Betting Terms Every Beginner Should Know

Sports betting is a fun way to get in on the action during a sports match. With the plethora of different sports available for bettors today, more and more people are getting into online sports betting. As an online betting rookie, it’s important to take things step-by-step.

To get started, it’s important to find the right betting sites like, figure out your desired betting options, and the basic betting terms. 

Before jumping into the online betting scene, it’s important to get the basics down. To familiarise yourself with the different terminologies and language used in the betting setting scene, simplified betting terms glossary for you.  

Glossary of Betting Terms for Beginners

Just like trying to understand different online betting options and following scoreboards, understanding terminologies in betting is essential for any beginner. Here are some common betting  terms you’ll come across:


An accumulator is a type of football bet which involves a series of bets in one wager. For the wager to win, each bet you placed must win. If one of the bet loses the whole wager loses. 

Alternate Lines

Alternate lines give bettors more options to wager specific games. Sportsbooks offer lines (point spreads)  on every sporting event. Alternate lines offer different point spreads from the original spread in a game. With an alternate spread, you can either win with a higher or lower payout than the original spread. 

Backdoor Cover

It is a term used for a team that covers a point spread late in a match. A team with a late cover could potentially affect the final results of the game. 

Betting Exchange

Instead of betting against a sportsbook, people can use the betting exchange (a betting platform) to wager against one another. 

Betting Unit

This is the tidal amount of a typical wager. Betting units are a way to share how much a bet was made without indicating any specific number. Betting units are used as a way to differentiate each bettor’s unit size. 


This is a term used for the team that’s preferred to win. Chalk is essentially the favorite team or player who is expected to win the match. 

Opening Line

The opening line is the first available point spread for every match. 

Closing Line

This refers to the value of a bet relative to where the line closes. 

Dead Heat 

An alternative way to say that there has been a tie. Depending on your sportsbook, there are different rules on how to pay in the event of a dead heat. 


Refers to the team that’s least expected to win the match. 

Double Chance

A European term used when a wager allows the bettor opportunities to win a bet. If a result in a match could be a win, loss, or dead heat, a double chance bettor can combine two of the three results. Giving the bettor twice the chance of winning the wager. 

Early Cash Out 

This is a way for bettors to settle wagers for a specific amount before the end of the game. Early cash out is a great way to lock in a profit at a smaller amount than what the wager would give. 

Exotic Wager

Unlike point spreads, money lines, or futures bets, exotic bets are non-traditional sports bets. A type of wager listed like a prop bet in sportsbooks. 

Fixed Odds

Odds that are set and do not change once the wagers are placed. 

Flat Betting 

A betting system where all wagers are at the same amount. A bettor can’t change the wager amount based on the number of wins, losses, or any other condition. 

Hedge or Hedging 

A strategy used by sports bettors to reduce the risk of or to a guaranteed profit from a wager. 

Live Betting

When you place a wager on a game while it’s taking place. 


A term used when a team or player will win by large. A predictable win. 

Middle or Middling 

A type of sports bet where you play different sides of the same game. This allows bettors a chance to win wagers on the same game. 

Matched Bet

Using free wagers from a sportsbook to increase chances of profit. This is popularly used in a lot of US sports betting markets for promotional offers. 

Off the Board

A sportsbook stops taking wagers on an event or participant. This happens when unforeseen events happen like an injury. 

Player Props

This is a wager on an individual player to do something during the match. Like scoring the first point. 

Round Robin

This is a wager that involves making multiple parlays (initial stake or winnings from a previous bet) bets all at once. 


Someone who places wagers at a sportsbook on behalf of someone else. Another term used is beard. 


A term to call a casual sports bettor. Someone who bets as a hobby. 


When the odds change due to the money wagered on a game or participant. Sometimes bettors will chase after steam. 

Tissue Price

This refers to the initial odds that were offered by a sportsbook. These odds are considered the fairest price on a wager. 


A boxing term that stands for Technical Knockout. 

True Odds

Actual odds of an event happening. The most accurate point spread or moneyline. 


This is a  wager that a team will lead in every quarter or for a specific number of quarters. This type of bet is mostly placed in basketball games. 

By taking a look at these different online sports betting terms, you’ll be able to keep up and understand things as you start your betting journey. Remember, bet smartly by taking things one step at a time.