A list of the most common terms in sports betting with detailed explanation and examples where applicable. Very useful if you are not sure what certain terms or bet options offered by bookmakers mean.Football Glossary ‘A’
Accumulator: A bet with multiple selections, where all selections must be guessed correctly in order for your bet to win. Alternative term is “Parlay bet”. Abbreviation among the punters is also known as ACCA.
Against the Spread: A bet where you try to determine which team will cover the spread; not necessarily which team will win the game.
Ante Post Betting: Term has been taken from horse racing and it refers to place a bet weeks, months or even years in advance of the event. In football, this may be placing a bet on a team to win the World Cup or Champions League before the start of the tournament.
Arbitrage Bet: Variation of odds between bookmakers places punter ahead to back all the possible outcomes and win one of the bets. Basically, it is a system where you can use the highest odds from different bookmakers on single event to create a situation of guaranteed profit. Whatever the result of the match is, by placing a bets on all possible outcomes, you will be getting a win.
Asian Handicap: Asian handicaps are special type of handicap betting popular in Asia used in football betting. In this bet, the option of a draw (x) is removed. If match is a tie, the stake will be refunded.
In addition to typical +1, 0, and -1 handicaps, Asian handicap allows for a ¼ goal, ½ goal and a ¾ goal start. On the face of it this may not seem to make a lot of sense, since any team that beats (or loses to) a ½ goal start will also beat (or lose to) a ¼ goal start. However, there is more to ¼ and ¾ ball betting than meets the eye.
As for normal handicap betting, the underdog will be awarded a head start of a handicap, and the favourite will concede a handicap of the same magnitude. For the purposes of bet settlement, the predetermined number of the handicap will be added to the real number of goals. Where no handicap is awarded (0:0 handicap), a drawn game will result in a tied bet and returned stakes. If either side wins, bets backing that team will win, whilst bets backing the other will lose.
Similar rules apply for 1 goal (0:1) and 2 goal (0:2) Asian handicaps. When ½ ball handicaps are applied, bets can only be won or lost – a tied bet is impossible. If the handicap is set at ¼ (or ¾, 1¼, 1¾ etc) of a goal, then any bets on the match will be settled as a split stakes bet, with half the stake going on the handicap ¼ of a goal less than the quote and half on the handicap a ¼ of a goal more.
For example, with a ¼ ball handicap, half the stakes will be settled as though the handicap was 0, and half as though the handicap was ½. It follows, then, that if a team beats a ¼ ball handicap by ½ or more, the backer will win the whole bet; if they lose by ½ or more, the backer will lose the whole bet. It is only when the result falls within ¼ of the handicap that the result is different from a conventional handicap.
When a team beats the handicap by a ¼, the backer receives half stakes on a win, and half returned. For example, if £10 were staked at odds of 1.95 for a ¼ ball advantage, a drawn game would return a profit of £4.75. This is known as a “win ½”. If a team loses by a ¼, the backer has only half his stake returned. This is known as a “loss ½”.
Football Glossary ‘B’
Back: Backing a selection to win.
Banker: Banker is a favourite team in the match, usually with very low odds on a win.
Betting Exchange: Exchange betting allows people to bet against each other instead of the bookmaker. The betting exchange acts as a middle man, taking commissions from the stake.
Betting exchange works as a “stock market”, but instead of trading shares you trade with bets. You can place a ‘back’ bet – betting on something happening or a ‘lay’ back – betting against something happening.
Bookmakers – Bookies: A gaming company licensed to legally accept bets from the customers. For UK, governing body is Gambling Commission.
Boosted Odds: Higher odds offered on specific game or event. Bookies use this method to increase the volume of the bets placed on the event. Boosted odds are widely used as a promotional tool on events that are popular – derby’s or elimination games.
Both Teams to Score: To win this bet, both teams in the match have to score a goal during 90 minutes.
Football Glossary ‘C’
Canadian: Also known as a ‘Super Yankee,’ a Canadian consists of 26 bets, involving five selections in different events. The bet includes one accumulator, five four folds, ten trebles and ten doubles, with a minimum of two selections needing to succeed in order to win.
Cash Out: With Cash out option punter can settle a bet before the end of the game, while ahead. If bookmaker has provided an option to cash out, you can take your money but with reduced win.
Example: Chelsea is leading 1:0 against Arsenal and your bet has been Chelsea. Arsenal scores and equaliser, now bookmaker will offer you to cash out on your Chelsea bet.
Clean Sheet: Clean sheet means that chosen selection will not concede a goal during the match (90 minutes).
