The Unofficial Guide To Betfair Jargon

betfair jargonAre you still quite new to the world of Betfair and tired of hearing words being floated around that you are not entirely sure you know the meaning of?

Welcome to the our “Unofficial guide to Betfair Jargon”!

Here we will list the meanings behind certain words and phrases you will hear often when reading sports trading related advice on the web and social media.

Green Up/Green your book/Create a green book

This is the process whereby you have traded out of your position and now profit on all potential outcomes. Since these profit figures are usually displayed in green, the phrase “green up” was coined. These days this process is more widely known as to “cash out” but those who are older to Betfair will certainly prefer to use the term “green up”.

Red Up

The opposite of to “green up”. This means you have exited your position for a guaranteed loss on both outcomes. Something we all hate to do!

A Steamer

A “steamer” usually refers to a pre-event price move where the price shortens, usually without much movement in the opposite direction. For example, if a price moved from 2.80 down to 2.20.

A drifter

A “drifter” refers to a pre-event price move where the price lengthens or goes higher. For example, if a price moves from 2.20 out to 2.80.

Scratch Trade

This refers to a trade whereby the trader has got out of the market at near to his entry price or for a very minimal loss or win. If a trader gets into trouble on a trade and manages to get the opportunity to get out with no loss he will usually consider “scratching” his trade and doing exactly that.


Each point on the Betfair prices is considered as a “tick” in a similar way to “pips” describing each point in Forex trading. So a price move from 1.80 to 1.85 is a move of 5 ticks. At prices of 2 and above the prices move differently and so ticks are considered differently. For example, between the price of 2-3 the ticks move in increments of .02. So a price move from 2.80 to 2.90 would be considered a move f 5 ticks in this price range. It is important to consider this when you trade on Betfair!

Back to Lay/Lay to back

This term is pretty self explanatory and means you will have backed an outcome at a price with the view of laying it at a lower price or the same in reverse. This is pretty much the whole sports trading concept and if you are unfamiliar with this then maybe this is not the site for you!


A gubbing is when a selection is beaten despite being very low priced in the markets either pre-event or in-play. Usually if a selection trades sub 1.10 and is beaten then it is considered a gubbing, although most prefer to reserve using the term for when a 1.01 shot is beaten. The amount of money matched at the low odds can often contribute to just how much of a “gubbing” it was.

Brown Trousers Time

A popular phrase on the Betfair forums and social media. This is usually referring to when a selection has been very low priced in the market and has had big amounts of money matched on it but is now in danger of losing. Those observing in-play will usually mention that it is “brown trousers time” for those who were backing those short prices.

The Betfair Monkey

Something that originated from the Betfair forum was the myth of a “Betfair monkey” that has the job of pressing the suspend button on sports events. Since the job of suspending the markets is something so simple, many find it funny that there are employees being paid money to do a job that is so easy a monkey could do it. Especially when sometimes the markets do not suspend in time or suspend too often. Betfair declined to confirm or deny that a monkey is indeed in charge of suspending the markets.

Mug Punters

The phrase “mug punters” or “mugs” refers to those who bet on the sporting markets in the traditional way, usually with no sort of edge present. A “mug punter” enjoys betting on the hardest markets to find an edge in such as scorecasts or huge accumulators. The average mug punter probably has no idea that sports trading exists as a concept and very rarely checks if the odds he is taking are value.


When a sports event has a shocking conclusion which has involved lots of money matched at low odds before turning into a gubbing or being close to it then many will refer to their being “carnage” on the markets. Watching these markets live when such events transpire, you will prices moving up and down in the blink of an eye as traders all over the world panic.


The process of backing 2 or more selections in the same event. Commonly used in horse racing which usually has multiple runners in the field. When used correctly it can be a good way of moving odds in your favour and lowering your risk, albeit that your reward is usually lower too.

Volatile Market

A market that has 2 or more selections trade as the favourite for reasonable lengths of time can be considered a “volatile” market. For example, in the final set of a tennis match any player that goes a break ahead will usually trade odds-on and if there are multiple breaks of serve then you can be sure the market will be volatile. When traded with experience a volatile market can be very profitable, for those with less experience a volatile market can be very dangerous!

If anyone reading this feels there should be any other words or phrases added to this list then please comment below 😀


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One Comment

  1. ” Betfair declined to confirm or deny that a monkey is indeed in charge of suspending the markets.”

    That made me spit my cornflakes out lol !! ????
    Start the day with a laugh can’t beat it!

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