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Sports Betting Terminology – A Complete Guide for Beginners

For Beginner

Here’s the Lingo You Need to Know Before Sports Betting.

The first move into the world of online sports gambling can be overwhelming. You’ll find loads of new lingo that you’ve never heard of before. And if you don’t know the lingo, your wallet could end up with some serious problems.

Not good.

I know when I was starting sports betting, I could have benefited from someone letting me in on the “insider-speak.” That’s why I put together this terminology guide for sports betting. This is a complete guide, so there is a lot of stuff in here. Make sure to bookmark this page so you can come back to it any time you find a new term you haven’t seen before.


Action- any kind of bet.

Against the Spread- abbreviated as ATS, Against the Spread is a kind of wager wherein you back a given selection (team) that will cover the spread, instead of backing a winner.

Ante-Post- you can place certain bets days, weeks, months, and at times even years beforehand. Many bettors would place an ante-post bet with the aim of getting longer bets on given markets. For instance, in the major European leagues, you can place numerous bets on various teams a week or even a month before the games are played. Another instance is with the World Cup Finals, where you can bet on who will win a whole year before the games are played.

Arbitrage Betting- this kind of wagering is a strategy where you make a bet on all the possible results of an event, at various odds, to make a profit. With this betting system, you utilize the best odds offered by different bookies on a given event, then work out a suitable wager level that will ensure all your losses are covered by your earnings in every possible outcome.

Asian Handicap- this is a different way through which you can bet soccer where you 'handicap' the better team to be the winning favorite. As the name suggests, the Asian handicap is a unique kind of handicap betting that originated in the Far East. 


Bankroll- is the total amount of money you’ve set aside for betting

Banker- a type of bet that is regarded as a great favorite, almost certain to win indeed. Normally, a banker is the keystone of a combination of bets.

Bettor- refers to the person placing bets

Bookmaker- this refers to the people or sportsbook behind the making of betting lines and odds. Bookmaker is commonly shortened to bookie.

Beard- this is someone who makes a bet for a different person who would like to remain anonymous.

Betting Exchange- this platform lets bettors make wagers against each other, eliminating the need for a bookie.



Cash Out- the cash out option is where you get to settle a wager you placed before it's finished. For instance, you can cash out a 5-fold accumulator with four predictions already correct and not needing to risk the fifth lead winning, too. A different case is where you cash out on a winning bet in one football match, but the cash-out price on offer will be less significant compared to risking the bet running to full time.

Chalk- the player or team that is the big favorite in an event.

Chalk Player- someone who normally makes his/her bets on the big favorite.

Circled Game- a game having lower or restricted wagering limits. Normally, a bookmaker would circle a game when there’s a bad injury or weather before a game that might make the outcome of the game more unclear.

Clean Sheet- clean sheet is when a team (s) finishes a game without conceding a goal or points. In soccer, both teams earn clean sheets when the full-time score is 0-0.

Combination Bet- this is when you place a bet that consists of more than one selection.

Cover Spread- winning a bet made against the point spread.


Double Bet/Doubles- this is a parlay bet which involves just two single selections. Both selections must come successful for you to win the bet.

Dog Player- you’re a dog player if you make your wagers on the underdog (See U).

Double Chance- double chance betting is where a solitary price is offered on a win or draw. So, you can back either the home team or the away team to win or draw. If the team you back wins or draws, you win the bet, and if the team you back loses, you lose the bet.

Draw No Bet- this is coverage bet in a soccer match where, for instance, you can back a selection to win and if the game turns out to be a draw, you're refunded your stake. So, if the game ends up a draw, it's like you didn’t make a bet at all and the money used to place your bet comes back on your gaming account automatically.

Drifting- refers to bets that are getting bigger.

Dime- a $1000 wager.


Edge- this is the advantage you have against the bookie or the advantage the bookie has against you.

Each Way- a two-part wager.

Even Money- these are odds where you stand a chance to win an amount equal to the amount you staked. You have a 50/50 shot in an event.

Exposure- this is the amount of cash a bookmaker stands to lose on any wager or event.


Favorite- the player or team the sportsbooks rate most likely to emerge the winner in a given event.

First Half Bet- a wager made exclusively on the first half of a match.

Form- the recent performance of an individual player or team.

Fold- the number of selections in a parlay bet, that is to say, a five-fold parlay comprises 1 wager that involves five different selections.


Half Time Bet- a wager you make on the half time outcome.

Hedging- hedging is when you make a wager on one side then make another wager on the opposite side. You can employ this strategy to guarantee a return, or to cut your losses.



In-play Betting- betting on an ongoing event.


Lines- another word for odds. Odds can also be referred to as the price.

Limits- the highest amount of money an online sportsbook will take on a wager.


Over or Under: Over or Under refers to how many points or runs that one or both teams of a game will score in total.

Odds On- odds less than even money.

Odds Against- odds that are greater than the evens. This implies you can win an amount greater than what you stake.

Outsider- this is the contrary of a favorite.

Outright Bet- an outright bet is a type of bet where you make a bet on an entire competition rather than one match. It’s the most straightforward wager you can make. For instance, you could bet on Liverpool emerging winners of the Premier League in the 2020/2021 season. Then, of course, you'll have to make your bet before the start of that season. However, there are rare cases where sportsbooks will have on offer outright bets part-way through specific competitions.


Parlay - a parlay bet involves a series of wagers placed on numerous different outcomes. All your predictions must be correct for you to win the bet.

Punter- someone who makes bets.


Runner- someone who makes a bet for a different person.


Single Bet- a wager having only one selection.

Spread Betting- a bet you make on the anticipated movement of a given market, not the outcome of an event. Besides sports, spread betting also occurs in politics and financial markets. We have a full guide for point spread betting here on site.


Underdog- an underdog is the team or player who is not expected to win.


Value Bet- a kind of bet where the hypothetical probability of winning is better than the odds offered by a sportsbook. You can read more about value betting in our value betting guide.

Vigorish- this is the profit an online sportsbook or sports betting operator builds into the odds they offer. Vigorish is often shortened to Vig.


Wager- any kind of bet.

Sports Betting Terms FAQ

  • What is the best payment method for loading a deposit at an online sportsbook?

    No deposit method is better than another. All the deposit options offered by sports betting sites have their advantages and disadvantages. In spite of this, some of the highly-rated deposit methods that are user-friendly and speedy, include PayPal, Paysafecard, and Credit/Cards.
  • Are online sportsbooks safe?

    Yes, always check with the particular betting site to ensure it’s licensed by a reputable organization before registering for an account.
  • What is the difference between betting in person vs. betting online?

    With online betting, you can enjoy wagering on numerous markets 24/7 as you cash in on lucrative bonuses to boost your bankroll. Conversely, betting shops have restricted betting options and betting hours.