Sports Betting Terms & Glossary

From slang terms to different types of bets and words that appear in betting company t&cs, this betting glossary will give you the lowdown on what it all means!

The world of online betting is a unique world with its own language and boasts terms that won’t be heard anywhere else in life. In fact, so much so that whether you’re a novice gambler or an experienced one, a glossary of sports betting terms will certainly come in handy.

So get to know your Yankee bets from your value bets, your wagering requirements from your reload bonuses, your fractional odds from your decimal odds. And just what does Burlington Bertie mean? Find out this and more below!


An accumulator is a bet made up of several individual bets.

So by definition, it would have to have at least two different selections in it; there’s no maximum number of selections unless the betting site has a policy of not accepting accas with more than a certain amount of selections. So if you had an acca made up of Mumbai Indians/Delhi Capitals/Kolkata Knight Riders all winning their IPL matches over the weekend (for example), you’d need them all to win.

You calculate the odds of the acca by multiplying the three prices together. So if MI were 1.5, DC were 1.8 and KKR 2.5 the acca would payout at odds of 6.75.

For the most part, you need them all to win but occasionally betting sites refund you the full amount of your stake or part of it if you come very close to winning but not quite, especially on accas containing lots of selections. So if 9 out of your 10 selections won, the bookie might give you 50% of your stake back. Some bookies also occasionally boost your winnings if you have a lot of selections in your acca and it wins. So they might give you a 20% boost in cash if you have more than 7 selections, 25% if it’s more than 8, 50% if it’s more than nine and so on.

Accas are a fun way of potentially winning lots of money from a small stake but it’s very difficult to win from them because all it takes is just one thing to go a little wrong somewhere in order for the acca to lose. After all, you need to be right about five or six outcomes rather than just one for the acca to win.


I’ve just done my weekend acca. It has six selections and comes to odds of 22.0


Backing something just means betting on something happening or something winning. A bookmaker lays bets and punters back them.


I’ve backed India to win the series against England.

The amount of money you have set aside and that is available for you to place your sports bets with. As with financial investments, the size of your bankroll will go up and down on an ongoing basis depending on the performance of your bets.

Something to remember is that any profit in your bankroll is unlikely to be ‘pure’ profit. For example, if you pay for software that helps you bet or a tipping service, these are costs that need to be factored in and are directly or indirectly paid for by your bankroll.

Another thing to remember is that in addition to the bankroll being the total amount of money available across the different betting accounts that you own, it’s also all the ‘open bets’ which may increase or decrease your bankroll once they’re settled.


“My bankroll is in a good state right now after that big bet on Sri Lanka won.”

The biggest price that’s available throughout the industry on a particular outcome.


I got the best price on Virat Kohli winning man of the match – 12.0.

The two best-known betting exchanges are Parimatch and Betfair.

Around since around 2000, they operate like a stock market of betting based on supply and demand. So rather than betting against the ‘house’ like you would with a Sportsbook, you’re betting against other customers using that platform. All you need to is find another customer who wants to strike the opposite bet to you.

So if you want to lay Chelsea at 2.5 you’ll strike a bet with someone who wants to back Chelsea at 2.5. If you want to back Roger Federer at 1.7 you’ll place a bet with someone wanting to lay Federer at 1.7. The only requirements are that you have money in your account and that there’s another customer wishing to be on the other side of the bet as you.

Once the outcome is known and the bet is settled, the winner of the bet will pay commission (see commission) to the Betting Exchange for using their services; the customer with the losing bet won’t.

Because of the way the Exchange works, meaning the house doesn’t have to take a cut, you can often get higher odds on the Exchange than you would with a Sportsbook, assuming there’s decent liquidity (see liquidity).


You can back India to win the T20 World Cup at 6.0 with betting sites but they’re available at 7.5 with the betting exchanges.

A reward given to a customer by the betting site as a thank you for the customer’s loyalty or as an incentive to go and do something, such as making a deposit. Examples are free bets, cash bonuses, risk-free bets or reload bonuses.


“10CRIC are very generous when it comes to offering bonuses.

A nickname based on rhyming slang for the price of 100/30 (100 to 30) – roughly odds of 3.33

The name comes from a music hall song from 1900 called ‘Burlington Bertie’ about a rich aristocrat called Bertie who enjoys a life of leisure shopping in the luxurious commercial area of London called Burlington.


