Asian Handicap betting attempts to bring an unbalanced match up, such as a Premier League contender playing against a low relegated team to a 50-50 contest by handicapping a team based on its perceived performance in the game.

In a traditional 1X2 bet, it would most likely be an easy win for a Premier League team but with the Asian Handicap market, you’ll be able to back an underdog and still win even if they lost. The relegation team might still lose, but will they lose the match by 1 goal or 2?

This bet type involves betting money on the outcome of a match in which one team is given a ‘head start’ before the contest begins so to speak. This bet type is widely popular in Football, where these head starts can be in multiples of one goal, 0.5 goals (‘half goals’) or even 0.25 or 0.75 goals (explained below). In other sports, Asian handicaps could be a number of points or, for example, a head start of a number of games in a set of tennis, so it is a flexible bet type regardless of the sport and something you can pickup quite easily.

The advantage of including ‘half goals’ on your Asian handicap football bet is that they eliminate the possibility of the outcome being a draw. With a ‘half a goal’ handicap, one or other team will always ‘win’ because in a real football match, of course, scoring ‘half a goal’ is impossible.

Asian handicap betting gets its name as it is a very popular bet type in Asian markets, having reputedly originated in Indonesia. It offers a more interesting and nuanced alternative to the straight-forward win, lose or draw (1X2) bet and is one of our favourites at N1T.

Asian handicaps make a sporting contest more even, in theory, by giving both teams a relatively equal chance of winning. This is done by giving one or other team in a match a positive or negative goal handicap.

Manchester United, for example, maybe strong favourites to beat Burnley in a domestic cup competition. But if you believe United will beat Burnley by a three-goal margin, you could bet on Manchester United to win with a handicap of –2.5 or Burnley at +3.5 or more.

If both teams are level after the handicap is applied (e.g. if you bet on ‘Manchester United -3’ and they win 3-0, 4-1 or 5-2 etc) then your bet is refunded. This is why betting on ‘half goals’ provides an attractive option for the punter, because it takes the draw, and thus a void bet, out of the equation.

With no prospect of pesky draws scuppering your single bet or weekend accumulator, betting margins are lower, offering higher chances of making a profit over a longer period.

Asian handicap betting also provides more value in matches where there one team is perceived as a strong favourite to win. Odds on the stronger team obviously tend to be unattractively short, so an Asian handicap bet spices up what would otherwise look to be a dead opportunity.


Common Terminology


Asian Handicap 0.0 Explained

With an Asian handicap 0.0, neither side is given a handicap at all, it will commonly apply with teams that are perceived to be evenly matched and have an equal chance of winning. If you use this bet type and are correct, regardless of the scoreline, you’d win, if the match however results in a draw, your stake would be returned, this is similar to the draw no bet market.


Asian Handicap 0.25 Explained

Also known as Quarter handicaps, this means your selection starts with either a head start or a deficit of a quarter of a goal. The 0.25 Asian handicap bet is a bit like an each-way bet in that it splits the bet between the two closest ½ intervals. For example, a £10 bet at +0.25 is the same as betting £5 at 0 and £5 at 0.5. With 0.25 handicap bets you can win and draw (and thus win half your wager) or lose and draw (and lose half your wager).

In Asian handicap +0.25 betting, if your selection wins by any margin, your bet is a winner. Likewise, if they lose, you’ve lost your stake. If the match is drawn, however, half the stake is settled at the price chosen by the punter, and the other half is refunded.

With Asian handicap -0.25 bets, if your selected team wins by any score your bet is a winner and if they lose, you’ve lost your money. In the event of a draw, the outcome is slightly different to a +0.25 bet in that half your stake is refunded, and the other half is deemed as a losing bet and goes to the bookmaker.


Asian Handicap 0.5 Explained

The Asian handicap 0.5 is easier to explain than the 0.25 bet. Your bet will always result in a win or loss because, in reality, it’s impossible to score ‘half a goal’. If, for example you back Liverpool to beat Manchester United with a +0.5 Asian handicap, you will get a return if Liverpool win by any scoreline or if the game ends in a draw, but if Liverpool are beaten, your stake will be lost. If you choose Liverpool to start with a -0.5 Asian handicap, you will get a pay-out if Liverpool win by any scoreline, but a draw or a defeat for the Reds will see you lose your bet.


Asian Handicap 0.75 Explained

Rather like a 0.25 handicap, the 0.75 Asian handicap splits the bet between the two closest ½ intervals. For example, a £10 bet at +0.75 is the same betting £5 at 0.5 and £5 at 1. With +0.75 handicap bets you can win and draw (and thus win half your bet) or lose and draw (and thus lose half your bet).

A 0.75 bet essentially gives your selected team a three-quarters of a goal head start (+0.75) or deficit (-0.75). If you’ve selected +0.75 then your bet wins if that team win or draw. If they lose by a one-goal margin, half the stake is refunded to you, and the other half is lost.

