Sports Betting Terminology

Sports Betting Terminology: A-Z Betting Glossary Guide

Whether you are a new or an expert sports bettor, an insight into the most common sports betting terms can always come in handy.

If you are not sure where to start, check out our expertly-curated A-Z sports betting glossary here. One point to be noted, our sports betting terminology especially focuses on the UK-based sports betting sites.

So, keep this site bookmarked because you never know when you may come across an uncommon term while exploring your favourite UK betting sites.

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Sports Betting Glossary for New and Expert Bettors


Accumulator: Accumulator bet or Acca bet is a series of bets placed on multiple events taking place simultaneously. The bettor places a single wager for the Acca bet. The bet can only be won if all the predictions come to pass. Losing one leg in the bet causes the loss of the entire stake in that bet.

Action: The term Action refers to the wager/stake placed by the punter. This applies to stakes placed on both pre-match and live betting options.

Across the Board: This is a betting type popular in horse racing that covers the winning horse, the place, and the show.

Added Game: Added games are the events that are added to the betting list after the initial events are enlisted. Added Game is more common in college football and usually used in case of public demand. Other sports forms or events may also take place for postponed matches, matches paused for rain and other natural conditions, etc.

After Extra Time Odds: After Extra Time Odds or AET odds are referred to odds on extra times during football matches. This applies to both half-time and full-time extras. AET odds are generally offered in in-play betting types.

Against the Spread Odds: ATS or Against the Spread odds create equal stake value for both teams competing in a match. For example, you can have 5/3 odds for Chelsea as the underdog in a home match and 3/5 odds on Liverpool as the favourite in an away match.

Also Ran: This is a term used in racing events to indicate athletes, horses, or greyhounds that did not complete the race in a paying position.

Alternate Lines: Common in football and baseball-related markets, alternate lines are odds that are often offered in game total or point spread. These odds are higher lower than the odds from the posted line. As a bookmaker may offer multiple alternate lines with different odds of a single match, bettors can have more options to consider while placing stakes.

American Odds: American odds are one of the three most popular odds types available in the US-based betting sites. This type of odds indicates how much you may win or lose for every $100 wagered.

American odds are accompanied by a + sign for the underdogs and a – sign for the match favourites.

Ante-post: Often available in Triple Crown races, Ante-posts are the future odds offered on horse races and greyhounds one or a few days before the event takes place.

Arbitrage: Arbitrage betting is not that common; however, may be offered at times when the bookie has varied opinions on a single event. It covers every possible outcome of a certain match selected by the bookmaker.

Asian Handicap: Asian Handicaps are common in football, soccer, and a few esports where the odds start from 0.25 goals to 2.00 goals. This acts as a two-way bet only as there are no options for a match draw.

Australian Open: This is one of the top 4 men’s and women’s Grand Slam tennis championship events. It takes place every year during mid-January and continues for 2 weeks.

A Z Betting Glossary
A – Z Betting Glossary – Shutterstock


Backdoor Cover: When a team makes a late entry in the point spread, they are called a backdoor cover. Although this team might not impact the match’s outcome, it may have an impact on the placed stakes.

Bankroll: The amount that a bettor has set for placing wagers is known as bankroll.

Bankroll Management: Bankroll management is a process where the punters engage in responsible betting by applying different strategies to minimize overspending.

For example, setting a weekly or monthly betting limit, taking breaks in between betting sessions, wagering on the best odds, etc. falls under good bankroll management strategies.

Beard: A beard is a bet runner for professional bettors who places stakes instead of them. This strategy is more common in land-based sportsbooks and allows the punters to hide their identity from the bookies.

Bet: Bet is the process of wagering on a certain outcome to come to pass.

Betting App: Many online sportsbooks offer a mobile app for their users which are known as betting apps. These are similar to mobile betting sites but are preferred for personalised betting experience, ease of navigation, convenient log-in settings, and other unique features. Betting apps are aimed at the punters who place bets on the go.

Betting Site: A betting site is a bookmaker that operates online. Betting sites are great for punting 24/7 as these are usually compatible with multiple platforms.

Betting Strategy: To make a successful bet, it is essential to apply certain techniques related to the sport. These sets of practices are known as betting strategies that may be developed over time.

Betting Unit: Betting unit is the size of wagers typically placed by the bettor. It varies from person to person as a casual bettor may have a betting unit of £20 while a high-roller may have a betting unit of £1,000.

Bonus: Bonuses are promotions rewarded to the punters by the bookmaker. These may come as free bets, matched deposits, or other forms. The most popular type of bonus is the signup or welcome bonus that the online sportsbooks offer for their new customers.

Bookie/Bookmaker: A bookie or a bookmaker is a licensed person who creates betting lines, sets odds, takes wagers, and manage payouts. Nowadays, this term is also referred to as brick and mortar and online betting platforms.

