Our glossary of punting and gambling definitions

Want to be a more successful punter? Navigating the masses of unique definitions is the first step! Check out our glossary of horse racing, sports betting, bookmaking, betting and gambling definitions.

  • Anchor Drop

    A sudden drop in speed by the frontrunner/s in a race. Usually employed tactically by a jockey to give their horse a rest, or “breather”, during the race.

  • Arbitrage betting

    A form of betting which involves backing all possible outcomes of an event as the odds fluctuate, in order to lock in a guaranteed overall profit no matter what the result.

  • Backmarkers

    Those horses positioned at the rear of the field during the run.

  • Best of the Best

    The term usually given to a dividend type offered by some bookmakers. Winnings are paid at the greater of Top Tote and Top Fluc.

  • Betfair SP

    The Betfair Starting Price market: all back and lay bets in the SP pool are matched to produce a starting price, at which all winning wagers are paid out.

  • Betting exchange

    An alternative to traditional bookmaking, a betting exchange matches wagers from bettors on either side of an outcome: those backing (betting to win) and those laying (betting to lose). Bets are settled, and the exchange charges a commission.

  • Big 6 (Super 6)

    A bet type which requires the bettor to select the winners of six nominated races on the card (usually the last six races).

  • Black Type

    A Group 1, Group 2, Group 3, or Listed grade race.

  • Check

    When the stride or momentum of a horse is interrupted in a race due to traffic, forcing it to slow or change course suddenly.

  • Colt

    An ungelded (entire) male thoroughbred of up to three years of age

  • Commission (betting exchange)

    Revenue collected by a betting exchange. Typically charged as a percentage on bettors’ winnings.

  • Daily Double

    A bet type which requires the bettor to select the winners of two nominated races on the card.

  • Duet

    A bet type which requires the bettor to select any of two of the three place-getters in a race.

  • Early Quaddie

    A variation of the traditional quaddie, usually offered on the four races immediately preceding the traditional quaddie legs, or the first four races of the card.

  • Exacta

    A bet type which requires the bettor to select the first two place-getters in a race (in order).

  • Exotics

    Racing bet types which require the bettor to select multiple places, or the winners of multiple races. Examples include Quinella, Exacta, Duet, Trifecta, First 4, Daily Double, Running Double, Treble, Quadrella, Big 6.

  • Expected value

    The amount a bettor can expect to win or lose, if they were to place a bet at the same odds many times over.

  • Favourite / longshot bias

    An observed tendency amongst bettors to undervalue favourites and overvalue longshots (versus their true odds of winning). Often put down to a “love of risk” or “glory chasing” amongst bettors.

  • Filly

    A female thoroughbred of up to three years of age

  • First 4

    A bet type which requires the better to select the first four place-getters in a race.

  • Frontrunners

    Those horses positioned at the front of the field during the run

  • Gambler’s ruin

    A form of loss chasing. The theoretical “path to ruin” for a gambler who sets his stakes as a fixed percentage of his total bank: increasing his stake size as the bank increases, but failing to decrease it as the bank decreases under the assumption it will speed up a recovery.

  • Gelding

    A male thoroughbred, of any age, that has undergone castration in order to improve its behavior.

  • Gear changes

    A change in the equipment used on a horse from race to race, in a bid to modify its behaviour. Examples include the use (or ceasing the use) of blinkers, winners, nose rolls, tongue ties and different types of horseshoes

  • Handicapper

    An analyst, employed by a racing club or industry body, given the job of determining the weight to be carried by each horse in a handicap race.

  • Horse (specific)

    An ungelded (entire) male thoroughbred of four years of age or greater

  • Inquiry

    An investigation and/or hearing into the running of a race by the race stewards, usually as the result of a protest from the connections of a beaten horse. Can result in the official placings of a race being changed, if a jockey is found to have broken the rules of racing in a manner that affected the outcome.

  • Jackpot

    Usually applies to Quaddie or Big 6 pools when no punter has selected the winning combination. The prize pool “jackpots” and rolls over into the same pool at the next similar meeting.

