Sports Betting Glossary: 200+ Terms A-Z

Understanding the glossary of sports betting terms is crucial for effective engagement in the betting world. It facilitates communication with fellow bettors and bookmakers, allowing you to decipher odds, spreads, and various bet types. Knowing terms related to risk management, such as bankroll and units, is essential for making sound decisions and avoiding potential pitfalls. The ability to interpret and compare odds from different bookmakers is enhanced by grasping terms like over/under, parlays, and teasers. Familiarity with statistical terms aids in analyzing trends and making informed predictions. A comprehensive understanding of the sports betting glossary is integral to navigating the intricacies of betting, maximizing potential profits, and enjoying a more enriched betting experience. You can register at the official site 4Ra Bet and start to place your bets now. 

Also, knowing the terminology allows you to read forecasts from experts and comments on social networks related to bets. This way, the bettor can make a decision not only based on his own experience but also by studying the opinions and assumptions of other people. In which you can find rational arguments.

Here are the types of the terms:

TypeWhat meansIt is important to know
OfficialWording used in rules, and descriptions, as well as in the interface of bookmaker sites and applications10/10
TechnicalInscriptions and wording used on bookmaker websites and applications10/10
SlangUnofficial words and expressions used among bettors. Can be either generally accepted (for different countries or all sports) or used by a small group of people4/10, only if you want to read or watch predictions in social media, forums, blogs
NicheFormal, technical, and slang expressions that refer only to a specific sport (such as horse racing or MMA)5/10, only if you place the bets on that sports

Sports Betting Glossary In Alphabetical

There are a very large number of definitions in the world of betting. Most of them are general, relate to any sport, and are used by bettors and bookmakers. There are also a small number of highly specialized formulations that relate to individual sports, or are used by a small number of bettors (but they can also be found, so you need to know).

A, B, C

Action: The total amount of money wagered on a specific event.

Action Reverse: A combination of two reverse bets, where both sides are wagered with one unit each.

Action Player: A bettor who places a large number of bets.

Arbitrage Betting (Arbing or Arb): Exploiting discrepancies in odds to guarantee a profit, often by betting on all possible outcomes.

Accumulator (or Parlay): A single bet that links together two or more individual wagers for a high payout. All selections must be correct for the bet to win.

Against the Spread (ATS): Betting on the outcome of a game about the point spread.

Ante Post (Futures): Betting on an event, such as a tournament or championship, well before it takes place.

Asian Handicap: A type of handicap betting that eliminates the draw and offers two possible outcomes.

American Odds: A method of expressing odds with either a positive or negative number (e.g., +150 or -200).

Bankroll: The total money a bettor has set aside for betting.

Bonus: Additional funds or perks offered by sportsbooks to attract or reward bettors.

Bettor (Punter): An individual who places bets.

Bookmaker (Bookie): A person or organization that accepts bets and sets odds.

Back: Placing a bet on a particular outcome to occur.

Sports betting term — bettor is an individual who places bets

Banker: A strong favorite expected to win.

Buy Points: Pay an additional fee to adjust the point spread in your favor.

Backdoor Cover: When a team scores points late in a game to cover the spread unexpectedly.

Bad Beat: A bet that looked like a sure winner but ended up losing.

Beard: Someone who places bets on behalf of another person to conceal their identity.

Bet Slip: A physical or electronic ticket that shows the bets a bettor has placed.

Betting Limits: The maximum or minimum amount a bookmaker will accept on a single bet.

Betting Exchange: A platform where bettors can both back and lay bets against each other.

Book Value: The total amount of money held by a bookmaker.

Buy Hook: Pay extra to move the point spread or total by half a point to avoid a push.

Chalk: Refers to the favorite in a game or contest.

Closing Line or Closing Line Value (CLV): The comparison between the final odds and the odds at which a bet was placed.

Cover or Covering the Spread: When a team wins against the point spread.

Circled Game: A game in which the betting activity is closely monitored, and limits may be lowered.

Circled Total: When a bookmaker reduces the betting limits on over/under bets, often due to uncertain conditions.

Cash Out: Settling a bet before the event concludes, either to secure a profit or minimize losses.

Capper: A person who provides predictions and picks on sports events, often for a fee.

Canadian (Super Yankee): A multiple bet that consists of 26 separate bets on five selections.

Correct Score: Betting on the exact final score of a game.

Contrarian Betting: Betting against the public opinion or consensus.

