Complete Glossary of Betting Terms (A-Z)

betting terms

The world of sports betting and gambling is rife with jargon, that to the uninitiated can be confusing, daunting even. This is why Marathonbet has put together this extensive glossary, with over 100 betting terms explained! Do you know what an Asian Handicap is? Do you know your Yankee from your Super Yankee? Could you do with brushing up on your sports betting terms? Bookmark this article and improve your knowledge of betting terminology today with Marathonbet.

Full A-Z Here show


Acca Insurance

If one selection lets you down, with Acca Insurance you will receive either part, or your entire stake back. Will be returned either as cash or free bets, dependent on the offer.


In Poker, All-in refers to placing all remaining available chips into the pot. This can either be called by the player, or as a response to an opponent.


All-Weather is a term to describe Horse Racing which takes place on an artificial surface. In the UK and Ireland there are seven courses which have all-weather tracks (Chelmsford City, Kempton Park, Lingfield, Newcastle, Southwell, Wolverhampton & Dundalk).

Accumulator Bet (or Acca) >>

An Accumulator (or Acca), is a bet of four or more selections, combined into a single wager. Accumulators are popular, as they provide an opportunity for a large win from a small stake.

Ante-Post (Sports)

For sports betting, Ante-Post could involve betting on the Premier League football winner, Wimbledon tennis champion etc. Unless otherwise stated, if you back a player and they withdraw before the tournament starts (due to injury etc) then that selection will be treated as a non-runner and be voided with Marathonbet, unlike most firms who will make that selection a loser and not return your money.

Ante-Post (Horse Racing)

In Horse Racing, Ante-Post refers to placing a pre-event bet on prices offered before the final declaration stage. Unless otherwise stated, if your selection does not run, the bet is declared lost. The exception being if your horse remains declared to run but is unable to because of restrictions on the number of runners, then it will be balloted out and treated as a non-runner.

Asian Handicap >>

An Asian Handicap is a popular bet, originating in Indonesia. An Asian Handicap see’s one team (or player) given a virtual head start. If the team you are betting on are heavy favourites, with low odds, you can increase the odds by going for a negative handicap. This means they have to win by a certain number of goals. When the handicap value is not a whole number, the possibility of a draw is eliminated.

Asian Handicap (split or double) >>

An Asian Handicap can also be available in split or double form. This will be in the format -1 & -1.5 for example, where your stake is split equally on the two handicaps. The odds will be less than on a straight -1.5 handicap, but on the split option if you bet on the favourite and they win by just one goal, then the -1 part of the split handicap is voided and you get half your stake returned.



To Back something is to place a bet on a selection you think is going to happen.

Bad Beat

Bad Beat is a term used in poker, for when a player, with what appears to be a strong hand, nevertheless loses. 


A Banker is a selection which a bettor expects to win and may be included in many of their bets.


Bar is a term used in horse racing to include the minimum price for horses not shown in a betting show. This will often be on a race with a large number of runners, where a betting forecast may include ‘20/1 bar’, for example. This means any horse not quoted will be a price of at least 20/1.


To Bet is to place a monetary stake on the outcome of an event.

Bet live (or Live Betting, In-Play Betting)

Live Betting (or in-play betting) refers to placing a bet when the sporting event is already underway and odds are being updated as the action unfolds.

Best Odds Guaranteed

Best Odds Guaranteed is offered on selected horse races. It means that if you take an early price on your bet and the SP (starting price) of that selection is bigger, the bookmaker will pay out at the greater odds. For more info click here.

Bet Constructor

Bet Constructor is a type of bet offered by Marathonbet which allows you to pick two virtual teams made up from players or teams participating in real matches. Virtual teams can include one real team/player against another or several combined. You pick who you want on your team and who you want to play against! For more info click here.

Board Price

A Board Price is a price offered at a racetrack on horse or greyhound racing and is then relayed to off-course bookmakers to form the pre-race betting show in the build up to the start of a race.

Bookmaker (or Bookie)

A Bookmaker is a person, or entity that takes bets, pays out winnings and calculates odds.

Bore Draw

Bore Draw is a popular football promotion, where you receive your stake back if a match finishes 0-0.


Canadian (or Super Yankee)

A Canadian bet, or Super Yankee, is a multiple that includes 26 bets on five selections. This includes 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-fold accumulators and 1 five-fold accumulator. At least 2 selections must come in to see a return. A £1 bet on a Canadian, would cost you £26.


Cashback is a promotion offered by bookmakers. If your bet loses, some or all of your stake will be returned. This could be as a Free Bet, a cash amount or a bonus.


