There is a lot of betting slang that you might not know. It might be easier to follow if you were to look up each individual term in a dictionary or online slang database – but here’s a short list that you’ll come back to later.
When people bet, they often use the term ‘accommodation’ to refer to the fact that they’re staying somewhere else – either privately renting a property, or using a hotel or Airbnb for the duration of the bet. Accommodation in this context is the opposite of ‘completing a round’, which could also be a verb as well as a noun.
When someone bets, they are usually taking some kind of action. This could mean placing a bet, which is the actual act of betting – or it could be taking a side in a sporting event, backing a horse in a horse race, or placing a selection in the betting market for a football match.
Betting can be a highly aggressive pursuit – you’re essentially throwing your wager against the ‘odds’ of the situation. If you’re doing it right, you’ll be placing big bets, often multi-leg ones, on multiple events and sports at the same time. When people are betting aggressively, they are often using a variety of terms to signify this. The opposite of ‘aggressive’ is ‘conservative’ or ‘recreational’ – something that might not be as common in today’s society as it was in the past, but certainly a thing you could consider if you were looking to take a less aggressive approach to betting.
When people bet, they will often refer to themselves in the third person, as in: ‘That’s an alliance, Joe!’, or ‘We’re going to need an alliance to beat those guys!’. This is most likely a reference to the fact that they’re staying in alliance with other people who are also participating in the wagering activity. When people are in alliance in this way, they are often using the term ‘alliance’ in reference to a group of people – usually friends, family, and/or colleagues – who they are staying in alliance with.
When people bet, they will often compare the speed at which they’re arming to destroy their competitor’s products, or the speed at which their own products are destroying their competitors’. This is another reference to the fact that they are using guns to shoot each other with, most likely in a Western setting. When people are engaging in an arms race in this way, they are frequently using the terms ‘arms’, ‘race’, and ‘wars’ in reference to the fact that they are trying to outdo or outperform each other in some way through their competitive shooting.
In most sports, including football (soccer), basketball, and tennis, people will tip off with a certain amount of money that they’re ‘banking’ or ‘marking’ – this is money that they’re willing to lose. If you look up ‘bankroll’ in the dictionary, you’ll see that it means ‘the total amount of money one has available for betting or gaming’. When people are referring to how much money they have available to bet or how much money they have ‘in the bank’, they are usually doing so in relation to their overall bankroll. For example, a person might say: ‘I’m going to need a big bankroll to beat that guy’.
In most sports, when people bet on the outcomes of sporting events, they are often referring to themselves in the third person, as in: ‘That’s a battle, Joe!’, or ‘We’re going to need a battle to beat those guys!’ For example: ‘It’s a battle for first place, and the winner is…’ When people are battling in reference to a sporting event, they might be describing a close race or a fight to the finish. In this case, they are comparing themselves to other bettors who are also competing, albeit in a more informal manner, as in: ‘That’s a battle, Joe!’.
People who are sitting on the ‘bench’ are generally considered to be inactive or resting during a game. When people use the term ‘bench’ in this context, they are likely to be referring to a sports announcer who is not participating in the game but is instead calling it from the sidelines. ‘Bench’ also has the secondary meaning of ‘a person who is sitting on an ‘office stool’ or ‘a punishment given to a student who has misbehaved’. In these instances, the person sitting on the ‘bench’ is not actually doing any sports at all, but is instead serving a court-mandated punishment. This is in contrast to an ‘active’ bench, which is generally used when referring to a group of people who are competing in a sport.
A hand of cards can be referred to as ‘bluff’, which is simply an outdated term for an informal gambling method used during the 19th century. In card games, bluffs are often used to disguise a poor hand – in other words, when someone thinks you’ve got a good hand but are actually trying to hide it and disguise your real hand as something less. If you’re playing poker, a bluff would be when someone thinks you’ve got a good hand but are actually trying to conceal the truth. To ‘bluff’ can also mean ‘to try and trick’ or ‘to deceive’ – although these two words are often used interchangeably in this context.
‘Bold’ is frequently used by sports bettors to refer to the fact that they are placing large wagers, often multi-leg ones, on multiple sporting events. When people are playing for ‘bolds’, they are usually doing so as a bragging right or in an attempt to psychologically intimidate or frighten their competition. It is also used by some people to refer to the colour of their writing – with the ‘b’ forming a distinct, bolded letter ‘b’ – although this is generally considered a derogatory term and is used mostly among older generations.
In the context of sports betting, when someone says ‘bring’, they mean that they are bringing in more money than the previous round of betting. For example, if you’ve placed a $10,000 bet and your friend or colleague brings in $20,000, you’ll both win $30,000. In this case, the $10,000 is ‘folded’ into the $20,000 – a common term used in the sports betting world.
When people bet, they might also use the term ‘calendar’, as in: ‘We’re going to need a calendar to keep track of all these bets’. This can also be a verb as well – ‘We need to get our calendars out’, or ‘I need to get my calendar out’. In this case, a ‘calendar’ is something that will be used to keep track of appointments, meetings, or events.
When people bet, they sometimes use the term ‘carry’ to indicate the amount of money that they are responsible for paying – either through wins or losses. For example: ‘I’ll carry that one.’ If you win $2,000 and you owe another $1,000, you’ll say that you ‘carried’ or ‘won the carry’ of that bet. If you lose $1,000 and you owe another $2,000, you’ll say that you ‘bailed’ or ‘lost the carry’ of that bet.
In some situations, people who are betting might use the term ‘cash’, as in: ‘We need to have a quick conversation about the cash.’ This can also be a verb: ‘I’ll cash that check.’ When people are referring to money or currency in this manner, it is usually a sign that they’re dealing with smaller wagers, whether online or in person. In most cases, people who use the term ‘cash’ are doing so because they’re trying to disguise the fact that they are using smaller-denomination bills or coins to make the payments – otherwise, the officials at the gaming venue will consider this activity to be illegal and ask questions.