Asian Handicap Explained

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Asian Handicap Explained

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 are a relatively new type of bet which are offered on football matches.

The Asian Handicap is created so that in theory, each team has a roughly equal chance of winning.

In Asian Handicap betting, effectively the draw is taken out of play and a competitive market formed. So rather than deciding between home, draw and away, you simply decide which team you think is the best bet on the Asian Handicap they have been given or that they receive. The handicap is expressed in terms of goal/s or part of a goal start or deficit.

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.


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.

Click here to read a discussion about asian handicap strategies on the OLBG Forum.

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Comments from the Forum

  • monkeytennis

    Asian Handicaps offer much better value than regular handicap bets. Agree or disagree? Why? What sort of match lends itself best to Asian handicap betting?

    Think this Betting School lesson needs anything else added to it? Disagree with anything written above? Let us know your thoughts and your insight could be included in the OLBG Betting School!
  • daprof

    If I should accumulate 10 matches in handicaps and the away team is give +1 and to win but was beaten 2 - 1, is my ticket still valid?
  • mazeymay

    im afraid not,as it will be a 2-2 draw on the handicap
  • The Shark

    It would on the Asian handicap as only two results would be quoted + 1 and -1, there would be no price quoted by the bookmaker for the draw after the handicap is applied. So if a draw after the asian handicap, then its a push and stakes returned or rolled over to the next selection in the case of an accumulator

    if it is a handicap bet where three outcomes are quoted including the draw with the handicap then Mazeymay is correct.
  • Sebi23

    Hi guys,

    I have a problem understanding the fractional type of asian handicap. I am quite familiar with the decimal one, but I don't understand anything from this example:

    Brazil vs Croatia 0 : 1 1/2 Brazil

    Can anyone explain it to me? Maybe tell me which are the equivalent decimal odds. It can't be Brazil +1,5, because there is no value in such a bet.

    Another example:

    Argentina vs Bosnia & Herzegovina 0 : 1 1/4 Argentina

  • davidg3907


    Your example is not completely clear the way it is written but it would appear that you are familiar with Asian Handicaps so if your query is specifically about Asian Handicaps ( fractions/decimals ) then simply treat Brazil as 1.50 and Argentina as 1.25.

    This is purely for Asian not the standard handicap.

    Those odds would make sense as the ' to win ' prices for the matches are about 1.33 Brazil and 1.50 Argentina.
  • Sebi23

    Thank you for your answer. I found a site that gives tips in this format, and they insist this is Asia handicap. It looks European to me. I don't know if I am allowed to post the site's link here... The thing is that Brazil, as you said, is already favorite and has 1.30 odds. By using a +1,5 handicap for Brazil would mean the odds to drop to 1.04, which is a no value bet...
  • davidg3907

    What you quote this time is possibly NOT an Asian handicap.

    I can see odds of 1.04 and 1.06 for Brazil with 1 goal start in a normal handicap, but what you are probably looking at is something like Brazil -1 , 1.50 for an Asian handicap which again I have just seen on the same major bookmaker's site.

    In the Asian bet you would be backing Brazil to win by 2 or more goals ( odds of 1.50 ) and would get your money back if winning by 1 goal.

    The other possibility ( ruled out by the odds you state ) is that you could back Brazil with -1.50 goals on a normal handicap.

    Now the odds are about 2.10 and you would win if Brazil won by 2 or more goals and lose at any other time - as with this bet there can not be a draw/push.

    Maybe someone could transfer the last few posts to the football discussion forum where it should get a wider audience and more in depth response if required.
  • Sebi23

    This is the site I was talking about:

    I really don't know how to interpret this odds and how to find the equivalent odds on bookmaker's offers.
  • davidg3907


    Go back to my original reply which is correct in view of what you say and looking at the dodgy display on the other site.

    Using will make life easier for you as Asian is always displayed in decimal format.
  • trade365

    It is increase our super betting skill.
  • johnyyydal24

    If you were betting on both outcomes the -1 and the +1 if the odds were 2.15 and 2.25 would you have a winning Dutching bet say betting with 100
  • johnyyydal24

    Hi Again
    Can anyone tell me if you can you use Dutching on the asian market betting if the odds were right.
  • davidg3907

    Yes, in theory you can dutch on anything - but it would almost certainly be classed as arbing in this case as there are only 2 odds shown.
  • johnyyydal24

    Just Say Home selection -1.5 at 1.76 and away selection 1.5 at 2.50 would this be classed as an arb.
  • Betfairalfie

    Yes. Type those two prices into a dutching calculator and you will make a 3% profit on all outcomes.

    Be careful in 3 way handicaps though.
  • nors

    Members should investigate Asian Handicap prices when they are checking matches. When there dosent seem an opportunity because of the price on offer often the A/H will offer this opportunity.

    The most popular A/H are explained in the betting school guide. You can also tip on Asian handicaps in the tipping comp.

    I am finding more and more of my bets this season are A/H where i look to protect my funds.

    This weekend for example i don't think Port Vale at home to high flyers Scunthorpe (unbeaten this season) are going to lose. I am not confident enough to back Port Vale at the 3.3 odds but the A/H offers these prices.

    Port Vale (+0,+0.5)1.87
    Port Vale (0)2.21
    Port Vale (+0.5)1.66
  • efficyguy1

    is their any betting site that predict 100%

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