Cashout allows the bettor the opportunity to get money back before the event has finished. At any point, the amount you are offered is relative to the likelihood of your bet winning. This is particularly popular in multiple bets to take a profit when in a good position so the bettor does not lose everything if results turn against them.


Co-Favourite is a term most commonly used in Horse Racing. It refers to when three or more horses have an equal chance of winning, according to the bookmaker, and thus are all offered at the shortest (identical) price to win a race.

Combination Forecast

Combination Forecast is a bet type associated with horse or greyhound racing. A punter would pick three or more selections in a race and receive winnings if two of those selections finish first and second, in any order. The more selections, the higher the stake. (This is effectively a series of straight forecast bets placed together and requires multiple stakes according to the number of selections).

Combination Tricast

Whereas with a straight tricast bet, you must state which horses or greyhounds will finish in the first three (in the correct order), a Combination Tricast allows for more flexibility. To win a combination tricast your selections must finish in the first three, in any order. The more selections, the higher the stake. Tricasts are available on certain races only, depending in the race type and number of runners. (This is effectively a series of straight tricast bets placed together and requires multiple stakes according to the number of selections).


When a favourite wins by more than the given handicap, they are considered as having covered the handicap.


Dead Heat 

Dead Heat is most commonly associated with both horse and greyhound racing, where two (or more) horses or greyhounds cross the finishing line at the same time. It can also occur in other sports, say in a golf tournament when two or more players finish on the same score and a play-off does not determine the winner. For betting purposes, if a dead heat is declared in any event, half of the stake is applied to the selection at full odds and the other half is lost. If more than two selections dead heat, the stake is apportioned accordingly.


When a bettor places money in their betting account, it is known as a Deposit.

Double Chance

Double Chance gives the bettor the opportunity to cover two of three possible outcomes in a football match, with a single bet. For example, home team and draw, where you will win should the home team either win or draw the match. The prices offered will be less than selecting one of the options individually.

Double Bet

Double Bet consists of two selections. Both selections must win to see a return. You can also place an each way double, which consists of two stakes, with one stake on both selections winning and one stake on both being placed.

Draw No Bet >>>

In a Draw No Bet market, your stake is returned should the game end in a draw. For example, you bet on the winner of a football match. If the team you bet on wins, the bet would win. If the game ends in a draw, you would receive your stake back. This is the same as betting on the handicap (0) market.


When the odds have lengthened on a selection their price is referred to as drifting and their chances of winning are considered less. This may be a horse where a change in the going has adversely affected their chances of winning, a football team affected by injuries and so on.


Dutching is a method of betting, where you divide your stake over multiple selections on an event. If one of the selections wins, the amount won is the same, regardless of which bet comes in. 


Each-way (E/W) >>>

An Each Way bet incorporates 2 separate bets, both to win and to place. The win bet is as it seems, you bet on a horse to win the race. To place, the horse must finish in one of the place positions (normally top 3), but depends on the bookmaker, the type of race and number of participants in the race. You are essentially betting on both the horse to win, or to place. This requires 2 stakes. Therefore a £5 stake on a horse E/W, would cost you £10.

Early Price

An Early Price is a price offered by a bookmaker on a horse or greyhound race before the official betting show is opened. The early prices will generally be available for betting overnight or on the morning of a race.


Evens is often referred to as ‘even money’. If you win, your total return would be double your stake. The odds are shown as 1/1 in fractions, or 2.00 in decimals.

Exacta bet (or Exactor, Perfecta, Straight Forecast)

An Exacta bet is when a bettor picks two horses, to finish first and second. The horses must finish in that order, to win the bet. This is a term used in North America for a forecast. 



Favourite is the shortest priced selection in a race or event and thus the option considered the most likely to win.

Flag Bet

Flag Bet consists of 4 horse or greyhound selections in a combination of 23 bets, all in different events. These consist of 6 Doubles, 4 Trebles, 1 Four-Fold and 12 single any-to-come bets.


A fold is a full combination of multiple bets within a given number of selections. Therefore, if you choose 7 selections the ‘Bet Types’ allowed will include the following:

Folds4 (all combinations of 4 from 7) = 35 bets

Folds5 (all combinations of 5 from 7) = 21 bets

Folds6 (all combinations of 6 from 7) = 7 bets

Folds can be a good way of including some multiple bets within a larger number of selections without the cost of a full cover permutation.

Free Bet

A Free Bet is a bet of a specific value, given to you by the bookmaker.

Free Spins

Free Spins can be awarded on Casino Slot Games, either won during regular gameplay or given to you by the bookmaker.



