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Sportsbook Betting Terms

Across the board: Method of wagering on a horse to win, place and show.

Action (AT): In baseball, placing a bet on the site no matter who pitches.

Action points: In an action point wager the customer is going to get paid for every point the chosen team covers the point spread or, is going to be charge for every point the chosen team doesn't cover, plus an additional 10%.

-Note: Action points can only be played on football and basketball for complete games - The customer chooses the amount for each point.

Also, the customer has to set a point cap. That is, the maximum points the customer is going to get pay or charge for. The point cap goes from 10 to 50 points.

Appentice: Jockey who has not ridden a certain number of winners in a specified period of time. Also known as a "bug", from the asterisk used to denote the weight allowance such riders receive.

ATS: Against the spread.

Bad beat: Tough loss.

Beard: A friend or acquaintance or other contact who is used to placing bets so that the bookmakers will not know the identity of the actual bettor. Many top handicappers and persons occupying sensitive positions use this method of wagering.

Beef: Dispute.

Beyer number: A handicapping tool, popularized by author Andrew Beyer. That assigns a numerical value (speed figure) to each race run by a horse, based on final time and track condition. Enables horses running at various racetracks to be objectively compared.

Board: In pari-mutuels, short for "tote board", where betting odds, pools and other information is displayed. In sports betting, the entire list of available games.

Bomb, or bomber: A winning horse sent off at extremely high odds

Book: An establishment that accepts wagers on the outcome of horseracing and sporting events.

Bookie: Person who takes bets from the clients.

Box: A combination bet whereby all possible numeric combinations are covered.

B.R. Bankroll.

Breeder's cup: Thoroughbred racing’s year-end championship, consisting of seven races.

Buck: A $100 wager.

Buying points (From 1/2 to 10pts): The customers can buy points to their advantage only in football and basketball for the complete game whenever doing point spreads. Points can be bought on the side or on the total.

NOTE: In football, when buying of or onto a 3 point spread there is an extra 10% charge on the juice.

"Current line is Raiders -3.5, buying 0.5 point will make the Raiders -3, for that you have to lay -120 plus an extra 10% charge, so picking Raiders -3 buying a 0.5 point it is going to cost $130 to win $100, this is because its the same as a field goal".

Call: Running position of horses in a race at various points.

Call bet: A bet made verbally.

Canadian line: This is a combination point spread line and money line.

Chalk: A favorite.

Chalk player/or chalk eather: Someone who usually plays the favorite teams, rarely betting on the underdogs.

Churn: The effect of betting and rebetting money.

Circle game: A game in which the betting action is limited; usually occurs in games that feature key injuries, inclement weather, or unsubstantiated rumors regarding a team.
Sometimes stated, "This is a circle game."

Consolation double: A payoff to holders of daily-double tickets combining the winning horse in the first race of the double with a scratched horse in the second half.

Cover: To win the game by the required number of points; if such occurs you have "covered the spread". In case of playing the underdog to lose by less than the spread.

D. C. Defensive Coordinator of a football team.

Daily double: Type of wager calling for the selection of winners of two consecutive horse races.

Dead heat: When two or more horses or dogs finish in a tie.

Degenerate: Compulsive gambler.

Dime: $1,000

Disqualification: Change in order of finish by officials for infraction of the rules.

Distaff: Female horse.

Dog: The underdog in any betting proposition.

Dog player: One who mostly plays the underdog.

Dollar bet or buck: A $100 wager.

Double bet: A wager for twice the size of one's usual wager; also known as "double pop" or "doubling up".

Earn: Practical hold percentage.

East coast line: Mainly used in hockey, which has a split-goal line e.g. - NY Rangers (1 - 1 ½) favorite over the Vancouver Canucks as opposed to goal spread plus moneyline (-1/2 -180).

Edge: Advantage.

Entry: Two or more horses with common ownership that are paired as a single betting unit in a race.

Equivalent odds: Mutuel price that a horse or dog would pay on a $1 bet.

Even money: A wager in which no virgorish or juice is laid.

