Asian Handicap betting

Asian handicap betting is a popular form of football match betting that typically ‘forces’ a bet on a football game to either win or lose by adding or subtracting goals to the final score of one of the teams.

asian handicap bettingAsian handicap betting allows punters to get a better price on the favourite in a football match in exchange for a deduction against their final score, or to improve their chances of winning their bet on an underdog in exchange for a lower price on the underdog.

How does Asian handicapping work?

The principle behind Asian handicapping is simple. It applies a ‘handicap’ in the form of goals to the scores of two teams before a football match begins, and removes the possibility of a draw from the bet.

A simple example is a Premier League clash between Tottenham and Man United.

The bookie offers two options in the Asian handicap market:

  • -0.5 on Man United
  • +0.5 on Tottenham

Once the match is over, these handicaps are added to the final score, and the bet pays out if the selected team wins once the handicap is factored in.

Using the example above, if the match ends 2-1 to Man United:

  • The -0.5 handicap bet on United would change the final score to 1.5-1, which means the bet would win
  • The +0.5 handicap bet on Tottenham would change the final score to 2-.15 to United, which means this bet would lose.

As you can see from this example, the handicaps used in Asian handicap betting often do not make use of whole numbers, and instead make use of fractions. This is to avoid the handicap adjusted score producing a draw.

For example, if the handicaps offered in the example above had been -1 and +1, then a final score of 2-1 would have resulted in a handicap draw for both bets.

However, some handicap betting markets do offer whole numbers for Asian handicap bets. In these cases when the handicap score results in a draw, the punters stake is refunded.

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Asian handicap 1.75 and other confusing Asian handicap meanings

As we have mentioned, half goals are usually used in Asian handicaps to force football matches to produce a result once the handicap is added to the final score. This means that most of the Asian handicaps you will see will be 0.5, 1.5 or 2.5.

However, there are some variations on how Asian handicaps are used. This can be quite confusing if you aren’t used to using these handicaps. These include handicaps that don’t use .5 number formats, but instead display the handicaps in quarters, for example Asian handicaps like 1.75, 1.25 or 0.25. This handicap may also be displayed as fractions, i.e. 1 ¾, 1 ¼ or ¼.

You’re probably wondering ‘why do bookies need to use quarters in handicaps if halves already do the job’. That’s a reasonable question. If presenting handicaps as factors of 0.5 already forces any match to produce a result, using factors of 0.25 does look a bit pointless.

However, there is a good reason for it. Bookies use factors of 0.25 to indicate a special type of Asian handicap cap bet – one which takes a handicap bet and turns it into two different handicap bets.

Whenever you take out a bet which is a factor of 0.25, you will automatically place two Asian handicap bets on the closest whole number of 0.5 interval on either side of the bet. This sounds pretty confusing, but it’s quite simple in practice. Just take the handicap, subtract 0.25 from it to determine your first bet. Then add 0.25 to determine your second bet.

For example:

  • If you place a bet on 0.25, bets will be placed on 0 and 0.5.
  • If you place a bet on 0.75, bets will be placed on 0.5 and 1.
  • If you place a bet on 1.25, bet will be placed on 1 and 1.5
  • If you place a bet on 1.75, bets will be placed on 1.5 and 2.

By splitting your bet into two separate bets, you are effectively given two opportunities to win your bet. And you can also win half your bet, or get half of it refunded. For more information on how each Asian handicap value works, skip ahead to the section on Asian handicap bet types.

Alternative Asian handicap 0.0 explained

There’s one more Asian handicap market you could stumble on that could be confusing, which is Asian handicap 0.0 market. If you’ve already come across it and are wondering what the alternative Asian handicap 0.0 means, the answer is straightforward – this is the Asian handicap version of a regular 3-way or match bet on a football game.

The confusing part about this bet is there is no handicap at all! Once the game is finished no handicap is added to, or subtracted from, the final score. Instead the final score remains unchanged.

Let’s say you bet on a Asian handicap 0.0 market on Tottenham vs Man United, and select Man United as the match winner:

  • If Man United win the game by any score, your bet will pay out
  • If Man United lose the game by any score, your bet will lose
  • If the match ends in a draw, your stake will be refunded.

From this example it should be clear that the 0.0 Asian handicap is really just a very simplified Asian handicap bet. You don’t need to try figure out what the difference in scores between the two sides will be. You just need to a pick a winner. If your prediction is correct your bet will win, and if the match draws you get your money back.