Chasing: Increasing the size of bets to recover losses from previous bets.

Closing Line Odds: The final odds offered by a sportsbook just before an event begins.

Correlated Parlay: A parlay where the outcome of one bet directly influences the outcome of another.

Cushion: The amount of money a bookmaker sets aside to cover potential payouts.

D, E, F

Dime: Refers to a $1,000 bet.

Dog: Short for the underdog, the team or player expected to lose.

Sports betting terms explained — 200+ terms

Dog Player: A bettor who frequently wagers on underdogs.

Double Chance: A type of bet allowing you to wager on two possible outcomes in a single event.

Dollar Bet: A $100 bet.

Draw (Push): When the final score results in a tie, and bets are refunded.

Drift: An increase in odds for a particular outcome, usually due to a lack of betting activity.

Degenerate: A term used humorously or pejoratively to describe an avid or reckless gambler.

Even Money: A bet with a 1:1 payout ratio, where you win the same amount you bet.

Exotic Bet: Unconventional or non-traditional bets, such as parlays, teasers, or prop bets.

Expected Value (EV): The potential long-term value or profitability of a bet.

Each Way: A type of bet common in horse racing, where a bet is placed on both the win and the place (usually top 2 or 3 finishers).

Edge: An advantage over the bookmaker or other bettors.

Edge Sorting: A technique used in advantage gambling, particularly in casino card games, to gain an advantage based on identifying irregularities in card patterns.

Exposure: The amount of money a sportsbook stands to lose on a particular event.

Early Cash Out: Settling a bet before the event concludes, often available well before the game’s end.

Favorite: The team or player expected to win in a game.

Futures Bet: A long-term bet on the outcome of an event, such as a championship or tournament.

Fade: Betting against a particular team, player, or trend.

Fade the Public: Betting against popular public opinion.

First Half Bet: A wager on the outcome of only the first half of a game.

Fixed Odds: A set betting price that does not change.

Fixed Limit: A type of betting structure where the amount that can be wagered is predetermined.

Fractional Odds: Odds are expressed as fractions (e.g., 5/1) rather than decimals.

Sports betting terms and meaning — what are the fractional odds

Fractional Kelly: A modified version of the Kelly Criterion used for bankroll management, considering a fraction of the recommended bet size.

Favorite-Longshot Bias: A phenomenon where the betting public tends to overvalue favorites and undervalue underdogs.

Fold: In poker and parlay betting, giving up on a hand or a leg of the parlay.

Full-Cover Bet: A bet that covers all possible combinations within a set of selections, often used in horse racing.

G, H, I

Gamble: To risk money on the outcome of an event with the hope of winning.

Get Down: To place a bet.

Goliath Bet: A multiple bet consisting of 247 individual bets on eight selections.

Grand Salami: A bet on the total number of goals/runs scored in all games of a particular sport on a given day.

Gambler’s Fallacy: The belief that past events influence future outcomes, particularly in games of chance.

Going Down: Refers to odds decreasing or getting shorter.

Handicap: To give one team or player a point advantage to level the playing field.

Handle: The total amount of money wagered by bettors on a specific event.

Hedging: Placing bets on the opposite side of an original wager to reduce or eliminate potential losses.

Hook: A half-point is added to point spreads to avoid pushes.

Half Time/Full Time (HT/FT): A bet on both the halftime and full-time results of a game.

Handle: The total amount of money wagered by bettors on a specific event.

High Roller: A bettor who places large wagers, often with a significant bankroll.

Honeymoon Period: The initial phase during which a new bookmaker offers attractive promotions to attract bettors.

Terms used in sports betting — list with meanings

Heinz Bet: A multiple bet consisting of 57 individual bets on six selections.

Home Field Advantage: The perceived advantage a team has when playing on its home turf.

Hot Hand: Belief or perception that a bettor or team is on a winning streak.

In-Play (Live Betting): Placing bets on a game or event that is currently in progress.

Implied Probability: The likelihood of a particular outcome as suggested by the odds.

In the Money or ITM: A term often used in horse racing and sports betting, indicating a winning position or finish.

If Bet: A type of bet that allows a second bet to be placed if the first one wins, is “action,” or ties.

Index Betting: Betting on an index of variables rather than a specific outcome.

Inside or Inside Information: Non-public information that may affect the outcome of an event and is used for betting purposes.

Immovable Line: Betting odds that do not change despite market fluctuations.