A Gambler is an individual that places bets.

Goliath Bet

A Goliath Bet is an 8-selection wager consisting of 247 bets – 28 Doubles, 56 Trebles, 70 Four-Folds, 56 Five-Folds, 28 Six-Folds, 8 Seven-Folds and an 8 fold accumulator. You need 2 selections to come in to see a return. If you were to bet £1 on a Goliath bet, your total stake would be £247.


In a horse race, the going describes the ground conditions for a race meeting. For turf meetings this will range from firm to heavy, for all-weather meetings the going will generally be described as standard.


Handicap >>

When one selection in an event is given a Handicap, it must overcome this in order to win. This can be on a sports event, when an outsider is given a goal or point start for example. In Horse Racing, a handicap is where the horses are allocated weights based on their ratings, with the better horses given more weight to carry with the aim of making the race more competitive.

Head to Head Betting (or Two-Way Betting)

Head to Head betting refers to placing a bet on one of two possible outcomes. This option would often be offered on two competitors in the same event, where you are betting on which of the selections finishes in the higher position. It could be on which of two Premier League teams will finish in the higher position, which of two players will score the most goals in a season etc. In some betting markets this may be offered with a third price on the selections to finish tied.


To Hedge is to lay bets on different outcomes, reducing risk of loss, and sometimes, guaranteeing a profit if the odds move in the bettors favour.

Heinz Bet

Heinz is a 6-selection bet consisting of 57 bets – 15 Doubles, 20 Trebles, 15 Four-Folds, 6 Five-Folds and a 1 six-fold accumulator. At least two selections must win in order to see a return. A £1 Heinz would cost you £57.


Joint Favourite

Joint Favourite is a term most commonly used in Horse Racing. It refers to two horses that have an equal chance of winning, according to the bookmaker, and thus are both offered at the shortest (identical) price to win a race.


Jolly is a slang term which refers to the favourite in an event.


Last Team to Score

The Last Team to Score market is most commonly used in football, and means betting on the team that will score the last goal in a game (normally 90 minutes). If only one goal is scored in the game, both the last team to score and first team to score will be the same.

Lay Betting

Lay Betting allows the bettor to play the role of the bookmaker, and offer odds to other bettors. These are available on betting exchanges, and see’s you essentially betting on an outcome not to happen. In some fixed odds markets, there is also an option to back a selection ‘not to win’.

Layoff Betting

Layoff Betting simply refers to one bookmaker placing a wager with another bookmaker, to reduce the liability on a selection or to offset possible losses from an accumulative bet.

Live Casino

Live Casino is a webcast of real-life casino tables, allowing the player to play online in a ‘live’ environment.

Longshot Bet

A Longshot Bet means placing a bet on an unlikely outcome. Such bets will have long odds, which can make them appealing to some bettors. 

Lose-to-Win Accumulator

A Lose to Win Accumulator allows you to bet on two or more selections from different events. To win, at least one of your selections must lose. For more info see here

Lucky 15

Lucky 15 is a 4-selection wager, consisting of 15 bets – 4 Singles, 6 Doubles, 4 Trebles and a 4-fold accumulator. Only 1 winner is needed for a return. A £1 bet would cost you £15. If all your selections are from horse or greyhound racing, you will receive double your winnings if only one selection wins and, if all four selections win, 10% of your winnings (from the win part of a bet) will be added to your returns.

Lucky 31

Lucky 31 is a 5-selection wager consisting of 31 bets – 5 Singles, 10 Doubles, 10 Trebles, 5 4-Folds and a 1 5-fold accumulator. Only 1 winner is needed for a return. A £1 bet would cost you £31. If all your selections are from horse or greyhound racing, you will receive double your winnings if only one selection wins and, if all five selections win, 20% of your winnings (from the win part of a bet) will be added to your returns. Four winning selections from five will give you a 5% bonus added to your winnings.

Lucky 63

Lucky 63 is a 6-selection wager consisting of 63 bets – 6 Singles, 15 Doubles, 20 Trebles, 15 Four-Folds, 6 Five-Folds and a six-fold accumulator. Only 1 winner is needed for a return. A £1 bet would cost you £63. If all your selections are from horse or greyhound racing, you will receive double your winnings if only one selection wins and, if all six selections win, 25% of your winnings (from the win part of a bet) will be added to your returns. Five winning selections from six will give you a 15% bonus added to your winnings.


Market Mover

In horse racing, a Market Mover refers a horse that has considerably lengthened or shortened in price prior to the event.


A Monkey is a slang term, used to describe £500.

