Start here to learn all the terms you need to start betting!
Action –A sports wager of any kind; a bet.
Added Game –A game not part of the typical menu of wagering offerings, often posted as an addition to patrons.
Book –A premises that accepts bets on the outcome of sporting events.
Buy (Points) –A player pays an additional price (lays more money) to receive a half-point or more in his favor on a pointspread game.
Chalk –The favorite.
Cover –Winning by more than the pointspread.
Dime –A $1,000 sports wager.
Dog –The team perceived to be most likely to lose-Short for underdog.
Favorite –The team considered most likely to win.
First-half bet –A bet placed on the score in the first half of the game only.
Future –Odds that are posted well in advance on the winner of major events, including the Superbowl, NBA Championship, World Series or Stanley Cup.
Half-time bet –A bet placed on scoring in the second half of a game only.
Handle –The total dollar ($)amount of bets taken.
Hold –The percentage the house wins.
Juice –The bookmaker’s commission from a market.
Laying the points/price –Betting the favorite by giving up points.
Limit –The maximum amount accepted by the traders before the odds and/or pointspread are changed.
Line –The current odds or pointspread on a particular event.
Longshot –A team perceived to be unlikely to win& at ‘long’ odds.
Middle –To win both sides of a game; wagering on the underdog at one pointspread and the favorite at a different pointspread and winning both sides. For example, if the player bets the underdog +5.5 and the favorite -4.5and the favorite wins by 5, the player has ‘middled’ the book and won both bets.
Moneyline –Odds expressed in terms of money. With money odds, whenever there is a minus (-) the player lays that amount to win $100; where there is a plus (+) the player wins that amount for every $100 wagered.
Nickel –A $500 sports wager.
No Action –A wager in which no money is lost or won and the original bet amount is refunded.
Off the Board –A game in which no bets are being accepted.
Opening Line –The earliest line posted for a sporting event.
Over –A sports bet in which the player wagers that the combined point total of two teams will be more than a specified total.
Parlay –A single bet that links together two or more wagers; to win the bet, the player must win all the wagers in the parlay. If the player loses one wager, the player loses the entire bet. However, if he wins all the wagers in the parlay, the player wins a higher payoff than if the player had placed the bets separately.
Pick or Pick ’em–A game when neither team is favored.
Point Spread –The margin of points in which the favored team must win by to “cover the spread.”
Price –The odds or point spread.
Prop (Proposition) Bet –A bet that focuses on the outcome of events within a given game. Props are often offered on marquee games of great interest. “Which color Gatorade will be poured on the coach after they have won the Superbowl?”
Push –When the contest ends with no winner or loser for wagering purposes; a tie for wagering purposes.
Round Robin –A series of parlays.
Sides –The two teams playing; the underdog and the favorite.
Sportsbook –A physical location that accepts sports bets.
Straight Bet –An individual wager on a game or event that will be determined by a pointspread or money line
Straight-Up –Winning the game without any regard to the pointspread; a money-line bet.
Take the Points –Betting the underdog and receiving its advantage in the pointspread.
Take the Price –Betting the underdog and accepting money odds.
Teaser –A type of parlay in which the pointspread or total of each individual play is adjusted. The price of moving the pointspread (teasing) is lower payoff odds on winning wagers.
Tie –A wager in which no money is lost or won because the teams’ scores were equal to the number of points in the given pointspread.
Total –The combined amount of runs, points or goals scored by both teams during the game, including overtime.
Under –The player bets that the total points scored by two teams will be less than a certain figure.
Underdog –The team perceived to be most likely to lose. Also known as the “dog.”
Vigorish or "Vig" –The bookmaker’s commission; also known as juice.