Definitions of Common Betting Terms

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A list of definitions of terms relevant to matched betting, arbing and trading. For definitions specific to casino free bets see this post.

Accumulator – A bet that requires several different selections all to win, often to provide a large payout.

Arb – When the odds on a selection are higher at the bookie than at Betfair (after commission) enabling you to back and lay for a guaranteed profit.

Arbitrage/arbing – Finding and backing and laying arbs for profit.

Asian Handicap – a type of handicap bet which includes 1/2 or 1/4 of a goal (denoted eg +0.5) and therefore eliminates the possibility of a draw. You can also get split asians where half the stake goes on one bet and half on another, which may be written 0, -0.5 etc.

Back Bet – To bet that certain outcome will happen, for example a horse to win a race.

Bet – To wager money on a pre-determined outcome to a match, race or competition.

Betting Exchange – a company which provides a platform for people to bet against each other. The biggest betting exchange is Betfair.

Bookmaker/Bookie – an individual or company licenced to accept bets from customers.

Bookmakers Review (BR) – provides ratings and reviews of online bookmakers.

Book Percentage – The profit or loss obtained by backing or laying all of the selections at the available prices. A 100% book makes no profit or loss.

Chasing – Betting on things you normally wouldn’t in order to recover losses.

Commission – A percentage of winnings that Betfair takes for providing their service, charged only on winning bets.

Decimal Odds – A representation of the amount returned to a unit stake including your stake, eg 5.0 where if you bet £1 and the horse wins you get £5 back and therefore win £4.

Draw no bet – a type of bet where if the result is a draw the bet is void and stakes are returned.

Drifter – A selection whose odds are getting bigger due to lack of support in the betting.

Each way – a 2-part bet in which half of the stake goes on the win and half on the place. A £10 each way bet is 2 £10 bets and costs £20.

Even Money (Evens) – denoted 1-1 or 2.0, an exact 50:50 chance of winning, eg on the toss of a coin.

Favourite – The selection with the shortest price and therefore theoretically the best chance of winning.

Fractional Odds – The traditional bookmakers odds, eg 4-1, where if you bet £1 and the horse wins you get £5 back and therefore win £4.

Green Book – To be in a position of winning money on the event regardless of the outcome.

Green Up – To adjust the stakes to produce a green book.

Handicap bet – a type of bet where one player or team is given an advantage or disadvantage, eg Man Utd -1 handicap would mean that for the bet to win Man Utd would have to win by 2 goals instead of just one. (In horse racing a handicap is a type of race, and this has nothing to do with betting to win)

Hedge – To adjust the stakes so that all outcomes return as near to the same profit or loss as possible.

IBAS – The Independent Betting Adjudication Service – acts as an impartial adjudicator in disputes with registered bookmakers.

KYC (Know Your Customer) – anti-money laundering practise which bookmakers may use to check your identity before you can withdraw your money.

Lay Bet – To bet that a certain outcome will not happen, for example if you lay a horse and it loses, you win.

Liability – The amount you will lose in the worst case scenario (eg if a back bet loses or a lay bet wins).

Liquidity – the correct definition involves the effect your bet has on the market, but generally a high liquidity market has plenty of money available and bets are being placed frequently, a low liquidity one has small amounts of money, large gaps between back and lay odds, and nothing happening.

Matched Bet (betting exchanges) – Another punter has submitted the opposite bet or lay to yours at the same odds and matched your money. Matched bets cannot be cancelled.

Matched Betting – the process of backing at bookmakers and laying at betting exchanges to extract profit from bookmakers free bet offers.

Multiple Bet – a bet on several selections in different events, usually requiring at least 2 of them and often all of them to win.

Non Runner – a horse that was originally entered to run in the race but will not take part. Bets on non runners are void.

Odds – The value at which you will get paid (for a back bet) or pay out (for a lay bet) if the selection wins.

Odds Against – odds which are greater than even money – the selection is thought to have a worse than 50:50 chance of winning.

Odds On – odds which are less than even money – the selection is thought to have a better than 50:50 chance of winning.

Overbroke – a book in which the odds add up to less than 100%. Backing all outcomes returns a profit.

Overlay – to lay more than is required to even out profit or loss on an arb or trade, so that you win less/lose more if the selection wins.

Overround – The margin a bookmaker builds into their odds to ensure they make a profit on an event, expressed as a percentage. An overround book has a book percentage of over 100%, a 104% book is 4% overround.

Palp (palpable error) – a mistake made by a bookmaker resulting in him voiding or altering the odds on your bet.

Pari-Mutuel – French tote – see tote odds.

Parlay – an American word for an accumulator

P/L or P&L – Profit and Loss, the amount you win or lose on each outcome. These figures are shown in green (profit) or red (loss) on Betfair.

Place betting – to bet on a horse or player to finish in the first few (stated) positions. Place arbing can be dangerous due to different numbers of places counting for the bet at bookies and exchanges.

Red Book – To be in a position of losing money on an event regardless of the outcome.

Reduction Factor – an adjustment that Betfair makes to the odds of all bets matched prior to the withdrawal of a significant non runner.

Reload offer – a free bet given by a bookmaker after a new deposit to an existing account. Some bookmakers offer recurring monthly reloads.

Returns – The amount you get back if you win, including the stake.

ROI – Return on investment, usually expressed as a percentage.

Rule 4 – a scale of deductions to payouts made by bookmakers after a non runner in a race.

SBR – Sportsbook Review – provides ratings and reviews of online bookmakers.

Signup Offer – a free bet given to a new customer, usually after a deposit and bet of a minimum value.

SP – Starting price, the odds of the horse at the time the race started. Betfair calculate their own SP which is different from the standard one returned by the bookmakers.

Spread betting – a type of betting in which you win or lose varied amounts depending on how far the result is from the stated spread.

Stake – The amount of money you place on your bet. For a back bet this is the same as your liability, for a lay bet it is the amount you will win (less commission) if your selection loses.

Stake Returned (SR) free bet – a free bet from a bookmaker where the free bet stake is paid out as well as the winnings if the bet wins.

Stake Not Returned (SNR) free bet – a free bet where the winnings are paid out without the free stake if the bet wins.

Steamer – A selection whose odds are shortening rapidly due to strong support in the betting.

Stop Loss – The largest amount you want to lose on a particular trade.

Tote odds – an approximation of the amount you will be paid out from a pool if your bet wins. not generally suitable for matched betting or arbing.

Trading – to back and lay the same selection at different prices with the aim of making a profit.

Underlay – to lay less than is required to even out profit or loss on an arb or trade, so that you win more/lose less if the selection wins.

Unmatched Bet (betting exchanges) – A bet which has been submitted at odds which are not available at present. The bet remains in the queue at the selected price until matched, and can be cancelled.

Void – A bet which had been cancelled because it is no longer valid, for example on a non runner or abandoned match. The stake is returned and it is as though the bet had never happened.

Wager Requirement (WR) – an amount of money that a bookmaker or casino requires you to wager in order to be able to claim a free bet or withdraw your winnings.

Our AI articles are NOT written by a real person and are provided for entertainment only. They may contain content which is inaccurate but we are hoping our AI bot, Rose, will become better over time. The AI category is the ONLY section of that has zero human input.

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