Progress Publishing Co.

 Jai Alai Glossary


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Jai Alai Glossary


Jai Alai Glossary

Jai Alai betting terms


Aro – the wooden frame of a jai alai cesta.

Arrimada – a specific shot made along the side wall with reverse spin.

Atchiki – the time between catching and returning the ball.

Bote corrido – a ball that slides and slips instead of bouncing.

Bote pronto – a ball returned with an underhand shot off a short bounce.

Cancha – the playing area of the jai alai fronton.

Carombola – a ball that hits front and side walls then hits the cancha and bounces off in the direction of the screen between the audience and the players.

Cesta – the elongated woven basket or wicker sling attached to a player’s wrist to catch and return the ball (pelota).

Cestero – a person who makes and repairs cestas.

Chic Chac – a pelota, which hits the floor very close to the back wall and then immediately hits the wall.

Chula – a ball that can no be returned because it hit the angle between the floor and the back wall.

Cinta – the tape used to attach the cesta to a jai alai player’s wrist.

Contracancha – a wooden area on the right side of the floor. If a ball lands on it on its bounce it’s considered to be out of bounds.

Corredores – the bookmakers.

Corta – an underserve.

Cortada – it is the “short ball”, which was thrown from the extreme right side of the court. It hits the front wall very close to the floor and then hits the floor.

Daily double – a bet that two chosen teams or players will win two consecutive games.

Delantero – a froncourt player in jai alai game.

Dejada – a soft shot that lands the ball on the front wall just above the foul line and the ball drops on the floor without a real bounce.

Dos paredos – it’s a shot that hits two walls – a front and the side one - regardless of the order.

Effecto – a spin of the ball.

Exacta (Perfecta) – a bet that two teams or players will finish first and second in the chosen order.

Faja – a piece of a colored cloth around the waist of the players.

Frontis – a front wall of the jai alai playing area.

Fronton – a building where a jai alai competition takes place.

Guante – a glove attached to the cesta for a player’s hand.

Jai alai – the name of the game. Original meaning in Basque language is “joyful festival”.

Libre – the word from a player to his teammate meaning that a player is not too close to the wall and he can keep moving.

Mala – a ball that lands in the foul area of fronton.

Partido – a very long game that may result in more than 20 points between two teams.

Pelota – a ball used in Jai Alai game.

Pelotari – a Jai Alai player.

Picada – a shot that moves a ball with a great spin. The ball hits a front wall and bounces off the floor under a very sharp angle.

Pica y vete – a “killer” shot almost impossible to return. The ball hits a front wall and bounces off the floor in the direction of a player’s box.

Place – a bet that a player or a team will take first or second place.

Quinella (Quiniela) – a bet that two teams or player will finish first and second in any order.

Rebote – usually means a ball that was returned after it had rebounded off the back wall.

Remate – a shot that bounces strongly off the sidewall and thrown with the sidearm motion.

Show – a bet that a team or a player will finish first, second or third.

Trifecta – a bet that three teams or players will finish first, second and third in the exact order.

Win – a bet that a team or a player will win.

Zaguero – a backcourt player in jai alai game.

Copyright Progress Publishing Co. 2006

Selected References:

John Scarne  New Complete Guide to Gambling The Gambling Times Guide to Winning Systems
Kelso Sturgeon  Guide to Sports Betting Alice Fleming  Something for Nothing/A History of Gambling
Carl Sifakis  The Encyclopedia of Gambling Alan Wykes   The Complete Illustrated Guide to Gambling
Z. Hollander, D. Schulz  The Jai Alai Handbook Don Lostritto  Jai Alai Wagering to Win