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Asian Handicap

What is ‘Asian Handicap’?

Asian handicap is a method of betting on sports – in particular, football. It is a handicap system which is produced in line with the form of the two sides, so the stronger team will have to win by more goals than the weaker one for the punter to be successful. This is a market used by most professional punters as quite often it reduces the number of outcomes to two as opposed to traditional match betting which has the draw in play.

‘Asian Handicap’ Explained

Asian handicap creates a level betting market between two sides who may be mismatched or perceived to be thus, by giving the better side a handicap rating. This is usually expressed in a number of goals. As well as betting, Asian Handicap can also apply to other casino games.

The favourite for the match will be the team judged on the handicap and the punter then has to choose whether they think the favourite will cover that handicap or indeed if the outsider is good enough to stay within that mark. Asian handicaps are generally written in decimal form.

There are two types of Asian handicap. There are whole handicaps and then there are two-way handicaps.

Whole handicaps will have a line where the player will either win or lose in full or gain a push if the handicap finishes level.

Here is how a whole handicap works:

  • Handicap line = 0 – If the team you back wins, you win in full. If they lose, you lose in full. If it is a draw, the bet is a push and your stake is refunded.
  • Minus handicap (e.g. -0.5) – You are looking for your team to win by more than the handicap. If they win by the same amount as the handicap the bet is a push and you are refunded. Failure to match or beat the line is a losing bet.
  • Positive handicap (e.g. +0.5) – If your team wins or draws you win. If they lose by more than the handicap you lose, but if they lose by the exact number of the handicap the bet results in a push.

Two-way handicaps are slightly more complicated. The handicap line is generally written in decimal form with either .25 or .75 on the end. These are effectively two bets with the one stake so a stake is split in half: one half goes on one side of the handicap, and the other half on the other handicap.

For example:

  • +/- 0.25 line = Half stake on a 0 line and half on +/- 0.5
  • +/- 0.75 line = Half stake on +/- 0.5 and half on +/- 1
  • +/- 1.25 line = Half stake on +/- 1 and half on +/- 1.5
  • +/- 1.75 line = Half stake on +/- 1.5 and half on +/- 2

Work out the result of both halves of your stake based on the whole handicap example and add the two together for your overall pay out.

Odds on Asian handicaps are usually around evens which makes this an attractive bet for football punters.