FootballFootball Glossary

Soccer Betting Terms

Accumulator: Otherwise known as s parlay bet. A bet where the winnings from one bet are placed on the next bet or in case of In-play betting refers to a single bet that links two or more bets/individual wagers into one whole bet.  The winnings accumulate, giving a large theoretical return. In reality, not very profitable as it only takes one to lose and your whole bet loses.

Arbitrage: A combination of bets which guarantees a theoretical risk-free profit. These sometimes occur when one bookie offers a price which is out of line with the rest of the market. Opportunities don't last long as the bookie will adjust their prices accordingly.

Asian Handicap: Asian handicaps originated in the Far East and refers to spread betting in soccer. The main advantage of asian handicap is that the draw result is eliminated. There are only two outcomes of a win with an Asian handicap, a Home or Away win with a possible increase in increments of  ¼ i.e. ¼ goal, ½ goal, ¾ goal, 1 goal, 1 ¼ goal etc.                 

Meaning in Asian Handicap

¼ (0.0,-0.5 or 0.0,+0.5) all so known as -0.25 or +0.25

½ (-0.5 or +0.5)

¾(-0.5,-1.0 or +0.5,+1.0) all so known as -0.75 or +0.75

In-play Asian Handicaps: Always remember that when the bet is placed, the score effectively resets to 0-0 (all goals scored before the bet was placed are disregarded). For example, you bet on Liverpool +0.5 when they are losing 0-2 at halftime. The score is now 0-0 from that point on, so you need Liverpool to at least draw the second half for your bet to win.

Let's assume that your stake for each bet is $50.

Liverpool 0.0 - This is exactly the same as draw no bet. If Liverpool loses, you lose $50. If Liverpool draw, your $50 is refunded. If Liverpool wins, your bet wins.

Liverpool -0.5 - This is exactly the same as the straight win. If Liverpool loses or draws then you lose $50. If Liverpool wins, your bet wins.

Liverpool -1 - If Liverpool loses or draw, you lose $50. If Liverpool wins by One goal, your $50 is refunded. If Liverpool wins by Two or more goals, your bet wins.

Liverpool -1.5 - If Liverpool loses OR draw OR win by One goal, you lose $50. If Liverpool wins by Two or more goals, your bet wins.

Liverpool +0.5 - This is exactly the same as double chance. If Liverpool loses, you lose $50. If Liverpool either draws or win, then your bet wins.

Liverpool +1.0 - If Liverpool loses by Two or more goals (0-2, 2-5 etc), you lose $50. If Liverpool loses by One goal (0-1, 2-3 etc), your $50 is refunded. If Liverpool draws or win, then your bet wins.

Liverpool +1.5 - If Liverpool loses by Two or more goals, you lose $50. If any other result occurs, your bet wins.

If two of these handicaps are combined, your stake is split equally between the two handicaps.                                                                                                                   

EXAMPLE: Liverpool +0.5,+1 means that $25 goes on +0.5 and $25 goes on +1. If Liverpool loses by Two or more goals, you lose $50. If Liverpool loses by One goal, the $25 on +0.5 loses and the $25 on +1 is returned. If Huddersfield draws or win then your bet wins.


Banker: A bet that is highly likely to win. Odds are usually less than 1.5 for these types of bets. This is a term generally used when a red-hot favourite is expected to produce a win in a match. Say Barcelona were playing Viborg.

Betting Exchange: A place where people bet against each other (peer-to-peer betting network). The exchange takes a commission from each winning trade.

Book Value: The over round that a bookie builds into the odds. For example, a typical football match will be booked to 110% meaning that if you bet on all outcomes you'd lose about 10%.

Bookmaker, bookie: A company who is licensed to accept bets on the result of an event based on their provision of odds to the customer.

BTTS: Both Teams To Score

Cash out: The cash out option has become increasingly popular in online betting. This is when a punter can settle a bet before it has finished, such as cashing out a 5-fold accumulator with four bets already having been won and not wanting to risk the fifth leg winning also.

Clean sheet: It is when a team successfully comes through a game without having conceded a goal or any points. This is a big pride of defences and in betting, you will see options like To Win To Nil which means that you are backing a side to win without conceding in the game. 

Correct score: Correct score betting is popular with football, where the total number of typical scores is limited. The odds are dependent on the actual match odds between the two teams. 

Decimal odds. The odds expressed as a decimal, with the stake included in the overall price. For example, decimal odds of 3 equals fractional odds of 2/1, as the stake is included in the former but not the latter.

Double. An accumulator which involves two selections. Both must be successful for the bet to win.

Double chance: A bet that is offered on the 3-way market where you bet on 2 outcomes. For example, you might bet on the home win or draw. Odds are usually very poor but you are much more likely to win the bet.

Draw no bet: A bet where the draw returns your stake. This is exactly the same as a 0 Asian Handicap. In a football match, for example, to win, but if the game is drawn then you will get your stake back. So in the outcome of a draw, essentially no bet has been made.