Buying Points: Buying points are available in game totals or point spreads for gaining better odds and higher payouts.


Chalk: The favourite team of a match is referred to as the chalk.

Chalk Bettor: A chalk bettor is a punter who usually places stakes on the match favourite/ chalk team.

Closing Line: The final betting odds that are added in the point spread before the match begins is regarded as the closing line.

Circle Game: When an unlikely event like injury, bad weather, or other concerns occur right before the event taking place, the game is circled by the bookie. Betting limits on circled games are usually low compared to other games.

Correct Score: This is a betting type where the punters can bet on a list of potential final scores. For example, one can bet on the score being 0-0 or 5-0 and on every score between the two.


Decimal Odds: This is another popular odds type that is usually offered in European bookies. Decimal odds are comparatively easier to calculate than other odds. Punters can understand their payouts from a winning bet by multiplying the bet amount with the odds.

Dog: Dog is the short form of ‘underdog’, indicating the team least likely to win the match.

Double Chance: This betting term is seen in European sportsbooks where the bettor can place wagers on two potential outcomes instead of one. For example, there are three outcomes for a team in a soccer match – win, draw, and loss. In a double chance bet, the punter can place bets on both win and loss to confirm his win.

Draw: Draw is the outcome of a match when both teams stand at a certain level. A draw can occur with both teams receiving 0-0 goals or 2-2 goals in a football match.


Early Cash Out: Early cashout allows a punter to walk out with a portion of the wager before the match ends. This is a great strategy to minimize potential losses.

Edge: Edge can be referred to as the advantages the bettor gains against the bookie and the advantages the bookie has over the bettor.

Even Money: When odds indicate the exact payout ratio as the wager, it is called even money. For example, even money odds in a UK sports betting site may appear as 1/1.

Expected Value: Expected value is a method of calculation to determine potential losses from a certain event. Positive expected value bets can help one to become a better sports bettor with more successful bets over time.


Favourite: The team that is more likely to win in a match is presented as the favourite by the bookmaker.

First Half: Sports like football and basketball that are conducted in two halves often come with options to bet on the outcome of each half time. First half markets are associated with possible outcomes occurring in the first half time of the match. These types of markets are more common during in-play betting in UK sports betting sites.

Fixed Odds: Fixed odds mean that once the odds are set by the bookmaker, they are less likely to change regardless of different conditions.

Fractional Odds: Fractional odds is a type of odds that are mostly used by the bookies in Ireland and Britain. These odds are placed as 5/2 or 2/5 depending on the underdog and the match favourite.

Free Bet: This is a type of bonus offered by the bookmakers that allow the customers to place bets with bonus money. Free bets are more common as parts of the sportsbooks’ welcome bonus package.

Future Bets: As expected from the name itself, future bets or futures are set for events way ahead of the event actually taking place. Future bets are offered for major sports events like the EPL, World Cup, Olympics, etc.


Grand Salami: Grand salami bets are offered on League events where the bettor can place bets on the over/under, total score, total runs, total points, etc. on all matches in a single day.


Half Time Bet: All the bets placed during the second half of the match can be regarded as the half time bets. The timing for placing half-time bets begin during the intermission after the first half and continues till the end of the second half. Needless to say, this is one of the common betting options during in-play betting.

Handle: Handle is the amount of money a bookmaker makes from all the wagers placed on a certain event.

Handicapper: When someone places a wager after researching the matchup, he is referred to as the handicapper. People who make match predictions before a sports event are also called handicappers.

Hedge: This is a type of strategy often used by sports bettors to increase profits or minimize potential losses.

Home Field: Home field is the place where a team participates in sports.

Hook: A hook is a half-point that is added to point spreads and game totals. For example a team may have a 2.5 point favourite. You can read it as two points and hook.


In-Play Betting: In-play betting or live betting is offered on matches in real time. Markets offered during in-play betting continue throughout the match. In-play betting options may increase or decrease depending on the significance of the sports event and the bookmaker.


Joint Favourite: When there is more than one favourite in a match, they are regarded as joint favourite.

Juice: Juice is the added amount or the tax that the punters have to pay the bookmaker in order to be able to place wagers at that platform.


Key Numbers: Key numbers is a term used in football that indicates the common margins of defeat.


Limit: Limit is the maximum wagering amount that the bookmaker will allow to be placed on a single event.

Lines: Lines is another name for odds.

Live Betting: Live betting is another term for in-play betting.

Lock: Locks are referred to teams who seem like easy winners. This term is mostly used by tipsters who lure inexperienced bettors into placing bets with their recommendations.


Margin: Margin is the wager that is determined by the bettor to determine which team may win and which one may lose the match by certain points. However, this is not associated with the point spread.