Exacta: A wager in which the first two finishers in a single race must be selected in the exact order.

Exotic bet: In sports betting, any bet other than a straight bet, i.e., parlays, teasers, if bets, reverses, round robin, round robin box reverses, etc.
In horse racing, any wager other than win, place or show.

FA: Free Agent.

False favorite: Horse that is a race favorite despite being outclassed by other competition in the field.

Favorite: Team or person that most likely to win the game, or that has the odds in it's favor.

Field: The group of horses in a race.

Field horse: Two or more starters running as a single betting unit, usually when there are more starters than positions on the tote board. Also known as the "mutuel field".

Figure: Amount owned by or to a bookmaker.

Fin: $50

Final 4: The remaining 4 teams in the NCAA basketball tournament.

Form: The performance expected according to how a team or horse looks on paper; also, slang for the "Daily Racing Form".

Fractions: Intermediate times recorded in a race. For example, "quarter time" is the recorded after the first quarter-mile, not the first 25% of the race.

Furlong: One-eighth of a mile.

Futures: Odds posted on the winners of various major sport championships in advance of the event, including the Super Bowl, the World Series, the Stanley Cup and the NBA championship.

In other words, bets placed on an event or outcome taking place some time in the future, e.g., betting during the season on the Super Bowl winner.

Getting down: Making a wager.

Gross win: Win before expenses.

Handicapper: One who studies, rates and wagers on sporting events and/or races.

Handle: Total amounts of bets taken.

HC: Head Coach.

Hedge/hedging: Placing bets on the opposite side in order to cut losses or guarantee winning a minimal amount of money.

Holding your own: Neither winning nor losing, just breaking even.

Hook: A half point added to point spreads (football and basketball only).
Also commonly said: "lost by the hook".

Home field advantage: Edge the home team is expected to have as a result of familiarity with the arena and effect of travel on the visiting team.

Hoops: Basketball.

Hot: One-eighth of a mile.

Hot game: A game which is drawing a lot of action on one side by knowledgeable handicappers.

Hot tip: Information the bookmaker is not yet privy to.

If bets: Is a chain from 2 to 5 straight plays join by a condition.

There are two types: (1)SINGLE ACTION: where the player will have action on the second straight bet if the first play WINS ONLY, and so on in the chain of plays. (2)DOUBLE ACTION where the player will have action on the second play only if the first play WINS, TIES OR THE GAME IS CANCELLED and so on in the chain. Wherever is a lost, the bet stops there.
Amounts? 2nd has to be the same or lower amount than the 1st one.

In the money: A horse that finishes first, second or third.

Inquiry: Reviewing a race to check into a possible rules infraction. If lodged by a jockey, it is called an objection.

ITW: Intertrack wagering.

Juice: The bookmaker's commission, most often refers to the 11 to 10 football bettors lay on straight wagers.
Also known as the vigorish.

Juvenile: Two-year-old horse.

Lasix: Trade name for a medication used in the treatment of bleeders, which acts as a diuretic. Often improves performance in horses that have bled in previous races.

Lay a price: Bet a favorite, lay the points.

Laying the points: Betting on the favorite.

Line: The current odds or pointspread on a particular event.

Linemaker: The person who establishes the original and subsequent betting lines.

Listed pitchers (LP): Stating that you will place bet only if one or both of the pitchers scheduled to start a baseball game actually start. If they don't, the bet is cancelled.

Lock: Sure or easy winner.

Longshot: A team or horse that is unlikely to win. Large underdog.

LY: Last Year.

L2Y: Last two years (any number can be inserted in the middle to refer to the number of years something has occurred).

Middle(S): To win both sides of the same betting proposition; betting the favorite team at -1.5 with one bookmaker and then taking +3.5 with another bookmaker; the game ends up with the favorite winning by exactly 3 points, you have then "middled the game"; a favorite betting method of "Wise Guys".

Minus pool: In pari-mutuel wagering, when after the take is extracted, there is not enough money left to pay winning patrons the minimum pay-out. The track must then make up the difference.

