It can feel like people involved in betting on sports are speaking an entirely different language. There are so many gambling terms that are not used in common parlance. This alphabetical list of betting terminology will help you understand what is being said.
Also known as an acca, a popular way of combining bets and winning big payouts for small stakes. You make selections on a series of events and the winnings from the first go on to the second, and so on. All selections have to win for you to be paid out.
A bet in horse racing where equal stakes are placed on win, place and show outcomes.
Can mean simply a bet on a sporting event. Can also mean when a bet is active, for instance a baseball game being required to last more than four innings.
Stands for Against The Spread. Indicates how a team fared against the point spread.
A bet that is considered a certainty to win.
Also known as the field. The odds quoted about the first unspecified selection. So 6/1 bar means the rest of the field are priced at those odds or longer.
Someone used by a bettor to place a bet on their behalf, so their identity remains undisclosed.
Someone who places a bet or wager.
The business of compiling odds and accepting bets. You have to be licensed to be a bookmaker.
Slang term for C$100.
When making a spread bet, the higher figure quoted.
A combination bet made up of 26 bets on five selections. It comprises 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five four-folds and a five-fold. Also known as a Super Yankee.
Slang term for the favourite.
An event where the maximum action or stake is limited. This can be due to a host of factors such as doubts about players’ fitness.
A wager on two competitors to finish first or second, in either order.
If a team wins by enough points to ensure a bet is won, they are said to have covered the spread.
Wagering with a bookmaker using credit.
When two horses or teams finish in exactly the same position.
Wagering with a bookmaker using money that has been paid in advance.
A C$1,000 wager.
Slang term for an underdog, a competitor or team not expected to win.
Someone who bets mainly on underdogs.
A C$100 wager.
A bet placed on two separate outcomes in one event or different events. Both need to win for the bettor to collect.
An even-money bet that returns exactly the amount wagered – plus your stake.
If the odds about a competitor have lengthened, they are said to have drifted.
Any wager that is not a straight bet. Includes teasers, parlays or accumulators.
The team or individual that has the most money staked on them and is seen as most likely to win.
Can mean either all the competitors in an event, or the odds offered about all non-quoted players or teams.
A bet placed when your odds or dividend are unchanging, based on the price at the time when the bet is made.
The number of selections in an accumulator, such as a four-fold.
A bet predicting the first two positions in an event. Also known as a Perfecta or Exacta.
A bet that includes all the doubles, trebles and accumulators for multiple selections.
A bet on a long-term outcome, such as the winner of a division or championship.
A multiple bet comprising 247 wagers on eight different selections.
The over-under total of the combined scores of all the hockey games on a given date.
A term for the four leading annual golf tournaments – the Masters, [British] Open, US Open and the PGA Championship. Also used in tennis for Wimbledon and the Australian, French and US Opens.
The spread of a game or event – another term for the point spread.
Tactic used by a bookmaker to reduce his losses when taking a large amount of bets on one outcome. They bet on the same result with other bookies. Also known as laying off.
A multiple wager comprising 57 bets on six selections.
A half-point in sports betting.
International Boxing Federation
An odds-on favourite.
Another term for spread betting.
Two competitors who are both quoted with the shortest odds in the book.
Commission charged by a bookmaker. Also known as the vig, or vigorish.
When a bookmaker accepts a wager, they are said to have laid a bet. Bookies are
An almost certain winner.
A betting system that doubles the previous stake after each loss and drops to a single-unit bet after each win.
Major League Baseball.
Major League Soccer.
Essentially a match bet with no handicaps or spreads. Which team or competitor do you think will win?
Another word for a bet with more than one selection, such as an accumulator.
The National Basketball Association, the highest level of the sport for teams in the US – and the Toronto Raptors.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association.
The National Football League, the top echelon of grid-iron in the US.
The National Hockey League, comprised of leading teams from USA and the US.
A C$500 wager.
The likelihood of a particular team or competitor winning an event.
When the odds about an outcome are greater than even-money.
If the price about a result are shorter than evens.
A good value bet. When a competitor has a high chance of victory but also carries attractive odds.
A wager on whether the total number of points scored by both teams in a match will be more or fewer than the spread given.
Another name for an accumulator. A bet on outcomes in multiple events, in which all must win for the bettor to collect.
The bookmaker sets a handicap showing by how many points one side will win, and offers a 50-50 choice. Then it’s up to the bettor to decide whether or not one side will win – or lose – by more than that margin.
Wagers that are not concerned with who wins or loses but focus on areas such as first scorer or a player’s performance.
A game that is tied in relation to the point spread. This usually means your stake is returned.
Similar to a combination bet, a wager on the first two in an event, in either order.
The amount of money generated by a winning bet.
Someone who tries to win by taking advantage of the difference in odds offered by two sportsbooks. This activity is also known as arbitrage or arbing.
When the odds about an outcome are reduced – the opposite of drifting.
A third-place finish in a race.
A straight bet on one selection in a solitary race or event.
A racing bet which requires C$2 to be placed on each of win, place and show.
The perception of where those in the know are placing their bets on an event.
A method of wagering which involves buying (at the higher end of a spread) or selling (at the lower end).
The National Hockey League’s championship series. The most prestigious trophy in hockey.
A sudden rush of money on one team or outcome.
The NFL’s championship game. One of the biggest betting events in the annual global sporting calendar.
A method of betting, usually based on mathematics or trends.
A multiple bet involving several selections in which the bettor gets points in his favour to add or subtract to the teams chosen to improve the point spread.
A multiple bet comprising three selections, all of which must win for the bettor to collect.
A way of gambling on golf by predicting which player from a group of two (or three) will shoot the lowest score in a round.
Finding the best odds, or finding odds that the bettor thinks are longer than the actual chances of an outcome in an event.
World Boxing Association.
World Boxing Council.
World Boxing Organization.
The pinnacle of many sports in which nations compete for the ultimate trophy. Held every four years in soccer, cricket and rugby union.
The championship decider in Major League Baseball, a best-of-seven event held each fall.
A multiple bet comprising 11 bets on four selections. It includes six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold.