Category Archives: Sports Betting


Betting Glossary

Accumulator – Also known as a Parlay or multiple. A multiple bet where two or more bets are chosen and all these selections must win for the accumulator to payout.

Action – A bet/wager of any kind.

Added Game – A game that is not part of Las Vegas regular posted as an accommodation to customers.

Advantage – Also known as the edge, juice or vigorish. A bookmaker’s commission.

AFC – American football Conference. The winners of this division will play the winners of the NFC in the Super bowl to decide which team is the NFL champion.

Ajax – 1) UK slang for betting terms 2) Dutch soccer side from Amsterdam that have won the Eredivisie 27 times.

All-up – Also known as an Accumulator or Parlay.

American football – the European term for football.

American League – Often abbreviated to AL. one of two MLB divisions.

Ante Post – Also known as Futures. This is a bet that is placed in advance predicting the outcome of a future event.

Arbitrage – Where a variation in odds available allows a bettor to back both sides and guarantee a win.

ATS – ‘Against the Spread’ – taking points rather than betting with the spread and laying points.

Australian Open – one of the four grand slams of tennis. The tournament takes place in Melbourne Park.

Backed – A bet selection (i.e. team, player) that is proving very popular and has had strong betting support.

Bad beat – losing under unusual or exceptional circumstances.

Banker – Highly expected to win – the favourite of favourites.

Bank roll – indicates how much credit there is in a bettor’s sportsbook account.

Bar Price – The odds of selections at their last quoted price.

Baseball – a popular American sport that consists of two teams with the aim of getting the most points.

Basketball – a popular sport that has two sides playing in a court with the aim of getting the most points.

Beard – a friend or acquaintance that places bets in order to hide the true identity of the true bettor. A betting red herring so-to-speak.

Beef – slang term for a dispute.

Beeswax – Also known as Bees or Ajax. The UK term for betting tax.

Bet – A wager of any kind.

Betting line – a priced wager of any kind. Essentially, a betting opportunity.

Betting Tax – A Tax on a Bookmakers turnover. Also known in the UK as Duty.

Bettor – someone that makes a bet.

Book – An establishment that accepts bets on Sports or/and horseracing.

Bookmaker – The person that creates odds for people to bet on. A bookmaker is licensed to accept bets/wagers.

Bookie – Slang for a bookmaker.

Bonus (es) – Comp points and rewards granted by bookmakers/sportsbooks for bettors/members.

Bottle – UK term for odds of 2-1.

Boxing – A popular sport between two contestants. Using only their fists, their aim is to knockout their opponent or achieve a points victory. This usually takes place in 12 rounds. Four separate bodies currently offer various titles, IBF, WBA, WBO and WBC

BR – Abbreviation for a bankroll.

Bridge Jumper – A bettor that specializes in large show bets on odds-on favourites.

British Open – one of golf’s Four Majors and is played at St Andrews course in Scotland.

Buck – A bet of $100.

Burlington Bertie – The price of 100-30.

Buying Points – Also known as moving the line. A bettor pays to receive half a point or more in his favour on a spread game.

Buy Price – In Spread or Index betting, the higher figure quoted by an Index Bookmaker.

Buy the Rack – A bettor buys all available doubles or other combination ticket.

Canadian Line – A combination point spread and money line in ice hockey.

Carpet – UK term for odds of 3-1.

Century – £100 GBP.

Chalk – A favourite.

Chalk Player – A bettor that wagers on favourites and rarely bets on underdogs.

Champions League – Also known as the European Cup. European soccer’s most lucrative knockout competition. All countries under UEFA’s wing have a certain amount of club representatives that play each other until there is one remaining team. This team are then crowned champions of Europe.

Churn – the effect of betting and re-betting money.

Circled Game – A game where the bookmaker limits the maximum bet.

Closing Line – The final list of point spreads offered before the game.

Combination bet – Selecting any number of teams/horses to finish first and second in either order.

Colt – A male horse that is 4 years old or younger.

Cover – To bet the spread by the required number of points.

Daily double – A horseracing bet in which a player picks the winning horses of two chosen races.

Dead Heat – A term in horseracing for a race where two horses finish equal. Both horses are declared winners.

Deposit Betting – Betting with money deposited in advance with a bookmaker

Dime bet – a $1000 wager.

Dime Line – a betting line where the juice is 10%.

Dividend – The payout or return on any bet.

Dog – The underdog or outsider.

Dog Player – A bettor that chooses to wager on the Dog or outsider.

Dollar bet – a $100 wager.

Double – A bet on two separate events or two parts of the same event.

Double carpet – UK slang for odds of 33-1, based on Carpet.

Double header – Two separate games played by the same teams on the same day.

Draw – When two teams/competitors finish the game evenly and honours are shared.

Drift – odds that have lengthened

Each way – UK term for betting on a team/competitor to win and/or secure a ‘place’.

Earn – Practical hold percentage.

East Coast Line – Mainly used in ice hockey, which has a split-goal line e.g. – NY Rangers (1 – 1 ½) favourite over the Vancouver Canucks as opposed to goal spread plus moneyline (-1/2 -180).

Edge – A bookmaker’s commission. Also known as Advantage, vigorish and juice.

English Premier League – England’s top soccer league.

Eredivisie – Holland’s top soccer league.

Even money – A 1.1 odds bet.

Event – Another term for a race, tournament, match or any betting contest.

Exacta – A selection of two horses to come 1st and in 2nd in a race in exact order.

Exotic Wager – Any other action bet aside from a straight bet or parlay.

Exposure – the amount of money the bookmaker actually stands to lose on a game.

