Glossary of Betting Terms

Action: A live bet or bets.

ATS or “Against the spread”: Taking points rather than betting with the spread and laying points.

Beard: A beard is a friend or acquaintance used to place bets as to conceal the true identity of the real bettor.

Book: An establishment that accepts bets on the outcome of sporting events.

Bookmaker/bookie: A person who takes wagers on sporting events.

Buck: A $100 wager.

Buy points: A player pays an additional price to receive half a point or more in his favor on a pointspread game.

Canadian line: The Canadian line is a combination of goal spread and moneyline in hockey.

Chalk: The favored team or horse.

Chalk player: In sports gambling this person is someone who usually only plays the favored teams, rarely betting on the underdogs.

Circled game: A game where the limits are lowered, or betting options are restricted, usually due to injuries.

Cover: To beat the pointspread by the required number of points. When you win, you have “covered the spread”.

Dime: $1,000

Dime line: A line where the juice is 10 percent.

Dog: Underdog.

Dog player: A bettor who mostly plays the underdog.

Dollar: $100

Double action: An “if bet” that is processed if the precedent bet wins, ties or cancels.

Double bet: A double bet is a wager for twice the size of one’s usual wager; also known as “double pop” or “doubling up.”

Edge: A person’s advantage when it comes to sports betting.

Even money: A wager on which neither side lays any odds or vigorish.

Exotic: Any wager other than a straight bet or parlay, also called a prop or proposition.

Exposure: The maximum amount of money a sportsbook stands to lose on a game.

Favorite: The team expected to win an event. The quoted odds reflect the extent to which the choice is favored.

Fifty cents: $50

Figure: The amount owed to or by a bookmaker.

Futures: Bets placed on an event or outcome taking place some time in the future (e.g. betting during the season on the Stanley Cup winner).

Getting down: Making a bet.

Grand salami: The grand total of goals scored in all the hockey games of the day. It can be wagered to go over or under.

Half-a-dollar: $50

Handicapper: One who studies and rates sporting events.

Handicapping: The attempt to predict the outcome of sporting events. Usually involves research.

Handle: The total amount of bets taken by a bookie/sportsbook.

Hedging: Placing wagers on the opposite side in order to cut losses or guarantee a minimum amount of winnings.

Hook: A half-point.

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

Juice: The commission the bookie earns.

Laying the points: Betting the favorite by giving up points.

Laying the price: Betting the favorite by laying money odds.

Layoff: Money bet by a house with another bookmaker to reduce its liability.

Limit: The maximum amount a bookmaker will allow you to bet before he changes the odds and/or the points.

Lines: Another word for odds.

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

Lock: Easy winner.

Longshot: A team or horse perceived to be unlikely to win.

Middle: To win both sides of the same contest in sports betting event. Wagering on the underdog at one pointspread and the favorite at a different pointspread and winning both sides.

Moneyline: A wager where no pointspread is involved.

Move the line: A player pays an additional price to receive half a point or more in his favor on a pointspread game.

Nickel: $500

Nickel line: A sports wagering line where the juice is five percent.

No action: A wager in which no money is lost nor won.

Off the board: A game on which the bookmaker is not offering at that moment.

One dollar: $100 in betting action.

Outlaw line: Term for the earliest line in sports betting. This is an overnight line which only a handful of players are allowed to bet into.

Over: A bet on whether the combined total of the points/goals scored by the two teams will exceed a specified number.

Parlay: A bet on two or more teams or outcomes where the original stake and winnings are reinvested on the next wager. All selections must be correct for the parlay to win. In the event of a push or a game cancellation, the parlay reverts to the next lower number (e.g. a four-team parlay becomes a three-team parlay).

Pick’em game: A game where neither team is favored.

Pointspread: The handicap, or head start, which the favorite gives to the underdog for betting purposes.

Press: To wager a larger amount than usual.

Prop (proposition) bet: A special wager offered by the sportsbook on unique and various topics. These wagers can be on sporting events, politics, and even trial outcomes. The wagers use the moneyline format of payoff odds and might include who scores the first goal in the Stanley Cup finals, who will win the next presidential election, or whether or not Michael Jackson will be found guilty.

Price: The odds or pointspread.

Puckline (American line): Giving odds of a goal spread in hockey instead of using a Canadian line, where both a goal spread and moneyline are played.

Puppy: The underdog.

Push: When a contest ends with no winner or loser for wagering purposes.

Round robin: A series of three or more teams in two-team parlays.

Run down: All the lines for a specific date, sport, time, etc.

Runner: One who places bets for another.

Scout: Person who waits for what he thinks is an unusually strong wager. Also known as a Sports Player.

Sharp: A sharp is a sophisticated or professional gambler.

Sides: The names of the two teams playing – the underdog and the favorite.

Single action: An “if bet” that’s processed only if the precedent bet wins.

Spread: An abbreviated form of pointspread.

Square: A novice when it comes to sports betting.

Steam: When a line starts to move rapidly. Most “steam games” do not necessarily reflect objective circumstances, but are games that a mass of bettors are drawn to for some reason.

Store: A bookie or sports betting establishment.

Straight bet: A wager on just one team.

Taking the points: Betting the underdog and its advantage in the pointspread.

Taking the price: Betting the underdog and accepting money odds.

Teaser: A bet on two or more teams where the line on each team is adjusted in favor of the bettor. Like a parlay, all selections must be correct for the teaser to win.

Ticket: A sports betting wager.

Tie: A wager in which no money is lost or won because the difference in the teams’ scores is equal to the number of points in the given line.

Total: The combined amount of runs, points or goals scored by both teams during the game, including overtime. (see Over or Under).

Total bet: A proposition bet in which the bettor speculates that the total score by both teams in a game will be more or less than the figure posted by the sportsbook.

Tout: Someone who sells their expertise on sports wagering.

Under: An under is a wager in which the bettor guesses that the total points/goals scored by two teams will be less than a certain figure.

Underdog: The team perceived to be most likely to lose. Also known as the “dog” in sports betting terminology.

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

Vigorish: The bookmaker’s commission on a losing bet; also known as “juice”.

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