Learn the lingo to beat the bookie – Sports betting terms explained

Betting lingo refers to a collective phrase for all the names and words associated with gaming. These can be bookies terminology for specific bets, plays and games, or the informal language which has developed around the gambling industry. For instance, ‘placing a bet’ is a general expression which describes wagering money against a particular outcome to earn a payout in exchange. Punters or players place their bets either in cash on in chips. A chip is a small plastic token which is the standard currency in the casinos. Lingo refers to the actions within games, the games themselves and to the amounts being bet.

Betting Lingo

Betting lingo is a comprehensive term which incorporates all the sports terminology associated with the industry, and the gambling slang adopted by the industry insiders, and the players as well. Sports betting online have its distinctive language, and most of the common phrases and words mean something remarkably different when used in a betting shop or casino. If you are a player who is new to gambling, you should take your time to learn the entire betting lingo, to help you understand how each game works, and what people say about them.

For instance, a ‘wager’ or ‘bet’, is the amount of cash a player risks against an outcome like a number mentioned at a roulette table, or a horse emerging a winner in a race. Players bet at betting shops, at casinos, or via online betting sites. If the player successfully predicts an outcome, he gets a ‘return’ on his bet: a payment which is several times their original bet, based on the chance of the outcome occurring or ‘odds’.

A ‘dealer’ (casino betting) or a ‘bookmaker’ (sports betting) is responsible for handling bets. When playing dice or cards, different combinations of symbols and numbers have specific nicknames such as ‘cowboys’ for two-Ks or ‘deuces’ for two-2s. The amount of bets also contains their collection of lingo – for instance, in the US and the UK, an amount of 1000 pounds or dollars is a ‘grand’.

Betting Terms

If you are new to gaming or you are merely looking forward to knowing more about specific terminologies and phrases, the following are some of the standard definitions and terms used in sports betting.


A dime refers to a bet of $1,000. You can find typical wagers on regular-season NBA or NFL games in any amount. However, some illegal bookmakers may require a minimum wager in this quantity.


A future refers to a bet on a particular event that will be held later on, preferably before the season begins. The benefit of this kind of wager is that if you are successful, you will win more cash than a regular-season bet.


A handicap is a system utilised by bookies to create a single event making a more attractive gambling proposition to the player. In the case of fractional handicaps, there is no probability of a draw. When the quoted handicap is the same as the margin of winning, all wagers on the chosen team will lose.


It means making an extra bet to reduce stake on a prior bet. It also refers to placing wagers on the opposite side to cut losses or ensure you win a minimum amount of money.


An underdog or a dog is an individual or team that’s expected to lose.

Money Line

A money line is given when no handicap gets offered, such as a run line or point spread, and the odds are flexible. The payouts, therefore, depend on real odds instead of fixed odds. The underdog and favourite are offered odds to win a fight or game.


An under/over is a wager on whether the sum of points in a particular game will go under or over a set amount. To win some money, the aggregate scores between both teams should exceed that amount.


A spread is a wager that’s lost or won based on the number of points allocated to a team. The amount can either be a minus or a plus. If the spread has 8 points, one of the team will get favoured by the number and should win by more to cover that spread. The other group should underdog by the same amount and should lose by less than the number to cover that spread.


A teaser refers to a wager that brings together at least two bets. Teasers have fair odds, and it’s both a bad thing and a good thing, contingent on your perspective.