Glossary of Gambling Terms A-Z | Sports Betting Definitions

Internet sports betting will use a lot of gambling terms that you may not be familiar with as a lot of the language comes from the "street" language of old school bookies. The following is a Glossary of Gambling Terms for: NFL betting, College Football betting, NCAA Football betting, Baseball Betting, MMA Betting, UFC betting, Boxing wagering, NHL betting, NBA betting, NCAA Basketball betting, College Basketball Betting and other major sports. You will find all the major terms that Internet sportsbooks use in posting their betting lines.

Gambling Terminology

Slang for gambling is hard, but we're here to help!

Gambling terms vary far and wide, but we have assembled a gambling terminology glossary here. All the gambling terminology and gambler slang you could ever find will be made clear here. You'll be speaking the gambling vocabulary after a quick review of this page in no time, including betting terms, and slang for gambling itself.

Most of these are specific to sports betting, but still find their way to other areas online. Whether you're into NCAA Football betting, NFL betting, NCAA Basketball betting, College Basketball Betting, College Football betting, Baseball Betting, MMA Betting, UFC betting, Boxing wagering, NHL betting, NBA betting, or all other major sports, you'll be speaking gambler lingo in no time! This can be particularly challenging without help, as sports betting lingo, bet slang, betting jargon, betting lingo, betting acronyms, sports betting terminology, and specifically basketball betting terms all have very specific sports betting terms that need to be mastered to even make a bet! Football betting terms and football betting terminology in particular can be challenging, but we've got you covered there too:


- Any time you make a bet, this counts as an action.

Added Game

- Any betting line not typically part of the usual pool of games to bet on in the Las Vegas rotation, but is included to benefit those making wagers with a bookie.


- The ATS betting term means Against The Spread. This is when you're betting on the underdog team to win by a wide margin, and along with it, ample winnings.


- Any time you put down money on the outcome of a sporting event, you're betting.


- Originally, bookies were the ones that took bets on sporting events. Book is short for any sportsbook or related group that takes these bets.


- The original term that started them all, a bookie is someone that takes bets on sporting events.


- Another term referencing a bookie that takes bets on sporting events.


- A $100 bet, being an example of a sports betting slang term.

Buy (Points)

- If you are willing to pay more for it, you can get a half point or more in your favor on any point spread you bet on.

Canadian Line

- Alternatively called a Puck Line, this is a mixture of a Point Spread and Moneyline.


- Another slang term, this one meaning the favored side to win.

Chalk Player

- Anyone that typically bets on the favored side and never on underdogs.

Circled Game

- Events of this kind have lower betting limits and limitations on how many people can get so a bookie won't carry as much risk. Sometimes called a Red Circle box. This happens when unintended circumstances may adversely effect the outcome of an event, such as player injuries, unusual weather conditions, and games being unexpectedly added. Doesn't include parlays and teaser wagers.


- Any time a point spread is won.

Dime Bet

- Another betting slang term that means a $1000 bet is placed.


- When the favored party and the underdog only differ on their moneyline by 10 cents, such as the Yankees and Red Socks. This is used in baseball to attract eager gamblings looking for a decent risk to reward ratio.


- The underdog not favored to win in an event.

Dog Player

- A gambler that typically bets on the underdog.

Dollar Bet

- Another betting slang term, here meaning $100. It's the same as "Buck," and they are used interchangeably just like the terms are outside of gambling.

Even Money

- Any wager with 1:1 odds, meaning there is no juice or vigorish.

Exotic Wager

- Wagers that aren't Straight Bets or Parlays count as exotic wagers, such as Teasers, Sweetheart Teasers, IF bet, Reverses, and Prop bets.


- Any side expected to win an event. The opposite of the dog or underdog.

Fifth Inning Line (5 Inn.)

- Any bet placed on only the initial 5 innings of any baseball game.

Fifty Cents

- Another betting slang term that means a $50 bet.

First Half Bet (1H)

- Bets placed on a football or basketball game that only account for the score up to halftime.


- The betting odds calculated in advanced on future sporting events.

Getting Value

- Gambling vocabulary for the best odds on betting line.

Grand Salami

- The Total of goals scored in all hockey games played on the same day.


- After you bet and the event has been decided, this is when the amount is put into your account.

Half a Dollar

- Another piece of gambling slang for a $50 wager.

Half Time Bet (2H)

- The opposite of a First Half Bet, this is any bet placed on the second half of a football or basketball game.


- These are the people that look at all available information on a sporting event, and calculate the odds of the outcome.


- This is the act of the above when calculating the outcome of an event.


- The gross total of bets taken by a bookie on a sporting event.


- Betting on both sides of an event to keep losses at a minimum or guarantee a bare minimum amount of winnings. Considered to be a safe betting strategy that sacrifices maximum winnings for protection from losses.


