Bestbetting | Odds Comparison
Tue 03, August 2021 14:10:38 GMT


Across the Board

Where (particularly US horse racing) win, place and show pools are offered, this is a bet of equal stakes on each outcome.


Any kind of bet.


A cumulative bet where the bettor designates a selection in several races or events and bets on the first one; if he wins, the winnings become his bet on the next; and so on (also see fold bets). All outcomes must be correct for the bet to be a winner.

Against the Spread

A bet where you try to determine which team will cover the spread; not necessarily which team will win.


UK Slang term for Betting Tax.


The weight conceded by professional jockeys to apprentices or conditionals on account of the latter’s inexperience - can be 7lbs, 5lbs or 3lbs, depending on the number of wins the apprentice or conditional jockey has recorded. Apprentices and conditionals are also known as Claimers as they can ‘claim’ this allowance

Also Ran

Any selection not finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th in a race or event.

All-Weather Racing

Racing on the Flat on an artificial, sand-based surface that takes place all year round


Betting on a sporting event a significant amount of time in advance. In the case of major horse races, high-profile International tours or football tournaments, it could be a year or more before they take place.. In return for the chance of better odds, punters risk the fact that stakes are not returned if their selection pulls out.

Any To Come (ATC)

Term used to describe when the whole or part of returns from one wager are automatically reinvested on a subsequent bet.


A young jockey tied by contract to a licensed trainer while learning the business of flat race-riding

Arbitrage (Arb)

A trading strategy, whereby one may take advantage of the movement of prices amongst bookmakers, the discrepancies in pricing, or the differences in prices, for guaranteed profits.

Asian Handicaps

Asian handicaps are, as the name suggests, a special type of handicap betting popular in the Far East and commonly used in football betting. Although fundamentally the same basic concept as the point spread, Asian handicaps are specific to soccer matches and provides an alternative to the standard win/draw/win scenario where if the handicap ends in a half point, a draw is not possible.


To bet on something happening, i.e a horse winning a race.


When a lot of money is taken on one particular runner, it is said that it has been "heavily backed".


A selection that a punter or tipster feels is a certainty, an almost guaranteed winner, as in a Lock. Also, in permutation bets the banker is a selection that must win to guarantee any returns.


This shows what the lowest odds of horses not mentioned in the betting forecast are likely to be - '50-1 bar' means those not quoted are 50-1 or bigger.

Bar Price

Usually used as helpful shorthand when talking about large field events, with long lists of participants. It refers to the odds of all those at the last quoted price and bigger. An example might be odds to win the English Premier League, which would read: 2/1 Manchester United, 3/1 Liverpool, 5/1 Arsenal, 8/1 Newcastle, 12/1 BAR. This shows that every other team in the betting list has odds of 12/1 or bigger.

Baseball (US)

In horse racing, a Daily double is a play in which a bettor couples a horse in one race with all horses in the other (also known as "wheeling").


A friend or acquaintance whose job is to place a bet in order to conceal the true identity of the real bettor.


UK slang term for betting tax. (also known as "bees" or "ajax")

Best Price Percentage (BPP)

Best Price percentages are used to calculate over-roundness. A completely fair book is classified as 100% over-round. However the bookmakers' profit margins mean the figure is almost always above 100%. But, if one aggregates the best prices from different bookmaking firms on any event, the percentages become lower. On some occasions, when odds greatly differ from firm to firm, the best price percentage may even drop below 100% showing that the best book on that event is actually in the punter's favour.


To lay money on the correct prediction of an outcome.

Bet Slip
  • Details of a bet written out and usually held by the punter as receipt of a transaction in a betting shop.
  • A screen for the same purpose where you can check the details of a bet before placement in online betting. This should state the event, selection and odds. You can normally log in to your account from the bet slip screen when betting online to speed up the betting process.
Betting Exchange

An internet site that enables punters to bet with each other. Punters can back a horse to win or lose

Betting ring or betting jungle

where all the on-course bookmakers have their pitches, and where most of the financial action is

Betting Tax

Tax on a bookmaker's turnover. More correctly, in the UK this is a "duty" charged by Customs and Excise at the rate of 6.75p on every pound wagered. Common methods of recouping this are to deduct tax from returns or allow the punter to pay tax with his stake. In the latter event, no tax is deducted from the punter's winnings.


US term for person placing a bet. In the UK they are known as a punter or customer.


Term used to describe a favourite who bookmakers expect to be "sunk" or lose and are therefore happy to lay.

Blind Bet

A bet made by a racetrack bookmaker to draw other bookmakers' attention away from his sizeable betting on another horse- and thus to avoid a shortening of the odds on the other horse.

Board Prices

This refers to the currently available odds displayed on the boards of on-course bookmakers. It is from these that the starting price for horse races is derived.


A bookmaker's tally of amounts bet on each competitor, and odds necessary to assure him of profit.

Book Percentage

A term which refers to how much of a profit margin there is in a particular market for a bookmaker.

Bookmaker (also Bookie)

A company who is licensed to accept bets on the result of an event based on their provision of odds to the customer.

Bookmakers' Margin

See 'Over-round'.


UK slang, Odds of 2 to 1.

