Sports Betting Terms Explained

The sports betting market has been one of the sectors that has grown swiftly and significantly over recent years. Alongside other forms of betting, the move to online provision has made it more accessible than ever, attracting a whole new generation of sports fans that appreciate the ability to place bets whenever they want.

Those new to sports betting might find the idea of actually placing a bet a little overwhelming – it’s such a fast-paced environment and the completely different language and terminology can be baffling. For those that love sports and want to make the most of their knowledge of their favourite games, there are some sports betting terms that will help it all make sense:

General Terms

Content Summery

Accumulator – also known as an ‘acca’ this is a single bet made up of several different components, all of which must play out as stated to win the bet. This is a popular kind of bet because the long odds mean that a small initial bet could yield a massive return.

Accumulator insurance – those taking on an accumulator can include insurance which will return the original stake if the accumulator only misses the mark by just one of the selections.

Bookmakers – these are the ‘other side’ of the bet as it were, providing the means to place a bet and the odds of you winning. There are a number of bookmakers that have physical shops and an online presence, but many operate online only.

Betting limits – providers will usually impose set limits on the amount you can bet and it’s worth knowing when you are playing so you can keep track for yourself.

Edge – this is the profit made by the provider as the odds are always slightly in their favour. This is true whether you’re betting on football or slingo and all providers should have the odds published so that the edge is evident at every stage.

Footballing terms

As one of the most popular games around, there are plenty of football-specific terms, some of which have become part of everyday language.

Booking points – some operators offer the chance to bet on how many red and yellow flags will be shown in a game, usually football. Some offer points for each and punters can bet on whether the match total will be under or over a fixed total.

Corners match bet – a bet on which of the teams in a football match will have the most corners.

Both teams to score – this bet wins if both teams score at least one goal, regardless of the final outcome.

Clean sheet – a bet that a team will avoid conceding any goals, regardless of the total score. You can also bet that both teams will have a clean sheet and this is sometimes referred to as a ‘no score draw’.

Double chance – you can choose two of the three potential outcomes (home team win, away team win, or draw) to back and win if either occurs.

Goalscorer – there are several different goalscorer options including:

  • First goal scorer
  • Last goal scorer
  • Hat trick
  • Any time goal scorer
  • First team to score
  • Player to score two or more
  • Player to score first and last goal
  • Player to score first or last goal

Other terms

Of course, there are some terms that may sound familiar that don’t refer to football, many of which refer to horse or greyhound racing or boxing:

Dead heat – if a race ends in a dead heat and it cannot be determined which competitor won, gamblers receive 50% of the potential winnings to reflect that.

Each way – this is a common term that means you effectively place two bets: one that the horse or dog you have chosen will win, and one that they will ‘place’. Larger races might have up to five places, whereas smaller ones might have fewer, but this bet pays out for coming in any of the top spots.

Forecast betting – this is a popular choice in horse and greyhound racing and refers to a bet on which competitor will come in first and second place.

Knock-out – you can bet that a boxer will win by knocking their opponent out as opposed to the points awarded by the judges.

Technical knock-out – this is a decision made by the referee when a boxer isn’t in a fit physical condition to finish the match.

As with anything, part of being successful is doing your research and developing your understanding of the way everything works. There are plenty of sites that offer freebies to help new players find their way around the site and give them the chance to work out what everything does before they have to wager their own cash.

There are also plenty of promotions and special offers available, so if you find a site that you want to try then it’s always worth checking to see if there are welcome bonuses, discounts, or freebies on offer so that you can check it out for free. 

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