When you first enter the world of football betting, it can be overwhelming. There are a lot of betting terms to master, and understanding the various elements of betting terminology can seriously affect your enjoyment of the games. Taking a moment to familiarize yourself with the various terms and phrases will help you to feel more comfortable and sound like a serious punter even while you learn the ropes.
In Betting many specific terms are used.
On this betting glossary page, we want to collect and explain the key ones.
If you miss a term, send it to us, and we will add it to the list!
Accumulator: A series of bets on multiple outcomes, all outcomes must be successful for the Punter to win the bet.
Action:Any kind of bet.
Against the Spread: A bet where you try to determine which team will cover the spread; not necessarily which team will win.
Ante Post: It is also possible to place some football bets weeks, months and sometimes years in advance. For example when you bet on the premiership or world cup winner. Such bets are called 'ante post'-bets. The term 'ante post' comes from the world of horse racing. Making such an ante-post bet can be really successful if during the time it becomes clear that the team backed is increasingly favored to win.
Asian Handicap: Asian handicaps are, as the name suggests, a special type of handicap betting popular in the Far East and commonly used in football betting. In addition to typical +1, 0, and -1 handicaps seen in standard handicap football match betting, Asian handicap allows for a ¼ goal, ½ goal and a ¾ goal start. On the face of it this may not seem to make a lot of sense, since any team that beats (or loses to) a ½ goal start will also beat (or lose to) a ¼ goal start. However, there is more to ¼ and ¾ ball betting than meets the eye. As for normal handicap betting, the underdog will be awarded a head start of a handicap, and the favorite will concede a handicap of the same magnitude. For the purposes of bet settlement, the predetermined number of the handicap will be added to the real number of goals. Where no handicap is awarded (0:0 handicap), a drawn game will result in a tied bet and returned stakes. if either side wins, bets backing that team will win, whilst bets backing the other will lose. Similar rules apply for 1 goal (0:1) and 2 goal (0:2) Asian handicaps. When ½ ball handicaps are applied, bets can only be won or lost - a tied bet is impossible. If the handicap is set at ¼ (or ¾, 1¼, 1¾ etc) of a goal, then any bets on the match will be settled as a split stakes bet, with half the stake going on the handicap ¼ of a goal less than the quote and half on the handicap a ¼ of a goal more. For example, with a ¼ ball handicap, half the stakes will be settled as though the handicap was 0, and half as though the handicap was ½. It follows, then, that if a team beats a ¼ ball handicap by ½ or more, the backer will win the whole bet; if they lose by ½ or more, the backer will lose the whole bet. It is only when the result falls within ¼ of the handicap that the result is different from a conventional handicap. When a team beats the handicap by a ¼, the backer receives half stakes on a win, and half returned. For example, if £10 were staked at odds of 1.95 for a ¼ ball advantage, a drawn game would return a profit of £4.75. This is known as a "win ½". If a team loses by a ¼, the backer has only half his stake returned. This is known as a "loss ½".
Banker: A selection that is fancied very, very strongly indeed. It will often be the cornerstone of combination bets.
Bookie/Bookmaker: A company who is licensed to accept bets on the result of an event based on their provision of odds to the customer.
BTTS: Both Teams To Score.
Cash out: The cash out option has become increasingly popular in online betting. This is when a punter can settle a bet before it has finished, such as cashing out a 6-fold accumulator with five legs already having been won and not wanting to risk the sixth leg winning also. You can cash out on a winning bet in an individual soccer match too for example, and the cash out price offered will naturally be lesser than risking the bet running to full time.
Chalk: The favorite.
Chalk player: A person who usually places his bets on the favorite.
Clean sheet: Think of a clean sheet as a shutout. It is when a team successfully comes through a game without having conceded a goal or any points. This is a big pride of defenses and in betting you will see options like To Win To Nil which means that you are backing a side to win without conceding in the game.
Combination Bet: A combination bet is where you place multiple bets on your selections to eliminate the risk and to maximise the potential gain. It is a full coverage bet so even if one selection loses, the entire bet won't be lost (like in an accumulator). So for example if you have five selections you could make ten different 3x combos from them, or five 4x combos. Correct Score: 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.