Blind Bet

A bet made by a racetrack bookmaker to draw other bookmakers' attention away from his sizeable betting on another horse- and thus to avoid a shortening of the odds on the other horse.


Also called ‘layers’; licensed to take bets on horseracing

Bridge-Jumper (US)

Bettor who specializes in large show bets on odd-on favourites.

Buck (US)

A bet of $100 USD (also known as a "dollar bet").

Burlington Bertie

Odds of 100 to 30 (also known as "scruffy and dirty"). About the only remaining example of French Odds still commonly used.

Buy Price

In Spread or Index betting, the higher figure quoted by an Index bookmaker.


A Canadian (also known as a Super Yankee) consists of 26 bets involving 5 selections in different events. The bet includes 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds plus an accumulator. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return.


UK slang for Odds of 3 to 1 (also known as "tres" or "gimmel")

Carpet Joint (US)

US Slang for a luxury gambling casino.


£100 GBP (also known as a "ton")


The favorite.

Chalk player

A person who usually places his bets on the favorite.

Circled Game

A game where the betting activity is limited by the bookmaker; this usually happens where bad weather or injury may significanlty alter the chances of either team winning, thereby making the outcome far more uncertain. Applies to US sports.


The five most prestigious races for three-year-old Flat racehorses only, are called the Classics. These are Stan James 1,000 Guineas, Stan James 2,000 Guineas, both at Newmarket, Vodafone Oaks and Vodafone Derby at Epsom Downs and the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster.

Clerk of the scales

Official employed by the BHA to ensure all horses carry the correct weight for each race. Jockeys must weigh in and weigh out before and after each race

Clerk of the course

Official employed by the racecourse responsible for managing the raceday, and providing an adequate racing surface

Client (US)

Purchaser of betting information from horseman or other tipster.

Clocker (US)

Person who times workouts, usually for betting information.

Close (US)

Final odds on a horse (e.g. "closed at 5 to 1"). Confusingly equates to "Starting Price" in the UK.

Closing Bet

A gambler closes a running or Open bet by placing a second bet of the same amount in the opposite direction to the first. By closing the bet, the bettor ends his interest in the event and crystallizes any profits or losses accrued. This is one of the advantages of spread betting or the betting exchanges compared to fixed odds bookmakers, in that they allow the management of betting positions whilst a golf tournament is still taking place.


Three or more participants who are favourites with the same odds.

C of E

Slang for UK Customs and Excise.

Colours or silks

Jockeys wear coloured jerseys and hats to distinguish horses in a race. The colours and patterns of the silks correspond to the horse’s owner, each of which have registered their personal ‘colours’


Young male horse, aged 4 years and under


The Jump equivalent to an apprentice

Combination (US)

Across the board bet for which a single bet slip is issued.

Correct Score

A bet that predicts the final score of the match during normal time. (Extra time does not count). Correct score betting is popular with football, where the total number of typical scores is limited. The odds are dependent on the actual match odds between the two teams.


In sports betting, beating the spread by a required number of points. To "cover the spread".

Credit Bet

Bets accepted by the Bookmaker without a cash deposit.

Daily Double (US)

Form of betting in which the bettor makes a combination bet on two horses in two races. If the bettor wins on the 1st race, his winnings become his stake on the 2nd.


mother of a horse

Dead Heat

The result of a race or competition in which two or more entrants finish equal. If your selection dead-heats you receive the full odds but your stake will be divided by the number of winners before your return is calculated.

Debit Bet

Bets accepted by the Bookmaker without a cash deposit but which allows the Bookmaker to directly debit the gambler's bank account.

Dime (US)

A bet of $1,000 USD (also known as a "dime bet").


The return for a single winning unit on a Tote bet.


Somebody who is expected to lose a fight or contest. Also known as the "underdog".

Dog player

A person who usually places his bets on the underdog.


A bet consisting of two selections, both of which must win for the bet to be successful.

Double Carpet

UK slang for Odds of 33 to 1, based on Carpet.

Double Chance

Where bookmakers may reduce the 3 outcomes for a football match to 2, by what is known as 'Double Chance' betting, where a single price is offered on a win or draw. If the backed team wins or draws, the bet wins; if the team loses, so does the bet. With double chance bets there is no possibility for the draw. The win/draw odds will always be shorter than for both the individual win and draw odds, because the chances of either outcome occurring are greater than for each one separately.

Double Result

USome bookmakers offer books for the half-time result only, and more typically the "double result", that is, the result at both half-time and full-time. For football matches this means a total of 9 betting possibilities is commonly available. This is a popular alternative to simply backing an outright result, which may often be at unattractively short odds. The risk is greater since there are more possible outcomes (9 as compared to 3 with standard match betting), but consequently the odds are better. The highest odds are obviously available for the home team to be winning at half-time and the away team to win after 90 minutes. Typically, odds of 28/1 can be found for this unlikely double result, and can be even higher if the home team is a strong favourite.

Double Stakes About (or DSA)

Like Single Stakes About, but where returns from the 1st winning selection are invested at double the original stake on the 2nd selection. (Note: you can also have Triple SA, Quadruple SA etc.).