Injury Time: Additional playing time is added to compensate for stoppages during a game.

Injury Report: Information on the health status of players that may impact betting odds.

J, K, L

Jackpot: A large prize, often associated with progressive or pooled betting.

Juiced Line: Odds that have been adjusted to favor the sportsbook.

Joint Favorite: When two or more selections have the lowest odds in a betting market.

Juvenile Stakes: A race for two-year-old horses.

Kelly Criterion: A mathematical formula used to determine the optimal size of a series of bets for long-term growth.

Key Number: A common margin of victory or total that is significant in point spread betting.

Knockout Stage: In tournaments, the stage where teams are eliminated until a winner is determined.

Kitty: A pool of money made up of contributions from various bettors.

Layoff: Placing bets on the opposite side to reduce risk.

Linesmaker (Oddsmaker): The person who sets the odds for an event.

Lock: A bet that is considered a guaranteed win.

Sports betting terms for dummies you need to know for placing bets

Longshot: A team or player with very low odds of winning, offering a potentially high payout.

Lucky 15/31/63: Multiple bets that include singles, doubles, trebles, and an accumulator.

Limit (Bet Limit): The maximum amount a sportsbook will accept on a single bet.

Late Scratching: The withdrawal of a participant (usually in horse racing) close to the start of the event.

Line Shopping: Comparing odds from different sportsbooks to find the best possible value.

Listed Pitchers: A baseball bet specifying that the listed pitchers must start the game for the bet to be valid.

Long Odds: High odds indicate a less likely outcome.

M, N, O

Matched Betting: A strategy that involves using free bets and bonuses from bookmakers to guarantee a profit.

Martingale System: A betting strategy that involves doubling the stake after each loss to recover previous losses and make a profit.

Middle: Betting on both sides of a game at different points spreads to potentially win both bets.

Moneyline: Odds expressed in terms of the amount of money that needs to be wagered or the amount that can be won.

Middle Distance: A category in horse racing for races typically between 1,600 and 2,400 meters.

Monkey: Slang for £500.

Monkey Line: A point spread of +3.5 in American football, is often considered a key number.

Mush: A bettor or gambler considered to be bad luck.

Nap: A tipster’s most confident selection of the day.

Nassau Bet: A type of golf bet with three separate bets on the front nine, back nine, and overall 18 holes.

Nickel: A $500 bet.

No Action: A bet that is canceled, often due to unforeseen circumstances.

Negative Expected Value (NEV): A situation where the expected value of a bet is negative, indicating it is not a profitable wager.

Novice or Novice Bettor: A new or inexperienced bettor.

NBA (No Bet Available): A term used when a sportsbook is not accepting bets on a specific event.

Odds-On: Odds where the potential profit is less than the amount wagered.

Odds Compiler: The person responsible for setting and adjusting betting odds at a sportsbook.

Sports betting terms explained — list from A to Z

Over-round (Vig or Juice): The bookmaker’s margin, indicating the percentage by which the total of all possible outcomes exceeds 100%.

Over/Under (Total): Betting on whether the total points/goals scored in a game will be over or under a specified number.

Opening Line: The initial odds offered by a sportsbook when betting markets open.

Off the Board (OTB): A game or event on which the sportsbook is not accepting bets.

Outright Bet: Placing a bet on the winner of an entire league, tournament, or competition.

Overlay: When the odds of a selection are higher than its estimated probability of winning.

Overtime (OT): Additional playing time is added to certain sports, such as basketball and hockey, to determine a winner.

P, Q, R

Parlay: A single bet that links together two or more individual wagers for a higher payout.

Point Spread: The margin by which a favored team must win to cover the spread.

Prop Bet (Proposition Bet): A bet on a specific event or outcome within a game, not necessarily related to the final score.

Push: A tie between the bettor and the sportsbook, resulting in the return of the wager.

Puppy (Pup): Slang for an underdog or team/player with long odds.

Punter’s Revenge: A successful bet that follows a losing streak, turning fortunes around.

Pari-Mutuel Betting: A betting system in which all bets of a particular type are placed together in a pool, and the payout odds are determined by sharing the pool among all winning bets.

Quinella: A type of bet in horse racing where you pick two horses to finish first and second, regardless of the order.

Betting terms sports are important for newcomers

Quarter Bet: A bet placed on the outcome of a specific quarter in a game, common in basketball and football.