Combination Bet: A combination bet is where you place multiple bets on your selections to eliminate the risk and to maximise the potential gain. It is a full coverage bet so even if one selection loses, the entire bet won’t be lost (unlike in an accumulator). So for example if you have five selections you could make ten different 3x combos from them, or five 4x combos.
Correct Score: Betting on the exact result in a sports match. Plenty of options here, like correct score on 1st half or 2nd half only, or 90 minutes (full time).
Football Glossary ‘D’
Double Bet: Bet with only 2 selections. Both selected events should be guessed right to win the bet. Widely used to increase the cumulative odds, usually 2 favourites and a bit of a higher stake.
Double Chance: Backing a team to win or draw a match to increase the chances to win. 2 of 3 outcomes are covered, the only way to lose is that backed up team loses the match.
Double Result: You will have to guess the result of both half-time and full-time. For example, you will have to guess that first half will end up with draw and full time result is home team to win. Since this bet offers high odds, this is very popular type of bet with low stakes punters.
Draw No Bet: Draw no bet means that you can place bets only on a team to win. If the game ends as a draw, you will get your stake back.
Dutching: Dutching is where you spread your stake over more than one outcome. For example, you use a £10 stake and you spread it on two outcomes. You could use £4 on a home win and £6 on a draw. This is based on the same amount of winnings coming back should either of the outcomes happen.
Football Glossary ‘E’
Each Way Bet: A bet placed on any selection involving a team win and team placement bet, with the stake split evenly between the two. It gives you a chance to still make a return if the backed selection wins or comes in the top three, four, five or even six places. In football terms this is when you are betting on the winner of a competition or tournament.
Each way bets are actually two bets, one for the win and one for a high placing, and are settled as two bets. The place part is calculated at a fraction of the win odds. This fraction will vary by sport and event, and will always be displayed where each way betting is available.
In a football tournament the each way part is usually settled at half odds for 1st and 2nd place only. Consider a £10 each way bet on England to win the World Cup at 10/1. If England win, a £150 profit would be made; £100 for the win at 10/1 and £50 for finishing in the top 2 at 5/1. If England lost in the final, the profit would only be £40; £50 from the place part minus the £10 stake lost on the win.
Edge: A punter’s advantage in a bet, meaning punter has taken the advantage of somewhat higher or unreal odds from the bookmaker.
Enhanced Odds: See Boosted Odds.
Evens: A bet placed at odds of 1/1 (2.0), meaning for £10 placed you will get £10 profit.
Exposure: The maximum amount of money a sportsbook is covering to lose in a game.
Football Glossary ‘F’
Favourite: The most likely winner of an event, usually low priced from bookmakers.
First Goalscorer: A bet placed on a player to score the first goal in the match.
First Half Bet: A bet placed on the any event in the first half of a game. Some usual offers are goal to be scored (Y/N), half time result (1/X/2) etc.
Fold: A fold represents the number of selections made in an accumulator bet. For example, five selections in one accumulator would be known as a Five Fold Accumulator.
Football Glossary ‘G’
Goliath: A bet that consists of 247 bets involving 8 selections in different events. The bet includes 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 four folds, 56 five folds, 28 six folds, 8 seven folds and an accumulator. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to win any return.
Football Glossary ‘H’
Half Time Bet: A bet placed on the half time result of the event. Bets can be placed on both 1st and 2nd half time. For example you can bet that there will be more yellow cards in 2nd half then 1st or that 1st half will be a draw.
Half Time Result: To win this bet, you will have to guess correct score of the first half.
Handicap Betting: Handicap involves giving one team an imaginary deficit that they have to overcome during a game. The odds as a result are made more attractive as there is more to overcome. For example, the weaker team may start with a one goal advantage. For fractional handicaps (0.5, 1.5 etc.), there is no possibility of a draw. If the margin of victory is same as the quoted handicap, all bets on the selected team will lose. Known as The Spread in the US.
Handicapper: Professional or amateur bettor that follows and studies his chances to win a handicap bet.
Heinz: Consists of 57 bets involving six selections from different events. A Heinz bet contains 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four fold accumulators, six five fold accumulators and one six fold accumulator. A minimum of two selections must be successful to win.
Football Glossary ‘I’
In Play Betting: Refers to live match betting where it is possible to place bets on the fixture while the game is still played. Also known as live betting.
Football Glossary ‘L’
Lay: To bet against a certain outcome happening, traditionally used in betting exchanges.
Lengthen: If there is a little activity or interest on a particular game or outcome, bookies will increase the odds to attract more bets.
