Betting Glossary A - Z

A guide to the basic 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

     
Term Explanation PC-TBT
     

A

 

 

Across the Board

A win, place and show bet of equal amounts combined into one single bet.

 

Action

A valid bet or wager.

 

Also Ran

Any runner finishing so far down in the order that they donít appear on the tote board in the order of finish. This can mean they didnít finish 1st, 2nd, or 3rd; that they didnít finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th in a race. They

 

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 with 457, and back that up for a dollar."

$2 EX 8/ 457
$1 EX 457/8

Back-Wheel

Typically this is an exacta with all in the first position and a runner or runners in the second position.
"Iíll take the 5 in a $2 backwheel."

$1 EX ALL/ 5

Baseball

A synonym for box, usually a quinella box.

 

Beat The __ On The Board

If someone wants one runner to beat the other on the board, they usually mean a trifecta. They want one runner in one leg, another runner in another leg, and ALL in the third leg. The "beaten" runner should always be in a leg after the other runner.
"Iíll take a Tri, give me the 6 to beat the 2 on the board."

$1 TRI 6/ 2/ ALL
$1 TRI 6/ ALL/ 2
$1 TRI ALL/ 6/ 2

Both Ways

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 with all. Give me $5 on it both ways."

5$ EX 6/ ALL
5$ EX ALL/
6

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.

 

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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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 ("Daily Double")

A bet which predicts the winner of two consecutive races. Both runners must win for the wager to be successful.

 

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 with 123. Give me $5 on it each way."

5$ EX 6/ 123
5$ EX 123/6

Even Money

Odds of 1 to 1

 

Exacta

A bet which attempts to predict the winner and second place finisher in the exact order. (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.

 

First & Second

When someone asks for a trifecta or superfecta and keys one runner over a group of other runners. The bettor also wants the key runner in the second position, with the same group of runners filling out the remaining positions.
"Give me a trifecta. Iíll take the 7 first and second with the 356."

$1 TRI 7/ 356/ 356
$1 TRI 356/ 7/ 356

First, Second, & Third

When someone asks for a trifecta or superfecta and keys one runner over a group of other runners. The bettor also wants the key runner in the second position, with the same group of runners filling out the remaining positions, and the key runner in the third position, with the same group of runners filling out the remaining positions.
"Give me a trifecta. Iíll take the 7 first, second, and third with the 356."

$1 TRI 7/ 356/ 356
$1 TRI 356/ 7/ 356
$1 TRI 356/ 356/ 7

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.

 

Hit The Board

When a runner finishes so that itís results are displayed on the tote board. This can mean 1st through 3rd or 1st through 4th, depending upon how many positions the tote board displays.

 

Hole

The post position that a dog starts from. The "hole" in the starting box.

 

House

A casino or its operators. 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 runners in a race that finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd (and sometimes 4th).

 

J

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K

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L

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Long Odds

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

 

Line

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

 

Lock

Term used for an almost guaranteed winner.

 

Longshot

The runner bettors think is most unlikely to win, usually against which "long odds" have been offered.

 

M

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Minus Pools

In pari-mutuel betting, a situation in which so much money is bet on a runner (usually to show) that the pool is insufficient. There is not enough money in the pool, after takeout and breakage, to pay holders of winning tickets the legal minimum odds. (The legal minimum winnings is usually 10 cents on a $2 bet). When this happens the track must make up the difference and take a loss on the race.

 

Morning Line

A forecast of probable odds. A local handicapper reviews the race and guesses how the public is likely to bet.

 

Mutuel Pool

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

 

N

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No Action

When a bettor has no valid bets or wagers in a race.

 

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 even money (e.g. "5 to 2").

 

Odds-On

Where the odds are shorter than even money (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. Some tracks cap the odds at 99 to 1 or some other figure.

 

Off-Track

Betting conducted away from the track.

 

On the Nose

A bet that a horse will win.

 

OTB

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

 

Over

A synonym for "with." Often people use the term over when they key a runner.
"Give me a $1 trifecta, the 4 over the 238."

$1 TRI KY 4/ 238

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 to mutuel.

 

Parlay

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.

 

Perfecta

A bet which attempts to predict the winner and second place finisher in the exact order. (Exacta, Exactor)

 

Pick 3

A bet which attempts to predict the winner of three consecutive races.

 

Pick 4

A bet which attempts to predict the winner of four consecutive races.

 

Pick 6

A bet which attempts to predict the winner of six consecutive races.

 

Place Pick (8, 9, All)

A bet which attempts to predict the winner, or second place finisher, of a set number of races, which can be anywhere from 7 to 10 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.

 

Prices

The payouts listed on the tote after a race.

 

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 which attempts to predict the runners that will finish 1st and 2nd, regardless of order.

 

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 with 457. And give me a $2 reverse on that."

$4 EX 8/ 457
$2 EX 457/ 8

S

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Scratch

The withdrawal of a runner from the race.

 

Second

"Run him second," or "Put him second," or "Iíll take him second too," etc. etc. Means a bettor has called an exacta, trifecta, or superfecta. They keyed one runner over other runners, so the keyed runner is in the first position. Now they want you to enter the same bet, except the keyed runner should now be in the second position.
"A $1 Tri 3 over the 167. . . . Run him second."

$1 TRI 3/ 167/ 167
$1 TRI 167/ 3/ 167

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.

 

Superfecta

Bet which attempts to predict a raceís first four finishers in exact order.

 

Straight

An exotic bet, such as an exacta or trifecta, that has no modifiers. A "straight" bet. A $2 straight super would appear as $2 superfecta 1234. The runners would have to finish in the exact order of 1-2-3-4. It 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. The track keeps it, similar to a fee charged to each bettor. It is part of the pari-mutuel pools not returned as winnings.

 

Third

"Run him third," or "Put him third," or "Iíll take him third too," etc. etc. Means a bettor has called a trifecta or superfecta. They picked one runner over other runners, or between the other runners, so the picked runner is in the first or second position. Now they want you to enter the same bet, except the picked runner should now be in the third position.
"A $1 Tri 3 over the 167. . . . Run him third too."

$1 TRI 3/ 167/ 167
$1 TRI 167/ 167/ 3

To Get Back

A bettor calls a $1 super, the 1 with the 23 to get back.

$1 SF 1/23/23/ALL
$1 SF 1/23/ALL/23
$1 SF 1/ALL/23/23

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.

 

Trifecta

Bet which attempts to predict a raceís first three finishers in exact order. Also known as Tri, Triple, or Triactor.

 

U

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Underlay

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

 

Up And Down

When someone wants two exactas. The position of the runners in the second wager is reversed in comparison to the first wager.
"Iíll take an exacta. Give me the 4 up and down with the 126 for $2."

$2 EX 4/ 126
$2 EX 126/ 4

V

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W

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Wheel

A form of betting where the bettor picks one or two runners in one leg and all other runners in the other leg or legs.
"Wheel the 8 in an $1 exacta."
"Wheel the 4 in a $2 double."

$1 EX 8/ ALL

$2 DB 4/ ALL

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.
"Iíll take a $1 trifecta box, 48 with the field."
 "A $2 exacta 3 over the field."

$1 TRI BOX 48/ ALL

$2 EX 3/ ALL.

X

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Y

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Z

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Zero

The value of most betting systems and tips!