Quarters Handicap: Betting on the outcome of quarters in a game with a handicap.

Round Robin: A series of smaller parlays created from a larger list of teams.

Run Line: A baseball-specific point spread, usually set at 1.5 runs.

Reverse Bet: A combination of two if bets, reversing the order of the teams.

Rotation Number: A unique identifier assigned to each team by sportsbooks for betting purposes.

Rundown: A summary of all the betting lines available for a specific date and time.

Run and Gun: A style of play in basketball characterized by a fast-paced offense and high-scoring games.

Railbird: Someone who spectates at a race or event, especially horse racing.

Rogue Line: A betting line that significantly differs from the consensus odds.

S, T, U

Sharp: A knowledgeable and experienced bettor who often makes well-informed, strategic bets.

Steam Move: A sudden, significant shift in betting line movement, usually due to heavy betting by sharps or a group of influential bettors.

Square: An inexperienced or casual bettor who tends to place bets based on public sentiment rather than in-depth analysis.

Square Line: A point spread or odds that are considered mainstream or commonly available.

Sportsbook: A facility or online platform that accepts bets on sports events.

Spread Betting: A type of betting where the payoff is based on the accuracy of the wager, rather than a simple win-or-lose outcome.

Sharp Money: The money wagered by professional, knowledgeable bettors.

Sucker Bet: A bet with a high house advantage, often offering poor odds for the bettor.

Stake: The amount of money wagered on a particular bet.

Synthetic Bookmaker: A person or entity that aggregates odds from multiple sportsbooks to provide a consolidated view.

Teaser: A type of bet that allows the bettor to adjust the point spread in their favor but at the cost of reduced odds.

Sports betting terms definitions and meanings

Total: The combined number of points/goals scored in a game, on which bettors can wager whether it will be over or under a set number.

Tout: Someone who sells or promotes sports betting picks or predictions to others.

Trifecta: A bet in horse racing in which the bettor selects the first, second, and third-place finishers in the correct order.

Two-Way Action: Balanced betting action on both sides of a game.

Three-Way Bet: A type of bet where you can wager on three possible outcomes, typically in soccer: Team A wins, Team B wins, or it’s a draw.

Trap Game: A matchup that appears to be easy for one team but has the potential for an upset.

Trend Bettor: A bettor who makes decisions based on historical trends and patterns.

Trade Betting: Placing bets on both sides of a market to secure a profit, also known as “trading out.”

Traded Selection: A team or player whose odds have changed due to betting action.

Tipster: Someone who provides sports betting tips or predictions, often for a fee.

Ticket: A physical or electronic record of a bet.

Tilt: Emotional or irrational betting behavior often caused by recent losses.

Underdog (Dog): The team or player less likely to win, often indicated by higher odds.

Unit: A standard measurement for the size of a bet relative to a bettor’s bankroll.

Unit Size: The amount of money a bettor risks on each wager, often expressed as a percentage of the bankroll.

Units Won/Lost: A measure of a bettor’s success or failure, calculated by the total profit or loss in monetary units.

Unit System: A method of bankroll management where bet sizes are calculated based on a percentage of the total bankroll.

Upset: When a team or player wins as the underdog, defeating the favored opponent.

Underlay: A bet that has unfavorable odds or a lower probability of winning.

Undercard: In boxing or MMA, the series of preliminary matches before the main event.

Upper Deck: Placing a bet with a higher-than-usual amount.

Underground Bookie: An illegal or unlicensed bookmaker.

Unsettled Bet: A bet that hasn’t been decided or paid out yet.

Sports betting glossary — long list from A to Z with explainings

Up-and-Down Bet: A type of bet where both a win and a place are required for a return, common in horse racing.

Unexposed: A team or player that hasn’t shown its true potential or ability yet.

V, W, X, Y, Z

Value Bet: A bet where the bettor believes the odds are favorable and likely to result in a long-term profit.

Value Line: A line or odds that are considered favorable for bettors due to a perceived error or inefficiency.

Variety Bet: Placing bets on multiple selections within the same event.

Vigorish (Vig): The commission or fee charged by the sportsbook on bets; also known as the house edge.

Wagering Requirements: Conditions set by bookmakers for bettors to access or withdraw bonus funds.

Wiseguy: Another term for a sharp or professional bettor.

Wise Man’s Parlay: A parlay bet that includes a mix of sharp and public plays.

Wire-to-Wire: A bet on a team or player leading from the start to the end of the game or event.