Matched Bet: Matched bets are free wagers rewarded to the bettors by the sportsbook. These types of bonuses are usually tied to the deposit made by the customer.

Middle: When the bettor places wagers on both teams and has an opportunity to win the bet either way, is known to have a middle.

Moneyline: In a moneyline bet, punters can place wagers on the outrights winner. This is a rather straight-up bet and the only available option is to bet on the team that you think may win the match.

Multiple Bets: Multiple bets are referred to as a single wager with two sides on one ticket. To win this bet, you have to win all sides. Multiple bets are offered in many variations. Some of these include double, treble, Trixie, Patent, Yankee, lucky 15, lucky 31, MVP.

Brentford FC vs Newcastle UnitedBrentford FCPremier LeagueNewcastle UnitedNewcastle United13/10
Luton Town F.C. vs Fulham FCLuton Town F.C.Premier LeagueFulham FCUnder 3.5 Goals4/5
Arsenal London vs Everton FCArsenal LondonPremier LeagueEverton FCEverton FC +1.5 Goals7/4
Burnley FC vs Nottingham ForestBurnley FCPremier LeagueNottingham ForestUnder 2.5 Goals13/8
Chelsea FC vs AFC BournemouthChelsea FCPremier LeagueAFC BournemouthUnder 3.5 Goals13/10
Brighton & Hove Albion vs Manchester UnitedBrighton & Hove AlbionPremier LeagueManchester UnitedUnder 3.5 Goals51/50


No Action: When the betting options are cancelled due to a certain condition and the stakes are returned to the bettors, it is called no action.

Novelty Bet: Placing wagers on non-sports based events are known as novelty bets. Such bets can be placed on major political events, award shows, TV game shows, etc.


Odds: Odds indicate the amount of money the bookmaker will add to the winning payouts along with the initial wager.

Opening Line: The first betting odds that are added to a point spread for a certain match are regarded as an opening line.

Off the Board: When a bookmaker removes a previously offered odds from the table, it is referred to as odds off the board. This usually takes place when a team is disqualified from the match or a player falls under injury or occurring of any event that makes the odds invalid.

Over/Under: Over/Under indicates the total points/runs/scores, etc. of a certain match. The bookmaker sets a specific margin and the bettor has to place a wager on a team scoring over or under that set margin.

Outrights: This is a popular bet type offered on major sports events where the bettors can place wagers on the potential winner of the championship or tournament. Generally, outrights are offered long before the event taking place.


Parlay: Parlay is a combination of multiple bets that require all the predictions to come to pass in order to win the bet.

Payout: Payout is the amount that the bettor receives from a winning bet. This consists of the initial wager and the added amount as per the bookie’s offered odds.

Pick ‘Em: This is a rare situation of sports like football when neither of the teams is favoured.

Point Spread: When odds are offered in a way that levels both the teams in terms of betting, it’s called a point spread. For example, the match favourite can have -5.5 points and the underdogs might have +5.5 points in the point spread.

Prop Bets: Prop bets are additional bets that are not associated with the outcome of the match. For example, prop bets may include the number of goals scored by a certain player, the number of corners in a football match, etc.

Public Betting Percentage: This is the percentage of all the wagers placed by the public on a certain match or event.

Push: If a match ends with a draw or a tie, it’s a push.


Real Time Odds: Real time odds are odds that are updated during live betting.

Return on Investment (ROI): This is a performance measurement process that helps to determine the amount one may be made from an investment.

Round Robin: Round Robin is a type of wager placed in multiple Parlay bets.

Run Line: Run line is offered in baseball matches based on how many runs are scored.

Runner: A runner is a person who places wagers instead of the real bettor. Runners are usually seen in the land-based UK sportsbooks.


Sharp Money: Sharp money is a high-valued stake placed by a high-roller. The punter who places large stakes is called a sharp.

Stake: Stake is the amount of money that the bettor places in a bet.

Steam Move: A sudden line movement that takes place in the entire sports betting market.

Sportsbook: A sportsbook is another term for a bookmaker.

Square: A casual bettor who plays for recreational purposes only can be regarded as a square.

Straight Bet: Straight bet is referred to as the single wager placed on spread betting, moneyline betting, or game totals in a certain match.


Tip: Tip is the betting suggestion made by sports betting experts. The person who gives betting tips is known as a tipster.

Totals: Totals are the types of events that are offered in over/under betting types, such as total runs, total score, total points, etc.


Underdog: The team that is less likely to win in a match is regarded as the underdog.


Wager: Wager is another name for the stakes placed in betting.

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Now that you are armed with all the popular sports betting terms, this is the perfect time to test your newfound knowledge. Test them right away by joining our recommended UK-based sports betting sites.

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