I got odds of Burlington Bertie for Virat Kohli to win top batsman against the West Indies.


The idea behind it is that by Cashing Out before the game is over, customers can secure a guaranteed win/profit rather than losing both stake and profits as a result of a late twist. Well, it doesn’t have to be ‘late’ at all. You can cash out at any point after the game has gone live/in play. But for the most part it’s designed to make sure that a late goal or a late batting collapse doesn’t ruin your bet, a sort of ‘quit while you’re ahead’ by choosing the time when you want to lock in your profit (in this sense it’s a form of trading) rather than biting your nails for the last few minutes before losing due to a stroke of bad luck.

It’s also worth noting that the function isn’t designed solely to lock in wins; it can also be used to limit the amount you might lose. For example, you can cash out when your 100 quid bet is losing. The downside is that you’re giving up on it possibly winning, the upside is that you might get 30 quid of your own money back.

There is of course a catch. When you cash out your bet – whether in a winning or losing position – the amount the betting site offers you is less than what it should be based on the current odds at the time. That’s the site’s cut for offering you the service in the first place.

This is the cricket equivalent of a Starting Price (SP) in horse racing. In other words, it’s the last price offered just before the match gets underway.

As a punter, you’re unlikely to find much value when betting on the closing odds. That’s because by the time the match is about to start, bookmakers have all the necessary information available to them (including knowing the starting line-ups) to not give anything away in terms of value. You’re a lot more likely to find value betting on the ‘earlies’.

A fee that you pay on winning bets placed through a betting exchange. Because betting exchanges don’t lay odds themselves, they make their money by keeping a small percentage of the value of your win, normally between 2% and 5% but sometimes more if they charge a premium charge on particularly active and successful customers.


“I won ₹100 minus the ₹3 I had to pay commission on the win.”


A runner who isn’t amongst the favourites but isn’t an outsider, either.

And is perceived to have a livelier chance than its odds would suggest given its ability to perform to a high level from time to time and being capable of upsetting the favourites.


As ever, New Zealand are the dark horses to win the Cricket World Cup.

The preferred way of online betting companies displaying odds, as opposed to fractional odds which were traditionally the preferred way of high-street bookmakers.

Decimal odds start with the principle that 2.0 is evens so anything below 2.0 is odds-on, anything greater than 2.0 is odds-against. 1.5 is therefore ½, 2.5 is equal to 6/4. With ‘whole numbers’ the easiest way to think about it is to just subtract 1 from the number.

  • 6.0 is 5/1
  • 9.0 is 8/1
  • 16.0 is 15/1

My bet won at 5/1, or 6.0 in decimal odds if you prefer.


A bet where half of the stake is placed on the runner winning and the second-half of the stake is on it placing. The placing part of it will vary. In a golf tournament it will normally extend to a Top 6 or 7 finish whereas in a horse race how many places it extends to is normally directly proportional to the number of horses in the race; the more horses in the race the greater the number of places the bet pays out. In a football or tennis tournament the each-way part of the bet would normally be limited to the runner making the final.

The first part of the bet pays out at the win odds whereas the second part pays out at a fraction of the win odds. For example, in a golf tournament, if your player finishes between second and seventh (where each-way terms pay out on Top 7 places), you’ll be paid out at 1/4 of the odds that he was to win. (see image). In football it would normally be 1/2 the win odds if the team finishes as runners-up.

If your selection doesn’t win but does place as per the each-way terms, you will be paid out at the each-way odds with the other half of your stake being considered a losing bet. If your selection wins, half of your bet will be paid out at the win odds and the other half at the each-way odds. If your selection doesn’t place at all then you lose the whole of your bet.

Each-way betting can be a good strategy if you have a selection at a big price that you think could possibly win but if it doesn’t go all the way, could possibly finish in the top positions, without winning.

Punters should be aware that you’re essentially placing two bets when you bet each-way: one on the win and one on the to place so your stake will be double what it would be if it were just a single bet.


“Sergio Garcia should go well at the Masters. I’ve backed him at 40.0 each-way.”

When betting sites put up odds very early, or at least earlier than most other bookies, these are called “earlies”.