An accumulator which involves two selections. Both must be successful for the bet to win.


The basis of some widely used systems. After a loss the player doubles the size of his previous bet hoping to win back the money lost and make a profit. Also known as a Martingale system.


A result where the scores are level at the end of play (also known as a "Tie" or "Push" in the United States.)


When the price of a selection moves out (gets bigger), often due to a lack of support. That selection is said to be "on the drift".


Odds that are drifting in the market are getting bigger. Prices that are getting bigger or longer suggest the market believes the likelihood of that result is worse than the odds on offer.

Dual Forecast

A tote bet operating in races of 3 or more declared runners in which the punter has to pick the first two to finish in either order.

Dutch (US)

Eliminating heavily bet non-contenders, betting on others in exact proportions necessary to yield some profit no matter which wins.


A bet which consists of two wagers. The first is for the selection to win and the second is for the selection to place, at a proportional price dependant on the place terms.


A bet which consists of two wagers. The first is for the selection to win and the second is for the selection to place, at a proportional price dependant on the place terms.

Early prices

Prices offered on selected races that day in advance of racecourse betting. Some bookmakers will offer early prices on every race every day, but this is rare.


A punter's advantage in a bet.

Even Money

A term used when an outcome is paying decimal odds of 2.0 (fractional odds of 1/1). Often referred to as 'yours for mine'.


Odds of 1 to 1 (also known as "scotch" or "levels"). This indicates that winnings will be the same as the amount staked.

Exacta (US)

Form of betting in which bettor attempts to pick winner and 2nd horse, buying one mutuel ticket on the double choice (also known as "exactor" or "perfecta").

Exchange Commission

The amount of money, paid by a winning punter to a betting exchange; a betting exchange earns its money by charging a percentage on winning wagers; generally, commission payable is based on a sliding scale from 2% to 5%, depending on the amount of money, which is either won or lost by a punter, over a period of time; the more that is either won or lost by a client, the lower will be the commission payable on winning wagers.


See Betting Exchanges


Any bet other than a straight bet or parley - also called a prop or proposition.


The maximum amount of money a sports book stands to lose in a game.


The team or individual the bookies with the lowest odds in the contest they being bet on. (in essence, the horse or team believed to be the most likely winner). Also known as the "jolly" or "sponk".


Some bookmakers may well group all the outsiders in a competition under the banner headline of 'field' and put it head-to-head with the favourite. This is known as favourite versus the field betting and is common in horse and golf betting.


To have a winning chance or the handicapper's rating number that identifies the winning chance (also "fig.").


Young female horse, aged 4 years and under

First Goalscorer

A bet placed on a player to score the first goal in the event.

First half bet

A bet placed solely on the first half of a game.

Fixed Odds

Odds available at a specific price quoted by a bookmaker. These odds may change over time but the odds quoted when you place the bet are secure and do not change. N.b. The actual returns may not always reflect the full value of the odds due to exceptions like the Rule 4 and dead heat rules.

Fixed odds betting

Staking a set amount to win a set amount by multiplying the stake by the odds. As opposed to spread betting where the amount you can win or lose on a single bet may vary.


A bet consisting of 23 bets (a "Yankee" plus 6 "Single Stakes About" bets in pairs) on 4 selections in different event.

Flash (US)

Change of odds information on tote board.


A fold represents the number of selections in an accumulator, i.e a Four-Fold Accumulator consists of 1 bet involving 4 selections in different events. All must be successful to get a return.

  • A wager that involves correctly predicting the 1st and 2nd for a particular event. This bet can be reversed or permed (also see dual and straight forecasts).
  • Predict the result. Also a type of bet in horse racing where the punter bets on the winner and the second place horse in a specific order.

Past performances used to give an indication of the competitor's chances. In US, short for the Daily Racing Form.

Form Player

A bettor who makes selections from past-performance records.

French Odds

Expression of odds as 100 to 6, 100 to 8, etc. The name goes back to the days when the French had a "metric" money system while UK still used 1 pound of 240 old pence.

Full Cover

All the doubles, trebles and accumulators involved in a given number of selections.

Futures (US)

Odds offered on winners of sporting events in advance of the event itself (see ante-post).


Unit of distance used in horseracing. It is an eighth of a mile, which is approximately 220yds or 200m


The UK national centre for information, advice and practical help with regard to the social impact of gambling.


Male horse that has been castrated


£1,000 GBP  (also known as a "big 'un")


The state of the ground on the racetrack; descriptions on turf range from Heavy, through Soft, Good-to-soft, Good, Good-to-firm, Firm and Hard. On All-Weather courses the going is either Fast, Slow or Standard


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

Grade 1, 2 and 3 and Listed races

These are the Jump equivalent to Group races, with Grade 1 races being the most prestigious in jump racing

Group 1, 2 and 3 and Listed races

These races are for the better class of Flat racehorses. Group 1 races are the most prestigious

Half time bet

A bet placed on the half time result.

Half Time/Full Time

A bet that predicts the result of the match at half-time and the result of the match at full-time. In order to win the bet, both predictions must be correct. Also known as double result.


A system used by bookmakers to make a one sided event become a more attractive betting proposition to the punter. For example, the weaker team may start with a one goal advantage. Known as the Spread in US sports. 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.


