Online Sports Betting Glossary

Confused about some of the expressions online bookies use?

No worries, this quick reference glossary will help you make sense of the key terms and phrases, bandied around at sports betting sites in 2019.

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A
Acca
Abbreviation. See Accumulator.
Across The Board
When you wager on a horse to win, place or show.
Action
A term used to describe the act of taking part in online gambling or sports betting.
Accumulator
A bet that takes in several selections, and requires each individual selection to win. See also Parlay.
Against The Spread (ATS)
The result of a bet where points spreading has come into effect.
B
Back Bet
A bet where a single outcome will determine the win.
Backdoor Cover
When a team score points at the end of the game, unexpectedly covering the points spread total.
Bad Beat
When you lose on a bet that appeared to be a sure thing.
Beard
An individual betting on behalf of someone else. See also Runner.
Betting Exchange
A form of real money betting with odds offered by fellow bettors, rather than bookmakers. Bets are subject to commission.
Betting Slip
A confirmation of your bet.
Bettor
A person who bets real money on sports.
Book
A common industry abbreviation for sportsbook.
Bookmaker
Also called Bookie. A professional gambling outfit that offers odds on real money bets.
C
Chalk
A slang term used to refer to the favourite.
Chalk Player
A bettor who generally backs the favourite to win.
Circled Game
A game with lower limits, or restricted bets, usually as a result of injury.
D
Dead Heat
When a result is tied.
Decimal Odds
The Odds system used throughout Europe.
Dog
Slang for underdog. Used to describe the person, team or horse, considered to be the outsider.
Dog Player
A bettor who normally favours the underdog.
Double Bet
A wager twice the size of a bettor's typical wager.
E
Edge
The advantage a bookmaker or a casino has over the bettor.
Even Money
When the amount you stand to win is the same as the amount you wager.
Exchange
Abbreviation of betting exchange. A way of betting where you take odds offered by other bettors.
Exotic
A wager other than a straight bet, accumulator or parlay.
Exposure
The maximum amount of cash a bookie could potentially lose on a result.
F
Favourite
The team, horse, or person predicted to win.
Figure
The amount of money owed to a bettor or a bookmaker.
First Half Bet
A bet made on just the first half of a match, game or similar.
Fixed Odds
Odds that won't change no matter what.
Fractional Odds
The Odds system used in the United Kingdom.
Futures
A bet placed on a future event or outcome occurring.
G
Getting Down
Sang term meaning to make a bet.
H
Half Time Bet
A bet that only covers the second half of a game, match or similar.
Handicapper
A person who studies betting strategy and statistics to improve their predictions.
Handicapping
The act of using statistics and insight to better determine the winner.
Handle
The total cumulative pot of money bet on a single event.
Hedging
Betting against a bet to try and cover your losses.
High Roller
Someone who bets big stakes.
Hot Game
An event drawing the attention of Handicappers.
I
In-Play Odds
Odds that are offered once a sports event has already started.
In-Play Bet
A bet made while the action is happening live in real time.
J
Juice
Slang term for the commission a bookie makes on bets.
L
Laying The Points
Betting in favour of the favourite to win by forfeiting points.
Laying The Price
Backing the favourite by laying money odds.
Layoff
When a bookmaker plays money at a rival to reduce its own liability.
Limit
The lowest, or highest, bet amounts accepted at a bookmaker.
Lines
Abbreviation of Moneyline. The odds system used in the USA.
Linemaker
See also Oddsmaker. The person responsible for establishing betting lines.
Live Odds
Odds that update as the game or match takes place.
Live Bet
A bet you make while a game or event is in play.
Lock
An easy win.
Long shot
An outside bet, for example made on the underdog.
Lose
When your bet doesn't work out and you forfeit your original stake.
M
Matched Bet
When you place a lay bet against the outcome you also made a back bet on.
Middle
To place a wager on both sides of a bet, at two different bookies, and win.
Moneyline
The name of the odds system U.S bookies use. See also Lines.
Mush
Slang name for a bettor who is regarded to be bad luck.
N
No Action
When a bet is cancelled and all wagers returned.
O
Odds
The system a bookie uses to show you the return you can expect to make on real money wagers.
Off The Board
An event a bookie is not taking bets on.
Over/Under
When you bet the total points a team will score, being less than a specified number.
P
Parlay
A bet that spans several selections and requires all to work out in order to win.
Pick 'em
A game where neither team is favourite.
Point Spread
The points handicap a bookmaker imposes on a favourite team in events where one team is considered the underdog.
Press
The act of wagering a bigger stake than usual.
Profit
The amount of money you can expect to make on a bet (minus your original wager).
Prop
Short for proposition. A bet offered by bookies under special circumstances.
Puppy
Another term for dog or underdog.
Push
When a points handicap is met but not exceeded, therefore rendering the bet neither a win nor a lose.
R
Return
Your bet winnings plus your original stake.
Round Robin
Three or more teams in a two team parlay.
Run Down
The odds offered on a specific event.
Runner
Someone who places bets on behalf of someone else. See also Beard.
S
Scout
Someone who holds out for the best odds.
Sharp
An experienced bettor who is 'au fait' with betting strategy.
Sides
Both teams taking part, the favourite, and the underdog.
Single Action
A bet that's only made if the one before it wins.
Sportsbook
A bookmaker (or bookie) that offers odds on the outcome of sports events and takes real money bets.
Spread
Abbreviation for Point Spread.
Stake
The amount of cash you bet. See also Wager.
Steam
When the odds alter as a result of increased wagering.
Straight Bet
A bet on a single outcome coming true. See also back bet.
Square
An 'in' term for an inexperienced bettor.
T
Taking the Points
When you take the points spread being offered at a bookmaker and bet on the underdog.
Taking The Price
Backing the underdog and taking money odds.
Teaser
A bet similar to a parlay but which gives the bettor improved odds.
Ticket
A betting slip showing your bet, including your stake and odds.
Tie
A result that means no bets are lost or won, because the points total was equal to the team's score.
Total
The combined value of points both sides score in a game.
Totals Bet
A bet made on the predicted points total of a game.
Tout
A person offering their betting expertise for money.
True Odds
The actual statistical fixed odds of a given outcome occurring.
U
Underdog
The horse/individual/team/ considered to be weaker. See also Dog.
V
Value
Getting the best possible odds.
Vig
Short for Vigorish. Another name for Juice, meaning the commission a bookmaker nets from bets.
W
Wager
The amount of money you put on a bet. See also Stake.
Welch
To not pay up on a losing bet.
Win
When you guessed your selection correctly and the bet you made comes in.
Wise guy
A bettor with a lot of knowledge about the sport.