Betting terminology can be unfamiliar and sometimes a little daunting or at the very least confusing at first, that’s why I thought writing a kind of dictionary or glossary of some commonly used words on OzePunting would help you understand what I’m talking about. The list includes a lot of very common punting terms that you’ll hear all the time, as well as some more obscure betting words, terms and phrases with an easy to understand explanation for each.
I plan to update this glossary as time goes on to include more acronyms, abbreviations, gambling terms and specifically Aussie punting phrases, but I think this is a good start and should definitely help you to understand some words that previously you may not have know what the hell I was talking about.
Australian Betting Terms
- (Also: Multi Bet or Parlay) A single bet that relies on multiple different bets to be successful in order for you win the bet.
- All-In Betting
- No refunds are offered, When you bet "All In", you are assuming the risk that your team/horse/dog/selection may not even enter the competition. If this happens there will be no refund. This is usually a high risk/high reward scenario, betting on an event well before the actual starting time.
- All Up
- In horse racing especially, an apprentice jockey is an inexperienced rider, usually under 21 years of age and still in training.
- Apprentice Claim
- The weight an apprentice rider can claim, giving their horse a lower weight which, due to their inexperience is a way to balance out the competition.
- The approximate odds that the TAB or Bookmaker will pay for that specific event, usually quoted just before the event commences and is subject to change.
- If you back something, this simply means that you are betting on it. For example: I backed a winner at the race track today or I wish I backed that nag at the damn races!
- Backed In
- Means that the odds have shortened. Something becomes backed in when a lot of people bet on that particular runner/team/betting option.
- A key selection in an exotic bet which must win, or run a particular place in order to win that particular bet.
- Starting barrier used to keep horses in line before the start of a race. In horse racing, barriers are randomly chosen before the race.
- Best Bet
- The selection that racing journalists, professional punters and popular tipsters nominate as their absolute strongest selection.
- Box (Starting Box)
- In greyhound racing, the starting box is similar to barrier in horse racing. The starting box also dictates what colour the dog wears and has a big effect on the odds.
- Boxed Exotic (Eg. Boxed Trifecta, Boxed Exacta)
- Boxing something is a betting term used in exotic combination bets whereby all possible numeric outcomes are covered. This costs a lot more but if your numbers come in, regardless of the order, you will win the bet. It is quite common for punters to box 3 or 4 runners in a trifecta. The cost of a boxed bet is decided by simply multiplying the amount of outcomes possible.
- A cup-shaped device used to limit a horse’s vision during a race and improve concentration.
- Incident during a race when a runner is blocked, causing it to change stride, slow down or change direction. Greyhounds are most often “checked”, this can cause a good dog to lose a lot of ground, lose the race by a large margin and then potentially be at good odds the next time it races. However, it’s also said that well trained dogs often stick to the rails to avoid being "checked" too often.
- see apprentice claim. A
- An entire (ungelded) male under four years of age.
- Correct weight
- After a horse race the weight carried by at least the placegetters is checked, and ‘correct weight’ indicates that all bets can be paid.
- Daily Double
- Type of wager calling for the selection of winners of two nominated races.
- The mother of a horse.
- Dead Cert
- Dead certainty, a horse or team that is considered highly likely to win.
- Dead Heat
- Aa tie between two or more runners for a win or place in a race.
- A stakes event for three-year-olds.
- Another name for greyhounds.
- Dutch Book
- A betting system which involves betting on multiple runners at varying odds, such that whichever bet wins, a set profit is guaranteed.
- Exotic bet to select two of the three placegetters in a race.
- Each Way
- To bet for both a win and a place on the same runner.
- Substitutes, or replacements, for horses which are scratched from a race which is limited to a number of starters.
- Even Money
- Odds of 1-1, or $2.00. A total return of $2 for a $1 outlay.
- Exotic bet to select the first two finishers in a race in the exact order of finish, can be boxed.
- Any bet other than a win or place e.g. quinella, exacta, trifecta, first four and quadrella.
