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Betting School

What is Asian Handicap Betting?

Asian handicap betting has gained in popularity over recent seasons and is considered one of the core spread betting markets in football today for many professional punters and gamblers, originating from Asia this type of bet is now very popular here in Europe.

What Are Handicaps?

Handicapping is a way of making a sports contest more even which also makes it more interesting to bet on. In betting, this is done by awarding one of the teams, the underdog, some points or goals lead.

What are Asian Handicaps?

Asian handicaps, just like the name suggests, trace their origins to Asia and at the beginning it was that region where they were primarily used.

However, their popularity continually grew and nowadays they are also offered by the European bookmakers and top bettors gladly use them.


The main reason is that because of asian handicaps the bookmakers can enforce bigger margin and the odds are significantly higher.

It is so because every action is calculated in a two-way choice manner, not like in the case of three way choice classic bet manner (There is no draw option anymore).

Asian handicaps also enable one to make a winning bet on an outsider, for example because of the AH (+2) option as well as finding the high odds (value) for the absolute front-runner (for example making a bet AH (-1.5) with 1.80 odds instead of the regular ‘1’ with 1.28 odds).

Different Types of Asian Handicaps

The main reason Asian Handicaps may appear complicated at first is that they are expressed in many different ways.

The 0.5 Asian Handicap

1.95 AC Milan (-0.5) v Liverpool (0.5) 1.95

The first figure 1.95 is the odds available and the figure in brackets is the handicap.

This means that Liverpool receive an imaginary half a goal lead at the start of the match.

If you bet on AC Milan who start half a goal down, they have to win the match for your bet to win.

If you bet on Liverpool, you win if they win the match or if they draw.

The 0 Asian Handicap

This occurs when the likelihood of either team winning is fairy level. Here you are really betting without the draw being an option. You win if your selected team wins. If it is a draw, your stake is returned.

The 1 Asian Handicap

If you choose the -1 handicapped selection, your team needs to win by at least 2 clear goals for your bet to win. If your team only wins by one goal then the stake is refunded.

If you select the team who has a one goal lead (+1) then you win if they win or draw. If your team lose by just one goal then stake is refunded. This is a good bet if you fancy an underdog to get a result. Even if you are wrong, if they can limit the defeat to just one goal then you don’t lose.

The 1.5 Asian Handicap

Here, if you bet the -1.5 handicapped team you win if the team wins the match by two or more goals.

If you select the team which has a start (+1.5) then you win if the team wins or draws. You also win if it loses by one goal!

The Double Asian Handicap Explained

In double handicap betting the wager is split in two. 

For example:

Luton (-1/2,-1) v Watford (+1/2,+1)

In this example half the stake money is placed on Luton minus half a goal and the other half on Luton minus 1 goal. The result of the bet is worked out using the methods described above.

Often the double Asian handicaps are expressed as decimals. The figure being the mid point between the two handicaps. In this example you might there for see -0.75 Luton v Watford +0.75. 

Double Handicap 0, 0.5

This is also known as the level half Asian handicap and could be referred to as -0.25 (0,-0.5)and +0.25 (0,0.5).

If you bet on the team which is 0, -0.5 on the handicap then you win if the team wins by one goal or more. If it draws you lose 50 per cent of your stake. The other half of the stake is returned. Returning of the stake when your bet or part of your bet equals the handicap is also known as a push.

If you select the opposition 0, +0.5 then you win if the team wins the match. If it draws, half your stake is returned and half is a winner at the odds taken.

The Double Asian Handicap 0.5, 1

If you select the (-0.5, -1) handicapped team, also could be referred to as -0.75 then you win if the team wins the match by two or more goals. If it wins by one goal, half your stake is returned and half is a winner at the odds taken.

If you select the opposition (+0.5, +1) team, could also be known as +0.75 then you win if the team wins or draws the match. If it loses by one goal, you lose 50 per cent of the amount staked. 

Bookmakers Odds For Asian Handicap Bets

In handicaps without a draw option, bookmakers vary in the odds set and the advantage that they take in terms of the over-round. But generally, the amount of profit that bookmaker take on these bets is lower than what they would take on a full time or 90 minutes match bet which includes the draw.

Bookmakers will typically pay out on Asian Handicap bets between 90% and 100% of what they take, normally towards the top end of this, making very low percentage profits on the bets.

This is one reason why Asian Handicap bets can be great value bets.

In-Running Asian Handicaps

As well as offering odds on the 90 minute result with the draw, many bookmakers also offer the Asian Handicap in-running market.

Bets on the Asian Handicap market in running are settled according to the scoreline for the remainder of the game after the bet has been struck. Any goals prior to the bet being placed are ignored for settlement purposes.

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