Some betting terms might be particularly daunting, and in this section, we wanted to make sure that all the doubts will be clarified. Every one of us initially was surprised when hearing putting a ‘pony’ on a horse so don’t worry.
Even if online betting is modern, some traditional terms have made it until today, and this is why it is essential to refresh what they mean as usually, the concept is pretty simple once you see the explanation. A Lucky or Yankee bet might be puzzling at first but as you will see there aren’t too difficult to understand. Some old school punters can also be surprised to hear terms like Cash Out, In Play and so on that have been introduced in the online betting world in recent times.
Our betting glossary aims to make sure you fully understand all the betting terms and phrases that you are likely to find on betting sites.
If you want to find a detailed guide on all the different bet types you can place on betting sites visit our dedicated section where we will explain how to place them, terminology, recommended bookies to use and so on.
A-Z Of Betting Terms
All Out – This is when a horse or a team are giving the best push.
All Weather – usually referred to artificial ground. It refers to the sport that can be placed in any weather situations.
Also Ran – This is when a horse or a contestant finished the race but didn’t win or place
Ante Post – this is referring to a price that is offered on an event while before the start. It can be months before and weeks but has to be at least 24 hrs before the event. It is used mostly for horse racing. Odds are generally good value, but the risk is that the selection will fail actually to be in the event.
American Odds – this is referred to the US odds format. This odds format show the amount that would have been won if betting 100 if the odds are favourable or the stake required to win 100 when they are negative. For example, 1/2 would be -200.
Apprentice – usually a young Jockey or contestant.
Arber – this is short for arbitrator where a punter is guaranteeing a profit by betting on different outcomes on different bookmakers so that odds are over 100%. UK bookmakers do not allow this practice.
ATC – this stands by Any To Come, and it is a conditional bet.
At The Post – this indicates that horses or dogs are ready to start the race and that the race will begin shortly.
Back – This means that you are betting any amount on a contestant like a team or an event. For example: ‘backing Arsenal to win’.
Banker – This is a bet or a selection that it is strongly expected to win. Is typically used in accumulators to boost the value of the final odds.
Best Price – Those are the prices that give you the best value for a contestant, team, event, horse, etc.
Bet Receipt – This is the copy of the bet slip with a tracking number that you will get after placing a bet. It can be in paper or digital.
Bet Slip – This is the form or the digital slip where you are writing a bet. Online you have a box where your selection will appear. You will then need to select the bet type and stake to proceed.
Betting in Play (BIP) – same as live betting
Betting in Running (BIR) – same as live betting
Betting Without (W/O) – this is when you are placing a bet that doesn’t include specific selections which are usually the favourite. Ie. Tournament winner without Djokovic, etc.
Blinkers – those are the headgear that is put on horses so that it reduces their peripheral vision. They are used to keep the animals focused.
Board Price – this is the term that describes the bookmaker board generally in a racing environment. The starting price will be determined by these board prices.
Book – it has two meaning in betting. The first one is the total cash from all punters that has been bet on an event or selection. The second is the size of the betting market that is offered by a bookie (for example the football book is all the football bets that are offered, etc.).
Bookmaker – this is a company that has the license to accept bets from the public. Bookmakers need to have a UK license to operate in Britain
Bookie – it is the short term for bookmaker
Bumpers – those are the national hunt flat races and tend to be longer than the regular flat races with horses that are older.
Buy Price – This indicates the price that you can buy your bet from a spread betting bookmaker. The opposite is the sell price.
C&D – also called CD it indicates (C) course and distance (D). It is usually found on a race card: C means that the horse has already won that course while D indicates that the horse has won at the same distance. CD means that the horse has won the course and that distance.
Century – it is usually referred to £100 but can refer to 100 of everything like 100 runs in cricket for example.
Chase – this is when you place bets to try recovering some losses generally on those betting markets that you don’t bet on.
Classics – this indicates one of the 5 classic UK flat horse races. Those are 1000, 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby, St Leger and the Oaks States.
Co-favourite – This is when more than one selection or competitor has the same odds
Colours – This indicates the colour of the silks of a Jockey
Colt – this indicates a male horse below the age of 5. Over 5 it is called a stallion
Course Specialist – This shows a horse or selection that is doing particularly well at a specified track.
Cover – This is the number of points you need to cover the spread.
