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Betting Terms Glossary - An A-Z Guide of Betting Phrases
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Guide to Betting Terms and Phrases

Betting Glossary of Terms and Phrases Used on Betting Sites
This A-Z list of betting terms and phrases has been put together to help you when using online bookmakers. From accumulator to yankee you should be able to find help if you are stuck with a betting phrase you don't understand. Once you are familiar with the terms you can claim free bets from UK bookmakers to use your new knowledge.

If you are new to betting, you may find our guide to betting helpful. To find the best price available on your selection you can compare Odds from 17 UK Bookmakers and Betting Exchanges.


Leading up to the day of a horse race, owners and trainers have to decide whether or not to let their horses compete in the race. These are known as acceptance or declaration stages and every race has one five days prior to the race and another on the day before the race.

A bet in which a single stake is used to generate two or more bets in succession. The punter makes a series of selections each from a different race or event. Every time a selection wins, the stake plus winnings is put onto the next selection. If any selection loses, the whole bet is a loser. (Accumulators are also known as doubles, trebles, four-folds, five-folds, six-folds, etc., depending on the number of selections.)

All In
With all-in betting, if your selection is withdrawn (or does not compete), you lose your stake.

The weight concession the horse is given to compensate for its rider's inexperience.

All Weather Racing
This is flat racing which takes place on an artificial surface.

Also Ran
If your selection does not finish in the placings i.e. first, second, third or fourth in a race it is considered to be an ‘also ran’.

Ante Post
Betting prior to the day of the race or event and in some cases many months or even years in advance. The odds are likely to be better at this early stage, but be warned: you will lose your stake if your selection does not take part. Exceptions to this (where your stake is returned) are;
*Your selection is balloted out of a race and the bet is void

*Your selection is withdrawn but the race is abandoned

*You bet 'with a run' which returns your money in the event of a withdrawal

Any To Come (ATC)
This is a term used to describe when the whole or part of returns from one wager are automatically reinvested on a subsequent bet.

This is where a variation in available odds allows a punter to back all available selections and guarantee a profit.

Asian Handicap

The idea of Asian Handicap betting is to eliminate the draw, so that there are only two possible bets on each match: you bet either home or away. Consequently the handicap will often include 1/2 goal, thereby eliminating the chance of a draw. (i.e. if the match is drawn the bookie will payout on the team with the +1/2 goal handicap). Sometimes however the handicap will not include 1/2 goals and in these situations if the match results in a draw the stake will be refunded. There is also a 3rd possible handicap and that is the 1/4 goal handicap. This can often be misunderstood and is in fact a combination of the bets described above (i.e. it is two separate bets - 50% of your stake goes on the single goal handicap and 50% of your stake goes on the half goal handicap).


Back or Backed
To place money on a selection. For example, if you place money on Man Utd to win the Champions League, then you’ve ‘backed’ them to win the competition. Alternatively, when a lot of money is taken on one particular selection, it is said that it has been ‘heavily backed’.

Bag of Sand
Slang for a ‘grand’ (£1000).

A punter’s strongest selection and one they think cannot fail to lose. Bankers will usually form the base of combinations and accumulators and they must win for the bet to be successful.

Bar Price
Usually used as helpful shorthand when talking about large field events, with long lists of participants. It refers to the odds of all those at the last quoted price and bigger. An example might be odds to win the English Premier League, which would read: 2/1 Manchester United, 3/1 Liverpool, 5/1 Arsenal, 8/1 Newcastle, 12/1 BAR. This shows that every other team in the betting list has odds of 12/1 or bigger.

Best Book
Term used for referring to the market which had the lowest over-round or book percentage figure. There is an entire section on oddschecker dedicated to finding which markets have the “best book” and therefore, the best margin for the punter.

Betting Forecast
These are the odds for a race as predicted by the daily newspapers.

US term for person placing a bet. In the UK they are known as a punter or customer.

Blanket Finish
This is a close finish involving several horses; when horses finish so close together that ‘a blanket could cover them.'

