Lingo and Betting Terminology for Newcomers Canada

Last Updated on 29/08/2022

Have you ever tried to place a sports bet and been confused by some of the sports betting definitions you are confronted with? Whether you’re placing your wager in a bookmakers or online, gambling – as with most other pastimes – has its fair share of colloquialisms and it’s important that you understand these if you are to get the most out of it. If you’re not sure, take a look at our quick guide to sports and football betting terminology for beginners.

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A guide to sports betting vocabulary

Don’t know the difference between an Asian handicap and an alternative line? Can’t get your head around a juice, a jolly or a Grand Salami? The gambling world – especially when it comes to sports betting vocabulary – can seem off-putting to beginners, especially when terms they don’t understand are being shouted at them.
In order to make things a little clearer, we’re going to go through some of the most common betting lingo and give you a better idea of what it means. We’ll also touch upon some of the lesser-known terms in our betting glossary. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something that you can impress your friends with?

Key betting lingo: types of bet

The most important betting terminology to understand centres around the different types of bet you can place. Forget words like ‘beard’, ‘dog’ and ‘lock’. You can get away without intricate knowledge of some gambling colloquialisms, but if you’re not sure on the difference between a treble and an accumulator, you’ll struggle to turn your wagering efforts into successful returns. To kick off this guide, we’ll be taking a look at the most common forms of bet when it comes to betting online. In order to gain an understanding of betting as a beginner, it’s vital to get a handle on the below first before you move on to the more advanced sports betting vocabulary.

The most common term used in sports and football betting terminology is ‘win’ and this describes a straight win bet wagered on a single event. So, say you thought the Toronto Raptors would win the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors, you would place a straight win bet on them and this would only pay out if the Raptors emerged victorious.

An alternative is the ‘each-way bet’. This is a two-part bet, with the first half of the stake going on your selection to win, and the second being staked on your selection placing. Let’s use the Raptors example again. Say you placed a $10 each-way bet on them winning the Eastern Conference and they’re priced at 5.00 (or 4/1) to do so. The bookmaker is offering ¼ betting odds for two places. So, you would wager $5 on Raptors winning and $5 on them placing. If the team does come out on top, you’d take home $25 for the win and $10 for the place, but if they were beaten finalists you’d still stand to recoup $10 thanks to the place bet.

Key betting lingo: singles, doubles, trebles

Also common when it comes to sports and football betting terminology are singles, doubles and trebles. A single bet is basically what our win wager on the Raptors above was. However, gamblers often combine win bets in order to increase their odds and maximise their potential returns. For example, say Chelsea are playing Everton and Arsenal are facing Manchester City. Their odds to win are 1.60 and 2.50 respectively and you want to stake a maximum of $5. If you did so as a double, namely placing a bet on both London clubs to win, the odds would ‘combine’ and you would stand to receive a return of $20 if your selections were both successful. The same sort of concept applies for a treble, but an extra bet is factored into the mix.

Accumulator bets differ from singles, doubles or trebles as they tend to include even more elements and the odds ‘roll-over’, so, if all the selections come in, gamblers can expect a high return for a relatively low stake. Accumulators are often referred to as ‘x-folds’, where the x signifies the number of selections in the bet. As with doubles and trebles, all the selections in your accumulator must come in in order for you to win the bet. However, some bookmakers have started to offer ‘money back’ on accumulators above a certain ‘x-fold’ if one selection loses. Be sure to check the sports betting terminology and conditions with your chosen bookmaker before you place your wager.

Sports betting definitions: facts check

  • Singles, doubles and trebles can be combined in a number of different types of bet. You may have heard of sports betting terminology including things like ‘Trixie’, ‘Patent’ and ‘Lucky 15’.
  • A Trixie is a bet combining three doubles and a treble, where two selections must win, while a Patent involves three singles, three doubles and one treble. A Lucky 15, meanwhile, involves 15 different bets: four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a fourfold.
  • These types of bet are often utilised by horse racing punters. They can be quite hard to understand, so if you’re not sure or lack confidence in your betting terminology Canada bookmakers recommend you keep it simple with your wagers.

A deeper exploration into betting terminology, Canada or elsewhere

Some betting terms are uniform worldwide, and not just used in North America. Singles, doubles, trebles, win bets, each way bets, accumulators and the like are examples of this, but we can also include ‘Asian handicap betting’ and ‘1×2 betting’ under this umbrella. On the face of it, these types of bets might seem complicated, but once you’ve understood the underlying principles behind them, they can offer you a whole new range of wagering possibilities. In this section, we’re going to delve further into what exactly these types of bet are, and their specific advantages.

Asian handicap betting might sound like a generic betting term Canada’s not familiar with, but it’s actually one of the most common and easiest to understand of all the entries into the sports betting vocabulary. To put it simply, the Asian handicap is best used in markets where there’s a clear favourite and an obvious outsider, such as in the English FA Cup. Assume Liverpool are playing Preston North End. The odds on Liverpool winning would be very short. To even things up a little bit, we apply the Asian handicap, which works on the basis of ‘adding’ or ‘subtracting’ to a team’s goals total. So, while Liverpool winning the game might only get you odds of 1.1 (1/10), if you bet on Liverpool (-2), you may be quoted odds of 2.5 (6/4). If you placed this bet, Preston North End are effectively given a two-goal head-start, so the Reds would need to win the game by three goals or more for your wager to be successful.