- The horse or team that is most likely to win. A favourite has often been backed in to have the shortest odds. In sports with 2 teams, 1 is the favourite, the other is the outsider.
- Field Bet
- To wager on all of the runners in a race in one combination of an exotic bet.
- A female Thoroughbred less than four years of age.
- To shorten in the betting. In other words, the odds are worse for punters now than they were earlier.
- First Four
- An exotic type of wager picking the first four placings in a race, can be boxed.
- First Up
- The first run of a horse in a new preparation after a spell.
- A record of past performances.
- An eighth of a mile (220 yards).
- A male horse that has been castrated.
- Group Race
- High quality race categorised into Group 1, 2 , 3 and Listed races, in order of importance.
- A class of race for which the official handicapper assigns the weight each horse has to carry.
- The racing official who assigns the weights to be carried by horses in handicap races.
- A measurement in horse racing, the length of the horses head.
- An entire male horse of four years of age or more.
- Horses imported to Australia are indicated by an abbreviation the country of their birth, such as New Zealand (NZ) and United States (USA).
- The weight a horse is allocated or carries.
- In the red
- The price of a horse when it is odds on. The Bookmakers’ boards display ‘odds on’ in red to distinguish from odds against.
- Inquiry into the running of the race. Can result in demotion of one or more horses in the finish order.
- Monies carried over to the next suitable race or meeting. This occurs in exotic bet types such as quadrella and superfecta when no investor selects the winning combination.
- An illegal battery powered device used by a jockey to stimulate a horse during a race or track work.
- Jumped out of trees
- Said by bookmakers of a rush of punters to plunge on a horse.
- Knuckled over
- To stumble away from the starting stalls, usually caused by the track surface breaking away from under a horse’s hooves, causing it to duck its head or nearly go to its knees.
- Late mail
- Final thoughts and selections of tipsters allowing for things like scratchings, jockey changes and on course information.
- When a bookmaker takes a risk and increases the odds of a particular horse to entice investors because the bookmaker truly believes that horse has no chance of winning the race.
- A length. The length of a horse from nose to tail. Used to describe the distance between horses in a race.
- Long shot
- An outsider at long odds with little chance of winning.
- A horse that has not won a race.
- Information and tips.
- A female horse over three years old.
- The list of all horses engaged in a race and their respective odds.
- Mounting yard
- Enclosure where the horses are paraded prior to each race and jockeys mount and dismount their horses.
- Multi Bet
- (Also: Accumulator or Parlay) A single bet that relies on multiple different bets to be successful in order for you win the bet.
- Derogatory term for horse racing.
- Nose (ie. to win by a nose)
- The short winning margin in an Australian horse race, followed by a short half-head.
- A stakes event for three-year-old fillies.
- Odds are how much money you will get in return for your initial outlay. There are multiple different ways to show odds, Australians usually have a decimal figure, for example, odds showing $5 instead of the fractional figure of 4/1 which are equivelant.
- Odds on
- Odds which are shorter than evens (e.g. 1-2 or $1.50) using the above example in Odds Against.
- On the bit
- When a horse is eager to run.
- On the nose
- A bet placed on the win only
- The money an investor bets or wagers is called their outlay.
- A horse or team whose chances of winning are not considered as good as the favourite.
- Odds about a horse which are considered to be good value because they are longer than its estimated probability of winning.
An outsider is usually quoted at the highest odds.
- (Also: Accumulator or Multi Bet) A single bet that relies on multiple different bets to be successful in order for you win the bet.
- Finished in the first three in a race.
- Place bet
- A place bet will win if the selected horse finishes in the first three in fields of eight or more horses. If there are only six or seven runners the horse must finish first or second to place.
- A sizeable amount wagered on a horse. Not quite a plunge but a “decent plonk” nevertheless.
- In the bookmakers’ ring, a massive and sudden support for a horse.
- When a jockey, owner, trainer or steward alleges interference by one party against another during a race that may have affected the outcome of a race. If a protest is upheld by stewards, the runner that caused the interference is placed directly after the horse interfered with. If a protest is dismissed, the original result of the race stands.