Blind Bet
This is a bet made by a racetrack bookmaker to draw other bookmakers' attention away from his sizeable betting on another horse, avoiding a shortening of the odds on the other horse.

Horses that are easily distracted while racing are normally fitted with blinkers to the side of their head, which prevent them from seeing anything other than the racecourse ahead of them.

Board Price
This is the price relayed from the racecourse. You can, if required, usually ‘take’ this price and it will remain the price your selection finishes at, regardless of the final starting price. (Can be subject to a Tattersalls Rule 4.)

This is a bookmaker's tally of the odds and amounts bet on each competitor in an event.

Bookmaker (also Bookie)

A business or person that lays odds and takes bets.

Book Percentage

This is a term which refers to how much of a profit margin there is in a particular market for a bookmaker.

Bottle (of Glue)
Slang for two, as in 2/1, £2, £200 etc.

Burlington Bertie
Slang for odds of 100/30.

A flat race run under National Hunt rules.

Buy Price
In Spread or Index betting, this is the higher figure quoted by an Index bookmaker.


Canadian (sometimes known as Super Yankee)
A Canadian (Super Yankee) consists of 26 bets involving 5 selections in different events, i.e. 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-folds plus 1 five-fold.

Slang for odds of 3/1.

Slang for £100 (also ton).

This term is used to describe the five major three-year-old races of the flat season: the 1000 Guineas, the 2000 Guineas, the Derby, the Oaks and the St Leger. Of these, fillies can be entered for all five, but colts cannot be entered for the 1000 Guineas or the Oaks.

Classified Stakes
A flat conditions race or weight-for-age steeple chase or hurdle race restricted to horses which have been awarded handicap ratings at or below a figure specified in the conditions of the race.

Clerk of the Course
Racecourse official in charge of all aspects of running the race day.

Three or more participants who are favourites with the same odds.

Slang for ten; either odds of 10/1 or £10.

These are the racing silks of the owners, as worn by the jockeys.

An un-gelded male horse up to four years old.

Conditions Race
The general description of any flat race which is not a handicap or a novice race, is not restricted to maidens and is not governed by selling or claiming provisions.

Conditions Stakes
A flat race which has not been awarded pattern or listed status, is not a handicap or a novice race, is not restricted to maidens, is not governed by selling or claiming provisions and is not restricted to apprentice or amateur riders if less than £7,500 is added to stakes.

Correct Scores
A bet that predicts the final score of the match during normal time. (Extra time does not count).

Course Specialist
This is a horse which tends to run well at a particular track.

Credit Bet
Bets accepted by the Bookmaker without a cash deposit.


The mother of a horse.

Dead Heat
The result of a race or competition in which two or more entrants finish equal. If your selection dead-heats you receive the full odds but your stake will be divided by the number of winners before your return is calculated.

Debit Bet
Bets accepted by the Bookmaker without a cash deposit but which allows the Bookmaker to directly debit the gambler's bank account.

Decimal Prices
The price system mainly used for betting in mainland Europe and Asia. Odds are expressed as decimals (rather than fractions) and winnings including your stake. For example, £10 at 1.90 = £10 x 1.90 making a return of £19.00, including your stake.

Leading up to the day of a race, owners and trainers have to decide whether or not to let their horses compete in the race. These are known as acceptance or declaration stages and every race has one five days prior to the race and another on the day before the race.

One of the five ‘Classics’ of the flat season in the UK, for three-year-old colts and fillies.

The distance of a horse race. Five furlongs is the minimum and the four and a half mile Grand National is the longest. Distance is also the margin by which a horse is beaten by the horse directly in front. This can range from a short head to “by a distance” (even more than thirty lengths).

The return for a single winning unit on a Tote bet.

An accumulator involving two selections.

Double Carpet
Slang for odds of 33/1.

Doubling Up
This is to increase your wager on a selection when especially confident of winning.

Down the Card
This indicates races at the same meeting.

