If you are new to the terminology behind sports betting, it can be easy to get lost in the sea of specialist terms, acronyms, and initialisms. The bookies want to make it as easy as possible for customers (including new ones) to place bets using their apps or websites, but quite often they forget just how impenetrable their typical vocabulary can be to those who are uninitiated in the language of betting.
We have picked out the most important terms used in sports betting and created an A-Z listing below. We can’t possibly cover everything there is to know about placing online bets, but this should be plenty to get you started. Remember, you can always bookmark this page and refer back to it later if you need to!
This type of betting, sometimes known as a Parlay, involves a single bet made up of multiple selections. The prize from one bet is staked on the next bet, so all of your selections have to be successful for the bet to pay out. Many bookmakers will offer an insurance promotion that will see your stake returned if just one of your selections loses.
Otherwise known as Moneyline Odds, favorites are denoted by a minus sign whilst underdogs are indicated with a plus sign. The number shown next to the sign for favorites tells you how much you must bet to win $100, whilst the number shown next to underdogs tells you how much you will win for a $100 bet.
When you place a bet with a traditional bookmaker you are betting against the house or bookmaker themselves, whereas a betting exchange allows you to bet against other punters instead.
Both Teams to Score
A favorite bet in the soccer market, your bet is paid if both teams score by the end of the regular period regardless of which team wins. This type of bet is often paired with a winning team bet for more generous odds.
A cash out bet allows you to take the current price of a market and collect your winnings early. This will always come at a penalty compared to waiting until a game has finished, but if you don’t want to risk a late comeback by the opposing team this may be a tempting option!
Often referred to as a Super Yankee, a Canadian consists of 26 bets across five different events including 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 4-folds and one 5-fold. Huge gains can be made, but with accordingly huge risk.
The odds system most commonly used in Europe as well as several other world markets. Not to be confused with the fractional odds used in the United Kingdom or in horse racing.
To “dutch” is to place a bet on both the favorite and the second favorite in a single market. Most commonly used in horse racing.
Another widely used horse racing term, an each-way bet consists of one bet for your horse to win and another bet that your horse will place. A “place” usually refers to the top three places, but can include as many as five places in some larger races.
The selection that is currently regarded as being most likely to win a given event, and so has the lowest odds. The favorite can change any number of times before a market officially opens.
Bookmakers will often offer free bets as a means of attracting new customers to their platform. Be sure to check the terms and conditions before you place any kind of free bet, as there may be additional requirements attached that you did not expect.
There are several different goalscorer markets in soccer such as the first goalscorer (which player will score first), the anytime goalscorer (a player to score at any point in the game), or first team to score (The team you believe will score first).
Half Time Result
Sometimes you have a strong feeling that one team has more stamina than the other, which is a perfect market to take advantage of a half time result bet. Anything that happens after the end of the first half is irrelevant, and you can collect your winnings at the half time whistle.
To hedge is to place a variety of bets on a single market to minimize your odds of losing. Often used colloquially outside of the gambling industry nowadays.
Bookmakers will talk about results in terms of implied probability – for example, if a bookmaker is giving odds of 10/1 on a runner winning a race, they believe that the event has a 10% implied probability.
Sometimes there can be more than one runner, horse, or team viewed as the favorite to win a particular market. All such participants would be viewed as joint favorites in this scenario.
A common site on betting exchanges, to lay a bet is to bet against a particular team winning as opposed to betting FOR them to win.
It is becoming increasingly common for online sportsbooks to allow those who have placed a bet on a particular market to watch the game or race via a live stream on their website. If you were going to pay to watch the event separately anyway, you could live streaming as a means of getting a discount on your bet.
The lowest amount that a bookmaker will accept as a wager on a particular market.
Mobile App / Mobile Bet
Bookmakers seem eager for their customers to switch to betting using their mobile, so will often offer better odds or mobile-specific bonuses to players who download and install their cellphone app.
The term “Moneyline” is often used to describe the American odds system, but it also refers to betting on the Full Time Result of a market.
If you are betting on a horse or greyhound who can no longer race on a specific day, then your bet will be ruled a non-runner and you can claim a refund from any reputable sportsbook.
The probability of an event taking place is expressed via odds. Odds can be shown in multiple formats such as decimal, fractional, and American, but most sportsbooks will allow you to change the display to the format you are most comfortable with.
Ever wondered how the sportsbooks can continue to offer bets on every game regardless of who wins each week? It’s because the bookmaker includes their expenses as part of the calculation they perform before they offer a price to their punters. There is nothing wrong with this, but if you learn how to calculate the overround you can potentially shop around for the best deal.
Also known as an accumulator bet – see above.
This is the area of a betting site to check out if you are looking for an offer that gives a bonus to players if they meet set criteria.
The amount of money you will receive if your bet is successful, including your stake and your winnings.
Whether in paper or online form, a racing card has all the details for the day ahead including runners and odds.
Combining several smaller parlay/accumulator bets in such a way that your risk is minimized.
Combining a number of betting picks in such a way that you cover as many markets as possible.
A popular kind of double bet most commonly used in the soccer markets. A scorecast bet involves predicting both a goalscorer bet and the final score.
The Gamblers Fallacy
The mistaken belief that past results can affect the likelihood of future outcomes. Superstition.
If you like betting on a particular sport but the season is over, what do you do? Check out the virtuals – these are computer-generated games where the outcomes are decided at the moment the game begins. The participants can sometimes be modelled on a real-life counterpart.
The American term for the overround – see above.
Almost all promotions offered by sportsbooks today will come with some kind of wagering requirement attached which defines how many times you will need to wager your bonus funds before they will be paid out in cash.
Not quite as crazy as the Canadian bet, a Yankee consists of 11 bets on four selections in separate markets. This includes six doubles, four trebles, and one four-fold.