- To wager on the outcome of a race.
- Person making the wager.
- Quadrella or Quaddie
- A type of wager which requires the selection of winners of 4 nominated races. Also known as a ‘Quaddie’.
- Quality Handicap
- Races which have a minimum weight of 53 kg and a maximum weight of 61 kg unless otherwise approved, plus minimum rates of prizemoney.
- An exotic type bet which requires the selection of the first two place getters regardless of order, unlike an exacta which requires the horses to finish in the correct order, unless the exacta is “boxed”.
- The fence on the inside of a race track. Also, the prime position in a bookmakers’ ring. Hence “rails bookmaker.”
- Red Hot Favourite
- See “favourite”.
- Ring, Betting Ring
- An area on a racecourse where the bookmakers are positioned is always called a “ring”, regardless of its shape.
- A horse at long odds which is considered to have only a remote chance of winning a race.
- Running double
- Type of wager calling for the selection of winners of two consecutive races.
- To be taken out of a race before it starts.
- Short half-head
- The second-smallest winning margin. In Australia a NOSE is the shortest margin a horse can win by.
- When the odds of a horse decrease, usually because a lot of money has been wagered on that horse.
- The father of a horse.
- A well supported horse with no apparent form to justify its price.
- Starting Price
- see Best bet.
- The resting period for a horse between preparations or racing.
- The sums of money deposited or guaranteed by the parties to a bet.
- Stakes races
- Group one, group two, group three or listed races.
- A horse that specialises in longer distance races.
- Officials who run the race meeting and are responsible for enforcing the Australian [and Local] Rules of racing.
- Metal “D” shaped rings into which a jockey places his/her feet. Also known as “irons”.
- The person who attends to, grooms, and usually leads the horse around the mounting yard.
- An exotic type of bet which requires a punter to select the first six horses to cross the finish line in the exact order. Only previously offered in New South Wales; now replaced by the First Four. (Compare with the usual U.S. definition, which is similar to the Australian/New Zealand First Four.)
- Totalisator Agency Board. The original State government body appointed to regulate off-course betting. Many of the State TABs have been privatised in recent years. Tabcorp is Australia’s largest gambling and entertainment group. It was established in 1994 following the privatization of the Victorian TAB.
- Totalisator, or TAB.
- Top Weight
- The horse carrrying the heightest weight into the race and wearing the number 1.
- An alternative form of betting to bookmakers or a betting exchange. All bets are placed into a pool, and dividends are paid by dividing the final pool by the amount invested on the winner, less a fixed percentage.
- An exotic bet consisting of selections in 3 separate races, all of which must win for the wager to be successful.
- An exotic type of wager picking the first three finishers in exact sequence.
- Another name for Harness Racing.
- A horse which is quoted at such extremely short odds that investors decide it is too short to return a reasonable profit for the risk involved.
- Odds about a horse which are considered to be bad value because they are shorter than its estimated winning probability.
- Any team that is playing away from home are known as visitors. This gives them a distinct disadvantage due to the crowd and potential for umpires to possibly give the benefit of the doubt to the home team.
- Visor blinkers
- Blinkers that have a peep hole cut in them and are used to limit a horse’s vision during a race and improve concentration.
- Another term for bet. If you put a wager on something, you are simply betting on it.
- Weight for Age
- Better class of race in which the weight a horse carries is allocated on a set scale according to its age and sex. The Cox Plate, which is regarded as Australia’s best race, is a weight-for-age event held by the Moonee Valley Racing Club in October each year.
- Weight-for-age handicap
- The system used to determine weights for the Melbourne Cup in which the weight of the jockey and riding gear is adjusted with ballast to a nominated figure.
- A race whip (or crop) made to Australian specifications, is about 22-24 inches long, and a jockey uses it to control and encourage a horse to increase its speed.
Older horses are given more weight than younger ones, and weightings are further adjusted according to the horse’s previous results.
That’s the glossary for now but I intend to update this whole page over time to include more and more information, especially info that is relevant for us Aussies.