placed against it. Here’s an example:
10-2 ATS means that a specific team covered the handicap ten times out of the 12 games played during the season and failed two times. Don’t confuse this term with wins and losses because it’s possible that one team has a ratio of 12 wins and 0 losses, but that ATS is still in a ratio of 10-2.
Ante-Post Bet – Sometimes, you can place bets on some event for several months or even years ahead. For example, when you bet who will win the Grand National or soccer Champions League at the beginning of the season, or which team will get relegated from the Italian Serie A. These bets made over a long time are called Ante-post bets. In some countries and some online sportsbooks, ante-post bets are also called future-bets or futures.
Anytime Goalscorer (a player who scores a goal at any time in a match) – A unique market in which you need to guess which player will score a goal at any time in one match. Thus, to make a winning bet, the chosen player only needs to score a goal at any time during the game.
Arbitrage Betting – In our previous texts, in which we talked about different betting disciplines, we mentioned arbitrage betting. This betting discipline is very similar to the matched betting discipline. The difference is that bonuses and sportsbooks’ promotions aren’t used to profit but instead look for a real difference in the odds offered by different sportsbooks. When you find a match that has different odds in two different sportsbooks, you place two opposite bets and thus make ‘a safe bet’, which brings you profit in any case. Arbitrage Betting is one of the safest ways to make a long-term profit on sports betting. However, it’s pretty time-consuming, and making the profit is very slow, so it’s completely merited that this type of betting made its way into our glossary.
Asian Handicap or AH – Asian Handicap is, as the name suggests, a particular type of handicap that originated from Asia and is one of the most popular betting markets that can be found in football betting today. Unlike the European Handicap, in which you can bet on a round number (-1, -2, +1, +2), in Asian Handicap you can bet on half a handicap or even a quarter of a handicap (-0.25, -0.5, -0.75, +0.25, +0.5, +0.75). For someone who has never encountered this type of handicap, this explanation may seem very complicated, but the truth is that the rules of the Asian Handicap aren’t that hard, and it only takes a few hours to learn them well. If you want to learn more about this type of handicap, we recommend reading our detailed article about the Asian Handicap here. In addition to the Asian Handicap for the winner of the match, we should note that there’s also an Asian Handicap in the betting market for goals, called Asian Goal Line.
Banker – The ‘Holy Grail’ of sports betting, and there’s no glossary that doesn’t explain it. We’re sure that if you’ve ever stepped foot into a local sportsbook, you’ve heard of this phrase. However, in the betting jargon, the banker represents a bet with a great chance of winning. Thus, you should be aware that there are NO safe bets in the world of sports betting and that even if a match is ‘fixed,’ it’s unlikely that only Joe from your local sportsbook has this information. The banker term is used for bets that have a strong background in information related to the lineups of the teams or the situation within them, or the odds simply have too much value not to play.
Bet – Every time you invest your money in some sports event, you place a bet.
Betting Exchange – Unlike traditional sportsbooks, where players are allowed exclusively to place bets, the betting exchanges are places where players can place their bets and accept bets from other players. The two most well-known terms from betting exchanges are BACK (classic bet placing) and LAY (taking a bet from another player). Betting disciplines such as trading, arbitrage betting, and matched betting also developed with the emergence of betting exchanges. The pioneer in the world of sports betting related to the betting exchanges is a well-known brand from the UK, Betfair Betting Exchange.
Bonus – Bonuses are the money that the bookmaker gives you as a gift for registering or being a regular user of its site. The bonus in the form of money can be spent in that sportsbook, and you can almost never withdraw it before fulfilling the specific wagering requirements that come with it. Several standard types of bonuses will be discussed in our glossary. We’ll list just a few most important ones here; such as a welcome bonus, a deposit bonus, a reload bonus, as well as a no deposit bonus. If you want to know more about types of bonuses and promotions, we suggest you read our article dedicated to bonuses.
Bookmaker, Sportsbook, Betting Site, or Bookie – A legal and licensed company that provides sports betting services, that is, accepts the bets on sports events by its registered users. When you start to engage in sports betting, it’s imperative to choose a legal, licensed and respectable company that will enable you fair conditions for participating in sports betting. You can read more about this in our article on how to choose the right sportsbook.
BOTD or Bet Of The Day – An abbreviation mainly used on social media (Facebook, Twitter), where people who propose bets post their best bets every day.