Multiple Bet

Multiple Betting is a term used to describe a bet that combines two or more selections. Popular multiples include doubles, trebles and accumulators. 



Commonly associated with horse racing, a NAP is a tipster’s most confident tip of the day.


Non-Runner refers to a horse that is named to run in a race, but doesn’t take part.

Non-Runner No Bet

Non-Runner No Bet is in relation to the Ante-Post market and is occasionally offered on big races. When a horse doesn’t take part in the race, the punter receives their stake back if the bet was placed when Non-Runner No Bet was active.

Novelty Bet

A Novelty Bet is a bet on a non-sporting event. For example, TV or politics. 


Nuts is a poker term, for when a player has the best hand possible.



Odds (also known as the price) are a numerical expression, used within gambling to reflect the likelihood of an outcome. There are generally three main ways in which they are presented; decimal, fractional and American (moneyline).


An Oddsmaker is an individual, employed by the bookmaker, that is responsible for calculating and setting the betting odds for an event.


If an outcome is priced as Odds-on, it is considered more likely to happen than not. The odds offered to win the event will be very short. Odds-on expressed as a fraction would see the smaller number before the bigger number, e.g 10/11 or 1/5. Displayed as decimals, odds-on would be below 2.00.

Opening Line

The opening line is the first set of odds, handicaps or points offered on a particular match.


An Outsider is a horse or team that is deemed unlikely to win. The odds offered on outsiders will be longer. 

Over/Under Betting

Over/Under Betting refers to markets where the sportsbook will predict a specific number of statistics in a game. The bettor will wager against whether the actual number in the game will be higher or lower. For example, in football, over/under a certain number of goals to be scored in a game or over/under a certain number of corners.


An Overround (betting margin) is how a bookmaker makes money. It involves factoring in a profit margin when setting prices. A bookmaker betting to lower overrounds or margin will generally pay more back to winning customers. An explanation of Marathonbet’s low margins can be found here.



Parlay is an American term used to describe combining multiple bets into one. Commonly known as an accumulator, in the UK. 

Photo Finish

A Photo Finish is used in horse and greyhound racing where the runners finish closely together and cannot be easily separated by the naked eye. The result is then confirmed by the judge after viewing a photograph taken by a camera on the winning line.


To Place in horse racing, means to bet on a horse that doesn’t win, but finishes in a position that the bookmaker has offered as part of an each-way (E/W) bet. If your horse places, you would receive a payout for the place part of your bet.


A Pony is a slang term, used to describe £25.

Pre-Match Bet

Pre-Match Bet refers to placing a bet before the event has begun. If you were to bet after the event has started, this would be considered a live (in-play) bet.


Price (see odds) is a term used to describe the odds on a specific outcome or selection.


Any money you have made, above what you have staked, is Profit.


In betting, a ‘Push’ is a draw between the bookmaker and the punter where the final score of a game is exactly equal to the goal/point/etc spread. The bet is deemed neither won nor lost, and the bettors stake is returned.



A Rag is a slang term referring to a selection at long odds which is considered unlikely to win, especially used in horse racing.


Return is the amount of money you receive back from your bet if it has a payout.

Reverse Forecast 

To win a Reverse Forecast, you need to pick two horses or greyhounds in a race. They must finish first and second, in any order. Because you are effectively placing 2 separate bets, the cost of the bet is double your stake. For example, a £2 Reverse Forecast will cost you £4.

Reverse Forecast Double 

This is similar to a Reverse Forecast. However, with a Reverse Forecast Double you pick at least 2 selections, in two events. To win, your selections must come first and second, in any order in both events. If you have two selections in two races, the bet will be 4 x Reversed Forecast doubles (costing four times your unit stake) and will increase depending how many additional selections you include.


ROI means ‘Return on Investment’. In a gambling sense implies any profit you have made above your initial stake.

Round Robin Bet

Round Robin bet consists of 3 horse or greyhound selections in a combination of 10 bets, all in different events. These consist of 3 Doubles, 1 Treble and 6 single any-to-come bets.

Rule 4

Rule 4 (or Tattersalls Rule 4 (c) in full) is a deduction applied to winning bets in the event of a withdrawal from a race. The deduction applies to bets struck at early or board prices made before a withdrawal. It can also apply to SP bets when there was a late withdrawal and insufficient time left to reform the market. The deduction will be proportional to the price of the withdrawn horse(s). For more info see the table in point 4 here.



In a Scorecast bet, the bettor must predict both the correct score, as well as the first player to score in the match. Both outcomes must be predicted correctly in order to win the bet. For example, Man City to beat Man Utd 3-1, with Agüero scoring first in the match.

