Betting Terms

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The Following are Betting Terms from A-Z.


ATS: Against the spread
B.R.: Bankroll
BAD BEAT: Tough loss
BEARD: Messenger bettor
BEEF: Dispute
BITCOIN: Read More
BUCK: $100
CHALK: Favorite
CHALK EATER: Favorite bettor
CHURN: The effect of betting and rebetting money
CIRCLE GAME: Game where action is limited due to uncertainties about weather, injuries, etc
COVER: Win by more than the pointspread
DEGENERATE: Compulsive gambler
DIME: $1,000
DOLLAR: $100
EARN: Practical hold percentage
EDGE: Advantage
EXOTIC BET: Action other than a straight bet or parlay
EXPOSURE: The amount of money the house actually stands to lose on a game or a race
EXTENSION: The amount of money the house theoretically will risk losing on a game or a race
FIGURE: Amount owed by or to a bookmaker
FIRING: Betting a lot. A player who is “firing” is wagering large sums
FLEA: An annoying human parasite who wants something for nothing; a $2 bettor who expects to be comped for his action
FORM: What performance is to be expected according to how a team looks on paper
GET DOWN: Make a bet
GOY: Game of the Year
G-PLAY: Guaranteed Play
GROSS WIN: Win before expenses
HANDICAPPER: One who studies sports and predicts outcomes
HANDLE: Total amount of bets taken
HEDGE: Bet the opposite of your original wager in order to reduce the amount of action you have on a game
HOLD: The percentage the house wins
HOOK: Half point in pointspreads, as in “lost by the hook”
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: Edge the home team is expected to have as a result of familiarity with the playing area, favorable demographics and effect of travel on the visiting team
HOOPS: Basketball
HOT TIP: Information the bookmaker is not yet privy to
JUICE: Bookmaker’s commission, most often refers to the 11 to 10 football bettors lay on straight wagers; vigorish
LAY A PRICE: Bet a favorite, lay the points
LAYOFF BET: A wager made by one bookmaker with another to help balance his action and reduce his risk on one side or one horse
LIMIT: Bet the opposite of your original wager in order to reduce the amount of action you have on a game
LINE: The betting proposition on a game and/or payoff odds on the bet
LONGSHOT: Large underdog
LN: Last Night
LY: Last Year
MIDDLE: To win both sides of a game. For example, if you bet the underdog +3 1/2 and the favorite – 2 1/2 and the favorite wins by 3, you’ve MIDDLED the book. The book has BEEN MIDDLED.
NEUTRAL SITE: Arena, court or field where neither side has a home field advantage
NICKEL: $500
OFF THE BOARD: Game where no bets are being accepted
OUT: Bookmaker, usually refers to an illegal bookmaker
OVERLAY: When the odds on a proposition are in favor of the bettor rather than the house
PARLAY: A bet with two or more teams where all the teams must win for the bettor to be successful
PAST POST: To make a bet after an event has started
PICK or PICK’EM: A game where neither team is favored
PLAYER: Bettor, gambler
PRACTICAL HOLD PERCENTAGE: The amount won by a bookmaker divided by the total amount booked
PRESS: To bet a larger amount than usual
PUPPY: Underdog
ROUND ROBIN: A series of parlays. A three-team round robin consists of one three-team parlay and three two-team parlays
RUNDOWN: Line update
RUNNER: See Beard
SCALPER: One who attempts to profit from the differences in odds from book to book by betting both sides of the same game at different prices
SCORE: To win a lot of money
SCRATCH: Withdraw or cancel
SHARP: Wise guy
SHORTSTOP: A small bettor
SIDE: To win one side and tie the other. For example, if you lay -2 1/2 and take 3 on the same game and the favorite wins by 3 you have SIDED the book. The book has been SIDED
SQUARE: Unsophisticated gambler
STEAM: Heavy action on one side
STRAIGHT BET: A bet on just one team
SUCKER BET: Bet with a large house edge
TAKE A PRICE: Bet the underdog, take the points
TAPPED OUT: Broke, busted, common result of pressing
THEORETICAL HOLD PERCENTAGE: The edge the bookmaker would have IF the odds guaranteed him a constant commission regardless of the outcome
TOKE: A tip or gratuity
TOSS UP: Game where the line is close to pick-em
TOUT SERVICE: A business that sells opinions on sporting events
TRIPLE SHARP: The sharpest of the sharp, (Note: There is no such term as “Double Sharp”)
TY: This Year
UNDERLAY: When the odds on a proposition are in favor of the house
VALUE: An overlay
WISE GUY: Established and successful sports bettor.