acca insurance

Short for accumulator insurance, an offer by a bookmaker to refund your stake if you win all but one of the wagers in an accumulator that includes a minimum number of selections - typically either five or six. In some cases, the stake is refunded in the form of a free bet.


Also known as a parlay or all up bet, an accumulator is a series of wagers on the outcomes of multiple events. If an initial wager is won, the stake and winnings are placed on the next wager in the series. If any of the wagers is lost, the entire bet is lost.
Accumulator bets

accumulator insurance

See acca insurance


Any valid bet.

against the spread

See spread betting

all in bet

A bet on which the whole bank is staked.

all up bet

See accumulator

all weather racing

Horse racing that occurs on an artificial surface - such as a polytrack or fibresand surface - and that as a result, can continue in all weather.


A condition that horses must meet to be eligible to run a particular race. Also see allowance race.

allowance race

In the UK, a category of race that ranks higher than a maiden race but lower than a stakes race. Typically conditions are set on which horses may run this race type. For example, the condition may be non-winner of three lifetime, meaning that the horses haven't won more than three races.


An Alphabet bet combines several different multiple bets. It gets its name from the fact that every Alphabet bet comprises 26 separate bets.
Alphabet bets

also eligible

Abbreviated as AE, a term used in horse racing to describe horses that may enter a race if there's a scratch (cancellation).

American odds

See moneyline odds

ante-post bet

An antepost bet is a bet made before the day on which an event is held.
Ante-post betting

any to come

Abbreviated as ATC, an any to come bet is a bet on two selections that includes a condition. If part of the wager yields a sufficient return, an agreed amount is wagered on one or more other selections.
Any to come bets


In horse racing, a jockey who has been riding for less than a year or who has won fewer than 45 races. Jockeys in this category are typically allowed to carry less weight than more experienced jockeys.


On a racecourse, the area between the grandstand and the track.


A slang term for an arbitrageur - someone who uses the strategy of arbitrage, which involves backing all possible outcomes of an event in a way that exploits differences in bookmakers' odds to guarantee a risk-free return.


Arbitrage is backing all possible outcomes of an event in a way that exploits differences in bookmakers' odds, to guarantee a risk-free return irrespective of the actual outcome.

Asian handicap

A type of football handicap betting market originating in Asia. Teams are handicapped with goal deductions according to form. This requires them to not just win, but score more than a specified number of goals for the bet to pay out.

at the post

In horse racing, a phrase meaning that all horses are secure at the starting gate and ready for a race to start.


See any to come


Abbreviation for all weather. It's used to identify horse races that will be run in any weather, usually because they're run on an artificial surface, such as a polytrack or fibresand surface.


In horse racing, a two-year-old horse; also known as a juvenile.

baby race

A horse race for two-year-old horses. It's usually run over a short distance in spring or summer.


At a racecourse, the straightaway alongside the homestretch. Typically it runs from the three-quarter-mile pole to the three-eighths pole.


A horse that's too inexperienced or unfit to perform at its best.


A bet that's considered a near-certain winner.


Also referred to as the bar price, the shortest, or lowest, odds of entries not included in a betting forecast. For example, a bar of 20/1 specifies that all contenders not listed in the forecast have odds of 20/1 or greater.

bar price

See bar


A tan to auburn-coloured horse with a black mane and tail.


A slang term for a person who places a bet on behalf of someone else in order to hide the real bettor's identity.


A UK slang term for betting tax.

best book

The betting market that provides the lowest over-round or book percentage figure, and so provides the best margin for punters.

best odds guaranteed

Best odds guaranteed doesn’t mean that a bookmaker guarantees to give you better odds than you might get elsewhere. It means that the bookmaker guarantees to pay out winning bets at the SP if this is higher than the price you took when you placed your bet.
Best odds guaranteed


Risking a sum of money on the outcome of a future event in the hope of having the sum returned with a profit.

bet calculator

An online tool for calculating the returns on specific bets.


The largest betting exchange in the world, currently licensed and registered in Gibraltar.

betting bankroll

Funds available, or set aside, for betting.

betting dispute

A betting dispute is any disagreement over a bet, how it was placed, its outcome or its financial settlement.
Betting disputes

betting exchange

A betting exchange is a website that enables punters to offer and request back and lay prices directly with other punters, instead of via a bookmaker.
Betting exchanges

betting limit

The maximum amount that a bookmaker allows punters to bet on an event.

betting market

A betting market is a specific type or category of bet on a particular event. Bookmakers typically offer multiple betting markets on each event.
Betting markets

betting slip

A betting slip is a paper or electronic form that records the bets you place, the bet amounts and the odds for the bets.
How to use a betting slip

betting syndicate

A group of individuals who pool their money for betting purposes.

betting tax

Tax on a bookmaker's turnover. In the UK, it takes the form of a duty payable to Customs and Excise for each pound that's wagered.


The US term for someone who places a bet. The more common UK term is punter.

Beyer number

In horse racing, a measure of a horse's performance, as listed in The Daily Racing Form. The claim is that it measures how fast a horse actually ran, rather than just its final time.

Bill Daly

In horse racing, a term that describes the lead position. It's derived from the name of a trainer who used to advise jockeys to take the lead early on.


A horse that a punter predicts will be thoroughly beaten - or sunk, like the German World War II battleship of the same name.