Whereas they’re unlikely to make too many mistakes on a football match or tennis match by doing this, it could happen that in their rush to offer odds as early as possible in a bid to maximize interest and turnover, they make some mistakes in slightly more complex or unusual markets.

Like a Next Manager market in football for example, where offering early prices may result in generous odds on one or more runners, whose chances the bookmakers haven’t had enough time to assess properly. Earlies on such markets can offer punters a chance to strike value bets.


The runner who has the greatest chance of winning of any in the book.

The term comes from the fact that the ‘favourite’ is the bettors’ favourite in terms of who will go on to win because it’s the favoured runner in terms of weight of money.


“Mumbai Indians are a worthy favourite to win the IPL this year.”

A betting market where the favourite is considered (by bettors) to be a poor favourite in terms of price and not a good reflection of its chances of winning compared to other runners, who are deemed to have a better chance.


“I’m going with a couple of outsiders to win, especially given there’s a false favourite at the top of the market.”

The preferred way for physical bookmakers to display their odds prior to the appearance of online betting sites.

Any odds where the first number is the smaller of the two, such as 4/6 is an odds-on price. If the opposite is true and the second number is bigger than the first, such as 7/4, then it’s an odds-against quote.

The exception is where the odds are exactly 50% and are just called evens or even money. With fractional odds, your stake isn’t included in the price as such. So if you back a horse at 6/1 you’ll get paid out six times your stake should it win.


“4.0 in fractional odds would be 3/1.”

Betting companies are increasingly fond of giving this type of bonus to customers. Sometimes as part of a welcome bonus, other times to existing customers. You need to have the money in your account to start with in order to place the bet, which you place in the normal way.

If your bet wins you’ll receive your winnings as per usual but if it loses, you’ll have the stake of the bet returned to you, hence it being risk-free. The ‘catch’ is that the stake isn’t normally returned to you as cash which can be withdrawn if you wish but rather as bonus money. The difference being that you’ll have to wager it through several times before you can withdraw it.

Sometimes the betting company might impose restrictions on your free bet such as it having to be on a particular match, on a particular betting market or at minimum odds but other times you can place it on whatever you like.


“I used my free bet to back Mumbai Indians to win.”


When a number of bettors or a syndicate all decide to bet on the same thing, either because they think it will win or the odds are really good. Because bookmakers cut prices based on the weight of money, a gamble will result in the price of that runner contracting.


There’s been a big gamble on Suryakumar Yadav to win the top batsman award. The betting sites will have a bad day if he wins.

The position you get yourself into when you lock in a profit and secure a win on all the outcomes in the market.

The name comes from the fact that on a betting exchange market a positive/winning position displays the numbers in green and a losing position displays the numbers in red. A green book is therefore where all the runners on your market have a green number next to them.


“I managed to get a green book on the US Masters, mostly by trading my position on Jordan Spieth throughout the tournament.”


In betting a handicap is a way of giving a team or a player who’s favourite an artificial head start to the outsider.

It could be a snooker player giving his opponent a 3.5 frame start, a tennis player giving his/her opponent a 2.5 game advantage or a football team giving their opponent a 1.5 goal start. Naturally, you don’t always have to side with the underdog to make the most of the handicap given to them; you can also choose to side with the favourite to win easier than the handicap applied to it.

In the above examples, all the handicaps were followed by .5 meaning that the draw is never an option. That’s how Asian handicaps work; they’re specifically designed to make sure that there’s a winner one way or the other with no possibility of a draw.

A European Handicap however does allow for the possibility of a draw. So in a snooker match between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Judd Trump where it’s Trump +1 frames, you essentially have three possible outcomes. Trump wins after handicap is applied; O’Sullivan wins after handicap is applied; it’s a draw after handicap is applied (this would happen if O’Sullivan won by exactly one frame).

The norm is for the handicap to make it virtually a 50/50 chance on an Asian handicap and something like a 45/45/10 split on a European handicap (the 10 being the draw on the handicap) but it doesn’t have to be. These days there are lots of different handicap lines so you could for example back Man City to beat Arsenal by 3.5 goals at 8.0 in addition to just backing them to beat them at 1.95 by 1.5 goals.


“I think Federer can cover the -2.5 handicap against Murray today.”


Betting on an event while it’s in progress/after it’s started. Also sometimes known as live betting.