  • Kelly Criterion

    A staking methodology: a formula used to determine which percentage of the current bank should be staked on any one bet, based on the odds on offer and probability of the bet winning. Proven to perform better over the long run than virtually any other method.

  • Laying

    The opposite of backing: a wager which relies on the prescribed outcome not occurring in order to win. Bookmaking involves laying bets from punters who are backing an outcome to occur (for example, a horse to win a race). Traditionally the role of a bookmaker, the advent of betting exchanges has allowed all punters to engage in laying.

  • Laying in

    During a race, when a horse is pulling sideways toward the inside rail, despite the urging of the jockey to focus momentum forward.

  • Laying out

    The opposite of laying in: when the horse pulls toward the outside rail, rather than the inside.

  • Mare

    A female thoroughbred of four years of age or more.

     

  • Market Percentage

    The sum total of each horses’ percentage odds in a market. Theoretically, a market percentage above 100% would result in the bookmaker making a profit.

  • Mid Tote

    A dividend sometimes offered by corporate bookmakers. Winnings are paid at the second highest dividend of the three Australian totes (SuperTAB, NSW TAB, UBET).

  • Minimum Bet Limits (MBLs)

    Rules which prevent bookmakers from banning or limiting certain punters, by requiring the bookmaker to accept all bets to win up to a defined amount. Currently in force on Victorian and NSW racing, where the MBL is $2,000 for win bets on metropolitan races.

  • Nose

    “By a nose”: a win by an extremely close margin, often resulting in a photo finish.

  • Odds comparison

    An online tool or application which displays the current prices from a number of different bookmakers, allowing the user to select the bookie offering the best price.

  • Overs

    Over the odds: when the available odds are believed to greater than horse’s real odds of winning, therefore resulting in a value bet.

  • PoT

    Profit on turnover: the profit made over a series of bets, expressed as a percentage of the total amount staked in the same period.

  • Progressive staking

    A staking system which aims to increase the size of the bank to a nominated amount with each winning bet. Losses are chased by increasing the stake on the next bet, until a winner increases the bank back to the nominated level.

  • Quadrella (Quaddie)

    A bet type which requires the bettor to select the winners of four nominated races on the card (usually the last four races).

  • Quinella

    A bet type that requires the bettor to select the first two place-getters in a race (regardless of order)

  • Rail position

    Racetracks use moveable inside rails to ensure manage wear and tear on the inside section of the track. The rail position may be in the “true” (original or standard) position, or set out by a number of metres to allow the true inside to recover from use (for example, “+3 metres”)

  • Rebates

    A return payment (usually a percentage of all losses) to the punter – sometimes offered by a bookmaker or totalisator agency to entice customers.

  • Regressive staking

    A staking plan whereby stakes reduce with each losing bet, in order to protect the bank.

  • Running Double

    A bet type which requires the bettor to select the winners of two consecutive races on the card.

  • Sectionals

    Times recorded by horses for certain sections of the race, usually measured in 200 metre increments.

  • Super 6

    See Big 6.

  • Top Fluc (Top Fluctuation)

    A win dividend offered by most bookmakers. Winnings are paid at the highest fluctuation of the official price.

  • Top Tote

    A win dividend offered by most corporate bookmakers. Winnings are paid at the highest dividend of the three Australian totes (SuperTAB, NSW TAB, UBET).

  • Treble

    A bet type which requires the bettor to select the winners of three nominated races on the card.

  • Trifecta

    A bet type which requires the bettor to select the three place-getters in a race

  • Unders

    Under the odds: when the available odds are believed to less than horse’s real odds of winning, therefore resulting in a non-value bet.

  • Victorian Official Price (VOP)

    The official price observed for all Victorian racing, and used to record official fluctuations and starting prices. Calculated using the prices of a number of major corporate bookmakers, it replaced the traditional “on course” price (calculated from rails bookmakers) in 2016.

  • Weight-for-age

    A race where a horse is nominated a weight to carry based purely on its age and sex.