Betting Terminology

by | Last updated Sep 30, 2023 | betting

If you hang around a sportsbook or a sports betting forum you will hear much of the betting terminology, lingo and jargon listed below. We have compiled a glossary that will help you define what these words mean. The next time you ask “what does so and so mean” rest assured that you can find it here and if not please feel free to email us and we’ll come up with an answer for you!

10 CENT LINE – This refers to the difference (10 cents) in a money line wager between the favorite and the underdog; see Dime Line.

20 CENT LINE – This refers to the difference (20 cents) in a money line wager between the favorite and the underdog.

ACROSS THE BOARD – A racing term that means to bet a Horse/Dog to win (1st), place (2nd) or show (3rd). A winning horse/dog will pay all 3 places, 2nd place will pay for place and show and the 3rd place finisher will only pay the show bets.

ACTION – To have a wager on a game.

AGENT – Person that sends players to books for commission.

BACK DOOR COVER – A late score that enables the underdog to cover the point spread.

BAD BEAT – A situation where it looks like a sure win only to have tough luck and be loser.

BANKROLL – The amount of money you have to wager.

BEEF – A dispute over the outcome of a bet.

BEARD – Someone who places a bet for a wiseguy who isn’t welcome in the sportsbook.

BOOKIE – Person who takes bets or “action.”

BONUS – Addition to your deposit. Usually 10%-20%.

BUCK – $100 wager.

CHALK – The favorite in a match-up.

CHALK PLAYER – Bettor who almost always plays favorites.

CIRCLED GAME – When the sportsbook limits the amount that can be wagered due to an injury, uncertainty of a player’s status, or inclement weather.

CLONE JOINT – A book that copies others lines.

CORRELATED PARLAY – A parlay that involves 2 sides that are affected by the other.

COVER – Beating the spread.

DAILY DOUBLE – Horse/Dog racing wager in which you must pick the winner in consecutive races.

DEAD HEAT – When two horses/dogs finish in a tie.

DEAD ZONE: A football point spread between a field goal and a touchdown. Example: Anywhere from -3.5 to -6.5.

DEGENERATE – Compulsive gambler.

DIME – $1,000 bet.

DIMELINE – 10c separating the fav from the dog. Much better value than a 20c line!

DOG – The team that is getting points or a better than +100 moneyline price.

DOLLAR – $100.

EARN – Practical hold percentage.

EDGE – Team with an advantage.

EVEN MONEY – No odds or vig.

EXACTA – Horse/Dog racing wager in which you must select 1st and 2nd place in exact order.

EXOTIC WAGER – Usually refers to a proposition wager.

EXPOSURE – The amount of the wager that you will lose if your bet is not a winner.

FAVORITE – The team/horse/dog that is considered the most likely to win.

FIRING – A big bet.

FLEA – An annoying $2 bettor who expects to be rewarded for his action.

FORM – A tabloid used for horse racing.

FORUM – An internet site where gamblers discuss picks/strategy/information on upcoming games.

FUTURES – Wager in which your gambling on the result of a team relative to season wins, standings, playoff finish etc.

GAMBLING – Risking money that will win or lose depending on the outcome of the event wagered on.

GETTING DOWN – Placing a wager or bet.

GRAND SALAMI – The over/under total for the combined score of all the hockey contests on the schedule for that day.

HALFTIME LINE – A line on only the first half, or only the second half scoring of a football or basketball game.

HANDICAPPER – A gambler who analyzes matchups to determine who to wager on.

HANDLE – Total amount of money wagered.

HEATER – On a winning streak.

HEDGING – The placing of a bet on the other side in order to cut losses or guarantee profit on a wager.

HOLD – The percentage the house wins.

HOOK – 1/2 point. Note: You can get a free half point every time you bet your favorite team! Get all the details here: Free Half Points!

HOT TIP – Information the bookmaker is not yet privy to.

JUICE – The amount of commission for placing a wager.

KISSED YOUR SISTER – Pushed on a bet (tied on the spread)

LAYING POINTS – Wagering on the favorite and having to give points.

LAYOFF – When a bookie bets with another bookmaker to reduce their liability.

LIMIT – Maximum amount of money accepted for one wager.

LINE – Odds or spread on a game.

LINEMAKER – The person or group that establishes the line, spread, or odds.

