A Sports Betting Glossary Is For Everyone

Betting Sites » How to Bet on Sports » A Sports Betting Glossary Is For Everyone

When you first dive into sports betting, you'll see a lot of numbers and hear a lot of language that might not immediately be clear to you. With that in mind, we've devised a sports betting glossary, which should help explain things a little bit. Read through the terms below and you'll get a better idea of how to talk about sports betting.

Action: A bet

Bad beat: A very unlucky or unfortunate loss. For example, you have the underdog, +5 1/2, in an NFL game. Your team is leading 20-14 when the favorite scores a touchdown on the final play of the game to make it 20-20. No problem; all the favored team has to do is kick the extra point to win the game 21-20 and allow you to cash your bet. Then the unthinkable happens: The kick is blocked and the game goes into overtime where the favorite scores a TD to win 26-20. You lose your bet. Now that's a bad beat.

Beard: A person who places bets for another person in order to disguise the source of the bet. (Also called a runner)

Big nickel: $5,000

Bleeder: A casino supervisor who becomes agitated when a player starts to win. (Also called a sweater)

C-Note: $100 bill. (Also called a Charlie or a Cecil)

Churn: The impact of betting and re-betting money.

Clipboard: A beard or runner who compares odds and prices for others

Crossroader: A professional casino cheat

Dead presidents: Money

Dime: $1,000

Double Sawbuck: $20

Exposure: The amount of money sportsbooks stand to lose on an individual game, race or event

Extension: The amount of money that sportsbooks will risk losing on an individual game, race or event

Firing: Betting large sums

Fit: When a player's bet conforms to the odds. For example, if a baseball team is a -145 favorite and you bet $145

Frog: A $50 bill, which is considered unlucky by some.

High roller: A gambler known for his large bets

Hit and Run: A player who makes one large, low-risk bet, such as a huge football favorite on the money line, then leaves with his winnings and never bets with that bookmaker again

Hold: The percentage sportsbooks win

Hook: Half a point

Jones: An addiction as in “That guy really has a Jones for Monday night home underdogs”

Juice: The percentage of the bet kept by sportsbooks for handling the bet. (Also called vigorish or vig)

Layoff bet: A bet made between sportsbooks to help balance their action and remove risk

Limit: The maximum bet accepted by sportsbooks before the pointspread or price has to be changed.

Lumber: A name given a person who watches other people bet. (Also called baggage or wood)

Middle: A game that lands between betting numbers. For example, if some bettors are able to take the underdog at +4 1/2 and some bettors lay the favorite at -3 1/2, and the favorite wins by 4, then sportsbooks suffer a “middle” because sportsbooks have to pay off both sides of the bet.

Mucker: A professional card cheat

Nickel: $500

Parlay: A bet with two or more teams where the money returned for the first win is played on the second game, and so on

Player: A bettor or gambler

Press: To bet a larger amount than usual, as when a player will “press” his luck

Puppy: An underdog. (Also called a mutt).

Push: A tie (not neckwear)

Rabbit: An inexperienced gambler, a novice

Round robin: A series of parlays

Rundown: A line update

Runner: See beard

Sawbuck: $10. (Also called a willy)

Sharp: A professional bettor

Score: A large win

Skirt: An attractive woman used to divert attention in casino scams

Square: An unsophisticated or recreational player

Steam: Heavy, one-sided action that often is a clue to sportsbooks that they have a bad line or something is wrong

Stick: $1

Tapped Out/Tap City: Broke, busted

Toke: A tip or gratuity

Triple Sharp: A top-notch player. (Note: There is no such thing as a “double sharp”).

Vig/Vigorish: See juice.

Whale: The highest of high rollers; a huge bettor

Willy: $10. (Also called a sawbuck)

Wiseguy: A knowledgeable handicapper, often with connections to information