A result where the scores are level at the end of play (also known as a "Tie" or “Push” in the United States.) In horseracing, at the overnight declaration stage, all entries in a flat race are given a stall number from where they will start. This is known as the draw. Stalls are not used for National Hunt racing and, therefore, the draw does not apply.

This is where the price of one selection increases because of the lack of interest from punters or other factors.

Each Way
This describes a transaction that is effectively two bets in which equal stakes are laid 1) on the selection coming first, and 2) the selection being placed, i.e. coming first, second, third or fourth, depending on the race. When the punter asks for, say, "£10 each way" this is actually two bets, at ten pound stakes each, and the Bookmaker would ask for a twenty pound deposit.

If the selection wins, the return is:
Total Stake + (Stake x Win Odds) + (Stake x Place Odds (usually 1/4 or 1/5 of Win Odds))

If the selection is placed but does not win, the return is:
Place Stake + (Stake x Place Odds)

Early prices
Prices offered on selected races that day in advance of racecourse betting. Some bookmakers will offer early prices on every race every day, but this is rare.

Slang for odds of 6/4.

Odds which indicate that winnings will be the same as the amount staked Also displayed as 1/1

This is a Tote bet operating in races of 3 or more declared runners in which the punter has to pick the first two to finish in either order.

Slang for odds of 6/1.


The horse or team with the lowest Odds (in essence, the horse or team believed to be the most likely winner).

This is all the individual competitors taking part in an event.

A female horse up to four years old.

Fixed Odds
'Fixed odds' are prices which are not dependent on the outcome of an event. Unlike 'spread betting', potential winnings and losses are set at the time the bet struck (or at the time the event starts in the case of SP).

Flat Racing
Horse racing without fences. In the UK, the season begins in March and runs through to the end of September on turf but runs all year round on all-weather surfaces. Races are run over a minimum distance of five furlongs and a maximum of twenty-two furlongs.

When preceded by a number, a fold indicates the number of selections in an accumulator. An 8-Fold would be an accumulator with 8 selections, all of which must win for the wager to be successful.

Predict the result. Also a type of bet in horse racing where the punter bets on the winner and the second place horse in a specific order.

The history of a selection's previous performance.

Form Player
A punter who makes selections from past-performance records.

A numbers draw, usually held twice daily, where six balls are drawn out from forty nine.

Fractional Odds
These are commonly used for betting in the UK and Ireland. Fractional odds give you your profit excluding your stake, so your stake needs to be added back in to calculate your total return. E.g. £10 @ 6/4 = £15.00 (this is your profit) plus your stake = £25.00 (this is your total return).

Full Cover
A ‘full-cover’ bet has all the doubles, trebles and accumulators involved in a given number of selections.

The distance in which horse races are measured. One furlong is two hundred and twenty yards or one eighth of a mile.


A Goliath consists of two hundred and forty-seven bets on eight selections in different events i.e. 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 four-folds, 56 five-folds, 28 six-folds, 8 seven-folds and an accumulator. NB A £1 Goliath has a total stake of £247.

A castrated horse.

Slang for £1000.


Half Time/Full Time
A bet that predicts the result of the match at half - time and the result of the match at full-time. In order to win the bet, both predictions must be correct.

Slang for odds of 5/1.

In the sports shown on Oddschecker, the only sport that uses handicapping is horse racing. All horses (once they’ve run often enough) are given an official rating. Ratings range from 0-140 points for flat racing and from 0-175 points for jump racing. Each point is equal to one pound weight (carrying the extra weight is the handicap). The handicap system is designed to ensure that all the participants in the race are well matched. Handicap) ratings for every horse are assessed and may be revised weekly depending on how well the horse performed given the quality of the other horses in the race.

Handicap Rating
The number allocated to a horse by the handicapper on his assessment of that horse's performance.

Hang Cheng
Also known as Asian Handicap. This is a form of soccer betting popular in Asia where the draw is effectively removed from a match and whole and part-goal handicaps are added to make the match (and the odds offered) more even.

