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Betting Glossary

New to Betfair or simply looking for a basic explanation for a bunch of keywords that you’ve come across along your wagering journey? Our betting glossary is here to help.

Below you’ll find what we believe are essential terms and phrases for mastering The Game Within The Game. Please reach out to us at automation if there are other terms you'd like to see included.

Wagering Term Definition
Arbitrage Is a process through which gamblers aim to make a profit by betting on all possible outcomes of an event, at different odds. Arbitrage betting involves taking advantage of the variation in odds offered on the Exchange or by different bookmakers and calculating an appropriate stake level that will ensure any losses are covered by winnings in all potential outcomes.
Asian Handicap A type of football market where two teams are given a handicap – positive or negative – before the game starts. The handicap is a figure such as +0.5 or +1.0 or +1.5, or -0.5 or -1.0 or -1.5. This figure represents a goals head-start or a goals deficit awarded to the teams before kick-off.
Back Betting Placing a back bet is the traditional form of gambling – you believe a result will happen and bet on it happening, at odds you want to take. On the Betfair Exchange, bettors placing these bets are called ‘backers’.
Bankroll The total amount of money that a player has set aside for the purpose of gambling
Bankroll management The practice of managing one's gambling funds in order to minimize losses and maximize profits over time
Betfair Starting Price The Betfair Starting Price (BSP) is the odds you get on a horse at the start of a race based on bets placed by backers and layers in the race market.
Bookmaker An individual or company that sets and offers odds on the outcome of events and accepts bets on those outcomes
Commission Commission is the amount you are charged by Betfair on your net winnings on an Exchange market. Also called "vig".
Drift If we say a selection in an Exchange market is on the drift or drifting, it means the odds on the selection are getting longer.
Dutching The process of backing a number of outcomes for a particular event, in order to ensure the same amount of profit if any of your selections win.
Edge The built-in advantage that the bookmaker or casino has in a particular game or bet or the advantage that a bettor's model has over the rest of the market
Exacta An exotic bet in which the bettor aims to pick the first two horses in a race including the correct order
Expected Value (EV) A mathematical concept used to calculate the average outcome of a particular bet or strategy over a large number of trials. A positive EV indicates that the bet or strategy is expected to be profitable in the long run, while a negative EV indicates that it is expected to be unprofitable
Favourite The selection that the markets sees as the most probable winner of a given event. The quoted odds reflect the extent to which the choice is favoured
First Four An exotic bet in which the bettor aims to pick the four three horses in a race including the correct order
Futures Betting Odds for the winner of a specific future event often posted far in advance of it occurring. Examples include the AFL Grand Final winner, the Super Bowl winner or the Melbourne Cup winner.
Green Book Achieving a green book means creating a position on a market where you eliminate any risk and put yourself in the position to profit regardless of the outcome of the event.
Handicapping The process of analyzing and predicting the outcome of a particular event, often used in horse racing to determine which horses have the best chance of winning.
Hedging A betting strategy used to reduce the potential losses from a bet by placing an opposing bet on the opposite outcome
In-Play Betting In-play betting – or ‘in-running betting’ on racing – involves placing a bet on a particular outcome after the event has started.
Kelly Criterion A mathematical formula used to determine the optimal size of a bet based on the probability of the outcome and the potential payout
Lay Betting Lay betting is betting on something not to happen. For example, if you Lay Manchester United to win, your bet will be settled as a winner if they lose or if the game ends in a draw – so two outcomes are playing in your favour. In racing terms, if you Lay Nature Strip, you are betting on any other runner in the race to win.
Liability When you place a Lay bet your ‘liability’ is the amount you are risking if the event you are laying wins.
Line/Spread A handicap applied by bookmakers to balance the odds of a particular event. The favorite must win by a certain number of points or goals, while the underdog can lose by a certain number of points or goals and still win the bet.
Liquidity The liquidity is the amount of money available for you to bet (back/lay) at the relevant odds on a selection on the Exchange. You can bet all or part of that amount.
Machine Learning Model A machine learning model is a type of algorithm that is trained on data to make predictions or decisions. The model is designed to learn patterns and relationships from a dataset, and then generalize that knowledge to new, unseen data
Market Base Rate The base level of commission charged by Betfair on winning bets on that market
