Sports betting terms

When taking part in any kind of betting online, one thing that you might run into is a lack of knowledge about certain terms. Make no mistake about it – betting can be a confusing thing to take part in.

That’s why we have a simple glossary for you to follow. While it won’t cover all the words that you would find in the betting world, we hope that this glossary will give you some great ideas about what you are reading as you play. So, what are some of the most important terms to take into account when betting? Let’s go and explain them.


An accumulator, or an “acca”, is a form of bet that takes into account the results of multiple events, with the odds dependent on all selections wining.

American Odds

This is a form of betting odd, where the bets are put out in a 100-unit base figure as opposed to in decimal point odds. Minus means you need to lay that amount to win $100, while plus means you win that amount for every $100 that you place.


A very important term, meaning that you have backed all available selection within a market, across numerous bookmakers, to force a positive return.

Asian Handicap

A popular term that is used as a two-way market – it uses a point/goal handicap system and also removes the chance of a draw being an available bet.


A financial investment that is made to back the chosen outcome that you agree is most likely to take place, based on the odds provided.

Betting Exchange

A form of betting site that won’t accept bets, but matches another backer with a layer, with a commission paid to the exchange on any wins.


What you get when you are given an incentive to keep using a casino; normally some form of free spin, free bet, or similar.


A bookmaker is the figure who usually takes your bet, giving you the odds for certain outcomes and then you choose the one you think is most likely.


This is another term for the Favourite; the result that is most likely expected to come through in any kind of betting selection.

Closing Odds

The odds that were offered prior to a market stopping from taking bets.

Correct Score

A form of bet that asks you to bet on the exact correct score of an event.

Decimal Odds

A form of odds that is mostly used in Europe – odds are placed in a decimal format i.e. X.Y.


When odds are lengthened, meaning that the event might not occur, the odds are said to have “drifted”.

Each Way

A bet which covers two independent bets, one for the selection and one for the placings i.e. 2nd and 3rd place.

Even Money

A bet which is going to return the exact amount that was put on it i.e. €5 will net you €5.


The event/participant that is most expected to come out with a favourable result in any given event.

Fixed Odds

Fixed odds is a form of betting that is offered with bets fixed at the time the bet is struck.


Handicaps are a figure that is put in place by a bookie to counter any potential bias in the quality of one opponent versus the other.


Hedging means that play both sides of the market, or as many sides is available, to try and make the most of a price advantage.

In-play Bet

An in-play bet is one which is placed during the event taking place.


A layoff is used by bookies to help limit their own liability and reduce the risk by covering their bet via another bookmaker.


A bet that is very unlikely to come off but has a massive return should it come through.


The cost of placing the bet that is set by a bookmaker.


A form of bet that could consist of numerous bets running alongside each other, usually dependent on one another.


The actual number given to the likelihood of an event taking place.


What you win should your bet come through.

This should help you get used to the most important terms that you need to know in betting parlance.