Betting Glossary


At certain stages leading up to the day of a race, owners and trainers have to decide whether or not to let their horses compete in the race. These are known as acceptance or declaration stages and every race has one five days prior to the race and another on the day before the race.

If you want to win big money for a relatively small stake, 'accumulator' bets are very popular.
Accumulators feature a chosen number of selections with the total winnings from the first successful selection being re-invested on to the next selection, this is repeated all the way through the bet and winnings can accumulate in to a large return.
The returns are very easy to calculate, if all your selections are successful, simply multiply the return of each selection with your stake to arrive at your expected payout.

Across the Board (US)
This is a bet of equal stakes on each outcome, where win, place and show pools are offered.

Action (US)
This is where a bet or wager of any kind is deemed 'Action' if valid. Different rules apply in different sports in determining if a bet is 'action' or 'no action' (e.g. baseball bets are action when the game gets beyond 4½ innings).

With all-in betting, if your selection is withdrawn, you lose your stake.

All Weather Racing
This is Flat racing which takes place on a artificial surface.

Also Ran
If your selection does not finish first, second, third or fourth in a race it is considered to be an 'Also Ran'.

Ante Post
This is a bet that is placed on future major sporting events, usually prior to the day of the event itself. In return for the chance of better odds, an Ante Post price means you will lose your money if your selection does not take part in the event.

Any To Come (ATC)
This is a term used to describe when the whole or part of returns from one wager are automatically reinvested on a subsequent bet.

This is where a variation in odds available allows a punter to back both sides and guarantee a win.


When a lot of money is taken on one particular selection, it is said that this selection has been 'heavily backed'.

This would be your strongest selection; a 'sure thing'. For example, 'Manchester United beating Bradford is a banker'. Bankers will usually form the base of combinations and accumulators and they must win for the bet to be successful.

These are the funds available to a 'punter'.

Bar Price
This refers to the odds of selections at the last quoted price and bigger. For example, in a large field. The Premiership outright markets may read Manchester United 2/1, Arsenal 7/2, Liverpool 4/1, Leeds 5/1, 8/1 Bar - meaning every other side is quoted at 8/1 or bigger.

Baseball (US)
This is a daily horse racing double, in which a punter couples a horse in one race with all horses in the other (is also known as 'Wheeling').

Beard (US)
This is a contact (friend or acquaintance) who places bets for a punter who wants to hide their identity from bookmakers.

Betting Forecast
These are the odds for a race as predicted by the Daily Newspapers.

Bettor (US)
This is someone who has a bet. A 'Punter' in the UK.

Blanket Finish
This is a close finish involving several horses; when horses finish so close together that 'a blanket could cover them.'

Blind Bet
This is a bet made by a racetrack Bookmaker to draw other Bookmakers' attention away from his sizeable betting on another horse, avoiding a shortening of the odds on the other horse.

Horses that are easily distracted while racing are normally fitted with blinkers, this prevents them from seeing anything other than the Racecourse ahead of them.

Board / Show Price
This is the price, relayed by S.I.S from the racecourse. You can, if required, usually 'Take' this price and it will remain the price your selection finishes at, regardless of the final Starting Price. (Can be subject to a Tattersalls Rule 4.)

This is a Bookmaker's tally of amounts bet on each competitor, and odds necessary to ensure profit.

This is a person who is licensed to accept bets, also known as a 'Bookie'. William Hill have built a reputation as one of the World's leading Bookmakers with over 65 years experience.

Breakage (US)
This is the difference between true pari-mutuel odds and lesser, rounded amounts given to winning punters. The substantial residues go to the racetracks and controlling State authorities.

Bridge-Jumper (US)
This is a punter who specializes in large show bets on odd-on favourites.

Buck (US)
This is a bet of $100 USD (also known as a 'Dollar Bet').

Bumper Races
These are Flat races run under National Hunt rules.

Burlington Bertie
This is the slang term for the price of 100-30.

Buy Price
In Spread or Index betting, this is the higher figure quoted by an Index bookmaker.

Buy the Rack (US)
This is to purchase every possible daily-double or other combination ticket.


Calculate Your Winnings :
The prices or 'odds' displayed (e.g. 6.50) refer to the dividend or return you would get from a unit stake, i.e £10.00.
For example :

If you place £10.00 on a team to win at 6.50 you will collect £65.00 (£10.00 x 6.5) if they are successful. That means you make a £55.00 profit, as your original stake of £10.00 is included in the total.

