Betting Jargon

To the newcomer some of the “jargon” used in gaming circles industry can seem like another language entirely.

To their credit the Bookmakers have strived to make their sites as easy to read as possible as they strive to attract as many new customers as possible.

Probably the worst culprits are some of the people who post on various message boards who tend to be very fond of using all sorts of abbreviations and acronyms.

Here are some of the most commonly used ones that you will come up across……


Also sometimes know as a “parlay”, this is a bet which accumulates across a series of outcomes, the stake and winnings rolling over to be placed on the next bet in the sequence. Each outcome must be a winning bet for the accumulator to continue, if just one loses, then they all lose.

Ante Post
An ante-post bet is placed on a future event, i.e. before the day of the event itself. Bets placed ante post typically give better odds but are risky as if your horse is withdrawn from the event then you will lose all of your stake money.

Made easier through odds comparison services, arbitrage is a variation in bets across different bookmakers which allows the punter to back both sides and still make a profit. You will have to use large stakes to make this profitable and this type of activity may see your account come under scrutiny from the bookmakers.
Asian Handicap
betting on football that gives a goal (or part of) head start to a team. Quite complicated and certainly not for beginners!

The selection that is highly expected to win. If you are using a permutation bet like a Yankee, then the banker should be the one which appears in all permutations.
Bar Price
Usually seen in events with large fields. Instead of quoting a price for all the participants in an event, bookmakers tend to quote the first few and then give the bar price
A list of odds and competitors maintained by the bookmaker to ensure they make a profit on the outcome of an event. Creating and maintaining this book is known as “running a book” and anyone who does so is called a “bookie” or a “bookmaker”.
In spread betting, the buy price is the higher spread range.

This bet, also known as a “Super Yankee”, is a permutation bet consisting of bets placed on 5 different events to give a permutation of 26 bets in total made up of 10 doubles, 10 trebles, five four-folds and one five-fold.
Controlled Risk
In spread betting, a bet where the amount the punter can lose is controlled.

Dead Heat
Two or more finishing with an equal placing – two or more winners.
The return on a bet.
A form of accumulator, the “double” is a bet on two separate outcomes with only one stake. The stake and winnings from the first bet rolls over to the second and both must win for the punter to collect any winnings.
Where the participants finish evenly. Bookies have different ways of working out or avoiding draws so you should check thoroughly what constitutes a draw when placing your bet. For example, cup football matches have extra time, penalties, and golden goal rules. Most bookmakers now consider the end of play at 90 minutes (plus any added injury time) to constitute a draw, others after extra time has played; some may avoid a draw entirely by taking penalties into account.
When the odds on a selection event get larger than their original posting price, they are said to lengthen or ‘drift’.

Each Way
UK betting term for betting on a bet to win or place. In a horse race with 20 runners for example, an each way bet will typically allow for a winning place bet if your horse finishes in the first 3 or 4 positions. With an each way bet your stake is split 50/50 on the win and place bets. If your selection wins, then you win both bets, if it ‘places’, then you win the place bet only and lose the win bet. Place bets are typically worth somewhere between 1/3 and 1/5 of the original starting price.
Even Money or Evens
A straight 1/1 bet. Bet £1 and you win £1 (plus your original stake money back).

The selection which is expected to win.
All the participants in an event.
Fixed Odds
The odds you are given at the time you place your bet constitute the dividend you receive when the event finishes. Odds fluctuate during the pre-event period but in fixed odds betting, the odds which were up at the time you paced the bet are the ones you get.
An accumulator, typically preceded by a number to indicate the number of selections in the accumulator. For example, a 4-fold bet has 4 events, a 5-fold bet has 5 selections. All must be successful to win.
A bet which predicts the first and second (sometimes third, fourth etc.) places in an event.
Full Cover
All the possible permutations in a selection of bets.
Also known as ante-post betting. This is a bet placed on a future event before the day of the bet. Futures odds are typically higher than the odds on the day but the risks are higher because if your selection pulls out of the event then you lose your stake which typically doesn’t happen with the on-the-day bets.

A combination bet of 247 bets consisting of 8 selections in 8 separate betting events. A goliath consists of 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 4-folds, 56 5-folds, 28 6-folds, 8 7-folds and one 8 fold.

A multiple bet consisting of 57 bets permutated from 6 different selections. A Heinz contains 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 4-folds, 6 5-folds and one 6-fold bet.

Index Betting
Another term for Spread Betting.

The Favourite.
Joint Favourite
When bookies are unable to separate a pair or more of competitors in an event they will all be classed as the favourite.


To take a bet. Bookies lay bets.
a layoff is a bet a bookmaker places with another bookmaker in order to cover any big bets he has received on his books which he cannot cover by other means.
When the odds on a participant increase from the figure they were originally posted at they are said to lengthen. Longer odds give higher returns.
Long Odds
Attractive odds to the punter normally given by the bookmaker on a competitor who is not expected to win by the bookmakers in other words.
Lucky 15
a combination bet consisting of 15 bets from 4 selections. A lucky 15 contains 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a four-fold. In a lucky 15 if you luck out and only have one winner then it is paid at double odds and all 4 winners gets a 10% bonus.
Lucky 31
Like a Lucky 15 but consisting of 35 bets from 5 selections. A Lucky 31 contains 5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfolds and one fivefold. One winner is double the odds again, all five winners nets you a 20% bonus.
Lucky 63
Another combination bet with 63 total bets from 6 selections on different events. A Lucky 63 contains 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds and 1 six-fold. If your luck’s out and you only have one winning bet then your winnings on that bet are doubled and if you’re really lucky and all 6 win then you get a 25% bonus on your returns.


A term used by tipsters to mark the best bet on a particular day.

The chance of a competitor winning as given by a bookmaker. Traditionally given as fractional figures in the UK although the betting exchanges more commonly use deco.
Odds On
In the UK an odds-on bet is a bet below evens, for example 1/2 is an odds-on bet – your winnings are less than your initial stake (plus you get your stake money back).
The outsiders in an event are the long shots, the selections who are not expected to win and usually have lengthy odds to match.

Another gambling term for an accumulator bet.
7 bets covering 3 events. Consists of one treble, three doubles and three singles.
To perm a bet is to bet on all possible combinations of a selection of bets. For example, tin a parlay bet (see above), 3 selections are permed to give 7 bets covering all possible betting combinations of those selections.
To finish in the top 3, or sometimes 4 or 5 depending on the event and the bookmaker’s terms. A “place bet” wins if your selection appears in one of those places.
Your winnings.

The opposite of lengthening odds. Odds are sad to shorten when they become less than the original posting price or last checked price.
A straight win/lose bet on a single event.
A bookmaker.
Spread Betting
Returns are calculated proportionately to how well you predict the results of an event.
A fast moving competitor in terms of shortening odds. A steamer is usually caused by large sums of money being placed on the competitor and the bookie’s reaction to it in order to balance their books to ensure a profit.
Super Heinz
consists of 120 bets from 7 selections. A super Heinz consists of 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds and 1 seven-fold.
Super Yankee
Another name for a Canadian.

An often self-proclaimed expert on betting and gambling who gives tips on winners.
A bet consisting of 3 doubles and 1 treble.

The competitor not expected to win. Sometimes shortened and referred to as “the dog”
Union Jack
A bet consisting of 8 trebles from 9 selections. The Union Jack bet represents the shape of a Union Jack flag on a betting slip.
Win Only
A bet which can only be placed to win.

A bet consisting 11 bets permed from 4 selections. A Yankee bet consists of six doubles, four trebles and one four-fold.