MLB: Major League Baseball.

Money line: The amount you must bet on a favorite to win $100, or the amount you win on an underdog if you bet $100. It can be used in any sport, but however wins the game or event wins the bet.

Morning line: Probable odds on each horse in a race, as determined by the track handicapper, who tries to gauge both the ability of the horse and the likely final odds as determined by the bettors.

Mutuel: Price paid on a winning pari-mutuel wager.

Mutuel pool: Sum of the wagers on a race.

MVP: Most Valuable Player. Leagues give MVP awards to the best regular- season player and to the outstanding player in championship games or series.

NBA: National Basketball Association.

NCAA: National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Neutral site: Arena, court, or field where neither side has a home field advantage.

Newspaper line: The betting line which quite often appears in the daily newspapers; the lines are only approximate and quite often totally inaccurate and misleading.

NFL: National Football League.

NHL: National Hockey League.

Nickel: A $500.00 wager.

NL: No Line.

Odds on: Odds of less than even money.

Oddsmaker: Same as a linemaker. The person who establishes the original and subsequent betting lines.

Off the board: A game on which the bookmaker will not accept action, that is, no bets are being accepted. The event already start.

On the nose: Betting on a horse to win only.

OTB: Off-track betting, or wagering at legalized betting outlets, usually in major cities. Wagering at these sites are usually commingled with on-track betting pools.

Out: Bookmaker, usually refers to an illegal bookmaker.

Out of the money:
A horse that finishes worse than third.

Outlaw line: An overnight line not used by casinos or offshore establishments.

Over/under: A bet on whether the combined total of the points/goals scored by the two teams will exceed or be less than a reestablished number or runs

Overlay: When the odds on a proposition are in favor of the bettor rather than the house.

Pari mutuel:  A form of wagering originated in 1865 by Frenchman Pierre Oller in which all money bet is divided up among those who have winning tickets (after taxes, takeout and other deductions are made). Oller called his system "parier mutuel", meaning "betting among ourselves". As this wagering method was adopted in England, it became known as "Paris mutuals," and soon after "pari-mutuels".

Parlay: (1) A group from 2 to 8 teams in which the payouts increase as the number of chosen teams increase. In order to win the parlay, all the chosen teams must win. In case of a push, the parlay will revert to the next lower amount of teams, paying the odds corresponding to a parlay of that amount of teams.
(2) A wager on two or more horseraces in which the winnings are carried over to the next race.

Parlay cards: Wagers on a minimum of 3 and up to 15 propositions; the more you pick, the higher the payoff.

Part wheel: Using a key horse or horses in different, but not all possible, exotic wagering combinations.

Past performance: What has occurred previously to the forthcoming games.

Past post: To make a bet after an event has started.

Photo: Short for photo finish, a result so close it is necessary to use the finish-line camera to determine the order of finish.

Pick/pick' em game: Neither team is favorite. Usually in basketball and Football. 0 point spread, Whoever wins the game wins the bet.

Pick #: A type of multi-race wager in which the winners of all the included races must be selected. Pick 3 and Pick 9 are common wagers at many tracks. The Pick 6 at jai-alai was often referred to as the "Super 6".

Place: Bet for a horse to get on second place.

Place bet: Wager on a horse to finish first or second.

Player: Bettor, gambler.

Pointspread: Only used in football and basketball. Is used to make the game even by adding points to the score of the underdog or sustracting points from the favorite.
The "line"; the handicap, or head start that the favorite gives to the underdog for betting purposes. The favorite must cover the point spread in order to win the game. The underdog on the pointspread gets the same amount of points is his advantage.

Post position: Number used to identify horse for betting purposes; may refer to spot in the starting gate, but not always.

PPG: Points per Game.

Practical hold percentage: The amount won by a bookmaker divided by the total amount booked.

Press: To bet a larger amount than usual.

Price: The odds (line) or pointspread.

Puckline: Mainly used on East Coast with hockey, giving odds of a goal spread instead of Canadian Line where both a goal spread and moneyline is played.