A person who studies, rates and bets on sporting events and/or races.


Handicapping is used in horse racing. All horses (once they've run often enough) are given an official rating. Ratings range from 0-140 points for flat racing and from 0-175 points for jump racing. Each point is equal to one pound weight (carrying the extra weight is the handicap). The handicap system is designed to ensure that all the participants in the race are well matched. Handicap) ratings for every horse are assessed and may be revised weekly depending on how well the horse performed given the quality of the other horses in the race.

Handle (US)

Total sum bet on a race or in a day or some other period.


Unit of measurement for horse’s height, which is measured from the withers (top of the shoulder blades). One hand is equivalent to 4 inches, and most racehorses stand at around 16 hands high

Hang Cheng

A form of soccer betting popular in Asia where returns on a team winning or drawing are determined by part-goal handicaps.


This involves placing a bet on opposing outcome to the punters original selected outcome in order to guarantee winnings or cut losses. Can also be a bet made by a cautious bookie on a horse on which he has accepted large bets - in order to cut his losses if the horse wins (also known as a "lay-off bet").


A Heinz consists of 57 bets involving 6 selections in different events. The bet includes 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 fourfolds, 6 fivefolds and an accumulator. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return.


A bet that predicts the result of the match. Also known as 1X2 or Match Result


Half a point added to e.g. football or basketball betting lines.


A casino or gambling centre. Also the operators of a gambling game.


Independent Betting Adjudication Service. An arbitration service which was launched to deal with betting disputes between punters and bookmakers.

In the Money

Describes the horses in a race that finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd (and sometimes 4th) or the horses on which money will be paid to bettors, depending on the place terms.

In the Red

A betting term otherwise referred to as 'Odds On'. The profit to be made wagering on an outcome that is 'in the red' will be less then the stake. I.e. Decimal odds of 1.5; for every $100.00 that you invest you will receive $150.00 in return if your wager is successful. (Your original stake of $100.00 plus your $50.00 profit.)


Betting on an event which has already begun; to bet during an event.


A Tote bet, where you have to select the winner of each of six pre-selected races. The Scoop6 is the biggest jackpot pool and takes place every Saturday

Joint Favourites

When bookmakers cannot separate two horses or teams for favouritism, they are made joint favourites.


Another term for the favourite in a horse race or sporting event.


Official employed by the BHA to declare the finishing order of a race and the distances between runners

Juice (US)

The commission paid to the bookmaker (also known as vigorish).


in Flat racing these are two-year-old horses, in jump racing these are three or four year olds


UK slang for a cheque ("check" in the US).

Lapsed Bets

A previously unmatched bet, which a betting exchange has cancelled, due to the event commencing, and the betting market closing.


A bettor can lay a selection on the betting exchanges. This is the opposite of backing a selection and involves taking other gamblers bets on a particular player, effectively acting like a conventional bookmaker.


An alternative term for a bookmaker, or someone who lays or accepts a bet. A punter can be layer on betting exchages


To bet on an opposite direction to either lock in profits or minimise a loss by either 'laying' the same outcome or, backing other outcomes in the same event.


Acronym for "Licensed Betting Office" in the UK.


When a bookmaker sees little activity on a particular outcome, they may choose to lengthen or increase the odds available.


The current odds or point spread on a particular event.


One who compiles or sets the original or subsequent betting lines.


One who compiles or sets the original or subsequent betting lines.


Handicaps, pointspreads and odds offered to the punter.

Liquid Market

A betting exchange market, where there is a large number of bets being matched, leading to a competitive market, in which there is very little difference, between the back and the lay prices.


The term used to describe the volume of betting transactions on a particular market (or within a betting exchange) and how easy it is to place/lay a bet. Of the betting exchanges Betfair has by far the best liquidity.


US term for an almost guaranteed winner.

Long Odds

Odds (e.g. 100 to 1) offered against a competitor unlikely to win.


The outsider or unfancied runner, usually against which "long odds" have been offered.

Long-term Market

A betting market, where the result of the betting event, will not be known for weeks, months or even years; to back a team to win a premiership at the beginning of a season; to back a player to be awarded the player of the season etc. See also Antepost

Lucky 15

A Lucky 15 consists of 15 bets involving 4 selections in different events, i.e. 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and 1 fourfold. The bookmaker will often pay a bonus if you get all 4 selections correct, or if you only get one correct.

Lucky 31

A Lucky 31 consists of 31 bets involving 5 selections in different events, i.e. 5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-folds plus 1 five-fold. The bookmaker will often pay a bonus if you get all 5 selections correct, or if you only get one correct.

Lucky 63

A Lucky 63 consists of 63 bets involving 6 selections in different events, i.e. 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds and 1 six-fold. The bookmaker will often pay a bonus if you get all 6 selections correct, or if you only get one correct.


A horse that has not yet won a race


Female horse aged 5 years and over

Margin Call

A call made by a Bookmaker to the punter for cash to cover some or all of the punter's exposure to loss.


Betting system based on doubling-up.

Match Bets

A bet based on the performance of two selections through a tournament. This could be twp teams in a football tournment or two payers in a golf tournament.

