Betting Glossary A - Z

A guide to the jargon and slang of racing.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

 

Across the Board

Where (particularly US horse racing) win, place and show pools are offered, this is a bet of equal stakes on each outcome.

Action

A valid bet or wager.

Also Ran

Any selection not finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th in a race or event.

B

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Back that up

When someone wants an exacta with the position of the runners reversed. "Iíll take a $2 exacta 8/457, and back that up for a dollar." = $2 exacta 8/457 and $1 exacta 457/8

Baseball

A daily double where a bettor picks a single runner in one race with all runner in the next race (also known as "wheeling").

 

 

Breakage

Difference between true pari-mutuel odds and the rounded down amounts given to winning bettors. It is a difference of just a few pennies, but the total amount the track keeps can be quite large.

Bridge-Jumper

Bettor who specializes in large show bets on odd-on favourites.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C

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Chalk

Betting favorite.

Close

When betting on a race ends, the tellers close their windows, and the pools are "closed" to new bets. The gate usually opens a few seconds later and the race starts.

Combination

An Across the board bet.

Consolation Double

When horse is scratched from 2nd race after daily double betting begins, money is set aside to pay those who have bought tickets pairing this horse with winner of 1st race.

D

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Daily Double

A bet which predicts the winner of two consecutive races. Both runners must win for the wager to be successful. (also known as a double)

Dead Heat

Where two or more runners finish tied. They can tie for first, second, third, or forth.

Dog

When thinking of horses, a dog is a horse with a poor reputation. It is expected to race poorly and lose easily.

Double

A bet which predicts the winner of two consecutive races. Both runners must win for the wager to be successful. (also known as a daily double)

E

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Each Way

An exacta bet that consists of two wagers. The second wager has the same legs as the first but their positions are reversed. "Iíll take an exacta 6/123. Give me $5 on it each way." = 5$ EX 6/123 and 5$ EX 123/6

Even Money

Odds of 1 to 1

 

 

 

 

Exacta

A bet which attempts to predict the winner and second place finisher. (Exactor, Perfecta)

Exotic Wager

Any wager which is not win, place, or show bet, such as an exacta, trifecta, or superfecta.

F

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Favorite

The competitor considered most likely to win and therefore has the shortest or lowest odds.

Form

Past performances used to give an indication of the competitor's chances. In US, short for the Daily Racing Form.

Futures

Morning Lines offered days or months in advance of big races. Unlike other morning lines, bettors can make win bets using them. If a horse improves after the futures are set then the live odds on the runner should be lower at race time, while the bettor would keep their bet at the higher odds. However, if the runner is scratched before the race starts there is no refund.

G

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H

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Handle

Total sum bet on a race, in one day, one week, a month, or some other period. Could also mean total bet by one bettor or group of bettors.

House

A casino or gambling centre. Also the operators of a gambling game. Horse and dog racing has no house. All bets are made under a pari-mutuel system.

I

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In the Money

Describes the horses in a race that finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd (and sometimes 4th) or the horses on which money will be paid to bettors, depending on the place terms.

J

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Juice

The commission paid to the bookmaker (also known as vigorish).

K

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Kite

UK slang for a cheque ("check" in the US).

L

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Layer

A bookmaker or one who "lays" odds.

Long Odds

Odds (e.g. 100 to 1) offered against a competitor unlikely to win.

Lines

Odds offered to the bettor. "Whatís the line on the four dog?"

Lock

Term used for an almost guaranteed winner.

Longshot

The outsider or unfancied runner, usually against which "long odds" have been offered.

M

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Machines

The pari-mutuel computers/calculators.

Minus Pools

In pari-mutuel betting, a situation in which so much money is bet on a horse (usually to show) that the pool is insufficient, after take and breakage, to pay holders of winning tickets the legal minimum odds. When this happens the track must make up the difference and take a loss on the race.

Morning Line

Forecast of probable odds.