A rubber or metal bar attached to a bridle and fitting in a horse's mouth. It's used to help control the horse.

blanket finish

In horse racing, a finish in which multiple horses are very close together.

blind bet

In horse racing, a bet made by a bookmaker to divert bookmakers' attention away from significant betting on another horse. The goal is to prevent odds on the other horse from being shortened.


Also sometimes called blinders, leather or plastic devices attached to the bridle of a horse harness to restrict a horse's field of vision, to prevent it from being distracted.


A horse's lineage.


In horse racing, a win by a longshot or a loss by a heavy favourite.


A longshot; a selection with high odds.


1. A bookmaker's record of the amounts bet on each selection for an event and of the applicable odds for those bets. 2. The mares bred to a stallion in a specific year.

book percentage

The profit margin for a bookmaker in a particular market.


See bookmaker


A bookmaker is an individual or company that creates odds and accepts bets from the public. Also referred to as a bookie or sportsbook.

bore draw special

A bore draw special is an offer by a bookmaker to refund the stakes on certain losing bets if no goal is scored during a match.


A slang term for odds of 2/1.


An unusually weak performance immediately after an unusually strong one.


A term used for the start of a race.

bridge jumper

A punter who bets a large sum on a short-priced favourite.

British Horseracing Authority

Abbreviated as BHA, the regulatory authority for horse racing in Britain. It was formed in 2007 through a merger between the British Horseracing Board (BHB) and the Horseracing Regulatory Authority (HRA).

bug boy

Slang for an apprentice jockey.


Term describing a small racetrack with sharp turns.


A National Hunt race with no hurdles or fences.

Burlington Bertie

Slang for odds of 100 to 30.


A Canadian bet, also known as a Super Yankee, is a combination of 26 separate accumulator bets made on five selections.
Canadian bets


A slang term for odds of 3/1.


Abbreviation for Course and Distance.


UK slang for £100 GBP.


A betting favourite.

chalk player

A punter who most often bets on the favourite.


A term for betting wildly in the hopes of recovering losses.


French for chiefs of racing, a term that describes certain influential sires. A horse's Dosage Index depends on the presence of any of these horses in the last four generations of its lineage.


The extension of the backstretch or homestretch where 7- and 10-furlong races typically start.

circled game

An event for which bookmakers reduce normal wagering limits or limit betting, due to factors - like injuries or unpredictable weather - that make the outcome highly uncertain.

claiming race

A horse race in which the runners are for sale. Claims are made before the race is run.


A ranking for horse races. In the UK, there are six classes of races, numbered from 1 to 6. Class 1 races are the most prestigious, with the best horses and the most money on offer.


Term used to refer to traditionally significant races or race features.

Clerk of the Scales

The official who checks that all jockeys weigh in correctly at the end of a horse race.


A horse that performs best in the final stages of a race.

closing line

Also known as the final line, the betting line before a bookmaker sets, or fixes, the odds for an event.

clubhouse turn

On a racetrack, the turn after the finish line.


Another term for joint favourite - a selection that shares the lowest odds with one or more other selections.


An ungelded male horse (one that hasn't been castrated) that's four years old or younger.

combination bet

A combination bet consists of multiple bets on a series of selections. Typically the same stake is placed for each of the bets.
Combination bets

combination forecast

A combination forecast bet is a combination of bets on three horses that will pay out if two of the selected horses finish in the top two positions in a race in any order.
Combination forecast bets

combination tricast

Combination tricast betting is offered on horse and greyhound racing. A combination tricast bet predicts which entries in a race will finish in the top three in any order. This is a lower risk betting option than straight tricast betting, which requires you to also predict the finishing order in the top three.
Combination tricast bets

consolation double

In horse racing, a double payoff for the winner of the first race if there's a late scratch, or cancellation, in the second race.

correct score bet

A correct score bet is a bet on the exact score of a match at the end of normal time.
Correct score betting

Course and Distance

Abbreviated as CD, a sign that a horse has won in the past over the same distance on the same course.

cover the spread

In spread betting, a phrase that means beating the spread by the required number of points.

credit bet

A bet that's accepted without a cash deposit.


Abbreviation for correct score.

CS bet

See correct score bet


A description of a racetrack condition characterised by a loose surface.

daily double

A horseracing bet in which you pick the winners of two races.

Daily Racing Form

Abbreviated as DRF, a daily US tabloid that publishes statistics on the past performances of race horses. It was founded in Chicago in 1894.


The mother of a horse.

dark day

A day with no scheduled horse races.

day card

A racecard that lists the details of all horses due to run in events for the day.

dead heat

A draw between two competitors. If a selection you've bet on dead-heats, you typically receive the full odds but the stake is divided by the number of winners before the return is calculated.

dead money

A selection with no chance of winning.

debit bet

A bet that's accepted without a cash deposit but for which a bookmaker can directly debit the punter's bank account.

decimal odds

Decimal odds are odds expressed as decimal values. This odds format represents the total amount to be paid out on winning bets, including the original stakes placed on the bets.
Decimal odds

deposit betting

Betting using funds deposited beforehand with a bookmaker.


1. A significant stakes race for three-year-olds. 2. A sports match between two teams from the same country or city.


See Dosage Index


A horse race for fillies and mares.


