Betting Terminologies: A Beginners Guide

Don’t know your Tote from your Tip ? Have trouble telling a Gamble from a Gub ? This betting terminologies guide is designed to help someone new to gambling, sports bet trading , arbing or Bonus Bagging to get a handle on all the confusing terms so you can get the most out of your strategies as quickly as possible.

Betting has been around since Chinese gambling houses in 1000BC so naturally as we have progressed through the ages we’ve acquired some rather kooky terms to describe some aspects of gambling.  This blog sets out to cover the terms you are most likely to come across as a bet exchange trader, gambler, bonus bagger or arber.

Arbing – or, to give it its full name, arbitrage betting – is a betting system that allows a customer to place multiple bets to guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome. Bettors who take advantage of this are sometimes referred to as “arbers”. An arb is also sometimes called a “surebet” or a “miraclebet

Bet – to risk a sum of money against someone else’s sum of money on the basis of an outcome of a future event.


Buncejar - definition of a bet

Non-running horse rule 4 – f your horse racing bet hasn’t returned as much as you thought it would, the first action to take is to check if the race was affected by a ‘Rule 4’ (or R4). The quickest way to do so is by using the Account History or Settled bets options within the My Account area of your bookmaker account.

Rule 4 (or Rule 4(c) to give it it’s full title) is a Tattersalls Rule of Racing which governs all Horse Racing to compensate for the later withdrawal of a horse or runner in your chosen race. To explain the spirit of the rule in it’s simplest terms, please consider the following hypothetical example:

  • You have elected to bet on Horse A @ 5/1 in the 2.30 at Ascot. There are only 3 runners in this particular race and later on in the day, Horse B @ 7/4 unfortunately has to withdraw from the race.
  • The race now becomes a 2 runner race and immediately your horse’s chance of winning have increased from 1 in 3 runners to 1 in 2 runners. Once the non-runner is official we will revise the race at the earliest opportunity with new odds for the 2 remaining runners. Therefore with this in mind, the 5/1 taken earlier in the day is now no longer a fair reflection of Horse A’s chances and some form of reduction is needed to compensate.
  • Therefore the concept of Rule 4 involves deducting a set value in pence out of every pound (£GBP) of winnings in winning bets. The size of this deduction is determined by the price (Early or Board/Show) of the non-runner at the time of withdrawal. In our example, as Horse B was 7/4 at the time of withdrawal, a deduction of 35p in every £1 of winnings would be deducted from winning bets:
Odds Deduction
1/9 or shorter 90p (in £)
2/11 to 2/17 85p
1/4 to 1/5 80p
3/10 to 2/7 75p
2/5 to 1/3 70p
8/15 to 4/9 65p
8/13 to 4/7 60p
4/5 to 4/6 55p
20/21 to 5/6 50p
Evens (1/1) to 6/5 45p
5/4 to 6/4 40p
13/8 to 7/4 35p
15/8 to 9/4 30p
5/2 to 3/1 25p
10/3 to 4/1 20p
9/2 to 11/2 15p
6/1 to 9/1 10p
10/1 to 14/1 5p
  • The application of Rule 4(c) will be determined by the price of the withdrawn horse at the time of withdrawal.
  • For races where more than one horse is withdrawn, the deduction won’t be bigger than 90p per £1.
  • Where the total deduction on the market in which you have placed your bet is 5p in the £, as a concession, the deduction will be waived.
  • In the case of withdrawals in reformed markets, the total deduction over the two or more horses (i.e. one in the original and one in the reformed market) will be calculated on the prices applicable in the original market.
  • For bets placed in reformed markets, deductions applied to withdrawn horses in these markets will be calculated on the prices applicable in these markets.


Betting exchange

betting exchange is a marketplace for customers to bet on the outcome of discrete events.[1] Betting exchanges offer the same opportunities to bet as a bookmaker with a few differences. Gamblers can buy (also known as “back”) and sell (also known as “lay”) the outcome, and they can trade in real-time throughout the event, either to cut their losses or lock in profit. Bookmaker operators generate revenue by offering less efficient odds. Betting exchanges normally generate revenue by charging a small commission on winning bets. The most common and popular betting exchange is Betfair in the UK.

buncejar - using the betfair exchange

Online Bookmaker – simply this is a bookmaker that allows you to look for prices and bets and place bets online using a web browser or app. Many countries make this illegal but it is legal and regulated in the UK.

Gubbed – Being gubbed is to have your online account with a bookmaker restricted or closed. This is usually because you have won too many bets or act in a way as to make them think you may be an arber or bonus bagger rather than a legitimate ‘mug punter’ that mainly loses their bets.

Greened up – A trading position where no matter what the outcome of the sports event you will turn a profit.

Buncejar - Definition of SP

Starting Price – SP – This is the bookmaker price that is offered literally just before a horse race starts. You can take an SP price at anytime before the race and simply get matched with the actual price at the point the race starts. As a rue of thumb is the price of a horse if generally going down (odds shortening) as you get closer to the race taking SP would represent poor value when you could take a higher price at any other time. If on the other hand a horse price is drifting upwards then it makes sense to take an SP price that could be higher than one offered at any time prior to the race starting.

To Be Placed Bet – To place a bet on a horse to finish no worse than 1st second or third. On rare occasions where there are a lot of horses in a race this can also be to fourth place. The bet will tell you in the betslip how many paces it pays ie ‘3 to be placed’ etc etc

Each Way Bet – This is a bet that pays out if your horse wins but also pays out a smaller amount if your horse comes second.

Mug Punter – A Mug Punter is the bookmakers perfect customer. They are someone that loses regularly and rarely withdraws money from their account. For traders , arbers and Bonus Baggers they key to long term success is to trick an online bookmaker into thinking you are a Mug Punter when you are actually a smart trader.

buncejar - definition of a mug punter

Sharbing– Like Arbing but done by plcing back bets with an actual physical shop then laying off the liability for a profit through an online betting exchange. This is usually only done as a last resort when an arber has been gubbed by all bookmakers online.

Stake – This is the amount of money you place on your bet to win.

Withdrawn Horse or Cancelled Race – Don’t worry , if your horse is pulled from the race before it starts or the race is cancelled your stake is usually returned so you haven’t lost anything.

Favourite – This is the horse with the lowest odds and is therefore the most favoured horse to win a race.

Drifting Odds – The odds of a horse are said to be drifting when they are going up ( is the amoutn you win for your stake is getting steadily more as time goes on)

Shortening Odds – the odds of a horse are said to be shortening when they are going down and the amount you will win with your stake is reducing as time goes on and you get closer to the race.

Steamer – This is a horse that has a huge price movement in a short space of time , usually a horse that is shortening in price.

Handicapped Race – A handicap race in horse racing is a race in which horses carry different weights, allocated by the handicapper. A better horse will carry a heavier weight, to give him or her a disadvantage when racing against slower horses.

So that covers all you need to know to get started in Arbing , Bonus Bagging or Sports Bet Trading. To learn more about Bonus Bagging be sure to check out this related article here.