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A Guide to Common Soccer Betting Terms

Accumulator.Sometimes called a parlay. A bet where the winnings from one bet are placed on the next bet. The winnings accumulate, giving a large theoretical return. In reality, not very profitable as it only takes one to lose and your whole bet loses.

Arbitrage.A combination of bets which guarantees a theoretical risk free profit. These sometimes occur when one bookie offers a price which is out of line with the rest of the market. Opportunities don't last long as the bookie will adjust their prices accordingly.

Asian Handicap.A type of bet where one team is given a handicap make the odds of beating the handicap around evens and the odds of not beating the handicap around evens. Popular in Asia.

Banker.A bet that is highly likely to win. Odds are usually less than 1.5 for these types of bets.

Betting Exchange.A place where people bet against each other. The exchange takes a commission from each winning trade.

Book Value.The over round that a bookie builds into the odds. For example a typical football match will be booked to 110% meaning that if you bet on all outcomes you'd lose about 10%. Very similar to payout which is defined as 100/book value. To work out book value simply use this formula, Book Value = 1/outcome1_odds + 1/outcome2_odds + ...

Bookmaker, bookie.The person who accepts a bet.

Decimal odds.The odds expressed as a decimal, with the stake included in the overall price. For example decimal odds of 3 equals fractional odds of 2/1, as the stake is included in the former but not the latter.

Double.An accumulator with 2 bets.

Double chance.A bet that is offered on the 3 way market where you bet on 2 outcomes. For example you might bet on the home win or draw. Odds are usually very poor but you are much more likely to win the bet.

Draw no bet.A bet where the draw returns your stake. This is exactly the same as a +0 Asian Handicap.

Each Way.A type of bet where you can still win if your choices comes in 2nd/3rd/4th depending on the market. The bet is split into 2, half placed on a straight win and half on, say the next 4 places. This is popular in horse racing but is used in football, in some markets, eg. First goal scorer.

European Handicap.Do not confuse with Asian Handicaps. This is where a team is given a goal start but the bet cannot be drawn. Three prices are quoted, on for the team giving the handicap, one for the team with the handicap and one for the handicap draw. For example if a team is given a +1 European handicap and the match is lost by a single goal, the bet still loses, unlike with Asian Handicaps where the stakes are refunded. A +1 handicap is equivalent to a +0.5 Asian Handicap, a -1 handicap is equivalent to a -1.5 Asian Handicap.

Evens.A bet where the odds are 1/1 fractional or 2 decimal. Basically you double your money if you bet on this and it wins.

Fixed odds betting.This is where you know what you are going to win or lose at the time of placing the bet. Your winnings and liability are 'fixed'. Compare with spread betting.

Fractional odds.These are a popular way of expressing odds in Britain. The stake is not included in the return. For example, 2/1 is equal to 3 decimal, as it only expresses the winning part of the bet.

Goal line, Unders/overs, total goals.All similar markets centered around the total goals in a match. Unders/overs usually mean 2 goals or under, for unders and 3 goals or more for overs. The goal line is practically the same as unders/overs but the bet can draw. For example if the goal line is 3, a game with 2 goals over few will win the unders, a game with 4 or more will win the overs while a game with exactly 3 goals will void the bet. Sometimes the goal lines have quarters in them, eg. 2.25, here is there are exactly 2 goals in the match, the unders bet will win half, while the overs will lose half. Total goals are usually expressed in 3 brackets, 0-1, 2-3 and 4+.

Half Time/Full Time, sometimes called double result.This is where you bet on what the results at half time and full time are.

Lay a Bet.This is what a bookmaker does when he accepts a bet. It is possible to lay bets yourself on a betting exchange.

Odds against.A bet where the odds are greater than evens.

Odds on.A bet where the odds are less than evens.

Scorecast.This is a bet where you predict the first goal score and the correct score. Odds are good but getting these right is very difficult.

Spread betting.An increasingly popular method of betting where the returns aren't fixed. You be on the difference between what the bookies sets as the spread and what you think will happen. For example in the time of first goal market, the bookie may offer a quote of 26-29 minutes. You can either go under (buy) or over (sell) this spread. If you bet under and a goal is scored in the 6th minute you win 20 (26-6) times your stake. However if it ends up being scored in the 80th minute you are going to end up losing a lot of money.

Three-way betting or 1X2.Betting on a home win/ draw/ or away win. 1X2 because in betting shops, you mark 1 for home win, X for a draw and 2 for an away win.

Void bet.In Asian Handicap terms this is where the bet draws. Void bets can also occur in other markets, for example in the first goal scorer market if your player isn't on the pitch when the first goal is scored the bet is void. Can happen if matches are postponed or abandoned.

Ben writes football (soccer) betting tips for


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