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Matched betting glossary

This matched betting glossary explains key terms and jargon for matched bettors.

Here is an A to Z of matched betting terminology.


ACCUMULATOR (ACCA) – a bet comprising of several selections. Accumulator matched betting.

ANTE-POST – a betting market that is available a long time before a sporting event starts. Matched bettors should avoid ante-post betting on horse racing, as if your horse becomes a non-runner you lose your stake.

ARBITRAGE BETTING – placing a bet where the back odds are higher than the lay odds to guarantee a profit. Matched betting arbing.

ASIAN HANDICAP – an advantage matched betting technique. See this Smarkets article for a full explanation.


BACK BET – a bet for an outcome to happen at a bookie or exchange. For example, betting on “Liverpool to win” is a back bet.

BANKROLL MANAGEMENT – a method of controlling risk to your bankroll when advantage playing. Betting a small percentage figure of your overall bankroll on each bet.

BEST ODDS GUARANTEED (BOG)Bet on a horse at a specific price. If the Starting Price is greater than the price taken, you will be paid out at the higher odds. Best Odds Guaranteed

BETTOR – an individual who places bets at a bookmaker (backing) or betting exchange (laying).

BETTING EXCHANGE – a platform that allows customers to place back and lay bets. Exchanges make money by charging a percentage on winning exchange bets. Betting exchange guide

BLACKJACK – a casino table game with the highest RTP rating.

BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE (BTTS) – a betting market for whether both teams will score a goal in a match. “BTTS Yes” requires both teams to score any time in the match for the bet to win. Conversely, “BTTS No” requires neither or just one of the teams to score.


COMMISSION – an amount paid to a betting exchange when your lay bet wins.


DECIMAL ODDS – a method of displaying odds as a decimal figure. Multiply decimal odds by your stake to give the return should your bet win.

DOUBLE – a bet on two different sections. Both selections need to win to gain a return.

DUTCHING – betting on all possible outcomes for a given event. For example, backing the home team, the away team and a draw in a football match at different bookmakers. Use Trickybet 2-way dutching and Trickybet 3-way dutching to calculate your dutching stakes.


EACH-WAY – backing the win part and the place part of a selection in the same bet.

EXPECTED VALUE (EV) – the mathematical value of an offer over the long-term.


FIXED ODDS BETTING TERMINAL (FOBT) – a terminal located in betting shops that offer fixed odds sports betting. Also refers to betting shop machines that offer slots and casino games.

FRACTIONAL ODDS – the traditional format for displaying odds such as 2/1, 3/1, 4/1.

FREE BET – a free bet is awarded by the bookmaker for singing-up and placing a qualifying bet. We make our profit from free bets.


GUBBING – when a bookmaker bans a customer from free bets/bonuses/ promotions, as the bettor is considered an unprofitable customer. What is gubbing?


HALF-TIME/FULL TIME (HT/FT) – a betting market for the result of both halves in a football match.


INDEPENDENT BOOKMAKER – a smaller bookmaker, not one of the bigger bookmaking companies. Also known as an ‘indie bookie’. They often derive their odds from an outsourcing provider.


JACKPOT OFFERS – freeplay games at selected bookmakers such as Betfair Sports Pools. Bookmaker free games.


KWIFF – An app-based bookmaker.


LAY BET – a bet against an outcome to happen at a betting exchange. Lay betting in matched betting.

LIABILITY – the amount of money that you could lose on a lay bet if your lay bet loses. You need not worry about this in matched betting as you match the lay bet with a back bet.


MATCH ODDS – a betting market for the winner of a football match, expressed as Home/Draw/Away or 1×2 with 1 denoting the Home Team, x the Draw, and 2 the Away Team.


NON-RUNNER (NR) – when a horse is withdrawn from running in a race.


ODDS – a figure used to show the probability of an outcome happening. Odds are in fractional or decimal format.

OVERROUND – a bookmakers profit margin. See Caan Berry’s guide for a detailed definition.


PALPABLE ERROR (PALP) – when a bookmaker cancels a bet as they have displayed the incorrect odds by mistake.

PUNTER – an individual who places bets with a bookmaker. Bookmakers love mug punters that bet on poor value odds. Conversely, a sharp punter (matched bettor, advantage player) takes value odds.


QUALIFYING BET  an initial cash bet at a bookie that will qualify you for a free bet or bonus. Usually has a minimum odds requirement.


RELOAD OFFERS – offers for existing customers after completing initial sign-up bonuses. Matched bettors use reload offers to earn regular profits. What are reload offers?

RETURN TO PLAYER (RTP) – a casino term for the percentage of all wagered cash a casino game will return to punters over the long-term. In theory, if you bet 100 x £1 stakes on a game with a 96% RTP,  you would expect to win £96 on average over time.

RULE 4 – Tattersalls rule 4 is actioned when a horse race contains a non-runner. The remaining horses in the market are subject to reductions in the odds depending on the odds of the non-runner horse. Rule 4 applies to back bets at bookies and exchange bets. The exchange lay is typically reduced more than bookie back bets. This is often favourable for matched bettors.


SELF-SERVICE BETTING TERMINAL (SSBT) – a physical terminal located in a betting shop that displays fixed odds betting selections. The odds are usually very poor.

SEQUENTIAL LAYING – laying a multiple bet over several selections. Often used for accumulator insurance offers.

SETTLING – When a bookmaker or exchange confirms the winner and loser in a betting market and pays out winnings to the relevant party. Settling is usually completed within 24 hours of the event outcome.

SHARBING – the practice of arbitrage betting in betting shops. Shop arbing guide.

SHUBBED – when a betting shop marks you as an arber or sharp punter. The bookie will monitor your bets and restrict sakes (to SP only in severe cases). Betting shop staff may phone your bets through to the trading room for Permission to Lay (PTL).

SINGLE – a bet on a single selection. Only one selection needs to win to see a return.

STAKE NOT RETURNED (SNR) – Stake Not Returned free bet/bonus. A free bet bonus that does not return a stake if it wins. How to profit from a free bet.

STARTING PRICE (SP) – Starting Price is the back odds of a horse when the race starts.

STAKE RETURNED (SR) – Stake Returned free bet/bonus. A free bet/bonus that returns the stake with winnings. An SR bonus usually has a wagering requirement before the bonus converts to cash.


TOALSBET – A popular Irish bookmaker.


UNDERLAY  underlying is laying just your back bet stake plus exchange commission. The idea is to increase your winnings if the back bet wins, or break even if the back bet loses. Overlay and underlay.


VARIANCE – a term for the spread of payouts on casino games to a certain RTP e.g. lower variance gives regular and small wins, high variance games typically payout larger wins less often.


WAGERING REQUIREMENT (WR)wagering requirement. The number of times a bonus has to be turned over before the bonus converts to withdrawable cash.


X – The letter “X” denotes the draw outcome on a football betting coupon.


YANKEE – a 4 selection wager consisting of 11 bets: 6 doubles, 4 trebles and a four-fold accumulator

In addition to the matched betting glossary, here are some useful links: calculators:

Extra resources

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