Football Betting Terminology

Football betting has its own terminology that refers to many of the most important concepts.

  • Bookmaker: Also called the bookie or simply ‘the house’, it refers to the business or organization that provides an odds market for sporting events, with prices available for all possible outcomes. A “book” is simply the full record of all betting transactions made with the bettors for a particular event.
  • Event: This refers to the specific sporting event. Example of event is Real Madrid playing against Barcelona in the Spanish Primera League.
  • Market: A betting market is a type of betting proposition with two or more possible outcomes. The result of the match (home win, away win, or draw), the number of goals scored (two or less goals, three or more), or the time of the first goal are a few examples of different markets for a single sporting event.
  • Bank: The total amount of money a bettor/punter/trader has to place bets on sporting events.
  • Stake: The amount of money being risked in a single bet. Stake is the unit of amount to bet (1 unit of Stake can be 10€ or 5€)
  • Odds: In the context of sports betting the odds of an outcome refer to the payout to be received if a prediction turns out to be correct. European notation describes the amount of money returned for every euro wagered, including the original stake. For example, a bet that offers a profit equal to the amount wagered is said to have odds of 2, an outcome with offered odds of 5 describes a profit of four times the amount wagered, while an outcome with odds of 1.20 means that for every euro the bet will return only 20 cents in profit, assuming in all the cases the wager was correct.
  • Real odds: The odds that would be offered if the sum of the probabilities for all possible outcomes were exactly 1 or 100%. For example, supposing we had a market with three possible outcomes {A, B, C} with probabilities of success P(A) = 0.5, P(B) = 0.4 and P(C) = 0.1, the real odds would be 2.00, 2.50, and 10.00 respectively, which are just the inverse of the estimated probabilities. 
  • Pick: The selection among all the possible outcomes on which the bettor is placing the bet. 
  • Result: The actual outcome of the event. If the pick and the result are the same, the bettor wins the bet and is paid an amount equal to his stake times the odds offered on the selection. If the result is different from the pick the bettor loses his entire stake.
  • Profit: The amount of money additional to the original stake that the bettor receives when the bet is won. Bookmakers sometimes use the term Winnings, but this term refers to the amount of money paid back including the original wager, which is somewhat misleading. It is preferable to speak about the profit made in a bet instead of the winnings of a wager.
  • Yield: A measure of the profitability of a series of bets, it is calculated as the sum of the profit made from all the placed bets divided by the sum of the money staked in all bets, usually expressed as a percentage. For example, if after 10 bets of 1€ each there is a net profit of 1.50€, the yield is (1.5/10) = 0.15 or 15%.