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Glossary of terms

An A-Z of Sports betting & Online casino

A

Accumulator/ACCA – a type of bet that combines the results from a number of fixtures for longer combined odds. Three or more results on a single bet, with all results needed to win on the ticket.

 

Aces – a bet available in tennis betting, based on the player serving the highest number of aces in a match.

 

Across the Board – a type of horse racing bet, where the wager backs a horse to win, place or show, with odds shortened accordingly.

 

Action - The ‘action’ is the total value of the bets in a game, or the size of an individual staked amount for a single bet.

Advantage Player - A player who has some additional edge over the house, usually in reference to a blackjack player who is able to count cards effectively.

Also-Ran – any backed selection not winning, placing or showing in a race, e.g. a fifth place finisher in a horse race.

 

Ante - The minimum stake amount to play a hand, e.g. in poker, the ante is the minimum required stake to be dealt into the next hand, forming the basis of the pot for the game.

Any To Come (ATC) – an instruction to automatically invest winnings from one bet into another.

 

Arbitrage – a discrepancy between odds on an event, usually between two bookmakers, that allows a guaranteed profit on any outcome by backing each side simultaneously.

 

Autoplay - Commonly found in slots, this a function that allows you to automatically spin through a predetermined number of actions, or a predetermined amount of your bankroll, without manually initiating each spin. Good for increasing play speed.

B

Baccarat - A popular casino card game, where players strive to reach a hand worth as close as possible to 9 points in value. ‘Baccarat’ is the worst hand available in the game, scoring zero points.

 

Bank - Usually refers to the dealer, but can also be used to refer to the amount of money in the dealer’s chip stack, or the final player to act in any pass round the table.

Banker – a sure-fire bet, a ‘banker’ is a bet or a ticket gamblers expect will win and deliver a return.

Bankroll - The amount of money held in your betting account, or at the table for a particular game. Bankroll is your gambling bank balance.

 

Betting Exchange – a type of betting platform where gamblers bet on either side directly, ‘buying’ and ‘selling’ outcomes for the best odds. Unlike the bookmaker setting the odds, the exchange is a direct betting market.

Bet Spread - The gap between the minimum amount per bet and the maximum amount per bet, the spread is the distance between these two numbers.

Blackjack - The popular card game where each player tries to make a hand as close to 21 as possible (without going over), playing against the house.

Bonus - An incentive offered to new players for signing up and depositing, or in recognition of player loyalty in an online casino. Usually free credit to your bankroll, free spins, or similar.

 

Bonus Round - Common in online slots, the bonus round is additional to the main game and is usually triggered by three scatter symbols or similar. Often pays free spins and multipliers, cash wins, and also acts as the route to winning jackpots.

 

Book – the totality of a bookmaker’s bets on each side of a sporting event, plus the odds and corresponding calculations for profit on each outcome.

 

Bookmaker (or Bookie) – the person or company accepting bets on sporting events. Also known as the, ‘Turf Accountant’, or ‘sportsbook’.

Burn Card - A single card discarded from the deck, usually before a hand is dealt. Common in some casino games and often used to make card counting techniques more difficult.

 

Buy In - The minimum amount of chips each player needs to take a seat at a particular game.

 

Buy Price – the odds, or price, at which a player must back a selection on a betting exchange or index. Contrast with the sell price, when players want to lay a selection. The gap between the buy price and the sell price is the spread.

 

C

 

Cash Out – a feature of some online bookmakers allowing early settlement for a guaranteed amount. You can choose whether to settle some bets early, at a live price quoted by the bookmaker to buy you out of the bet.

 

Chalk – a predominantly US term for the outright favourite in a fixture.

 

Correct Score – a bet predicting the correct score of an event, for example a football match.

Craps - A common dice-based casino game. Players bet on the numbers showing on two dice, with varying payouts depending on the bet.

 

Croupier - The dealer, or the individual responsible for running a game on behalf of the casino. Online, these are most commonly encountered in Live Dealer (Live Casino) games.

 

D

Dealer - The person responsible for dealing cards, or otherwise running the game – similar to the croupier. In online casinos, this can also refer to the house’s hand, for example in blackjack, where there is no physical dealer present.

Deposit – an amount of money uploaded to an online betting account, the process of adding money to the bankroll

 

Double – a joint bet on two separate outcomes, for enhanced odds. Both events must win to come good.

 

Double Up – increasing the size of your bets to make up for losses, Martingale strategy.

Down card - A facedown card dealt to the dealer, or to another player in a number of different card games. Contrasts with up card, which is a publicly-shown card, often one of the dealer’s cards, e.g. in blackjack.

Drop - Losses on any given bet, or the corresponding wins for the casino on any given bet.

 

Drift – when odds on an outcome are getting longer, they are drifting.

 

E

Each Way – a pair of wagers on first and a place for the backed selection, typically in racing events.

Edge - The percentage of each bet that represents the house’s margin. An inherent disadvantage against players, where slimmer house edge represents better odds of playing profitably.

 

Even Money – a bet that pays 1:1, also known as ‘evens’. Bet £10 at even money, win back £10 plus your original £10 stake.