Dam – Is The Mother of horse
Dead Heat – This is an event where there are two or more selections that end with a draw or tie.
Decimal Odds – This is when odds are in the decimal format. The payout is calculated by multiplying your stake by the decimal. So for example, if you have decimal odds of 4.0 (3/1) a bet of £10 will pay out 10×4.0 = £40.
Distance – This can indicate two things: 1 – the length of a horse race or an F1 race; 2- the distance a selection or horse wins a race.
Dividend – this is the return you will get from a pool betting, our a tote and it is called dividends.
Double Up – This is when you are doubling a stake on a next bet after losing the first one.
Draw – for this, there are three different meanings: 1 – a tie result in an event like a football game (i.e. Everton – Arsenal 1-1); 2 – The fixtures that are in a round or event like for example FA Cup second round draw; 3 – the starting position (which in horses racing is the order of the horses in a stall).
Drift – This is a process of odds that are moving outwards (increasing) as the event is approaching.
Early Price – those are odds that are offered before. In horse racing, this indicates the prices offered before the ones at the race course.
Evens – this is a bet that has odds of 1/1 or 2.0 in decimal form. With those odds, you will receive the same amount as your stake if you will win.
Exchange Betting – this indicates a form of peer-to-peer betting where there is no bookmaker, but players are betting against each other. Selections can therefore either be layed or backed, and the operator only takes a commission on the volume of matched bets. Since players are setting the odds, those usually are way better than the bookmakers.
Extra Time – This is an additional period that, if required, it is added to the regular time to decide the winner. In football, there are for example periods of 30 minutes at the end of a game in knockout competition if the match is still tied after the usual 90 minutes.
Favourites – this is the most favoured selection, and it is considered to be the most likely to win. Since the probability of winning are higher odds will be lower.
Fillie – It is called like this a female horse that has less than 5 years old. If it is over the age of 5 the horse is called mares.
First Past the Post (FPP) – this is the first selection that passes the finish line. This term is usually used in racing
Fixed Odds – when we talking about fixed odds we mean those odds that are defined by the bookmaker. In horse racing, you have the option to either take the fixed price or wait for the starting price.
Flat Races – this is referring to horse races that are taking place on flat terrain. In the UK official flat races are run over 5 furlongs and 2 and 1/2 miles.
Foal – this is referring to a young horse that is up to 1 year old. In Britain, all the horses are assigned a birthday of 1st January. A horse it is a foal when it is born during the year until the new year.
Form – this is a set of previous records and performances that give good insights on how a selection will be able to perform.
Fractional Odds – Those are odds that are displayed like a fraction which is mostly used in the UK. Those odds show the profit you can win without the stake: i.e. a £10 stake at 3/1 will return £30 plus your £10 stake which means £40.
Full Cover – This is a bet type where there are all the possible multiple included. For example, a patent is a full cover bet that has 3 selections and it is made of 4 bets, 1 treble and 3 doubles.
Full Cover with Singles – This is a full cover bet that has all individual singles.
Full Time – this is the natural end of an event. It is usually used in football to indicate the end of the standard 90-minute game.
Futures – this is usually used in the US where the odds are offered well before an event. It is similar to the Ante Post.
Gelding – This is a male castrated horse
Going – this indicates the condition of the ground that can be from hard to muddy
Going Down – Horses that are getting close to the starting post
Going In – horses that are going from their stalls towards the start of the race
Going to Post – check going down
Grand – it indicates £1,000
Grand National – the most difficult thoroughbred steeplechase that takes place every year at Aintree which is close to Liverpool. Horses have to go through 33 fences over a distance of 4 miles 3 1/2 furlongs.
Guineas – This term is referring to the 2 classics flat races that take place at Newmarket, the 1000 and 2000 Guineas.
Half Time – this is an interval that is halfway during a game/event.
Handicap Betting – this is a system to virtually adding or removing points from a very likely outcome so to make the market more attractive to punters. For example if there is a dominant team, it might start with a goal disadvantage.
Handicap Races – this is a race where horses are assigned weights to make the field more equal. Horses that are faster are given heavier weights.
Head – it is referred to the head of a horse, i.e. ‘Beaten by a head.’
Held Up – this is when a horse or a dog is restrained behind another contestant in the starting part of a race.
Hedging – this is a bet on two opposite outcomes. This is usually placed with different betting sites that are offering good odds. This is done with the intention of either guarantee winnings or reduce losses.
