Understanding bookies terminology means you’re one step closer to winning that cash!

Sports betting can be a complicated business. There are all sorts of betting terms used even to process one single bet, it can be off-putting and can hamper your chances of winning. A good understanding of the terminology that bookies use, however, can drastically increase your chances of winning when you do decide to place a bet. It is a simple case of walking into the betting shop forearmed with the knowledge of what the bookies terminology means, you can even use this article as a starting point for your research.

Type of Bet

Some of the most common betting terms that you will come across, even when it comes to sports betting online tell the bookmaker what type of bet you would like to place. So, for instance, the simplest bet you can make is a straight bet. These types of bets are usually made in the horse racing world, so you can place a bet on a horse either winning, placing (finish in the top 2), or showing (finish in the top 3). An across the board bet can also be made as a combination bet, which eliminates some of the risk and maximises your chances of winning. It effectively means that you are betting that a horse will win, place and show. If the horse wins you collect more money because they have won, placed and shown, you will get less if they just place and show and even less if they just show.

Match Betting

Of course, betting isn’t just about the horses, it is also possible to place bets on games such as football or rugby matches, with sports terminology being slightly different when it comes to making bets. With these matches, you can bet on all types of things from the final result to the first goal scorer, or even the total number of goals scored. Common bookie terminology when it comes to match betting includes evens, where the bookmaker believes that each team has an equal chance of winning. If you placed a bet and won, you would receive back your stake plus an amount equal to the stake that you bet. You might also see double chance used, this is where the bookie is selling the bet that the team you are backing will win or draw as one single bet. The odds will always be shorter for this type of bet, but you do increase your chances of winning. You could also select a draw no bet option, where you receive your stake back should a match end in a draw.


When it comes to sports betting, accumulators are where the big money is made. With a basic accumulator, customers place a series of bets on the results of multiple games. All results need to be correct in order for the bet to be a success. You could have what is known in bookies terminology as doubles or trebles, where you predict the outcome of two or three matches or it is possible for an accumulator to involve the prediction of even more results. Accumulators are sometimes referred to as multiple bets and it is worth noting that odds for an accumulator are calculated by multiplying the odds of each single bet placed together.


The handicap in a match is another piece of sports terminology that you make come across when you are in the bookmakers. Bookies often use this system to make it more attractive for punters to place a bet on a horse or team that appear to be weaker. To level the playing field for instance in a football match between an underdog and a favourite team the bookmaker might add 1 goal to the score of the underdog. So, if between England and France with France being seen as the underdog the bookies might add 1 to the amount of goals France score. If England won 2-1, therefore the bookmakers score would actually be 2-2 and so to them, the match would have been a draw. This system just makes betting on the underdog more exciting.

Betting terms and sports betting online can be scary at first, but often, with little steps and a bit of research, you really can improve your winning chances. If you want to get into the world of sports betting, start off by placing simple bets and you will grow more and more comfortable, you will be placing those accumulators and making the most of handicaps before you know it.