Gambling Glossary

Gambling GlossaryWe have created this Gambling Glossary to help the novice and even expert bettors.For the novice, if you are thinking about betting on sports then you need to know sports betting terms if you want to hang with the big boys.

Knowing a sports gambling term correctly and understanding it  can make a world of a difference.  This is because it can mean the difference between winning a bet or losing a bet.  Furthermore, for Bookie Pay Per Head  users it can mean how big your profit will be from your clients



The ‘Accumulator’ – A cumulative bet in which the bettor picks a selection in several events or races and makes a bet on the first one; should that win the accumulated winnings become his next bet etc. Also known as ‘If win only or if win action.’

Across the Board – Primarily on horse bets where win, place and show odds are offered, betting the same amount on each result.

Action –A bet of any type is considered Action if valid, and different sports have different rules in which they determine if a bet is Action or not, for baseball bets they have action when the game exceeds 4 ½ innings.

Ran –A bet selection that does not finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th in an event or a race.

Ante-Post are the prices on major sports events, normally the day prior to the event, in which better odds are available.

ATC – Any to Come- A term that describes when all or a portion of one’s returns from a bet are automatically placed on another bet.

Arbitrage – A variation in odds that allows the better to bet on both sides and guarantees a winning.

Asian Handicap – A form of betting on football/soccer that originated in Indonesia and today has become one of the most popular method to be in Asia  It is a form of betting in which teams are handicapped according to their form, so that a stronger team must win by more goals for a punter betting on them to win.


Banker – A term for a bettor’s strong bet or his ‘sure thing, or an almost guaranteed winner, as if it were a lock.

Bar– The runners in a race that has no odds during the early betting, thus the bar price is the minimum odds that are available for any selection not quoted in the early betting.

Bettor – a U.S. term for whom has a bet and in Europe they are known as a Punter. Betting Tax is a tax on a bookmaker’s income. In Europe they call it Beeswax.

Blind Bet – A bet that is made by bookmaker to entice other bookmaker’s attention away from his large bets on another horse.

Book – A bookmaker’s toll of the amounts that are bet on each entry, and his odds he needs to assure he gains a profit.

Bookmaker – A company or person who accepts bets from the public, normally on sports events, and also known as the ‘Bookie’.

Breakage – The difference in true pari-mutuel odds and smaller rounded amounts offered to winning bettor.

Buck – A U.S. bet of $100 and known as a ‘dollar bet’ to most.

Buy Price – Relates to spread or index type betting, and is the higher odds quoted by a bookmaker or an index.

Buy the Rack – A U.S. term that indicates you bet on all daily-doubles or other combinations.


Canadian – A multiple be,t that is made up of 26 bets (10 doubles, 10 triples, 5 4-folds and 1-5-fold) with 5 picks in different events and also known as the ‘Super Yankee’.

Carpet Joint – A slang for a U.S. Luxury gambling casino.

Chalk – A bettor’s favorite.

Chalk Player – One who bets on favorites.

Circled Game – When a bookmaker places a limit on the amount they will take on an event, normally has a limit when they are doubts about key players in a game.

Close – The final odds on a horse or in Europe ‘Starting Price’.

Combination – A U.S. across the board bet in which 1 pari-mutuel ticket is given.

Cover – As in sports betting and beating the spread by a required number of points, as to ‘cover the spread’.


Daily Double – A U.S. form of pari-mutuel betting, where the bettor makes a combination bet on 2 horses in two separate races.

Dead Heat – When 2 or more competitors finish the even tied.

Dime – A U.S. term for a bet $1,000 and known as a ‘Dime Bet.’

Dog – In the U.S. is the underdog in any betting odds.

Dog Player – A U.S. Bettor who primarily bets o the underdog.

Double – A bet that consists of 2 selections and both must win for the Bet to be successful.

Doubling Up – A widely used system for a player who loses a bet, he then doubles the size of his bet hoping to win and recoup his loss.


Each-Way – A bet that is made up of 2 bets, the 1st is for the selection to win and the 2nd is for selection to place, at a proportional price depending on the odds.

Evens – When odds are 1 to 1 also know as levels.

Exacta – A form of betting where you try to pick the winner and the 2nd place horse, and buy just 1 ticket on your double pick, and is also known as a ‘perfecta.’

Exotic Wager – A U.S. term for any bet that is not a straight bet.


Favorite – The competitor in the event more likely to win and normally has the lowest odds.

Fold – A term that indicates the number of picks in an accumulator bet.

Flag – A bet that is made up of 23 bets on 4 selections in different events.

Form –  The past performances used to indicate the competitor’s chances of winning. In the U.S. it would be the ‘Daily Racing Form.’

Futures –  The odds in the U.S. offered for winners of an event in advance of the actual event.