Sports betting terminology explained: 1X2 betting

1X2 betting is another entry into the glossary of sports betting definitions which sounds more complicated than it actually is. Most often applied to football, or other sports where there is the possibility of a draw or a tie, 1X2 betting is also referred to as ‘match betting’ or ‘full-time betting’. In brief, the ‘1’ refers to a home win, the ‘2’ to an away win, and the ‘X’ to a draw or tie. An example would be:

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United:

  • 1 (Tottenham win): 5/6
  • X (Tie/draw): 4/5
  • 2 (Manchester United win): 11/8

Unlike with the Asian handicap, the odds aren’t skewed in any way: they simply reflect the true possibility of each outcome occurring.

Did you know?

  • Some people would have you believe that matched betting is frowned upon by bookmakers in Canada. Far from it, though: it’s actually legal.


Other common betting terms Canada gamblers need to know about

We’ve covered much of the terminology related to placing simple bets yourself. However, there are also many common terms you’ll come across in using the site or app that you may not know the definitions of. While our frequently asked questions page and our friendly and professional support team can help you out with anything you wish to know, we thought it would be best to address some of the most common forms of betting terminology Canada gamblers might come across when betting with So, without further ado, allow us to introduce you to the final section of our guide to sports betting definitions.

Even if you’re just a beginner, you’ve likely come across the term cash out before. Introduced when online bookmakers first became legal, the main selling point of the cash out feature is to allow gamblers to remain in control of their wager. Cash out essentially means that you can end a bet early. This is particularly useful if, say, you’ve placed a relatively small stake on an accumulator which promises large returns. If each leg of a football accumulator is looking like it’s going to be successful after 70 minutes, the bookmaker will offer you a certain amount to quit the bet and pocket a percentage of your return straightaway. You might want to wait it out, but this is always risky with accumulator bets, so the option to cash out allows you more flexibility and can still result in large returns even if your wager does end up winning.

What is matched betting in sports betting terminology?

You may have already come across the term matched betting, but if not, here’s a quick explainer of what it is.
Matched betting is a system which takes advantage of incentives offered by bookmakers to bet on both outcomes of a wager. Because the bookie has given you money to “bet match” as a sign-up bonus, you are guaranteed to win the bet.
Matched betting is considered a safe bet, but must be done properly so as not to risk your initial wager.

Decimal/fractional odds

Some people get confused about how bookmakers display their odds, and it’s true that this tends to differ depending on where you are based in the world. UK bookmakers, for example, usually display odds on a fractional basis, while US online sites tend to prefer the decimal way of displaying odds. All good online bookmakers will allow punters to switch between decimal and fractional odds, depending on which they prefer. It’s pretty easy to understand the difference between decimal and fractional odds.

Say you want to bet on the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the National Hockey League. In fractional odds, this might be quoted to you as 7/1, while in decimal it would be 8.00. In both cases, if you bet $1 on the Maple Leafs, you would receive $8 in return. The fractional odds reflect both the stake and the return (where $1 is the stake and $7 in return, thus $8 in total), whereas the decimal odds simply let you know how much you’ll receive back from the bookie, inclusive of your original stake.

Which other betting terms Canada-based bookmakers use might depend on where you are in the country. However, you’ll generally find that these five are the same across the gambling world. Enjoy the quick glossary!

  • Futures: Used in football and NHL, this is an early market which is offered well in advance of the announcement of who is definitely competing.
  • Payout: This simply refers to the return you might expect to receive on a winning bet.
  • Round Robin: This is a specific type of Multiple bet which combines three selections into a 10 combination bet. It usually includes three doubles, one treble and three up-and-down single stakes about pairs.
  • Sharp: A professional gambler
  • Square: A beginner!

The number of betting terms are virtually endless, so if you come across one you don’t understand, why not ask our support team?

Conclusion: sports betting vocabulary is easy to understand!

From the outside, betting terms in Canada, the US, the UK or elsewhere can seem overly complicated. However, if you start out simple and build up your knowledge base from there, you can quickly develop an in-depth understanding of all the different types of bet and terms that bookmakers use. If you do have any questions about what certain things mean or what a certain type of bet entails, be sure to ask our friendly and professional support team for help. They’ll quickly answer any queries you might have!

Now you know your single from your double, your Asian handicap from your 1X2 and exactly what an accumulator bet is, you can start to put what you’ve learned into practice! Register an account with today and you can place all the bets you’ve found out about above and more on hundreds of different sporting markets. With bets placed on, you can cash out, so you can stay in control of your wager. We also offer free bets when you deposit over a certain amount. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up now and enjoy betting on all of your favourite sports!

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