Puppy: Underdog.

Push: A tie. Neither side wins and all money is returned to the bettors.

Reverses: All possible combination of two team if bets, Double Action If Bets done in both ways, with the chosen teams (from 2 to 6 teams).

Round robin: All possible combination of two team parlays with the chosen teams (from 3 to 6 teams).

Rundown: List of all the odds (lines), pointsreads, totals, money lines, etc. for a particular sport.

Run line: (Combination of Run Spread with Money Line)
A line used when wagering on baseball. The favorite is minus the runs but usually combined with a positive money line and the underdog is plus the runs but the customer has to risk more to win less (negative money line)

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.

Scots: Person(s) who study team plays and/or practise and report findings to handicappers.

Scratch: Withdraw; cancel.
Also, when a horse get injure.

Sharp: Wise guy.

Show: Bet for a horse to get on third place.

Side: To win one side and tie the other. For example, if you lay -2 ½ and take 3 on the same game and the favorite wins by 3 you have SIDED the book. The book has been SIDED.

Single: Same as a straight bet.

Smart money: Sides that are bet on by the more knowledgeable handicappers.

Special teasers: (Only in Basketball and Football for the whole game)
Type of teaser where the more teams that are chosen, the more points are credited per team. A player can pick from 2 to 4 teams. All teams must cover the teased spreads to win the teaser. When there is a push, the whole wager is considerd a push, unless the push is accompanied by a loss in which case the wager is a loss.

Sport player: A person who waits for what he thinks is an unusually strong wager.

Spread: Abbreviation for pointspread.

Square: Unsophisticated gambler.

Stanley cup: Championship of Hockey.

Steam: Heavy action on one side.
When a betting line starts to move quite rapidly; most "steam games" do not necessarily reflect the "right side," but are games that the mass of bettors somehow decide to key on.

Store: A Bookie.

Straight bet: A bet on a team person or thing. 4 situations
Side: Favorite and underdog
Total: Over or Under a preestablished combined total.

SU/Straight up: Straight Up, or actual score of the game without counting the spread.

Sucker bet: Bet with a large house edge.

Super bowl: NFL Championship game.

Taking/take a price: Wagering on the underdog; taking the odds.

Tapped out: Broke, busted, common result of pressing.

Teasers: Only in Basketball and Football for the whole game)
A group from 2 to 6 teams that adds points to the lines or totals in the most convenient way for the player.
There are two types of teasers: Special Teasers (see special teasers) and Vegas Teasers (see vegas teasers).

Theoretical hold percentage: The edge the bookmaker would have IF the odds guaranteed him a constant commission regardless of the outcome.

Toss up: Game where the line is close to pick ‘em.

Totals: Total combined point/runs/goals scored in a game; In baseball, if either of the two listed starting pitchers don't go the bet is automatically cancelled.

Tout service: A business that sells its expertise on sporting events.

TY: This Year

Underdog: Team most likely to loose the game, or that the odds are against it.
Also refered to as "Dog".

Underlay: When the odds on a proposition are in favor of the house.

Value: Getting the best odds on a betting proposition; the highest possible edge.

Vegas Teasers: (Only in Basketball and Football for the whole game)
This teaser combines the rules of a special teaser and a parlay. It is like a teaser in the sense that it gives points, but regardless of the number of teams chosen, it always gives the same number of points per team.
It's like a parlay in the sense that the more teams that are chosen, the better the payout of the wager.
All teams most cover the teased spread to win the bet. With a push, the teaser will revert to the next lower number of Vegas Teaser.

VIG'/Vigorish: The commission paid to the bookmaker. Juice.

Wager limit: Maximum bet accepted by the house before the price will be changed
Also the "cap" on what you can personally wager.

Win: Bet for a horse to get on first place.

Window: What some players say after winning a bet.

Wise guy: A well-informed or knowledgeable handicapper or bettor.

Wood: Laying points.

World series: Championship of Major League Baseball.


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