Understanding sports betting terms | A – Z sportsbook Terminology explained!

sports betting terms explained
sports betting terms explained

When you first enter the world of online sports betting, you may be at a loss for all of the terminology thrown your way. What are different types of wagers called? How do you place them? Each of these questions and so many more may be brimming in your mind.

Some of the most popular forms of sports betting online include horse racing betting and football betting. That’s why we’re going to hash out the most important terminology related to these wagers, odds, and more in today’s guide. 

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Continue reading along as we discuss terms such as handicap bets, closing lines, fixed odds, head-to-head betting, Wincast betting, ante-post, horizontal wagering, exotic wagering, and so many more. Let’s get into the glossary of terms!

Sports Betting Terminology

Understanding the full scope of sports betting terminology can be difficult, even if you’ve been wagering for a while. But familiarizing yourself with words and phrases like “vigorish”, “bankroll”, or “edge” can help you to become a knowledgeable bettor with a deeper understanding of how the odds and wagers work in different scenarios.

Although you don’t necessarily need to know every term out there – and most people don’t – it’s good to brush up on the terms that relate to the type of betting you do.

For example, if you’re specifically into wagering on horse races, then you need to know horse racing terminology. But if it’s parlay football wagers that you’re into, then you need to know the odds terms and other phrases related to that.

Football Betting Sportsbook Terminology

First, take a look at important terminology within football betting. These phrases and keywords have to do with the odds, types of wagers, bonuses, and other aspects of football betting online.


Also known as accumulator bets – you combine 4+ football bets (legs) into one wager and must have all legs win to win the bet.

After Extra Time

AET is a type of odds in live football betting, posted if extra time is added at the end of the match.

Asian Handicap

This is a type of football spread betting where the so-called “better” team has a slightly larger spread to cover in order for you to win a bet placed on them.


The money a punter allots for betting.

Closing Line

Refers to the football line before its odds have been set.

Combo Betting

Betting where you combine football wagers for higher stakes – can be cross-sport, same-sport, or same-game.

Correct Score Wagering

A high-stakes bet where you have to correctly predict the final score of a match.


This refers to a spread bet where the favorite football team wins the match and scores enough goals to surpass the spread.

Draw No Bet

A money back wager on football matches ending in a draw.

Double Chance Betting

Football wagering where you bet on variations of outcomes and your money can double if your pick(s) win.


A way to place a football futures bet – bettors place 2 equal stakes on a team to win and a team to place. Unlike a combination, you can still get a return if only one part wins.


The “better” team or competitor, posted with negative odds.

Fixed Odds

A type of betting where the odds are set as soon as you wager and the potential payout is unwavering.

Full-Time Result Wagering

Football wager that doesn’t consider any penalty or overtime – just the score directly following the 2nd half.


This is a wager on the overall winner of a tournament. For example, in football betting, you might wager on the FIFA World Cup winning team long before the championship match occurs.

Half Ball Handicap

This is football spread betting where the spread is specifically 0.5+/- goals.

Half-Time/Full-Time Wagering

A football wager involving 2 bets – one to predict the outcome directly after the first half and one to predict the outcome directly after the second half.


A matchup wager where you try to predict which player will perform better than another specific player (i.e. who will have more goals?, who will have more assists?).

Live Betting

When you wager on a football match after the clock has started.


Bets on football match statistics like goals, saves, etc. where you try to predict if the actual number will fall above or below the “total”.

Return on Investment

A percentage calculated by dividing your betting profit by the cost of investment.

Scorecast Bet

A combo bet – the punter must wager on the “first”, “last”, or “anytime” player they think will score a goal in the match AND predict the correct score of the match. To get a payout, you have to be correct about both.


A professional bettor.

Single Wagering

Unlike ACCA wagering, you just have to correctly predict the outcome of one football match to get a payout.


Also known as props, specials are non-outcome based bets, such as Will the match end in overtime? or which team will score the first goal of the World Cup?.

Spread Betting

Betting on the margin of victory/loss in a football match. The favorite must win and cover the spread for a bet on them to win, and the underdog merely has to cover the spread for a bet on them to win.


A casual or novice bettor.


This refers to how much money a punter risks when betting.


A money line, spread, or total wager.

Team to Go Through

In between a money line and a future – you bet on which football team you believe will progress further within a tournament or Cup.


In football betting, when you have multiple bets on a wager and you adjust the point spread, requiring wins across the board to win at all.

Three-Way Handicap Bet

Unlike the Asian handicap, this “European” handicap bet puts a handicap on one team, and the bettor has to wager one of three ways (win, lose, or draw) on them.


