Learn the Basic Bookie Terminology and Lingo

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Every profession has its own terminology and lingo. The sports wagering pay per head industry is no different. Whether you’re new to the game or a long-time vet, a quick look at the terms used day in and out can only help in your conversations with clientele and when speaking with your services customer service reps. Lets take a look at 25 frequently used terms and the common definitions.

Steam - When betting syndicates bet large sums at multiple sportsbooks, driving drastic line changes market wide. This is called a “steam play”. Bettors that rush to their sportsbook trying to place their bets before the line moves are said to be “chasing steam”. It’s worth noting that not all steam plays are valid. Some are setup moves to get better numbers that ultimately moves back drastically the other way.

Sharp - term used to describe a professional or experienced gambler. While they can be valuable to have on providing information, special care needs to taken on these types of players, else the rest of your sheet might be working to offset losses here.

Square - a novice sports bettor. If your sheet consists of mostly these type of players, you are going to be set up for long-term success.

Favorite - the perceived better team/player of a matchup. The public/squares trends toward betting more often on favorites.

Underdog - the team/player of a matchup expected to lose. Also referred to as “dog”. Dogs, when moneylines, are often limited in use on parlays since the plus juice can compound the parlay’s payout.

Pick’em - a matchup where neither team/player is favored. Much like a moneyline, the team just needs to win.

Middling - when a bettor takes action on both the dog and favorite, but at different numbers, in the attempt to win both sides.

Chalk - This refers to the favorite for a game or matchup. “Chalk players” are those that lay the favorites on a higher number of bets. It’s also a good indication that they are square.
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Pointspread - the betting line handicap that the favorite gives to the underdog. Also can be referred to as the “side”

Moneyline - betting line where no points are involved, rather a dollar value system that determines the charge or payout.

Juice - the commission placed on each straight bet. The standard is 10% per bet, which can also be expressed as a “20 cent line”. In this case, there is a 10 cent charge per dollar on either side represented by the -10 in -110 (-10 + -10 = -20). It’s helpful to think of it in these terms. Since certain key numbers will carry a heavier juice, obviously the dog will be charged less. The difference will be 20 cents from favorite to dog. For example, if the favorite juice is (-125), then the dog will be 20 cents better at (+105), since -25 + 05 = -20.

Dimeline - refers to the juice when it’s -105 on both sides, or 10 cents. The term is more specifically used with the MLB and is highly coveted by sharps and MLB-heavy bettors.

Even money  - the price on a bet where the return is the same as the wagered amount. There is no juice.

Figure - refers to the bettor’s current balance. More specifically it is usually a one week balance unless they ‘rollover”.

Rollover - a term used to indicate that a bettor’s weekly balance doesn’t reset to zero on the last day of a betting week. These types of agreements are set up beforehand and the bookie/bettor settle up on a less frequent basis. Although less frequent, Premier’s software accommodates this style of accounting.

Close-out - or “zero-out” refers to those bettors that settle up with their agents on a weekly basis. The betting software will run a final weekly balance and then reset the account for the coming new week. This is the most common set-up. Premier will close-out your accounts for you, no need to manually do this.

Credit - the weekly dollar amount that a bettor is allowed to lose. Once this amount is reached, bets will no longer be allowed until the week close-out.

Limit - the dollar amount allowed per team/player or bet type.

Hedging - also called “laying off”. Technique of placing action on the other side to cut losses or guarantee a small profit. Premier’s real-time alert system facilitates this technique for bookies.

Circled game - refers to a game with restricted limits, possibly do to injuries. At PremierPerHead, this same technique is used for “overnight” games when the line has yet to settle out.

Action - A term used when betting MLB where no pitcher is specified with the bet. If there is a pitching change, the bet is still valid, but at different odds. Action can also refer to the number of bets on a game or to indicate that a bet is valid.

Listed pitchers - refers to a baseball bet that only has action if the pitchers linked with the bet start the game. If original pitcher is removed before the game, the bet will not have action.

Props - a term used to describe special betting options on non-traditional events or on topics within a game. An example would be the team to score first in a game, or total yards passing by a given quarterback.

Futures - betting options on season long events. Most will take multiple months and in some cases even years. Credit bettors tend to not take action on anything more long term than which team will win a league championship.

Off the board - a game not being offered for wagering at that moment. The board refers to all the wagering games and events with a sportsbook.

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