List of popular betting and bookmaker terms
Accumulator or Acca for short – A bet involving more than one selection with the winnings from each selection going on to the next selection. All selections must be successful to get a return. Accumulators must be placed with the same bookmaker.
All-Weather racing – Horseracing that takes place on an artificial surface. There are three types of all-weather in the UK and Ireland: Polytrack (Chelmsford, Dundalk, Kempton, and Lingfield), Fibresand (Southwell), and Tapeta (Wolverhampton and Newcastle).
Ante-post – Betting on an event well in advance of the day of the race. In the case of the Classics or big National Hunt races, this could be a year or more before the race takes place. Ante-post betting is offered on about one percent of the total number of races held in Britain each year and is normally available until the overnight declaration stage for runners in the race in question (usually the morning before the day of the race, or two days before in some cases – for example, the Grand National). In return for potentially better odds, you may lose your money if your selection does not take part in the race (depending on when the bet when was struck and if the bookmaker was offering non-runner, no bet).
Best odds guaranteed – A special offer whereby your bookmaker agrees to settle your bet at the starting price (SP) if it is greater than the early price you took when placing on your bet.
Bet Bonuses – Certain special bets will incorporate promotional bonuses or consolations (especially around big festivals). Check with the bookmaker you are using for the full terms and conditions.
Canadian – A multiple bet consisting of 26 bets (10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-folds and a five-fold) and can also be referred to as a Super Yankee.
Co-Favourite – When three or more selections in a race market share the same price/odds.
Decimal odds – Used on the Tote and betting exchanges, instead of fractional odds. Decimal odds are expressed as a figure (in round or decimal terms) that represents the potential total winning return to the punter. So, 4 (or 4.0) in Tote or decimal odds is the same as the conventional 3-1, as it represents a potential total winning return of £4 (including £1 stake) to a £1 stake. You can choose to change the odds displayed on our site to decimal by adjusting your racecard preferences in Settings. Fractional odds are the default. Most bookmakers also offer to display decimal odds as an option.
Dead-heat – A tie between two or more horses for first place, or for one of the other finishing positions. In the event of a dead-heat for first place, when a winning bet has been made, half the stake is applied to the selection at full odds and the other half is lost. If more than two horses dead-heat, the stake is proportioned accordingly.
Dividend – The amount that a winning bet or placed horse returns for every £1 bet.
Double – Consists of one bet involving two selections in different events. Both selections must be successful to get a return, with the winnings from the first selection going on to the second selection. The return is calculated by multiplying the odds on the two selections: e.g. a £10 double on a 2-1 winner and a 7-1 winner pays £240 (£10 on a 2-1 winner = £30, then that £30 on a 7-1 winner = £240).
Draw – At the final declaration stage all entries in a Flat race are issued with a starting stall number. Jumps races (National Hunt) do not have starting stalls.
Each way – A bet where half the total stake is for the selection to win and half is for the selection to be placed (usually in the first three, but in big handicaps the places may extend to fourth, fifth or sixth). If the selection wins, the win portion is calculated in the normal way, while the place portion of the bet is settled at a fraction of the win odds.
This fraction, and the number of places allowed by the bookmaker, depend on the type of race and the number of runners in the race. If the selection is placed but fails to win, the win portion of the stake is lost but, again, the place portion of the bet is settled at a fraction of the win odds.
For the place part of an each-way bet to give a return, the selection must either win or finish in one of the predetermined places for the event, such as first place or second place. The odds paid on the place part of the bet are usually a fraction (commonly 1⁄4 or 1⁄5) of the win odds.
Even money – A price of 1-1. Your stake brings equal winnings: e.g. £10 staked at evens wins £10 (total return £20).
Exacta – A Tote bet available in races where three or more horses are declared whereby the punter predicts the first two finishers in the correct order.
Favourite – The favourite is the selection that has the shortest odds for an event. An f is often displayed after the odds to reflect its position as favourite in the race market (e.g. 2-1f).
Forecast – A bet where the aim is to predict both the winner and runner-up in a race. A straight forecast is the winner and runner-up in the correct order. A reverse forecast (or dual forecast) is the winner and runner-up in either order.
Fractional odds – Fractional odds is the traditional way of displaying odds. They give you your profit excluding your stake (e.g. £10 x 9-1 = £100 including your stake). This is the default on our racecards but you can change to decimal odds, if you prefer, by adjusting your preferences in Settings.
Going to post – When horses are on their way to the start.
Goliath – A multiple bet consisting of 247 bets (28 doubles, 56 trebles, 70 four-folds, 56 five-folds, 28 six-folds, 8 seven-folds and an eight-fold) involving eight selections in different events.
Heinz – A multiple bet consisting of 57 bets (15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds and a six-fold) involving six selections in different events.
Jackpot – The Tote Jackpot is a bet on the first six races at the day’s nominated Jackpot meeting (only available weekdays). All six winners have to be nominated.