The amount paid out for a winning pari-mutuel, or Tote, bet.


See Draw No Bet


Abbreviation for did not finish.


Also known as the underdog, the competitor considered least likely to win an event.

dog player

A person who typically bets on the underdog.


In horse racing, barriers designed to prevent horses from running close to the inner rail of a track. They're typically used after heavy rain.

Dosage Index

Abbreviated as DI, a value used by breeders of thoroughbred horses to indicate the ratio of speed to stamina in a horse's pedigree. It's calculated based on the last four generations of the horse's lineage.


A double is the simplest form of multiple bet available at bookmakers. This straightforward multiple bet option takes two bets on selections in two different events and combines them into a single bet.
Double bets

double chance betting

Double chance betting is a type of match betting in which a single price is offered for either a win or a draw. A double chance bet will win if the team you back wins or draws, and lose if the team loses.
Double chance betting

double result

Also known as a half time/full time or HT/FT bet, a single bet in which you wager on a match result at half time and at full time.

double stakes about

Abbreviated as DSA, a term term describing an any-to-come (ATC) bet in which double the original stake placed on one selection will be placed on a second selection if the first one wins.


1. A tie - also known in the United States as a push. 2. In horse racing, a reference to the number of the starting stall from which a horse will begin a race.

Draw No Bet

Abbreviated as DNB, 'draw no bet' is a type of betting market in which your stakes are refunded if the match ends in a draw.


In betting, a horse for which the odds progressively lengthen, or increase.


Progressive lengthening of the odds for a competitor.

dual forecast

A bet on which two selections will come first and second, in any order. Also known as a reverse forecast or quinella.


Dutching is backing more than one selection in a race or event, then placing the correct stake on each selection so that the same amount of money will be returned if any one of the selections wins.

each-way bet

An each-way bet combines a win bet with a place bet on the same selection.
Each-way betting

each-way goalscorer

In football, an each-way goalscorer bet involves two wagers - that a player will score the first goal in a match, and that the player will score the second or third goal in the match. This is sometimes called an each-way first scorer bet.
Each-way goalscorer


A slang term for odds of 6/4. It's derived from the tic tac, or sign language, that bookmakers use to identify these odds on a racecourse.

early price

In horse racing, a price offered on the day of a race but prior to the start of racecourse betting.

Eclipse Awards

The highest honours in horse racing in the United States, determined by a vote of the National Turf Writers Association, The Daily Racing Form and the Thoroughbred Racing Associations.


A punter's advantage in a bet.

eighth pole

On a racetrack, the pole marking an eighth of a mile to the wire (finish line).

English Triple Crown

The English Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, consisting of the 2,000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St. Leger Stakes.


A partnership in North America of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations and The Jockey Club, which maintains racing records.

even money

Also referred to as evens, odds of 1/1, indicating that returns on winning bets will be double the amount staked. The returns include the returned stake plus winnings of an equal amount.


Odds of 1/1, indicating that the return on winning bets will be double the amount staked. Also sometimes referred to as even money.


In horse racing, a bet on which two horses will finish in the first and second places in a race. The horses must be named in the correct order for the bet to win. Also known as a forecast or, in the United States, perfecta.

exotic bet

Any bet other than a straight bet, which is a bet that the selection will win. Also known as a prop or proposition.


In betting, the maximum amount of money that a bookmaker may lose on an event.


The selection with the lowest odds, meaning that it's considered the most likely to win.


1. In horse racing, the rail that outlines the racetrack. 2. In National Hunt racing, the obstacle used for steeplechase horseraces


All competitors in an event.


A female horse that's four years old or younger.

final line

See closing line

first deposit bonus

A bonus offered by an online bookmaker when you make your first deposit of money to the bookmaker's betting site. Often it's redeemable only once a certain number of bets, or bets to a specified value, have been made.

first goalscorer

Abbreviated as FGS, a bet that a particular player will score the first goal in a match.

first half bet

Also referred to as Half Time Result or HRT, a bet on the result of a match at half-time.

first scorer/correct score double

Also referred to as a scorecast bet, a combined bet on which player will score the first goal in a match and on the final match score.

fixed odds

Fixed odds are odds that are guaranteed not to change once a punter places a bet. This protects the punter from any odds fluctuations that occur in the betting market after the bet is placed.
Fixed odds betting


A wager on four selections that consists of 23 bets - six doubles, four trebles, one fourfold accumulator and six up-and-down bets. One winning selection guarantees a payout.
Flag bets

flat racing

Horse racing on courses that don't include obstacles or jumps. In the UK, this type of racing is contrasted with National Hunt racing.


A forecast is a bet on selections finishing in a specific order in an event.
Forecast bets


An indication of a competitor's chances of winning an event, based on its past performance. Typically the last five performances are most often used to assess form.

form player

A punter who bets based primarily on competitors' past performance.

founding sires

Three sires from which most thoroughbred horses are descended. They are the Darley Arabian, Byerly Turk and Godolphin Barb.

fourfold accumulator

An accumulator that includes four selections in different events. Also known as a quad.

fractional odds

Fractional odds are odds expressed as fractions that specify the total amount you'll win if you win a bet, relative to the stake you placed.
Fractional odds

free bet

A free bet is a bet of a specified value for which a bookmaker offers to pay the stake. Many online bookmakers offer free bets to customers who open new betting accounts with them.
Free bets

full cover bet

Any combination bet that includes all possible doubles, trebles and accumulators for a given number of selections.

full-time result bet

A full-time result bet is a straightforward bet on the full-time result of a match. It involves wagering on one of three outcomes – team A winning, team B winning, or a draw between teams A and B. If the bet was on a winner, it will not pay out on matches decided in extra time or by penalties.


