April 05, 2020

  • FI

Betting Glossary

There’s a whole new glossary for sports betting, which might seem a bit off-putting especially for a beginner. The expressions and betting vocabulary is easily adapted after a while, but we’ll provide a short explanations for the most commonly used jargon.


By odds the betting providers set how likely they believe a certain event will or will not occur. Odds are a multiplier by which your bet is returned, should you be correct. There are different ways to express the odds, but we usually use the decimal system which is rather easy to translate into probability percentages: assuming the oddsmaker will provide odds for Manchester City vs Liverpool as 1.85-4.00-2.80, in probabilities it would translate to 54%-25%-36%. The formula for odds to percentages is 1 divided by the decimal odds. Eg. 1/1.85=0.54

Before placing a bet you should always compare the probabilities offered by the betting providers to your own calculations and assessments!

Value bets

The term value bet commonly refers to odds which are set to a higher level than the bettor’s assessment of probability would suggest. For example, if the bettor has assessed the probability percentages for previously mentioned Manchester City – Liverpool as 54%-25%-36% and the betting provider offers odds of 2.00 for City, it’s a 4% value bet (odds of 2.00 would translate to 50%). Always keep an eye out for value bets!

If the odds are lower than the assessed percentages, it means there’s no value and you should always avoid placing an undervalued bet.


The term arbitrage is used when two (or more) opposing odds combine into a 100% or more return. Clear example would be an MLB baseball game, where you can find odds of 2.00 or more for both teams. That’s an arbitrage.

Cash control, stack, budget

The key element for successful and profitable long term betting is cash control. The budget you set aside for betting has a lot of different names, some call it a stack, some call it simply a budget but whatever you call it, keep it under control. Never let the betting budget affect your everyday living and never assume to win. Always make a betting budget beforehand regarding your current situation and assess it carefully.

Kelly criterion (Kelly formula, Kelly strategy, etc.)

One of the most famous money management strategies in betting is called a Kelly criterion. The formula is as follows: B=(pk-1)/(k-1), where “B” is the stake, “P” is the probability and “K” the odds provided. For example, let’s assume our stack is 100€ and we bet on a team we have assessed to win by 50% probability and we’ll get huge value odds of 2.50. The formula would be as follows: (0,5 *2,5-1) / (2,5-1) = 0,166666… which would indicate a bet of 1.6% of the stack.

Bookkeeping, accounting

As is with all businesses, also in betting a thorough bookkeeping is a crucial tool and key to success. You can use old-school paper and pen, more comprehensive tools online or just a basic excel sheet. By keeping a record of your bets, you are able to assess your accomplishments or failures and fix your broken strategies.

Your books should include at least the date, type of the bet, event, stake and result.

Push, void

“Push” or “void” means that the stake is returned for one reason or another. When betting on different handicaps, push or void is rather common. For example “draw no bet” and “Asian handicap +0” will return a “push” if the event ends in a draw or is otherwise unresolved.