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 120 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.

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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.

Accumulator Bet (or Acca) 

An Accumulator (or Acca), is a selection of four or more bets, combined into a single wager. Accumulators are popular, as they provide an opportunity for increased winnings, with a reduced expense.


Ante-Post refers to placing a pre-event bet, at least a day before the event begins. Most commonly used in Horse Racing, before the overnight declaration stage. Unless otherwise stated, if your selection does not participate, the bet is declared lost.

Anti-Martingale (or Reverse Martingale)

Anti-Martingale is the opposite of a Martingale. It consists of making a succession of bets, and is aimed at taking advantage of a ‘winning streak’. When a player wins a bet, they would subsequently increase their next stake. When a bet is lost, they would return to their original stake. This strategy is most commonly associated with roulette. 

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. 




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. 


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.

Bet Value

Bet Value is the monetary value of the bet a bettor has placed.

Betting Line 

This is only available for an event where there are two possible outcomes. The Betting Line is where the bookmaker handicaps a team by setting a margin, effectively making the game equal.

Bookmaker (or Bookie)

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

Bookmaker Commission (or Vig)

Bookmaker Commision (vig) is the percentage the bookmaker takes from the betting odds, in order to earn money whatever the outcome.

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, your stake will be returned as a free bet.


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.

Combination Forecast

A Combination Forecast is a bet type associated with horse or greyhound racing. A punter would pick 3 or more selections in a race, and receive winnings if 2 of those selections finish in the top two, in any order. The more selections, the higher the stake. 

Combination Tricast

Whereas with a straight tricast bet, you must state which horses or greyhounds will finish top 3 (in that order), a Combination Tricast allows for more flexibility. To win a combination forecast you must place the top 3, in any order. A combination tricast is effectively made up of 3 tricast bets, to cover all possible combinations, so requires 6 bets. 



Dead Heat 

A Dead Heat is most commonly associated with both horse and greyhound racing, as well as golf. When a winner can’t be determined, or there is a tie, the event is deemed a tie. Can occur between two or more participants.


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

Double Chance

A 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.

Double Bet

A Double Bet consists of two selections. Both selections must win to see a return. 

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.

Dual Forecast

A Dual Forecast is common in racing, and would see the punter pick the top two horses or greyhounds, in any order. It can also be used in golf, by predicting the competitors to finish in the top two. 


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 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. 


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. 




A Favourite is the bookmaker’s selection of who they think is most likely to win.

Flag Bet

A Flag Bet consists of 4 selections, all in different events consisting of 6 Doubles, 4 Trebles, 1 Four-Fold and 6 Single Stakes.

Free Bet

A Free Bet is a bet of a specific value, 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.




When one selection in an event is given a Handicap, it must overcome this in order to win. 

Head to Head Betting (or Two-Way Betting)

Head to Head betting refers to placing a bet on one of two possible outcomes in an outright market. An example would be betting on a team to win or lose. In some sports there would be three outcomes, e.g football, where the match can end in a draw. 


To Hedge is to lay bets on different outcomes, reducing risk of loss, and sometimes, guaranteeing a profit.

Heinz Bet

A Heinz Bet is a 6-selection wager 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.


The term Jolly refers to betting on the favourite.



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 sell odds to other bettors. These are available on betting exchanges, and see’s you essentially betting on an outcome not to happen.

Layoff Betting

Layoff Betting simply refers to placing a wager with another bookmaker, to reduce the liability on a game.


Limit is the maximum amount you can bet with.

Live Casino

Live Casino is a webcast of real-life casino tables, allowing the player to play online.

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

A 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. 

Lucky 31

A 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. 

Lucky 63

A 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. 



Market Mover

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


The Martingale betting strategy is one of the most popular systems used in roulette. It involves doubling the bet after every loss, so that a win on the next bet would surpass the original loss.

Matched Betting

Matched Betting is a technique used to profit from free bets, and offers, given by bookmakers.


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. When a horse doesn’t race in the event, but the punter receives his stake back.

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 are a numerical expression, used within gambling to reflect the likelihood of an outcome. Can be presented in both decimal and fractional form. 


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


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 fractional would see the smaller number before the bigger number, e.g 10/11 or 1/5. Displayed as decimals, odds-on would be 2.00 and below. 


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 there to be 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 is how a bookmaker makes money. It involves factoring in the profit margin when setting prices.




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


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 part of your initial stake back.


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

Pre-Match Bet

A 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 in-play. 


Price is a term used to describe the odds on a specific market, 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. The bet is deemed neither a won or lost, and the bettors stake is returned. 




A Return is the amount of money you receive if your bet wins.

Reverse Forecast (or Quinella Bet)

To win a Reverse Forecast, you need to pick two horses in a race. They must finish in the top 2 positions, 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 to win 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 or more events. To win, your selections must come first and second , in any order in at least two events. 


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




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 syndicate, that wagers large amounts of money on an event that the bookmaker deems to be an investment, rather than a casual bet. Essentially it is a term for those who consider themselves professional bettors. 

Single Bet

A Single Bet refers to placing a bet on one selection only, or market. Any returns will be received from betting on the outcome of a single event. 

Sport Pools

Sports Pools are a form of lottery where you pay a fixed price into a pool, and bet on an outcome. The pool is then evenly divided to those that have made the correct selection. There are no odds involved and the returns are based on the amount of entries. 


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

Starting Price (SP)

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


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

Straight Forecast (or Exacta)

A 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

A 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 bets must win to see a return. A £1 Super Heinz would cost you £120.

Super Yankee (Canadian)

A 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. Each bet requires a stake, so a £1 bet on a Canadian, would cost you £26. 




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


A Tipster is someone with knowledge of a specific sport, who provides tips on likely outcomes.


The Tote is a pool betting system, similar to playing the lottery. Bettors will choose a horse to bet on, and share the pool with all others who placed the same bet, should the horse win.


A Treble bet is a multiple, consisting of three selections, from three different markets. All results must win in order to see a return. A treble bet requires a single stake. E.g placing £5 on three combined 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

A 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. 




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




Variance is used by bettors to define the unpredictability of an event.


Vig is what the bookmaker charges the punter for their wager.

VIP Betting

VIP betting is a membership run by bookmakers for players who wager a large amount of money.  


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



Wager Limit

A Wager Limit is the maximum amount of money you are able to place on a bet.


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.




A 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 (to win) Yankee would cost you £11. 


Yield is a calculation used to determine the profitability of a bet.