“I backed Tottenham in-play at 3.0 when they were 1-0 down to Southampton.”


Where two or more runners are the same odds at the head of the market as favourites.


“India and Australia are joint-favourites to win the T20 World Cup at 7.0.”


Laying a bet means offering odds on something.

Every single bet available with a bookmaker has been laid by them at particular odds. When you bet with a betting exchange and you’re betting that something won’t happen, you’re laying a bet.


“I’ve laid Mumbai Indians to win the IPL. If anyone other than them win it and I’m going to win big”

The amount of money available in a Betting Exchange market.

The more customers there are playing a particular market, the more liquidity there is in it and the more likely you are to get your bet matched at the price you want to bet on it.

The more popular markets such as a Premier League match odds market have the best liquidity whereas more obscure markets have less, sometimes making it difficult to get your bet matched.


“You’ll get that 4.5 matched, no problem. The market has a lot of liquidity.”


A bet that rates as poor value.

An example would be a bet that is just generally very unlikely to win.


“Royal Challengers Bangalore to win the IPL is your definition of a mug bet.”


Normally applies to horses who don’t start a particular race that they were originally entered for but can apply to runners in other sports.

Such as a cricketer who isn’t named in the starting XI and can’t be the team’s top batsman. Generally, bets on non-runners are void.


“I backed Quinton de Kock to be the top batsman but he was declared a non-runner when he wasn’t included in the starting XI.”


Any bet that is available at a price greater than 2.0 or even money.

It’s called odds-against because theoretically, it’s more likely to not happen than to happen; the odds are against it happening.


“I was surprised to see that India were odds-against to beat England.”

A price that in terms of odds theoretically has better than a 50% chance of happening. So this is any bet that has odds of less than 2.0.


“It’s odds-on that India will beat Sri Lanka in the T20i series.”

Can also be described as a live bet or a bet that hasn’t been settled yet.

If you bet on individual matches you’re unlikely to have many open bets at any given time because the odds on matches are usually only put up a few days before the game is played and are settled straight away.

But for those punters who bet on long-term markets, such as who will win the Premier League at the start of the season or who will win Wimbledon months before the tournament comes about, there will be plenty of open bets at any given time.


“I have lots of open bets on the World Cup so my bankroll will look very different to what it is now by the time it finishes.”

When betting sites create a betting market, the sum of all the different odds about the different runners can be added up together to create what is called the overround.

If you were placing a bet with your friend on the outcome of a coin toss, it would be a straightforward 50/50 bet and the overround would be exactly 100% – what it should be from a purely mathematical perspective.

But of course, if bookmakers’ applied a 100% overround, they’d make little or no money. So any betting site will always have an overround that is greater than 100%; the number above 100% is called the bookmakers’ margin. A regular bookmaker may have an overround of around 5% on their markets and you could argue that’s probably about fair. After all, they may be the enemy of the punter but they do still have costs to cover like staff, rent, taxes and so on. It’s the profit generated courtesy of this margin that allows them to cover these costs and stay in business.

But some bookmakers’ have a margin far greater than that. You can calculate the overround of a sportsbook yourself to see how fair or unfair it is. Remember that the greater the number above 100%, the tighter/stingier the bookmaker is being with their prices, the lower the payout to you in the long run and the less of a chance you have of winning in the long run.

Occasionally, you’ll see a market on Betfair or Betdaq where the overround is exactly 100%, although that’s more likely to happen in-play and for only a brief amount of time than on a pre-match market. You’re more likely to see this on a 2-runner market like a tennis match or a cricket ODI than one with lots of different runners. The most obvious example is if both teams are 2.0 to win.

But before you get too excited and think the house has no edge at all, you need to remember that irrespective of how generous the overround is, you’ll need to pay commission on any winning bets secured on a betting exchange.


Where the odds on the different outcomes are exactly the same or almost the same to the extent that the chances of each one winning are virtually those of a coin toss.

An example would be the coin toss where the odds are the same for both teams to win. Another example would be a limited-overs cricket match where the two teams were priced up at the same odds.


“The India v Australia T20 match is a pick’em match…it’s 2.0 on each one on Pure Win so just go ahead and pick one.”

Just another name for odds or quote.


“India are a good price to win tonight.”

The odds offered by a betting site are based on the weight of money, or how many customers are betting on that runner to win.

