Football betting can be difficult to understand, especially considering when the terminology used to describe situations to newcomers is not familiar. This page aims to bring together a comprehensive list of terms that bettors will come across within the football betting world and aim to explain their definitions concisely.
Accumulator – A bet with multiple selections, where all selections must win for the overall bet to succeed. Also known as a Parlay bet.
Ante Post Betting – Deriving from horse racing, ante post betting refers to placing a bet weeks, months or possibly years in advance of the event happening. In football terms, this may be betting on a team to win the World Cup far before the tournament starts.
Arbitrage Bet – Where a variation in odds on one market between bookmakers (usually because of different opinions or error) allows a punter to back all possible outcomes and still guarantee a win.
Asian Handicap – A variation of a ‘handicap’ which sees football teams being given an imaginary deficit or head start for the purposes of making odds more appealing to bettors. The option of a match draw is removed and if a match is tied, the stake placed by the bettor is refunded.
Back – To back an outcome is to bet on a certain selection to win.
Banker – Banker bets refer to backing a team that is hugely favoured to win a match.
Bet – To place money on a team to win a match with a bookmaker.
Betting Exchange – Differing to the bookmaker who sets odds and offers on a possible outcome, a betting exchange allows people to bet against each other instead of the bookmaker. The betting exchange acts as a middle man, taking commissions from the stake.
Bettor – Someone who places a bet. ‘Bettor’ is typically an American term, and in the UK is known as a ‘punter.’
Bookmaker/Bookie – A licensed company who is legally able to accept bets from customers on the result of an event based on their market odds.
Both Teams to Score – A bet where both teams in a match need to score a goal for the bet to win.
Canadian – Also known as a ‘Super Yankee,’ a Canadian consists of 26 bets, involving five selections in different events. The bet includes one accumulator, five four folds, ten trebles and ten doubles, with a minimum of two selections needing to succeed in order to win.
Correct Score – Betting on the exact score line in a sports match.
Double – When two matches are selected into one overall bet, with both predicted outcomes having to be successful in order for overall bet to win.
Double Chance – Backing a team to win or draw a fixture to heighten the chances of a bet win. 2 of 3 outcomes are backed, with the only way to lose if the chosen team loses.
Draw No Bet – Picking a team to win a fixture, where if the outcome is a draw the stake is returned to the bettor.
Each Way Bet – A bet placed on any selection involving a win and place bet, with the stake split evenly between the two. It allows punters to still make a return if the backed selection wins or comes in the top three, four, five or even six places (this is always subject to the bookmaker’s terms announced beforehand). Typically used in football terms when betting on the winner of a competition or tournament.
Evens – A bet placed at odds of 2.00 (1/1) which offers your money back plus the amount originally bet.
Favourite – The selection that bookmakers rate as the more likely winner of an event.
Fold – A fold represents the number of selections made in an accumulator bet. For example, seven selections in one accumulator would be known as a ‘seven fold accumulator.’
Goliath – A bet that consists of 247 bets involving 8 selections in different events. The bet includes 28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 four folds, 56 five folds, 28 six folds, 8 seven folds and an accumulator. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to win a return.
Handicap Betting – Also known as ‘spread’ betting, a handicap involves giving one team an imaginary deficit that they have to overcome during a game for the purposes of a bet. The odds as a result are made more attractive as there is more to overcome.
Heinz – Consists of 57 bets involving six selections from different events. A Heinz bet contains 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four fold accumulators, six five fold accumulators and one six fold accumulator. A minimum of two selections must be successful to win a return.
In Play Betting – Refers to live match betting where it is possible to place bets on the fixture while it is in progress.
Lay – To bet against a certain outcome happening, common in betting exchanges.
Longshot – A selection that is unlikely to win in the eyes of a bookmaker.
Lucky 15 – Consists of 15 different bets deriving from 4 selections in different events and contains 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 four fold accumulator. Only one winner is needed to win a return.
Lucky 31 – Consists of 31 different bets deriving from 5 selections in different events and contains 5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four fold accumulators and 1 five fold accumulator. Only one winner is needed to win a return.
Lucky 63 – Consists of 63 different bets deriving from 6 selections in different events and contains 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four fold accumulators, 6 five fold accumulators and 1 six fold accumulator. Only one winner is needed to win a return.
Match Betting – Betting on the outcome of a sports event, typically the most common bet in sports betting.
Multiple – Another term for an accumulator bet, involving more than one selection.
Odds – The chances or probability of a selection winning a fixture according to the bookmaker.
Odds Against – Where the odds are longer than evens, for example 7/2.
Odds On – Where odds are shorter than evens, for example 1/3. If the selection wins, the amount won is less than the amount staked, plus the original stake.
Outright Betting – Betting on a team to win usually a competition or league overall.
Over/Under Betting – Involves the punters betting on a number of goals, corners, cards or other events in a match.
Patent – A patent consists of 7 bets involving three selections from different events, consisting of 3 singles, 3 doubles and 1 treble. 1 selection needs to be successful to win a return.
Price – Another term for betting or gambling odds.
Punter – A person who places a bet, known in the US as a bettor.
Returns – The amount of money or potential money to be won from a bet.
Scorecast Betting – Predicting the first scorer and correct score in a fixture.
Single – A bet consisting of one selection on a sports market.
Specials – Bookmakers will often offer special markets which are not usually available, or markets that are available with enhanced odds.
Stake – The amount of money placed on a bet.
Super Heinz – Consists of 120 bets involving 7 selections from different events. A Super Heinz bet contains 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four fold accumulators, 21 five fold accumulators, 7 six fold accumulators and 1 seven fold. A minimum of two selections must be successful to win a return.
Super Yankee – Consists of 26 bets, involving five selections in different events. The bet includes one accumulator, five four folds, ten trebles and ten doubles, with a minimum of two selections needing to succeed in order to win. A Super Yankee is also known as a ‘Canadian.’
Treble – A bet consisting of three different selections in one bet. All three selections must win for the bet to win.
Trixie – A bet consisting of 4 bets (3 doubles and 1 treble) with 3 selections in different events.
Underdog – The selection that is not expected to win.
Value Bets – Bets that have odds that are longer from a bookmaker’s point of view than a punter’s. The return offered would be more than a punter was hoping for, making it a good value prediction.
Void Bet – When a stake is returned for a number of reasons, where no winnings are won and nothing is lost, essentially with the bet being cancelled.
Wager – Another word for a bet.
Wincast – Predicting an anytime goal scorer and the overall winner of a football match.
Yankee – Consisting of 11 bets involving 4 selections in different events. The bet includes 6 doubles, 4 trebles, and 1 four fold accumulator. A minimum of 2 of your selections must be successful to win some kind of return.