BTTS or Both Teams to Score – A betting market in the goals section. The goal of this bet is to guess whether both teams will score a goal in the match or not. If you opted for the option that they will, both teams need to score a goal, and if you decide that they won’t, then it’s important that one team (it doesn’t matter which one) doesn’t score a goal.
Canadian – A type of betting system that a player can play if he wants to have more than one selection on the ticket. Another name for this system is Super Yankee. In this particular case, you need to have five selections, so the bettor using the Canadian system places 25 separate bets (ten double bets, ten triple bets, five 4-fold bets, and one 5-fold bet). For the system to win, you need to predict correctly at least two games.
Cash Out (earlier payment) – The cash-out option is an additional feature that allows players to collect their winnings during a match before it ends (minus a certain percentage, of course). This is a good option for those who like to play it safe and don’t want to gamble until the end of the match, or you have an opportunity to save some of your initial stake in situations where you see that your bet is bad.
Chalk – The terminology of the bettors from North America, which means betting on the favorite. The counterpart of the expression chalk among European bettors is the term backing the favorite.
Clean Sheet (to not receive a goal) – One of the more specific bets in the goals market. When you play Clean Sheet, you’re betting that the team you played on won’t receive a goal. In our humble opinion, this bet belongs to the category of sucker bets, that is, bets made for bettors to lose money.
Closing Line – Closing Line is a handicap or the odds that were available last before the match started. These lines are often used to analyze the market trends and results. It can be used as an advanced betting strategy, as well as a statistical indicator of how successful a tipster is against the market in the long run.
Correct Score – Another bet from the goals market. In this bet, you’re betting on the correct score of a specific game. This bet is hard to guess for objective reasons, but the odds in this market are pretty tempting. However, we don’t recommend placing large amounts of money on this betting type because it has a low return, you often lose, and the winnings aren’t proportionate to losses.
Dog (Outsider) – The abbreviation of the term Underdog, but both expressions mean the same, a team or a player who is an outsider in a match.
Dime – An old gambling jargon. Dime is a bet worth 1,000 in a currency. So, if you say that you played a match with three dimes, it means that you placed 3,000 EUR.
Dollar – Another slang for bet amount. If you say you wagered a Dollar, it means 100 EUR in gambling slang.
Double – If you’ve carefully read our glossary so far, you undoubtedly noticed that we mentioned double bets when we talked about the Canadian system. Each bet that isn’t single has its unique name, and a bet with two selections is called “Double” in the betting slang. To make your double the winning one, you need to guess both selections correctly.
Double Chance – One of the most basic bets. Double Chance means playing on the final score, where instead of playing directly on the winner of the match, you bet that one team will win or that the game will end in a draw. In other cases, you bet that any team will win and that it won’t be a draw. Double Chance is a bet with reduced risk, but it also means that the odds are pretty low in this market.
Draw No Bet – An attractive market common in all European but also regional sportsbooks. This market is identical to the Asian Handicap with the zero line, and if the match ends up tied, the sportsbook will give you your bet back. A great market, especially in games that don’t have a favorite, or you want to bet on a team that is an outsider.
Drift (Sliding, Moving) – A term denoting the shift of the odds before the start of the game but isn’t used often, to be honest. A synonym of this term is Line Movement, which is used much more often. FYI, the odds move in one direction when there are a lot of bets on this outcome, so the bookmakers have to adjust the market to force players to bet on the other outcome.
Dutching – The name for one of the more advanced betting systems used explicitly in betting on horse racing and sometimes in golf or dog racing. The whole theory around this system is to split the stake into several different bets covering several possible scenarios. It’s necessary to accurately calculate the odds and potential stakes to make a smart bet. Still, dutching can be very profitable once you master it completely.
Edge (Advantage) – An abbreviated term ‘advantage’ represents a bettor’s imaginary advantage regarding the bookmaker. This happens when a player believes that the odds or the line isn’t set correctly and thinks this bet has a great value.
Even Money – When we have a game without a clear favorite, that is when bookmakers believe that both sides have an equal chance, we call that match Even Money (50-50 chances).
Evens (Equal) – This term is used among the bettors when there’s a 50-50 situation between teams and when there is no clear favorite. If you see this term, it means that the bookmakers set equal odds on both teams, so around 2.00 on each team’s victory.
Favorite – This expression denotes a player or team that the sportsbook believes should win a game or match. You’ll find the favorite the easiest by the offered odds, ranging from 1.99 for the early favorite to 1.01 for the absolute favorite.
