← Back To Blog

What is the Asian Handicap?

May 3rd, 2017 Beginner, Betting Markets, Matched Betting, Sports Betting

Asian handicap betting is becoming one of the most popular ways of betting in football matches. But it’s pretty difficult for many people to grasp without explanation. When you see all the numbers and plus and minus symbols, it’s no wonder it looks so complicated!

What is the Asian Handicap?

The asian handicap is a form of betting where a team is given a head start. This is based on the team’s prior form and works like this: a stronger team must win by more goals for the punter betting on them to win. The asian handicap allows you to even the match a bit.

If you have a short-priced favourite against a long shot outsider, but you think the game’s closer than the odds suggest, then the asian handicap is perfect.

It works by giving a particular team a head start of 1, 2, 3+ goals. Obviously the odds are adjusted to reflect this.

The system was originally used in Indonesia but has since gone global.

There are lots of different handicaps to try and understand so we’ll take you through these.

Different handicaps:

Full goal handicap

These are the ones that you’ll see displayed without a decimal point between them.

The stronger team in this scenario is given a minus goal asian handicap, and the weaker team given a plus goal asian handicap.

For example, in the following match, Man Utd are the favourites:

Man Utd 1.40 Swansea 9.0

So Manchester United will have a minus asian handicap applied. It’ll look like this:

Man Utd -1 1.60

The -1 indicates that they will start the game losing 1-0. They must overcome this for you to win the bet. So if they win the match 2-0, 3-1, 3-0 etc, you will win your bet.

Swansea will have the following handicap applied:

Swansea +1 2.25

They start the game winning 1-0. This means that they must hold on to this lead, or even improve it for you to win your bet.

With both of the scenarios above, and the asian handicap applied, a draw won’t produce a result. So, with the Man Utd -1 asian handicap, if they win the game -1, the theoretical result with the handicap applied is a 1-1 draw. In these circumstances, the bet is a push. You get your money back.

Level Ball Asian Handicap

This is the asian handicap option when you see a 0 next to the team’s name, as opposed to a plus or minus followed by a number.

This is basically a draw no bet market. No handicap is applied to either team, and if it ends up as a draw, then you receive your money back.

Half Goal Asian Handicap

This is where things get a bit confusing and many people are put off of asian handicap betting.

But, essentially, it is exactly the same as above, except it stops the chances of the bet being a push. This means that you will definitely either win or lose your bet. There will be no refunds in the event of a draw.

For example, with the following selections, you will see a .5 besides the handicap:

Man Utd -1.5 2.15 Swansea +1.5 1.26

As in the previous scenario, Manchester United need to win this game by 2 goals or more to cover the handicap.

They’re starting the game losing by 1.5 goals. Should they only win the match 1-0, the score with the handicap applied will effectively be:

Man Utd -0.5 vs 0 Swansea

Thus, you will lose your bet.

Swansea will start this game with a 1.5 goal head start. They need to protect that lead by drawing, winning, or losing the game by a 1 goal margin to win the bet.

So if Man Utd win the game 1-0, the score with the asian handicap applied will be:

Man Utd 1 vs 1.5 Swansea

Split Line Asian Handicap

I hope you’re still with me because this is where it gets even more difficult! Ok, here we go…

A split line asian handicap line is where two different asian handicap lines are displayed next to each other. So for example:

Man Utd -1.5/2.0 2.5 Swansea +1.5/2.0

Exactly the same rules apply to these bets as the examples above, but with one difference:

Half of your stake is put on one side of the bet, and the other half of your stake goes on the other side of the handicap.

So, if you place £10 on Man Utd -1.5/2.0 and Manchester United win 2-0. £25 of your bet at odds of 2.5 wins on the -1.5 side of the line. But the -2.0 side of the line is a push so you get a refund.


Is Asian Handicap a good way of making money?

Asian handicap bets are probably one of the most sensible ways of betting. But at the end of the day… it’s still betting.

The value you get with asian handicap at UK bookmakers is poor. As are most odds you receive from the bookmaker on other markets, too.

The odds of you being successful with betting are so heavily against you. Bookmakers try to stack the odds in their favour as much as possible. It’s why some of them now are worth 5 billion pounds and listed on the FTSE 100. In short, they’re serious money makers, and that isn’t through people winning bets!

The whole landscape has changed with online betting, and especially mobile betting. They market it as a form of entertainment.

Not only that, but if you do start to win regularly, the bookmakers just close your account anyway!


What are the alternatives?

If you want to make money from the bookmaker, there’s only one guaranteed way to do that.

This easy method is risk-free and takes advantage of the numerous new customer and ongoing promotions the bookmakers promote to lure customers into gambling.

It’s called matched betting. You can leverage the free bets offered by the online bookmakers and turning them into cold hard cash.The great thing is, that there is realistically up to £2000 in free bets available initially to take advantage of.

Plus, anyone can do it. You don’t need to be a betting expert, because it isn’t betting!

Intro to matched betting download