Market sentiment The overall sentiment of the market, reflected by the activity and sentiment of the backers and layers in the market
Matched Betting Taking advantage of odds variation and promotions across bookmakers to make lock in potentially risk free profit. Also called "Promotional Arbitrage" or "Promo Arbing".
Mental Game The mental game of wagering refers to the psychological factors that can influence a person's ability to make effective betting decisions. Wagering is not just about analyzing data and making predictions; it also requires discipline, emotional control, and the ability to manage risk.
Minimum Bet Laws Laws in Australia that dictate the minimum amount that bettors are allowed to bet to win on Australian Horse Racing that bookmakers must accept
Monte Carlo Simulation In a Monte Carlo simulation, a model is built based on assumptions and rules that describe the behavior of a system or process. The simulation then generates random numbers to simulate the uncertain or stochastic elements of the system. By running the simulation many times, using different sets of random numbers each time, the model produces a distribution of possible outcomes or results. This distribution can be used to estimate the likelihood of different outcomes and to calculate statistical measures such as means, variances, and confidence intervals.
Multi/Parlay A type of bet where you combine two or more individual bets into a single wager, with higher potential payouts but greater risk.
Odds The probability of a particular outcome occurring, expressed as a ratio of the total payout to the original stake.
Over/Under A type of bet where you predict whether the total score or number of goals in a particular event will be higher or lower than a specified amount.
Overrounds Term to describe when the betting percentage of a market is above 100% and therefore providing an advantage to the bookmaker and the opposite to the bettor
Probability The likelihood of a particular outcome occurring, typically expressed as a decimal or percentage. The implied probability of a selection is calculated by finding the reciprocal of the odds
Promo Banned Customers who are no longer able to take advantage of bookmaker promotions. Also known as "gubbed"
Promotions Incentives offered by bookmakers to attract and encourage bettors to register, deposit funds and/or place bets
Proposition bet A type of bet that does not directly relate to the outcome of a particular event, such as the number of disposals a player will have in a football game
Quadrella An exotic bet in which the bettor aims to pick the winner of four consecutive races - usually the last four of a meeting. This is also known as a "Quaddie" and if it refers to races earlier in the meeting, it may be referred to as an "Early Quaddie"
Quinella An exotic bet in which the bettor aims to pick the first two horses in a race not including the correct order
Reduction Factor The Reduction Factor (RF) is a percentage assigned to an individual runner and is based on its likely chance of winning the race. The reduction factor that is assigned to a non-runner (scratching / late scratching), is applied on all bets that are matched on the market at the time the non-runner was removed to both backers and layers. Corporate bookies calculate these as cent deductions.
Running cold A term used to describe a player or team that is currently having a streak of bad luck or poor performance
Running Hot A term used to describe a player or team that is currently having a streak of good luck or success
Sharpe Ratio A measure used to evaluate the performance of a gambling strategy or system, comparing the expected returns to the level of risk taken
Stake The amount of money wagered on a particular bet.
Steam If we say a selection in an Exchange market is steaming, it means the odds on the selection are getting shorter.
Sure thing A term used to describe a bet that is considered to be a safe and likely to win
Third-Party Tools Betting applications such as Bet Angel and Gruss that allow Betfair users to bet faster and with more information than other Betfair platforms. Popular with traders, these programs access the Betfair API directly.
Tote A system used in horse racing where all bets of a particular type are placed in a pool and the payout is divided among the winning bets based on the total amount of money in the pool. In Australia there are three main pools: VIC operated by TAB, NSW operated by NSWTAB and QLD/SA/TAS/NT operated by UBET. Often bookmakers will advertise "Best Tote" which means that they will pay out at the highest odds of the three tote pools.
Trading Similar to what you would see in the stock market, but on the Exchange. Trading involves placing multiple Back and Lay bets on the same market, with the hope of profiting from the fluctuations in odds.
Trifecta An exotic bet in which the bettor aims to pick the first three horses in a race including the correct order
Underdog The team, player, or horse that is expected to lose a particular event.
Variance The degree of deviation of a set of results from the expected value. A high variance means that results are likely to be more spread out and unpredictable, while a low variance means that results are more consistent and predictable