BOOKMAKER: A bookmaker, or ‘bookie’, offers odds on sporting and non-sporting events to people who want to gamble. They accept bets and then pay out if they win! For example, if you bet on England to win, and they do, you get money. The amount you win depends on the odds you took.
Traditionally, bookmakers were located in shops on the high street and at racecourses. You’ll have seen them on any high street you’ve walked down. Examples include, Coral, Betfred and William Hill. You can walk in, place a bet and (if your bet wins) return with proof of your bet to collect your winnings.
These days, bookmakers are online too. Online bookies offer the same service as shop ones but with the obvious convenience of being able to ‘visited’ whenever your internet connection allows. Choose and place a bet and if it wins, your funds will be added directly into your bookmaker account. It’s then up to you to withdraw these into your bank account. Depending on the bookmaker and/or your payment type, withdrawals can take 2-5 working days.
Not all bookmakers are created equal, so make sure you know who you can trust. It’s your money, after all. OddsMonkey looks into bookmakers that are licensed to operate in the UK & Ireland and who have a good reputation. But we’d always recommend doing your own research too. And if you’ve got any doubts or reservations, don’t hesitate to ask.
ODDS: The way the likelihood of a particular outcome is shown in betting. Odds are shown as ‘fractional’ (10/1) or ‘decimal (11.00). 10/1 means that you’d receive 10 ‘units’ for every 1 units you staked (put on), plus your original bet amount too. If you stake £1 and you win, you’ll get £11 in back.
PUNTER: (Traditional) Also known as a ‘bettor’ or ‘gambler’. A person who risks money by gambling or placing a bet on something.
BETTING EXCHANGE: An online website, platform or marketplace where gamblers can bet against each other, rather than against a bookmaker. Essentially, you can take the place of the bookmaker against someone else’s bet. There are currently 4 online betting exchanges available to UK customers: Betfair, Smarkets, Betdaq and Matchbook.
BET: In sports, this is the act of predicting the outcome of a race, game or event and agreeing to forfeit money if you’re wrong. Betting isn’t just limited to sports though. Bets can be placed on anything from TV shows to the date Man’s going to land on Mars.
FLOAT: The amount of money you have available to you before you start betting. Also known as a bankroll. The idea is to build this up by completing all of the welcome offers so that you can boost your earnings later on in your matched betting journey.
QUALIFYING BET: The first bet you have to place at the bookmaker in order to qualify for and unlock the advertised free bet amount. In matched betting, you’re not aiming to make any money from this bet. That comes from the free bet itself.
BACK BET: A type of bet placed at the bookmaker. When you ‘back’ something, you are betting ‘for’ the team (or horse, or player, etc) to win. Another way to think of it is that you believe it will happen.
LAY BET: Just a complicated way of saying you’re ‘betting against’ something. Lay bets are placed at the betting exchange and are the opposite of back bets. If you ‘lay’ England to win, then you’re saying that you don’t think they will. Again, this covers both a loss and draw outcome.
FREE BET: The type of bet often ‘given away’ by bookmakers. In gambling, you’ll have to risk some of your own money in order to unlock the free bet, but with matched betting, you can unlock it and protect your own money at the same time.
LIABILITY: This is probably one of the most confusing things you’ll come across when you’re starting out matched betting. But stick with us. In traditional betting, liability is the amount of money that the person you’re betting against with Betfair stands to win from you. However, it’s different with matched betting. Don’t worry if they win it from you because you’ll win the same amount from the bookmaker. You won’t lose the liability amount.
The liability of a lay bet depends on the odds taken when you placed the bet. If you’re into the maths side of things, this formula shows how to calculate your liability: Liability = (Decimal Odds -1) x Stake.
Here’s a quick example: if you were to place a lay bet using £10 stake with decimal odds 6.5 your liability would be:
Liability = (6.5-1) x £10
= 5.5 x £10