Underdog

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In the battle between David and Goliath, David is an archetypal example of an underdog. Osmar Schindler David und Goliath.jpg
In the battle between David and Goliath, David is an archetypal example of an underdog.


An underdog is a person or group in a competition, usually in sports and creative works, who is largely expected to lose. [1] The party, team, or individual expected to win is called the favorite or top dog. In the case where an underdog wins, the outcome is an upset. An "underdog bet" is a bet on the underdog or outsider for which the odds are generally higher.

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The first recorded uses of the term occurred in the second half of the 19th century; [2] [3] its first meaning was "the beaten dog in a fight". [4]

In British and American culture, underdogs are highly regarded. This harkens to core Judeo-Christian stories, such as that of David and Goliath, and also ancient British legends such as Robin Hood and King Arthur, and reflects the ideal behind the American dream, where someone who is poor and/or weak can use hard work to achieve victory. [5] Underdogs are most valorized in sporting culture, both in real events, such as the Miracle on Ice, and in popular culture depictions of sports, where the trope is omnipresent. [5] The idea is so common that even when teams are evenly matched, spectators and commentators are drawn to establishing one side as the underdog. [5] Historian David M. Potter explained that underdogs are appealing to Americans not because they simply beat the odds, but overcome an injustice that explains those odds - such as the game being unfairly rigged due to privilege and power. [5]

In a story, the Fool is often an underdog if they are the main character. Their apparent ineptitude leads to people underestimating their true abilities, and they are able to win either through luck or hidden wisdom against a more powerful, "establishment" villain. An example in film is The Tramp portrayed by Charlie Chaplin. [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

Gambling Wagering of money on a game of chance or event with an uncertain outcome

Gambling is the wagering something of value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the intent of winning something of value. Gambling thus requires three elements to be present: consideration, risk (chance), and a prize. The outcome of the wager is often immediate, such as a single roll of dice, a spin of a roulette wheel, or a horse crossing the finish line, but longer time frames are also common, allowing wagers on the outcome of a future sports contest or even an entire sports season.

Roulette Game of chance

Roulette is a casino game named after the French word meaning little wheel which was likely developed from the Italian game Biribi. In the game, players may choose to place bets on either a single number, various groupings of numbers, the colors red or black, whether the number is odd or even, or if the numbers are high (19–36) or low (1–18).

Goliath A Philistine giant in the Bible

Goliath is described in the biblical Book of Samuel as a Philistine giant defeated by the young David in single combat. The story signified Saul's unfitness to rule, as Saul himself should have fought for Israel. Scholars today believe that the original listed killer of Goliath was Elhanan, son of Jair, and that the authors of the Deuteronomic history changed the original text to credit the victory to the more famous character, David.

Spread betting is any of various types of wagering on the outcome of an event where the pay-off is based on the accuracy of the wager, rather than a simple "win or lose" outcome, such as fixed-odds betting or parimutuel betting.

Fixed-odds betting is a form of wagering against odds offered by a bookmaker or an individual or on a bet exchange. It involves betting on an event in which there is no fluctuation on the payout. In Australia, the practice is usually known as "SP betting".

Bookmaker Organization or person that takes bets on sporting events

A bookmaker, bookie, or turf accountant is an organization or a person that accepts and pays off bets on sporting and other events at agreed-upon odds.

Bluff (poker) Tactic in poker and other card games

In the card game of poker, a bluff is a bet or raise made with a hand which is not thought to be the best hand. To bluff is to make such a bet. The objective of a bluff is to induce a fold by at least one opponent who holds a better hand. The size and frequency of a bluff determines its profitability to the bluffer. By extension, the phrase "calling somebody's bluff" is often used outside the context of poker to describe situations where one person demands that another proves a claim, or proves that they are not being deceptive.

Faro (card game) French gambling card game

Faro, Pharaoh, Pharao, or Farobank is a late 17th-century French gambling card game. It is descended from Basset, and belongs to the Lansquenet and Monte Bank family of games due to the use of a banker and several players. Winning or losing occurs when cards turned up by the banker match those already exposed.

Odds provide a measure of the likelihood of a particular outcome. They are calculated as the ratio of the number of events that produce that outcome to the number that do not. Odds are commonly used in gambling and statistics.

In the United Kingdom and in some other places, the silly season is the period lasting for a few summer months typified by the emergence of frivolous news stories in the media. It is known in many languages as the cucumber time. The term is first attested in 1861, was listed in the second (1894) edition of Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, and remains in use at the start of the 21st century. The 15th edition of Brewer's expands on the second, defining the silly season as "the part of the year when Parliament and the Law Courts are not sitting ".