Goliath – A multiple consisting of 247 bets (28 doubles, 56 triples, 70 4-folds, 56 5-folds, 28 6-folds, 8 7-folds and 1 8-fold) involving 8 selections in different event.


Handicap – A method used by odds makers to make a one sided event a more attractive bet.

Handicapper – A person who assigns or assesses a competitor’s handicap, especially in golf or horse racing.

Handle – The total amounts of bets taken and does not include how much money was taken in from the bets, or the amount won/lost. It is also a term used in the U.S. for the total sum bet on a race, in a day or some other period of time.

Hang Cheng – A form of Soccer betting very popular in Asia as the returns on a team winning or drawing in a match are determined by part-goal handicaps.

Hedging – A bet made by a nervous bookie on a horse or event in which he has some large bets, for the reason of reduce his losses, and is also known as a ‘Lay-Off Bet.’

Heinz – A multiple bet consisting of 57 bets (15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 4-folds, 6 5-folds and 1 6-fold) involving 6 horses in different races.

Hold Percentage – The percentage of money the bookmaker or house holds onto after all bets have been settled.

for example, if various players made $10,000 in wagers during a 24 hour period, and the sportsbook kept $713 of it then the sportsbook hold is 7.13%. It made $713 on the $10,000 it saw in action.

The House – The operators of a gambling center.


In the Money – A term that describes the horses in a race that finish the race 1st, 2nd and 3rd (on some occasions 4th) and/or the horses on which the track will payout to bettors.


Joint Favorites – When the bookmakers cannot separate 2 horses or team for favoritism, thus they are posted as joint favorites.

Juice – The commission paid to the bookmaker, and also known as the ‘Vig.’


Kite – The European slang word for Check.


Layer – A bookmaker or a person who ‘Lays’ odds! Lines represent Handicaps,

points-spreads – The odds offered to the bettor.

Linemaker – A person who forms or sets the opening line or subsequent lines for bettors.

Long Odds  –  Odds of winning that are offered to a competitor who is unlikely to win the event. AN example is 100-1

Lock – A term indicated an almost guaranteed winner.

Longshot – The outsider or unexpected winner, usually on which long odds were offered. Lucky 15, 31, 63 are Multiple bets on all possible combinations of 4, 5 or 6 selections.

Lucky 15 – It’s  4 selections, so 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 accumulator is equal to 15 bets.


Machines – U.S. pari-mutuel calculators/computers.

Minus Pools – A situation in pari-mutuel betting in where so much money is bet on Horse, that the funds in the pool are not sufficient to pay off the winning tickets.

Moneyline – A type of betting line which lays out the amount a player must wager in order to win $100.00, or the amount the player wins on a wager of $100.00.

Morning Lines –  A forecast of the events probable odds.

Mutuel Pool – The Total amount that has been bet to win, place or show in a race or event.


Nap – A selection that racing correspondents and tipsters use as their best selection for the day or the event.

Nickel – A bet for $500 USD.


Odds – The bookmaker’s opinion of the chance a competitor has of winning.

Odds-against – When the odds are greater than the ‘Evens’ like “5 to 2”.

Odds – On – When the odds are less than ‘Evens’ like “4 to 7”. Then if a selection wins, the amount won is less than the amount bet.

Off-Track – Betting that is conducted away from the track.

On the Nose – A bet that the horse will win.

Online Sports Betting – Placing a bet or wager on the internet.

Online Sportsbook – A company or person who accepts bets on the internt from the public, normally on sports events.

OTB – An Acronym for “Off-Track Betting” in the US.

Overbroke – when the book results in a loss for the bookmaker.

Overlay – When a horse whose odds are high in comparison with its winning changes.


Par – Mutuel is a means of gambling on races or events where all bets are pooled and winners are paid according to the size of the pool and the number of other winners.

Parlay – A U.S. term for an accumulator bet in horse racing and a bet on 2 or more teams in which both must win or “cover’ for the bet to make money.

Patent – A multiple bet that consists of 7 bets with 3 selections in different events. Thus a single bet on each selection, and 3 doubles and 1 triple.

Pay-Per-Head – Also known as ‘Price-Per-Head’ or PPH is a company that provides his clients the services of a post-up offshore online sportsbook completely anonymously by using an internet-based automated sports betting software system.  The name comes from the client paying a certain amount for each one of his customers per month.

Pic Six – In the U.S. it is a proposition that challenges a bettor to pick six winners of six consecutive races.

Picks – The selections of an expert or sports handicapper to bet on and also known as ‘Tips.’

Pitch – The location where a bookmaker conducts his business at a track.

Place Terms – As in non pari-mutuel are the returns for place bets and are calculated as a portion of the win odds, which can vary between sports and different events.

Pointspread – A forecast of the number of points by which a stronger team is expected to defeat a weaker one, used for betting purposes. The line that the favorite gives the underdog, and is also known as the ‘handicap’ or ‘line.’