What do the different Asian handicap markets mean?

One of the reasons why Asian handicaps can be confusing is because each handicap works slightly differently, and will have different outcomes depending on the bet type and the result of the match that is being bet on. To provide more clarity on how this works, we have provided details on each type of Asian handicap market, along with examples and an Asian handicap table which shows all the possible outcomes of a bet on that market.

What does Asian handicap 0.0 mean?

Asian handicap 0.0 is a bet on one of the teams winning the match by any margin. You simply pick the winner, and if they win the bet pays out. If they lose you forfeit your stake, and if the match ends in a draw you’ll get a refund on your stake.

For example:

A bookmaker offers an Asian handicap of 0.0 on a match between Arsenal and Liverpool. The following options are available in the handicap market:

  • Arsenal 0
  • Liverpool 0

Here’s how this bet could play out:

Team/handicap Team result Bet result Team/handicap Team result Bet result
Liverpool 0 Win Win Arsenal 0 Win Win
Draw Refund Draw Refund
Lose Lose Lose Lose

What does Asian handicap 0.25 mean?

The 0.25 Asian handicap market is one that offers you the opportunity to place two simultaneous bets on whichever selection you make. This includes:

  • One bet on a 0.0 Asian handicap
  • One bet on a 0.5 Asian handicap

You’ll understand this more clearly with the following example.

Arsenal play Liverpool in the Premier League and bookmakers offer a 0.25 Asian handicap on the match. The market will offer two options.

  • Arsenal +0.25
  • Liverpool -0.25

The table below displays the ways the two bet options can play out:

Team/handicap Team result Bet result Team/handicap Team result Bet result
Arsenal +0.25 Win Win Liverpool - 0.25 Win Win
Draw Win half Draw Lose half
Lose Lose Lose Lose

What does Asian handicap 0.5 mean?

If you bet on an Asian handicap with a 0.5 goal margin, it means that 0.5 goals will be added or subtracted to the final score of your team. If you bet on the +0.5 option you will back the underdog and 0.5 goals will be added onto their final score. If you bet on the -0.5 option then you are betting on the favourite and 0.5 goals will be subtracted from their final score.

Whichever option you choose, if your selection wins the game once your handicap is applied to the final score, your bet pays out.

For example:

A bookmaker offers an Asian handicap of 0.5 for a match between Chelsea and Arsenal. This means two options are available in the Asian handicap market:

  • Chelsea +0.5
  • Arsenal -0.5

Here’s how betting on either option can play out:

Team/handicap Team result Bet result Team/handicap Team result Bet result
Chelsea +0.5 Win Win Arsenal -0.5 Win Win
Draw Win Draw Lose
Lose Lose Lose Lose

What does Asian handicap 0.75 mean?

When you bet on a 0.75 Asian handicap market you place two bets on your selection:

  • One bet on a 0.5 Asian handicap
  • One bet on a 1.0 Asian handicap

Your stake is automatically split between these two bets, and depending on the final score you could win both bets, lose one bet and win the other, lose one bet and get a refund on the other, or lose both bets.

We’ll use an example to explain this further.

Liverpool play Swansea in the Premier League. Bookmakers offer the following Asian handicap on the match:

  • Swansea +0.75
  • Liverpool -0.75.

At the end of the patch both handicaps will be applied to the final score, which will determine what the results of your bets are. The various possible outcomes are in the table below.

Here’s how this bet can play out:

Team/handicap Team result Bet result Team/handicap Team result Bet result
Swansea +0.75 Win Win Liverpool -0.75 Win by 2+ goals Win
Draw Win Win by 1 goal Win half
Lose by 1 goal Lose half Draw Lose
Lose by 2+ goals Lose Lose Lose

What does Asian handicap 1 mean?

If you bet on a football match with a 1 goal Asian handicap, then a 1 goal handicap will be added to, or subtracted from, the final score of your team, depending on your bet choice.

If your selected teams wins the match after the Asian handicap is factored into the final score, then your bet will pay out.

For example:

A bookmaker offers an Asian handicap of 1.0 for a match between Arsenal and Sunderland. These following options are available in the handicap market:

  • Sunderland +1 at odds of 2.2
  • Arsenal -1 at odds of 1.8

Here’s how this bet can play out:

Team/handicap Team result Bet result Team/handicap Team result Bet result
Sunderland +1 Win Win Arsenal -1 Win by 2+ goals Win
Draw Win Win by 1 goal Refund
Lose by 1 goal Refund Draw Lose
Lose by 2+ goals Lose Lose Lose

What does Asian handicap 1.25 mean?

