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what does wager mean in betting

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A wager is just another name for placing a bet. Yes, it really is that simple. We’re going to fully explore the subject of what does wager mean in betting here. In particular, this term can be used to describe a requirement of how much needs to be bet, in order to be compliant with some sort of offer or bonus. Read on to learn everything that you need to know about wagers.

Most Popular Types of Wager on Sport

Let’s start by going through some of the most popular types of wager that you can expect to find on all the best betting sites right now:

  • Acca – A type of wager that has multiple selections, which all need to win for the overall bet to be successful. Multiple bets with four or more selections are known as accumulators, or accas for short.
  • Double – A wager featuring two selections, where both must win for the overall bet to be a winner.
  • Each Way – This is effectively two wagers, with one half of the bet going on your selection to win and the other half going on your pick to place.
  • Full Cover Bet – This type of wager involves multiple selections and then covers every possible permutation between the picks, from doubles upwards to a full acca.
  • Place – A bet on sports that you can make like horse racing or golf, where you are wagering on a selection finishing within a stated about of places, such as the top three in a horse race, or the top five in a golf tournament.
  • 1X2 – Betting on the result of a match in team sports such as football, rugby, cricket etc. There are three outcomes: 1 is a home win, X a draw, and 2 an away win.
  • Single – A wager where you pick just one single selection, which will be successful if the pick is a winner.
  • Treble – This bet features three selections, which must all win for the overall wager to be successful.
  • Win – A wager placed for a selection to win an event.

How to Place a Wager

Now that you know what is a wager, we’re going to show you how to place a bet. If you’ve not placed one before, you may be unsure of how to go about such a task, so we’ll take you through it step-by-step.

Step 1: Choose a Bookie

Select one of our recommended bookmakers and visit their website.

Step 2: Register Your Account

BetUK wager 1

Find where you need to click to open an account and register your personal details. You will generally have to select a password and may have to undergo some security checks.

Step 3: Deposit Some Money

Once your betting account is set up, you will need to add some funds. Choose a payment method and how much you want to deposit, before confirming your choice.

Step 4: Find a Bet

With money in your account, it is time to select a bet. Go through the list of sports and choose the one that you want. You can then go through the different events and select a particular market that interests you.

BetUK wager 2

Step 5: Place Your Wager

Click on the odds and the wager will be transferred to a betting slip. Enter the stake and check that everything is correct. Once you’re satisfied, click confirm to place your bet.

How Fixed Odds Wagering Works

When dealing with the question of what does wager mean in betting, there are different types of bets to consider. You can place a wager on a betting exchange or betting on the Tote for example, but by far the most common and popular type of betting are fixed odds.

With fixed odds, you place a wager and as the name suggests, the odds are fixed at the price that is available when you confirm the bet. Any winnings are calculated by multiplying your stake by the odds.

So if for example you placed a £10 bet at odds of 1/2, it would be calculated as £10 x 1/2 = £5 winnings. Odds of 1/1 would be calculated as £10 x 1/1 = £10.

A price of 2/1 would be £10 x 2/1 = £20 winnings. With fixed betting odds, the second number (the 1 in 2/1) represents your stake and the first number (the 2 in 2/1) is how much stake is multiplied by.

How is a Wager Different from a Stake in Your Bet?

Many people get confused between what does wager mean in betting and what does stake mean for a bet. Put simply, the wager is the bet as a whole. The stake is one of the components of the wager.

As we have just explained, a wager at fixed odds is comprised of a chosen stake being multiplied by the odds. With a price of 8/13, the second number represents the odds and the first the potential winnings. So a £13 wager would result in £8 winnings.

British punters are wagering and staking online aplenty, that’s for sure. According to UK Gambling Commission statistics published in November 2022, the gross gambling yield for remote betting totalled £2,400,000,000 in the surveyed period. That is a lot of money people are betting, and by extension wagers being placed, in the UK.

What is a Wagering Requirement?

We’ve now very much covered the word wager meaning and what it refers to. Now we will deal with a related topic. So, just what is a wagering requirement?

You will see the word ‘wagering’ alongside ‘requirements’ quite often in relation to sports betting bonuses on bookmakers’ sites. It refers to the amount of wagering that is required, for the punter to be eligible for a bonus or offer.

So you might for example, see a wagering requirement expressed as x10, which means that you have to bet a bonus amount ten times before you can withdraw any funds.

There can also be other associated requirements that come under the wagering banner. We’re going to take a look at the most common ones below.