Heinz – this is a full cover bet that is made of 6 selections and consist of 57 bets
Home Advantage – when one of the selection is playing at their home stadium/track
Holding Your Own – this is when you are not winning or losing, but you usually are breaking even.
House – this is referred to the operator which can be the bookmaker, the casino, gaming institution, etc.
Hunter Chase – this is a race open to hunting horses
Hurdle – this is a type of fence that is used in national hunt racing. Hurdles are at least 3 and 1/2 feet high.
IBAS – This is the Independent Betting Adjudication Service. If there are unresolved disputes between a punter and a bookmaker he can rule as independent body.
Injury Time – this is the additional time at the end of a period or a game to recover some of the time lost during the game due to injuries and other stoppages.
In Play – this is when an event has started, and yet you are allowed to bet on it with live betting functionalities.
Index Betting – Take a look at spread betting
Jack – this is slang and means £5
Jackpot – this is the top prize for a competition or a game and it usually is large.
Joint Favourite – this is when two or more selections have the lowest possible price.
Jolly – this is usually referred to the favourite of a horse race.
Juice – this is the commission that is retained by a betting site or index.
Kite – This is slang and means cheque.
Lay – this is when you are betting against an outcome. It is usually done via peer-to-peer exchange betting. It is also called laying a bet or laying odds.
Layer – this is the bookmaker or the person that is providing the bet, also known as odds layer
Length – it is usually referred to as the length of a horse or dog. A famous sentence is ‘beaten by a length’.
Line – this is a single bet
Long Odds – this is high-value odds, for example, 100/1.
Long Shot – this is a selection that has high odds, but that is unlikely to win. It is also known as an outsider.
Lucky 15 / 31 / 63 – this is a type of full cover bet that has singles on 4,5 or 6 selections and has all the possible multiple combinations covered. It was created by the owner of Betfred, Fred Done.
Maiden – this indicates in cricket an over bowled that has resulted in any runs scored. In horse racing, it is a horse that hasn’t yet won a race.
Mare – this indicates a female horse of five-year-old or older.
Martingale – this is a betting system that is based on doubling your bet every time until you win.
Match – this is a game that has a predetermined length and 2 or more teams.
Match Betting – this is a bet placed on the outcome of a match.
Monkey – this is slang for £500
Morning Line – this is a forecast of how odds are probably going to be
Multiple – those are bets that involve more than one selection: ie. doubles, trebles and so on
Nailed On – this is a bet that is now considered sure to win
Nap – this is usually used by tipsters and journalists, and it is referred to the strongest selection.
Neves – this is the best bet of the day.
National Hunt Racing – also called jump racing. It is made by steeplechases, flat races and hurdles and races are over 2 miles and horses that take part are 4 years or older.
Non-Runner – this is a selection that is withdrawn before an event or a race.
Normal Time – this is the average duration of an event. For example in football is 90 minutes.
Not Under Orders – this is any runner that withdraws before the starter’s signal has been made.
Novice Race – this is a race open to horses that haven’t won a hurdle or a chase before.
Number Spread – this is a spread betting term that depends on the number of points or runs that are achieved in a match.
Nursery Race – this is a race for horses that are below two years old.
Oaks – this is a regular flat horse race dedicated to 3 years old fillies.
Objection – this is when a contestant is objecting the result during an event and requires an investigation to be made.
Odds – they indicate the price and the returns offered by a betting site in relation to a stake for a particular scenario.
Odds Against – this means odds higher than 2.0 or events
Odds Compiler – this is the trader that is employed by the bookmaker and has the job of setting the odds of events
Odds On – those are odds that are below 2.0 or evens.
Off – this is the point when the race starts.
Off the Board – this is a term that is used mostly in the US, and that has odds of 100/1+
Off the Bit – this is a term that indicates that a horse needs to urging on
Off the Top – this is the commission that is taken by a bookie, and it is usually used in pari-mutuel betting.
Off Track – those are bets that are completed away from the track
Official Result – this is the result that will settle the bets.
On the Nose – indicates a selection that has been backed to win only.
On the Bit – it refers to a horse that performs well without the need of being pushed by the jockey.
One Paced – a selection that competes at a single pace and cannot give anything extra.
Outsider – this is a selection that it is not favourite to win and has high odds (usually 10/1).