Similarly £10.00 on a winner at 3.25 would return £32.50. That's £22.50 profit plus your £10.00 stake returned.

Canadian :
This is a multiple bet consisting of 26 bets (10 doubles, 10 trebles, five 4-folds and a 5-fold) with 5 selections in different events (also known as a "Super Yankee").

Carpet :
This is the slang term for the price of 3-1.

Carpet Joint :
This is US Slang for a luxury gambling casino.

Century :
This is £100 GBP (also known as a 'Ton' )

Chalk (US) :
This is the betting favourite.

Chalk Player (US) :
This is a punter backing favourites.

Circled Game (US) :
This is when a bookmaker puts a limit on the amount of action they are prepared to take on a game. This is usually due to doubts about key players.

Classic :
This term is used to describe the five major three-year-old races of the flat season: the 1000 Guineas, the 2000 Guineas, the Derby, the Oaks and the St Leger. Of these, fillies can be entered for all five, but colts are not allowed to be entered for the 1000 Guineas or the Oaks.

Clerk Of The Course :
This is the Official in charge of all aspects of running the Race Day.

Client (US) :
This is a purchaser of betting information from a horseman or a tipster.

Clocker (US) :
This is a person who times workouts, usually to gain betting information.

Close (US) :
These are the final odds on a horse (e.g. "Closed at 5/1" ). Confusingly equates to "Starting Price" in the UK.

Cockle :
This is the slang term for the price of 10/1.

Co-Favourites :
This is where three or more competitors share the status as favourite (have lowest odds).

C of E :
This is a slang term for UK Customs and Excise.

Colours :
These are the racing silks of the owners, as worn by the jockeys

Combination (US) :
This is an 'across the board' bet for which a single pari-mutuel ticket is issued.

Consolation Double (US) :
This is when a horse is scratched from the 2nd race after daily double betting begins, money is set aside to pay those who have bought tickets pairing this horse with winner of 1st race.

Correct Score :
This is a bet to predict the final score in a game, and it is based on the number of goals scored by each Soccer team or the number of sets won by each Tennis player.

Course Specialist :
This is a horse which tends to run well at a particular track.

Cover :
This refers to sports betting, beating the spread by a required number of points. To 'cover the spread'


Daily Double : (US)
This is pari-mutuel betting in which the punter makes a combination bet on two horses in two races. If the punter wins on the 1st race, his winnings become his stake on the 2nd.

Dead Heat :
This is when two or more selections cannot be separated by the Judge, even after consulting the photo finish. When calculating your bets, simply divide the stake by the amount of runners involved in
the Dead-Heat.

Decimal Prices :
This price system is commonly used for betting throughout Europe and Asia. This provides the simplest way of calculating your Total Return, i.e. your winnings including your stake.

All you have to do is multiply your stake by the decimal price given.

For example : £10 x 1.90 = £19.00, including your stake

Dime (US) :
This is a bet of $1,000 USD (sometimes known as a "Dime Bet" ).

Distance :
This is the distance of a Race; Five furlongs is the minimum and the four and a half mile Grand National is the longest. Distance is also the margin by which a horse is beaten by the horse directly in front. This can range from a short head to 'By a distance' (even more than thirty lengths).

Dividend :
This is the agreed payout or return on any bet.

Dog (US) :
This is the underdog in any betting proposition.

Dog Player (US) :
This is a punter who mainly wagers on the underdog.

Double :
This is a bet which consists of 1 bet involving 2 selections in different events. Both must be successful to get a return.

Double Carpet :
This is the slang term for the price of 33-1

Double Result :
This is a bet on who will be winning at half time and at full time. This is one bet, predicting the outcome of both halves of the game, and both predictions must be correct to win. The draw is a valid outcome for both halves.

There are nine options; H-H, H-D, H-A, D-H, D-D, D-A, A-H, A-D, A-A

(where H = home team, A = away team, D = draw)

Double Stakes About (or DSA) :
This is the same as "Single Stakes about", but where returns from the 1st winning selection are invested at double the original stake on the 2nd selection. (Note: you can also have Triple SA, Quadruple SA etc.)

Doubling Up :
This is to increase your wager on a selection when especially confident of winning.

Down-The-Card :
This indicates races at the same meeting.

Draw :
At the overnight declaration stage, all entries in a flat race are given a stall number from where they will start. Depending on the state of the going, the position of the stalls and the layout of the course, the draw may favour high, middle or low numbers at different tracks. Stalls are not used for National Hunt racing and therefore the draw does not apply.