Common Wagering Requirements in Terms & Conditions

Here are some of the most common forms of wagering requirements found with bookmaker betting offers and deals. This related aspect to what does wager mean in betting circles is important for deposit offers and casino bonuses more than sports, but can still apply through these key terms and conditions:

  • Eligible Bets/Markets – Some offers limit the types of bets or markets which are eligible for the deal.
  • Expiration Period – There is generally a time limit or expiry date to both meet the qualifying requirements of the offer and to then use the bonus.
  • Maximum Bet – The highest amount of a stake that will be covered by the promotion in question.
  • Minimum Deposit – For offers that are targeted at new customers, or involve a deposit bonus, there will be a minimum deposit level that you must make.
  • Minimum Odds – When you place a qualifying bet, there will be minimum odds that must be observed. There are also generally minimum odds which must be met for free bets or bonuses.
  • Minimum Stake – There will be a level of stake that must be met when placing a qualifying bet.
  • Payment Restrictions – When you make a qualifying deposit for a welcome deal or deposit bonus, there may be certain payment types that are restricted.
  • Promo Code – There can sometimes be a promo code that has to be entered during the registration phase, in order to qualify for the bonus deal.
  • Rollover Requirements – The amount of times that a bonus amount must be bet, before any funds can be withdrawn.

Why Offers with Little to No Wagering Requirements are Better

When it comes to online betting offers and promotions, the less requirements there are, the better. If there are additional terms and conditions that you must comply with, the more difficult it is for the punter to emerge with a profit.

You want a free choice on what markets and events to bet on, for both your qualifying bet and with any bonus bet. In both cases, it is also useful to have relatively low minimum odds, allowing you to place wagers with a statistically better chance of landing.

Short expiry periods give you very little breathing room to make a decision. Excessive rollover requirements can often make it virtually impossible to keep on winning. Look out for bonus offers with relatively few hoops to jump through with common terms and conditions, whilst trying to avoid those that are designed to trip you up.

Tips for Placing Successful Wagers

Now you know what does wager mean in betting, you’ll be ready to place some yourself. Here are some tips and strategies that will help you to emerge with a profit.

Put in the Hard Work

Putting in the hard work before you make a bet, will see you rewarded. Do your research. Look into the stats regarding the event in question and keep up with any of the latest news that could have an impact, such as team selection in football. Doing your homework can give you an edge over the bookie and create instances where you spot value bets.

Look For Value

A value bet is one where the odds are bigger than the true probability of the wager winning. Obviously there is no way of 100% accurately knowing the true probability of a bet being successful, but with hard work and experience, you will begin to spot opportunities where the odds are clearly too big. Sometimes it’s because all the money is going towards a popular favourite, inflating the odds elsewhere. On other occasions, stats can highlight where there is value lurking.

Make the Most of Offers and Features

Another way to gain a bit of extra value is to make the most of bookmakers’ offers and features. Free bets, insurance deals, deposit bonuses and the many other kinds of offers, all give you the chance to earn some extra cash at the bookies’ expense. A feature that is useful for gaining extra value is Bet Builder. It allows you to add different types of wager together from one event, into a same-game accumulator. This is a perfect way to bump up the odds, as you add short-priced bets that are bound to land.

Avoid These Mistakes When Wagering on Sports

In addition to the tips that we’ve just given to you, keep in mind these common mistakes that punters often make when placing bets on sports:

  • Chasing Losses – If your bet loses, it can be tempting to place another bet, in an effort to win back your stake. It’s generally a mistake. Your bets should be well thought out and planned. Take a break and come back tomorrow, stronger.
  • Heart Over Head – Don’t let your heart rule your head, which can lead to mistakes like betting on your favourite football team, without much thought of whether the bet will win.
  • Moving Out of Comfort Zone – Stick to online betting on sports that you know well and follow in detail. Don’t bet on a big event, just because everyone’s talking about it, if you don’t know the first thing about the sport in question.
  • Not Keeping Records – Keeping records is essential. They will show you the type of bets that are successful for you and the ones that tend not to be. Over time, that knowledge allows you to refine your craft.


What’s the difference between a wager and a bet?

How do wagering requirements work?

Do you lose your wagered stake if you win?

Why do wagering requirements exist?

How much does a wager pay?

Can you avoid wagering requirements?

Dan Fitch
Dan Fitch
Dan Fitch

A writer and editor for some of the top names in the gambling industry for nearly 20 years, Dan also works as a freelance sports journalist for publications and websites such as ESPN, FourFourTwo and LiveScore.

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