Match Betting

The most popular and common fixed odds betting market is match betting. In standard match bets between two teams, winning odds are available for both, and the wager will either win or lose depending on the outcome of the event. Since a significant proportion of games end without any winner, the "draw" is offered as a betting option. Football fixed odds match betting is sometimes known as 1X2 betting. On fixed odd coupons, a "1" denotes the home team, with the away team represented by a "2" and the draw by an X.

Matched Bet

A bet accepted by another punter on a betting exchange; matched bets cannot be cancelled, but a bet in the opposite direction would compensate for the original bet, effectively cancelling the initial transaction.

Money Line

Otherwise known as 'head-to-head' betting or a 'straight bet'. This is a bet type where you only have to pick the winner of an event. That is to say that you don't have to pick by how much a team will win or lose but simply who will win the game. The odds on each of the outcomes can be varied depending on the chances of the outcomes.


Bookmakers slang for £500.

Morning Line

Forecast of probable odds.


Someone who places ill-considered bets.


Another term for Accumulators. Multiple bets involve more than one selection. Double and trebles are popular wagers for football match betting. A double is one bet involving two selections in different events, both of which must be successful for the bet to win. The odds for a double are calculated by multiplying together the separate odds for the two single bets. Accumulators contain 4 or more selections. Often, the only limit to the number of selections included within an accumulator bet is the bookmaker's maximum allowable payout on one bet.


A tipster's best bet of the day.

National Hunt

The generic term for jump racing. The season officially runs throughout the year, ending with the Betfred Gold Cup Celebration Meeting at Sandown Park. The most prestigious races take place during the winter, between October and April with the Cheltenham Festival in March staging a number of championship races

Nickel (US)

A bet of $500 USD.


A jumping term: a novice hurdler is a horse that has not won a hurdle race before the current jump season, a novice chaser is a horse that has not won a steeplechase before the current jump season

No action

A bet where no money is lost or won.

No Offers

When bookmakers are unwilling to offer a price on a participant (N/O).

Number Spread

An index spread based on the number of runs, goals and points scored in an event.




Also referred to as the price. The returns a bookmaker offers for a selection to win, calculated depending on the bookmakers view on that selection to win.

Odds Against

Describes where an outcome is paying more than the initial stake (not including your returned stake). I.e. A runner paying greater then even money. (Decimal odds of 2.0). The opposite to odds on.

Odds Compiler

The person working for the bookmaker who sets the odds following research and his own feelings. Also known as a "trader" or "odds layer".

Odds On

Refers to a price where your winnings (not including your returned stake) will be less than your stake. In essence the odds will be less than evens (fractional) or 2 (decimal).

Off The Board

Term used to signify that the Bookmaker is not accepting bets on a particular event.


Away from the racecourse or event. This covers Bookmakers operating retail outlets, telephone and Internet services.


Bookmakers who are based outside the UK. There are three types of off-shore Bookmakers - firstly, those that are the off-shore site run by an existing British Bookmaker; secondly, those that are existing off-course Bookmakers in another country, often Ireland; and the third type are Internet and/or telephone Bookmakers set up specifically to conduct off-shore business.


Betting conducted away from the track.

On the Nose (US)

A bet that a horse will win.


Refers to a bookmaker at the racecourse or event.

‘On the bridle’ or ‘on the steel’

A horse which is running well, with plenty of energy and the jockey has not asked it for maximum effort. When a horse is ‘off the bridle’ it usually means he or she is being ridden vigorously or pushed along by his or her jockey


Acronym for "Off-Track Betting" in the US, legal only in certain states.


A betting result; the winner may be a player, horse, car, rider, driver, team, etc.


A participant in an event considered unlikely to win, which will have large odds to reflect this. The opposite of a favourite.


Also known as totals. With this bet type, the bookmaker nominates a total of both teams' scores. Over/Under bets can be offered on any sporting event and could be the total of sets, runs, points, goals etc. If the punter believes that the game will be a high scoring event, he may choose to bet the 'over'. A commonly available over/under bet available in football is over/under 2.5 goals. By introducing a decimal, this removes the possibility of a draw, leaving only two possible outcomes.


Where the book results in a loss for the bookmaker.


Horse whose odds are high by comparison with its good winning chances.


A statistical measure of the profitability of the odds offered by a betting firm on a particular event. To use a simple example, the odds of a coin-toss landing either heads or tails are exactly 50% either way. So the fair odds for heads or tails would be even money for each selection.. A bookmaker would probably offer odds of something like 5/6 (bet £6 to win £5) which represents a 54.54% chance. Adding the percentage odds on each selection together gives us an overround figure of just over 109% (2 x 54.54%). The percentage over and above 100% is the bookmakers potential profit on an event before costs. A betting firm will compile odds in a golf event to ensure an overround figure is reached when percentage odds for each selection are totaled up.

Parade Ring or The Paddock

Where horses are paraded before racegoers for about 10 minutes before the race, and where jockeys will be given their instructions by the trainers and owners


A means of gambling on races in which all bets are pooled and winners are paid according to size of pool and the number of other winners. Often shortened in US to mutuel. Known in the UK as "pool betting".