Over – this is betting that a game will end with a score ‘over’ a certain amount. In cricket, this is referred to 6 balls bowled by a bowler.
Overbroke – this is when a betting site is paying more than what he takes in with stakes.
Overlay – this is a selection that is considered having higher odds then it is real chances.
Over Round – this is another term that indicates the margin that a bookmaker is building into an odds price.
Pace – this is the speed at which a race or part of it is run.
Paddock – this is the part of a racecourse where horses are shown just before starting a race.
Parlay – this is an American term that indicates an accumulator made of 2 or more selections.
Pari-mutuel – this is peer to peer bet where stakes are pooled. Winnings depend on the pool size like for example Totepool.
Patent – This is a full cover bet made of three selections & 4 lines (it has 3 doubles and 1 treble).
Permutations – this is all the possible outcomes of an event of a series of events.
Photo Finish – this is the way of determining victory if it is too close to see with naked eyes.
Picks – this is the term that indicates individual selections.
Pitch – this is referring to the ground on where the sport is played. In baseball, this is a thrown from a pitcher.
Place – those are the positions in addition to the win that will result in a payout if you are placing each way bet.
Place Terms – those are the number of places and the payout that you will get: i.e. 4 places at 1/5th the odds.
Placepot – this is a different type of pari-mutuel bet.
Point Spread – this is the difference between two selections or the field
Pool – this is the amount of money that has been collected in the pot in pari-mutual betting.
Pony – this is slang for £25.
Postponed – this is when an event is either cancelled or rescheduled
Price – same as odds
Punter – it is used in the UK to indicate someone that places a bet.
Quinella – This is a US term for a forecast bet that is predicting what are the horses that will finish 1st and 2nd.
Rag – this is a slang term and it is used to indicate an outsider.
Re-run – this is a race that is re-done for technical reasons.
Related Bets – this is when two outcomes are contingent and for this reason cannot be placed in the same multiple bet. For example, a team to win the trophy and a team to win a semi-final cannot be combined as the two outcomes are linked.
Return – this is the amount that you will get as a payout following a winning bet.
Reverse Forecast – this is a forecast bet where you are predicting the 1st and 2nd place with both selections that can finish in any order for you to win.
Ringer – this is a contestant or runner that is indicated to be significantly better than the others in the field.
Round Robin – this is a type of conditional bet that is made of 10 bets: 1 treble, 3 doubles, 3 up & downs bets.
Rounder – conditional bet that has 3 selections and those are 3 singles and 3 any to come.
Roundabout – this is the same as the rounder but on the any-to-come bets have double stakes.
Roug – this means in slang 4/1
Run In – this is the distance between the final corner or turn and the finishing line.
Runner – it means the contestant or someone that is placing bets on behalf of someone else.
Rule 4 – this is a rule that has been agreed by the industry to protect bookmakers when there is a non-runner or void selection.
Scout – this is someone that is waiting to get the best price or someone that is working for a bookmaker to find other bookmakers best prices.
Score – this is a slang used for £20. In the US it means winning a race.
Scratch – this is a US term that indicates a withdrawal of a selection/competitor.
Selections – this is the selection that you have predicted to win in your bet.
Selling Race – this is the winner of the race that has to be offered for sale at auction.
Settler – this is the bookmaker expert that is calculating payouts.
Sharp – this is a professional gambler
Shortening the Odds – this indicates a bookmaker decision to lower the odds after there has been heavy wagers or similar factors.
Shoulder – this is slang for 7/4.
Show – this is a US term that stands for 3rd place. In the UK this term indicates an odds list.
Shut Out – this means that it is too late to place a bet as a book is closed.
Single – this is the simplest type of a bet made by one line that can just win or lose.
Sire – this is the horses’ father.
Smart Money – this is a bet very likely to win made on insider info.
Special Bets – those are very unusual bets similar to the Union Jack. It can also indicated bespoke betting markets like for example next Man Utd manager.
Spread – this is used to define lowest and highest odds for a field or single selection.
Spread Betting – this is a type of bet where winning and losses are not determined but everything is based on the accuracy of the prediction.
St Leger – this is one of the 5 classic horses races open to 3 years old fillies and colts. It is run over the flat season.
Stalls – those are the compartments that are holding the runners before the race.
Stake – this is the amount of money that has been bet.
Stake Unit – this is the amount of money that has been bet on every line when you are placing a multiple wager.
