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Whatever you enjoy betting on, football or horse racing, darts or golf – betting terms can often be confusing. Do you back a forecast or acca, bet in-play or ante-post? What is Acca Insurance or a Multiple Bonus? That’s why we’ve produced a betting glossary on Bookie Radar to help you understand some of the most commonly used gambling terms.


Palpable Error – an error made by a bookmaker which results in a bet being voided. If a bookmaker quotes odds that are out of line with a realistic price they can claim an error and void a bet.  Arbitration services such as IBAS may be used to validate the fairness of a voided bet.

Parlay – the US term for an accumulator although US punters tend to favour single bets (handicaps etc)

Patent – a permutation bet covering three selections, the same as a Trixie with singles. A bet with 7 bets: 3 singles, 3 doubles and a treble.

Permutation bet – a bet which covers a number of selections in a series of accumulators and/or singles.  For example a Lucky 15 bet covers all bet types for four selections - four singles, six doubles, four trebles and one four-fold acca (a yankee is the same minus the singles)

Place betting – a bet on a selection to finish in any of the advertised number of places. Less popular than an each-way bet partly because the odds on the place part will be inferior to the place only odds.

Place terms – the number of places and fraction of the win odds for an each-way bet.  Varies with sports but normally standardised for horse racing;  Handicaps with 16+ runners - 1/4 odds on first four places, handicaps of 12-15 runners - 1/4 odds on first three,   all other races of 8+ runners - 1/5 odds on first three,  all races of 5-7 runners - 1/4 odds on first two.

Placepot – a tote pool bet which requires predicting a horse to place in a set number of races (normally six) at a race meeting. Punters will normally improve their chances of winning by having multiple selections in most races, especially larger handicaps.

Point Spread – the handicap margin in a two-way match where the underdog has the positive (or headstart) and negative (or handicap) – both selection’s odds will be the same or very close.  For example in an NFL match with Green Bay at Chicago with 3.5 spread, Green Bay (underdogs) would get 3.5 points, Chicago (favourites) conversely would have 3.5 points off.

Punter – a slang term for somebody who gambles. Believed to originate from the French “ponter” or  “to play against the bank” in card games.


Rag – slang term used in horse racing for an outsider. Probably derived from ‘rag-and-bone man’ to suggest the runner is a carthorse and therefore has little chance.

Related Contigencies – a multiple bet invalidated when two or more selections have related outcomes. Normally occurs with the same player, horse or team in different markets, for example a double on the same horse to win the 2000 Guineas and Derby – the former would make the later more likely.

Reverse Forecast – a forecast bet which covers 1st & 2nd in either order, in effect two straight forecasts – reverse forecast doubles are popular in greyhound racing.

Round Robin – a permutation bet involving three selections. The same as a patent bet but with 3 singles so 7 bets - 3 Doubles, 1 Treble and 3 Single Stakes

Rule 4 – a deduction that is applied to winnings if a selection is withdrawn before a new market is made – represented as pennies in the pound according to the last price of the horse (selections over 14/1 have no deduction) The deduction is approximately the percentage of the market represented by the odds ie a horse withdrawn at odds of Evs to 6/5 has a deduction of 45p in the pound.


Same Game Multi – a bet which involves two or more predictions in the same event/match. Increasingly popular market which allows a type of accumulator within the same event whilst accommodating related bets such as 0-0 and no goalscorer.

Scalping – covering all selections in an event (often with different bookmakers) to guarantee a profit whatever the result by taking advantage of under-rounds. Automated software has become popular for scalpers as the price advantages often don't last long.

Sign-up Offers – a bookmaker promotion to incentivise potential customers to join.  The normal sign-up offer credits a customer with free bets on their first deposit and bets - for example bet £10 get £30 promotions.  Check our Casino Bonuses page for Bookmaker's Latest Casino promotions.

Single – backing one selection to win in a market.

Starting Price (SP) – the final price returned by the racing industry for a horse race in the UK & Ireland. A system which has been in place since the 18th Century to return a price for each horse prior to the off using on-course bookmakers odds (whose place terms tally with the standard e/w place terms) – broadly estimating the median price for each selection.

Sportsbook – a bookmaker or section of a bookmaker’s website which offers fixed-odds on sports events (along with politics, TV specials etc), distinguishing from services such as casino, poker etc.

Spread – the range between the buy and sell price in Spread betting. The difference in spread is effectively the profit the spread betting company takes from the market, zero spread would, assuming an efficient pricing, mean zero profit in the long term.

Spread Betting – a form of betting which allows buying or selling a position in an event. A market will have a spread which allows a punter to go above (Buy) or below (Sell). For example a punter may believe a match ,where the Total Goals spread is 2.9-3.1, will be free-scoring so would buy 3.1 hoping for four or more goals. Profit or loss is the difference between the settled result and the price - for example one goal would be a -2.1 x stake loss (1 - 3.1) while five goals would be a 1.9 x stake profit (5 - 3.1)  Check Golf Betting Form's guide to spread betting.

Steamer – a selection whose price has shortened considerably. Often occurs in horse racing on the morning of a race due to the popularity on a selection.

Steeplechase race – a National Hunt race contested over large fences. Steeplechase fences need to be a minimum of 4 ½ feet and often include an open ditch or water.

Straight Forecast – a bet on forecasting the first and second in an event returned as a dividend. The dividend is calculated using a formula which takes into account odds for the entire field.

Super Heinz – a permutation bet consisting of seven selections.  A Super Heinz consists of 120 bets:  21 doubles,  35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds and a seven-fold acca.

System betting – a betting strategy which keeps to one or more rules to make a selection. System may keep to a set criteria, for example a trainer with 2-year-olds at a certain track.

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