A receipt confirming your football wager.


The “worse” team or competitor, posted with positive odds and often greater potential winnings.


Also known as “vig” or “juice” – the commission that bookmaker’s earn on placed bets.

Wincast Bet

The bettor picks a “last”, “anytime”, or “first” player they think will score in a match. After doing so, the bettor must predict the final match result instead of the “correct score”.

Horse Racing Sports Betting Terms Explained

Horse racing betting is a form of sports betting in its own right. But the way that bets are placed and odds are set is fairly unique. Even the terminology differs when you compare this type of betting to, say, football betting online.

Abandoned Race

A horse race that gets called off due to unforeseen circumstances, such as weather conditions.

Across the Board

This is when you make a horse wager with 3 bets – to win, to place, and to show.

Also Ran Horse

This type of horse is one that competes in a horse race but doesn’t end up finishing in a paid position.


This is when the bettor wagers on a race at least one day in advance.

Banker Horse

This is the horse that is thought most likely to win a race.

Box Bet

A horse racing bet that includes each possible combination of finishes in the race that applies to different types of wagers.

Brought Down Horse

This terminology refers to an instance where a horse falls in a race because of interference from another competing horse.

Daily Double Bet

This involves 2 bets – you must pick a winning horse for two back-to-back races.

Dead Heat Outcome

In horse racing betting, this outcome denotes a type of tie. When a clear winner can’t be declared, officials will call “dead heat”.


If a scratching occurs, fixed odds bets can be deducted, with a rate based on the odds of the scratched selection at the time of removal from the market.

Each-Way Betting

A wager that is split evenly, the bettor selects a horse to finish either 1st or 2nd. If the horse does finish 1st, both bets payout. If the horse finishes 2nd, only one bet pays out.

Exacta Bet

This is a type of exotic bet in horse racing where the bettor has to predict which horses will finish in 1st and 2nd place. You also have to correctly predict the order of placement.


This is a popular type of horse racing betting where the player must bet on multiple horses on a wager.

Futures Bet

Also known as an “outright” bet, a futures bet in horse racing is when you wager on a horse to win a culminating race involved in a championship-style event.

Hacked Up Horse

This phrase refers to when a horse wins a race without much difficulty at all.

Horizontal Wagering

This type of horse racing wager requires bettors to bet on a series of horse races – not just one. You are often picking the consecutive winners (examples include Pick 4, Pick 6, etc.).

Maiden Horse

This type of horse in horse racing is one that is yet to have won any races.


This term refers to a horse race that’s longer than 1.25 miles.

Morning Line

A morning line is a list in horse racing including each entry for a given race, along with the estimated odds for each of those horses (before the final odds are determined).

Outsider Horse

This term refers to a horse who is expected to have a very low chance of winning a race.

Pick 3/4/6 Bet

Similar to a daily double, but you instead choose either 3, 4, or 6 consecutive winning horses.

Place Bet

You wager on a horse to finish either 1st or 2nd in their race.

Post Time

This term refers to the time that a race is scheduled to start at – basically, the time at which the horses should be lining up at the post.

Quinella Bet

A type of exotic bet in horse racing – the bettor selects 2 different horses they think will place in 1st and 2nd. The order doesn’t have to be predicted correctly to win a payout.

Show Bet

Similar to the place bet, but you wager on a horse to finish either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in their race.

Straight Bet

Like a money line in sports betting, but you’re predicting which horse you think will win the race and take 1st place.

Superfecta Bet

This is a type of exotic bet in horse racing where the bettor has to correctly predict the top four finishing horses in a race. You must correctly predict the order of finishing as well.

Trifecta Bet

This is a type of exotic bet in horse racing where the bettor has to correctly predict the top three finishing horses in a race. You must correctly predict the order of finishing as well.

Triple Crown

Triple Crown refers to a specific horse racing series that includes the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, and the Kentucky Derby.

Turn of Foot

When you hear this term, it’s referring to the rate of acceleration for a horse as it’s trying to get further ahead of the horses behind it.

Wheel Bet

A horse racing wager combining several bets – players must pick a single horse to finish in a position for each bet and bet on other horses to finish in the other open position.

Summary – Sports Betting Terms

Sports betting terms aren’t quite as difficult to understand as they may seem at first. With the help of our guide to horse racing betting and sports betting terminology, hopefully you’re now better equipped to take on these gambling activities online.

Knowing what different terms related to odds, markets, and wagers mean can help you to make more informed bets and hopefully snatch a payout along the way. Peruse our glossary of terminology the next time you encounter a sports betting term that you don’t recognize!