Drift :
This is where the price of one selection increases because of the lack of interest from punters.

Dutch (US) :
This is eliminating heavily bet non-contenders and betting on there selections in the exact proportions necessary to yield profit no matter which selection wins.


Each-Way :
This is a common bet which allows you to place a stake of equal amounts on a selection to either win an event or to be placed, usually in the top three or four depending on the size of the field. The price for the place part of the bet is usually a quarter or a fifth of the odds for an outright win.

For Horse and Greyhound Racing, the place part of Each-Way bets are usually settled at the following Place Terms :
2-4 Runners Win Only
5-7 Runners ¼ the Odds 1, 2
8 or more Runners 1/5 the Odds 1, 2, 3
2-4 Runners Win Only
5-7 Runners ¼ the Odds 1, 2
8-11 Runners 1/5 the Odds 1, 2, 3
12-15 Runners ¼ the Odds 1, 2, 3
16 or more Runners ¼ the Odds 1, 2, 3, 4

Even Money :
This is a 1:1 odds bet. A £10.00 stake would return £20.00 (£10.00 win plus £10.00 staked).

Exacta :
This is a Tote bet operating in races of 3 or more declared runners in which the punter has to pick the first two to finish in either order.

Exacta (US) :
This is a form of betting in which the punter attempts to pick the winner and second horse in a race, buying one mutuel ticket on the double choice (also known as "exactor" or "perfecta").

Exotic Wager (US) :
This is any wager which is not a straight bet, e.g. Round Robin, parley, teaser.


Favourite :
The favourite is the shortest priced selection in an event. (also known as the 'Jolly' or 'Sponk' ). When two selections share this position they are named 'Joint-Favourites'. If you back a succesful joint-favourite you need to halve your stake to calculate the returns.

If three or more share this position they are named Co-favourites. If you back a successful co-favourite you need to divide your stake by the the number of favourites to calculate your winnings.

Field :
This is all the individual competitors taking part in an event.

Figure :
To have a winning chance or the handicapper's rating number that identifies the winning chance.

First Goal Scorer or Tryscorer :
This is a bet on who will score the first goal in a Soccer match.

First Try Scorer :
This is a bet on who will score the first try in a Rugby match.

Fixed Odds :
Fixed odds are prices which are not dependent on the outcome of an event. Unlike 'Spread Betting' you know how much stake you are risking.

Flag :
This is a bet consisting of 23 bets (a 'Yankee' plus 6 'Single Stakes About' bets in pairs) on 4 selections in different events.

Flash (US) :
This is the change of odds information on tote board.

Flat Racing :
Begins in March and runs through to the end of September on turf. Races are run over a minimum distance of five furlongs and a maximum of twenty-two furlongs.

The official Flat Racing season now runs all year round to include races run on all-weather surfaces such as at Lingfield, Southwell and Wolverhampton.

Fold :
When preceded by a number, a 'Fold' indicates the number of selections in an accumulator bet. A Five-Fold would be an accumulator with five selections, all of which must win for the bet to be successful.

Forecast :
This is a horse or Dog racing bet where you have to correctly predict the order of the first two selections. This bet can be reversed or permed.

Form :
The 'Form' is the history of a selection's race performance.

Form Player :
A punter who makes selections from past-performance records.

49's :
This is a Lunchtime and Teatime numbers draw held in L.B.O's. Six balls drawn out from forty-nine. Singles and upwards accepted.

Fractional Odds :
These are commonly used for betting in the UK, and for Future bets on US sports. Fractional odds give you your Profit excluding your stake, so your stake needs to be added back in to calculate your
Total Return.

For example : £10 @ 6/4 = £15.00 (this is your Profit) plus your stake = £25.00 (your total return).

To convert the fractional odds to decimal prices, divide the left hand figure by the right hand figure and add 1.

For example: 6/4 + 1 =1.5 +1= 2.5 (therefore £10 x 2.5 = £25.00 = your Total Return).

French Odds :
This refers to the expression of odds as 100 to 30, 100 to 8, etc. The name goes back to the days when the French had a "metric" money system while UK still used 1 pound of 240 old pence.

Full Cover :
A 'Full-Cover' bet has all the doubles, trebles and accumulators involved in a given number of selections.

