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Betting Terms & Glossary

Esports betting has a lot of unusual terms, abbreviations and slangs that might be hard to understand. 

If you’re a new bettor, dealing with so many different terms and a new language can be intimidating and lead to mistakes in managing your bets.

That’s why we thought a comprehensive and complete list with over 100 betting and gambling terms might be helpful in getting you started.

So, before you start betting, have a go at our list below and learn the most important and popular terms and expressions used by the sportsbooks, gambling sites and sharps. 

Jump to: A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P Q R S T U V W

A

Accountant

(bookmaker, bookie, sportsbook) 

An organization or a person that often accepts and pays the bets at agreed-upon odds. 

Action

The process of betting.

Agent

A sportsbook representative.

AOPR

Average Opponent Power Rating.

Each team in each sport is given a numerical value a.k.a. a power rating. The best teams are the top and the worst teams are the bottom ones, an average opponent is somewhere in the middle.

ATS 

Against The Spread 

To bet on the points spread in a certain match, against the money line or another type of bet.


B

Back-door cover

Scoring meaningless points late in the match to cover the spread

Bad Beat

It happens when a person loses the match/bet even if they were sure that they would win it.

Beard

When you place the bet for someone else, you are their beard. This happens to conceal the identity of the actual bettor.

Bet

To risk an amount of money or valuable objects against others placed on the results of an unpredictable event (a game/tournament).

Bettor

A person that bets in sports or Esports competitions.

Book

See accountant. Similar to sportsbook/bookmakers/bookie.

Bookie

See accountant. Similar to sportsbook/bookmakers/book.

Bookmaker

Same as sportsbook/ accountant.

Buy-in

The fee a person has to pay to have a spot in a match.

Buying Points

A bettor who pays an extra amount of money to change the point spread to their advantage is described as buying points.

Buck

Another term for betting $100.


C

Chalk

The favorite to win the competition.

Circle Game

A game where the bookmakers restrict the amount of money a bettor can wager due to external factors such as important players having injuries or bad weather.

Closing Line

The last moments of betting odds before the betting on that event closes.

Cover

To have more points than the points spread. To make good on a bet.


D

Degenerate

A person that bets or gambles compulsively and uncontrollably.

Dime

Slang for betting $1000.

Dime Line 

A betting like that has a 10% vig.

Dog

Similar to underdog.

Dog Player 

A bettor that usually bets on the underdog

Dollar 

Lingo for betting $100.


E

Edge

A person’s perceived advantage in betting. 

Early Money

Money that was bet on a specific team early in the game (when the lines are just opened).

Entry Fee

A mandatory tax for a spot in the match.

Even Money

A wanger between two sides that does not include any vig or odds. 

For example, you and your friend bet $100 each, for one of the most amazing LoL tournaments outcomes. If your team wins you will receive $100 and if your friend wins they receive $100. Being a situation just between you two with the same amount of money, it’s called “even money”.

Exposure 

“Exposure” means the amount of money a sportsbook is possible to lose on a match.

It can happen in a special situation where the sportsbook does not have the opportunity to balance out their bets. However, they can moderate and lower the bet’s size.


F

Fade

To avoid a certain player.

Favorite

Similar to Chalk

Fixed

The term “fixed” means the predetermination of an outcome of a match by people who are looking to cheat the sportsbooks. 

By “fixing” the results, bettors can wager on one side and most certainly win, because they already know the outcome for the bet.

Franklin

Another term for betting $100


G

Get Down

Slang for placing a bet.


H

Handicap

“Handicap” refers to an advantage that has to equalize the chance of winning. 

It also refers to the whole determination process for the chance of winning or even predicting the outcome.

Handicapping

“Handicapping” is the studying and predicting results in any sports or Esports games. This helps the person make the best bet and become better at it. 

A person that has these skills is called a handicapper, or a capper.

Handle

The “handle” is the total amount of money that is wagered on a match by bettors.

Hedging

“Hedging” is a simple way to minimize risk and secure winnings for a specified bet. 

This means that the betting is on the opposite side of your original wager. 

High Roller

A person that puts in a lot of money in sports betting or gambling. 

Hook

“Hook” is used instead of “half of a point”.


I

If Bet

The term “If bet” refers to a specific wager that is bet on one team. If they win, then the initial wager is carried forward onto a different team (up to a maximum of seven teams). If the initial wager loses, no additional bets are placed.

It is considered a really good method for money management.


J

Juice

“Juice”, “Vig”, “Vigorish” a.k.a. the commission that a bookie makes for accepting a bet in a match.


L

Layoff

Layoff is similar to “hedging”, but in this case, two bookmakers bet together to decrease subjection and culpability.

Lay

To lay means that you bet on the chalk

Laying the points 

The term “Laying the points” refers to betting on the favorite and in addition, you drop the points that the bookmaker has set as the spread.

Laying the price 

“Laying the price” is somehow similar to “laying the points” but is based on the higher payoff.

