It can be confusing to hear those ‘in the know’ talk about betting terms they use frequently. So, here’s a handy glossary of sports betting terms for you to peruse.
Accumulator: A bet or even a series of bets, placed on more than one outcome. To be successful, every one of those bets must be won. Also known as an Acca.
Acca: See Accumulator.
Against the Spread: A type of bet in which you attempt to work out the team that will cover the spread.
Ante Post: A bet which is placed a long time in advance of the actual event on which is being bet. This could be as far ahead as years before (for long term thinkers!). Traditionally a horse racing type of bet and now more widespread. These bets can be very profitable as the odds can draw in nearer the event.
Arbitrage: Where a punter can place a bet on a win and a loss and still make a profit. This is made possible when placing bets with different betting companies who offer differing odds on the same event.
Arb: See Arbitrage
Asian Handicap: A form of football betting. Normally, in this sport picking the winner on a match means you lose if there is a tie, even if you back both teams to win. In this type of bet, a draw means that a winner is still determined by way of a special ‘handicap’. For a full description, we recommend this Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_handicap
Banker: A highly fancied bet, seemingly destined to succeed.
Beard: A person who places a bet on behalf of another person.
Betting Exchange: A web site that lets users create and offer their own odds, in contrast to traditional bookmakers. An example is Betfair.
Canadian or Super Yankee: A type of bet which consists of 26 bets (ten trebles, ten doubles, 5 fourfolds and a straight accumulator) covering 5 selections in different events. We’re not making this up. Seriously.
Chalk: The favourite.
Double: One bet on two selections in different events, both needing to be correct to win.
Double Accumulator: Three bets of two selections in different events.
Drift: Where odds move out due to a lack of interest or support, most commonly associated with on course betting.
Dutch: Betting on more than a single outcome on the same event.
Each Way: Two bets, one of which is on who will win and another for who will finish in a place (e.g. in the top 4 finishing positions.).
Exposure: The amount of money that can possibly be lost on a specific bet or series of bets. Best to limit this.
Favourite: The most likely winner of an event, based on bookmakers’ consensus.
Fold: The number of accumulator outcomes. e.g. Threefold, if betting on three outcomes.
Forecast: Predicting the first finishing two horses in a race, in that order only.
Goliath: A type of accumulator that has two hundred and forty seven bets involving eight selections on different events. Tired just thinking about it.
Handicap: This type of betting involves giving one selection a virtual deficit (the ‘handicap’) to overcome at the start of an event.
Hedging: The practice of placing a bet on both results on the same event (win and loss) in order to reduce the risk of losses.
Heinz: Fifty seven bets from six selections. Consists of fifteen doubles, twenty trebles, fifteen four folds, six five folds and a six fold. If you win a Heinz, you’ll be having a good day…and night.
Lay: Available when you use a betting exchange, like Betfair. You make, or lay, the odds for others.
Lock: The US equivalent of a Banker – a bet that appears destined to succeed.
Lucky 15: Fifteen bets of four selections: Four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold. That adds up, does it not?
Lucky 31: Thirty one bets of five selections: Five singles, ten doubles, ten trebles, five four-folds and a five-fold.
Nap: The best bet of the day, as selected by a tipster.
No action: A bet where no money is won or lost due to the event not even taking place.
Odds: The return promised by a bookmaker, either quoted as a fraction or a decimal e.g. 10/1 in fraction form is the same as 11 in decimal form.
Odds-On: Where a favourite becomes so heavily backed, the odds are less than evens, or 2 in decimal.
Outsider: The complete opposite of the favourite, one not expected to win at all.
Parlay: US term, meaning the same as Accumulator (see above).
Patent: This is a type of bet that is made up of seven bets of three selections. These are three single bets, a double bet and a treble bet.
Point spread: A prediction of the difference between to teams’ scores. You
Price: The betting odds on offer.
Punter: Someone who takes a punt by placing a bet.
Round Robin: Three selections in three different races: Three doubles, a treble and six singles. Also the bloke from the chippie.
Sharp: Someone who gambles professionally.
Single: Where a bet is placed on one event. Simple.
Special: An out-of-the-ordinary type of bet provided by a bookmaker usually designed to catch people’s attention due to the nature of the bet or the odds.
Super Heinz: Really, really good sauce. Also, an accumulator consisting of one hundred and twenty bets involving seven selections in different events: twenty one doubles, thirty five trebles, thirty five four-folds, twenty one five-folds, seven six-folds and the seven-fold accumulator. Phew.
Tote: A horse racing bookmaker offering parimutuel betting.
Treble: A type of accumulator placed over three different events.
Tricast: A type of bet mainly used in horse racing or greyhound racing, where first, second and third places are predicted and in the correct order.
Trifecta: Same as tricast, a term often used in Australian and US betting.
Trixie: Four bets over three events, consisting of three doubles and a treble.
Under: A wager on something (e.g. a score, number of yellow cards etc) being under a certain number of occurrences. Often seen in football betting markets.
Underdog: The opposite of the favourite. Someone or something not expected to do well. Usually attract the best odds to win.
Void Bet: Where for whatever reason (e.g. match does not take place), the bet becomes void and your stake is returned.
Yankee: A bet on four selections and consisting of no less than eleven separate bets. That is, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold accumulator. At least two selections must win to get a return.
These betting terms should help give you a better understanding of betting expressions used by regular punters. If you know of betting terms that should be included in the list, feel free to suggest more.