Wong Teasers: A type of teaser bet that crosses key numbers, popularized by gambling author Stanford Wong.

Whale: A high-stakes bettor who wagers substantial amounts of money.

X-cap: A limit on the maximum amount a bookmaker is willing to accept on a single bet.

XFL Betting: Betting on the Xtreme Football League, a professional American football league.

Yankee Bet: A multiple bet involving 11 bets on four selections in different events: six doubles, four trebles, and a fourfold accumulator.

Yield: A measure of a bettor’s profitability, often expressed as a percentage of the total amount wagered.

Sports betting terms that you need to know before start

Zig-Zag Theory: A betting strategy based on alternating bets between the teams that won and lost the previous game in a playoff series.

Zero-Risk Bet: A bet with guaranteed profits due to discrepancies in odds or promotional offers.

Zone Defense: A sports betting strategy where the bettor focuses on specific types of bets or markets.


Understanding the betting glossary is essential for several reasons when it comes to successful betting:

  1. Make Informed Decisions: A comprehensive knowledge of betting terms allows you to understand the details of different bet types, odds, and strategies. 
  2. Navigate Betting Platforms: Betting platforms and sportsbooks use a variety of terms to present information. Knowing the betting glossary helps you navigate these platforms with ease, ensuring you comprehend the details of each bet before placing it.
  3. Risk Management: Terms like “bankroll,” “unit,” and “hedging” are crucial for effective risk management. A solid understanding helps you manage your betting funds wisely, minimize losses, and optimize potential profits.
  4. Explore Various Bet Types: Sports betting offers a wide range of bet types, including parlays, teasers, props, and more. Knowing the betting glossary allows you to explore and understand the intricacies of these bet types, opening up more opportunities for strategic betting.
  5. Recognize Value Bets: Understanding terms like “value,” “odds,” and “expected value” is crucial for identifying value bets — those with odds that underestimate the likelihood of an outcome. 
  6. Effective Communication: Discussing betting strategies, tips, and experiences with other bettors or industry experts is common. Knowing the betting glossary enables you to communicate within the betting community, gaining insights and refining your approach.

In summary, a solid understanding of the betting glossary empowers you to navigate the world of sports betting with confidence, make informed decisions, and develop effective strategies for long-term success.

15 Common Sports Betting Terms Explained Video


Why do I need to know sports betting terms?

Knowing sports betting terms is essential for making informed decisions and effectively navigating the complexities of betting, ultimately improving your chances of success.

What are the common sports betting terms?

The top 10 most known betting terms are next: Spread, Odds, Moneyline, Over/Under, Parlay, Bookmaker, Bankroll, Favorites, Underdogs, and Handicap. 

What is the Juice/Vig in sports betting?

The Juice, also known as Vigorish (Vig), in sports betting refers to the commission or fee that a sportsbook charges for accepting a bet. It’s built into the odds to ensure the sportsbook makes a profit regardless of the outcome. The standard juice is often expressed as -110, meaning a bettor needs to wager $110 to win $100, with the extra $10 serving as the sportsbook’s commission.

What are the Total, Over and Under in sports betting?

Total: Also referred to as the “Total Points” or “Over/Under,” it is the combined number of points, runs, or goals scored in a game. Over: Betting on the combined score of both teams to exceed the set total by the sportsbook. Under: Betting on the combined score of both teams to be less than the set total by the sportsbook.

What is the accumulator odd?

The accumulator odds represent the combined odds of multiple individual bets within an accumulator or parlay, calculated by multiplying the odds of each selection together.

What is the ATS in sports betting?

ATS stands for “Against the Spread” in sports betting. It indicates a team’s performance concerning the point spread. If a team has a favorable ATS record, it means they have consistently outperformed the point spread, while an unfavorable ATS record suggests they have often fallen short of expectations set by the spread.

What are the American/European/Asian odds in sports betting?

American Odds: These are also known as moneyline odds. Positive American odds (e.g., +150) represent the potential profit on a $100 bet, while negative odds (e.g., -150) indicate the amount needed to wager to win $100. European Odds: Also known as decimal odds, these represent the total potential return, including the initial stake. For example, 2.50 means a $1 bet would return $2.50 (including the initial stake). Asian Odds: Commonly used in Asian markets, these odds include formats like Hong Kong Odds and Malay Odds. They express the potential profit relative to a base unit, and the odds can be either positive or negative.