Future (US) :
In a Future, a number of participants are all competing to come first and therefore win the Future. Competitions, leagues, races and championships are also classed as Futures. In International sports, Futures are known as Tournaments. It is a win-only bet; there are no Each Way bets on US Futures.


Going :
This is the state of the ground. E.g. hard, soft, wet etc.

Going In :
This is when greyhounds are being put in to the traps or horses into the stalls.

Going to Post :
This is when horses are on the way to the start of a race.

Goliath :
This is a multiple bet consisting of 247 bets (28 doubles, 56 trebles, seventy 4-folds, fifty-six 5-folds, twenty-eight x 6-folds, eight 7-folds and an 8-fold) involving 8 selections in different events.

Grand :
This is £1,000 GBP (also known as a 'Big 'Un')


Half-Ball Handicap Betting :
Also known as Asian Handicap or the Hang Cheng . This is used to balance two sides and remove the draw from the game.

Handful :
This is the slang term for the price of 5/1.

Handicap :
This is a method of making a one-sided event become a more attractive for betting purposes. For example St Helens(-7) to beat Bradford Bulls would mean that St Helens would have to win by more than seven points for you to win your bet. Consequently the price of Bradford Bulls would be more attractive.

Handle (US) :
This is the total sum bet on a race or in a day or some other period.

Hang Cheng :
This is a form of soccer betting popular in Asia where returns on a team winning or drawing are determined by part-goal handicaps.

Head to Head :
This is where you need to select the team, or player, you believe will win the game or an event.

Hedging :
This is a bet made by a cautious Bookmaker on a horse on which he has accepted large bets. This would cut his losses if the horse wins (also known as a 'lay-off bet').

Heinz :
This is a multiple bet consisting of 57 bets (15 doubles, 20 trebles, fifteen 4-folds, six 5-folds and a 6-fold) involving 6 horses in different races.

Held Up :
This is restraining a horse behind the other runners in the early stages of a race.

Holding Your Own :
Neither winning or losing, just breaking even.

House :
This is a Casino or gambling centre. Also the operators of a gambling game.


In The Frame :
If your selection has finished 'in the frame' this means that it has finished either first, second,
third or fourth.

In The Money :
This describes the horses in a race that finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd (and sometimes 4th) or the horses on which money will be paid to punters, depending on the place terms.

Irish Lottery Betting :
This is L.B.O based betting on the outcome of the Irish Lottery drawan Wednesday and Saturday evenings. Six numbers and a bonus ball are drawn from forty two numbers.
Singles and upwards are accepted.


Joint Favourites :
This is when selections cannot be split for favouritism - for example, Liverpool and Manchester United may both be joint favourites to win the English Premiership

Jolly :
This is the favourite.

Judge :
This is the Course Official responsible for declaring the finishing order of a race and the distances between the runners.

Juice (US) :
This is the commission paid to the bookmaker (also known as 'Vigorish' ).


Kite :
This is UK slang for a cheque ('Check' in the US).


Lay :
This is to bet or wager.

Layer :
This is a bookmaker or one who 'Lays' odds.

This is an acronym for 'Licensed Betting Office' in the UK.

Length :
This is the length of a horse from the horse's nose to the start of its tail.

Lines :
These are Handicaps, pointspreads and odds offered.

Linemaker :
This is someone who compiles or sets the original or subsequent betting lines.

Lock (US) :
This is a term used for an almost guaranteed winner.

Long Odds :
These are odds (e.g. 100 to 1) offered against a competitor unlikely to win.

Long Shot :
This is a selection at long odds, not given as high a chance of winning as other selections.
(Also known as an 'Outsider'.)

Lucky 15,31,63 :
These are multiple bets on all possible combinations of 4, 5 or 6 selections.
A Lucky 15 (same as a 'Yap') includes 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and an accumulator (= 15 bets) from four selections.


Machines (US) :
These are the pari-mutuel computers / calculators.

Margin Bet :
This is a bet on the number of points (the 'margin') that your selected Rugby team will win by.
The points are in groups of five, and you must correctly predict the winning team plus their margin for your bet to win.

Martingale :
This is a betting system based on 'Doubling Up'.

Match Bet :
This is a Golf bet between two players, to predict who will get the best score in a tournament. The players may not physically play against each other in any round; this bet is based purely on their individual scores over the whole tournament (i.e. 72 holes).