Also written as 1¼, the 1.25 Asian handicap is two separate Asian handicap bets.

  1. A bet on an Asian handicap of 1
  2. A bet on an Asian handicap of 1.5

Whichever selection you make for the handicap, two separate bets will be placed on your selection, giving you two opportunities to win your bet.

An example will make this type of Asian handicap bet a lot clearer.

Arsenal play Fulham in a Premier League match. The following options are offered on the match.

  • Fulham +1.25 – this is a bet on Fulam +1 and Fulham +1.5
  • Arsenal -1.25 – this is a bet on Arsenal -1 and Arsenal -1.5

Here are all the ways this bet can play out:

Team/handicap Team result Bet result Team/handicap Team result Bet result
Fulham +1.25 Win Win Arsenal -1.25 Win by 2+ goals Win
Draw Win Win by 1 goal Lose half
Lose by 1 goal Win half Draw Lose
Lose by 2+ goals Lose Lose Lose

What does Asian handicap 1.5 mean?

With an Asian handicap of 1.5, 1.5 goals will either be subtracted or added to the final score of your team.

If the team you backed wins once the handicap is factored into their score, your bet will pay out.

For example, Arsenal plays Ipswich in the FA Cup and bookies offer the following market:

  • Arsenal -1.5
  • Ipswich +1.5

This is how this bet can play out:

Team/handicap Team result Bet result Team/handicap Team result Bet result
Ipswich +1.5 Win Win Arsenal -1.5 Win by 2+ goals Win
Draw Win Win by 1 goal Lose
Lose by 1 goal Win Draw Lose
Lose by 2+ goals Lose Lose Lose

What does Asian handicap 1.75 mean?

The 1.75 Asian handicap market is two separate bets:

  1. A bet on an Asian handicap of 1.5
  2. A bet on an Asian handicap of 2.0.

When you make your selection in this market you’ll automatically place two bets on your team in both these markets.

For example, Liverpool play Bolton in the FA Cup. Bookies offer the following Asian handicaps:

  • Bolton +1.75 – this is a bet on Bolton at 1.5 and at 2.0
  • Liverpool at -1.75 – this is a bet on Liverpool at -1.5 and -2.0

The bet can have a number of possible outcomes depending on the selection and result

Team/handicap Team result Bet result Team/handicap Team result Bet result
Bolton +1.75 Win Win Liverpool -1.75 Win by 3+ goals Win
Draw Win Win by 2 goals Half win
Lose by 1 goal Win Win by 1 goal Lose
Lose by 2 goals Half lose Draw Lose
Lose by 3+ goals Lose Lose Lose

What does Asian handicap 2.0 mean?

The 2.0 Asian handicap market allows you to either add or subtract 2 goals from the final score of your team, depending on which team you pick. If your selection wins the match after the handicap is factored into the final score, your bet will pay out.

For example, Chelsea plays Swansea in the Premier League. Bookies offer the following 2.0 Asian handicap on the match:

  • Swansea +2.0
  • Chelsea -2.0

Here’s all the ways this bet could play out for either selection.

Team/handicap Team result Bet result Team/handicap Team result Bet result
Swansea +2.0 Win Win Chelsea -2.0 Win by 3+ goals Win
Draw Win Win by 2 goals Refund
Lose by 1 goal Win Win by 1 goal Lose
Lose by 2 goals Refund Draw Lose
Lose by 3+ goals Lose Lose Lose

When to bet on Asian handicaps

Asian handicaps are a good betting option when you want to get a better price on a favourite in a match, or are willing to get a lower price on an underdog in return for a handicap that could help them ‘win’ the match. In fact, when it comes to mismatches where one team is highly likely to beat their opponent by more than a single goal, Asian handicap betting is the best match betting market. You can get good odds on your team and have a decent chance of winning your bet at the same time.

Where to bet on Asian handicaps

Many bookmakers offer standard handicap markets, which allow add or subtract whole numbers from the final score of football matches. Relatively few offer Asian handicaps on football matches.

Of the large international bookmakers only bet365 offers Asian handicaps on most football matches. Paddy Power, Boylesports and William Hill all tend to offer standard handicaps in their football betting markets.

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