Each Way: A type of bet where you can still win if your choices come in 2nd/3rd/4th depending on the market. The bet is split into 2, half placed on a straight win and half on, say the next 4 places. This is popular in horse racing but is used in football, in some markets, eg. First team to score.

Edge: A punters advantage in a bet.

European Handicap: Do not confuse with Asian Handicaps. This is where a team is given a goal start but the bet cannot be drawn. Three prices are quoted, on for the team giving the handicap, one for the team with the handicap and one for the handicap draw. For example, if a team is given a +1 European handicap and the match is lost by a single goal, the bet still loses, unlike with Asian Handicaps where the stakes are refunded. A +1 handicap is equivalent to a +0.5 Asian Handicap, a -1 handicap is equivalent to a -1.5 Asian Handicap.


Betting terms explained

Evens: A bet where the odds are 1/1 fractional or 2 decimal. Basically, you double your money if you bet on this and it wins.

Favourite: The team or individual the bookie's rate most likely to win the contest they are betting on. 

First Goalscorer: A bet placed on a player to score the first goal in the event.

First-half bet: A bet placed on the first half of a game.

Form: Rates how a team is currently performing.

Fractional odds: These are a popular way of expressing odds in Britain. The stake is not included in the return. For example, 2/1 is equal to 3 decimal, as it only expresses the winning part of the bet.

Goal line, Unders/overs, total goals: All similar markets centred around the total goals in a match. Unders/overs usually mean 2 goals or under, for under and 3 goals or more for overs. The goal line is practically the same as under/overs but the bet can draw. For example, if the goal line is 3, a game with 2 goals over few will win the unders, a game with 4 or more will win the overs while a game with exactly 3 goals will void the bet. Sometimes the goal lines have quarters in them, eg. 2.25, here is there are exactly 2 goals in the match, the under bet will win half, while the overs will lose half.

Half Time/Full Time, sometimes called Double Result: This is where you bet on what the results at a half time and full time are.

Handicap: A system used by bookmakers to make a one-sided event become a more attractive betting proposition to the punter. For example, the weaker team may start with a one-goal advantage. Known as the Spread in US sports. For fractional handicaps (0.5, 1.5 etc.), there is no possibility of a draw. If the margin of victory is same as the quoted handicap, all bets on the selected team will lose. 

In-play betting: Refers to live match betting in which it is possible to bet on the outcome or elements of a match while it is still live.

Line: The current odds or point spread on a particular event

Longshot: A team unlikely to win.

Match Betting: The most popular and common fixed odds betting market is match betting. In standard match bets between two teams, winning odds are available for both, and the wager will either win or lose depending on the outcome of the event. Since a significant proportion of games end without any winner, the "draw" is offered as a betting option. Football fixed odds match betting is sometimes known as 1X2 betting. On fixed odd coupons, a "1" denotes the home team, with the away team represented by a "2" and the draw by an X.

Multiples: Another term for Accumulator.

Odds: Also referred to as the price. The returns a bookmaker offers for a selection to win. 

Odds on. Refers to a price where the odds are less than evens (fractional) or 2 (decimal). 

Odds Against: Refers to a price where the odds are greater than evens (fractional) or 2 (decimal). 

Over/under: A commonly available over/under bet available in football is over/under 2.5 goals. By introducing a decimal, this removes the possibility of a draw, leaving only two possible outcomes. Some bookmakers like to introduce an extra outcome to the book. 3 outcomes might include; fewer than 2 goals; exactly 2 goals; and more than 2 goals. Other bookmakers introduce even more, although this is with a view to increasing their profit margin on the book.

Point spread: The predicted scoring differential between two opponents as quoted by a sports book. 

Price: Betting or gambling odds. 

Punter: The individual who puts on a bet.

Scorecast: This is a bet where you predict the first goal score and the correct score. Odds are good but getting these right is very difficult.

Spread betting: Spread betting is similar to a handicap type system of betting and it is primarily used in North American sports. In spread betting you back a team to cover a spread, essentially saying a team will lose by no more than 3 points or will win by 5. In order for the spread to cover on a -4 for example, the winner would need to win by 5. 

Three-way betting or 1X2: Betting on a home win/ draw/ or away win. 1X2 because in betting shops, you mark 1 for a home win, X for a draw and 2 for an away win.

Under: An increasingly popular football fixed odds market is total goals betting, sometimes known as over/under. A commonly available over/under bet available in football is over/under 2.5 goals. 

Underdog: A team or individual that is expected to lose.

Value Bet: Simply put, if you believe the odds taken are better than the mathematical chance which the team involved has of pulling off the outcome, then you have a value bet. This means, that if a tennis player has an actual mathematical 50% chance of winning a match, and the odds on that player are above Evens, then bet value is better than the mathematical odds, so that is a value bet.

Void bet. In Asian Handicap terms this is where the bet draws. Void bets can also occur in other markets, for example in the first goalscorer market if your player isn't on the pitch when the first goal is scored the bet is void. Can happen if matches are postponed or abandoned.

Wiseguy: A well informed or knowledgeable bettor.