In horse racing, a standard distance equal to about 200 metres, or just under 219 yards. A mile includes eight furlongs.


A juveniles stakes race for which the horse owners have to make continuous payments to maintain their horses' eligibility.


In the UK, an organization that provides support, information, and advice for anyone with a gambling problem.

Garrison finish

In horse racing, coming from behind and winning in the final stretch. The approach is named after the jockey Snapper Garrison.


A castrated male horse.

goalscorer bet

Goalscorer betting is betting that a particular player will score a goal in a match.
Goalscorer betting


A term that describes the condition of a racecourse, which ranges from heavy to firm.


A Goliath bet is a combination bet which includes all possible multiple bet permutations that can be placed using eight selections.
Goliath Bet Explained


In horse racing, a category for specific races. In the UK, the best of Class 1 races - known as pattern races - are grouped into three grades, from Grade 1 to Grade 3. Grade 1 races are the top races.

graded stakes race

In North America, major stakes races classified by the North American Graded Stakes Committee as Grade I, II or III, based on the expected quality of competition.



group races

In Europe, major stake races classified as belonging to Groups 1, 2 or 3 based on the expected quality of entries and amount of prize money paid out by the race.

half time result

Abbreviated as HTR, a bet on the result of a match at half time.

half time/full time

Also known as double result betting, a single bet on the result of a match at half time and on its result at full time. Both outcomes must be predicted correctly for the bet to win.

half-time bet

Also referred to as a Half Time Result (HTR), a bet on the result of a match at half time.


1. To level the odds among competitors, by giving weaker competitors some form of advantage and/or giving stronger competitors a disadvantage. 2. In racing, a weight assigned to each racehorse in order to create a more level field. Horses with strong form are assigned heavier weights than horses with weaker form.


The process of assigning a handicap to favoured competitors to help even the odds with other competitors.


The total amount of money placed on a bet.

Hang Cheng

An alternative name for Asian handicap betting..


To place two or more opposing bets, to reduce risk or ensure a profit irrespective of the outcome.


Placing two or more opposing bets, to reduce risk or ensure a profit irrespective of the outcome.


A Heinz bet is a combination bet that features 57 bets placed on six selections using five different types of multiple bets.
The Heinz bet

home advantage

The advantage it's assumed that a competitor or team has when competing in its home town, due to the familiarity of facilities and supportive audiences.


The section of a racetrack between the last turn and the finish line.

if cash bet

See any to come

in play

Currently in progress.

in running

A race that's currently in progress.

in the money

In horse racing, the horses that place in a race and so earn rewards for the punters who backed them.

in-play betting

Another term for live betting.

Independent Betting Adjudication Service

Abbreviated as IBAS, an organization that settles disputes between punters and bookmakers in the United Kingdom.

index betting

Another term for spread betting, which involves betting on whether an outcome will be above or below the spread. The pay-out depends on the accuracy of the wager, instead of on which team wins or loses.


At a racecourse, the area enclosed by an oval track.


In betting, a form of insurance against losing a bet. For example, an Insurebet 2 ensures that your stake will be refunded if a horse you bet to place first places second instead. An Insurebet 3 is the same except that your stake will be refunded if the horse places second or third.

Irish Jackpot

A Tote bet you win by picking the winners of races three to six in a set of six consecutive races. The dividend depends on the number of favourites that win each race. Also see Tote UK Jackpot.

Irish Placepot

A Tote bet you win by picking horses that place in each of six consecutive races.

Jockey Club

1. In Britain, the largest commercial organization involved in horse racing. It owns many of the top British racecourses, including Aintree, Cheltenham and Epsom Downs. Prior to 2006, it was responsible for regulating the sport. This role is now filled by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). 2. An organization in New York that serves as the registry for thoroughbred horses in North America. It was formed in 1894.

joint favourites

Two selections that share the shortest odds. Both are considered equally likely to win.

jollies and rags

In horse racing, jollies and rags is a betting market in which you bet on the winner coming either from one of the race favourites or from the rest of the field.
Jollies and rags betting


Slang term for the favourite in a horse race.


Slang for the commission earned by a bookmaker.

jump racing

Horse racing on courses that include obstacles for the horses to jump. In the UK, also known as National Hunt racing.

juvenile race

A horse race for two-year-old horses, also known as a baby race. It's usually run over a short distance in spring or summer.

last goalscorer

Abbreviated as LGS, a bet on which player will score the final goal in a match.

lay bet

A bet that something won't happen. See lay betting for more information.

lay betting

Lay betting is betting that something won't happen. For example, you may bet that a team won't win a match or that a horse won't place in a flat race.
Lay betting

lay the favourite

Laying the favourite involves betting that the favourite in a race or competition won't win.
Laying the favourite

laying off

Another term for hedging.