Longshot: A selection that is unlikely to win in the eyes of a bookmaker.
Lucky 15: Consists of 15 different bets deriving from 4 selections in different events and contains 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 four fold accumulator. Only one winner is needed to win a return.
Lucky 31: Consists of 31 different bets deriving from 5 selections in different events and contains 5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four fold accumulators and 1 five fold accumulator. Only one winner is needed to win a return.
Lucky 63: Consists of 63 different bets deriving from 6 selections in different events and contains 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four fold accumulators, 6 five fold accumulators and 1 six fold accumulator. Only one winner is needed to win a return.
Football Glossary ‘M’
Match Betting: The most common bet in sports betting. Football fixed odds match betting is well known as 1X2 betting. On fixed odd coupons, a “1” denotes the home team, with the away team represented by a “2”. Draw is displayed as X.
Multiple: Another term for an accumulator bet, involving more than one selection.
Football Glossary ‘N’
Number Spread: An index spread based on the number of runs, goals and points scored in an event.
Football Glossary ‘O’
Odds: The chances or probability of a selection winning a fixture according to the bookmaker. Read our article on How bookies create the odds
Odds Against: Where the odds are longer than evens, for example 7/2.
Odds On: Where odds are shorter than evens, for example 1/3. If the selection wins, the amount won is less than the amount staked.
Outright: Betting on a team to win a competition or league. An outright bet is the most straightforward wager that you can make. This is just a straight single bet where you pick a selection to win.
Over/Under: Involves the punters betting on a number of goals, corners, cards or other events in a match.
Over: Very popular football fixed odds market is total goals betting, better known as Over/Under. Standard over/under bet available in football is O/U 2.5 goals. This option removes the possibility of a draw, giving you 50/50% chance to win. It is not important who wins the match, only goals count. There is plenty of other options at O/U markets – more than 1.5 goals, over or under 4.5 yellow cards in the match and so on.
Football Glossary ‘P’
Patent: A patent consists of 7 bets involving three selections from different events, consisting of 3 singles, 3 doubles and 1 treble. 1 selection needs to be successful to win a return.
Point Spread: The predicted scoring differential between two opponents as quoted by a sports book.
Price: Another term for odds.
Punter: A person who places a bet, known in the US as a bettor.
Football Glossary ‘R’
Round Robin: A series of three or more teams in 2-team accumulators. A Round Robin means 3 selections in 3 (different) races, in 3 doubles, 1 treble and 6 single stakes about bets.
Returns: The amount of money to be won from a bet.
Football Glossary ‘S’
Scorecast: Predicting the first scorer and correct score in a fixture.
Single: A bet consisting of only one selection, it is the simplest of all bets. With a single bet on a football match, only one outcome is backed.
Specials: Offered by bookmaker in different forms – a goal to be scored, higher odds on favourite to win or extremely high odds on the underdog. Bookies use this to attract more bets on the event.
Stake: The amount of money placed on a bet.
Super Heinz: Consists of 120 bets involving 7 selections from different events. A Super Heinz bet contains 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four fold accumulators, 21 five fold accumulators, 7 six fold accumulators and 1 seven fold. A minimum of two selections must be successful to win anything.
Super Yankee: Consists of 26 bets, involving five selections in different events. The bet includes one accumulator, five four folds, ten trebles and ten doubles, with a minimum of two selections needing to succeed in order to win. A Super Yankee is also known as a ‘Canadian’.
Football Glossary ‘T’
Treble: A bet consisting of three different selections in one bet. All three selections must win for the bet to win.
Trixie: A bet consisting of 4 bets (3 doubles and 1 treble) with 3 selections in different events.
Football Glossary ‘U’
Underdog: The selection that is not expected to win.
Under Football Bet: See Over/Under.
Football Glossary ‘V’
Value Bets: Bets that have odds that are longer from a bookmaker’s point of view than a punter’s. The return offered would be more than a punter was hoping for, making it a good value prediction. Simply put, if you believe the odds taken are better than the mathematical chance, then you have a value bet. For example if a tennis player has an actual mathematical 50% chance to win the match, and the odds on that player are above Evens, then bet value is better than the mathematical odds.
Void Bet: In the case match has been cancelled, bookies will void the bet and return the stake.
Football Glossary ‘W’
Wager: Another word for a bet used in the USA.
Wincast: Predicting an anytime goal scorer and the overall winner of a football match.
Football Glossary ‘Y’
Yankee: Consisting of 11 bets involving 4 selections in different events. The bet includes 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and 1 four fold accumulator. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to win some kind of return.