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Sportsbook Wagering Terms A-D

Sportsbook Terms

The following is a list of common sportsbook wagering terms. If you have any questions, please visit our Help page or FAQs section.

Accountant
A term used by some players for bookmaker, i.e., bookie.
Ace
Used to describe a person who is trustworthy.
AFC
An acronym for the American Football Conference in the National Football League (NFL).
Action
A wager is deemed "action" once it is valid. An example of "no action" would be a baseball game being rained out in the first inning, rendering it invalid. Also, referring to the total amount wagered within a specific time period. For example, 10 bets of $20 each amounts to $200 in action.
Agent
A middleman who places players into a sportsbook for a commission.
Ahead
A point during play where the player is winning, i.e., the value of his wins exceeds his losses.
Ajax
UK term for betting tax.
American Line
A hockey line expressed as goals (as opposed to a money line).
Angle
Any questionable deception or ruse by a player to unduly influence the outcome and thereby increase his expectations. A player with an angle, even though technically legal, is not often welcome among polite company.
Arbitrage
A variation in odds that enables a player to back both sides and guarantee a win.
Backdoor Cover
Meaningless points scored to cover the spread, by a team that is likely to lose.
Backer
A person or group of persons who provides the bankroll for a particular player but remains behind the scenes.
Bad Beat
A tough, unforeseen loss when an underdog hand surprisingly wins the pot against the odds against seemingly better hands. This term is often used to imply that the winner of the pot had no business being in the pot at all, or to suggest dumb luck played a large part in the win. This term may also be applied to a situation where winning points are scored against a wager in the dying seconds of a game, or the favored horse loses by a nose, after leading all the way.
Bank
A gaming establishment or player that acts as the banker during a game or series of games and uses their own money to cover bets. The term also refers to a bankroll.
Banker
A punter's "sure thing", a lock. In permutation bets, the banker is a selection that must win to guarantee returns.
Bankroll
The total available wagering funds held by the player.
Basic Strategy
A playing system adopted by a player with the idea of optimizing his edge over the house in the longer term.
Beard
A person who places bets through another player to hide his identity from a sportsbook or odds-maker.
Beef
A dispute or claim involving a player and his bookmaker.
Bet
The amount of money a player voluntarily risks on cards, sports or other games. The bet can be in the form of cash, chips or vouchers. Also see, wager.
Bettor
A person who places or has a bet (US). A bettor is also called a player in the US and a punter in the UK.
Bet Spread
The ratio between the maximum and minimum bet size. A player who uses $50 maximum bets and $5 minimum bets is using a 10:1 bet spread.
Betting Limit
The set minimum and/or maximum amount of money that the player can wager on a single bet. The player cannot bet less than the minimum or more than the maximum amount posted.
Blow Back
A loss of gains/profit after enjoying a plus in the winnings column.
Book
A sportsbook or betting establishment that sets odds and accepts wagers on the outcome of sporting events. Also refers to a bookmaker's tally of amounts bet on each event, and the odds necessary to assure him of a profit.
Bookie
A short term for bookmaker, i.e., the person or shop accepting bets.
Bookmaker
A (UK) person who is licensed to accept wagers on the outcome of various gaming events. Such wagers are based on odds provided to the player by the bookmaker. The equivalent term commonly used in the US is sportsbook.
Bottle
Slang for odds of two-to-one in the UK.
BR
An abbreviation for bankroll.
Break-Even Point
The point at which a player's bets approximately equal the payoffs received.
Buck
A bet of $100 in US funds. A buck is also known as a dollar or a one dollar bet.
Buy
To buy points in order to change the point spread or over/under to the player's advantage. Points are purchased on a half-point interval scale. For each half-point purchases, the juice increases by 10 per cent.
Buy Price
The higher figure quoted by an index bookmaker in spread or index betting.
Canadian
A multiple bet consisting of 26 bets (10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 4-folds and 1 5-fold) with 5 selections in different events (also known as a "Super Yankee").
Canadian Line
A hockey line expressed as a money line.
Carpet
UK slang for odds of three-to-one. Also known as "tres" or "gimmel".
Chalk
The favored team, side, contestant or horse in a sports event.
Chalk-Eater/Chalk-Player
A player who tends to wager only on the favorites, rarely on the underdogs.
Chartwriter
A statistician who compiles records and writes comments describing the performance of each horse or player.
Circled Game
When the sportsbook limits the action it's prepared to take on a particular event, usually due to uncertain weather, significant injuries or unconfirmed rumors regarding a contestant or team.
Clone Joint
A sportsbook that moves lines to conform with other sportsbooks.
Cover
To bet the point spread by the required number of points. If a wager is made in this way, the player is said to have covered the spread and stands to win an event by more points than he laid, or lose by fewer points than he had taken.
Credit Player
A sportsbook customer who has been given an individual wager limit and can play against that limit on a credit basis. Normally, the credit player belongs to an agent's package.
Degenerate
A term for a compulsive gambler.
Dime
A wager sum of $1000. Also known as a Dime Bet.
Dime Line
A slang term used to indicate the 10-cent money line or juice, i.e., the money line in which the bookmaker's vigorish/vig/commission amounts to 10 per cent.
Dollar
The sum of $100.00. Also known as a Dollar Bet.
Double Action
Used in if-bet plays to specify win, tie or cancel.
Doubleheader
Two baseball games on the same day between two teams. In racing, it is two racing performances programmed during one day.
Due For
A term referring to a contestant or team that is considered to be overdue for a win or loss in their next contest or sports event. Therefore, the "due for" wager is a favorite strategy of many players.

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