Monkey Betting Term Meaning

A ‘monkey’, when used in the context of betting, refers to wager of £500. It’s mainly used by punters in the UK although you may also hear it in certain Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

The use of the word ‘monkey’ apparently came from British soldiers who were stationed in India as the 500 rupee banknote had an image of a monkey on it. 

Back in the UK, it became popular as part of the cockney rhyming slang vocabulary used by people in the east end of London. A few other references to money used by cockneys are:

  • A nicker or Alan Whicker (£1)
  • Deep sea diver (£5)
  • Cockle or Cock and Hen (£10)
  • Score (£20)
  • Pony (£25)
  • Bullseye (£50)
  • Ton (£100)

To most casuals, betting a monkey is unimaginable but there are plenty of professional bettors, sharps, and other well-off punters that will happily slap down a monkey or more on a single wager. These will generally be well-informed bets. 

You will rarely see a punter putting a monkey of a 100/1 outsider in the National. The common rule of thumb is the higher the stakes, the lower the odds. 

Acting on monkey bets

Betting online has many advantages but receiving (or overhearing) on-track tips from other punters is not one of them. If you’ve been to a horse racing track or greyhound stadium in the south of England and mingled around the bookmakers’ boards near race time, the chances are you would have heard a punter or two yelling, “I’ll (h)ave a monkey on the chalk.” This translates to, ‘I will bet £500 on the favourite.’

While it can be very tempting to act upon this information, you need to use your own judgement before placing a bet yourself. Certainly, the punter may well know something that you don’t, in which case, you have just stumbled upon a great tip but there is always the chance that they will be wrong.

This is where websites such as come to your aid. Our site is packed with thousands of betting tips from a wide variety of sources. 

It allows punters to make more educated betting choices based on the information offered. As you become more experienced, and your betting improves, you may well be putting a monkey on the chalk yourself in the future.

Monkey Bet FAQ

What is a Monkey Bet?

A monkey bet refers to wager of £500. It is mainly used in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.