Betting Signs In Cock fights (Filipino Sabong)

I am a Sabungero who frequent cockpits in areas like Pasay, Sta. Ana, Roligon and Batik cockpit in Muntinlupa a few years ago.  I don’t normally call when betting in cockfights as I am more of a Dejadista.  So I just wait for the calls to go deeper and when the disadvantaged cock is also quite good in its looks, I make a bet.

Even though I don’t make calls to bet, I understand fully the betting signs and terminologies used.  One time I was forced (willingly) to act as a Kristo because my friend from Tacloban City went to Manila to watch the World Slasher Derby in Araneta Coliseum.  Since the betting signs of cock fights are different in Manila, they are not familiar with it and needed someone to act as their Kristo to manage the calls and betting.

That was the time that I realized betting signs and calls are different in many places around the country.  I went to my cousin in Pampanga and saw that they also have different calls for every bet.

Since Manila is the center of World slasher competitions, I felt it necessary to make this article so those who are not familiar with the signs and calls of cock fighting  bets can have a crash course.  Due to space limitation, we will focus on the monetary signs so you will understand how much you should be betting in every instance.

To understand better betting signs, you have to be familiar the following hand signals.

20 bucks betting sign

Fingers Pointing Upwards

This means you are betting in tens or less than 100 bucks.  Two fingers pointing up means you want to bet 20 bucks. Very few do this in big cockpits but you can still find small bets in the provinces and hack fights.

800 bucks betting sign

Fingers Pointing Sidewards

This means you want to bet in hundreds.  Each finger corresponds to 100 bucks.  the more fingers you display sidewards, the more hundreds it is.  In this picture, the sign is to bet 800 bucks.  You can bet up to 900 bucks using your fingers in sidewards position.  When it comes to more than that like a bet of 950 bucks, you have to show 9 fingers pointing sidewards and then immediately flash 5 fingers pointing upwards for the remaining 50 bucks.

2,000 bucks betting sign

Fingers Pointing Downwards

We now come to thousands sign.  All fingers pointing downwards will mean how much in thousand bucks you want to bet.  Two fingers will mean 2,000 as shown in the picture.  You can bet any amount you want using betting signs.

One thing to always remember though is to be careful with betting signs especially if it is  in thousands.  If you want to bet 8,000 bucks,  just point your fingers downward once and don’t repeat it. Pointing 8 fingers downward “twice” means you are betting 16,000 and no longer 8,000.

Some Advice

When you have placed your bet, remember the person with whom you placed your bet.  Since betting calls are normally from a distance and you could be up to 10 meters away from the other person who accepted your bet, it is important to memorize how he appeared.  The color of his shirt is one of the best mnemonic device if it is not easy to remember his face.

After you have placed your bet and before the actual fight (sultada), look at the other guy and repeat to him by way of signs your betting arrangement.  This helps to make you remember him and also reminds him of your bet.

Remember that even if Kristos are supposed to be experts in betting signs, sometimes they also get confused especially if they accepted too many bets from different persons.  So it is best that you get his attention and remind him.

For more on this topic, read Cockfighting Bet Calls and Signs.

Good luck on your next cockfighting bet!

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