Mutuel Pool

Total amount bet to win, place or show in a race. Also total amount bet on daily double, exacta, quinella, etc.

N

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Nickel

A bet of $500 USD.

No Action

see Action.

O

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Odds

Odds are the publicís opinion of a runnerís chances to win. The higher the odds the lower the chances.

Odds-against

Where the odds are greater than evens (e.g. "5 to 2").

Odds-on

Where the odds are shorter than evens (e.g. "4 to 7"). If the selection wins, the amount won is less than the amount staked (don't forget, you get your stake back as well!).

Off the Board

A runner so lightly bet that its pari-mutuel odds exceed 99 to 1.

Off-Track

Betting conducted away from the track.

On the Nose

A bet that a horse will win.

OTB

Acronym for "Off-Track Betting" in the US, legal only in certain states.

Overlay

Runner whose odds are high in comparison with a bettorís opinion of its chances to win. In essence the bettor feels the runner has a better chance to win than the public does.

P

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Pari-Mutuel

A means of gambling on races in which all bets are pooled and winners are paid according to size of pool and the number of other winners. Often shortened in US to mutuel.

Parlay

Term for an accumulator bet in horse racing. A cumulative bet where the bettor designates a runner in several races and bets on the first one. If the first runner wins, the winnings become his bet on the next race. If that runner wins, those total winnings are bet on the next runner, and so on.

Pick Six

A proposition which challenges the bettor to pick six winners of six successive races.

 

 

Place

The term used to describe a 2nd place finish.

Pool

Total amount that has been "pooled" from various betting outlets on a single bet type: win, place show, exacta, double, etc.

Q

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Quinella

A bet in which the bettor predicts the runners that will finish 1st and 2nd, regardless of order (sometimes called a "quiniela").

R

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Reverse

An exacta bet that consists of two wagers. The second wager has the same legs as the first but their positions are reversed. "Iíll take a $4 exacta 8/457. And give me a $2 reverse on that." = $4 exacta 8/457 and $2 exacta 457/8

S

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Scratch

The withdrawal of a runner.

 

 

Short Price

Small pari-mutuel payoff.

Show

The term used to describe a 3rd place finish.

Shut Out

What happens to a bettor who gets on the betting line too late and is still waiting in line when the window closes.

Single

When a bettor makes a multiple race bet, such as a double or a pick 3, and uses only one runner in a leg of the bet. If they had a $5 pick 3 1256/2/all, they would be singling the 2 in the second leg.

Smart Money

Insiders' bets or the insiders themselves.

 

 

Straight

An exotic bet, such as an exacta or trifecta, that has no modifiers. A "straight" bet. A $2 straight super Could also mean a bet on a single runner: a win, place, or show bet.

T

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Take out

Money deducted from each pari-mutuel pool for track revenue and taxes. It is part of the pari-mutuel pools not returned as winnings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tote

'The Horserace Totalisator Board' otherwise known as "The Tote". A body in the UK set up to operate pool-betting on all racecourses.

 

 

Tote Board

A racecourse information board that displays approximate odds, betting totals, payout prices and other information.

Tout

To give or sell betting advice or one who does so (also known as a "tipster").

Trifecta

Bet in which the bettor picks the first three finishers in exact order (also known as "triple").

U

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Up and Down

When someone wants two exactas. with the position of the runners reversed incompar. "Iíll take a exacta. Give me the 4 up and down with the 126 for $2." = $2 exacta 4/126 and $2 exacta 126/4

 

 

V

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W

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Wheel

A form of betting in which daily double, perfecta or quinella player makes every possible combination bet on his favoured horse or horses.

Wheeling

A racing system devised for the daily double bet in which the bettor backs one horse in the first race and every horse in the second (also known as "baseball" or "locking").

Win

The term used to describe a 1st place finish.

With the Field

Picking one or more runners in one leg of an exotic wager and all of the runners in another leg.

X

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Y

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Z

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Zero

The value of most betting systems and tips!

 

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