The US term for an accumulator.


A Patent consists of 7 bets involving 3 selections in different events. The bet includes a single on each selection, plus 3 doubles and 1 treble. Just one successful selection guarantees a return.


It is possible to "perm" bets or selections (e.g. on 4 selections all the possible doubles could be "permed" making 6 bets).

Pic Six (US)

A proposition which challenges the bettor to pick six winners of six successive races (also known as "pick six" or "five-ten").


The selections chosen by an expert to bet on (also known as "tips").


The position where a bookmaker conducts his business on a racecourse.

Place (US)

The term used to describe a 2nd place finish.

Place Bet

A bet on the selection being placed, i.e. coming first, second or third (sometimes fourth or fifth depending on the number of participants). UK bookies usually offer each way rather than place bets.


Refers to a selection coming second or third (sometimes fourth or fifth depending on the number of participants) in an event. The positions which are considered to be placed depends on the size of the field (e.g. in a race with only 5-7 participants, only second and third count as placed). The odds for bets on selections being placed is usually calculated as a fraction of the odds to win (e.g. in the race referred to above, second and third get odds at a quarter of the winning price).


similar to the Jackpot, but each of the selections only have to be placed in the race


A horse that usually runs in selling races (low grade races)

Point Spread

Otherwise known as the betting line or handicap. With a point spread, the favourite is effectively given a total that for the bet to be successful, the team has to win by more than the allocated margin. In effect the underdog is given a number of point's head start.


Bookmakers slang for £25.


Total amount bet for win, place or show, or in a daily double.

Pre-parade ring

Where the runners are saddled up


Betting or gambling odds.


The individual who places bets (bettor in the US)

Quinella (US)

A bet in which the bettor predicts the horses that will finish 1st and 2nd, regardless of order (sometimes called a "quiniela").


Flat Racing - the Flat season officially begins at the Lincoln meeting at Doncaster in March and ends at the same course in November.


The outsider in the field, normally available at a big price.

Related Contigency

When the result of one event has a direct influence on the outcome of another, there is a related contingency. Selections from related events cannot be combined in an accumulator. E.g. Liverpool to beat Chelsea in a league match, and Liverpool to win the league.


Total money paid out(including stakes) on a winning bet.

Right Price (US)

Among players, pari-mutuel odds high enough to warrant risking a bet on a particular animal.


A horse (or greyhound) entered in a race under another's name - usually a good runner replacing a poorer one.

Round Robin (US)

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.


A bet consisting of 3 bets involving three selections in different events (i.e. 1 single any to come and double stake double on remaining two selections, 3 times).


A bet consisting of 3 bets involving three selections in different events (i.e. 1 single any to come a single stake double on remaining two selections, 3 times).

Rule 4

When a horse is withdrawn shortly before the start of a race and there is insufficient time to form a new market the remaining horses are subject to a deduction if they win or are placed. These are calculated according to the starting price.

Rule 4 Deductions:

  • 3/10 or shorter = 75p in the £1
  • 2/5 to 1/3 = 70p in the £1
  • 8/15 to 4/9 = 65p in the £1
  • 4/5 to 4/6 = 55p in the £1
  • 20/21 to 5/6 = 50p in the £1
  • Evens to 6/5 = 45p in the £1
  • 5/4 to 6/4 = 40p in the £1
  • 13/8 to 7/4 = 35p in the £1
  • 15/8 to 9/4 = 30p in the £1
  • 5/2 to 3/1 = 25p in the £1
  • 10/3 to 4/1 = 20p in the £1
  • 9/2 to 11/2 = 15p in the £1
  • 6/1 to 9/1 = 10p in the £1
  • 10/1 to 14/1 = 5p in the £1
  • Over 14/1 = No Deductions

Somebody who places bets for another person.

Runner (US)

In racing, a bookie's employee who gathers information on the progress of betting elsewhere on the course. Also, a messenger "running" to and from pari-mutuel windows for occupants of clubhouse boxes.

Running free

Describes a horse going too fast to allow it to settle, usually in the early stages of a race

Saver Bet

Also known as a cover bet. A bet which is made to win back any other monies outlaid on an event. If the saver bet is successful, one would simply win back any money that was outlaid on other outcomes resulting in a 'break-even' situation.

Sawdust Joint (US)

A term for a non-luxury gambling club.


£20 GBP.

Score (US)

To win a race or a bet. Also, a victory.


Somebody who waits for what he thinks is an unusual strong wager. AKA. Sports Player.

Scratch (US)

The withdrawal of a competitor.

Scratch Sheet (US)

Daily publication that includes graded handicaps, tips and scratches.


A bookmaker's expert who calculates payouts.

Seven-Fold Accumulator

A Seven-Fold Accumulator consists of 1 bet involving 7 selections in different events.


A sophisticated or professional gambler.

Shoo In (US)

A supposed cinch bet or guaranteed victor. Also, a fixed race.


Odds that are shortening in the market are getting smaller. Prices that are getting shorter or lower suggest the market believes the likelihood of that result is better than the odds on offer.

Show (US)

The term used to describe a 3rd place finish.