Extension – the amount of money the bookmaker potentially will lose on a game.

Extra-time (European terminology; also see Overtime) – a set period of additional playing time – usually two 15 minute halves – played at the conclusion of Normal Time where a game is tied, but the competition format requires a positive result. If there is no result after Extra Time, penalties usually apply in soccer. For betting purposes the result is usually graded (settled) on the result after Normal Time except where stated in the bet rules e.g. NBA games and NHL Overtime included bets. Not to be confused with Time Added On aka Added Time aka Injury Time aka Stoppage Time, which is an extension of Normal Time (90 minutes in soccer) to compensate for disruptions in game play.

FA Cup, The – English soccer’s foremost knockout competition.

Favourite – the expected winner of a game/race; the entrant with the lowest odds.

Favoured – a team/contestant that is popular with the bettor.

Field – all the competitors in an event.

Figure – the amount owed to or by a bookmaker.

Filly – A female horse that is 4 years old or under.

Final four – The remaining four college teams from an original field of 64.

Firing – the act of betting large amounts.

First Half bet – a bet solely for the outcome of the first half of a game.

Fixed game – A game in which at least one of the competitors/teams wilfully manipulates the outcome of the game.

Fixed odds – If the odds are fixed when you make your bet, the odds remain the same until the settlement of the bet.

Flag – 23 bets; a Yankee plus 6 single stakes about bets in pairs on 4 selections in different events.

Flash – change of odds information on tote board.

Flea – a low-wagering bettor that continually requests bonuses.

Fold – an indication of the number of selections in an accumulator (e.g. 6-fold – 6 selections).

Football – 1) The European term for soccer. 2) Also known as American football in Europe. One of the most popular American sports, Football is a game between two sides aiming to outscore each other with the use of an oval ball.

Forecast – Also known as a Perfecta or Exacta. It means wagering on what selection finishes 1st and 2nd for a particular event. Forecasts can be straight, reversed or permed.

Form – the previous placing/results of a team/competitor. For example, the previous six-match form of English soccer side Manchester United could be win, win, draw, lose, lose, lose.

Four majors – Golf’s four most prestigious tournaments; the Masters, the US Open, PGA in the US and the British Open.

French Open – one of the four grand slams of tennis. The tournament takes place in Roland Garros in Paris.

Full cover – All the doubles, trebles and accumulators involved in a given number of selections.

Furlong – This term is often used in horse racing and is a unit of distance equal to 1/8 of a mile or 220 yards.

Future – Also known as Ante post. A bet on the outcome of a major event like the Super bowl or a soccer league such as the English Premier League.

Gambler – Also known as a bettor or player. Someone that makes a bet.

German Bundesliga – Also known as the Deutsche Bundesliga. Germany’s top football league.

Getting Down – Placing a bet or making a wager.

Golf – A worldwide popular sports involving a field of individual players seeking to complete the course with the least number of putts.

Grand Slam – tennis’ four most important tournaments: the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

Grand Salami – The total number of goals scored in all the day’s ice hockey matches. You can wager on whether the number will be under or over the amount priced by the bookmaker.

Gross win – a win before expenses.

Half a dollar – $50.

Half time bet – a bet placed only on the second half of a game.

Handicap – also known as the Spread. A Handicap is a bet where the favoured side has points deducted and the underdog points added to even up the bet.

Handicapper – Someone that studies and wagers on sporting events.

Handicapping – the attempt to predict the outcome of a game.

Handle – Total amount of bets taken.

Hang Cheng – The Asian equivalent of a point spread.

Hedging – Placing bets on the opposite side in order to cut losses or guarantee a minimum amount of winnings.

Heinz – A multiple bet consisting of 57 bets involving 6 selections in different events (15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15×4 folds).

Hold – The percentage the house/sportsbook wins.

Home Team – the team that is playing in their own town/stadium.

Hook – Half a point added to football and basketball betting lines.

Hoops – Slang for a basketball game.

Horse racing – the term for the very popular sport that see horses contesting in races for a prize.

Hot game – A game that has had many wagers on one side by handicappers.

House – The slang term for the bookmaker, sportsbook or betting establishment that offers betting lines.

IBF – International Boxing Federation. This is also the name of a boxing title.

Ice-hockey – a sports that is popular in both America and Europe. A game is played between two teams on ice trying to obtain the highest score.

Index Betting – another term for spread betting.

In the money – A term used in horse racing for a horse that finished first, second or third.

Joint favourite(s) – the term for two teams/contestants that have equal lowest pricing.

Jolly – bookmaker’s slang for ‘favourite favourite’.

Juice – Also known as the Edge and vigorish, a bookmaker’s commission.

Kite – UK slang term for a check.

Knockout competition – this type of contest is present in most sports and features a set number of teams that eliminate each other round by round until there is only one team left. The remaining team is usually wins a trophy for its efforts.

La Liga – Also known as the Primera Liga. Spain’s top soccer league.

Lay a bet – An acceptance of a bet by a bettor to the bookmaker.

Lay a price – betting the favourite by laying money odds.

Laying the points – Betting the favourite by giving up points.

Layoff bet – A wager made by one bookmaker with another to help balance his action and reduces his risk on one side or one horse.

LBO – Abbreviation for Licensed Betting Office in the UK.

Lengthen – the movement by the linemaker of odds so that they are made longer.

Limit – the maximum amount a bookmaker will permit a bettor to wager on certain odds.

Line – Also known as betting line. The betting proposition on a game and/or payoff odds on the bet.

Linemaker – The person that sets the original and subsequent betting lines.

