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Racebook Terms

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

Schooling Race
A practice race conducted under actual racing conditions, but in which no wagering is allowed.
Score
To win a great amount of money due to successful wagering.
Scout
A person who studies the performance and potential of teams, horses or contestants, and reports the pertinent findings to handicapper(s).
Scratch
To withdraw, cancel or call off a wager.
Sharp
A wise guy.
Short Odds
The odds for an event that has a good chance of occurring.
Show
Describes a third-place finish. A player collects if his selection finishes first, second or third.
Single Bet
A bet on a single result or outcome; a wager on a specific horse or greyhound, in a single designated race, to win at the given odds. This is the most uncomplicated and common bet. If the player's dog crosses the finish line in first place, he collects. See also Straight Bet and Win (Bet).
Sire
The male parent of an animal, e.g., the father of a greyhound or horse.
Smart Money
Money wagered on sides by knowledgeable handicappers.
Soft Line
A wagering line that is not current with the true posted line; a line that has been adjusted or moved as a result of action but doesn't reflect the true line as posted.
Square
An unsophisticated player.
Stake
Money used to wager on the success or failure of a particular event.
Stakes Race
A greyhound or horse race for a championship, or for a purse larger than those offered for ordinary feature races.
Steam
When a betting line on a selection starts to move quite rapidly, usually due to a rapid increase in the number of players wagering on it. Most steam games do not necessarily reflect the right side, but are sides where the majority of players have decided to focus their attention and action.
Straight Bet (Wager)
A wager on a specific horse or team, in a single designated race or game, to win at the given odds. This is the simplest and most common bet. Also see Single Bet, and Win (Bet).
Straight Wager (Bet)
A single straightforward wager on a selected side, or over/under. The team wagered on must win by the point spread given at the time of the wager.
Superfecta
A wager placed on any four horses or greyhounds to cross the finish line in a specific order.
System
A method of wagering that is usually based on a mathematical formula and is used by a player to get an edge.
Take
The money taken from the betting pool by track management for the state, as well as the racing association.
Teller's Cage
The location at a race track where the player may make financial transactions, i.e., place bets, make change, cash checks and collect winnings.
Totalisator Machine
A computerized system that records amounts wagered, prints tickets for players, calculates odds and displays them on screens throughout a racetrack.
Tote Board
A board located behind the backstretch of the racetrack that displays the odds, pools, results and payoffs of each race.
Tout
A person who either sells or gives away his selections on games, races or contests.
Tout Service
A business that sells opinions of sporting events.
Trifecta
A wager on three selections, in a single designated race, to cross the finish line in a specific order. Also see, Tricast and Treble Forecast (UK).
Trifecta Box
Racing term referring to a player making three picks to finish first, second and third in any order.
Underdog
The team, side or contestant in any given event considered the least likely to win.
Underlay
A bad bet. An underlay occurs when the odds of a particular wagering proposition are lower than they should be, i.e. they favor the house. In such circumstances, players often bet that an event will take place but without justification.
Value
An overlay, i.e., getting the best odds on a wager.
Vigorish
The fee or commission paid to a bookmaker (bookie) or taken by the house. Also known as Vig or Juice.
VIP
Acronym for a big bettor deemed worthy of full complementary treatment, i.e., RFB.
Void
Invalid with no result.
Wager
The amount of money a player voluntarily risks on a game. The wager can be in the form of cash, chips or vouchers.
Win (Bet)
A wager on a specific horse or greyhound to win at the given odds. This is the simplest and most common bet. If the player's selection crosses the finish line in first place, he collects. Also see, Straight bet, and Single bet.
Winner's Circle
An area where the winning greyhound or horse is on display following the race and is often involved in a ceremonial presentation.
Wire
The official finish line for a greyhound or horse race.

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