Sports Betting Glossary

If you’re not sure about the difference between a forecast and a tricast, or you can’t even begin to imagine what dutching might mean, read through this helpful glossary to find out more about terms commonly used in sports betting.

A

Accumulator - A bet made up of lots of different selections, which only pays out if all the selections are successful. Find out more about accumulators.

Accumulator Insurance - An option provided by many online bookmakers that gives punters a free bet up to a certain value if one leg of their accumulator fails to come in.

Ante Post - A term for wagers which are placed at least a day ahead of an event. Such bets can be placed in many sports, but the phrase comes from horse racing, where some punters like to back a selection before the overnight declaration stage. Ante post bets generally offer better odds but selections will lose, rather than be void, if for some reason they do not participate.

Arbitrage - Also known as a sure bet, arbitrage involves backing all the possible outcomes of an event to guarantee a profit. This is impossible when using just one bookmaker, but sometimes different bookies will have very different odds on the same event. For example, a punter could ensure they gain a return by backing one tennis player to win a match at 11/10 with one bookmaker, and their opponent to win at 21/20 with a different bookie.

Asian Handicap - Commonly found in football, Asian handicaps are bets which eliminate the possibility of draws by giving one team a virtual head start of a certain number of goals, usually 0.5, 1.5, 2.5 and so on. Learn more about Asian Handicap.

B

Banker - A selection that is considered extremely likely to win an event.

Bar, Bar Price - In sports betting, “bar price” is used to refer to the lowest odds available for selections not quote in an event, usually in horse racing. For example, “40-1 bar” would mean that all horses not quoted can be backed at 40/1 or bigger.

Betting Exchange - A feature offered by some online sportsbooks where customers have the chance to effectively play the role of a bookmaker, setting odds for other punters.

Betting Limits - The restrictions a customer has on how much they can stake. Bookmakers will have a minimum and maximum amount for each bet, while punters can also impose their own spending limits as part of a responsible gaming strategy.

Beard - Someone who places a wager on the behalf of another person to keep the real bettor’s identity secret.

Bookmaker (Bookie) - The person or company who creates markets, sets odds and takes bets on events.

Buy Price - A term used in spread betting to describe the higher figure in a spread offered by the bookmaker.

C

Canadian - Sometimes called a Super Yankee, a Canadian consists of five selections which go towards 26 bets. There are ten doubles, ten trebles, five four-fold accumulators and one five-fold accumulator.

Cash Out - The option for customers which can be utilised before the end of an event, giving customers the chance to withdraw money early if their bet is winning or claw back some of their stake if their bet is losing. Find out more about cashing out.

Chalk/Chalk Player - Chalk is the favourite, while a chalk player is someone who usually backs the favourite.

D

Dead Heat - When more than one participant finishes in equal first position, it is known as a dead heat. This could be two horses crossing the line at exactly the same time or three batsmen scoring the same amount of runs in cricket.

Decimal Odds - Odds which are displayed decimally show the number you multiply your stake by to calculate your winnings. Look at the Fractions vs Decimals page to find out more.

Double - A bet on two selections in different events. You only get a return if both wagers are successful.

Double Chance - Commonly found in football, double chance bets give customers the chance to back two out of three possible outcomes rather than one. For example, a punter betting on the home team and a draw would only lose if the away team won.

Draw No Bet - A type of bet where the only outcomes you can bet on are a win for either competitor. In the event of a draw, the customer receives their stake back.

Drift - When the odds of a selection get longer, e.g. moving out from 5/1 to 10/1, they are said to be drifting.

Dutching - A technique where different amounts are staked on different selections to try and ensure that, if one of them wins, the profit will be the same. For example, if you like two horses, one at 3/1 and one at 5/1, and only want to bet £50, you would wager £30 on the selection at 3/1 and £20 on the second horse. If either wins, the return is £120 and the profit £70.

E

Each Way - Each way bets are most typically associated with horse racing and require punters to make two bets on the same selection, one of which is to win and the other is to place (specified as the top three, four, etc.). Find out more in the Types of Betting section.

Even Money, Evens - A bet where the profit returned to the customer would be the same as the stake, eg betting £1 and getting a return of £2. Even money odds are displayed as 2.0 decimally and 1/1 fractionally.

F

Favourite - The competitor rated most likely to win, who will have the lowest odds.

Fixed Odds - Odds which show a punter at the time of placing their bet exactly how much profit they stand to make. Fractional and decimal odds are both examples of fixed-odds betting.

Fold - The number of selections backed in an accumulator. A four-fold accumulator consists of one bet on four selections in different events, and so on.

Forecast - A bet on who will finish first and second in an event, such as a horse race. A straight forecast requires punters to get the selections in the right order, whereas a reverse forecast pays out regardless of which one comes first and which comes second.

Form - A term used to describe how a selection has been performing recently. One might say that a horse is in fine form, or that a certain football team has suffered from poor form lately.

Fractional Odds - When odds are represented as fractions, they show the amount you will win for how much you stake. Visit the Fractions vs Decimals page for a detailed explanation.

Free Bet - A type of bonus offered by many online bookmakers in which punters can receive free bets up to a certain value when making a deposit or when they opted for insurance on a accumulator that later failed to win. Stakes are typically not included in any returns from a free bet.

G

Goliath - A Goliath is the biggest type of full coverage bet offered by most online sportsbooks and consists of eight selections which go towards 247 bets. There are 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 four-fold accumulators, 56 five-fold accumulators, 28 six-fold accumulators, 28 seven-fold accumulators and one eight-fold accumulator.