Listed Pitchers – A baseball bet on the pitchers that will participate in the game.

Lock – also known as banker. A certain winner.

Long odds – Odds that are greater than 1,000.

Long shot – a team/competitor that is a far outsider and large underdog.

Lucky 15 – 15 bets involving 4 selections in different events (I.e. 4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and 1 fourfold).

Lucky 31 – 31 bets consisting of 5 selections in different events (I.e. 5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 fourfold plus 1 five-fold).

Lucky 63 – 63 bets consisting of 6 selections in different events (I.e. 6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-fold, 6 five-folds, and 1 six-fold).

Mare – A female horse that is 5 years old or more.

Margin – The amount a competitor in an event finishes in front of another competitor.

Masters, The – One of golf’s Four Majors. This tournament and is played at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia.

Middle – To win on both sides of the same contest; by backing the underdog at one point spread and then the favourite at a different point and winning both sides.

MLB – Abbreviation for Major League Baseball. It’s divided into two divisions, National League and the American League.

Money line – Odds that represent what amount has to be wagered or what can be won. For example, if there is a minus sign (-) next to an amount, you have to wager that amount to win $100. If there is a plus sign (+) next to an amount, you will receive that amount for every $100 wagered.

Move the line – Also known as buying points. A bettor pays to receive half a point more in his favor on a spread point game.

Multiples – Also known as Accumulator. A multiple bet where two or more bets are chosen and all these selections must win for a payout.

MVP – An abbreviation for Most Valuable Player award.

National League – Often abbreviated to NL. One of two MLB divisions.

NAP – A best bet of the day tip by a newspaper.

NBA – Abbreviation for National Basketball Association. This is name of the professional basketball body of America.

NCAA – Abbreviation for National Collegiate Athletic Association. This is the name of the governing body of college sports in America.

Neutral Site – An arena, stadium or pitch where neither side has home advantage.

NFC – The abbreviation for National Football Conference. This is one of two football divisions in America. The other is the AFC. The two winners of these competitions meet in the Super bowl to decide the NFL champion.

NFL – The abbreviation for National Football League.

NHL – The abbreviation for National Hockey League. This is America’s foremost professional ice-hockey association.

Nickel – $500.

Nickel Line – A betting line where the juice or bookmakers edge is 5%.

NIT – The abbreviation for National Invitational Tournament. This is one of America’s foremost basketball tournaments.

No Action – A bet where no money is lost or won.

Normal Time (soccer) – the two standard 45-minute periods of play in a soccer game. Unless otherwise specified, wagers on the outcome of a match will be decided based on Normal Time and any time the referee adds on to compensate for injuries and other stoppages. Unless otherwise specified, it does not include periods of extra time, golden goals or penalty shootouts.

Odds – the bookmaker’s evaluation of the chance of a team or competitor winning. It is adjusted to include a profit, otherwise known as the bookmaker’s edge.

Odds against – When the odds are greater than evens (e.g. 5/2).

Odds compiler – Also known as a bookmaker. Someone that decides the price and odds of a team/competitor.

Odds on – This has a minus sign and is worked out in reverse. It is the amount a bettor has to wager to win $100.

Oddsmaker – also known as a bookmaker. Someone that decides the price and odds of a team/competitor.

Off the board – This is the term for a game that a bookmaker refuses to accept any bets.

One – $100.

Out – a term for an illegal bookmaker.

Outsiders – Also known as a dog or underdog. A long-odds team/competitor that is not one of the favorites and is not expected to win.

Overlay – When the odds on a proposition are in favor of the bettor rather than the house.

Over – A wager on whether the combined amount of points/goals by both teams in one match will be over the priced amount.

Overtime (North American terminology; also see Extra-time) – a set period of additional playing time played at the conclusion of Regulation or Normal Time where a game is tied. For betting purposes, the result is usually graded (settled) on the result after Normal Time except where stated in the relevant bet rules e.g. NBA games and NHL Overtime included bets. Not to be confused with Time Added aka Injury Time aka Stoppage Time, which is an extension of Normal Time (90 minutes in soccer) to compensate for disruptions in game play.

Over-under – the opportunity to bet on the combined amount of points/goals both teams will score in the match. A bettor can choose over or under the priced amount.

Parlay – Also known as an accumulator or multiple bet. A multiple bet where two or more bets are chosen and all these selections must win for the accumulator to payout.

Past Post – to make a bet after the event has started.

Patent – 7 bets involving 3 selections in different events, i.e. a single on each selection, plus 3 doubles, and 1 treble.

Payout – Also known as winnings or return. A payout is how much a bettor receives from the bookmaker as a consequence of winning the bet.

Perfecta – Also known as a forecast or exacta. A selection of two horses to come 1st and in 2nd in a race in exact order.

PGA – Abbreviation for Professional Golfers Associations. The official and recognized body for golf.

Pick – when neither team is favoured.

Picks – a selection of bets usually chosen by an expert or knowledgeable person.

Pick ‘em – Also known as pick. When neither team is favoured.

Place – to wager on the team/competitor/horse to finish in the top two, three, four or five in an event/tournament.

Player – Also known as a bettor or gambler. Someone that makes bets.

Point Spread – Also known as the handicap. Referring to the points given to the underdog to level the odds with the favourite.

Postponed – When an event is cancelled and rescheduled for a later date.

Press – the betting of an unusually large amount.

Price – Also known as the odds. A price is decided by the bookmaker to reflect the chances of that particular team/contestant winning or placing in an event field.

Primera Liga – Also known as La Liga. This is Spain’s top soccer league.