Limit

The limit is the largest amount of money from a single betting a book will accept. 

Line

Another term for “betting odds” or “spreading points”.

Linesmaker

Every bookmaker has a person (or more) that is setting the odds/lines. That person is called a “linesmaker”.

Lock

A bet that is most likely to win

Longshot

“Longshot” describes a very small and low chance of winning a wager. 

Lump on 

Abbreviation term for placing a bet in a match.


M

Middle

Middle or middling is a betting strategy where the bettor observes the change of odds or points spreading and makes a better wager out of it. 

Money Line

A wager that has no point spread and the bets are only focused on the outcome of the event.


N

Nickel

Slang that means betting $500.


O

Odds

The potential payout of a bet. Similar to “point spread”.

Oddsmaker

Similar to linemaker; a person (or more) that sets the odds.

Off the Board

It means that the bookmaker is taking no more bets for that event.

Opening Line

The opening line is the first line available for betting at an event. 

Out

Out refers to the spot where you can place a wager.

Outsider

A betting place that has a low chance of winning. 

Over/Under

This refers to a bet that is made by the bookmakers based on the total number of points earned/goals scored. A person can bet on whether the real result will be over or under the bookmaker.


P

Parlay 

Multiple wagers related to one another, all of which must-win for the wager to payout.

Parlay Card

A card that is used to place a parlay wager.

Past Post

Past post is a bet that is made after the game already started.

Pick’em

A game where there is no chalk or underdog, a game without a favorite team to win. 

Player 

Similar to bettor/punter.

Pleaser 

A point spread wager with more than one line, where the spread for each line is moved against the bettor for a better payoff.

Pointspread

This is a type of betting where the bookmaker gives points to the underdog. This happens because of the need to create a theoretically level playing field.

Press

Trying to cover previous losses by betting more money than usual.

Price

Another term for “odds” or “pointspread”.

Prize pool

The total amount of money that the winner will get in a competition.

Proposition Bets

A kind of bet where the wager is more player-specific (the player that will open the game for example).

Punter

Similar to bettor and player.

Puck Line

A special bet in hockey. This type of bet allows the bettor to place -1.5 goals on the chalk or take +1.5 goals from the underdog.

Puppy

Similar to underdog

Push

A “push” is a tie between a bookmaker and the person who is placing a bet. 

This results in no winners or losers and the bets are refunded. Usually, the sportsbooks will put a half of a point on the end of a spread, so they can avoid a push.


R

Reverse

This refers to two if bets on the same two teams, placed by a single person.  If they put a two-team reverse for $50 and both teams are winning, they will get $200. If one team loses, the bettor will lose 60$ and if both of the teams lose, they will lose $110.

ROI

Return of Investment is a measurement technique used to calculate the efficiency of an investment.

Rundown

The list that has the betting odds that are available for the game.

Run Line 

Similar to Puck Line but it is used in baseball, not in hockey.

Runner

A person who places bets for someone else is a runner. The main difference between a runner and a beard is that the runner is not protecting or hiding the identity of the actual bettor.


S

Sharp

A person that is skilled and experienced at betting is called a sharp.

Smart Money

The money is made by experienced bettors (sharps) or bettors that have information not readily available to the general public.

Spread

Similar to pointspread.

Sportsbook

Similar to bookmaker/bookie

Sports Service

A place where players can pay for better betting selections.

Square

A lingo term for a  new person, novice bettor.

Stake 

Similar to prize-pool

Steam

Steam appears when a betting line shifts fast or the odds are moving rapidly. The cause is usually made by a large amount of money being wagered in a short period of time.

Stiff

Stiff refers to a punter that doesn’t pay his debt

Straight up

The winner of a game, but regarding the pointspread.

Sucker bet

A bad bet that is actually a real win for the bookmakers.

Syndicate

A group of passionate players that put in a collective effort to beat the bookmakers.


T

Taking the Points

Somehow similar to laying the points, but there the bettor chooses the underdog to win, not the chalk. 

Taking the Price

Somehow similar to laying the price, but there the bettor chooses the underdog to win, based on the higher payoff, not the chalk. 

Tapped Out

A bettor can become trapped out when he is, in fact, broke.

Teaser

A bookmaker is a teaser when they adjust the point spread, over-under totals and so forth. 

For the sportsbooks, the benefit of a teaser bet is that it can be more appealing to a wider audience.

Total

Similar to over/under. The total points of both teams.

Tout 

A sharp, or wiseguy that is skilled in sports betting and tries to sell you picks or services.


U

Underdog

The team that is not favored to win. Similar to: dog, puppy


V

Vigorish

Similar to juice and usually shorten to “vig”. 


W

Wager

Similar to bet

Welch

Dashing off on paying a wager

Wiseguy

Similar to sharp  – a skilled bettor


Now that you know all the important betting terms, and reached our miniature Merriam Webster for gambling vocabulary, try putting all that new knowledge to good use.

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Last Updated:
12/08/2021

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