Expectation - The percentage win rate for any given player over long-run outcomes, based on probability and house edge.

 

F

Face Cards - The royal cards – Jack, Queen, King – in any deck. So-called because they depict a face, rather than a numerical value. Often the highest valued cards, other than the Ace, in any card game.

Favourite – the shortest odds selection in any event, the market favourite to win.

 

Fold (sports) – the multiple in an accumulator, as in a ‘4-fold accumulator’.

Fold (casino) - To quit a hand, especially in poker, to minimise losses and exclude any further betting.

 

Form – the recent performance of a competitor as a predictor for future outcomes

 

Free Bet – a free bet offered by the bookmaker as a promotion, a widely used strategy for attracting new players or for specific betting promotions.

 

French Odds – odds denominated in 100s, based on the metric system. An antiquated method of quoting odds like 100 to 30, 100 to 8.

G

Goliath – a multi-line bet covering 247 different bets across 8 competitors, often covering a number of sporting events.

 

Grand – a thousand, as in £1,000.

 

H

Half-time Bets – bets on events such as football where you predict the score at half-time, or alternatively the second half score.

Hand - The cards you’re dealt, and hold, at any one time (applicable to a number of casino games).

 

Heads Up - Playing one-on-one against an opponent, usually in the run-up to the showdown in poker.

Hedge – bookies who bet for the sure favourite to offset their own liabilities, hedging their bets. Or a second bet designed to pay off if your primary bet fails.

High Roller - Someone who plays for large stakes on individual bets, often a professional gambler or wealthy individual.

 

House - The casino.

 

House Edge (see ‘Edge’) - The margin of advantage in favour of the casino.

 

House Rules - Particular rules for the specific casino you are playing at. Many casinos have their own house rules, which can act as a deviation from the standard rules of the game.

 

I

In the Money – any runner placing in the top 4 in a racing event, or more broadly any bet that is in a winning position.

Insurance - A specific bet offered in blackjack, players can take this side bet to offset against the risk the dealer lands a blackjack hand. Becomes available when the dealer’s up card is an Ace.

Insurance Bet - Any other bet taken as an insurance position, designed to cover losses from other bets.

 

J

Jackpot - The top prize amount or amounts available from any given game, most commonly in slots and chance-based games.

Joint Favourite – where two competitors share the shortest odds in any market, with an indistinguishable favourite.

 

K

L

Lay – backing an outcome to fail, an option available on betting exchanges. Betting that an outcome won’t happen, rather than what will happen.

Layout - The specific table cloth used in a casino game, with markings denoting different bets and payouts available.

Limit - The maximum amount that can be wagered on a given bet, or at a given table.

 

Live Bet – an in-play bet during a sporting event, where live odds are quoted in real time during the event.

Live Dealer - A type of online casino game where players are shown a live feed of a physical dealer conducting the game, for a realistic casino-like experience.

 

Long Odds – odds that reflect an outcome the market thinks is unlikely, the biggest payout for successful bets.

 

Long Shot – an unlikely bet, hopefully at long odds reflective of its limited chances.

Loose - Usually refers to a slots game, paying more regularly that an average game. Contrasts with ‘Tight’, where a slots game is paying out less frequently than average.

 

M

Martingale – a type of betting strategy involving doubling up

Maximum Bets - The highest single bet available on a given hand or spin. Slots players can choose the ‘Max Bet’ button to bet at the highest available per spin amount.

Money Management - The practice of managing bankroll for longevity and profit, skillful players study money management to establish their optimum stake per bet.

 

Monkey – slang for £500.

 

N

O

Odds (sports) – the price quoted by the bookmaker to reflect the chances of any particular outcome, the rate of return offered on different bets, usually expressed as a fraction or a decimal multiplier.

Odds (casino) - The probability, or the given payout ratio, on any wagered outcome. See True Odds.

 

Odds-on – any odds shorter than even money are said to be odds on, e.g. 1/10, 4/5.

 

Overlay – a competitor with a better chance than the odds suggest, e.g. a strong horse with long odds.

 

P

Patent – a multiple bet, featuring a treble, three doubles and a single bet on a selection of three outcomes.

Payline - A marked winning line in slots, where combinations of matching symbols will pay out a return, as per the paytable.

Payout - The amount of money a player will receive for winning a given better event.

Payout Percentage - The notional percentage a player would expect to receive back for playing a game over the long-run.  Most games have a negative payout percentage, i.e. less than 100%, factoring in the house edge (same as RTP).

Poker - Numerous variations are played in casinos, online as well as offline, with Texas Hold’em the most widely played.

 

Pot - The amount of money available to be won in any game, commonly used to refer to the amount on the line in a poker hand.

 

Picks – the nominated favourites by industry pundits and tipsters.

Pit - The table area, where the croupier runs the game and takes bets

 

Place – finishing in second place, or finishing within a designated threshold depending on the size of the field, short of winning, paid at a fraction of winning odds on an each way bet.

Progressive - A type of jackpot, usually the largest in size, comprised of a small portion of individual stakes, linked across a number of players and games. A common feature of online slots, progressive jackpots can reach the tens of millions.