The more people bet on a particular outcome, the more its price will come in, or contract. The less people are betting on runner x (and betting on other runners) the bigger the odds on runner x will be, leading to people saying “the price on x is going out.”

Bookies adapt the odds on their book based on what people are betting on causing the price to come in on some runners and going out on others.


‘The price on Australia has gone out; presumably, bettors don’t think they will perform well in this grounds.’


A bonus offered by a betting firm as an incentive to get you to make a deposit.

Normally, the bonus offered will be a percentage of the value of your deposit and will also normally be capped so that you know in advance what’s the maximum amount you can receive as a bonus. So the company may say that you can get a 100% bonus on your next deposit up to ₹10,000.

That means that if you deposited ₹10,000, you’d get 100% of that amount deposited in bonus money (₹10,000). Because it was capped at ₹10,000, even if you deposited ₹20,000, you’d still only get a maximum of ₹10,000 as a bonus.

Customers should be aware that bonuses normally come with wagering requirements whereas the money they deposit themselves normally doesn’t. Very occasionally, and especially with welcome bonuses, the deposit will also come with wagering requirements should you choose to accept the bonus.


“Their offer of a 100% reload bonus up to ₹10,000 is very generous.”

Any outcome that you can back in a market is a runner.

For example, in a five-horse race, each of the five horses is a runner. In a football match, the home team, draw and away team are the three runners in a match odds market.


“The draw is a lively runner in the match odds market in Chelsea vs Arsenal.”


Betting markets that aren’t the winner market.

Even though there’s no definitive definition of what side markets do and don’t include, in the case of cricket, they could be said to be just about any market that wasn’t the winner of the game. So top batsman, top bowler, man of the match, total run-outs.


“With no value in the match winner market, I found some decent bets in the side markets.”

When the odds on a runner (that would normally be a good bet) are lower than what you’d want them to be, you say the price is “short enough.” In other words, bookies are aware of the interest in that runner and aren’t giving anything away.


“I fancied Mumbai Indians to win the IPL but at 4.0 they’re short enough.”

Any sports bet placed with a bookmaker rather than on a betting exchange is placed with a sportsbook, whether it’s online or with a high-street bookmaker.

The term can apply to either the company as a whole or to a particular market within the company.


“10CRIC have a good Sportbook product”

“Betway are running a Sportsbook on who will be the next manager of England’s cricket team.”

The amount of money you’ve placed on a particular bet.


“It was a good result for me because I’d doubled my usual stake on that particular bet.”

A single is a bet on just one outcome, as opposed to an acca. For example, if you only bet on the match winner and nothing else.


“I prefer to bet on singles. Accas are too risky.”

This is the number of times (out of 100) that your bets win. So if you placed 100 bets and 55 won, your strike rate would be 55. Strike rates are often used as a way of establishing how successful a tipster is.

The problem with just using a strike rate is that it doesn’t give you the full picture. In other words, it doesn’t give you the slightest indication as to what your profit is, merely what proportion of your bets go on to win.

So if the average odds at which you bet are 1.4 then you’d actually be losing money if your strike rate was 55. A strike rate helps understand how successful you are in terms of being right but should be used in conjunction with the P and L (profit and loss).


“His tips have a high strike rate but bear in mind he often tips at odds-on so lots of winners don’t necessarily mean lots of profit.”


Placing several bets on the same betting market with a view to locking in a profit regardless of the final outcome of the event. Trading on sport was made possible by the creation of live betting.

Trading is different to betting because traders don’t necessarily have an opening opinion on the outcome of the event to start with. They’ll usually start by placing their first bet based on what they’re seeing and will then look to place subsequent bets placed on price fluctuations that are beneficial to your position in the market. For example, if you back India to beat Australia in a T20 game at 3.0, then lay them at 2.2, then back them at 3.0 and lay them again at 1.7 you would have successfully traded your position so that you’ll make a profit whether it’s India or Australia winning the game in the end, assuming you managed the stakes correctly.

As a general rule, the more volatile a game and its subsequent betting market, the easier it is to make a profit trading on it. That’s why T20 cricket and a back-and-forth tennis match, especially one on clay, are perfect for trading.


“I locked in a profit trading on the India vs West Indies 3rd T20i match.”