Minus Pools (US) :
This is a situation in pari-mutuel betting where so much money is bet on a horse (usually to show) that the pool is insufficient, after take and breakage, to pay holders of winning tickets the legal minimum odds

Moneyline (US) :
This is a bet to predict who will win a Football, Basketball or Ice Hockey event outright, i.e. without a Spread. This bet is less popular than betting on the Side, because the price for the Side is usually better value.
If the final score is a tie (known as a 'Push' ), the bet is considered void, and your stake is refunded.
Monkey :
This is £500 GBP.

Morning Line (US) :
This is the Forecast of probable odds.

Mutuel Pool :
This is the total amount bet to win, place or show in a race. Also total amount bet on daily double, exacta, quinella, etc.


Nailed On :
The selection which is considered to be a racing 'Certainty'.

Nap :
This is the selection that Racing Correspondents and Tipsters nominate as their major selection of the day or meeting.

Considered to be 'Nailed on'.

Nickel (US) :
This is a bet of $500 USD.

Non-Runner :
This is a selection that does not take part in a race or event for which it is entered.

Not Under Orders :
On the 'Off' of a race the flag is raised, and any runner withdrawn before the signal is deemed not to have come 'Under Starter's Orders'. Your stake on such a selection would be returned but any winning bets on the Race may be subject to a 'Rule 4'.


Objections :
This is where a Jockey or Trainer objects to the conduct of a participant in a Race and an investigation is carried out; similar to a Steward's Enquiry.

Odds :
This is another name for the price. The chance offered for a selection to win.

Odds-Against :
This is when the amount you win is more than your stake.

Odds Compiler :
This is a person who sets the odds by using research, their own knowledge and judgement about
a sport.

Odds Man (US) :
This is at tracks where computers are not in use, an employee who calculates changing odds as betting progresses.

Odds-On :
This refers to a price where you have to stake more than the amount you expect to make as profit.

Off The Board (US) :
This is a horse so lightly bet that its pari-mutuel odds exceed 99 to 1. This is also, a game or event on which the bookie will not accept action.

Off The Bridle :
This is when the horse has to be urged on by its jockey.

Off The Top :
This is the practice of deducting a fixed "take" percentage from the pari-mutuel pool before paying holders of winning tickets.

Off-Track :
This is betting activity conducted away from the track.

One-Paced :
This is a horse that cannot produce the extra pace required and just keeps on at the same speed.

On The Nose :
This is backing a horse to win only.

OTB (US) :
This is an acronym for "Off-Track Betting" in the US, legal only in certain states.

Outsider :
This is the opposite to the favourite, usually to be found at lengthy odds. Also known as a 'Longshot' or 'The Rag'.

Overbroke :
This is where the 'Book' results in a loss for the bookmaker.

Overlay :
This is a horse whose odds are high by comparison with its good winning chances.

Overround :
This is profit margin in the bookmaker's favour.

Over / Under :
This is a bet on whether the total points or goals scored by the two teams will be over or under a specified number.


Pace :
This is the speed at which races are run at different stages. 'Up with the pace' means close to the leaders and 'Off the pace' means some way behind the leaders. Form for a race is often linked to the pace at which it was run, particularly relevant in the early stages.

Paddock :
This is the part of the race course incorporating the pre-parade ring (where horses are paraded prior to the race) and winner's enclosure.

Pari-Mutuel :
This is a means of gambling on races in which all bets are pooled and winners are paid according to size of pool and the number of other winners. Often shortened in US to 'Mutuel'.

Parlay (US) :
This is a term for an accumulator bet in horse racing. Also, a wager on two or more teams in which both must win or 'Cover' for the bet to be lucrative.

Patent :
This is a multiple bet consisting of 7 bets involving 3 selections in different events. A single on each selection, plus 3 doubles and 1 treble.

Permutations :
It is possible to 'Perm' selections. E.g, if you have made 3 selections (A, B and C) you can 'Perm' every possible double. In this case, all the doubles possible are AB, AC, and BC making a total of three bets. If you have made 4 selections (A, B, C and D) you can also 'perm' all the possible doubles from these four. Now the doubles are AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, CD; a total of six bets.

Photo-Finish :
This is a method of determining the result where there is a close finish using Photographic evidence.

Picks :
These are the selections chosen by an expert to bet on (also known as 'Tips').

Pic Six (US) :
This is bet which challenges the punter to pick six winners of six successive races (also known as 'Pick Six' or 'Five-Ten').

Pitch :
This is the position where a bookmaker conducts his business on a racecourse.

