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Sports Betting Glossary

When they start betting, novice punters may feel somewhat lost because sports betting jargon is highly specific. On this page, you’ll find the key vocabulary for online betting.

Banker: A banker is a bet considered to be a sure thing. It refers to an event that is practically a foregone conclusion, with a huge difference in standard.

Back: A term meaning you’re betting on an event. To back Federer means that you’re betting on him winning.

Betting exchange: A type of sports betting that involves buying or selling bets with other punters.

Odds: An essential term in sports betting, which defines a punter’s winnings for a winning bet. The odds give an indication of your winnings and the probability of an event actually occurring, according to the bookmaker. The lower the odds, the higher the probability of the event occurring, in theory.

Lay: This means betting against an event in a betting exchange. Laying a Man. Utd. win means that you’re betting on them not winning. You win your bet if Man. Utd. loses or draws.

Handicap: This is a disadvantage given to a team that is theoretically stronger than its opponent.

Livebet / Livebetting: This means betting on a live event as it happens.

Lucky 15: A special sports betting system.

Over / Under: A type of sports betting that consists of betting on the number of goals. Over 2.5 means that there must be at least 3 goals in the match for the bet to win.

Combined betting: Or a “combo”, means placing several sports bets at the same time, in a combination. If a single bet loses, the entire combo fails.

Double result (1X, X2, 12): Consists of betting on a double event. In Football you can bet on the team winning or drawing at home with the 1X, on the team winning or drawing away from home with the X2 and a win for either of the two teams with the 12.

Trixie: A special sports betting system.

Value bet: Refers to a sports bet that is mathematically profitable. A Value bet is determined according to your estimate of the chances of success for an event, combined with the odds offered by the bookmaker.
On a heads or tails, for example, (a one in two chance of success), the heads is a value bet if a bookmaker offers odds of 2.1. You will always win in the long term if you only place value bets.

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