A measurement of the distance between horses, roughly equivalent to the length of a horse. The number of lengths between horses is sometimes used to determine payouts on money back betting specials from bookies.


In betting, increasing the odds on a particular selection or outcome.

Level Stakes Profit

Abbreviated as LSP, the value of the profit that would have been made if each stake were worth one unit.


See last goalscorer


The current odds for an event.

listed stakes

An ungraded stakes race.

live betting

Live betting is betting that occurs while sports events are being played. It's also known as in-play betting.
Live betting


US term for a near-certain winner.


An outsider with long odds, considered unlikely to win.

Lucky 15

A Lucky 15 is a wager on four selections, consisting of 15 bets - four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a fourfold accumulator. If only one selection wins, returns are paid to double the odds.
The Lucky 15 bet

Lucky 31

A Lucky 31 bet is a full cover combination bet that comprises 31 bets placed on five selections in the betting markets.
The Lucky 31 bet

Lucky 63

A Lucky 63 bet is a full cover combination bet comprising 63 different bets placed on a total of six selections from the betting markets.
The Lucky 63 bet


A horse that hasn't yet won a race.

maiden race

An event for horses that haven't yet won a race.


A female horse that's five or more years old.

margin call

A call that a bookmaker makes to a punter for cash to cover some or all of the punter's potential loss.


In the context of betting, a specific type of bet offered on a particular event. Bookmakers typically offer multiple betting markets on each event.

martingale system

A betting strategy reliant on an unlimited bankroll that involves increasing the stake on a new bet each time a bet loses, with the intention of eventually recovering the lost money and earning a profit.

match betting

Match betting is betting that one of only two competitors will win a match, tournament or race.
Match betting

mobile betting

Mobile betting is betting via a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet.
Mobile betting

money back bet

A type of bet for which the bookmaker agrees to refund a bettor's stake, in the form of a cash refund or free bet, if a specified event occurs. Money back bets were first introduced by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power but are now offered by several major bookmakers.

money-back special

A money-back special is an offer by a bookmaker to refund the stake you place on a bet if the bet doesn’t win but a specified outcome occurs.

moneyline odds

Moneyline odds are the preferred odds format in the United States, also sometimes called American odds.
Moneyline odds


Slang commonly used by UK bookmakers for £500.

morning line

The starting odds for an event. The line serves as a prediction of what the final odds will be.

multiple bet

A multiple bet wagers a single stake on two or more selections. Each selection must be made in a different event or betting market, and all selections are required to win in order for the bet to pay out.
Multiple betting

mutuel field

Multiple horses that form one betting interest.


A tipster's best, or strongest, bet of the day.

National Hunt

The dominant winter racing format in the UK. National Hunt races are generally contested by mares and geldings, and are run over distances of 2 miles or more. Most National Hunt races require contestants to jump obstacles on the course.


A tipster's second-best bet of the day.


A measurement of the distance by which a horse is beaten, roughly equivalent to the length of a horse's neck.

no action

A bet for which no money is won or lost.


In a horse race, a horse that was entered in a race but doesn't actually run it.

non-runner no bet

Abbreviated as NRNB, a type of insurance offered on antepost bets in which bookmakers agree to refund your stake if the horse you back fails to run.

normal time

In football, the length of a match, excluding extra time and penalties. This is 90 minutes plus injury time.

novelty bet

A novelty bet is a bet on an outcome that's not sport-related, such as the winner of a presidential election or the gender of a baby about to be born to royalty.
Novelty betting

number spread

Similar to point spread, an index spread based on the number of runs, goals and points scored in an event.


A designation for certain significant stakes races for three-year-old fillies. An example is the Epsom Oaks.


Odds are values that express the probability of particular outcomes occurring, in relation to the probability that they won't occur.

odds against

The term ‘odds against’ means that the a bet on a selection has a less than even, or 1/1, chance of winning.
Odds against

odds compiler

A bookmaker or other individual who sets the odds for competitors.

odds on

The term ‘odds on’ means that a bet on a selection in a betting market has a better than even, or 1/1, chance of winning.
Odds on

off the board

1. An event for which a bookmaker isn't accepting bets. 2. In pari-mutuel betting, a horse with odds longer than 99 to 1.

off-course bookmaker

A bookmaker not physically present on a racecourse or at an event. For example, off-course bookmakers may operate via telephone or the internet.

off-shore bookmaker

A bookmaker located outside the country where the bet is being placed.

off-track betting

Betting at locations other than the racetrack - for example via the internet.

official rating

Abbreviated as OR, a value assigned to a horse based on its form. It's used to determine the weight to be carried by the horse in handicap races. In the UK, official ratings are assigned by the British Horseracing Authority.

on the bit

An expression meaning that a horse doesn't need riding from the jockey.

on-course bookmaker

A bookmaker physically present at a racecourse or event.


Abbreviation for over/under.

outright betting

In outright betting a bet is placed on the result of a sports tournament instead of on a single game or match in that tournament. Outright bets can be placed before or after a tournament starts. Winning bets are only paid out once the tournament has produced a winner.
Outright betting


A competitor considered unlikely to win an event, as reflected in long (high) odds. The opposite of a favourite.


A term describing a book with a negative profit margin for a bookmaker. In this situation, punters who backed every selection in the book would have returns greater than the total value of their stakes.