Pitcher Change :
The pitcher’s performance in Baseball greatly affects the outcome of a game. Therefore, if a game is subject to a late Pitcher change all previous odds are irrelevant and all bets are void.

Place (US) :
This is the term used to describe a second-place finish.

Placepot :
Uk Tote bet where your selection in the first six races of a meeting has to be placed to receive a share of the pool. Jackpot bet also available where your selection in the first six races of a meeting has to win for you to receive a share of the pool. Paid to £1.00.

Place Terms :
In non pari-mutuel betting, the returns for place bets are calculated as a proportion of the win odds. This varies between events and sports. the place terms should be clearly advertised when the bet is struck.

Pointspread :
This is the start that the favourite gives the underdog. Also known as the 'Line' or 'Handicap'.

Pony :
This is £25 GBP.

Pool :
This is the total amount bet for win, place or show, or in a daily double.

Press :
This is to bet a larger amount than usual. Also known as 'Doubling Up'

Price :
These are the odds offered for a selection.

Punter :
This is a (UK) term used for someone who has a bet.

Push :
This is a game that is tied after taking the handicap in to account. All bets are made void.


Quinella (US) :
This is a bet in which the punter predicts the horses that will finish 1st and 2nd, regardless of order (sometimes called a 'Quiniela' ).


Re-Run :
A greyhound race which was previously started but not resolved due to technical difficulty is usually re-run later in the meeting.

Return :
This is the total amount you receive for a winning bet.(winnings plus stake).

Reversed Forecast :
This bet involves 2 selections in 1 race finishing 1st and 2nd in either order. As such it is the equivalent of two straight forecasts.

Right Price (US) :
This is a betting term for pari-mutuel odds high enough to warrant risking a bet on a particular selection.

Ringer :
This is a horse (or greyhound) entered in a race under another's name - usually a good runner replacing a poorer one.

Round Robin :
This is a popular bet consisting of 10 bets (3 pairs of 'Single Stakes About' bets plus 3 doubles and 1 treble) involving three selections in different events. We do not accept Round Robin bets online but they are available via our Telephone and L.B.O. operations.

Round Robin (US) :
These are series of three or more teams into two-team wagers.

Runner (US) :
This is a Bookie's employee who gathers information on the progress of betting elsewhere on the course. Also, a messenger 'Running' to and from pari-mutuel windows for occupants of clubhouse boxes.

Run-In :
This is the distance from the home turn (or last obstacle) to the winning post

Runline (US) :
This is a Baseball bet to predict which team will score the highest number of runs. This bet is handicapped, with the underdog always given a points advantage. If the final score, taking into account the handicap, is a tie (known as a 'Push'), the bet is considered void, and your stake is refunded.


Sawdust Joint (US) :
This is a term for a non-luxury gambling club.

Score :
This is £20 GBP.

Score (US) :
This is to win a race or a bet. Also, a victory.

Scratch (US) :
This is the withdrawal of a competitor.

Scratch Sheet (US) :
Daily publication that includes graded handicaps, tips and scratches.

Settler :
This is a Bookmaker's expert who calculates payouts.

Shoo In (US) :
This is a supposed 'Clinch' bet or guaranteed victor. Also, a fixed race.

Selling Race :
This is a race in which the eventual winner must be offered for sale by auction.

Shortening The Odds :
This is the Bookmaker's reduction of the odds offered in the face of heavy betting.

Short Price (US) :
This is a small pari-mutuel payoff.

Show :
This is a list of odds for a race

Show (US) :
This the term used to describe a 3rd place finish.

Shut Out (US) :
This is what happens to a punter who gets on the betting line too late and is still waiting in line when the window closes.

Also, in sports betting, when the losing team do not score.

Side (US) :
This is to to predict who will win a game, and is usually handicapped. The handicap is known as the Spread. The underdog will be given a head start of a particular number of points, and the favourite will be handicapped by the same number of points. If the favourite has a handicap of -1.5, for example, it must to beat the underdog by two or more points to still win the bet.

If the final score, taking into account the Spread, is a tie (also known as a Push), the bet is considered void, and your stake is refunded.

Singles :
This is the simplest type of bet to have. It is one bet for your selection to win, this could be Spurs to beat Arsenal in a particular match.

Single Stakes About (or SSA) :
This bet consists of 2 single bets on two selections (the stake on each successful selection is re-invested on the other selection.) Also known as a 'Vice-versa'.

