Punter Betting Term Meaning

Punter, when used in betting, is simply another word for a bettor or gambler; meaning the person who is placing a bet.

Most Britons, Australians and New Zealanders are familiar with informal (slang) British English phrases such as, ‘worth a punt’ and ‘take a punt’. In this context, the word ‘punt’ means to gamble, bet or take a chance on something. 

From this root word, the term ‘punter’ was coined to identify the person taking the punt. You will often hear people referred to as horse racing punters or football punters. This identifies the sport that the punter prefers to bet on.

Two parties are required in order for a successful betting transaction to take place. One is the punter and the second is the bookmaker, who is also commonly referred to simply as the ‘bookie’. 

The traditional method of sports betting sees the bookmaker offering odds on an event and the punter being the one to decide if they want to bet on it.

Punters and Betting Exchanges

With the emergence of online betting exchanges, the dynamic of the punter-bookie relationship has changed. There is no bookmaker in the traditional sense as these are peer-to-peer betting platforms, so you essentially have two punters betting against one another.

Popular exchanges such as Betfair give punters the opportunity to ‘lay’ and ‘back’ bets. For instance: Novak Djokovic Vs Rafa Nadal in the French Open.

PlayerBack Lay
Rafa Nadal 1.85 1.90
Novak Djokovic 2.15 2.20

Backing means for the selection to be correct and laying means the opposite. If punter A believes Rafa will win, he will place either the ‘back’ bet on Rafa Nadal (meaning correct to win) or choose to place the ‘lay’ bet on Novak Djokovic (meaning not to win).

Punter B will be the person who takes the other side of the bet, in our example, he will be laying Rafa or backing Novak. The two punters involved then have to reach an agreement on the odds. 

As a ‘backer’, you want the highest price possible, yet the punter who is the ‘layer’ wants the lowest price possible. The platform acts as the exchange for this bet to take place. It will take the money from both punters and pay the winner when the bet is settled - minus their own commission of course.

Punter FAQ

What is a punter?

A punter is another word for a bettor or gambler, eg the person placing a bet.