- When half a point is added to football or basketball betting through gamblers buying points. Also referred to as buying the "hook".

Hot Game

- Any game attracting the attention of many professional handicappers.


- A bookie's commission on the bets made, which is referred to as the "vigorish" as well. A standard juice is typically 10%.

Laying the Points

- Betting on the favorite in any point spread betting line.


- A hard limit placed on the total betting amount for any event.


- The present betting odds on any event. Lines like these are always updated in real time.


- Someone at a bookmaker that establishes an original betting line and all subsequent betting lines stemming from it.


- Any side of a sporting event unlikely to win, similar to the underdog.


- A strategy of betting on both sides of an event at different amounts. Called the "middle the game" someone wins, and similar to Hedging.


- Stands for Mixed Martial Arts.


- Any betting odds where the wager is settled when one side of an event wins. An example would be a -120 team requiring $120 to win $100 when that team won.

Nickel Line

- This is when the commission a bookie receives on a betting line is 5%. Also called reduced juice.


- A betting slang term for a $500 wager.

No Action

- When a bet is cancelled because the event did not happen (i.e. rain out in MLB). All money is returned to bettor.


- How likely different outcomes of a sporting event are, which largely tends to determine the winnings potential.

Off The Board

- When a bookie closes open betting for an event.


- The one that determines the odds of a sporting event.

One Dollar

- Another gambling betting slang term for wagering $100.

Opening Line

- The initial betting line made public by a bookie for a sporting event.


- A bet placed on the total scores of both teams in a sporting event combined. Typically, bets are made that it will be above a specified total amount.


- Betting on two or more teams at a time. All teams must win in order to receive the highest payout. If one team loses, it is considered a loss.

Pick 'em

- An event where no side of a sporting event is favored to win. Sometimes called a 'Pick'.

Point Spread

- Using the handicap chosen by the bookmakers, this determines how much will be awarded to winning bets.


- Betting in an amount that is far higher than a typical wager.


- Determined by the point spread or the odds given on a moneyline.

Prop (Proposition) Bet

- Betting on two or more outcomes that have nothing to do with an event's final score or winning team. They tend to be placed on specific players, an entire sport, political occurrences, celebrity gossip, and related things.


- This occurs when no one wins a wager. Wagers in this case are returned.

Quarter Line (1Q, 2Q, 3Q, 4Q)

- Any bet placed on a specific quarter in a basketball or football game.

Reverse Bet

- This occurs when two IF bets are placed.


- The amount that is bet on a particular sporting event.

Round Robin

- A style of tournament that allows many parlays to occur at the same time.

Run Down

- A summary of the betting lines determined for a specific date, sport, or time.

Run Line

- Particular to Baseball, this is their version of a Point Spread.


- A gambling term for professional or highly experienced bettors.


- The teams in a sporting event.


- A simple wager.


- Much like a bookie, any company accepting bets, in this case on sporting events.


- A short reference used in the same fashion as a Point Spread. Usually posted by the line maker, this is determined by the odds of the outcomes of a sporting event.


- Someone new to betting on sports.

Standard Line

- When a betting line is -110 for all sides. Standard lines have 10% juice.


- When a betting line changes and is reposted because of how popular it is among bettors.


- The specific amount of a placed bet.

Staight Bet

- A bet placed on a single sporting event.

Straight Up (SU) Bet

- When a bet is won despite the point spread. This is commonly known as a moneyline wager as well.

Sweetheart Teaser

- A teaser which brings together 3 or 4 football or basketball bets and allows for gamblers to adjust their total and point spread in their favor.

Taking The Points

- Wagering on the underdog in the Point Spread.

Taking The Price

- Wagering on the underdog in the Moneyline.


- A parlay that allows for an increased point spread or total in exchange for reduced payout odds.


- Used interchangeably with wager because real world sports betting used to involve giving tickets as proof of a wager. Many still do, such as horse races!


- Also known as a Push. Risk amount of wager is returned to the bettor.


- The score of both teams in an event combined, including any overtime.

Totals Bet

- A bet made on the total score of both teams added together.


- Someone selling services as a sports handicapper.


- A bet on the sum score of all teams in a sporting event with the Total amount being under a certain value. The opposite of an Over.


- Any team expected to lose an event. Also called the "dog".


- Getting the best possible odds on a wager.

Vig or Vigorish

- A bookmaker's commission. Also called the "juice," which is assumed to be at least 10% on a losing wager.


- Risking money on the outcome of an event. Also called a bet.

Wise Guy

- A highly successful sports bettor.

You're Now a Sports Betting Terms Definition Master!

With the knowledge you've gained here on gambling terms for sports, slang for gamblers, and betting terminology, you're now fully equipped to bet like a Wise Guy, beat the Spread, and walk away a winner with any Bookie you happen to Wager with. Best of luck in your Sports Betting!