Six-Dollar Combine (US) :
This is an 'across the board' bet in racing.

Smart Money :
These are insiders' bets or the insiders themselves.

Speciality (Proposition) Bets :
These are bets on particular occurences with a game. These are known as proposition bets in the US.

Spot Play (US) :
This is where the punter risks money only on types of races and horses which seem relatively
worthwhile risks

Spread Betting :
This is where a bet is won or lost according to whether you correctly predict the result of an event. Returns or losses are calculated in proportion to how right or wrong the punter is, and can consequently can lead to huge returns or losses.

Spreads :
There are also known as handicaps.

Stake :
This is the amount of money invested.

Stalls :
Stalls are a row of compartments designed to give all the runners in a flat race an even start.

Standard Bet / Single Event Bet :
This is the basic bet on the outcome of a game or match, i.e. A to win or B to win. When a price is given for the draw, this is also a valid bet.

Starting Price (SP) :
The starting price is arrived at by taking the average price available in the betting ring (Members', Rail and Tattersalls') on the racecourse shortly before the off.

Steamer :
This is a selection backed significantly on the morning of a race, causing its odds to shorten markedly.

Steeplechasing :
Steeplechasing is a form of National Hunt racing run over distances of two miles up to four and a half miles. Horses jump fences of varying height, and consistency.

Steward's Enquiry :
If there are any suspected infringements of the 'Rules of Racing' the Stewards hold an investigation. These are carried out in a similar manner to objections.

Stooper (US) :
This describes those who make a living picking up discarded mutuel tickets at racetracks and cashing those that have been thrown away by mistake.

Superflag :
This bet consists of 46 bets (a 'Super Yankee' plus 10 'Single Stakes About' bets in pairs) on 5 selections in different events.

Super Yankee :
Alternative name for a multiple bet known as Canadian. A 'Super Yankee' is a 'Yankee' type bet with five selections instead of four. A Super-Yankee consists of 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 6 fourfolds and an accumulator. Two of the selections muct win to gain a return

Store (US) :
This is a Bookie.

Straight (US) :
This is another term for a bet to win (i.e. 'Straight, place and show').

Straight Forecast :
This is a Tote bet operating in races of 3 or more declared runners in which the punter has to pick the first and second to finish in the correct order.

Super Heinz :
A Super Heinz consists of 120 bets involving 7 selections in different events. The bet includes 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 fourfolds, 21 fivefolds, 7 sixfolds and an accumulator. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return.

Sure Thing :
This is any bet that has very little chance of losing.

System :
This is A method of betting, usually mathematically based, used by a punter to get an advantage (if successful!).


Take (US) :
This is money deducted from each pari-mutuel pool for track revenue and taxes.

Taking (US) :
This is betting on the underdog. In a match bet, the underdog is usually odds against, so the punter is 'Taking the odds'.

Take Out (US) :
This is part of the pari-mutuel pools not returned as winnings.

Tattersalls' Rule 4 (C) :
If a horse is withdrawn without coming under starters orders, and there is insufficient time to re-form the betting market, backers of the withdrawn horse are entitled to their stakes back. However, deductions are then made to winning bets. Details of the relevant deductions are in the General Betting Rules.

Teaser (US) :
This is a pointspread based bet where the punter can move the line in his favour
(in return for reduced odds).

Thick 'Un :
This is a slang term for a big bet.

Three Ball Bet :
This is a bet on a single round of golf between three players, to predict which of the three players will win a specific round (i.e. 18 holes). There is no draw option. This bet is usually available only during the first or second round of the tournament.

Dead Heat rules apply.

Through The Card (TTC) :
This is when a jockey, a particular number, a punter, the favourites, or a racing tipster etc, has been successful at every event at a particular meeting, they are described as having gone 'through the card'.

Tic-Tac :
The sign language which UK bookmakers use to communicate with each other oncourse.

Ticketer (US) :
This is a forger of bookmakers' tickets.

Tiercé :
A French combination bet in which the punter predicts the horses that will finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

Tips :
These are selections chosen by an expert to bet on (also known as 'Picks').

Tipster :
This is a person who gives or sells to punters his estimate of likely winners of a race, game or event (also known as a 'Tout' ).

Top Batsman :
This is a Cricket bet to predict which batsman will score the highest number of runs for your chosen team, and applies to the first innings only.

Total :
This is a bet to predict whether the combined score of both teams will go either over or under the total figure nominated by the odds compiler. If the combined final score is equal to the total specified, it is classed as a Push, in which case the bet is considered void, and your stake is refunded.