H

Handicap - A very common type of bet where markets are equalised by way of the favoured competitor being given a virtual deficit and the other a virtual head start. They are popular in events which are expected to be one-sided and the odds are close to even money.

Hedging Bets - Customers may decide to limit their losses by betting on opposing outcomes, e.g. putting £20 on the favourite to win at 1/3, but also betting £2 on the underdog at 15/8.

Heinz - A Heinz consists of six selections which go towards 57 bets. There are 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-fold accumulators, six five-fold accumulators and one six-fold accumulator.

I

In-Play Betting - Also known as live betting, an in-play bet is any wager that is made while the event is in progress. Find out about the potential advantages and disadvantages in the In-Play Betting section.

J

K

L

Lay Betting - When customers bet against something happening, they are said to be laying a selection rather than backing one. It is a type of betting which allows punters to act as the bookie and can be found on betting exchanges. Take a look at the Lay Betting page to find out more.

Lucky 15 - A Lucky 15 consists of four selections which go towards 15 bets. There are four singles, six doubles, four trebles and one four-fold accumulator.

Lucky 31 - A Lucky 31 consists of five selections which go towards 31 bets. There are five singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five four-fold accumulators and one five-fold accumulator.

Lucky 63 - A Lucky 63 consists of six selections which go towards 63 bets. There are six singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-fold accumulators, six five-fold accumulators and one six-fold accumulator.

M

Market - Used to refer to the bets offered by bookmakers on a given event. For example, a bookmaker may open a market for the last goalscorer in a football match or the correct score of a game.

Moneyline Odds - As opposed to the decimal or fractional odds traditionally found in the UK, in America it is common for bookies to use a money line, where the figure quoted will either show how much money will be staked with a $100 wager (a positive number, used when the odds are better than even), or how much needs to be staked to win $100 (a negative number, used when the odds are worse than even).

Multiples - Multiple bets involve more than one selection, just like accumulators, but the term is mostly used to discuss types of bets such as Trixies, Lucky 15s, Goliaths, etc., which require a stake to be put down for each different wager.

N

Non-runner - A selection that is named but then then does not participate in an event, most usually a horse which was scheduled to run before being withdrawn prior to the start. Punters who back non-runners will normally have their bet declared void and their stake returned to them, apart from when it is an ante post bet.

O

Odds - Betting odds, also referred to as the price, represent the chances of particular outcomes happening in any given event and also show how much can be won when a bet is successful. Find out more if you are a betting beginner.

Outsider - The participant in an event who is rated as the least likely to win. The outsider will have the longest odds of anyone in the book or market.

Over/under - A bet where the punter can predict whether a particular total will be above or below a stated number. The odds are close to even money and it is a popular wager across many sports as there are so many different elements that can be bet on. For example, in football punters can wager on the number of goals, corners or bookings. 

P

Parlay - An American term used to refer to an accumulator.

Patent - A Patent consists of three selections which go towards seven bets. There are three singles, 3 doubles and one treble.

Permutation Betting - Also known as perming, this is a form of betting where you back more than one selection and then cover as many different bets as you like. Trixies, Patents and Goliaths are all examples of permutation betting. Find out more in the Types of Betting section.

Price Boost - Also known as enhanced odds, these are odds which the bookie feels represent good value and have been pushed out to attract customers.

Push - When a stake is returned to the customer, it is known as a push. This could be because the event is cancelled or there is a draw and you have placed a wager in a ‘draw no bet’ market.

Punter - The person making the bet.

Q

R

S

Sell Price - In spread betting, a term used to describe the lower figure in the spread offered by the bookmaker.

Single - The simplest bet of all, a single is just a wager on one selection in one event, which must be successful to get a return.

Spread Betting - A type of betting where the amount of money that a punter wins or loses depends on the accuracy of their wager, rather than whether they simply win or lose. Check out the Spread Betting page for more.

Stake - The amount of money that is put down for a bet.

Starting Price - Sometimes known just as SP, the starting price is the odds that are set for a horse or greyhound at the start of a race. Bettors can usually decide well in advance whether they wish to accept the current odds or take the starting price if they believe the value will improve.

Sure Bet - See Arbitrage.

Super Heinz - A Super Heinz consists of seven selections which go towards 120 bets. There are 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-fold accumulators, 21 five-fold accumulators, seven six-fold accumulators and one seven-fold accumulator.

Super Yankee - See Canadian.

T

Tic-tac - A type of sign language used by bookmakers at racecourses to communicate prices.

Tipster - Someone who gives betting tips, suggesting which selection(s) should be backed in a given event.

Totepool Betting - Totepool bets allow punters to pay to buy into a big prize pot on horse races and predict who they think will win. The payout is not based on odds and instead the money is divided equally between everyone who backed the right selection. Find out more about Totepool betting and all the different types of bet available.

Treble - A bet on three selections in different events, and all three wagers must be successful to secure a return.

Tricast - A bet on who will finish first, second and third in an event. A straight forecast requires punters to get the selections in the right order, while combination forecasts require multiple stakes. Find out more in the Types of Betting section.

Trixie - A Trixie consists of three selections which go towards four bets. There are three doubles and one treble.

U

Underdog - A participant who is expected to lose. In an event with two competitors, one is the favourite and the other is the underdog.

V

Value Bet - A bet which, in the mind of the customer, has odds higher than they should be, thus offering the possibility of a profit.

Void - When a selection does not even have a chance to win or lose, the stake is returned to the customer and the bet declared void. Common examples are when an event is cancelled or when a participant drops out at the last minute.

W

X

Y

Yankee - A Yankee consists of four selections which go towards 11 bets. There are six doubles, four trebles and one four-fold accumulator.

Z


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