online sports books


betting guides

A good place to start for any sports bettor is to get a grasp of the lingo associated with the sports betting world. These terms often used to descibe different bets are admittedly confusing to the new-comer or square. Below you will find a dictionary of sports betting terms that we put together that we hope will familiarise you with the world of sports betting.

online sports books

ACTION -- Quite simply, this is a bet, of any kind whatsoever. A bet is "action."
BAD BEAT -- This is a particularly difficult loss, certainly a situation where either the defeat took place under bizarre circumstances, snatching it from the jaws of victory, so to speak, or a decided underdog won while you had the favorite.
BEARD -- Someone who makes a bet on behalf of another individual. Sometimes this is a matter of convenience; sometimes it is to conceal the identity of the person who is really making the bet. BOOKMAKER -- Someone who accepts wagers on the outcomes of events, including those in sports. Also referred to as a "bookie," but not by the more savvy players.
BUCK -- This generally refers to a hundred dollars.
CHALK -- The favorite. When you "lay the chalk," you are laying points or a price with the favorite in an event.
CIRCLED GAME -- This is a game in which limited action will be taken by the bookmaker due to factors of uncertainty that may concern injuries, weather conditions, or other circumstances.
COVER -- When there is a pointspread in place, this is what happens when a team wins by more than the spread, or loses by less points than the spread.
DIME -- A thousand dollars. DOG -- The underdog; the entity in an event that is getting points or receiving a positive price to win. DOLLAR -- Like a "buck,' this is a hundred dollars.
EXOTIC BET -- This is something other than a straight bet or a parlay bet.
FAVORITE -- The side in an event that has to lay points or a price.
FUTURES -- Wagers taken on the outcome of events well in advance of that event; usually it is a bet on who will win a particular league or championship, e.g., the Super Bowl, the Nextel Cup, the World Series, etc.
GET DOWN -- The act of making a wager.
HANDICAPPER -- Most commonly referred to as someone who analyzes events and predicts their outcome.
HANDLE -- This is a figure that represents the total amount of wagers that are accepted by the bookmaker.
HEDGE -- A safety play in which the bettor turns around and bets in the opposite direction of an original bet in order to reduce the risk he has to take as a result of his action on a particular event.
HOOK -- A slang term for a half-point. For example, if a team is a three-point favorite, and it moves to three and a half, the bookmaker is said to have put a "hook' on the number.
JUICE -- This is the bookmaker's commission, otherwise known as the vigorish, or vig. On football and basketball games with a pointspread, this figure is built in as the player is laying 11-to-10 in most cases.
LAY -- To give up the points with a favorite in a game.
LINE -- The odds on an event.
MIDDLE -- The bettor's dream - to win by betting both sides. An example in football: if you have taken 4.5 points with a team on Sunday night, and the line moves to 3, then you lay the three points and the game falls on four, you have won your bets on both sides. Another example - in a fight, if you have taken, say, +200 (2/1) with an underdog, and then shop around to find you can lay -180 (9/5) with the favorite, you can bet both sides and middle it that way too. This is also known as a "scalp."
NEUTRAL SITE -- Theoretically, this is a site where an event is conducted where neither side has a home-court or home-field advantage. There may exist some slight advantage, however, depending on various factors, and the deft handicapper may be able to decipher those advantages.
NICKEL -- Five hundred dollars.
OFF THE BOARD -- This is an event that is taken out of action, i.e., there are no bets being taken on it. Games are usually taken off the board because there are extreme and unknown variables that will likely remain that way.
OUTLAW LINE -- Usually this is a line used as a reference point, but not used as a working line by sportsbooks. In most cases, it is an "overnight" line that is posted the night before the event.
OVERLAY -- A condition that exists when the odds on a particular event are giving the player much the best of it over the house.
PARLAY -- A bet where the player is wagering on two or more teams and must win with all of those teams to win the wager.
PAST-POST -- To bet on an event after it has started.
PICK'EM -- Essentially, this is a game or event in which there is no favorite. It is even money on both sides, or, as bookmakers usually list it, an equal amount that has to be laid on either side, e.g., both sides may be -110 (laying 11/10 both ways).
PLAYER -- This is another name for the bettor.
PRESS -- To wager more than you usually would on an event. The smart bettor will do this when he feels he has a particularly strong play. Or the desperado may do this as a way of "bailing out" after a bad weekend.
PRICE -- The line; the odds on an event.
PUSH -- A tie, in which case all money is returned by the bookmaker.
ROUND ROBIN -- A series of parlay bets.
RUNDOWN -- A complete update of the lines, usually in one particular sport, but conceivably covering everything on the board. This usually happens when a player calls a bookmaker at his office - he will ask for a "rundown" and the bookmaker (or his clerk) will read the lines.
RUNNER -- This is generally the same as a beard, although in some cases, like in Las Vegas, it could be someone who goes from sportsbook to sportsbook grabbing the lines and feeding them into a central source.
SCRATCH -- A cancellation. Most often used in horse racing, but may also refer to a player not appearing in a particular game.
SHARP -- A wise player.
SIDE -- When betting both sides of a proposition, to win on one side and tie on the other side. It's half as good as a middle.
SMART MONEY -- This represents the wagers made by people who are thought to possess the most expertise, i.e., the "wise guys."
SQUARE -- An unsophisticated bettor.
STEAM -- A heavy volume of action on a game. It tends to move the line, because it comes in very quickly.
STORE -- A bookmaker's operation.
SUCKER BET -- A wager where the house is at a huge advantage.
TAPPED OUT -- Broke. Out of money.
TOUT -- A handicapper that makes his plays in public, often selling such a service.
UNDERLAY -- A proposition where the odds greatly favor the bookmaker.
WISE GUY -- A sports bettor who is smarter and sharper than the vast majority of other bettors.
VIGORISH -- The commission the bookmaker retains from taking a sports bet.


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