Shut Out (US)

What happens to a bettor who gets on the betting line to late and is still waiting in line when the window closes. Also, in sports betting, when the losing team do not score.


A "straight" bet on one selection to win one race or event. The most common and simplest kind of bet. A single wager on an event. The single can be win, each way, or win and place.

Single Stakes About (or SSA)

A bet consisting of 2 bets on two selections (1 single on each selection any to come 1 single on the other selection reversed).


Father of a horse

Smart Money

Insiders' bets or the insiders themselves.

Starting Price (SP)

The odds determined by the official starting price reporters on the racecourse at the start of the race, which is an average of the odds being offered at the racecourse. For certain races, some Internet and other off-course Bookmakers will only quote SP for each participant rather than different odds. This means that the off-course Bookmaker has not determined their own prices for this race and is letting the market be made at the racecourse. Typically this happens when the volume of money and the number of bets placed on this event with the off-course Bookmaker is too low to make a representative market of their own. Accepting the Starting Price from a Bookmaker means that you don't know exactly what the odds will be when you place your bet.

Stewards’ secretaries

Officials employed by the BHA to advise stewards on implementing the Rules of Racing

Special Bets

In an attempt to attract spread bettors into fixed odds football betting, some online bookmakers have started to offer specialised markets. Special bets include odds on the number of corners and bookings a televised match will have, odds for team performance, or the time of the first and the last goal scorer. These bets have their origins in the spread markets, and it is only through the availability of online gambling that fixed odds bookmakers have been able to break into this market. Special bets also refers to betting made available on non-sporting evnts, such as reality television, weather & current affairs.


Another name for a bookmaker.

Spot Play (US)

Type of play in which bettor risks money only on types of races and horses which seem relatively worthwhile risks.


The spread is the difference between the price you pay to ‘Buy’ in a spread betting event and the price you pay to ‘Sell’. Say you were betting on an an 18 hole match bet between Ernie Els and Jay Haas. Els may be priced at 10-13 favourite. The spread in this case is 3 points. So if you fancy Els to win easily, you’d ‘buy’ Els at 13. If you think Haas will win, ‘Sell’ Els at 10.

Spread Betting

An innovative form of betting introduced by City traders and based on stock market principles. It allows punters to lose more money than they thought they would.A bet is won or lost according to whether you correctly predict the result of an event (also known as "action line" or "money line"). Returns or losses are calculated in proportion to how right or wrong the bettor is, and can lead to huge returns or losses.


Amount of money you give the Bookmaker. Therefore the money you will lose if the result is not what you predicted.


Male horse that is mating mares

Starting Price (SP)

The odds at which most bets off the racecourse are settled, and represents the general price being offered in the betting ring on the racecourse at the start of a race


A runner which is backed significantly in the run-up to an event causing it's odds to continually shorten.


The racing "police". Responsible for ensuring that the races (which include the betting activities) follow within the guidelines of the racing code. Stewards are empowered to hand down penalties to persons who act outside the rules of racing. I.e. The jockeys may get suspended from a number of meetings or may incur a financial penalty if due to their carelessness, another runner is disadvantaged.

Stewards Enquiry

Racecourse stewards will investigate an objection or suspected infringement of the Rules of Racing. This may amend the result, so bets are not settled until the outcome of the enquiry is known.

Stipendiary stewards

Full time employee who assists the stewards. He or she will question witnesses in stewards’ enquiries and leave the room during deliberations

Stooper (US)

Those who make a living picking up discarded mutuel tickets at racetracks and cashing those that have been thrown away by mistake.


A system whereby a punter sets a pre-determined level for the maximum loss he is prepared to accept before closing his position. Spread Betting firms sometimes put a limit on the maximum make-up of an event. For instance, 72 hole match bets normally have a 25 shot stop-loss applied because the winning margin of one player over another can be significant.

Store (US)

A bookie.

Straight (US)

Another term for a bet to win (i.e. "straight, place and show").

Straight Forecast

A tote bet operating in races of 3 or more declared runners in which the punter has to pick the first and second to finish in the correct order.

Super Heinz

A Super Heinz consists of 120 bets involving 7 selections in different events. The bet includes 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfolds, 21 fivefolds, 7 sixfolds and an accumulator. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return.

Super Yankee

A Super Yankee (also known as a Canadian) consists of 26 bets involving 5 selections in different events. The bet includes 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds plus an accumulator. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return.


How much the spread betting firm expects one golfer to beat another in a Match bet. A very simple but popular spread betting market.

Sure Thing

Any bet that has very little chance of losing.


A method of betting, usually mathematically based, used by a punter to get an advantage (if successful!).


Betting is now TAX FREE on all horse racing and sports bets placed in betting shops. There is no tax for bets placed on-course. On the Internet, tax is usually lower than nine per cent while some firms charge no tax at all. Tax can either be paid on stakes or returns.

Teaser (US)

A pointspread based bet where the bettor can move the line in his favour (in return for reduced odds).

Thick 'un

A big bet.

Thinly Traded

A betting exchange term where there is a limited number of bets on offer, and with limited 'action' within the market; it often is difficult to match a bet, at a reasonable price, in a thinly traded market.

Ticketer (US)

A forger of bookmakers' tickets.


