Want to bet on Asian Handicaps but not sure what it all means? Here’s my guide to how Asian Handicaps work and how to profit from them.

You won’t be surprised to learn that Asian Handicap betting originated in the Far East and is becoming an increasingly popular way of betting in Europe and the UK, especially among football punters.

Asian Handicap betting basics

Handicaps typically give one team a hypothetical ‘start' over another team thus making seemingly one-sided football matches much more level, thereby making them a more viable betting event.

Most importantly, Asian Handicap betting reduces the possible number of outcomes from three (in traditional 1X2 wagering) to two by eliminating the draw outcome. This simplification delivers two betting options that usually each have a near 50% chance of success.

What Does (+1) Mean in Asian Handicap?

Simply put it mean that your team has a start of 1 goal over their opponents. Therefore if the game finishes level, your team will win the bet as they’ll have won by a hypothetical goal. This type of Asian Handicap is common when there is a clear underdog. Giving them a (+1) start it makes the betting market much closer. Similarly, if your team actually wins the game you still land your winning bet (but will probably wish you’d backed them outright!)

In the event that a single goal beats your team, you will get your stake back. This is the beauty of betting on the Asian Handicap. The one-goal defeat will be cancelled out by the (+1) goal of a start and since there can only be two outcomes your bet becomes void and your stake is returned.

Conversely (-1) means that your team must win by more than one goal in order for your bet to be a winner. A 2-0 win, for example, will actually be a hypothetical 1-0 win, which is of course still a winner. A 1-0 win for your team and you’ll still get your stake back because this results in a hypothetical 0-0 draw.

What Does (+0.5) Mean in Asian Handicap?

As above it means that your team has a start over their opponents. The draw is completely eliminated this time as you cannot score half a goal.

In this instance, if your team draw, you win. But if they lose by a goal or more your bet is lost. Let’s say they’re beaten 1-0, the hypothetical result is 1-0.5, which I’m afraid is still a loser.

If you back a team that has a (-0.5) start then they must win for you to land your bet. A draw is no good in this instance.

What Does (+0.5/+1) mean?

This is often referred to as a split ball, or split Asian. Although it looks complicated it's actually quite simple. Basically, your stake is split over the two handicaps. 50% of your bet is on your team with (+0.5) of a start, the other 50% on at (+1) of a start.

Let's look at an example. Everton are away to Manchester United and you’ve backed Everton on a split handicap of (+0.5/+1) to a £10 stake.

  • Scenario 1: Man Utd 2 Everton 0. You lose.
  • Scenario 2: Man Utd 1 Everton 0. You get half your stake back. This is due to half your stake being on Everton with (+1) of a start. The hypothetical result then for this half stake is 1-1, therefore you get your stake back.
  • Scenario 3: Man Utd 0 Everton 0. You win, on both bets. Half your stake is on at (+0.5) resulting in a hypothetical 0-0.5 win. The other half at (+1) of a start, resulting in a hypothetical 0-1 win.
  • Scenario 4: Man Utd 0 Everton 1. As in scenario 3, both bets win.

Why Bet On Asian Handicap?

When looking for football betting tips, there are several reasons why you’d want to bet on Asian handicap markets, here are a few of them;

  • You eliminate the possibility of a draw result, increasing your main winning chance from 33.3% to 50% in a single game
  • Depending on the handicap you can win your bet even if the team you bet on don’t win the game
  • You can bet on a team you believe will lose the game, but because of a big handicap, you can still win the bet. Typical here is when the favourite team wins the game with only one goal
  • When following the match ‘live’, tension is high since a single goal can take you from losing to winning (or the other way around)
  • If you place multiple bets (accumulator), the number of possible outcomes is much less than in fixed odds (home/draw/away bets. E.g a treble bet, where all 3 selections must be correct). The number of outcomes is 2 x 2 x 2 = 8. With fixed odds betting the number of outcomes is 3 x 3 x 3 = 27.


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