This glossary includes just the essential terms you need to be familiar with to extract profits from bookmaker offers with matched betting:
Bookmaker, Bookie – A person or organization that makes a business of calculating odds and taking bets on sports and other events. Bookmakers make money from betting margins.
Betting Exchange – A website allowing ordinary punters to bet against each other. Betting exchanges generate revenues by charging commissions on transactions and winnings.
Odds – The numerical expression of the likelihood of something happening or be the case. In gambling, the odds allow you to calculate how much money you will win if you place a bet.
Stake - The amount of money that you risk when placing a bet.
Back Bet – A bet placed on the outcome of an event to happen. If Chelsea are playing Juvents in the Champions League and you bet on Chelsea, you are backing Chelsea to win. If you place a back bet and it wins, you’ll receive your stake plus winnings.
Lay Bet – A bet placed on the outcome of an event not happening. In the example above, instead of backing Chelsea to win, you could bet that Juventus will not win, laying Juventus to lose and effectively playing the role of the bookmaker. If your lay bet wins, you’ll receive the backer’s stake.
Liability – The amount of money that you risk when laying a bet, In other words the amount you stand to lose if your lay bet loses.
Liquidity - The amount of money available at any one time on a betting exchange market.
Unmatched Bet - When you place a bet on an exchange for an amount superior and/or at odds different from the ones available, your bet will be left waiting to be matched. Until a bet is matched, you don’t have a bet. Unmatched bets do not get cancelled unless you cancel them or the market turns in-play.
Exchange Commission - A betting exchange will charge punters a commission on their net winnings and some times on their transactions. Winnings commission varies from exchange to exchange but typically ranges from 2% to 5 % ( Betfair commission starts at 5%).
Qualifying Bet – The bet that you need to place with a bookmaker using your own money to qualify for a free bet or a bonus.
Free Bet, Bonus – The amount of money a bookmaker will award you upon completion of the qualifying bet or to match your deposit. You will then be able to place a bet using the free bet or bonus money without risking your own.
Stake Not Returned (SNR) - A bet generally placed using free bet money that will return you only the winnings, but not the original stake. The majority of free bet offers are stake not returned.
Stake Returned (SR) – A bet generally placed using bonus money that will return you both the original stake and the winnings, although you will typically be required to roll over the bonus money multiple times before being able to withdraw it. All deposit bonus offers are stake returned.
Wagering Requirements (WR) - A set of instructions you need to act accordingly to be able to withdraw a free bet or bonus and any winnings generated from it. They typically include rollover, minimum odds, but also restrictions on markets, types of bets that may be placed and the maximum value of individual bets.
Rollover - The number of times you have to play though either the bonus or the bonus + deposit before you are eligible to cash out. Rollover requirements vary greatly from promotion to promotion and can easily reach 15x for the more generous deposit bonuses.
Minimum Odds - The odds your selection should be at for your bet to qualify for the promotion or to count towards the rollover requirements. Minimum odds vary generally from 1.50 to 2.00. Some bookmakers have started imposing maximum odds, so to make sure your bet is valid, always check the odds requirements in the promotion’s terms and conditions.
MBS - MBS or Money Back Specials are one of the most popular and widespread type of bookmaker offers. A lot of variants exist; what they all have in common is that the stake is returned to the bettor following a predetermined event, such as for example a horse finishing second, a red card shown in a football match, a specific player scoring the first or last goal of the game.
Partner Friendly (PF) - A term used by matched betting sites to identify bookmaker sites or specific bookmaker promotions that don’t have restrictions on the number of people living at the same address that can register for an account or claim an offer. Check the terms and conditions on the bookmaker site to confirm that particular bookmaker accepts partner accounts.
Please notice that we defined each of the following terms in relation to sports betting and wherever possible matched betting. It is probable that some of the terms below have technical definitions that vary from our own and/or could be used with slightly different interpretations within other gambling industry niches.