Abbreviated as OU, a bet that the total combined points, runs, or goals of both teams in a game will be either higher or lower than a specified combined score. In football, for example, over/under goals bets are popular.

over/under goals bet

An over/under goals bet is a bet on whether the total number of goals scored in a match will be higher or lower than the goal total specified in your bet.
Over/under goals betting


A betting situation in which the potential return is greater than the risk due to odds being inaccurately high.

overnight race

A horse race that's not a stakes race.


A bookmaker's profit margin, which is built into the bookmaker's odds for an event.


The enclosed area where horses are saddled before a race.

parimutuel betting

Also known as pool or tote betting, a type of betting in which all stakes for a particular market are pooled and then distributed among bet winners.


The US term for accumulator.


A Patent bet is a full cover combination bet featuring seven sub-bets placed on three selections from the betting markets.
Patent bets


The total amount that a punter is paid for a winning bet, including the stake originally placed and the winnings.


1. A disadvantage or handicap imposed on a competitor or team for violation of a rule. 2. In horse racing, a standard additional amount of weight to be carried by a horse if it has won one or more races between being entered in a handicap race and running in the race. A typical penalty weight is 6 lb.

perm betting

Perm (or permutation) betting is splitting the stake for a bet among multiple combined bets to cover different possible outcomes and so maximise the likelihood of a return.
Perm betting


See perm betting

Pick Six

A Tote bet you win by picking the winners of six consecutive races.


A selection of bets chosen by a tipster or expert.


1. In horse racing, to finish in a notable position. In a race with eight or more runners, a horse places if it comes first, second or third. In a race with 16 or more runners, a horse also places if it comes fourth. Bookmakers may pay out additional places when offering place specials. 2. In other sports, to finish within a specified number of positions from the tournament winner. In this case the place is defined exclusively by the bookmaker and not by the governing body of the sport in question.

place bet

A place bet is a bet that a selection will finish amongst the top contestants in a sports event. It is a bet on a selection performing well in an event, but not necessarily winning that event.
Place betting

place specials

Special offers on place bets. For example, a standard place bet in horse racing may win if a horse finishes first, second or third in a race. In this case, a bookmaker may offer also to pay out bets on the horse if it finishes in fourth place.

playthrough requirement

A requirement that you place additional bets before winnings on a free bet or a bonus amount is paid to you. For example, bookmakers may have playthrough requirements stating that winnings on free bets will be paid out only after you've placed a certain number or value of additional bets.

point spread

The predicted difference in score between two teams or competitors in an event. Also see spread.


Bookmaker slang for £25.

pool betting

Also known as parimutuel or tote betting, a type of betting in which all stakes for a particular market are pooled and then distributed among bet winners.

post parade

Before a race, the procession of the horses in front of the grandstand.

post position

The number of a horse's stall in the starting gate.

post time

The time when a race is scheduled to start.

Postdata table

A table containing information about the form of each horse entered in a race, compiled by The Racing Post and available on its web site.


In the context of betting, another term for odds.

principal race

The key, or most significant, race in a series of races held at a particular course.


Probability is the statistical likelihood of a specific event or outcome occurring.

problem gambling

Problem gambling is any gambling behaviour that causes harm to the person gambling, and/or to this person's friends or family members.
Problem gambling


Someone who places a bet.


The prize money for a horse race.


A fourfold accumulator.


A bet on which two selections will come first and second, in any order. Also known as a reverse or dual forecast.


A racecard provides information about a horse race and about each of the horses entered to run it. It may also serve as a betting slip, in which case punters can make their selections directly on the card.
How to read a racecard

Racing Post Rating

Abbreviated as RPR, a rating assigned by The Racing Post to indicate a horse's form. RPRs are listed in the Postdata Table published for each race.

racing secretary

The designated official who writes the condition book and assigns weights for handicaps at a racecourse.

racing syndicate

A group of people who pool their resources in order to buy and race horses.

Racing to Form



A complete outsider in a horse race.


The barrier that outlines the racing surface at a racecourse. Also called the fence.


To restrain a horse in order to save its energy.


The total amount paid out, including the stakes, on a winning bet.

return on investment

Abbreviated as ROI, the return on money invested. In betting, this equals the total winnings.

reverse forecast

A reverse forecast (RF) bet is the simplest form of a combination forecast bet, allowing you to select two contenders to finish 1st and 2nd in a race in any order.
Reverse forecast bets

round robin

A Round Robin bet is a full cover combination bet that combines 10 different bets placed on three selections.
Round robin bets


A roundabout is a wager on three selections, consisting of three singles and three any to come (ATC) doubles. If the singles win, double the amount of the stakes placed on them will be staked on the doubles.
Roundabout bets


A rounder is a wager on three selections, consisting of three singles and three any to come (ATC) doubles. If the singles win, the same stakes originally placed on them will be placed on the doubles.
Rounder bets


In horse racing, a race over a long distance (unlike a sprint).


Abbreviation for Racing to Form, a value that indicates the percentage of a trainer's horses that have run to form, based on a comparison of each horse's expected and actual performance in each race.

Rule 4

A rule set by the Tattersalls Committee, which governs horse race betting in the UK. The rule specifies that if a favourite is withdrawn from a horse race shortly before the race is run, a deduction must be made from all winnings.


