Sports Betting Glossary

There are many words and phrases used in sports betting that may not make sense until you understand what they mean.

To help you with that, we have compiled the following glossary of sports betting terms as a useful reference.

Accumulator:
A single wager that covers multiple selections. All selections must win for the bet to be successful. Also known as a parlay.
Action:
A bet or wager of any kind.
Against The Spread:
Making a wager that is decided by the point spread, meaning that extra points are added to one team for the purposes of the bet.
Ante Post:
A type of bet that is placed in advance of an event starting.
Arbitrage:
A situation where the odds available mean it’s possible to make two (or more) bets and guarantee a profit.
Asian Handicap:
A type of handicap betting that’s popular in the Far East and commonly used for soccer betting in the UK.
ATS:
Stands for “against the spread” – see above.
Banker:
A bet considered to be a sure thing. Also known as a lock.
Bankroll:
How much money you have to bet with.
Betting Exchange:
A form of betting where you bet against other bettors rather than a bookmaker.
Bettor:
A person who has a bet. Also known as a punter.
Bookie:
Abbreviation of bookmaker.
Bookmaker:
An individual or organization who takes bets from members of the public.
BR:
An abbreviation of bankroll.
Buck:
A $100 bet. Also known as a dollar.
Bullseye:
In betting terms, a bullseye is £50.
Buying Points:
Paying an additional price to receive half a point (or more) in your favor when placing point spread bets. Also known as moving the line.
Canadian:
A permutation wager that involves a total of 26 bets on five selections (10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds and 1 fivefold). Also known as a Super Yankee.
Chalk:
A term for the favorite (i.e. the most likely to win) in a game or sporting event.
Chalk Player:
A bettor that bets primarily on the favorites. Also known as a chalk eater.
Circled Game:
A game where the bookmaker limits the betting action for some reason.
Combination Bet:
Any bet that combines more than one selection.
Cover The Spread:
To win a wager placed against the spread.
Decimal Odds:
A format for displaying odds such as 2.0 (1:1), 3.0 (2:1) and so on.
Degenerate:
A term used for someone who gambles excessively or recklessly. Often shortened to “degen”.
Dime:
A $1,000 bet.
Dog:
The underdog (i.e. the least likely to win) in a sporting event.
Dog Player:
A bettor that bets primarily on the underdogs.
Dollar:
A $100 bet. Also known as a buck.
Double:
A single bet that contains two selections. Both selections must win for the bet to be successful.
Drifting:
Odds that are lengthening (i.e. getting bigger) are said to be drifting.
Each Way:
A bet that is split into two. Half the bet is on the selection to win, half the bet is on the selection to finish in the top few places.
Edge:
To have an edge is to have some kind of advantage.
Even Money:
A term used for odds that are exactly 1:1. Often shortened to evens.
Evens:
See Even Money.
Exotic Wager:
A non-standard bet.
Favorite:
The most likely winner of a sporting event.
Field:
A collective term for all the participants in a sporting event.
Fin:
A $50 bet.
Fixed Odds:
Odds that are agreed at the time of placing a wager, and stay the same regardless of if the odds fluctuate in the future.
Fold:
This term describes the number of selections in an accumulator or parlay. For example, a fivefold accumulator has five selections.
Forecast:
A wager on the 1st and 2nd placed participants in a sporting event, in the correct order.
Form:
Recent past performance of a team or individual.
Fractional Odds:
A format for displaying odds in the form of a fraction.
Futures:
Wagers placed in advanced of a sporting event starting.
Get Down:
A slang term for making a bet.
Goliath:
A permutation wager that involves a total of 247 bets on eight selections (28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 fourfolds, 56 fivefolds, 28 sixfolds, 8 sevenfolds and 1 eightfold).
Grand:
£1,000.
Grand Salami:
A wager on the total number of goals scored in all of the ice hockey matches on a single day.
Handicap:
Another term for the point spread, where bookmakers attempt to level the playing field in an event for betting purposes, by awarding extra points/goals to the underdog.
Handicapper:
A person who studies statistics, performances and past results for the purposes of betting.
Hedge:
To place a bet, or bets, on the opposite side of a previously made bet to either reduce risk or guarantee some profit.
Heinz:
A permutation wager that involves a total of 57 bets on six selections (15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, 6 fivefolds and 1 sixfold).
IBAS:
The Independent Betting Adjudication Service – an organization in the United Kingdom that was formed to mediate disputes between bookmakers and bettors.
Juice:
Commission charged by bookmakers. Also known as vigorish, or vig.
Lay:
When a bookmaker (or individual) takes a bet they are said to be laying that bet.
Lay The Points:
The act of wagering on the favorite in a point spread bet.
Lay The Price:
The act of wagering on the favorite in a moneyline bet.
Layoff:
When a bookmaker places a wager with another bookmaker to help reduce risk or balance action.
Line:
The odds and/or point spread offered on a sporting event.
Lock:
A bet considered to be a sure thing. Also known as a banker.
Longshot:
An participant in a sporting event that’s considered unlikely to win, and has long odds. Also known as an outsider.
Lucky 15:
A permutation wager that involves a total of 15 bets on four selections (4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 fourfold).
Lucky 31:
A permutation wager that involves a total of 31 bets on five selections (5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds and 1 fivefold).
Lucky 63:
A permutation wager that involves a total of 63 bets on six selections (6 singes, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, 6 fivefolds and 1 sixfold).
Moneyline:
A bet on a participant to win an event with no point spread.
Moneyline Odds:
A format for displaying odds that shows how much money you must bet to win $100 (for example -110 means you must bet $110 to win $100) or how much you can win for betting $100 (for example +110 means you win $110 for every $100 bet).
Monkey:
£500.
Moving The Line:
Paying an additional price to receive half a point (or more) in your favor when placing point spread bets. Also known as buying points.
Nap:
A single selection that tipsters highlight as their best bet of the day.
Nickel:
A $500 bet.
Odds:
Set by a bookmaker, odds determine how much a successful wager will return.
Odds Against:
Odds that are longer than evens.
Odds On:
Odds that are shorter than evens.
Outsider:
A participant in a sporting event that is considered unlikely to win, and has long odds. Also known as a longshot.
Over-round:
The bookmakers profit.
Over/Under Bet:
A type of wager on whether the total number of points/goals scored will be more or less than the number set by the bookmaker. Also known as a totals bet.
Parlay:
A single wager that covers multiple selections. All selections must win for the bet to be successful. Also known as an accumulator.
Patent:
A permutation wager that involves a total of seven bets on three selections (3 singles, 3 doubles and 1 treble).
Picks:
Recommended bets. Also known as tips.
Point Spread:
The points/goals allocated by the bookmaker to level the playing field in an event for betting purposes.
Pony:
£25.
Price:
The odds.
Prop Bet:
A shortening of proposition bet.
Proposition Bet:
A wager on a specific or unique aspect of a sporting event. Often shortened to prop bet. Also known as a special.
Punter:
A person who has a bet. Also known as a bettor.
Push:
A tied wager.
Return:
The money won on a successful wager.
Run Line:
A line used for betting on baseball.
Runner:
An individual who places bets on behalf of someone else.
Score:
£20.
Single:
A wager on one selection. Also known as a straight bet.
Special:
A wager on a specific or unique aspect of a sporting event. Also known as a proposition, or prop, bet.
Sportsbook:
A company that takes wagers from the public.
Spread:
An abbreviation of point spread.
Spread Betting:
A form of betting where the winnings or losses are determined by the amount by which a wager is correct or incorrect. Not to be confused with betting the point spread.
Stake:
The amount of money placed on a wager.
Straight Bet:
A wager on one selection. Also known as a single.
Sucker Bet:
A bet that’s significantly in favor of the bookmaker.
Super Heinz:
A permutation wager that involves a total of 120 bets on seven selections (21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfolds, 21 fivefolds, 7 sixfolds and 1 sevenfold).
Super Yankee:
A permutation wager that involves a total of 26 bets on five selections (10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds and 1 fivefold). Also known as a Canadian.
Teaser:
A point spread wager on two or more teams, where the bettor is allowed to adjust the spread in their favor in exchange for lower odds.
Thick ‘un:
Slang term for a large wager.
Ton:
£100.
Totals Bet:
A type of wager on whether the total number of points/goals scored will be more or less than the number set by the bookmaker. Also known as an over/under bet.
Treble:
A single bet that contains three selections. All three selections must win for the bet to be successful.
Trixie:
A permutation wager that involves a total of four bets on three selections (3 doubles and 1 treble).
Underdog:
The participant in a sporting event that is expected to lose. Often shortened to dog.
Vig:
An abbreviation of vigorish.
Vigorish:
Commission charged by bookmakers. Often shortened to vig. Also known as juice.
Yankee:
A permutation wager that involves a total of 11 bets on four selections (6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 fourfold).