Prop – Also known as a Special bet. A prop is short for proposition bet, which are odds set by the bookmaker on unique and various topics. This can include politics, pop music, etc.

Proposition bet – also known as a Prop or Special bet. This type of bet is odds set by the bookmaker on unique and various topics. This can include politics, pop music, etc.

Pucks – A slang word for the game of ice hockey.

Puckline – Giving odds of a goal spread instead of using a Canadian line, which uses both a goal spread and money line.

Punter – slang term for a bettor.

Puppy – Also known as a dog or underdog. The outsider in a bet – the unfavoured team/competitor.

Push – Also known as a draw or tie. A push is when there is no winner or loser in a bet.

Rained out – A game that is cancelled because of bad weather.

Return – Your total winnings on a bet.

Reverse – this bet applies for horseracing when a bettor asks for a second exacta wager but this time having the two horses in reverse place order to that of the first exacta.

Round Robin – A series of parlays. A three-team round robin consists of one three-team parlay and three two-team parlays.

Run down – All the betting information and lines for a specific, date, time, etc.

Run line – Refers to baseball when a spread is used instead of a money line.

Runner – Also known as a beard. This is a person that places bets on behalf of someone else in an effort to disguise the identity of the true bettor. A betting masquerader in other words.

Ryder Cup – This is a prestigious golf tournament that takes place every two years between an American and European team.

Scalper – Someone who attempts to profit from the differences in odds from different books by betting both sides of the same game at different prices.

Score – To win a lot of money.

Scouts – Refers to a bettor that waits for what he considers to be an unusually strong wager. Basically, he is keeping an eye on the market movement and betting activity before choosing his bet.

Scratch – Refers to horseracing when a horse is withdrawn from the race before it has started. All wagers on this horse are then refunded.

Sharp – Another term for a wise guy – a professional gambler.

Shorten – when a bookmaker reduces the odds. The opposite to lengthen.

Shortstop – someone that bets small amounts and doesn’t bet often.

Show – This is a bet in horseracing that you collect if a horse comes first second or third.

Shut Out – What happens to a bettor who gets on the betting line too late and is still waiting in line when the window closes. Also, in sports betting, when the losing team does not score.

Side – To win one side and tie the other. For example, if you lay -2 1/2 and take 3 on the same game and the favourite wins by 3 you have SIDED the book. The book has been SIDED.

Single – Also known as a straight bet. Refers to a singular bet on one team, competitor or horse.

Single Stakes About (or SSA) – A bet consisting of 2 bets on two selections (1 single on each selection any to come 1 single on the other selection reversed).

Soccer – Also known as football in Europe. A very popular sport in most continents. It involves two teams of eleven players attempting to win a 90 minute match by scoring the most goals. A goal constitutes the placement of a soccer football into the opposition’s net excluding the usage of hands.

Special bet – Also known as a proposition bet. This type of bet is odds set by the bookmaker on unique and various topics. This can include politics, pop music, etc.

Sportsbook – The person, shop or website who accepts bets.

Spread – Also known as a point spread. Referring to the points given to the underdog to level the odds with the favourite.

Spread betting – Also known as action line or moneyline. The amount that must be wagered to win $100, or the amount won for a $100 wager. A bet is won or lost according to whether you correctly predict the result of an event. Returns or losses are calculated in proportion to how right or wrong the bettor is, and can lead to huge returns or losses.

Square – The opposite to a sharp – someone that bets casually and is not a professional or full-time gambler.

Stanley Cup – the top knockout competition in ice hockey.

Stake – another term for a wager.

Steam – refers to heavy movement on a betting line, which is usually caused by many people betting on it.

Store – Also known as a book, bookmaker or other betting establishment. Essentially, somewhere you can place a bet.

Straight bet – This is the name of a bet on just one team, competitor or horse.

Sucker bet – refers to a betting line that has a large house edge.

Super bowl – The grand tournament of American football. The winners of the AFC and NFC divisions play each other to establish who is the NFL champion.

Super Heinz – 120 bets involving 7 selections in different events, i.e. 21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds and 1 seven-fold.

Super Yankee – Is a multiple bet more commonly known as a Canadian. A Super Yankee is a Yankee type bet with five selections instead of four.

System – A method of betting, usually mathematically based, used by a bettor to try to get an advantage.

Taking the points – betting on the underdog and its advantage in a points spread.

Taking the price – Betting on the underdog and accepting money odds.

Tapped – to be broke or busted and have no cash/credit left in the account.

Teaser – A bet on two or more teams where the bettor can add or subtract points from the spread to make their bets stronger in return for reduced odds. All results must match the selections to win the teaser.

Tennis – a popular competitive sport between two individuals (‘singles’ match) or two groups of two (‘doubles’ match).

Thick ‘un – A large bet.

Ticket – another term for wager.

Tie – Also known as push or draw. This is a bet where no money is lost or won because the teams/competitors score and finishing place were equal to the number of points in the given line.

Tips – The selections and predictions of competitor’s performance for an event from an expert or observer.

Tipster – someone that offers tips on events.

Total – A sports bet for the combined amount of goals, points or runs scored by all teams in a game or event. The bettor will wager on whether the total amount will be over or under a priced amount.

Tout Service – A business that sells opinions and tips on sports events.

Tote – Short for Totalisator. A system introduced to Britain in 1929 to offer pool betting on racecourses.

Trifecta – A horseracing bet where someone can wager on three horses to finish in the top three in one exact order.

Triple sharp – a phrase for the ‘ultimate’ betting professionals; the sharpest of the sharp.

