SPORTS BETTING TERMINOLOGY
If you are going to expand your knowledge base beyond our sports betting beginner’s guide then you will need to know all the common slang words and terminology used in the world of sports betting. This is important because you are going to be reading articles written by and for experienced punters and being on the same page with them is crucial in order to successfully consume and understand the information you are given.
This is obviously not a definitive and complete list of all words you may come across, however we have included all of the most popular and widely used sports betting terms and slang words – feel free to bookmark this page, so that you can pull it up whenever you stumble upon a word, that you don’t exactly understand.
Accumulator bet – also known as multi-bet or combination bet is a type of bet, which includes multiple selections and requires all selections to win in order for the entire bet to win.
American odds – a specific way of displaying odds particularly popular in America, odds are represented as numbers with a “+” or a “-“ sign depending on the likelihood of an outcome. Read more about American odds.
Arbitrage – a certain scenario, which allows you to make more than one bet on a single market and have a guaranteed profit.
WORDS STARTING WITH "A"
WORDS STARTING WITH "B"
Back a team – bet on a team to win. For example, “I am backing the home team” means “I am placing a bet for the home team to win”.
Banker – this is a bet, which is essentially a guaranteed win.
Bankroll – your bankroll is the amount of money you reserved for betting purposes.
Betting against the spread – placing a bet on a “point spread” market.
Betting exchange – this is a betting platform, which operated without a bookmaker being involved. Players themselves make up the odds and bet against each other.
Bettor – a person placing bets, also known as punter.
Bookie – a shortened slang term for the word bookmaker.
WORDS STARTING WITH "C"
Chalk – a slang term used instead of “favorite”.
Chalk player – a person who mostly bets on favorites.
Circled game – this is a game, where the bookmaker decided to limit betting activity.
Combination bet – also known as multi-bet or accumulator is a bet involving multiple selections, all selections have to win in order for the entire bet to win.
WORDS STARTING WITH "D"
Decimal odds – also known as European odds, odds are represented as numbers with decimal values (i.e. 1.53), this is the most common way of displaying odds.
Double – a bet consisting of two selections.
Double chance – a bet type, where selections have two winning conditions. Let’s use an example to illustrate this: a game can end with the home team winning, the away team winning or with a draw, a “Double Chance” bet will have selections like “Home or Draw”, “Away or Draw” and so on.
WORDS STARTING WITH "E"
Each Way – a bet consisting of two parts. The first part bets on the selection in question to win and the second part bets on the same selection to finish in top positions. Applicable to horse racing and similar sports.
Edge – a slang term used instead of “advantage”.
Even money – odds that will allow you to win an amount equal to your stake.
Exacta – a bet type used in horse racing, where you bet on which horses will finish first and second.
WORDS STARTING WITH "F"
Favorite – a selection in a market or a competitor with the highest likelihood of winning.
Fixed odds – agreed odds at the time of bet placement, they will not change until the bet is settled.
Fixture – an alternative name for a sporting event.
Fractional odds – a way of representing odds as fractions (i.e. 1/2). This way of displaying odds is mostly popular in the UK.
Future – a bet placed ahead of an event.
WORDS STARTING WITH "H"
Hedging bets – betting on an opposite outcome of your initial bet, this is done to reduce risks and secure guaranteed profit. For example, you bet on the away team to win at 2.3 and as the game progresses, the home team’s odds move and are now 2.0, you can now stake the same amount to back the home team – this way you will have a guaranteed profit no matter what the outcome is.
Hook – a term used to describe half of a point or a goal in handicap and point spread markets. For example, 2.5 goals can be referred to as “two and a hook”.
WORDS STARTING WITH "I"
Implied probability – is a likelihood of an outcome based on the bookmaker’s odds.
WORDS STARTING WITH "J"
Juice – is the profit that the bookmaker makes facilitating betting activity, in other words their margin.
WORDS STARTING WITH "L"
Lay a bet – means accepting a bet. A bookmaker, who accepts your bets “lays bets”.
Lengthening odds – means odds are getting higher. High odds can be called “Long odds”
Line – a term used in handicap and points spread markets to describe a set off outcomes based on the same score. For example, in an Over/Under market selections “Over 3.5” and “Under 3.5” will be considered as a “3.5 line”.
Live betting – placing bets on a game, which is already in progress.
Lock – a bet, which will almost certainly win.
Longshot – an outcome with a very small likelihood.
WORDS STARTING WITH "M"
Matched bet – a free bet given to a player as part of a promotional offer.
Moneyline – a bet for a team to win in a game.
Moneyline odds – a format of displaying odds, also known as “American odds”.
Multi-bet – a bet consisting out of several selections, also known as accumulator bet or “multiple”.
WORDS STARTING WITH "O"
Odds – a value, which determines the potential payout of your bet. Can also be referred to as “price”.
Outsider – a selection with a small probability of winning, similar to “Longshot”.
Overround – an added value built into the odds, that ensures the bookmaker will make a profit.
Over/Under – a bet type where you are going to predict whether the number of scored points or goals will be higher or lower than a certain set number. For example, an over under bet might be “I bet that the home team will score more than 2 goals in this game”.
WORDS STARTING WITH "P"
Parlay – a bet consisting out of multiple selections, all individual selections have to win in order for the bet to win. Also known as multi-bet, accumulator or combination bet.
Payout – the amount of money you will receive if your bet wins. The payout of a bet equals its stake multiplied by the odds.
Price – in sports betting “price” is the same as “odds”.
Proposition bet – a bet type covering specific scenarios like “first team to score”. Also known as “prop bet” or “special”
Punter – a person, who bets on sports.
Push – a scenario where the stake is returned back to the bettor.
WORDS STARTING WITH "R"
Return – the money you get if your bet wins.
Runner – a person, who places bets on behalf of someone else.
WORDS STARTING WITH "S"
Sharp – a term to describe a smart and experienced punter.
Shortening odds – a term used to describe lowering odds. “Short odds” means low odds.
Single bet – the most basic bet type involving only one selection.
Special bet - a bet type covering specific scenarios like “first team to score”. Also known as “proposition bet”.
Sportsbook – a synonym of “bookmaker”.
Stake – your stake is the amount of money you use to place a bet.
System bet – a bet type involving multiple selections, where you can have a return even if some selections lose. Read more about system bets.
WORDS STARTING WITH "T"
Totals – an alternative name for an Over/Under bet.
Tout – an experienced punter, who sells their tips to other people.
Trader – a person, who works for the bookmaker and is responsible for setting and adjusting odds.
WORDS STARTING WITH "U"
Underdog – a selection or competitor with a small chance of winning, similar to “outsider”.
WORDS STARTING WITH "V"
Value bet – a bet where the likelihood of winning is larger, than odds indicate.
WORDS STARTING WITH "W"
Wager – an alternative term for “bet”.