Totalisator (US) :
This is the automated pari-mutuel machine which records bets as soon as tickets are dispensed at betting windows.

Totals :
These are Sports bet on whether the total score will be over/under a given mark.

Tote Board :
This is the racecourse information board that displays approximate odds, betting totals, payout prices and other information necessary to the punter.

Tote Returns :
These are returns from a tote pool (also known as a 'Dividend' ). These are calculated by taking the total stake in each pool (after the 'Take-Out') and dividing it by the number of winning tickets. A dividend is declared to a fixed stake, for various win, place and forecast pools.

Tournament Bets :
In a Tournament, all participants are competing to come first and therefore win the Tournament. Competitions, leagues, races and championships are also classed as Tournaments. In the US, Tournaments are known as Futures.

Tout :
This is to give or sell betting advice or one who does so (also known as a "tipster").

Trap Number :
In greyhound racing, greyhounds start from numbered boxes (usually one to six) which are called traps.

Treble :
A Treble consists of 1 bet involving 3 selections in different events. All must be successful to get a return.

Tricasts :
This is a popular bet where you have to correctly predict the first, second and third in a particular race. Tricasts are only accepted on:
- Horses : Handicap races with 6 or more runners
- Greyhounds : Featured race meetings.

Trifecta (US) :
This is a bet in which the punter picks the first three finishers in exact order (also known as 'Triple').

Trip :
This is the race distance.

Trixie :
A Trixie consists of 4 bets involving 3 selections in different events. The bet includes 3 doubles and 1 treble. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to get a return.

2 Ball Bet :
This is a bet on a single round of golf between two players, to predict which of the two players will win a specific round (i.e. 18 holes). The draw is a valid bet. This bet is usually available only during the third or fourth round of the tournament.

Turf Accountant :
This is the UK euphemism for a bookmaker


Underdog :
This is the team that receives a point start in a handicap.

Under (Starter's) Orders :
When the official starter of the race is satisfied that all the runners in the race are at the start (in flat races, in the stalls) and ready to race, a flag is raised signalling that the field is under orders and 'Off'. Bets on any runner failing to start after this signal, are lost.

Union Jack :
This is a bet consisting of 8 trebles on 9 selections. These are settled as trebles in the formation of a 'Union Jack'. A to I: ABC, DEF, GHI, ADG, BEH, CFI, AEI, and CEG.

Each treble can also be turned in to a patent or Round Robin etc.

US Prices :
These are commonly used in North America and Canada when betting on US sports.
To calculate the Payoff on US Prices, convert the US Prices to decimal prices as follows :
- For a favourite, for example -1.25, divide 100 by 125 and add 1 = 1.80
- For an underdog, for example +1.25, divide 125 by 100 and add 1 = 2.25
$10 at -1.25 gives you a Total Return of 10 x 1.80 = 18
$10 at +1.25 gives you a Total Return of 10 x 2.25 = 22.50


Value :
This is getting the best odds on a wager.

Vigorish (US) :
This is the bookmaker's commission (also known as 'Vig' or 'Juice' ).

Void Bet :
This is a bet which is declared invalid. The stake is returned without deduction.


Walk-Over :
A walk-over occurs when only one participant runs in the race. In order to collect the prize money the participant must go through the normal procedure. For settling purposes the winner of a walk-over is considered to be a non-runner.

Welsh / Welch :
This is to fail to pay a gambling bet.

Wheel (US) :
This is a form of betting in which daily double, perfecta or quinella player makes every possible combination bet on his favoured horse or horses.

Wheeling (US) :
This is a racing system devised for the daily double bet in which the punter backs one horse in the first race and every horse in the second (also known as 'Baseball' or 'Locking').

Win :
This is the term used to describe a 1st place finish.

Winning Margin :
This is a bet to predict the winning margin of one team over another.

Wise Guy (US) :
This is a knowledgeable or well-informed punter or handicapper.

With The Field :
This is having one horse linked with all the other horses in an event. It can apply to forecasts or in doubles.


Yankee :
This is a multiple bet consisting of 11 bets (6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 4-fold) on 4 selections in
different events.

Yap :
This is a 'Yankee Patent' - The same 11 bets as a 'Yankee', but with singles on each of the 4 selections as well, making 15 bets in all (also known as a 'Lucky 15').


Zero :
This is the value of most betting systems and tips.

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