Pool – The total amount be to win, place or show, or for a ’Daily Double.’

Punter – A European term for someone who is making bets.


Quinella – A U.S. bet where the bettor predicts the horses that will finish 1st and 2nd horses in a race no matter what the order.


Right Price – In the U.S. among players is the pari-mutuel odds which are high enough to value risking a bet on a particular animal.

Ringer – A horse or greyhound listed in a race under another’s name. Roundabout is a bet consisting of 3 bets with 3 selections in different events.

Rounder – A bet made up of 3 bets that involve 3 selections.

Round Robin – A bet consisting of 10 bets (3 pairs of “Single Stakes About” bets plus 3 doubles and 1 treble) involving three selections in different events.

Runner – A bookie’s employee who gathers information on the progress of betting elsewhere on the course.


Score – In the U.S. is to win a race or a bet, also a victory.

Scratch – In the U.S. is the withdrawal of a competitor.

Scratch Sheet – In the U.S. is the daily publication that provides graded handicaps, tips as well as scratches.

Settler – A bookmaker’s expert who calculates the payouts.

Shoo In – Supposedly a cinch bet or guaranteed winner.

Short Price – A small pari-mutuel payoff. Show is the term used to describe a 3rd place finish.

Shut Out – What happens to a U.S. bettor who gets on the betting line to late, and is still in line when the window closes. Also in sports betting when the losing team does not score.

Single – A ‘straight’ bet on a selection to win a race or an event.

Six- Dollar Combine – An across the board bet in racing.

Smart Money – The Insider’s bets or the insiders themselves.

Sports Handicapper – A person who assigns or assesses a competitor’s handicap, that specializes in most sports.

Sportsbook – A company that takes wagers on sports events from the public.

Sports betting platform – A software that allows users to place bets on the internet or on their mobile phone.

Sports Betting Software – A software that is used by bookies, sportsbooks and sports betting operations to allow their players to place sports bets via the internet or by telephone.

Spot Play – A type of play where a bettor risks money only on races and/or horses that seems worth the risk.

Spread Betting – Where a bet is won or lost according to whether one correctly predicts the result of an event, also known as ‘action line’ or ‘money line.’ Thus, the returns are calculated in proportion as to how right or wrong the bettor was, and can bring huge losses or returns.

Straight – Another U.S. term for a bet to win, ‘straight, place or show.’ Sure Thing is any bet that has very little chance of not winning.

System – A method of betting, usually very mathematically based and used by a bettor to get an advantage.


Take – The amount of money deducted from all pari-mutuel pools for the track revenue and taxes.

Take Out – The part of the pari-mutuel pools that is not returned as winnings.

Teaser – A pointspread based bet wherein the bettor can move the line in his favor up or down in return for odds base on the point move.

Thick’un – A big bet.

Tips – The selections chosen by an expert to bet on, and also known as picks.

Tipster – A person who sells or gives the bettors his estimate of likely winners in an event or race, and also known as a ‘Tout.’

Totalisator – A U.S. automated pari-mutuel machine that records bets as soon as tickets are dispensed at a betting window.

Totals – A sports bet on whether the total score of a game or event will be over/under a given point.

Tote – A body in set up in Europe to operate pool-betting at all racecourses.

Tote Board – An information board at a racecourse that displays estimated odds, betting totals, payout process and other information important for bettors.

Tout – One who sells or gives betting advice and also known as a ‘tipster.’

Tricast – A bet that involves predicting correctly the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finish in an event.

Trifecta – A U.S. bet where the bettor picks the first three finishers in an event in exact order.


Underdog – The team that receives a point advantage in a handicap.

Union Jack – A European bet that consists of 8 triples on 9 selections A to I; ABC, DEF, GHI, ADG, BEH, CFI, AEI and CEG.


Value – Getting the best odds on a bet.

Vigorish – A U.S. term for the bookmaker’s commission, also known as ‘vig’ or ‘juice.’


Welsh or Welch – To fail to pay a gambling bet or debt.

Wheel – A form of betting where daily doubles perfectas or quinella players make every possible combination in his bet on his favorite horse or horses.

Wheeling – A racing system devised for the daily double bet, where the bettor backs one horse in the 1st race and every horse in the 2nd race.

Win – The term used to describe a 1st place finish.

Winning Margin – A bet to predict the winning margin of one team over another.

Wise Guy – In the U.S. is a knowledgeable or well informed bettor or handicapper.

With the Field – Having one horse linked with all the other horses in an event.


“X” – To mean ‘a draw’ on a soccer betting event.


Yankee – A multiple bet consisting of 11 bets (6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 4-fold) on 4 selections in different events.

Yap – A “Yankee Patent” – The same 11 bets as a “Yankee”, but with singles on each of the 4 selections as well, making 15 bets in all (also known as a “Lucky 15”).


Zero – The value of most betting systems, tips and advice.