Trebles – A triple bet on three events. A form of parlay or accumulator.

Trixie – A Trixie consists of 4 bets involving 3 selections in different events, i.e. 3 doubles plus 1 treble.

True Odds – The real odds of something happening as opposed to what bookmakers offer.

Two Ball Betting – A golf bet that involves predicting which player from a group of two will shoot the lowest score over 18 holes.

Three ball betting – A golf bet that involves predicting which player from a group of three will shoot the lowest score over 18 holes.

UEFA – The governing body of European soccer.

Under – This refers to a Total bet, where the bettor wagers on whether the total amount of goals/points will be under a certain priced figure.

Underdog – Also known as dog and outsider. This is the contestant/team that is the least likely to win and has a large price.

Underlay – When the odds on a proposition are in favour of the house.

Union Jack – A bet consisting of 8 trebles on 9 selections A to I: ABC, DEF, GHI, ADG, BEH, CFI, AEI, and CEG.

US Open – One of tennis’ four grand slams. This event is played in Flushing Meadows in New York.

Value – Getting the best odds on a betting proposition – those with the lowest bookmaker’s edge.

Vigorish – Also known as juice, edge. This represents the bookmaker’s commission.

VS – against, i.e. Red Sox VS Yankees.

WBA – Abbreviation for World Boxing Association. One of boxing’s four most coveted championships.

WBC – Abbreviation for World Boxing Championship. One of boxing’s four most coveted championships.

Welsh/Welch – To fail to pay a gambling bet.

Wimbledon – One of the four grand slams of tennis. This event is based in Wimbledon, South West London.

Win Only – A bet on a competitor/team to win an event. This is also known as a straight bet or ‘Money Line’ betting.

Wise guy – a well-informed handicapper or bettor.

WNBA – abbreviation for Women’s National Basketball Association.

World Series – A set of seven matches to decide the MLB championship. This final takes place between the two league champions of the American League (AL) and National League (NL).

Yankee – A bet that consists of four selections, combining them into six doubles, four trebles and one fourfold – i.e. eleven bets.


The coin example: How bookmakers work

There are two groups of gamblers, those who hope to win and those who plan to win. By understanding how bookmakers work, you can calculate how to become more profitable with your betting and transform your losses into wins.

The essence of understanding how bookmakers work is understanding where to place a bet. Most novice punters make this mistake because they don’t understand how bookmakers work.

Bookmakers make a profit by pricing their betting markets so that the odds offered do not represent the statistical probability of the event.

For example, betting on a coin toss statistically represents a 50/50 chance (2.0 in decimal odds) on either outcome – heads or tails. You bet £10 to win £10, making this a 100% market.

Bookmakers create markets that go above 100% to create an edge, which is where the bookmaker makes its money.

For the coin toss, bookmakers would offer heads or tails at odds below 2.0, meaning you would have to bet more to win £10. If the odds were offered at 1.91, you would have to bet £11 to make £10, and the market percent is 104.7%. Therefore the bookmaker’s margin is 4.7%.

Football Betting

The 7 principles of gambling

Principle 1: The Discipline of Discipline

It doesn’t matter what type of gambling activity you get involved in.If you enter into gambling transactions without discipline then you are sure to reduce your chances of winning consistently. Casinos I have visited in the UK offer free alcohol when you are gambling because they want you to lose your discipline, and they know that getting you drunk is the easiest way to do it.

Principle 2: Never Chase Losses, Never

If you are betting in-play and events are unfolding against you, there is a temptation to pour more money into the same event in order to get back what you are standing to lose. This tactic only increases the chances that you will lose more. Likewise, adopting the strategy after a loss that you must recoup your losses by betting more on the next event is also a recipe for disaster.

Principle 3: Staking Bank

The one certain thing is that you will never win all of your transactions and some losses are inevitable. Managing your bankroll correctly means that these losing transactions get swallowed up in the big picture but are not noticed in the long run. No single transaction should eat more than 10-15% of your starting bankroll, or the maximum below this that you set yourself. Failure to manage your bankroll correctly is symptomatic of greed. Most gamblers have no structure to their betting activity and place bets without thought to how much they may lose or how much they are trying to win.

Principle 4: Learn to walk away, winner or loser

How you cope with losses plays a huge part in how successful you will be at gambling. Of course, no-one likes to lose but you have to learn to walk away at the point you set yourself, whether you are losing or winning. Not every session will be a winning one and it is important to have the ability to deal with this before you gamble.

 Principle 5: Specializing and specializing

All successful businesses specialize and gambling should be no exception. By specializing, you will be able to better understand and research your particular chosen field.

Principle 6: Please keep a Record Keeping

It is absolutely vital if you wish to take your gambling onto the next level that you keep accurate records of all your activity. The main use for record keeping is to keep track of winning and losing periods in order to make adjustments to your betting strategy and specialize even more to keep losses to a minimum.

Principle 7: Avoid Multiple or Accumulator Bets

Whichever market you wish to specialize in avoid multiples, accumulators or ‘parlays’ as they are known in the US. Combining the odds of multiple events looks attractive on paper but by increasing your possible win, you are at the same time lowering your statistical chance of ever seeing that win. Bookmakers absolutely love gamblers who are blinded by the big numbers who surrender their statistical chance of winning from the start. If you have to be tempted by placing a multiple and the whole thing is relying on the last event to fall in your favor then lay it off to guarantee a win. Don’t sweat it out hoping to be lucky. True gambling is about cutting down the chances of losing, not increasing them.