Joint favourite – If two horses have the shortest odds in the betting, they are described as joint-favourites; if three or more horses have the shortest odds, they are co-favourites.
Lucky 15 – A multiple bet consisting of 15 bets (4 singles, 6 doubles, 4 trebles and an accumulator) involving four selections in different events.
Lucky 31 – A multiple bet consisting of 31 bets (5 singles, 10 doubles, 10 trebles, 5 four-folds and a five-fold accumulator) involving five selections in different events
Lucky 63 – A multiple bet consisting of 63 bets (6 singles, 15 doubles, 20 trebles, 15 four-folds, 6 five-folds and a six-fold accumulator) involving six selections in different events.
Non-runner – A horse that was originally meant to run in a race but for some reason has been withdrawn.
Non-runner, no bet – In some cases, for example in the run-up to the Cheltenham Festival, a bookmaker may offer money back on any horse that does not take part in a race (in contrast to the usual ante-post betting rules, where money is lost on any non-runner).
Odds – The chance offered for a selection to win. Also known as price.
Odds against – Betting odds where the potential winnings are higher than the stake. Expressed as a fraction in which the numerator is larger than the denominator (e.g. 2-1). The first number refers to the potential winnings, the second to the stake.
Odds on – Betting odds where the stake is higher than the potential winnings if the bet is successful. Expressed as a fraction in which the denominator is larger than the numerator (e.g. 1-2). The first number refers to the potential winnings, the second to the stake.
Patent – A multiple bet consisting of 7 bets (3 singles, 3 doubles and a treble) involving selections in different events.
Photo finish – In a close race, where the placings cannot be determined easily, the result is determined by the judge by examination of a photograph taken by a camera on the finishing line.
A horse who does not win but finishes second or third (or fourth, depending on the type of race and number of runners).
Placepot – A Tote bet with similar rules to the Jackpot, but your selections, in the first six races at the specified meeting, have only to be placed. The minimum stake is £2.
Reverse forecast – A bet where the aim is to predict the winner and runner-up in a race in either order. It can also be known as a dual forecast. A reverse forecast is classed as two bets.
Rule 4 – In full, Tattersalls Rule 4 (c). One of the most commonly invoked betting rules, dealing with deductions from winning bets in the event of any withdrawn runner(s) from a race. The rule applies to winning bets struck at prices (e.g. morning prices) laid before a withdrawal (other than ante-post bets, which are unaffected by Rule 4 (c) and to starting-price bets where, after a late withdrawal, there is insufficient time to re-form the market. The rate of deductions is in proportion to the odds of the non-runner(s) at the time of the withdrawal.
Single – The simplest and most popular bet, normally a win bet on one horse in one race.
Stake – This is the amount of money invested in a bet.
Starting price – Often abbreviated to SP. The starting prices are the final odds prevailing at the time the race starts and are used to determine the payout to winning punters, unless a punter took a specified price at the time of placing the bet.
Steward – One of the officials in overall charge of a race meeting, including disciplinary procedures. The stewards can hold inquiries into possible infringements of the rules of racing, or hear objections to the race result from beaten jockeys. Usually there are three stewards at each race meeting, assisted by a stipendiary steward. The stewards are appointed by the racecourse, subject to approval by the BHA, and are often prominent local figures (much like magistrates).
Steward’s enquiry – A hearing held by the stewards into a race to determine whether the rules of racing have been broken. The enquiry can sometimes change the result of a race and you should therefore check the terms of your bookmaker if this scenario occurs.
Super Heinz – A multiple bet consisting of 120 bets (21 doubles, 35 trebles, 35 four-folds, 21 five-folds, 7 six-folds and a seven-fold accumulator) involving seven selections in different events. A minimum of two selections must be successful to get a return.
Treble – A three-leg accumulator. All three selections must be successful to get a return; the winnings from the first selection automatically go on to the second and then on to the third.
Tricast – A bet where the aim is to predict the winner, runner-up and third-placed horse in a race. Tricasts are not available on all races.
Trixie – A multiple bet consisting of 4 bets (3 doubles and 1 treble) involving three selections in different events. A minimum of two selections must be successful to get a return.
Under starter’s orders/under orders – A phrase used to signal that a race is about to begin. Once the horses are in the stalls for a Flat race, or have lined up at the start for a jumps race, they are said to be ‘under starter’s orders’ (ie. the jockeys are waiting for the starter’s signal to begin the race).
Union Jack – This is a multiple bet consisting of 8 trebles on 9 selections. These are settled as trebles in the formation of a ‘Union Jack’.
Void bet – This is a bet which is declared invalid. The stake is returned without deduction.
Walk over – A race involving only one horse. The horse and jockey do not have to complete the race distance but must pass the winning post to be declared the winner. For settling purposes, the winner of a walkover is considered to be a non-runner.
Yankee – A multiple bet consisting of 11 bets (6 doubles, 4 trebles and a four-fold) involving four selections in different events. At least two selections must be successful to get a return.