UK Betting Terminology Explained
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Bookmaker slang phrases and terms can be pretty impenetrable to the novice gambler which is why we have compiled this easy guide to all the odd terminology and betting phrases out there. These generally pertain to the gambling lingo used in British bookmakers and UK sports books but many are quite universal so over-seas visitors may find some use here as well.
Also know as a "parlay" or "all-up", 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.
To give an example. Say you bet £10 on something daft like it raining on Monday, snowing on Tuesday and being Sunny on Wednesday. Bet one wins, earning you £15 and your £10 stake is still live. This whole amount (£25) is then automatically placed on bet two, If this wins, then the entire amount of both returns is placed on bet 3. If one, two or three loses, you loses everything. If all win, you get a very nice return for a small stake.
An ante-post bet is placed on a future event, i.e. before the day of the even itself. Bets placed ante post typically give better odds but are risky as if your horse, greyhound etc. is pulled out of the event then you lose your stake money.
Made easier through odds comparision services, arbitrage is a variation in bets across different bookmakers which allows the punter to back both sides and STILL make a profit!
The one 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.
Usually seen in evernts with large fields. Instead of quoting a price for allthe participants in an event, bookmakers tend to quote the first few and then give the bar price. For example, in a horse race with a large field you might see a list of odds reading something like Lucky Luciano 2/1, Blue Streak 3/1, Red Devil 5/1, Monkey Nuts 6/1, 8/1 Bar. The "8/1 Bar" bit means all the other runners and riders are quoted at odds of 8/1 or more.
A surrogate bet placer. Basically someone used to place a bet for someone else.
UK rhyming slang for "Betting Tax" - also "Ajax" or "Bees".
A duty paid by the bookie on earnings and by the punter on winnings or stake money. In the UK, betting tax can be paid by the punter on either the amount staked at the time of placing the bet, or on the amount won if the bet wins.
American term for Punter - someone who places a bet.
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".
Someone who accepts bets from punters Short for Bookmaker.
Someone who runs a book and accepts bets from punters. Often shortened to bookie.
Odds of 2/1 in UK betting slang.
Odds of 100/30 in British betting lingo.
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.
Odds of 3/1 in UK betting lingo. Also known as a "Gimmel".
Chalk & Chalk Player
The favourite and someone who bets on favourites.
Restricted betting, usually because of too many unknown variables about participants or iffy rumours. A maximum bet is imposed.
In spread betting, a bet where the amount the punter can lose is controlled.
Basically gambling on credit. Betting without any real money cash deposit.
Two or more finishing with an equal placing - two or more winners.
A bet where no money changes ands but the bookmaker is allowed to debit money from the gambler's bank account.
In US betting terminolgy a dime bet is a $1000 wager.
The return on a wager.
In American bettig terminology, dog refers to the underdog or longshot in an event.
Someone who is always betting on the 'dog', the underdog or long shot.
A $100 bet in American betting slang.
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.
Odds of 33/1 in UK bookmaker slang terminology.
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, golden goal rules. Some bookmakers may consider the end of play at 90 minutes 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 an event get larger than their original posting price, they are said to lengthen or 'drift'.
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.
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 preceeded 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.
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 a whopping 247 bets consisting of 8 selection in 8 seperate 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.
£1000 in British slang.
A multiple bet consisting of 57 bets permutated from 6 different selection. A heinz contains 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 4-folds, 6 5-folds and one 6-fold bet.
A term for Spread Betting.
When bookies are unable to separate a pair or more of competitors in an event they will all be classed as the favourite.
A cheque (check) in UK betting slang terminology.
To take a bet. Bookies lay bets.
a layoff or lay-off is a bet a bookie places with another bookmaker in order to cover any big action 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.
Another term for Banker. A sure winner.
Attractive odds to the punter, typically 10/1 or greater. A competitor who is not expected to win by the bookmakers in other words.
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.
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 winer is double the odds again, all five winners nets you a 20% bonus.
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.
How much the winner in an event wins by, or how far a placed competitor is from its nearest rival.
A term used by tipsters to mark the best bet on a particular day.
A $500 bet in US betting terminology.
The chance of a competitor winning as given by a bookmaker. Typically given as fractional or decimal figures.
Varies. 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 of course!). In Europe outside of the UK an odds-on bet is less than 2/1 and in the USA an odds-on bet is worked out in rverse. A US odds-on bet is preceeded by a minus sign and shows the amount you need to stake to win $x.
The outsiders in an event are the longshots, the competitors who are not expected to win and usually have lengthy odds to match.
The opposite of odds-on, this denotes odds better than evens for example 2/1 or 3/1 etc.
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.
UK betting slang for a bettor, someone who places a bet with a bookmaker.
Someone who plays one book off against another by betting on both competitors in an event at odds which will ensure a profit whatever the outcome.
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.
Returns are calculated proportionately to how well you predict the results of an event. See our quick Spread Betting Guide for more information on spread betting, also known at index betting.
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.
Cosists 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.
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 'real' odds rather than the odds the bookies are offering.
The competitor not expected to win.
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.
The best odds for a particular wager. Using an odds comparison service helps here.
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.