Read Bernoulli’s Law before start betting

In the 17th century mathematician Jacob Bernoulli created the Law of Large Numbers, and asserted that even the stupidest man understands that the larger the sample, the more likely it is to represent the true probability of the observed event. For betting, this is known as the Gambler’s Fallacy, and can be a very costly misconception.

The Law of Large Numbers

Using a fair coin toss as an example (where the chance of hitting heads and tails has an equal 50% chance), Bernoulli calculated that as the number of coin tosses gets larger, the percentage of heads or tails results gets closer to 50%, while the difference between the actual number of heads or tails thrown also gets larger.

It’s the second part of Bernoulli’s theorem that people have a problem understanding – which has led to it being coined the “Gambler’s Fallacy”. If you tell someone that a coin has been flipped nine times, landing on heads each time, their prediction for the next flip tends to be tails.

This is incorrect, however, as a coin has no memory, so each time it is tossed the probability of heads or tails is the same: 0.5 (a 50% chance).

Bernoulli’s discovery showed that as a sample of fair coin-tosses gets really big – e.g. a million – the distribution of heads or tails would even out to around 50%. Because the sample is so large, however, the expected deviation from an equal 50/50 split can be as large as 500.

This equation for calculating the statistical standard deviation gives us an idea what we should expect:

0.5 × √ (1,000,000) = 500

While the expected deviation is observable for this many tosses, the nine-toss example mentioned earlier isn’t a large enough sample for this to apply.

Therefore the nine tosses are like an extract from the million-toss sequence – the sample is too small to even-out like Bernoulli suggests will happen over a sample of a million tosses, and instead can form a sequence by pure chance.

Applying Distribution

There are some clear applications for expected deviation in relation to betting. The most obvious application is for casino games like Roulette, where a misplaced belief that sequences of red or black or odds or even will even out during a single session of play can leave you out of pocket. That’s why the Gambler’s Fallacy is also known as the Monte Carlo fallacy.

In 1913, a roulette table in a Monte Carlo casino saw black come up 26 times in a row. After the fifteenth black, bettors were piling onto red, assuming the chances of yet another black number were becoming astronomical, thereby illustrating an irrational belief that one spin somehow influences the next.

Another example could be a slot machine, which is in effect a random number generator with a set RTP (Return to Player). You can often witness players who have pumped considerable sums into a machine without success embargoing other players from their machine, convinced that a big win must logically follow their losing run.

Of course, for this tactic to be viable, the bettor would have to have played an impractically large number of times to reach the RTP.

With an understanding of the Law of Large Numbers, and the law (or flaw) of averages consigned to the rubbish bin, you won’t be one of Bernouilli’s ‘stupid men’.


Betting Odds Explained

To wager and win at casinos or bookmakers, it is not necessary to be a genius or mathematical whiz. Many who wager simply bet on hunches and trust their luck, often with excellent results. However, for anyone who wants to be successful at gambling by consistently winning, online or off, having a clear understanding of betting odds is of critical importance.

Odds are nothing more than numbers used to indicate the likelihood that an event will happen or not. For example, when a coin is flipped, it might come up either heads or tails. For someone who believes the result of the next toss will be tails, there is just one way to succeed (win) and one way to fail (lose). Winning or losing is equally likely so the odds are said to be 1-to-1. Other ways of saying this are “the odds are even,” “even odds” or simply “evens.”

There are many ways of expressing odds in writing. They can take the form of a fraction, a ratio, a percentage or a decimal. For the coin flip, there are two possible outcomes, tails being one of them. Tails should come up one out of every two tosses, or ½, or 1:2, or 50% or 0.5. All of these different modes of expression mean the same thing.

In much the same way, when a six-side die is thrown, it might land with any of its six sides appearing face up. For someone who believes the result of the next toss will be a six, for example, there is only one way to succeed (win), while there are five ways to fail (lose). This situation can be expressed as a probability of one out of six, or 1/6, or 1:6, or 16.7% or 0.167.

Whether the event is a coin flip or the roll of a die, the numbers will indicate exactly how likely it is that a given outcome will occur. These are often referred to as “true odds.” When betting, however, the odds that are offered are rarely true odds. That’s because the casino or bookmaker takes a small percentage of every winning wager as a commission or profit. This is known by many names, such as “house edge,” “vigorish” or “juice.”

In the game of European Roulette, the wheel contains 37 numbered slots: 18 coloured black, 18 coloured red and one coloured green—the zero. For someone who believes the result of the next spin will be Black, the casino will pay even money (1-to-1) every time a Black number comes up. However, the true odds are not really 1-to-1. Only 18 of the 37 numbers on the European Roulette wheel are Black. That means there are 18 ways to succeed (win) and 19 ways to fail (lose). The true odds are therefore 19-to-18 against Black—slightly worse than 1-to-1.

This difference between true odds and odds is the house edge. The player is always put at a slight disadvantage that ensures that the casino or bookmaker will earn a profit. In European Roulette, this edge is the result of having the green zero, which is one out of the 37 numbers, or 1/37 or 2.70%. In American Roulette, it is 1/38 or 5.26%.

Other games, such as Blackjack, also have a house edge built in. Depending on the specific house rules, the casino’s advantage at the Blackjack table will vary from 0.15% to 5.48%. By way of comparison, slot machines margins tend to range from 3% to 8%.

For horse races and sports betting, reading the odds can be a little more complicated. Nevertheless, the same principles are used. Bookmakers work with specialists known as “oddsmakers,” who calculate the probability of a runner or team succeeding. The odds that are offered to the public represent their calculations of what the outcome will be, based on true odds by adjusted slightly to include their vigorish.