1. Someone who places bets on behalf of another person. 2. An entry in a horse race.

Scoop 6

In the UK, a Tote bet you win by picking the winners of six consecutive races, which are run each Saturday. The pool regularly exceeds a million pounds.


A scorecast bet is a combination of two bets: a first goal scorer bet and a correct score bet. Both the first goal scorer bet and the correct score bet need to win in order for a scorecast bet to pay out. Scorecast bets are popular because they offer high odds.
Scorecast betting


A cancellation. In horse racing, for example, a declared runner that doesn't actually participate in a race is a scratch.

selection to win

In horse racing, a selection to win betting market offers two sets of odds for each horse in a race - odds that the horse will win, and odds that the horse won't win. You can bet either way.
Selection to win betting

sex allowance

A weight allowance given to female horses when they're raced against male horses.


A professional gambler.


The process of odds getting shorter, or lower. Bookmakers may shorten odds in response to heavy betting, which indicates that the market thinks the likelihood of winning is higher than the original odds that are quoted.


In the United States, the act of a horse coming first or second in a race. In the UK, a horse is said to place if it comes first, second, or third (and sometimes fourth, depending on the number of runners in a race).

show bet

US term for a bet that a horse will come either first or second in a race.


The colours worn by a jockey.

Silky Sullivan finish

In horse racing, a late charge from far back. It's named after a horse known for using this strategy in the late 1950s.

single bet

A single bet is a wager on a single outcome in an event. The bet is unrelated to any additional bets you may place at the same time.
Singles betting

single stakes about

Abbreviated as SSA, a term describing an any-to-come (ATC) bet in which the original stake placed on one selection will be placed on a second selection if the first one wins.


The father of a horse.


A three-year-old horse.

split race

A race that's split into two separate races because it's oversubscribed.


Another term for bookmaker.


Also known as a point spread or handicap, points given to an underdog and deducted from the favourite to level the odds. For example, a sportsbook might predict that team A will beat team B by 20 points. This means that 20 points will be added to team B's final score to create a spread result. Team A is said to have covered the spread only if it wins by 21 or more points. Also see spread betting.

spread betting

Spread betting is betting on whether an outcome will be above or below a specified margin, or spread.
Spread betting


A race over a short distance. In horse racing, it's a race of 7 furlongs or less.


The amount of money you put on a bet.


A horse race that horses must be nominated to run in advance, and for which there's usually a nomination and entry fee. In the UK, the top horses compete in stakes races. Horses with fewer or no previous wins are entered in non-stakes races.


A male horse used for breeding purposes.


The official responsible for ensuring a fair start to a horse race.

starting gate

In horse racing, the mechanical steel gate and stalls from which the horses break at the beginning of a race.

starting price

Abbreviated as SP, the starting price reflects the official odds for a horse that are quoted at the start of a race. They're determined based on an average of the on-course bookmakers odds for the horse.
What does SP mean in horse racing?


A selection that has attracted heavy betting, resulting in significant shortening of its odds.


A National Hunt race in which entries are required to jump fences. The term dates from early countryside races for which a church steeple provided orientation.


Any official who enforces the rules of racing at a racecourse.


A person who hunts for accidentally discarded winning tickets at a racecourse.

straight forecast

A straight forecast (SF) is a bet on which selections will finish first and second, in the correct order. It's also known as an exacta or perfecta in tote betting.
Straight forecast bets


In horse racing, the straight part of a course (with no turns).


The final stretch in a horse race. Also known as the homestretch.

Super Flag

Popular among horse racing and football punters, a Super Flag bet is a combination bet that comprises all possible multiple bets that can be placed on five selections in five different events.
Super Flag Bet Explained

Super Heinz

The Super Heinz bet is a slight variation on the popular Heinz bet type, named after the '57' varieties slogan coined by ketchup manufacturer, H.J. Heinz. Whereas the standard Heinz features a total of 57 bets on six selections, covering every one of the bet types from doubles to a seven fold, the Super Heinz bet goes a step further by adding another selection to the mix.
Super Heinz

Super Yankee

Another term for the bet known as a Canadian.


Racing equipment.


The money deducted from mutuel pools before the remaining funds are returned to the bettors as payouts. Typically it's split between the state, the racetrack, and the horse owners.


Tote betting, also known as pool betting, is a form of betting where odds are not fixed once a bet is placed. Instead, payouts are determined by the size of the betting pool and the number of winning bets placed in that pool.
Tote betting


A breed of English racehorse created by interbreeding imported Oriental stallions with English mares in the 17th and 18th centuries. Thoroughbreds are the breed of choice for flat racing throughout the world.

three-eighths pole

On a race track, a pole that marks three-eighths of a mile, or three furlongs, from the start.


The sign language that bookmakers use to communicate.


An individual or company that provides hints or tips about the likely outcome of an event or race.


A prediction of what the odds for each selection will be when betting opens.


A strip of cloth or rubber used to prevent a horse's tongue from sliding over the bit.


Also known as a tote board, a system that runs parimutuel betting (also known as pool or tote betting). It calculates and displays payoff odds and produces tickets based on incoming bets.


