Asian Handicap Betting

When it comes to counting on the underdog, your best bet in the football world is to try handicap betting. This form of gambling actually evens out the odds for the underdog by giving their supporters a 50-50 chance, rather than overwhelming odds in favour of the team that’s expected to win. By far, the most popular form of handicap betting is Asian handicap.

Because this can be confusing, it’s best to have Asian handicap explained before even thinking about making a bet. It’s different from other sports gambling because the sport of football itself is different. Whereas games like baseball and basketball never end in a tie, football often does. If there’s a draw, that’s when bookmakers, commonly known as bookies, make a lot of their money. Asian handicap eliminates the draw altogether.

Those who bet on football obviously choose a team to win the match and bet money on their team. If the game ends in a tie, you may lose out on a ton of money. Asian handicaps allow gamblers to either back the favourite team or the team with the handicap. Because each team has more of a 50-50 chance of winning, odds in the Asian handicap betting are different.

A plus sign means that the handicapped team has an advantage. A minus sign puts the favourite team behind. The number of goals can range from 0, -0.25, +0.5, +0.75, and so on. For instance, if the handicap is +0.5, the underdog team has a half-goal advantage, while -0.25 means the favourite team will start a quarter of a goal behind. That’s Asian handicap explained in a nutshell.

It’s a simple concept at heart, but with all the different numbers at play, it’s easy to get confused. That’s where this guide can help you make the most of handicap betting. Look at the examples and table below to ensure that you’ve fully had Asian handicap explained before getting started.

Asian Handicap Explained in Detail

Level Handicap:

Asian Handicap 0

AH 0 (also known as pk, pick’em or scratch) means no advantage is given to any team, or the game starts at 0:0. If your team wins, you win. If it loses, you lose. The only difference to fixed (1x2) betting is the draw option is eliminated altogether, meaning if the game ends without a winner, you get your stake back. This type of handicap betting is the same as a Draw No Bet market.

Single Handicap:

Asian Handicap -0.5

This handicap gives a disadvantage of half a goal to your selection. Since, half a goal is impossible, your bet wins if your team wins even by a single goal difference. However, should your selection lose or the match end in a draw, you lose.

Asian Handicap -1, -1.5, -2, -2.5, etc.

Whatever the number, it just represents the disadvantage given to your selection. If there is a game between Manchester United and Middlesbrough, most people would expect Manchester to win. Therefore, the favorite will be given a very short price (say 1.15) and not many people will be interested to bet. Similarly, although the coefficient for Middlesbrough winning might seem attractive, it is highly unlikely that the team wins, so not many people would bet on that either. However, betting with AH -2 might be more realistic and therefore the odds might be more attractive.

AH-2 would mean that Manchester starts the game at 0:2. The teams has to score at least 3 goals in order for your bet to win. If the result is 2:0, this would be a draw for you and you would merely get your stake back. Any result below – you lose. Any goal above – you win.

If instead you had chosen AH-1.5, 2 goals difference by Manchester would be enough for you to win. If the game ends at 2:1, your bet loses, but a result of 2:0 or 3:1 means your bet is winning.


Split/Double Asian Handicap Explained:

Asian Handicap -0.25 (0,-0.5), -0.75 (-0.5, -1), -1.25 (-1, -1.5)

These handicaps sound a little more complicated, but as you have Split Asian Handicap explained, you will see that there is nothing really complex about double handicap betting.

AH -0.25, or sometimes represented as (0,-0.5) or -1/4, is an example of a split or double handicap. This means that you are actually placing two bets. The first one is an AH 0 – if your team wins, you win. The second part of your bet goes on AH -0.5 and will win if your team wins even by a single goal.

Similarly, AH-0.75 represents two bets – AH-0.5 and AH-1.Therefore, placing $10 with AH -0.75 on a game between Manchester United and Leeds, you will win if Manchester wins by 2 or more goals. If Manchester wins by a single goal, only half of your bet will be winning. If the game ends with a draw or Leeds wins, you lose both your bets.

Live Handicap Betting

Lastly, we need to get the in-play Asian Handicap explained. Betting on the AH market live, it is important to know that the bet is valid only on the remainder of the game. This means if you want to place a AH-0.5 bet on Manchester Utd. Vs Leads and the match is already 2:1, the game has to end with at least 2 goals difference, for your bet to win.

In-play handicap betting gives you the opportunity to have multiple wagers on a single game and increase your profit. It also makes the game more dynamic and interesting, by giving you the chance to predict what will happen from any point on.

To get a better idea of how handicap betting works, look at the table below, which has all scenarios in Asian handicap explained.


Now, that you have Asian handicap explained, you are ready for some handicap betting. The advantages of this market, is that payouts are usually better – 95-99%, as compared to 89-94% payout for traditional betting. As odds change frequently during the game, AH is a great way to cover for a losing bet or increase your profit.

Unlike 1x2 betting, the Asian handicap market is not available at all bookmakers. Some of the bookmakers that offer the best odds for handicap betting are:

-> Pinnacle – Make sure you also read our review of this bookmaker

-> Bet365 - Read what our users think of Bet365.