Perhaps the most common types of odds seen in sports betting are called “fixed odds.” The prices are set before the event begins. They become final as soon as a wager is made, rather like a contract at an agreed amount. Fixed odds are usually expressed as fractions in the U.K., as decimals in continental Europe and as “money lines” in North America.

Fractional odds are the easiest to understand. U.K. bookmakers use them to show how much profit will be earned on a bet. For instance, odds of 3/5 on Arsenal mean the bettor will earn three units on every five units bet if the wager succeeds. A bet of £100 is the same as five units of £20. If the Gunners win, the payout would be three units of £20 or £60 in profit. That the same as receiving £160 in total, including the original stake.

Decimal odds used throughout Europe indicate how much a win will pay in total for each unit wagered. It doesn’t matter whether the unit is £1, £20, £100 or whatever. For example, if Arsenal are favoured to win at 1.60, then a £100 bet will return £160 in total. To calculate the potential of a £15 wager, multiply the bet by 1.60. The expected return is £24 in total.

U.S. money line odds are stated as either positive or negative numbers. Positive money lines refer to underdogs. They indicate how much profit can be won on a stake of 100 units. Negative money lines refer to favourites and show how much has to be wagered in order to win 100 units. In the Arsenal example, a negative money line of -167 would be offered, so a wager of £100, which is roughly equal to 167 units of 60p, would win 100 x 60p = £60.

Thinking back to the initial example of a coin flip, even money bets at true odds would be expressed in the three different systems as follows: fraction = 1/1 (“evens”); decimal = 2.00; and money line = +100. After the bookmaker figures in a commission, the actual odds offered might look like this: fraction = 9/10; decimal = 1.90; and money line = -110.


UK Gambling facts and figures


  • All gambling operators (except currently the National Lottery, which has its own regulator, and spread betting) based in Britain must hold a licence from the Gambling Commission, which is a statutory regulator responsible to Parliament.
  • As at 31 March 2010, the Gambling Commission was licensing 3,275 operators and around 12,900 personal licensees.  The Commission is funded by licence fees from these groups and in 2009/10 it raised over £12 million from these sources.

Size of the industry

  • The Commission estimates that operators it regulates generated around £6 billion in gross gambling yield (stakes less winnings paid out) in 2009/10.
  • Around £1.5 billion is paid in gambling taxes to the Government each year.

Gambling in the UK

  • There are currently only 148 casinos operating in the UK in 53 ‘Permitted Areas’.  There are some undeveloped (1968 Act) licences but the total number is finite and cannot exceed 187.
  • Casino gambling provides direct employment to circa than 14,000 people and as many as 30,000 people in other industries provide services to our operations.
  • The government controls precisely where and how UK casinos operate; it determines the products, the pricing structures, it controls the marketing and licensing of staff and with its control of taxation it determines profitability.

Gambling participation

  • Over 50% of adults in Britain gamble at least once a month.  73% have gambled in the previous 12 months.  This figure goes down to 48% if the National lottery is excluded.


  • European roulette has a far lower house edge than American roulette. The European version gives the house a 2.7% advantage whilst American roulette gives the house a 5.26% edge.
  • The famous Martingale strategy, which requires the gambler to double their stake every time they lose and to continue betting on a 50/50 outcome such as ‘black’ or ‘even’, is mathematically proven to lose immense sums of money when playing roulette.
  • In 2004 a London man successfully doubled his fortune by selling everything he owned and placing the money he made on red at a Las Vegas roulette table.


  • The first set of cards was created in Gaul during the 15th century and the person who designed the original deck modeled his new design on historical figures throughout the ages. For example, did you realise that Charlemagne is actually synonymous with the King of Hearts? Or that Julius Caesar is depicted by the King of Diamonds? Similarly, Alexander the Great is actually the King of Clubs. And finally, King David, of biblical fame, was originally the man behind the King of Spades.


  • By far the most populous form of licensed gambling premises in the UK are betting offices of which there are around 8,500.
  • Bookmakers directly support about 40,700 full-time jobs and indirectly support a further 62,300 making a total of well over 100,000 employees. The industry offers a high number of jobs to those with few formal qualifications, boosting employment opportunities and skills development.
  • The Horserace Betting Levy (known in the industry simply as “the Levy”) was introduced in 1961 when high street betting shops were legalised. It is a statutory financial contribution in the form of a hypothecated tax that bookmakers must pay to the Horserace Betting Levy Board, which then disburses such funds to the horseracing industry for purposes set out in the Betting, Gaming & Lotteries Act 1963. These include veterinary research, the preservation of rare breeds of horses and the general improvement of horseracing. The Board is a non-departmental public body sponsored by DCMS and funded out of the Levy it collects from bookmakers.
  • The largest known bet placed on the Super Bowl was made by an unknown gambler at the Mirage Casino in Las Vegas. The gambler put $2.4 million on San Francisco beating San Diego in Super Bowl XXIX. The 49ers won the gambler $300,000.
  • According to Guinness World Records, the highest odds for an accumulator bet were 3,072,887 to 1 by an unnamed woman from Nottingham on 2 May 1995.

Online gambling

  • Over 2,500 online gambling websites can be accessed from the UK, but the market is completely dominated by a much smaller group of companies who are primarily licensed in Britain, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Malta and Gibraltar.  Many of these such as Ladbrokes, William Hill, Gala Coral and Rank are also known for having land-based operations in the UK as well.
  • If those only playing National Lottery games remotely are excluded, 5.6% of the adult population had participated in remote gambling in the year to March 2009.