LISTED PITCHER – You do this when you want to bet a baseball game only if the expected starting pitcher begins the game. If the listed pitcher does not start your game is no action. Conversely, if you list a game as action your wagering counts no matter who the starting pitcher is.

LOCK – A perceived guaranteed winner. Note, there is no such thing.

LONGSHOT – Big underdog.

MIDDLER – Gambler that takes both sides of a game hoping for result to land in middle.

MUSH – A bettor who is a sure loser.

NEUTRAL SITE – Game played where neither team has a home field advantage.

NICKEL – $500.

ODDSMAKER – The person or group that establishes the line, spread, or odds.

OTB or OFF THE BOARD – A game the book is not currently accepting action on. OTB is usually due to the uncertainty of the status of a player or inclement weather.

OVERLAY – A situation in which the odds on a game favor the bettors rather than the house.

OVERTIME – When a game is tied at the end of regulation and they play extra time to determine a winner.

PARLAY – A wager in which you get enhanced odds however all games in your “parlay” must win or your ticket is a loser.

PAST POST – To place a wager after an event has started.

PICK 3 – A horse wager which requires you to select the winner of three consecutive races.

PICK 6 – Bet in horse racing where the bettor tries to predict the winner in six consecutive races.

PICKEM – Wager in which the pointspread is zero.

PICKING YOUR SPOTS – Only making plays when the value is in your favor.

PLACE – Horse/Dog racing wager in which your selection must come in 1st or 2nd place in order to cash.

POINTSPREAD – The betting line established to put both teams on an even level for wagering purposes.

PROGRESSIVE PARLAYS – Parlays in which you don’t have to win all games but still pay out.

PRESS – Betting a larger amount than your usual bet. Doubling up.

PRICE – Odds or spread.

PUPPY – Underdog.

PUSH – Tie on wager, the wager is returned to the bettor.

QUINELLA – Horse/Dog racing wager in which your two selections must come in 1st and 2nd place in either order.

REDUCED VIG – A wager in which your laying less than the standard 10 cent line.

ROUND ROBIN – A single ticket comprised of more than one parlay. Same as “boxing” in horse racing.

RUNDOWN – Line update.

SCALPER – Gambler making a play on low odds favorite then finding higher odds underdog on same game resulting in no risk wagering.

SCRATCH – Withdraw; cancel.

SERVICE – Handicapper(s) that sells opinions, analysis and picks.

SHARP – A bettor who is smart and a winner.

SIDE – Picking a team to win or cover a pointspread (non total wager).

SHORTSTOP – A small bettor.

SHOW – Horse/Dog racing wager in which your selection must come in at least 3rd place in order to receive payout.

SQUARE – Player that is always on favorites and overs. This player is usually on the same side as the general public and is considered as a gambling fool by the bookmaker.

STEAM – A large amount of money being wagered on one side usually from a wiseguy.

STRAIGHT BET – One wager (opposed to a parlay.)

SUCKER BET – Parlays, teasers or exotics (anything bookmakers use to entice squares to bet more.)

SUPERFECTASuperfecta betting requires that you select the first four finishers in a horse race in exact order. This type of wager usually has an enormous payout.

TAKING A PRICE – Betting an underdog where the return is more than the amount wagered.

TEASER – Multi game card in which you can move the spread X amount of points (points and odds vary.)

TOKE – A tip or gratuity to the dealer.

TOUT – Handicapper that sells opinions, analysis and picks.

TOTAL – Wager on the total amount of points scored in a game.

TRIFECTA – Horse/Dog racing wager in which your three selections must come in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively.

UNDERLAY – When the odds on a proposition are in favor of the house.

VALUE – A situation where the price on a team is better than their perceived disadvantage.

VIGORISH (Vig or Juice) – Amount of commission kept by the bookmaker.

WHALE – Very large bettor. Bets thousands per game.

WIN – Horse/Dog racing wager in which your selection must win in order to cash on your selection.

WIN 4 – Horse wager that requires you to select the winner of four consecutive races.

WISEGUY – The “steam” creator; sharp bettor; gambling pro.

Best Parlays

2 Team Parlay 3 Team Parlay 4 Team Parlay
sportsbetting 2.64 to 1 6 to 1 12.3 to 1
Bovada 2.64 to 1 5.95 to 1 12.3 to 1
Mybookie 2.64 to 1 5.95 to 1 12.3 to 1