This is a bet placed by a cautious bookmaker on a selection on which he has accepted large bets. This would cut his losses if the horse wins (also known as a "lay-off bet").

Held Up
This is restraining a horse behind the other runners in the early stages of a race.

A Heinz consists of 57 bets involving 6 selections in different events, i.e. 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds and 1 six-fold.

Holding Your Own
Neither winning or losing, just breaking even.

A bet that predicts the result of the match.

This is a Casino or gambling centre. Also the operators of a gambling game.

Hunter Chase
A race for horses that have been hunting regularly.


A term used to describe a race or event that is in progress

In the Frame
If your selection has finished ‘in the frame’ this means that it has finished either first, second, third or fourth (depending on the specific place terms for the race).

In the Money
This describes the horses in a race that have finished either first, second, third or fourth (depending on the specific place terms for the race) or the horses on which money will be paid to punters.


Slang for £5.

Joint Favourites
Where two runners, teams or competitors share the status as favourite for an event.

Betting parlance for the favourite in an event.


Offer odds.

Person offering odds, usually a Bookmaker. One to one betting services and some smaller Bookmakers will allow a punter to lay as well as place bets.

Laying Off
Where a Bookmaker reduces their exposure on a winning horse or team by backing it with other Bookmakers.

This is the length of a horse from the horse’s nose to the start of its tail and is used to describe winning distances e.g. won by a length or half a length.

US term for Handicaps, point spreads and odds offered.

Listed Race
Those flat races which in any particular year are published in the Pattern Race Book as listed races. Also, those steeplechases and hurdle races and national hunt flat races which in any particular year are published as listed races in the Programmes of Steeple Chases and Hurdle Races Book published by the authority of the British Horseracing Board.

Long Odds
These are odds (e.g. 100 to 1) offered against a competitor unlikely to win

Long Shot
An outsider or selection at long odds not given much chance of winning.

Lucky 15
A Lucky 15 consists of 15 bets involving 4 selections in different events, i.e. 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and 1 fourfold. The bookmaker will often pay a bonus if you get all 4 selections correct, or if you only get one correct.

Lucky 31
A Lucky 31 consists of 31 bets involving 5 selections in different events, i.e. 5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-folds plus 1 five-fold. The bookmaker will often pay a bonus if you get all 5 selections correct, or if you only get one correct.

Lucky 63

A Lucky 63 consists of 63 bets involving 6 selections in different events, i.e. 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds and 1 six-fold. The bookmaker will often pay a bonus if you get all 6 selections correct, or if you only get one correct.


In flat racing, a maiden is a horse that has never won a flat race other than a national hunt flat race in Great Britain or Ireland. For steeplechases and hurdle races, a maiden is a horse which has never won a Steeple Chase or Hurdle race in Great Britain or Ireland. For National Hunt flat races, a maiden is a horse which has never won a National Hunt flat race in Great Britain or Ireland.

A female horse five or more years old.

Margin Call
A call made by a Bookmaker to the punter for cash to cover some or all of the punter's exposure to loss.

US term. This is a bet to predict who will win a Football, Basketball or Ice Hockey event outright, i.e. without a Spread. If the final score is a tie (known as a Push), the bet is considered void, and your stake is refunded.

Slang for £500.


Nailed On
The selection which is considered to be a racing ‘certainty’.

A tipster’s best bet of the day.

Slang for odds of 7/1.

Non Runner
This is a selection that does not take part in a race or event for which it is entered.

Not Under Orders
On the 'off' of a race the flag is raised, and any runner withdrawn before the signal is deemed not to have come 'under starter's orders'. Your stake on such a selection would be returned but any winning bets on the Race may be subject to a ‘Rule 4.’

Novices Race
A hurdle or steeplechase for horses that have not won a hurdle or chase respectively before 1 May of the current season.

Nursery Handicap
A handicap race confined to two-year-old horses.


One of the five ‘Classics’ of the flat season in the UK for three-year-old fillies.

This is where a jockey or trainer objects to the conduct of a participant in a race and an investigation is carried out.

