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Glossary

Actuarially fair

The odds that accurately reflect the underlying probability of the event. The actuarially fair odds of an event that has a 25% chance of occurring are $4

Arbitrage

A riskless profit created when you place a bet on both sides of a market such that no matter the outcome, you win money. The opportunity to arbitrage is usually the result of market mis-pricing, or slow market movements.

Asian line

A form of spread betting used heavily in soccer, whereby a handicap is added to teams to eliminate the possibility of a draw, and thus provide a two-way outcome. If you have a handicap of -1.5, your team needs to win by 2 or more for the bet to win.

Bankroll

The sum of money used to finance betting over a given period.

Betting exchange

A marketplace where bettors make bets by buying and selling between each other. You’ll typically find better odds than traditional bookmakers on popular markets, and as such betting exchanges are often the best places to ‘close off’ bets.

Bonus bet

A bet that is granted by a bookmaker as a result of a special offer. These bets are different in that only the profit from the bet is returned.

Bookmaker margin

The profit margin set by a bookmaker on a given event or market. The bookmaker’s margin is the difference between fair odds and the actual odds, and thus a low bookmaker’s margin is desirable for punters

Derivatives

Betting markets that ‘derive’ their value from the overall event, but are bet on separately. A 1st Quarter line is an example of this, as the price is derived from the full game market odds.

Exotics

Also known as a proposition bet, exotics include markets such as “First goal scorer” or “Player total points over/under” which are not directly dependent on the end match result. Exotics are subject to higher bookmaker margins since they are less liquid than main markets.

Implied probability

The probability of an event occurring based purely on the odds being offered on that outcome. An event paying $5 has a implied probability of 1 in 5 assuming no bookmaker’s margin. With a bookmaker’s margin, a 1 in 5 chance will pay less than $5.

Line bet

Also known as spread betting or handicap betting, a bookmaker will set a ‘line’ which is a points margin that puts the outcomes at equal odds. This means the favourite will have to win by more than the line amount for the bet to win, whilst the underdog will have to win, or lose by less than the line amount.

Matched bet

The ‘counter’ bet placed with another bookmaker to ensure a real money payout from a bonus bet.

Price up

The act of a bookmaker setting the opening odds for a particular market.