Dog: Somebody who is expected to lose a contest. Also known as the "underdog".
Dog player: A person who usually places his bets on the underdog.
Double Action: An "if-bet" that proceeds if the precedent bet is won, tied or cancelled.
Double Chance: Occasionally, 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: Some bookmakers now 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. Obviously 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.
Draw No Bet: This is a form of a coverage bet when you back a selection in a football match for example, to win, but if the game is drawn then you will get your stake back. So in the outcome of a draw, essentially no bet has been made. It's a coverage bet so naturally you will sacrifice odds compared to backing the selection to win outright.
Dutching: Dutching is where you take your planned stake and then use it to spread over more than one outcome on an event. For example if you had a £10 stake and you spread it on two outcomes. You could use £4 on a home win, £6 on a draw. This is based on the same amount of winnings coming back should either of the outcomes happen.
Each Way: In contests with large fields, even the shorter-priced favourites may have quite high odds. To increase the chances of a punter winning something from this bet, it may be offered each way. Each way bets are actually two bets, one for the win and one for a high placing, and are settled as two bets. The place part is calculated at a fraction of the win odds. This fraction will vary by sport and event, and will always be displayed where each way betting is available. In a football tournament the each way part is usually settled at half odds for 1st and 2nd place only. Consider a £10 each way bet on England to win the World Cup at 10/1. If England win, a £150 profit would be made; £100 for the win at 10/1 and £50 for finishing in the top 2 at 5/1. If England lost in the final, the profit would only be £40; £50 from the place part minus the £10 stake lost on the win.
Edge: A punter's advantage in a bet.
Evens: A betting term for a 50/50 shot in an event. If you see a football team at even money then the bookmaker is assessing them as having a 50/50 shot of winning the game. In decimal odds that will portrayed as 2.0 and which way you go it means that whatever you stake, that is what you would get back. So place a £10 even money stake, you win £10 straight.
Exposure: The maximum amount of money a sports book stands to lose in a game.
Favorite: The team or individual the bookies rate most likely to win the contest they are betting on.
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.
Fold: 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.
Form: Form rates how a team is currently performing.
Goliath: A Goliath consists of 247 bets involving 8 selections in different events. The bet includes 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 fourfolds, 56 fivefolds, 28 sixfolds, 8 sevenfolds and an accumulator. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return.
Half time bet: A bet placed on the half time result. Half time result: A bet that involves the Punter correctly predicting the result of a match at half time.
Handicap: 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.
Heinz: 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. 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.
Multiples: 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.
Nap: A tipster's best bet of the day.
No action: A bet where no money is lost or won.
Odds: Also referred to as the price. The returns a bookmaker offers for a selection to win.
Over: An increasingly 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. By introducing a decimal, this removes the possibility of a draw, leaving only two possible outcomes. Some bookmakers like to introduce an extra outcome to the book. 3 outcomes might include: fewer than 2 goals; exactly 2 goals; and more than 2 goals. Other bookmakers introduce even more, although this is with a view to increasing their profit margin on the book.
Punter: The individual who puts on a bet.
Singles: The simplest of all bets is the single. With a single bet on a football match, only one outcome is backed, and the bet can generally either win or lose, although in Asian handicap, there are other possibilities. With a simple win/lose single, a selection must be successful to achieve a return. A typical single match bet might be Liverpool to beat Manchester United at 2/1. If Liverpool win, a £10 stake would realise a profit of £20; if they draw or lose, the stake is lost. Singles odds are today generally available for almost any football game.
Trebles: A Treble consists of 1 bet involving 3 selections in different events. All must be successful to get a return.
Under: An increasingly 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.
Underdog: A team or individual that is expected to lose. Also known as the dog.
Value Bet: Simply put, if you believe the odds taken are better than the mathematical chance which the team involved has of pulling off the outcome, then you have a value bet. This means, that if a tennis player has an actual mathematical 50% chance of winning a match, and the odds on that player are above Evens, then bet value is better than the mathematical odds, so that is a value bet.