Also known as the price. The chance a Bookmaker offers for a selection to win. May be shown as:

a ratio expressed as a fraction (as in Oddschecker) e.g. 4/1 (or 4-1) usually called traditional odds. In this example, for a winning £1 bet you would get back £5 (£4 winnings, plus your £1 stake).

a ratio expressed as decimal number e.g. 5.0, usually called decimal odds. In this example, for a winning £1 bet you would get back £5 (£4 winnings plus your £1 stake). The return is calculated by multiplying the odds by the stake. 5.0 in this notation is the same as 4/1 in the fractional form. Similarly 1.62 is 8/13 (or 13/8 on).

Odds Against
Describes the odds when the amount you receive for a winning bet, not including your returned stake, is more than the amount you staked.

Odds Compiler
See odds layer

Odds Layer
The person working for a Bookmaker who sets the odds. The odds layer is usually an expert on one or two sports and concentrates entirely on setting the odds for those sports.

Odds On
Describes the odds when the amount you receive for a winning bet, not including your returned stake, is less than the amount you stake. For example you stake £1 at 8/13 (13/8 on) and receive £1.62, made up of your £1 stake and 62p winnings.

The ‘Off’ of a race is the point at which the race begins.

Off Course/Off Track

Away from the racecourse or event. This covers Bookmakers operating retail outlets, telephone and Internet services.

Off the Bridle/Off the Bit
This is when the horse has to be urged on by its jockey.

Off the Board
Term used to signify that the Bookmaker is not accepting bets on a particular event.

Off the Top
This is the practice of deducting a fixed "take" percentage from the pari-mutuel pool before paying holders of winning tickets.

Off Shore
Bookmakers who are based outside the UK. There are three types of off-shore Bookmakers - firstly, those that are the off-shore site run by an existing British Bookmaker; secondly, those that are existing off-course Bookmakers in another country, often Ireland; and the third type are Internet and/or telephone Bookmakers set up specifically to conduct off-shore business.

On Course/On Track
At the racecourse or event.

On the Bridle/On the Bit
A horse going well within himself, still having a grip on the bit.

On the Nose
To back a selection to win only.

One Paced
This is a horse that cannot produce the extra pace required and just keeps on at the same speed.

1000 Guineas
One of the five ‘Classics’ of the flat season in the UK for three-year-old fillies.


A participant in an event considered unlikely to win, which will have large odds to reflect this.

A type of bet in which the punter bets on whether the total combined points, runs, goals, etc of both teams in the game will be more or less than a number chosen by the Bookmaker.

This is a horse whose odds are high by comparison with its good winning chances.

Over Round and Over Broke
Adding up the probabilities as shown by the odds of all the participants in an event for a particular Bookmaker gives a percentage. While mathematically the total probabilities of all participants in an event must be 100% (one participant - and only one - can win) Bookmaker’s total percentages are set to add up to over 100% because it’s the amount over 100% that represents the Bookmaker’s profit. A book with a total percentage over 100 is called over-round. A book that adds up to less than 100% is called over-broke which means that a punter could back all the participants and know that the total of their lost stakes will be less than their winnings if they have staked accordingly (a good, if rare, thing).


This is the speed at which races are run at different stages. 'Up with the pace' means close to the leaders and 'off the pace' means some way behind the leaders. Form for a race is often linked to the pace at which it was run, particularly relevant in the early stages.

This is the part of the racecourse incorporating the pre-parade ring (where horses are paraded prior to the race) and winner's enclosure.

This is a means of gambling on races in which all bets are pooled and winners are paid according to size of pool and the number of other winners. Often shortened in US to ‘mutuel’.

US term for accumulator.


A Patent consists of 7 bets involving 3 selections in different events, i.e. a single on each selection, plus 3 doubles and 1 treble.