First Goalscorer – A market that is very similar to the Anytime Goalscorer market, with the difference that in this bet, you need to guess who will score the first goal in the match.
Fixed – A term denoting a game or a match in which the final result is agreed upon in advance. Although we don’t dispute that there are fixed games in the world of sport, we should say that you should be very careful when someone shares information about fixed matches. In 99% of cases, such information is unverified and makes you lose money.
Fold – We’ve already written about how every bet with a certain number of selections has its unique name. One selection is called single, two selections double, three on the ticket triple and every bet with four or more selections is called fold (the number of selections precedes the word fold). For example, a ticket with seven games is called 7-fold.
Form – A term denoting how a team or a player played in a previous period (from several weeks, months, or years).
GamStop – A British company engaged in sports betting and sportsbooks monitoring. There are mainly involved in the operations of the online casinos and make sure that players get fair treatment from the top online casinos and that the games have random results without anyone interfering.
Gamblers Anonymous or GA – A non-governmental organization dedicated to preventing and treating people suffering from gambling addiction.
Goal Line (a goal line in Asian Handicap) – When we explained what the Asian handicap is and how it works, we mentioned a particular Asian Handicap betting market designed exclusively for betting on goals. The difference between the traditional goal betting markets and the Asian market is that the Asian market gives much more options to players, and the chance to win is higher. If you are interested in how the Asian handicap works in the goals market, read our article about it here. No glossary is complete if it doesn’t have an explanation of Asian markets.
Goliath – Another advanced betting system, consisting of eight different selections in one ticket. When you decide to play the Goliath system, you’ll play a total of 246 bets in one ticket (28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 4-fold bets, 56 5-fold bets, 28 6-fold bets, seven 7-fold bets, and one 8-fold bet). To get any return of money, you must hit at least two selections in the ticket.
Half-Time Bet – A betting market in which you bet on the outcome during the first half-time. Half-Time Bet can refer to the winner of the first half, the number of goals, or another event.
Half-Time Result – Very similar to the previous term, but refers exclusively to getting the score right, that is, what the score will be after the first half.
Handicap – This term represents an advantage to one of the teams before the start of the match, set by the bookmakers. If one of the teams is the favorite, the bookmaker adds plus points or goals to the outsider, which the favorite has to ‘cover’ to make a winning bet. There are several types of handicaps. For example, in football, we have European and Asian Handicaps, while in other sports such as basketball, volleyball, American sports, we have handicaps on the number of points.
High Roller – This is more a casino gambling term, which denotes a player who plays with high amounts of money.
Heinz – The name of one of the systems consisting of six different matches. When you play the Heinz system, you place 15 double bets, 20 treble bets, 15 4-fold bets, six 5-fold bets, and one combo ticket of 6 matches. You have to hit at least two out of six games to get any return of the money.
IBAS – This is an abbreviation for Independent Arbitration Betting Service. This body was created to resolve differences between players and bookmakers to provide fair and proper treatment to the players.
Last Goalscorer – A special bet where you guess who will be the last goalscorer in the match.
Lay – We already mentioned this expression in our glossary, which is an opposite term from the term back. If you choose a lay bet, you are betting that something won’t happen, and you take on the role of a bookmaker while other players are playing against you. Lay bets are mainly used in more advanced betting strategies such as Matched Betting, Arbitrage Betting and are available at betting exchanges.
Line – A term representing the handicap line set by the bookmaker before the start of the match.
Limit – The maximum amount of money allowed by the bookmaker on one bet.
Lock – A selection that, in the eyes of the bettors, is the closest to something that we call a sure victory.
Match Betting (betting on the outcome) – The most basic sports betting market. Match Betting is a bet with three possible results, in which the bettor chooses one of the three options. Another name for this market is the 1X2 market.
Matched Betting – An advanced betting strategy in which the bettors use bonuses and promotions (free bets) provided by the sportsbook to make safe bets by betting on every possible outcome of a match.
Margin – The term margin represents the percentage that the sportsbook takes from the player, regardless of the bet outcome. The standard margin height is around 5%, but many sportsbooks have much higher margins (up to 10%). On the other hand, reputable global sportsbooks, such as the Pinnacle Sportsbook, have shallow margins (around 2-4%), which players certainly love and are happy to bet there.
Monkey – A betting term for the bet worth 500 EUR. A synonym of this term is Nickel.
Money Line (ML) – To win this bet, your team simply must win. A bet without any handicaps. The most common in basketball and tennis.
No Action – A term used when betting on horse racing, represents a bet with no profit and no losses.
