A Guide To UK Betting Terms

Do you know the difference between a Banker and a Monkey? Want to know how a Goliath or a Heinz works?

If you’re a fan of UK sports betting sites, you are likely to be familiar with these types of terms, but for many people, they may well be baffling. Read on as we provide a definitive guide to UK betting terms.

Full List Of UK Betting Terms

  • Acca

Acca – a shortened version of the word ‘accumulator’, it is a multiple bet of four selections or more. Each of those picks must be correct for the punter to receive a return.

  • Ante-Post

Bookmakers offer ante-post markets on many top events like the Cheltenham Gold Gup, Wimbledon and the Champions League. These allow punters to wager on the outcome before the action gets underway and often offer higher odds than you can obtain once the event starts.

  • Arbitrage Bet

Also known as an ‘arb’, arbitrage betting requires you to place wagers with a bookmaker and a betting exchange on the same event in order to guarantee a profit. You take advantage of discrepancies in odds by backing and laying the same selection to secure a winning return.



  • Asian Handicap

As suggested by the title, this type of wager originated in Asia. Teams are handicapped based on form, meaning that the weaker team gets a theoretical head start that the stronger team must overcome for anyone betting on them to win.

  • Banker

A banker is a participant in an event that pundits and bettors believe simply cannot be beaten.

  • Betting in Running

Better known as live or in-play betting, this is any type of bet that is placed once a particular event has begun.

  • Blinkers

These are used by trainers in horse racing to aid a horse’s concentration during a race. They are affixed around the eyes and help to block out distractions from the crowd or other runners.



  • Century

In the UK, this relates to a betting stake of £100.

  • Classics

There are five ‘Classic’ races during the flat racing season – the 1,000 Guineas, 2,000 Guineas, Derby, Oaks and St Leger. These are recognised as the pinnacle for three-year-old horses in the UK. Of course, there are also the famous Cheltenham festival & The Grand National which are main horse racing events.



  • Double

A double is a bet of two selections that must be correct in order for the punter to win.

  • Dead-Heat

A Dead-Heat is an outcome where two or more participants cannot be separated at the end of an event. It is mostly used in horse racing where two horses cross the finishing line at the exact same time.

  • Decimal Odds

The rise in popularity of betting exchanges has seen decimal odds become more commonplace. The odds are displayed in the style of 3.00 rather than in fractions. For instance, if a horse is priced at 3.00 and you stake £5, you will receive £15 if it wins (3.00 x 5 = 15).

  • Draw

The draw is the stall number given to a participant in a horse race on the flat. It can often have a significant effect on the outcome, particularly on courses where there is a draw bias.

  • Each-Way

Each-Way bets require you to double your stake, giving you a return if your selection wins or is placed. The win part of the bet is paid out at the full odds, while the place part is calculated as a fraction based on the number of participants in the event.

  • Evens

Evens is a betting term used to denote fractional odds of 1/1. A successful £100 bet at Evens would secure a profit of £100 giving you a £200 return (stake + profit = return).
The favourite is the participant in an event whose odds are the shortest. This means that the bookmakers believe they have the best chance of winning.

  • Fractional OddsMartingale strategy are used extensively in UK sports betting. They are listed as fractions such as 2/1, 3/1, etc. For example, if you bet £20 on a horse that is priced at 2/1 and it wins, you will receive £60 (20 x 2 = 40 + original stake = 60).

  • Forecast

A forecast bet requires you to pick the first and second finishers in an event to secure a winning return. Placing a reverse forecast doubles the stake, but means the selections can finish in any order.

  • Gelding

A gelding is a castrated horse. The procedure is designed to improve the animal’s behaviour.

  • Going

The going is the ground conditions at a racecourse. It varies dependant on the weather in the local area. Soft, good to soft, good and good to firm are amongst the most commonly used terms for the going.

  • Goliath

This is a combination wager of 247 bets. It comprises eight selections split into 28 x doubles, 56 x trebles, 70 x 4-folds, 56 x 5-folds, 28 x 6-folds, 8 x 7-folds and one 8-fold.
A betting stake of £1,000.

  • Heinz

A combination bet of six selections comprising 15 x doubles, 20 x trebles, 15 x 4-folds, 6 x 5-folds and one 6-fold.
A shortened version of Betting In-Running meaning exactly the same thing.

  • Jackpot

Better known as the Tote Jackpot, it is a prize pool offered by the bookmaker for selecting the first six winners at a UK horse race meeting. The prize is shared if more than one person achieves the feat.

  • Joint Favourites

For many events bookmakers are unable to determine an outright favourite. In these instances, each of the participants with the shortest odds are known as joint favourites.

  • Longshot

Longshot is a term applied to an outsider in a particular event. Their odds are generally high denoting that they are not fancied to win.

  • Lucky 15

A combination bet of four selections comprising 4 x singles, 6 x doubles, 4 x trebles and 1 x accumulator.

