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The Beginner's Guide to Asian Handicap Betting

Asian Handicap betting has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years; with punters, from all over the world, enjoying a simplified way to win money on handicap wagering.

Firstly, let’s get this out of the way: The name “Asian Handicap” is not a derogatory or racist crack at Asians in any way. The form of betting became incredibly popular with punters in Asian countries, long before it had made much ground in any other parts of the world.

When this form of betting started to gain traction in Europe, it was referred to as “Asian Handicapping”, as a tribute to the country in which its popularity came.

Considered a safer option for most bettors, as you don’t have to choose from the three different markets of 1X2 betting, Asian Handicaps have become extremely popular with football punters, where the betting type can be used on the outright handicap or total goals markets.

To understand Asian Handicaps, you first need to understand what handicapping means.

What is a Betting Handicap?

Handicaps are the core of all straight-forward sports betting. They were created to allow a fair bet, even on a lopsided match.

For example, if you had the 2010 Spanish World Cup football club square off against a squad of 10 year-olds, no one in their right mind would take or make a bet on the outright winner of the match.

Since it’s generally understood which side is going to win, we introduce a handicap to allow a fair bet.

Let’s say we put a +100 handicap on the 10 year-olds from the previous example. We are no longer simply betting on Spain to win, we are betting on Spain to win by more than 100 goals.

Each point of a handicap is worth one goal. This means the 10-year-olds started the game with the score being 100-0 in their favor. For us to win the bet, Spain has to overcome this pre-game deficit.

Despite the match being entirely one-sided, we can now make a fair wager on how many goals the Spanish side can score.

With standard handicap betting, you must always beat the handicap. If the Spanish team finishes the game up 100-0 you will lose your bet. Anything equal or below the handicap is a loss.

The Asian Handicap Difference

A typical Asian Handicap will look like “+1.0, +1.5”.

This bet has you wagering on a team to win with a +1.0 handicap or a +1.5 handicap; meaning you still get paid if there’s a standard handicap draw.


You’ve taken Arsenal on a “+1.0, +1.5” Asian handicap in a match against Chelsea.

Chelsea wins the fixture by a 2-1 scoreline.

While Arsenal lost the match outright, we end up just fine after applying our handicap. The first number +1.0 puts the final score as 2-2, a draw.

Since the bettor always loses in a draw on handicap betting, the +1.0 does not get us paid. But, since we also have +1.5, putting a final score of 2-2.5 in favor of Arsenal, we’ve now won our bet.

There are a number of other variations on Asian Handicaps like Quarter goal or three-quarter goal betting, but these are slightly trickier wagers and you should only move into these once you’re comfortable with standard Asian Handicap format.

While it has become tremendously popular, Asian Handicapping isn’t the only way to bet on your favorite club. In fact, you can often get better odds on the same match by looking to the exchange betting markets.

For more information, head to our guide: Betting Exchanges Explained.

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