Sports Betting Terminology to Help You Place Bets Like a Pro

Sports Betting Terminology to Help You Place Bets Like a Pro

In the world of sports betting one needs to understand the unique jargon that has evolved as more and more people take to betting on sporting events and everything in between. This list of sports betting terminology will help you fit in seamlessly without coming across like a square and making everyone think you are a sharp, seasoned sports bettor.

Glossary of Sports Betting Terminology

Action ‒ The money bet on a race or contest. (Ex. “I’ve got some action on the Rugby match today”).

Beard/Runner ‒ A third party placing bets in the name of a bettor who chooses to remain anonymous.

Bet/Wager ‒ The money risked by the bettor or punter in hopes of winning money.

Bookmaker/Bookie ‒ The individual, establishment or website offering the odds against the outcome of multiple sporting events (sometimes not exclusively sports).

Bonus ‒ Conditional incentive sometimes given by bookmakers as a means of drumming up new bettors and egging on existing account holders to increase their betting activity.

Dead Heat ‒ A dead heat is when two or more competitors finish a sporting event with the identical place or classification.

Backing the Roughie ‒ A punter who often chooses to bet on the underdog or the one competing against the favourite to win.

Double Result ‒ A factor of conditional betting when the result at half time and full time are combined.

Draw/Push ‒ When there is no winner or loser at the end of a sporting event.

Favourite/Chalk/Jolly ‒ The competitor favoured to win by the odds.

Figure ‒ The winnings owed to a punter by the bookie.

Fixed-Odds Betting/ Binary Betting ‒ Traditional betting offered by bookmakers whereby the odds are fixed once the bet is made.

Handicap ‒ Handicap betting is where one selection in an event is given a "handicap" to overcome in order to win. This is popular when strong favorites are playing, instead of placing a match bet at short odds, you can place a bet at longer odds with a 1 or 2 goal start for instance.

Half Time Bet/First Half Bet ‒ A bet placed on the score at half time.

Handle ‒ The total of all the bets a bookmaker collects for one event.

Holding Your Own ‒ Breaking even rather than winning or losing.

Limit ‒ The maximum bet allocated by the bookmaker before changing the odds or points set.

A Sid ‒ An easy winner.

Longshot ‒ When the team, individual or horse which had the odds stacked against them wins the event. Ex. “He won by a longshot!”

A Push‒ A bet where no money is lost or won.

Novelty/ Special Bet ‒ An event that is not sports related, like betting on the winner of a reality TV show or who will win a political election.

Odds/Price/Line ‒ The underlying probability on which bookmakers base the odds they set.

Over/Under Total ‒ A specified number representing the total points scored in a game and betting on whether the collective final result will be more or less than that number.

Sharp/Wiseguy ‒ A knowledgeable punter that makes multiple bets across multiple kinds of bets and sporting events. A seasoned bettor.

Square ‒ Someone who is new to betting, a rookie.

Stake ‒ The amount of money risked by a punter on any specific bet. (Eg. “The stakes are high, they need to win!”) 

Total ‒ The total number of points scored by all competitors in a single sporting event.

Tout ‒ A person that sells tips on how to bet.

Underdog ‒ The opposite of the favourite to win. The competitor with the odds stacked against them.

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