Vigorish is the fee charged by a bookmaker for accepting a gambler's wager. In American English it can also refer to the interest owed a loanshark in consideration for credit. The term came to English usage via Yiddish slang, which was itself a loanword from Ukrainian or Russian.

Sports betting Form of gambling

Sports betting is the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. The frequency of sports bet upon varies by culture, with the vast majority of bets being placed on association football, American football, basketball, baseball, hockey, track cycling, auto racing, mixed martial arts, and boxing at both the amateur and professional levels. Sports betting can also extend to non-athletic events, such as reality show contests and political elections, and non-human contests such as horse racing, greyhound racing, and illegal, underground cockfighting. It is not uncommon for sports betting websites to offer wagers for entertainment events such as the Grammy Awards, the Oscars, and the Emmy Awards.

Handicapping

Handicapping, in sport and games, is the practice of assigning advantage through scoring compensation or other advantage given to different contestants to equalize the chances of winning. The word also applies to the various methods by which the advantage is calculated. In principle, a more experienced participant is disadvantaged, or a less experienced or capable participant is advantaged, in order to make it possible for the less experienced participant to win whilst maintaining fairness. Handicapping is used in scoring many games and competitive sports, including go, shogi, chess, croquet, golf, bowling, polo, basketball, and track and field events. Handicap races are common in clubs which encourage all levels of participants, such as swimming or in cycling clubs and sailing clubs, or which allow participants with a variety of standards of equipment. Often races, contests or tournaments where this practice is competitively employed are known as Handicaps.

The Australian and New Zealand punting glossary explains some of the terms, jargon and slang which are commonly used and heard on Australian and New Zealand racecourses, in TABs, on radio, and in the horse racing media. Some terms are peculiar to Australia, such as references to bookmakers, but most are used in both countries.

Betting arbitrage is an example of arbitrage arising on betting markets due to either bookmakers' differing opinions on event outcomes or errors. When conditions allow, by placing one bet per each outcome with different betting companies, the bettor can make a profit regardless of the outcome. Mathematically, arbitrage occurs when there are a set of odds, which represent all mutually exclusive outcomes that cover all state space possibilities of an event, whose implied probabilities add up to less than 1. In the bettors' slang an arbitrage is often referred to as an arb; people who take advantage of these arbitrage opportunities are called arbers.

Asian handicap betting is a form of betting on football in which teams are handicapped according to their form so that a stronger team must win by more goals for a punter betting on them to win. The system originated in Indonesia and has gained popularity in the early 21st century. It is a form of spread betting. Handicaps typically range from one-quarter goal to several goals, in increments of half- or even quarter-goals.

A tipster is someone who regularly provides information (tips) on the likely outcomes of sporting events on internet sites or special betting places.

Isonomy (horse) British Thoroughbred racehorse

Isonomy was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from 1877 to 1880 he ran fourteen times and won ten races. As a three-year-old he deliberately bypassed the Classics in order that his owner could land a massive betting coup in the Cambridgeshire Handicap at Newmarket. In the following two seasons he was the dominant stayer in Britain, producing a series of performances which led many contemporary observers to regard him as one of the greatest racehorses of the 19th century. He was then retired to stud, where he became a successful stallion.

Glossary of North American horse racing:

Betting on horse racing

Betting on horse racing or horse betting commonly occurs at many horse races. It started in the UK in the early 1600s during the reign of King James I. Gamblers can stake money on the final placement of the horses taking part in a race. Gambling on horses is, however, prohibited at some racetracks. For example, because of a law passed in 1951, betting is illegal in Springdale Race Course, home of the nationally renowned Toronto-Dominion Bank Carolina Cup and Colonial Cup Steeplechase in Camden, South Carolina.

References

  1. Keinan, Anat; Avery, Jill; Paharia, Neeru. "Capitalizing on the Underdog Effect". Harvard Business Review (November 2010). Retrieved 13 April 2013.
    "Everyone loves a scrappy underdog", as the article observes.
  2. "Definition of UNDERDOG". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  3. The Shorter Oxford Dictionary, Third Edition, 1983. First use 1887.
  4. The Shorter Oxford Dictionary, Third Edition, 1983.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Halberstam, J. Jack; Lowe, Lisa (2016). "Everybody Loves an Underdog". Asian American Sporting Cultures. NYU Press. p. 79. ISBN   1479840815.
  6. Snyder, Blake (2005). "Give Me The Same Thing... Only Different!". Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need. Michael Wiese Productions. p. 37. ISBN   1615930000.