Sharp (or Wise Guy)

In betting terms a ‘Sharp’ is an individual, or part of a syndicate, that wagers large amounts of money on an event and whose betting opinion is respected by the bookmaker and will influence the market. Essentially it is a term for those who consider themselves professional bettors and who will only place a bet when they consider they have an ‘edge’ over the bookmaker.

Single Bet

Single Bet refers to placing a bet on one selection only in one event.

 Slot Game

Slot Game is a Casino game with a set of reels containing different types of symbols. Online slots can also be referred to as Video Slots. Any winnings are based on the position of the symbols at the end of each spin.

Sport Pools

Sports Pools are a product offered on the Marathonbet website where you buy into a pool, and make a selection in each of the events within that particular pool. You can do this individually or join/create a syndicate. There are no odds involved and the returns are based on the amount of winning entries in that pool. For further information see here.


A Stake is the amount of money you place on a bet.

Starting Price (SP)

Starting Price (SP) is the price a horse or greyhound starts the race at.


Steamer is a horse that has seen a large number of bets placed on it during the day, resulting in its odds shortening dramatically.

Straight Forecast 

Straight Forecast bet is where you choose two selections, in a horse or greyhound race, to finish first and second in the correct order. The odds for the forecast will not be known at the time you place your bet. A computer generated straight forecast dividend (payout including stake) is declared soon after the result. In order to get a return you must pick both the first and second placed selections in the correct order. Because it is a single bet, it will cost you a single stake. Known as an Exacta in North America.

Straight Forecast Double

A Straight Forecast Double is a bet where you choose four selections in two events (two selections in each of the events). In both events your selections must finish first and second in the correct order. In order to get a return you must pick both the first and second placed selections in the correct order in each race.

Straight Tricast (or Tricast)

A Straight Tricast, sometimes called Tricast or Trifecta, is a single bet where you choose three selections in a Horse or Greyhound race, to finish first, second and third in the correct order. The odds for the tricast will not be known at the time you place your bet. In order to get a return you must pick the first, second and third placed selections in the correct order.


A Streak refers to a number of bets you have won or lost in a row simultaneously.

Super Heinz

Super Heinz is a 7-selection wager consisting of 120 bets – 21 Doubles, 35 Trebles, 35 Four-Folds, 21 Five-Folds, 7 Six-Folds and a Seven-Fold accumulator. Two or more selections must win to see a return. A £1 Super Heinz would cost you £120.

Super Yankee (Canadian)

Super Yankee, or Canadian, is a 5-selection wager that includes 26 bets on five selections – 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-fold accumulators and 1 five-fold accumulator. At least 2 selections must come in to see a return. A £1 bet on a Super Yankee would cost you £26.



A Tip is a selection from a tipster, detailing a bet they believe will win, and return profit. 


Tipster is someone with knowledge of a specific sport, who provides tips based on their expected outcomes.

Tissue Price

Tissue Price is a forecasted price done by a specialist based on their estimation of a selections chance of winning. These will often be used for racing publications like the Racing Post and Sporting Life to provide betting guides for their readers before odds become available with the bookmakers. They may also be used by traders when first pricing a race and by bettors to see where value may lie between a tissue price and an actual price offered.


Treble bet is a multiple, consisting of three selections from three different events. All selections must win in order to see a return. A treble bet requires a single stake. i.e. placing a £5 treble on three different events will cost you £5.

Trifecta Bet (or Straight Tricast, Tricast)

A Trifecta is a North American term meaning the same as Tricast, or Straight Tricast. A bettor would select three horses to finish first, second or third in the exact order.

Trixie Bet

Trixie is a 3-selection wager, consisting of 4 bets – 3 doubles and a treble. A £1 Trixie To Win would cost you £4, whereas an Each Way (E/W) Trixie would cost you £8. To see a return from a Trixie, 2 or more selections must win (or be placed for a return in an Each Way bet).



The term Underdog is used to refer to a participant in an event (horse, dog, team) that is not expected to win.



If a bet is cancelled, it is known as being made Void.



A Wincast is a popular football bet, that involves betting on both the team to win, and predicting a player to score in the match. For example, Man City to win and Agüero to score at 3/1. In this case, Man City must win the game, and Agüero must score for the bet to win.  

Wise Guy (Sharp)

A Wise Guy is a professional gambler that has the reputation to influence the market.



Yankee is a 4-selection wager consisting of 11 bets – 6 Doubles, 4 Trebles and a Four-Fold accumulator. At least 2 selections must come in to see a return. A £1 win Yankee would cost you £11.