  • There were 216 bingo operators licensed by the Commission at 31 March 2009, operating 641 clubs.
  • In 2008 Soraya Lowell, 38, from Hamilton in Lanarkshire won the National Bingo Game and its Platinum Jackpot on Sunday night, netting £1,167,795. The mother-of-four decided to give half of her winnings to Agnes O’Neill, 68, her neighbour and bingo companion who was with her when she hit the jackpot.

Slot machines

  • It is estimated by the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA) that there were over 248,000 gaming machines available to the public at 31 March 2009.
  • The largest jackpot ever won in Las Vegas was $39.7 million and was won in March of 2003 at the Excalibur casino. The lucky winner was a 25-year-old man from Los Angeles that turned a $100 stint at the slots into the biggest win ever recorded. The instantly wealthy man was visiting Vegas for the NCAA basketball tournaments and just sat down at the slot machine to play for a while. He walked away with a whopping $1.5 million payout for the next 25 years.

National lottery

  • Since its launch in 1994, the National Lottery has given over £34 billion in prizes and created over 2,000 millionaires.
  • Total National Lottery ticket sales for the year to 31 March 2009 were £5,149.1 million, an increase of £182.8 million on the previous year.
  • 96% of the UK population either live or work within two miles of a Lottery terminal.


  • It is generally believed that Spanish Sorteo Extraordinario de Navidad is the world’s largest lottery. However, as every number entered is printed on 170 tickets which are usually sold in fractions (usually tenths), the El Gordo prizes are usually split between multiple winners.
  • Mega Millions is a lottery played in 42 US jurisdictions. Since it began as The Big Game in 1996 (it adopted its current name in 2002), it is known for its large jackpot prizes and long odds. On 6 March 2007, a Mega Millions jackpot worth $390 million was split by two tickets, one each from Georgia and New Jersey. To date, this is the largest recorded payout (of an annuity-based prize) in the world. Both winners chose a lump sum payout which was $116,957,083.

Problem gambling

  • The gambling industry has committed to donate a minimum of £5 million per year between 2009 and 2012 to help fund problem gambling related research, education and treatment.
  • Depending on the screen used, the rate for problem gambling in the UK is either 0.7% or 0.9%. These rates are similar to those in other European countries (such as Germany and Norway) and are lower than countries such as the USA and Australia.

The Top 3 Mistakes to avoid

1. Failure to Use Betting Banks

Most gamblers fail to understand that the best method of achieving a healthy and sustained long term profit from racing is to set aside a sum of money away from your main finances, solely for the betting of horses.

Whatever method or system you are using, whoever you are following or subscribing to or however your own bets are calculated, you are better off with a “Betting Bank” that has built -in advantages that can help you. It needs to be independent from your own personal finances and needs to be protected from factors that can threaten it. This can take a lot of emotion out of the decision making process. Emotion is a factor that threatens all punters.

The size of your betting bank will of course be dependant upon your own individual circumstances and free capital available. An analogy to the world of shares perhaps may be that no financial advisor worth his salt would advise you throw all your capital into the stock market alone.

The vast majority of punters fail to use any form of set aside bank. They bet randomly with what ever money they have in their pocket at the end of the week or go in too deep with stakes far in excess of their personal safety levels.

A punter with a professional attitude will set aside what he can comfortably afford to invest and then determine the best use he can make of that fixed sum of capital.

With a fixed sum of capital available you now move on to the next reason for failure.

2.Failure to Stake Correctly

It is vital that you consider your betting bank as capped in amount. You do not have an endless pool of resources to dip into. Betting by its nature carries inherent risks. These risks include periods of low strike rates and long losing runs. Your betting bank and staking should be adapted for the method you use.

You must in advance, prepare yourself for the possibility of a worse than average sequence of losers through adoption of a sufficient number of units in your betting bank.

Correct methodical staking in addition to the mathematical advantage, can also help overcome the risk of emotional reaction to a sequence of unusually positive or negative results.

Take the Pricewise column in the racing post as an example. Long term if you could get on at the advised prices, it would have returned a decent profit overall. During this time however followers would have to have endured runs of up to 40 losers in a row!

Despite the overall long term profit I suspect the vast majority of Pricewise followers would have been terminated either by a failure to set aside a sufficient amount of points or through failure to cope with the emotion of the losing run.

in essence key to winning money is to manage your accounts in a way that protects them as far as possible from the element of risk that the game presents you. With a long term profitable approach at level stakes you need to plan for and anticipate lean or losing periods.

3.Chasing Losses

Chasing losses at first sight may appear to be an easy way to guarantee an eventual profit but the true story is it is a game for fools and statistically will not work unless you generate an overall level stakes profit.

Chasing losses is a game for the ill informed who do not want to make the effort to seek value in their bets. Bookmakers have to price up every race. Punters don’t have to play in every race, they can pick the races they want to bet in, and that is the main edge that people fail to understand. If you have had a losing day, by attempting to chasing your losses you give up that advantage and bet in the races that you should not be betting in. You are therefore betting the way bookmakers want you to and not in the way to win.

Many punters will alter their stakes in the last race either to ”chase” losses or “play up” winnings. Its no coincidence that the bookmakers have ensured that the last race on each day is often a handicap or one of the hardest races that day.

There will be more racing the next day and the day after that. The secret is waiting for opportunities and only betting when you know you have circumstances which favour you and not the bookmakers. You must never change your approach, or deviate from sensible staking as there is no such things as “The Last Race”.

If you’re a newbie punter and haven’t placed a bet as a serious punter before then go through them again and MAKE SURE you don’t repeat any of them in your betting ventures.