Different gambling and sports betting terminology used around the world
If you are excited about the opening of the new Desert Diamond Casino West Valley or you like to wager at Arizona’s fantastic casino facilities, you will be familiar with some of the terminology that exists in the gambling world. But if you use the same vocabulary when you travel abroad, you might find that people stare at you blankly.
For example, if you go to a bookmaker in the UK and ask to place a money-line bet they will probably not understand you. In the UK, the bet would simply be referred to as a ‘win’ or ‘winner’ bet. Likewise, a point spread bet is known as a ‘handicap’ or ‘Asian handicap’ bet. In both cases, one team is given a virtual advantage over the other to create an even playing field. You can bet on American sports in the UK, but bettors are more likely to wager on soccer, currently dominated by European champions Liverpool.
Speaking of playing fields, if you are chatting sports betting in the UK, the field will usually be referred to as a ‘pitch’. And if you want to bet on a shutout in a soccer game (or football as they call it), you’ll have to remember to call it a ‘clean sheet’. Also, if you are betting on a tie, you need to use the word ‘draw’. A tie in the UK can refer to a game in a cup competition for example: “Liverpool’s second-round tie against Arsenal on Saturday.”
Also, the UK uses fractional odds. So odds of +400 would be written as 4/1 and odds of +100 are referred to as ‘evens’ or ‘even money’. In the rest of Europe, they use decimal odds, so +400 would be displayed as 5.00 (the total amount returned from $1 bet including the stake) and +100 would be written as 2.00.
Playing the slots
If you want to play slots in the UK, you should be okay. Everyone understands what a slot machine is but they might also call them ‘fruit machines’, a term that dates back to the times when fruit symbols were used on slots. But if you are playing online in the UK, they will always be called slots. If you head to Australia, however, things get a little complicated. Rather than calling them slots or fruit machines, they call them ‘pokies’, both in casinos and on popular mobile apps such as Royal Vegas. So if you hear someone say: “There has been some big pokie wins down at Coffs Harbor recently,” you’ll know what they are talking about.
More terms to learn
Another phrase you should avoid using is ‘the chalk’. This is a typically American term and will not be understood elsewhere. If you are wagering in the UK, it is better to use the world favorite. They will understand ‘underdog’ but if you shorten it to ‘dog’ they will probably think you mean a greyhound. And finally, don’t ask for a parlay bet, in the UK this is referred to as a ‘multiple’ or an ‘accumulator’. And accumulator may sometimes be shortened to ‘acca’. In Australia, this might be called a ‘multi-bet’.
In mainland Europe, the types of markets and bets available are practically the same as in the UK, although the terminology may change from language to language. In Australia, the betting terminology is almost identical to that used in the UK but remember that ‘football’ in Australia refers to Aussie Rules football (AKA as Australian football) not soccer or US football.