Betting Glossary

This betting glossary provides brief definitions for the most common betting terms. The terms are relevant for sports betting in general or specific to individual sports like football and horse racing. This betting glossary is a good guide to individuals who are new to placing wagers on sport. It covers the most important definitions related to betting.

Betting Glossary Terms: All Terms from A-Z



A single line multiple bet with four selections or more and all selections must win for a winning bet. The odds are accumulated to calculate any winnings.


A betting market for events that take place in the future and in horse racing all bets are lost if the backed horse is withdrawn before the day of the race.



A transaction in which an individual places a wager with a bookmaker at certain odds. The return depends on the stake and odds.


An individual or firm that creates a betting market by compiling odds and accepts bets on all the potential outcomes in that market.

Betting Exchange

A bookmaker that provides a platform for peer-to-peer betting whereby customers back an event to happen or the event not to happen at mutually acceptable odds.


Canadian Line

A bet that combines the moneyline (match winner) with the puck line (handicap or spread) in ice hockey at adjusted odds.


Betting exchanges make money by charging a commission on winning bets and the rates range from 2% to 5%. Losing exchange bets are not subject to commission.

Cash Out

A betting option during a live event that allows bettors to close a bet before expiry to guarantee a gain or limit the loss regardless of the final result.

Correct Score

Most commonly a football bet whereby bettors try to predict the result of a football fixture after 90 minutes and extra time and penalties do not count.


Decimal Odds

An odds format that has become more prevalent after the advent of betting exchanges that displays odds in decimals, usually to two places.


An outcome of a sporting event in which the scores are level after normal time resulting in both teams winning the same number of points.


A betting term for the odds on a team or outcome getting higher as the event approaches. It is offset by odds shortening for the other potential outcomes to balance the book.

Double Bet

A multiple bet including two selections at combined odds with the return based on the accumulated odds and stake unit.


Each Way

Two bets on the selection to win and finish in the payout places with the place odds based on industry standard terms.


A multi-selection bet in combinations such as singles, doubles, trebles and accumulators that offers the potential for a significant win for a small stake.


Fractional Odds

An odds format in which odds are displayed in fractions such as 2/1 and in which case the return is three times the stake with a returns of two times the stake.

Fixed Odds Betting

A type of betting offered by the bookmakers based on fractional or decimal odds that includes odds for all the potential outcomes of an event.



A system bet with eight selections combined in 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 four-folds, 56 five-folds, 28 six-folds, 8 seven-folds and one eight-fold accumulator totalling 247 bets.



A start given to the underdog or weight given to a horse to ensure there is an even chance for each potential result in a match or race.

Half-Time Bet

A bet on the score at half-time in a sporting event which is usually a football fixture. This is a three-way market including the draw.


Betting during a football fixture or other sporting event n a number of markets which change as the match progresses. Cash out betting is allowed during an in-play event.



The profit margin for the bookmaker based on the percentages for each element in a market. Any margin over 100% represents a theoretical profit for the bookmaker.



A type of betting in which the backer closes the back bet or part of the bet to offset any potential losses or take a known gain.

Live Betting

Another term for in-play betting which takes place during the match with markets being suspended after a significant event.


This is a banker bet that the customer believes will win and can be combined with other selections to create a multiple bet.


Match Bet

A bet with only two potential outcomes such as the winner of a tennis match or the team to qualify from a Cup tie in football.

Money Line

The term for the match result used by US bookmakers which can be a two-way including over time or three-way including the draw.


Single line bets with two or more selections with the returns based on the combined odds but all selections must win for a winning bet.


Novelty Bet

This is not usually a sports bet but generally involves Politics, TV Specials and Awards. Bookmakers usually limit individuals to small stakes.


A horse that is withdrawn from a race before race day or on the day of a race. If a new market cannot be formed the existing market is subject to Rule 4 Deductions.



A mathematical representation of the likelihood of an event taking placed expressed in decimal or fractional format which combined with the stake determine the gain and return.

Odds Format

The way in which the odds are expressed or displayed The most common formats are decimal or fractional odds but there are also American and Asian odds.

Outright Betting

Betting on the winner of a championship or tournament, such as the Premier League in football or the British Open in golf. Each way outright betting is subject standard place terms.



The amount a bettor receives after placing a winning bet and including the returns and stake and based on the odds and stake.

Points Spread

A term generally used in US sports to express the start given to the underdog to make the match even for betting if there is a strong favourite.


An individual who places bets with a fixed odds bookmaker or betting exchange, also known as a gambler, bettor, player or customer.


Quarter Bet

A bet on the team to be winning a sporting event at the end of the first quarter. It is similar to a half bet which is on the score after the first half.


Request A Bet

A type of betting in which customers create their own bet by combining match outcomes and the bookmaker offers adjusted odds if some outcomes are related.


Second Half Bet

A bet on the outcome of the second half and not related to the match result. The bet does not include extra-rime and penalties.


A betting product offered by a bookmaker that provides betting markets on a range of sports and novelty bets. See our list of sportsbooks in Ontario.

Spread Betting

Betting based on a spread published by the spread betting firm which allows customers to bet on the outcome being higher or lower than the quote.


Totals Bet

A wager on the number of points or goals in a sporting event which can be in a number of bands or over or under the quote.


An individual who provides tips on the outcome of sporting event in return for a subscription or one-off fee and most common in horse racing. Read some sports betting tips.



The odds or outcome for the number of points or goals ending below the quote.



The perceived attractiveness of the odds in a betting market which is based on personal opinion and not the probability expressed in the odds.



A transaction between a bettor and bookmaker involving placing a bet at the agreed odds. The return from a winning wager is based on the stake and odds.

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