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Horse Wagering Terms A-C

Racebook Terms

The following is a list of common horse wagering terms. If you have questions, please visit our Help section or FAQs page.

Across The Board (ATB)
Choosing a selection to win, place and show in a single designated race. The total wager costs three times a single bet. If the selection wins, the player collects on all three wagers. If it places second, the player collects on the place and show bets. If it finishes third, the player collects only the show bet.
A horse that finishes a race out of the money, i.e., a horse that doesn't win, place or show.
Ante Post
A wager on a future event that is made prior to the scheduled day of the event. The player making the ante post often receives better odds but risks losing his stake if his selection drops out or the event is cancelled.
An area located next to the racetrack where players may watch racing up close and in person. A fenceline separates the apron from the actual racing surface.
The area of the racetrack opposite the finish line. At most tracks, it is the area that crosses in front of the tote board.
A person or group of persons who provides the bankroll for a particular player but remains behind the scenes.
Bad Beat
A tough, unforeseen loss when an underdog hand surprisingly wins the pot against the odds against seemingly better hands. This term is often used to imply that the winner of the pot had no business being in the pot at all, or to suggest dumb luck played a large part in the win. This term may also be applied to a situation where winning points are scored against a wager in the dying seconds of a game, or the favored horse loses by a nose, after leading all the way.
The total available wagering funds held by the player.
Best Bet
The horse selected by a handicapper to win a race; or a wager in a game representing the highest odds in favor of the player.
The amount of money a player voluntarily risks on cards, sports or other games. The bet can be in the form of cash, chips or vouchers. Also see, wager.
A person who places or has a bet (US). A bettor is also called a player in the US and a punter in the UK.
Bet Spread
The ratio between the maximum and minimum bet size. A player who uses $50 maximum bets and $5 minimum bets is using a 10:1 bet spread.
Betting Limit
The set minimum and/or maximum amount of money that the player can wager on a single bet. The player cannot bet less than the minimum or more than the maximum amount posted.
Blow Back
A loss of gains/profit after enjoying a plus in the winnings column.
A sportsbook or betting establishment that sets odds and accepts wagers on the outcome of sporting events. Also refers to a bookmaker's tally of amounts bet on each event, and the odds necessary to assure him of a profit.
A short term for bookmaker, i.e., the person or shop accepting bets.
A (UK) person who is licensed to accept wagers on the outcome of various gaming events. Such wagers are based on odds provided to the player by the bookmaker. The equivalent term commonly used in the US is sportsbook.
Break-Even Point
The point at which a player's bets approximately equal the payoffs received.
A player in the US who specializes in large Show bets on odds-on favorites.
The position of each horse, relative to the other horses, at specific points around the track during a race.
The favored team, side, contestant or horse in a sports event.
A player who tends to wager only on the favorites, rarely on the underdogs.
A record of each race showing finish, calls, odds and comments describing the performance of each racer. The chart is considered a useful statistical aid to handicappers for studying the past performance of each racing horse.
A statistician who compiles records and writes comments describing the performance of each horse or player.
The final odds given on a race before it begins (US). Also referred to in the UK as the Starting Price.
Crow's Nest
A high vantage point where the racetrack announcer, judges and other officials sit to observe the races.

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