No Deposit Bonus – A type of bonus provided by the sportsbooks (quite rarely). What is specific about this type of bonus is that it’s enough to register without making a deposit, and the sportsbook gives you free money. Of course, such bonuses are usually low, with reasonably strict wagering requirements.
Odds – To put it simply, the odds represent the value with which a bookmaker predicts that a team will win or lose. The odds also let players know how much money they can expect if they end up winning the bet. There are three types of odds used in the world. Decimal odds (1.80, 1.25, 4.35) are represented in our region, and in most of Europe, fractional odds (2/1, 3/9, 5/11) are represented in the UK, while American odds (+110, -100) are represented in North America.
Outsider – The opposite term of the term favorite. The outsider is a team or a player who is predicted to be weaker and will lose. The sportsbooks use odds to indicate the outsider, and depending on how much of an outsider the team is, the odds can range from 2.10 to 101.00.
Over – A classic game in the betting market for goals, and there’s no glossary without an explanation of this term. With over game, you guess there will be more scores or points than the line is set for it. Apart from more goals, there are markets in which you guess more corners, yellow cards, free shots, and so on.
Parlay – A term originated from North America and is rarely used in Europe. It’s a synonym for a combined ticket.
Point Spread (point handicap) – This type of handicap predicts the bookmaker with what difference the favorite team will win the match. Your bet is winning if the favored team wins with more points than the set handicap.
Price – It’s a synonym for the odds in a sportsbook. The players from the United States mainly use this term.
Punter – A person who bets in the sportsbook and posts his bets publicly.
Push – In a situation where the match ends in a way that the bookmaker has set a perfectly round handicap, your bet is Push; that is, the sportsbook returns you money.
Reasonable Gambling – The responsible gambling movement has been very active in recent years and is of particular concern for players with gambling addiction problems.
Runner – A term representing a person who places bets for someone else. An old phrase from when you had to run to a local sportsbook to place a bet.
Reload Bonus – Sometimes, bookmakers give players a certain percentage of the lost money in the form of this bonus. Their goal is to make the players stay with them and continue betting.
Sharp – An abbreviation of Sharp Bettor, representing an outstanding bettor who bets with large amounts of money and knows the matter perfectly.
Sharp Money – A term representing money placed very early before the start of the match and which usually forces bookmakers to move their odds and lines.
Shark – Another term is representing a professional sports bettor.
Single – The simplest of all bets. This term represents a situation where a bettor plays only one match and only one outcome. According to many, single bets are the only way to beat the
sportsbook in the long run and profit from sports betting.
Spread Betting – This term is used in North America and is a common name for a handicap.
Tipster – A term representing a person who is professionally engaged in predicting matches for himself and others.
Treble (triple) – This term represents three games on a ticket you have played. For your ticket to be the winning one, you need to hit all three games.
Trixie – A type of small system played when you have three selections you want to play. By playing this system in the sportsbook, you are placing four different bets, three double bets, and one triple bet.
You need to guess at least two games on the ticket for the Trixie system to be winning.
Under – A term opposite of the term Over; it represents a selection in which you bet there will be fewer goals or points in the game than the sportsbook predicted with its line.
Value Bet (a bet that has value) – When a bettor finds a game, that is, the odds that are higher than they should be, in his humble opinion, then that’s a Value Bet. So, the difference of opinion between the bookmaker and the bettor represents a value for the bettors that he can and wants to use against the bookmaker.
Vig – A North American term for the margin that bookmakers take when setting the odds.
Welcome Bonus – One of the most common bonuses that sportsbooks give to their new players. Every glossary has to have an explanation of this bonus because it’s one of the most favorite bonuses that bettors love to receive. The welcome bonus is mainly reflected in the additional 100% bonus money on your first deposit, gifted to you by the sportsbook. This way, the bettors receive a substantial amount of money to start s sports betting adventure.
Wise Guy – Another term representing a professional and very well-informed bettor.
Yankee – A type of system consisting of 11 different bets on four different matches. You actually play six double bets, four treble bets, and one combo ticket with four selections by playing the Yankee system. You need to guess at least two games to make your ticket a winning one.
Creating such a detailed glossary of terms and expressions was an extremely difficult task. Simply because we didn’t want to use foreign glossaries, but we’ve been trying for days to compile our list of terms and expressions. We are sure that we’ve forgotten something, and we ask you to point out any term or abbreviation that we have missed. Write your suggestions in the comments.