Permutations (Perm)
It is also possible to perm selections. For example, if you have made 3 selections (A, B and C) you can perm all the possible doubles. In this case all the doubles possible are AB, AC and BC; a total of 3 individual bets or lines.
Similarly, if you have made 4 selections (A, B, C and D) you can also perm all the possible doubles from these four. Now the doubles are AB, AC, AD, BC, BD, CD; a total of 6 individual bets or lines.

Photo Finish
This is a method of determining the result where there is a close finish using photographic evidence.

These are the selections chosen by an expert to bet on (also known as "tips").

This is the position where a bookmaker conducts his business on a racecourse.

Place Bet
A bet on the selection being placed, i.e. coming first, second or third (sometimes fourth or fifth depending on the number of participants). UK bookies usually offer each way rather than place bets.

Refers to a selection coming second or third (sometimes fourth or fifth depending on the number of participants) in an event. The positions which are considered to be placed depends on the size of the field (e.g. in a race with only 5-7 participants, only second and third count as placed). The odds for bets on selections being placed is usually calculated as a fraction of the odds to win (e.g. in the race referred to above, second and third get odds at a quarter of the winning price)

Place Terms
In non pari-mutuel betting, the returns for place bets are calculated as a proportion of the win odds. This varies between events and sports. the place terms should be clearly advertised when the bet is struck.

Point Spread
This is the start that the favourite gives the underdog. Also known as the "line" or "handicap".

Slang for £25.

This is to bet a larger amount than usual or to have a further bet on the same selection. Also known as ‘doubling up’.

See Odds

The odds are an indication of what the odds layer thinks is the probability of a participant winning an event. If you were to add up the probabilities of each participant they have to total exactly 100% (one participant - but only one - must win). You can calculate the probabilities from the odds (there’s an example table below). To calculate the percentage, divide 100 by the sum of the two parts of the ratio and then multiply the result by the second part of the ratio. For 11-4 this works out as 100 divided by 15 (11 plus 4) equals 6.666. This multiplied by 4 gives 26.67 Converting the odds to percentages is particularly useful for calculating the over-round.

Odds (all odds against) Percentage / Probability

1-1 (Evens)




























Someone who places a bet.

US term for the tie in a game where the score lands exactly on the spread (handicap) and all wagers are returned.


Slang term for the outsider of the field.

Rated Stakes
A handicap flat race for which the range of weights shall be limited to not more than 14lb (except with the permission of the directors).

Related Contigency
When the result of one event has a direct influence on the outcome of another, there is a related contingency. Selections from related events cannot be combined in an accumulator. E.g. Liverpool to beat Chelsea in a league match, and Liverpool to win the league

Re Run
A greyhound race which was previously started but not resolved due to technical difficulty is usually re-run later in the meeting.

Total money paid out(including stakes) on a winning bet.

This is a horse (or greyhound) entered in a race under another's name - usually a good runner replacing a poorer one.

Slang for odds of 4/1.

Rule 4
When a horse is withdrawn shortly before a race and there is insufficient time to form a new market, a deduction is made from all winnings. The amounts deducted are set by Rule 4, which is laid down by the Tattersalls Committee, the body which controls horse race betting in the UK. The shorter (lower) the price of the horse at the time of withdrawal the bigger the deduction. (The returned stake money is not subjected to a percentage deduction.) These deductions will also be made from odds bets which have been placed prior to the withdrawal of the horse. For example, if you placed a bet on a horse at 10/1 and then the 5/4 favourite was withdrawn, your winnings would be subject to a 40p in the £ deduction. This would apply even if the market had been reformed and a new price given to your horse because you have placed your bet at fixed odds. Current values are:

Price of Runner at time of withdrawal Amount deducted from winnings
3/10 or shorter 75p in
2/5 to 1/3 70p in
8/15 to 4/9 65p in
8/13 to 4/7 60p in
4/5 to 4/6 55p in
20/21 to 5/6 50p in
Evens to 6/5 45p in
5/4 to 6/4 40p in
13/8 to 7/4 35p in
15/8 to 9/4 30p in
5/2 to 3/1 25p in
10/3 to 4/1 20p in
9/2 to 11/2 15p in
6/1 to 9/1 10p in
10/1 to 14/1 5p in
Over 14/1 No deduction

In the event that two or more horses are withdrawn before coming under starter’s orders, the total deductions will not exceed 75p in the pound.