Starting Price – those are the final odds of a selection when the event and betting have been closed.
Straight – this is a US term that indicates a win
Straight Forecast – this is when you are predicting the contestants to finish in specific order, usually 1st and 2nd.
Steeplechase – this is a type of National Hunt jump racing where horses jump fences that are different in height and consistency. The races are run over 2 miles but can go up to 4.5 miles.
Steward – this is the racecourse official.
Stewards Inquiry – this is an investigation that is made by the steward in case the rules of racing have been contravened.
Stoppage Time – same as injury time.
Superbowl – this is the American football championship
Super Heinz – this is a full cover bet that is made on 7 selections, and it consists of 120 bets of different sorts (ie. 7-folds, 6-folds, etc.).
Super Yankee – this is also called a Canadian, and it is a full cover bet made of 5 selections and 26 bets in total.
Sure Thing – this is a bet that has minimal possibilities of losing.
System – this indicates a method of betting like for example the Martingale.
T – they are the leading auctioneer of racehorses in Britain.
Tattersalls Rule 4 – same as Rule 4
Tic Tac – it is a system made of hand signals where bookmakers are communicating the market with each other.
Tip – this is a selection that is picked by an expert or someone that has good knowledge.
Tipster – this is someone that provides or sell tips to punters.
Totals – those are all the bets placed on the over/under markets.
Tote – this stands for Horserace Totalisator Board. It is now owned by Betfred and operates pari-mutual pool betting online and offline.
Tote Board – this is the information board present at race tracks where Tote prices are displayed.
Tote Return – this is the total in the pool divided by the number of winning bets.
Tout – this is someone who sells tickets or advice on sports or betting. Normally illegal.
Trap – this is the name of an enclosed starting gate that you will find at greyhound racing.
Trap Number – this is the number given to each trap and it goes from 1 to 6. Treble – this is a single accumulator bet and has three selections.
Tricast – this is when you are predicting the first 3 finishers in a race or event.
Trip – this is the length of a dog or horse race.
Trixie – this is a full cover bet that has 4 lines (based on 3 selections with 3 doubles and a treble).
Turf Accountant – this is a slang name that indicates a UK bookmaker. It is usually referred to those bookmakers at the track.
Under – this is referring to the over and under markets. It indicates a bet on a score to be below a certain amount.
Underdog – this is a selection that is not favourite and expected to lose. In football is typically when a team from the lowest part of the table meet a team in the top section.
Under Official Starters Orders – this is when the official starter is satisfied that everything is ready and the race can start. He will then raise a flag. Any horses that will not start at this point will not see the bets refunded.
Union Jack – this is a type of bet made of eight trebles that are made of 9 selections. It is called Union Jack because the pattern remembers the British Flag.
US Odds – same as American odds.
Value – the effort of getting the best possible odds.
Visor – this is an item that is placed on some horses to avoid getting distracted. It restricts their vision so they can look only forward.
Vig or Vigorish – this is how a bookie’s margin or commission is called on a given book.
Void Bet – this is a bet that has been cancelled and the stake has been returned to the punter. This usually is because the event was cancelled or terms were contravened.
Walk over – this is when a selection is winning without any competition normally due to foul or penalty. It is also used as a slang for a heavily one-sided game.
Weigh In – this is usually used in boxing and racing. It is when a fighter or a horse is weighted to ensure they are within weight limits for the contest.
Welch – this is when a bookmaker is not paying a fair bet.
Win – this is when a selection is finishing in the first place.
Win / Draw / Win – this is a name that is given to a match betting market where with three different outcomes.
Winning Margin – this is the distance (which can be physical or in points) from the winner to the runner-up. It is also a bet that will predict by what length a team/selection will succeed by.
Winning – this is the profit that is made from a wager, less the stake.
With a Run – this is the name that is given to an ante-post bet in which you will get your stake back if the horse does not run.
Withdrawn – this is when a selection is removed before the beginning of an event. Sometimes it is replaced by a reserve.
X – this is a shortcode that indicates a draw or tie.
Yankee – this is a full cover bet that has four selections and 11 lines. It consists of 6 doubles, 4 trebles and one 4-fold.
Yankee Patent – this is a Yankee that has 4 singles included. It is also called a Lucky 15.
Yearling – this is the name of any horse that was born in the same year until the 1st January of the following year.
Zoo – this is a mix of entirely different selections/teams in one event.