Punter - Slang terminology for a gambler, or for someone taking part in a casino or betting game.

 

Push - An outcome linked to a draw, when there is no outright winner or loser. All bets are returned to affected players.

 

Q

R

Rake -  A percentage commission built into a game to represent the house’s profit, particularly prominent in poker

Roulette – hugely popular casino game. Players bet on a range of outcomes, and a ball is spun around a roulette wheel to determine the winning number. Pays at 35:1 for a single winning number, with a range of other betting configurations available.

Round -  One full revolution of the table, or one full pass of the game in question. A round of poker, for example, ends when every player has taken their turn and the action returns to the dealer.

Roundabout – a combination bet across three picks in multiple bets, paying enhanced odds.

RTP (Return To Player) - The RTP percentage is a measure of the percentage of stakes a game returns to players (generally over a minimum of one million plays), and is a generally accepted guide to how a game will perform

S

Scared Money - A must-win bet for a player, common in poker.

Scatter - A type of symbol found in online slots which is often responsible for triggering bonus games. Players usually need 3 or more scatters to trigger a bonus, depending on the specific rules of the game they are playing.

Shoe - The container that holds multiple decks of cards at one time, used by the dealer in multi-deck games, commonly including blackjack.

Shooter - The player responsible for rolling the dice in a round of Craps.

Short Odds – odds that reflect a likely outcome, very little return on bets. Odds will shorten as a market deems a result more likely, and bets accordingly.

 

Shortening – odds that are heading closer to evens or below, reflecting a perceived increased likelihood.

Shuffle - To reorder a deck of cards randomly. Many games will have shuffles built in to the rules, with some notable exceptions including blackjack, where shuffling does not normally happen at the end of each hand.

Sic Bo - A dice-based game similar to craps. Uses three dice instead of two, and players bet on the total value of the dice to be rolled, with a number of different bets available.

 

Single – any standalone bet on a single outcome.

Slots - Casual term for slot machines, including online slot machine games.

 

Smart Money – the bets of those with perceived inside knowledge, who the analysts are backing.

 

Spread – the gap between the buy and sell price of a bet on a betting exchange.

 

Spread Betting – a form of sports betting where bets are multiplied by the number of points above or below the market buy or sell price. A bet that pays on a result proportionate to the result.

 

Stake - The amount of money bet in on any one outcome. Players can usually choose the amount of their stake, subject to maximum and minimum bet rules.

Stand - To stick with the cards you’ve got, especially in blackjack. Contrasts with ‘to hit’, which is to add another card to your hand in an attempt to reach 21.

Streak -  A player who keeps on winning is said to be on a streak. Similarly, a string of consecutive losses can be deemed to be a ‘losing streak’.

Suit - The family or ‘house’ of cards. There are four suits in a standard deck – Clubs, Spades, Diamonds and Hearts.

 

Sure Thing – a bet that is certain to come good, a very likely result.

 

T

Table Game - Term to describe the most common types of casino games, i.e. those played at a table. Roulette, blackjack, poker, etc. Contrasts with slots.

Table Limits - The specific limit to the size of any bets or the total pot on a given table.

Tie - A draw outcome, the same as ‘Push’. All bets are returned, unless stipulated otherwise in accordance with house rules or particular game rules.

Tight - The opposite of ‘Loose’, tight games pay out at a frequency below the average player expectation.

Tilt - Rash decision making, often arising out of a series of losses, or less commonly a series of big wins. When players start to take irrational gambles or bet more erratically, they are said to be ‘tilting’.

 

Tip – a hotly favoured runner, the analysts pick.

 

Treble – a 3-part bet across three outcomes, all of which must win for the bet to succeed.

 

Trixie – three doubles and a treble bet across three different outcomes, with enhanced odds.

True Odds - The mathematical odds of a given outcome, versus the odds quoted by a casino. E.g. in roulette, casino odds for a single number are 35:1. In reality, each number has true odds of ‘1 in 37’ or ‘1 in 38’ of winning on a given spin (to take account of the zero/s), depending on the game version.

 

U

Underdog – an outside runner, or specifically a team with a point handicap.

Unit - A standard bet increment, often tied to the minimum bet available on a given table. Players often bet in units in poker, for example.

Up Card - A card that is dealt face up, sharing information with other players and the house. Commonly referenced in blackjack, regarding the single upturned card of the dealer’s hand.

 

V

Value – the best odds available for the position you are backing.

Video Poker - A fixed odds game based on 5 card draw poker. Players try to make hands of a sufficient ranking to win a payout, as determined by the game paytable.

 

VIP - A term used to denote loyal players and casino loyalty programs for their best customers.

 

W

Wager - The amount of money on the table in a given bet, or a term for the action of placing the bet itself.

 

Wild Card - A symbol or card that can be read as any other card to create a winning combination – especially in slots and video poker.

 

Win Rate - The number or percentage of wins expected over a given timeframe, as a mechanism for comparing different players or different casino games.

X

Y

Yankee – an 11-way bet on 4 outcomes, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a 4-fold bet.

Z

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