A body that administers parimutuel betting (also known as tote or pool betting). It collects stakes and distributes the pool among bet winners, deducting a fee from each pool for its services.

tote betting

Also known as parimutel or pool betting, tote betting is a type of betting in which all stakes for a particular market are pooled and then distributed among bet winners. It's administered by a tote.

tote board

The common term for a totalisator, which is a system that runs parimutuel betting (also known as pool or tote betting). It calculates and lists payoff odds and produces tickets based on incoming bets.

Tote Place bet

A tote bet in which you pick a horse you think will place in a race.

Tote Trifecta

Previously referred to as the Trio, a tote bet you win by selecting the horses that will come first, second and third in a race, in the correct order.

Tote UK Jackpot

A tote bet you win by picking the winners of each of six consecutive races.

Tote UK Quadpot

A tote bet in which you win by picking horses that place in races 3 to 6 in the daily Quadpot races in the UK.

Tote UK Swinger

A tote bet you win by picking two horses that place first, second, or third, in any order, in a race. This gives you three chances to win - the two horses may place first and second, first and third, or second and third.

Tote Win bet

A tote bet in which you pick the horse you think will win a race.


The only British bookmaker currently authorized to offer pari-mutuel betting (also called pool or tote betting) on horse racing. Other bookmakers offer a tote service through syndication or using the same terms.


See Thoroughbred Racing Associations.

track record

The fastest time recorded for a certain distance at a particular track.


In betting, a transaction that involves placing a lay bet and a back bet on a single selection. See trading for more information.
See trading


Trading is a betting technique that involves placing a lay bet and a back bet on a single selection, to guarantee a profit or reduce potential losses.


A treble is an accumulator bet that comprises three separate bets placed on three different sports events. All three selections must win for a treble bet to return a profit.
The treble bet explained


A qualifying or preliminary race.


Tricast betting is offered on horse and greyhound racing. A tricast bet predicts the winner, runner-up and 3rd place finisher in a race in the correct order. This is also known as a straight tricast bet.
Tricast bets


A bet on which selections will finish first, second, and third, in the correct order. In racing, it's typically offered on handicap races with a minimum of eight declared runners and at least six actual runners. It's also commonly called a tricast bet.


The progress of a horse during a race, including any issues that are encountered.

Triple Crown

Winning the three most prestigious or significant events in a given field during the course of a single season.


A Trixie is a wager on three selections, consisting of four bets - three doubles and a treble. A minimum of two selections must win for a return.
Trixie bets

true odds

Odds that represent the actual probability of winning.


Abbreviation for top speed - the highest speed that a competitor has achieved.

turf course

A racecourse with grass cover.


In football, a bet on whether there will be either more or less than a specified number of goals.


An underdog is the opposite of a favourite; a competitor that's expected to lose. Betting on the underdog can be part of an effective betting strategy.
Betting on the underdog

Union Jack

A Union Jack is a wager on nine selections, usually marked on a three-by-three grid and consisting of eight trebles.

up-and-down bet

An up-and-down bet involves placing two any-to-come (ATC) bets, involving the same two selections. If one selection wins, the original stake is placed on the second selection. If both selections win, each original stake is placed on the other selection.
Up-and-down bets

value bet

A bet for which a bookmaker's odds for a selection are better than the actual probability of the selection winning or placing in an event.


A device used to restrict a horse's field of vision.


Another term for a bet.


1. A horse race in which only one of the runners is left, after other declared runners are pulled out of the race. 2. A sports event in which all contestants but one are eliminated prior to, or during the contest, leaving the outcome a foregone conclusion.


Handicap race condition that assigns weights (handicaps) based on horses' ages.


Abbreviation for weight. In horse racing, this refers to the weight, or handicap, carried by each horse.


To come first in an event.

win and place

A bet that involves two component bets - one that a selection will win, and one that a selection will place. It's similar to an each way bet, except a higher stake is placed on the bet to win than on the bet to place.

win bet

A bet that a selection will finish in first place.

win to nil bet

Win to nil betting is a type of football betting that involves simultaneously placing two bets – a bet that a team will win, known as a back bet, and a bet that the other team will fail to score a goal in a match.
Win to nil betting


The finish line in a horse race.

wise guy

In the United States, a well-informed punter or handicapper.


A Yankee bet is a combination of 11 separate bets placed on four different selections.
Yankee bets

full cover bet

A full cover bet is a bet that includes all possible multiple bets , including doubles, trebles and accumulators, for a given number of selections.
Full cover bets

full cover bet with singles

A full cover bet with singles is just what it says – a combination of a full cover bet , which consists of all possible doubles, trebles and accumulators for a given number of selections, with a number of single bets.
Full cover bets with singles

exchange betting

Exchange betting, also known as peer-to-peer betting, is a form of betting that allows punters to set odds and bet directly against each other.
Exchange betting

asian handicap bet

Asian handicap betting is a popular form of football match betting that typically ‘forces’ a bet on a football game to either win or lose by adding or subtracting goals to the final score of one of the teams.
Asian Handicap betting

Racing form

Racing form holds the key to being able to make an informed prediction about how any horse in the field for a race is likely to perform in that race.
How to read horse racing form

betting without

The betting without market is designed to remove top contenders from a horse racing market to improve your chances of winning a back bet on one of the other horses in the field.
What does betting without mean?

insurance bet

An insurance bet is a horse racing bet that refunds your stake if your selection places instead of winning the race that you bet on.
What is an insurance bet in horse racing