Someone who recommends bets in a newspaper, website or telephone subscription service. The tips can either be free or covered in the cost of purchasing the newspaper (eg. The Racing Post).

Or they can be paid for. Lots of tipping services charge a flat monthly fee for subscribers to receive the tips on a weekly or daily basis.

Tipsters normally keep a running P and L that shows how many points/units (see below) they’re up or down for the year or overall so subscribers can keep tabs on how successful the tips have been.


“He’s one of the best tipsters around. Just look at his P and L at the moment.”


A unit is the percentage of your bank that you’re going to stake on a particular bet.

Gamblers who take betting seriously think long and hard not just about which bets to place but also how much to place on each bet (the stake).

Given that managing your bankroll is key to the whole process, they’ll see each bet placed not as a monetary amount as such but rather as a percentage of their initial (or current) bankroll. So if your bank is ₹1000 and you decide to back India to beat Australia at 1.8, you don’t see the ₹100 you’re going to bet on India as ₹100 but rather as 10 units of your bank.

Of course, different punters have very different bankrolls in terms of their size. So if your friend decides to bet ₹1000 of his ₹10,000 bank on India, whereas the amount of money bet is very different, it’s the same 10 units as what you’re betting.


“I’m staking 5 units of my bankroll on India to win the Cricket World Cup.”


A bet where the odds are greater than what you’d expect them to be meaning the return on your bet, should it win, is more generous than what you’d think it was.


“Backing India to beat Australia at 2.2 is definitely a value bet.

A bet that was cancelled meaning your money is refunded and it neither wins or loses.

Bets are voided for any number of reasons such as cricket matches that are rained off without a result or runners that are backed without playing, such as when you back a player to be first goalscorer and he didn’t start and therefore wasn’t on the pitch when the first goal was scored.


“The match didn’t finish so my bet was void.”


Because bonuses are essentially free money that the company is giving you as a reward for doing something, bonuses often come with wagering requirements.

The wagering requirements are a way of the betting company not being at the mercy of customers who will withdraw the bonus as soon as they get it or withdrawing it as soon as they have a winning bet from it. It creates a bit more of a level playing field.

Wagering requirements vary but can be from anything from 2x to 30x. If the wagering requirements were 2x on a bonus of ₹10,000, you’d have to bet ₹20,000 through the Sportsbook before you could withdraw any money.

Wagering requirements also often establish that each bet that you place as part of fulfilling the wagering requirements are place at minimum odds of say 1.5 or 2.0. That’s to prevent customers placing a huge bet at very short odds, guaranteeing a winner on what is a near certainty and meeting the wagering requirements that way before withdrawing the bonus and winnings from it.


“The wagering requirements of 3x at odds of 1.8 per bet are easy to turn over.”

In football, this relates to how easily a team wins a particular game or more precisely, by how many goals they win it by. The number of different runners in the market and how they’re set up will vary from bookie to bookie. So let’s say England are playing Scotland. The market may have very specific winning margins like ‘England to win by 1 goal’ ‘England to win by 2 goals’ or it may have slightly broader ones like ‘England to win by 1-2 goals’ or ‘England to win by 2 or more goals.’

There will of course also be runners for the other team’s winning margin. If it’s a pretty even match you’ll probably get the exact same runners but if it was a very lopsided affair on paper, say England v San Marino you’d probably only get ‘San Marino to win by 1 or more goals’ rather than all the different possibilities because few people would be interested in betting on San Marino winning at all.

It goes without saying that the more specific the winning margin is, the better the odds on that runner; the broader the winning margin, the lower the odds.

Any winning margin market should of course also have the draw in it as a runner. After all, if a game ends in a draw there obviously isn’t a winning margin at all by either side.


Here you make four selections/picks which are divided into 11 separate bets: six doubles, four triples and a four-bet accumulator.

All of those four selections are put together with each of the other outcomes, including of course the final one where you need them all to win to be paid out. So if Everton to beat Stoke was one of your four picks, the Everton win would be put together with the other three selections in every way possible, including of course the four-way accumulator, which obviously is the one that carries the highest odds and pays out the most.

To gain any sort of return you’ll need at least two of your four selections to win. It’s a characteristic of a Yankee bet that at the time you place it, you may know what your stake is but you’ll only know how much you’ll be paid out in total once you know how many of your four selections won.