Run In
This is the distance from the home turn (or last obstacle) to the winning post.


Slang for twenty, as in £20.

Selling Race
This is a race in which the eventual winner must be offered for sale by auction.

Seven Fold Accumulator
A Seven-Fold Accumulator consists of 1 bet involving 7 selections in different events.

Shortening the Odds
This is the bookmaker's reduction of the odds offered in the face of heavy betting or other circumstances.

Slang for odds of 7/4.

In the UK, this is a list of odds for a race. In the US it means a horse finishing third.

The most common and simplest kind of bet. A single wager on an event. The single can be win, each way, or win and place. See relevant terms.

The father of a horse.

Six Fold Accumulator
A Six-Fold Accumulator consists of 1 bet involving 6 selections in different events.

Smart Money
These are insiders' bets or the insiders themselves.

Spread Betting
A form of betting derived from financial markets where the punter bets on a 'spread' of numbers relating to the particular event - for example, runs scored in cricket, points in Rugby Union, or the number of lengths between named horses at the end of the race. The Bookmaker quotes the spread: say, regarding the number of points to be scored by one side in a Rugby game, 28-30. If you think the side will score more than 30, you 'buy' at 30; if fewer, you 'sell' at 28, and stipulate your stake per point. If you buy the spread at £1 and the team scores only 25, you lose £5 - 30 minus 25 leaves 5, which multiplied by your stake is £5; if that team scores 35, you win £5. The attraction of spread betting is that the more right you are, the more you will win - and by the same token the more wrong you are, the more you will lose.
Note: you cannot have a spread bet unless you have an account with the Bookmaker concerned, since you cannot stake the bet in advance as you do not know how much you might lose.

There are also known as handicaps.

Amount of money you give the Bookmaker – therefore the money you will lose if the result is not what you predicted.

Stalls are a row of compartments designed to give all the runners in a flat race an even start.

Starting Price (SP)

The odds determined by the official starting price reporters on the racecourse at the start of the race, which is an average of the odds being offered at the racecourse. For certain races, some Internet and other off-course Bookmakers will only quote SP for each participant rather than different odds. This means that the off-course Bookmaker has not determined their own prices for this race and is letting the market be made at the racecourse. Typically this happens when the volume of money and the number of bets placed on this event with the off-course Bookmaker is too low to make a representative market of their own. Accepting the Starting Price from a Bookmaker means that you don’t know exactly what the odds will be when you place your bet.

A horse or participant which is backed significantly prior to the event, causing its odds to shorten markedly.

Steeplechasing is a form of National Hunt racing run over distances of two miles up to four and a half miles. Horses jump fences of varying height and consistency.

The racecourse official responsible for ensuring that the rules of racing are adhered to.

Stewards Enquiry

Racecourse stewards will investigate an objection or suspected infringement of the Rules of Racing. This may amend the result, so bets are not settled until the outcome of the enquiry is known.

St. Leger
One of the five ‘Classics’ of the flat season in the UK for three-year-old colts and fillies.

Super Yankee
A Super Yankee consists of 26 bets involving 5 selections in different events, i.e. 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-folds plus 1 five-fold.

Super Heinz

A Super Heinz consists of 120 bets involving 7 selections in different events, i.e. 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds and 1 seven-fold.

Sure Thing
This is any bet that (seemingly) has very little chance of losing.


Thick 'un
Slang term for a big bet.

Through the card (TTC)
Indicates all the events at a meeting. For example, a punter may place a forecast doubles ‘TTC’ bet at a greyhound meeting, meaning he is selecting all the races at that particular meeting to bet on. Alternatively, it could be when a jockey, a particular number, a punter, the favourites, or a racing tipster, has been successful at every event at a particular meeting, they are described as having gone ‘through the card.’

