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Football betting terms explained – Beginners guide to Football betting

By May 11, 2019Betting
Football betting terms explained

Football is one of the most popular sports to bet on for both beginners and experienced bettors. However, those new to the betting scene can sometimes be confused over different football betting terms and what they mean.

That’s why we’ve put together this article to help explain the most common terms you’ll find when betting on football.

Ready? Let’s jump right in.

Bookmaker or betting exchange?

To kick things off, I thought it would be a good idea to explain the difference between a bookmaker and a betting exchange as it’s one of the most common questions we get asked.

If you’re already clear on this, you can go ahead and skip this section.

So what’s the difference between a bookmaker and betting exchange?


A bookmaker or bookie as it’s often referred to is your traditional betting platform. This is the most common and popular type of betting company and one that you’ll probably use on a regular basis.

Examples of a bookmaker include Ladbrokes and Coral. At a bookmaker, you effectively bet against the company when you place a wager.

Betting exchange

A betting exchange is another common betting term you’ll come across.

An exchange is an online marketplace which matches gamblers together. A betting exchange doesn’t take on any bets as a bookmaker does meaning you don’t bet against the company. You’re betting against other punters.

The betting exchange makes money by charging a commission on players’ net winnings rather than building a profit margin into the odds. This means you’ll generally get better value odds at an exchange like Smarkets or Betfair.

Awesome, now you’ve got a better idea of the different types of betting platform, let’s look at the most common football betting terms you’ll come across as a beginner.

Football betting terms – Different bet types

Before we look at specific football betting markets, here are some basic bet types that you’ll come across.

Single bets

Single bets are the most common and popular bet type. You’ll probably start off using these bets as they’re the most simple to understand.

A single bet simply means you place one bet at a bookmaker or betting exchange.

Accumulator bets

An accumulator is a bet that contains more than one selection. It basically consists of more than one bet. For you to win the overall accumulator, every single bet has to win.

Accumulators have become very popular over the last few years and bettors are using them on a regular basis. As you can imagine, the winnings can be quite profitable as the probability of all outcomes occurring is quite low.

The bookmakers usually add promotions and offers to accumulator bets, meaning the potential winnings can be even greater.

On the other hand, accumulator bets have to be placed at one bookmaker meaning you may not always get the best odds on each selection.

Common football betting markets explained

Let’s look at some common football markets you may want to bet on.


The most basic of football betting markets, you may also see Win/Draw/Win written as 1 X 2. Don’t let this confuse you, it means the same thing.

In this market, you’re betting on the final outcome of a football fixture. The first part of the market represents a home team win, the second a draw and the third an away victory.

If you’re just getting started, I recommend you stick to the Win/Draw/Win market as it’s the easiest to understand and bet on. Once you’ve got this nailed, you can move onto markets mentioned below.

Both teams to score

This football betting term is pretty self-explanatory. You’re simply betting on both teams to score at some point in a fixture.

You should generally expect the odds for this market to be quite low unless a fixture is likely to be incredibly one-sided.

Both teams to score + Win

This football betting market is exactly the same as the one above apart from you’re also selecting a certain team to win the fixture. You’ll get better odds than the market above as the outcome is slightly less likely.

Correct score

Another self-explanatory betting market, in this scenario you’re simply selecting what you think will be the correct score in a football match. Guessing the correct score can be quite difficult so you can expect large returns if your bet wins.

Draw no bet

A draw no bet is a football betting market that is voided if the fixture ends in a draw. In other words, your wager is returned if the game finishes level.

However, if your selected team wins or loses, the bet still stands. These markets are great for bettors who think a team may win but there’s also a chance of a draw.

Double chance

A double chance bet allows you to bet on a team winning or drawing a fixture. It essentially has two parts to the bet meaning you have two chances at winning. However, you should expect much lower odds than in the Win/Draw/Win market.

Football betting goal markets

Next up in our football betting terms article, we’ll look at some common goal markets you can expect to find at different bookmakers and betting exchanges.

First goalscorer

In this football betting market, you’re betting on who you think will score the first goal of a game. You may find a number of promotions available on these markets, especially if leading goal scorers are in action.

Anytime goalscorer

Similar to the previous betting market, except you’re selection can score at any time during the fixture. Obviously, the odds will be lower than in the previous goal market.

Team to score Yes/No

In this scenario, you’re betting on a certain team to score a goal at any point during the game. If you wish, you also usually have the option to select which half you think the outcome will occur in.


In this football betting market, you’re betting on who will be the first goalscorer as well as the final outcome of the fixture. As you can imagine, winning outcomes are quite unlikely meaning large returns if you land your bet.


Another popular betting market in the online football betting world. There are many different markets that the Over/Under category can be added to. However, here are some of the most common ones you’ll come across.

Over/Under Goals

In this football betting market, you’re basically betting whether you think the actual number of gaols will be over or under a certain number.

Over/Under Corners

Similar to the football market above, you’re betting on the total number of corners during a fixture. You can select whether you think the number will be higher or lower than a certain figure.

As I mentioned earlier, the Over/Under market can be added to a huge range of categories meaning the potential options are endless.

Other football betting markets

You can also bet on other types of football market including outrights and specials. However, these markets are pretty self-explanatory.

Football betting terms

That’s it for our football betting terms. Whilst there are many more terms you may come across, that list should certainly get you started.

Are we missing some key football betting terms? Leave a comment below and we’ll get the article updated as soon as possible.

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About Charles

Charles is the founder of The Sure Bettor. He built the company with the aim of 'getting the word out' about matched betting.

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