With a -0.75 bet, you lose your entire stake if your selected team loses or draws, but if they win by a margin of two or more goals, your bet is a winner. If they win by a one-goal margin, half your stake is settled by the bookie at the chosen price, and the other half is refunded to you.


Asian Handicap -1 Explained

The simplest form of Asian handicap betting sees one team or another start the match with a one-goal head start (sometimes referred to as ‘full ball’). If, for example, you bet on Chelsea beating Southampton with a handicap of -1 then you get a return if they win by a margin of two goals or more (e.g. 2-0, 3-0, 3-1, 4-2 etc). If the bet ends in a ‘draw’ – i.e. Chelsea win the match by only a one-goal margin – your stake is returned as there is no ‘winner’. If the match itself ends in a draw or Southampton win, you obviously lose your cash.


Asian Handicap -1.5 Explained

In this instance, your selected team begin the match in question with a deficit of one and a half goals. If you go for Liverpool to beat Leicester City with an Asian handicap -1.5, the Reds must win the game by a margin of at least two goals for your bet to come in. A defeat, a draw or a Liverpool victory margin of just one goal would result in a losing bet. Obviously, this type of Asian handicap bet should be reserved for matches where one team look to be strong favourites.


What are the Pros of Asian Handicap?

  • For matchups where in some cases one team may be more favoured to win than the other team resulting in small betting odds the favoured team will be handicapped to level the playing field
  • Asian Handicap betting allows punters to find value in long odds underdogs while enjoying consistent returns

Asian Handicap handicaps the stronger team and removes the possibility of a draw. It handicaps by balancing the odds

With Asian handicap, the underdog will be given an advantage that is intended to level the playing field for bets.

There are three main types of Asian Handicap lines: half goal, full goal and quarter goal.


Half goal Asian handicap

Asian Handicap will attempt to achieve a 50-50 contest with goals, let’s look at an example of what you may see:

  • Team A -1.5
  • Team B +1.5

Team A has been given a goals handicap of -1.5 whilst Team B has been given a handicap of +1.5 goals

If you decide to bet on Team A, the stronger team, they would have to win by 2 goals at a minimum. Whilst if you were to bet on Team B they can win the match outright or lose by under 1.5 goals which would mean they can lose by no more than 1 goal for you to win.

If the final score is Team A – 2, Team B – 1 and you have bet on Team A, you would deduct 1.5 goals, that would read the score to be Team A – 0.5, Team B – 1

So that would mean that you have lost the bet even though they won the game because of the handicap.


Full goal Asian handicap

This Asian handicap line works in a similar way to the example above for half goal Asian handicap line, but there is an added chance of your stake being refunded. The line, as the name would suggest is a whole number. The line applied to the favourite can be 0.00, -1.00, -2.00 etc with the opposite number for the underdog. If you were to back a team with a -1.00 Asian handicap, you would need your team to win by 2 or more goals. However, full goal lines work similarly to how the “draw no bet” market works, in that should your team only win by 1 goal, your bet is refunded. Similarly, should you back a team with a +1.00 Asian handicap, and they lose by one, your stake would be refunded as well.


Quarter goal Asian handicap

This has been left until last as it’s the most advanced to explain. Once you understand this line, you’ll have a strong grasp on one of the best markets available for all sports bettors. Whilst it’s quite complex at first glance, it’s very logical.

The easiest way to look at a quarter goal Asian handicap is to understand that it effectively splits your bet into two. Whatever your line (for example, -0.25), your stake is split between the nearest half goal line (-0.50) and the nearest full goal line (-0.00).

Here’s one example: you back Team A -0.25 Asian handicap for £100. Effectively, this bet has become £50 on Team A -0.00 and £50 on team A -0.50. For both parts of the bet to win, Team A must win the game. However, should they draw, you’ll see the £50 on the -0.50 line lose, but the £50 on -0.00 refunded. Total = £50, which is often called a “half loss”.

Another example (a half win this time): You back Team B +0.25 Asian handicap, again for a £100 stake. This becomes £50 on +0.00 and £50 on +0.50. If Team B wins, both parts of the bet win. If Team B loses, both parts of the bet lose. If it ends in a draw, the +0.00 will be refunded to you (no profit), and the +0.50 part wins. This is known as a “half win”.

Asian handicap is a great alternative to 1X2 betting and is very popular amongst punters looking to build stable long-term profits because it minimises the risk with just having two market possibilities rather than three.

If you see an Asian handicap and believe it to be priced and handicapped fairly, you’re close to having a 50/50 shot at winning, if you have an edge, you can make long-term stable profits.

Even the inclusion of Asian handicap bets can be a way to make the most of the lower margins associated with this betting market.

The Asian handicap betting is our most common bet type of choice at No1 Tipster.