The sign language in which Bookmakers communicate with each other on the course.

A French combination bet in which the punter predicts the horses that will finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

These are selections chosen by an expert to bet on (known in the US as "picks").

Individuals or businesses whose job it is to provide hints or tips about the likely outcome of a race or event. Some tipsters publish their advice in newspapers or for free on the Internet; others charge for their services. There are many types of tipsters; the best ones submit their tips to proofing services that track the success of their tips over the long term.

Tissue Prices
The forecast of how the betting will open.

Slang for 100, as in 100/1 or £100.

Top of the Head
Slang for odds of 9/4.

Its full name is the Horse race Totalisator Board. It is a pool or “pot” based system. All bets are pooled and following the race the pool (less deductions - the Tote’s profit) is shared out among those who won. This means that your bet isn’t made at fixed odds as the amount you stand to win is affected by all those who have bet before and after you. Tote prices - they call them “will pays” (an indication of what you would win if there were no bets after yours) are shown at racecourses and on the Tote’s web site. In practice although there are usually some small differences between the Tote’s prices and Bookmaker’s prices, they end up pretty even. Some punters have famous stories about big differences on outsiders.

Tote Board
This is the racecourse information board that displays approximate odds, betting totals, payout prices and other information necessary to the punter.

Tote Returns
These are returns from a tote pool (also known as a "dividend"). These are calculated by taking the total stake in each pool (after the 'take-out') and dividing it by the number of winning tickets. A dividend is declared to a fixed stake, for various win, place and forecast pools.

Trap Number
In greyhound racing, greyhounds start from numbered boxes (usually one to six) which are called traps.

A Treble consists of 1 bet involving 3 selections in different events.

A wager that involves correctly predicting the first, second and third place in a particular event. This wager can be permed. Normally offered on handicaps of eight or more declared runners and no fewer than six actual runners.

This is the race distance.

A Trixie consists of 4 bets involving 3 selections in different events, i.e. 3 doubles plus 1 treble.

True Odds
Punters talk about the true odds. This refers to the odds as they would be if they reflected the actual probability of winning (as opposed to reflecting where the money goes). This must always be an opinion.

Turf Accountant
This is a UK euphemism for a bookmaker.

2000 Guineas
One of the five ‘Classics’ of the flat season in the UK, for three-year-old colts and fillies.


The team or player considered by the bookmaker to have less chance of winning than their opponents.

Under (Starter's) Orders
When the official starter of the race is satisfied that all the runners in the race are at the start (in flat races, in the stalls) and ready to race, a flag is raised signalling that the field is under orders and 'off'. Bets on any runner failing to start after this signal, are lost.

Up the Arm
Slang for odds of 11/8.


If you believe that the true odds are lower than the Bookmaker is offering, then that is a value bet.

Void Bet
A bet which is declared invalid and stakes returned.


A bet.

Walk Over
A walk-over occurs when only one participant runs in the race. In order to collect the prize money the participant must go through the normal procedure. For settling purposes the winner of a walk-over is considered to be a non-runner.

Weigh In/Weigh Out
The weighing of jockey before and after a race to ensure that the correct weight has been carried; the announcement 'weighed in' signals that the result is official, and all bets can be settled.

This is to fail to pay a gambling bet.

Win Bet
In this bet, the punter bets that his or her selection will come in first place.

Win and Place
This is similar to an each way bet, except that the stake laid to win is greater than the stake laid to place. The punter could for example stake ten pounds on his selection coming first, and a further five pounds on the selection coming second, third or fourth. (Total stake = £15)

With a Run
In certain Ante-Post events, some selections may be quoted 'with a run' which means customers will not lose their stake if the selection does not run.

With the Field
This is having one horse linked with all the other horses in an event. It can apply to forecasts or in doubles.

Slang for odds of 5/4.


A Yankee consists of 11 bets involving 4 selections in different events, i.e. 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and 1 fourfold.

A horse of either sex from 1st January to 31st December of the year following its birth.

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