The 'sign language' which bookmakers on the race course use to communicate. E.g. "top of the head" means 9/4, "up the arm" means 11/8


A French combination bet in which the bettor predicts the horses that will finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd.


The selections chosen by an expert to bet on (also known as "picks").


Individuals or businesses whose job it is to provide hints or tips about the likely outcome of a race or event. Some tipsters publish their advice in newspapers or for free on the Internet; others charge for their services. There are many types of tipsters; the best ones submit their tips to proofing services that track the success of their tips over the long term.


Individuals who think they know what they are talking about giving betting advice.

Tissue Prices

The forecast of how the betting will open.


Sports bet on whether the total score will be over/under a given mark.


'The Horserace Totalisator Board' otherwise known as "The Tote". A body in the UK set up to operate pool-betting on all racecourses.

Tote Board

A racecourse information board that displays approximate odds, betting totals, payout prices and other information necessary to the punter.

Tote Returns

Returns from a tote pool (also known as a "dividend"). Calculated by taking the total stake in each pool (after the take out) and dividing it by the number of winning tickets. A dividend is declared to a fixed stake, for various win, place and forecast pools.


To give or sell betting advice or one who does so (also known as a "tipster").


A bet consisting of 3 selections, all of which must win for the wager to be successful. The winnings from the first bet are used as the stake for the second, the winnings rom the second bet used as the stake for the third.


A bet which involves correctly predicting the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in an event.

Trifecta (US)

Bet in which the bettor picks the first three finishers in exact order (also known as "triple").


The distance of the race. Flat races are run over distances of five furlongs to two miles six furlongs. Jump races are generally run over distances of two miles to three and a half miles, with the longest race being the John Smith's Grand National - a marathon four and a half miles


A Trixie consists of 4 bets involving 3 selections (i.e. 3 doubles and 1 treble) in different events. The bet includes 3 doubles and 1 treble. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return.

True Odds

The odds as they would be if they reflected the actual probability of winning (as opposed to reflecting where the money goes). For example, if you keep rolling a dice for long enough, a six will come up on average 1 time in 6. In this case, the true odds are 5-1, because you will lose 5 times for each time you win.

Turf Accountant

The UK euphemism for a bookmaker.


Total amount bet on an event; total amount of bets for a particular period, day, week, month, year etc.


A popular football fixed odds market is total goals betting, sometimes known as over/under. A commonly available over/under bet available in football is over/under 2.5 goals.


This is the team or player that is perceived to have the least chance of winning an event. Also known as the "dog", the underdog is the direct opposite to the favourite.


Otherwise known as an 'under'. A price, which is less than the price we believe it should be; for example, to back Hewitt to win Wimbledon, believing the odds should be 14.0, when the price available is 10.0 only; this is an underlay, because the price available to bet is less, than the price we believe it should be; conversely, an underlay also may be a lay bet, when the lay price is more than the price we believe it should be; when laying a bet, the lower the price to lay, the more profit to be made; using the example above, to lay Hewitt to win Wimbledon, believing the odds should be 14.0, we would be expecting to lay at a price less than 14.0, possibly 10.0 to 13.0; if the best price available to lay were 16.0, then this would represent an underlay because it is more than the calculated chances of 14.0.

Union Jack

A bet consisting of 8 trebles on 9 selections A to I: ABC, DEF, GHI, ADG, BEH, CFI, AEI, and CEG.


Explanation usually put forward for a losing bet.

Unmatched Bet

On a betting exchagen, a bet not accepted by another punter; unmatched bets may be cancelled at any time; it is possible that a portion of a bet may be matched, and the balance unmatched, depending on the amount of money available at the price requested.


If you believe that the true odds are lower than the Bookmaker is offering, then that is a value bet.

Void Bets

A previously matched bet, which is cancelled by a betting exchange or bookmaker, with stakes returned to a punter, because of changed market conditions, such as, the result of a game not completed due to bad weather, or in the case of a horserace, the runner not starting in the event (scratched at the barrier for example), or any other legitimate reason.


A bet.


A ‘race’ with only one runner


To fail to pay a gambling bet.

Wheel (US)

A form of betting in which daily double, perfecta or quinella player makes every possible combination bet on his favoured horse or horses.

Wheeling (US)

A racing system devised for the daily double bet in which the bettor backs one horse in the first race and every horse in the second (also known as "baseball" or "locking").


The term used to describe a 1st place finish.

Win bet

When you back a horse to win the race

Win and Place

This is similar to an each way bet, except that the stake laid to win is greater than the stake laid to place. The punter could for example stake ten pounds on his selection coming first, and a further five pounds on the selection coming second, third or fourth. (Total stake = £15)

Win only

Betting markets where no each-way betting is available.

Winner’s Enclosure

Where the winning horse is welcomed after the race and where the winning connections (owner, trainer and jockey) are presented with the trophy

Winning Margin

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

With the Field

Having one horse linked with all the other horses in an event. It can apply to forecasts or in doubles.


"Draw" on a football (soccer) betting coupon, where "1x2" means "Home Draw Away"


A Yankee consists of 11 bets involving 4 selections in different events. The bet includes 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and an accumulator. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return.


"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").

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