  • Lucky 31

A combination bet of five selections comprising 5 x singles, 10 x doubles, 10 x trebles, 5 x four-folds and 1 x accumulator.

  • Lucky 63

A combination bet of six selections comprising 6 x singles, 15 x doubles, 20 x trebles, 15 x four-folds, 6 x five-folds and 1 x accumulator.

  • Maiden

Most commonly used in horse racing, the term maiden relates to a horse that has never won a race.

  • Monkey

A betting stake of £500.

  • Nailed On

Similar to a banker, nailed on relates to a participant who is viewed as a certainty to win an event.

  • Nap

A nap is a selection made by a pundit that he or she views as their strongest on a particular day.

  • Non-Runner

Non-runner refers to any participant who was declared to take part in an event but subsequently fails to do so.

  • Not Under Orders

This refers to horses that are withdrawn from a race before the starter raises his flag to start the race. Horse that come ‘under orders’ are deemed to have taken part, thus impacting your potential returns on the race.

  • Odds

The odds are numbers issued by bookmakers to denote what they believe is the most likely outcome of a particular event.

  • On the Nose

If you place a bet ‘on the nose’ you are saying that you are backing your selection to win.

  • Outsider

This refers to participants in an event whose odds are higher and are therefore not expected to win.

  • Patent

A combination bet of three selections comprising 3 x singles, 3 x doubles and 1 x treble.

  • Picks

More commonly known as selections, picks are the participants you have chosen to wager on in an event.

  • Places/Placed

This relates to the positions in an event behind the winner. It usually refers to the second, third or fourth places in an event, but can stretch further down the field if a bookmaker chooses to widen the scope of their place terms.

  • Placepot

The Tote Placepot is along similar lines to the Jackpot, but requires punters to pick a horse that will win or place in the first six races of a UK horse racing meeting.

  • Pony

A betting stake of £25.

  • Punter

Punter refers to the person placing a bet with a bookmaker.

  • Return

The return is the amount a punter receives after making a successful wager.

  • Rule 4

The late withdrawal of a horse from a race may often result in bookmakers not having enough time to price up a new market. Dependent on the horse’s odds at the time of withdrawal, bookmakers can make a percentage deduction from successful wagers on the race.

  • Run-In

The run-in is the final stretch of a horse race, usually referring to the home straight in flat racing or from the last fence to the winning post in National Hunt. It has also been adopted in other sports such as football, denoting the final few games of the season.


  • Score

A betting stake of £20.

  • Scorecast

This is a football bet that requires you to pick the first goalscorer in a game and predict the final score. An example of this would be Marcus Rashford to score first and Manchester United to win the match 3-1.

  • Selection

A selection is your chosen bet in a particular sports event.

  • Smart Money

A phrase describing positive market activity about a participant in event. It is used to indicate that odds may have been cut by a bookmaker because of bets placed by people ‘in-the-know’ or who are renowned for being shrewd punters.

  • Spread Betting

Spread betting requires you to wager on whether a specified outcome in an event will finish up being above or below a number pre-determined by the bookmaker. Examples include the total goals in a football game or the number of points scored in a basketball match.

  • Starting Price (SP)

The SP is the final odds offered by the betting industry once a horse race has started.

  • System

A system can be employed by punters to improve their chances of securing a winning return. Systems such as the Martingale strategy fall into this category.



  • Tipster

A betting expert who provides tips on which participant he or she believes will win a selected event.

  • Tote

The Tote run pool betting at every UK racecourse. These include the Jackpot and Placepot pools, which pay out dividends based on the total amount wagered.

  • Trap Number

In greyhound races each of the dogs are allocated a trap number from which they start the race. These are usually numbered 1-6.

  • Treble

A treble is a bet of three selections that must be correct in order for the punter to win.

  • Tricast

A bet that requires you predict the first, second and third finishers in an event.

  • Trip

The distance run during a horse race.

  • Trixie

A trixie is a wager comprising four bets – 3 x doubles and 1 x treble.

  • Under Starters Orders

Every horse race is begun by a starter. When he is happy that they are all in the stalls or lined-up for a jumps race, he raises his flag which means they have come ‘under starters orders’.

  • Void Bet

This is a bet which has been voided by the bookmaker. This sometimes happens if the hare stops in a greyhound race or a horse race is voided because the runners take the wrong course.

  • Weighed In

After every horse race the jockeys are required to ‘weigh in’ to ensure that they have carried the correct weight. Horse can be disqualified by the stewards if they are found to have carried less than their allotted weight.

  • Win/Draw/Win

This term relates to numerous sports and relates to situations where an event can be won by one of two participants or drawn.

  • Withdrawn

A participant who withdraws or is withdrawn from a particular event before it starts.

  • Yankee

A Yankee is a combination bet comprising of four selections – 6 x doubles 4 x trebles and 1 x accumulator.

You are now familiar with the most commonly used terms in sports betting. The team at BetonSports UK hopes you found this article useful & informative. Good luck with your future wagering! (-: