Asian Handicap Betting

Asian Handicap betting is a variation of the traditional handicap and is most commonly associated with wagering on football matches. The term stems from the part of the world where the method was developed, but nowadays it is a standard option in the UK and other European countries. The style of betting emerged partly because draws occur more regularly in football than in most other sports. Asian Handicaps eliminate the possibility of teams finishing level and create two outcomes for each event (win or lose), rather than three (win, lose or draw).

Handicap betting is popular across many sports as bookmakers assess how evenly matched two competitors are and draw up markets which equate to who they think will win and the possible margin of victory. It brings extra excitement to events even when one participant is expected to triumph convincingly, as it effectively evens up a market to make it more appealing to punters.

Just like in standard handicaps, Asian line bets are placed on either the favourite overcoming a handicap (- goals) or the underdog winning with a specified head start (+ goals). Bookies will aim to create a line which gives both teams an equal chance of winning and the odds are usually close to even.

Simple Handicaps

In some bets the line is a whole number, and customers can win, lose or have their stake returned to them in the event of a draw.

  • Example - Team A is the favourite to beat Team B and has a handicap of one goal, which is sometimes referred to as one ball in Asian Handicap betting and will be displayed as -1. If Team A draws or loses, the bet is lost. If Team A wins by one goal, the bet is void and the stake is returned to the customer. If Team A wins by two or more goals, the bet is won.
  • Team B is rated as the underdog and has a head start of one goal, shown as +1. If Team B wins or draws, the bet is won. If Team B loses by one goal, the bet is void and the stake is returned to the customer. If Team B loses by two goals or more, the bet is lost.

Other simple Asian Handicap bets consist of a line being represented by a number halfway between two whole numbers, e.g. 0.5, 1.5, 2.5 and so on. Draws cannot occur and bets will either be won or lost. For example, bets on a favoured team with a handicap of 0.5 (-0.5), will win if the team wins, but lose if the team draws or loses. Bets on an unfancied team with a head start of 0.5 (+0.5) will win if the team wins or draws, but will lose if the team loses.

Split Handicaps

Sometimes referred to as Double or Twin Handicaps, Split Handicaps are when half the bet goes on a whole unit line and half on a non-whole unit. Wagers such as this can either be displayed in two parts, e.g. Team A -1, 0, -0.5, or written as a quarter-goal decimal such as 0.75. In this example, Team A is the favoured team and half the bet is placed on them winning by 0.5 goals, while half is placed on them winning by one goal.

  • If Team A loses or draws, all bets are lost. If Team A wins by one goal, half the stake is classed as a winner and the other half is returned to the customer. If Team A wins by two goals or more, all bets are won.
  • Team B is rated as the underdog and is given a head start of +1.0, +0.5, or 0.75. If Team B wins or draws, all bets are won. If Team B loses by one goal, half the stake is lost and half is returned to the customer. If Team B loses by two or more goals, all bets are lost.

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